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You Heard It Here First

I can see where this is going.

Women are in it for money, men are in it for sex. Or so we're told by the recent rash of "relationship" reality programs hitting the airwaves.

FOX (as usual) fired the first volley with Who Wants To Marry A Multimillionaire, in which a gaggle of attractive (but not especially well-off) women competed for the nuptials of a well-off (but not especially attractive) man. ABC then ripped off this premise and turned it into a series entitled The Bachelor. FOX is now satirizing the trend with Joe Millionaire, where a bunch of sexy girls vie for the affections of a man they (erroneously) believe to be wealthy.

ABC, meanwhile, has rolled out the next iteration in this downward spiral: The Bachelorette. Here again we have a dozen people competing to wed a member of the opposite sex. But unlike the stars of Marry and Bachelor, the Bachelorette is not a millionaire. She is, however, Smoking Hot -- or, at least, she fits the criteria set by TV for "Smoking Hot" designation: blond, buxom, under thirty and entirely too thin.

The question then becomes: how will FOX parody this? It's easy to make a man appear rich and then pull the rug out from under those competing for his attention. But how do you hornswoggle a bunch of shallow suitors into thinking that someone is Smoking Hot when they are not? Announce, in the final episode, that she is a brunette that dyes her hair? Reveal that her breasts are not authentic? Stun the contestants with the knowledge that Ms. Right consumes two, sometimes three meals a day?

I pondered each of these possibilities, but decided that they weren't outrageous enough for FOX to consider. And I was left wondering if this could be It, the logical end (and low) point of the genre. What could they possibly do to lower the bar even further.

And then it hit me.

"FOX is proud to present the next generation of reality television: The Crying Game-Show!"

You so totally know it's gonna happen.

Posted on January 13, 2003 to Great Ideas