Sunday, July 26, 2009

How much stupider can reality TV get?

The US reality show Dance Your Ass Off began screening this week in Australia. Hooray. The premise? A bunch of fatties use the medium of dance as a way to lose weight. Or something like that. In any case, if you like to see fat asses jiggling, then this show is probably for you. Otherwise, there are plenty of other things to watch.

Seriously, who comes up with this stuff? Have we really reached these depths of stupidity where we will take whatever crap the networks feed us? I am opposed to neither dancing or weight loss - those are both fine things - but this is just the dumbest idea for a show ever.

You can even see the mental process that created this show. "Hey, The Biggest Loser is a smash hit, right? And so is So You Think You Can Dance... why don't we just combine the two? Easy. People will watch anything."

Coming soon no doubt will be Who Wants to Marry a Fatass and Midget Fear Factor.

The geniuses at Acceptable TV came up with some clever send-ups of reality TV a couple of years back which are actually not too ridiculous to imagine. Aside from My Black Friend (in which black guys compete for the dubious honour of being the token black friend of a white guy), which is so on-point that a lot of people thought it was real, they also gave us the brilliantly subversive Pedophile Gladiators, a mash-up of the real-life shows American Gladiators and To Catch a Predator.

I've watched that at least 15 times and there are so many brilliant little touches that it still hasn't got old.

So what are the stupidest reality shows in creation? Obviously I haven't seen them all, but here are a selection:

Temptation Island
- Unmarried couples stay on an island inhabited by sexy models who try to tempt them into infidelity. Aside from encouraging partners to cheat, it's even more ridiculous when you consider that the tempters are merely feigning interest. It's a concept that was revisited with a twist on:

Playing it Straight - a bunch of guys on a ranch compete for the affections of a single woman, who has to whittle them down and finally choose one. The catch? Half of them are straight and therefore "interested", whereas the other half are gay and thus just pretending to be interested. If her final choice is gay, she loses out on the prize. The show's only value (unless you consider the emotional manipulation of this poor woman to be a good thing) is in allowing viewers to test out their gaydar.

The Age of Love - hunky 30-year-old Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis has to choose between a group of women vying for his affection. Some are "kittens" in their 20s, while some are "cougars" aged 39-48. You will no doubt be stunned to find out that not only was his final choice in her 20s, but that the relationship did not last.

Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? - Rich fella Rick Rockwell gets to pick and choose from a bevy of women desperate to marry him - clearly for his looks, brains and personality. Guess how this turned out? She dumped him on the honeymoon, it turned out that not only was Rockwell not his real name, but he wasn't technically even a millionaire, and he had failed to disclose a previous restraining order for domestic violence against his ex. Classy all round.

Flavor of Love - female contestants compete to be the girlfriend of washed-up rapper Flavor Flav. Now I'm a big fan of Public Enemy and all, but who would want that job? Just because he was part of the best rap group of all time doesn't erase the fact that he's a former jailbird and crack addict with form for assaulting his ex girlfriend. He is a bit of a looker though.

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