You know, it occurs to me that a lot of these shows now are just really subparts of one big show called What Crazy-Ass Shit Will You Do To Get On Television?. And then people come up and stand around like it's an auction. "I'll eat rats!" "I'll drink cow's blood!" "I'll let you film me in the bathroom!" "I'll date an arrogant prick at the same time as, like, ten other girls!" "I'll wear ugly white fur outfits in the frozen tundra!" "I'll have threesomes!" "I'll pretend to have money when I don't!" "I'll sit on ice until my ass is literally frostbitten!" "I'll eat pig testicles!" Anyway, welcome to the show that resulted when five people elbowed their way up to the podium and yelled, "I'll let the same fickle public who made a star out of Carson Daly choose my life mate!"
For no particular reason, we swoop in on a nightscape of Los Angeles. Perhaps they want you to gaze out over all the twinkling and imagine how many desperate famewhores it takes to screw in a light bulb. (Hint: Based on this show? A lot.) The announcer says that we are about to experience "the most controversial relationship experiment ever tried on television." Aside, of course, from that time Frasier and Niles made out. (Admit it: you don't watch it anymore either; you have no idea whether that's true.) I have to say, he's a very intimidating announcer. He's Announcer-Man! I imagine him swooping in with a big A on his chest. Preferably to transport me to somewhere on earth where this show is not being broadcast. At any rate, Announcer-Man tells us that we will put two people together, and "they will commit to marriage, sight unseen." Except that by "commit to marriage," he means "agree to hang out." According to Announcer-Man, this will test whether arranged marriages can really work. I guess so, in the same way Spongebob SquarePants tests the finer points of kitchen cleaning.
Now we are inside a big, cheesy auditorium that looks like the biggest venue in Omaha, Nebraska, all decked out for when Cher came to town. Here's our host, Sean Valentine. (America: "Who?") Yeah, "Valentine." Isn't that ironic? Isn't that the coolest/ It couldn't be better unless his name were Sean Soulmate. Or Sean Destiny. (Actually, "Sean Destiny" would be a great name for a boy band singer. I'm writing that down.) Sean claps for himself a little bit on stage, and then he...yeesh, where did they find this Sean Valentine, anyway? I'm here to tell you, he's related to someone. I don't know who, and I don't know where, but he is related to someone. He's apparently made of balsa wood, and his face is too small for his head. Sean goes through an agonizingly long explanation of what Trista would call "this process," which is basically that they have five single people waiting. Each of them will be given a little bunch of potential mates, and their family and friends will whittle it down to two apiece. Then the same people who voted for Corey Clark last week -- that would be Us, in the grand sense of the word -- will decide the final couples. Then we'll watch those couples for a few weeks, and then they'll either get married or they won't. Whee, scandalous! I mean, technically, they're supposed to be "engaged" while this is going on, but it seems like they'll basically just be dating.