The Telefile

TWoP 10: Most Disgusting Dating Shows

by Angel Cohn July 24, 2009 6:00 am
TWoP 10: Most Disgusting Dating Shows

This week Dating in the Dark debuted and it pretty much reinforced everything you'd imagine about the superficial nature of people (particularly those willing to go on reality shows). Then next week, More to Love, or as we like to call it, The Fatchelor, debuts. We've seen it, and it's not really much worse than The Bachelor franchise, but it does torture the poor hopeless women by giving them diamond promise rings (in lieu of roses), and making them return them in the hopes that their dream guy gives it back at the end of each episode. So many of these women have never even dated before that it's more than a little bit depressing, especially when the bachelor asks them for kisses and they oblige. So much desperation on one show that it got us thinking about the other dating shows that are more than a little bit gross... when you think about it.

1. Temptation Island
It's one thing for singles to go out searching for fake love or whatever, but it's another thing entirely for couples to go on a dating show. It's just asking for your relationship to be destroyed, especially when the couples were separated and fixed up with hot, enticing singles and sent out on sexy dates. In theory it was to test the strength of the relationships, but in actuality it was just a recipe for disaster. So sweet and loving.

2. The Bachelor/The Bachelorette
In theory a quality "catch" is given the opportunity to find their soulmate, but in actuality it is gross group dating. When the bachelor or bachelorette makes out with all of their prospective mates and then has overnight dates, or hot tub fun, with some of them, it's basically showing how great one-night stands are. So few actual couples have had happily ever afters from this that basically it is encouraging slutty behavior, which is apparently okay if you are "searching" for your true love.

3. A Shot at Love
Somehow Tila Tequila -- a self-made internet sensation -- landed her own reality dating show, where she dated both guys and girls in an attempt to find true love, but mostly it was just an excuse to drink to excess and paw at people a lot, and to show off a lot of massive fake boobs. Worse? The spinoff, A Double Shot at Love, with bisexual twin sisters.

4. Flavor of Love
Flavor Flav is not an attractive man, but he did gain some popularity during his stint on The Surreal Life and the subsequent Strange Love series, so some genius thought that this skeezy rapper deserved his own bevy of beauties to pick from. And he couldn't be bothered to remember the girls' actual names, so he gave them extra classy nicknames. And this show is responsible for bringing Rock of Love, I Love Money and Charm School into the world. Thanks, Flavor Flav. We're so grateful.

5. Mr. Personality
A fine series from the Fox network, naturally, the king of really brilliant reality ideas, Mr. Personality was a dating show in which the bachelorette couldn't see the men she was dating because all the suitors were wearing masks that covered the majority of their faces. Except, instead of making it so she could judge the guys on inner beauty, the masks were silver and threatening and gave the entire show a creepy sadomasochistic vibe.

6. Boy Meets Boy
We were really excited for this seemingly gay version of The Bachelor, because it's not fair that only straight people or bisexual people get to act trashy on reality dating shows. But then it took an aggravating turn as the producers apparently thought it would be "fun" to introduce some straight guys into the mix, so that the adorable gay guy looking for love would possibly fall for a straight guy playing gay. What could be more "fun" than that?

7. For Love or Money
So, do you find your soulmate, or turn down a potentially decent fake reality relationship for cash? Well, considering most of the reality whores that go on these sorts of shows are in it for fame and fortune, this one seemed easy. But the twist was that the bachelor didn't know that his dates had the option of picking cold hard cash if they turned him down at the end. Then of course our favorite was that the girl then had the opportunity to go double or nothing. Nothing says true love like gambling and greed.

8. Joe Millionaire
We can just imagine how this meeting went among Fox execs. Exec. 1: "Hey, we want to do a knock off of The Bachelor, but we can't find a rich dream guy willing to stoop to being on our network." Exec. 2: "What if we just pretended he was rich?" Exec 1. "What, like lie to the girls? Make them think they are going to be living in the lap of luxury?" Exec 2: "Yeah, and we even rent out a big old mansion and tell those ditzy gold diggers that their potential mate lives there." Exec 1.: "You are a genius." These guys got away with this moronic concept, not just once, but twice.

9. Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire
It was more of a not-so-special than a show, really. Fifty women competed to win the heart of a wealthy man, and the "winner" (Darva Conger) was chosen to marry said multi-millionaire sight-unseen on the spot at the end of this two-hour show. At the very least someone had the common sense not to ever repeat this ill-conceived stunt after the post-mortem, when dream man Rick Rockwell was revealed to be a fraud who had restraining orders against him. Background checks: important on dating shows.

10. Dating in the Dark
The aforementioned Dating in the Dark doesn't seem quite as offensive as some of the others on this list, at least the idea of it. Taking looks out of the dating equation could be a good way to get past superficial dating hang-ups. However, in practice, it's just as horrible as the rest of them, as six singles (three of either sex) are given the opportunity to date over the course of the week, but only in a completely dark room. They have to pick in total blindness which of these people might be a good match for them, and it is miserable when no one picks a particular person... just like speed dating. At the end of the week, they stand in a dark room in silence with the person they've chosen to pair up with, and then are lit for a minute, and then it goes dark. Then they go stand on a porch, and wait to see if the other person liked them or not. Essentially negating the whole process, because some people are horrified by the person that they've been dating and run screaming in the other direction and leave the other person heartbroken and even more depressed than at the outset.

Any other dating shows that make you realize that reality love stinks? Sound off below.




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