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Reality TV reaches a new low


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#1 of 53 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted May 28 2003 - 10:38 AM

From MSNBC News
Quote:
Bravo starts new gay reality show
‘Bachelor’-like ‘Boy’ to mix hetero-, homosexual suitors
NEW YORK, May 27 - NBC-owned Bravo will court viewers this summer with American television’s first primetime gay-themed reality dating series. Similar in format to ABC’s “The Bachelor,” “Boy Meets Boy” features an eligible man looking for love in a pool of 15 potential mates. But in a twist worthy of the bogus baron on Fox’s “Joe Millionaire,” some of the suitors are actually heterosexual men who were paid by the program to pretend to be gay - unbeknownst to the eligible bachelor.
“I THINK THIS will be truly groundbreaking television,” said series executive producer and co-creator Douglas Ross. “One of the reasons we decided to take the basic dating format and throw in this twist is that we wanted the show to appeal to a broader audience.”
The six-episode “Boy” will premiere on Bravo in July at a date and time to be determined. In each episode, the bachelor will interact with the other men on group and one-on-one dates and gradually eliminate those he isn’t interested in until one winner remains.
While the actual sexual orientation of at least one contestant will be disclosed at the outset to viewers - but not the bachelor - the identity of some of the others will not be revealed until the bachelor himself finds out. The exact number of heterosexual suitors was not divulged by Bravo, nor was the sum the network paid.
Any sexual intimacy beyond kissing was strictly prohibited on “Boy,” which was shot from May 9-17 in a pair of homes in Palm Springs.
The bachelor was identified as a 32-year-old from southern California who works in the human resources division of a law firm. “Boy” is hosted by Dani Behr (“Extra”).
Ross believes “Boy” is a fun but serious sociological exploration of male stereotypes that enlightened the show’s participants and will do the same for viewers. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)
“Several of the straight men have very intense experiences,” he said, declining to divulge specific behavior. “We anticipate a lot of both gay and straight viewers will have their assumptions challenged about what it means to be gay and what it means to be straight.”
Homosexual dating has been featured in segments on several syndicated dating series, but there has never been an exclusively gay dating series in primetime.

Wasn't the whole reality TV bubble supposed to have burst, and all the stations are returning to scripted entertainment? Apparently not.

I've never been a fan of reality TV, and find the whole phonomenon generally distasteful. When I hear about shows like this, I am just so grateful I never got hooked.

I especially love the way they try to dress it up as though it actually has some redeeming merit - "the show is really all about challenging assumptions about sexuality". Yeah, right.

EDIT: In response to some comments in this thread, the offensive idea in this show that causes me to call this a new low is NOT the fact that it is a show with a gay bachelor. Rather, I found the total notion of deception to be offensive. For further explanation of this, including why I consider this to be different from still-offensive-but-not-quite-so-offensive shows like Joe Millionnaire, see post 32 of this thread.
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#2 of 53 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted May 28 2003 - 11:13 AM

Quote:
But in a twist worthy of the bogus baron on Fox’s “Joe Millionaire,” some of the suitors are actually heterosexual men who were paid by the program to pretend to be gay - unbeknownst to the eligible bachelor.
Now, that's just crass. I don't think the dating shows are inherently bad - in a way, it's less silly and random than meeting someone in a bar - but there comes a point where you're just being mean.
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#3 of 53 OFFLINE   Gary->dee

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Posted May 28 2003 - 11:38 AM

Quote:
I THINK THIS will be truly groundbreaking television,” said series executive producer and co-creator Douglas Ross

Douglas Ross: smoking crack since 1989 and proud of it.

#4 of 53 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted May 28 2003 - 11:42 AM

Quote:
...serious sociological exploration of male stereotypes that enlightened the show’s participants and will do the same for viewers.


Oh Puleeze! How about a spinoff where you don't know that some of the participants are jailbait!

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#5 of 53 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted May 28 2003 - 11:51 AM

The problem is that they're going to be pushing stereotypes and not reality. Tons of muscle-hunks, twinks and screaming queens. Never the nice average guy that makes up the other 90% of the gay population.

#6 of 53 OFFLINE   Gary->dee

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Posted May 28 2003 - 11:59 AM

So if the gay dude picks a hetero guy and really wants him what happens next?

And don't say 'watch the show'.

#7 of 53 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted May 28 2003 - 01:07 PM

I'd have no problem with this if it was public knowledge that everything related to "reality TV" was rigged, but this goes beyond stupidity and falls into the category of being inhumane. I hope he fishes out the straight ones easily for his own good.

#8 of 53 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted May 28 2003 - 01:47 PM

Make that another gay-themed show I won't watch, not only because I don't get Bravo.

Tacky, tacky, tacky.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#9 of 53 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted May 28 2003 - 02:18 PM

Any sexual intimacy beyond kissing was strictly prohibited on “Boy,”


Will they at least show the kissing then?

Sounds like it could be an interesting show, but I too wonder what'll happen if the "chosen one" is straight.

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#10 of 53 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted May 28 2003 - 02:39 PM

> Wasn't the whole reality TV bubble supposed to have burst, and all the stations are returning to scripted entertainment?

Who said that? There are new reality shows all the time. What's rare is the ones that run more than one season.


I think the reason this one has the twist is so people can complain about the show without directly saying they're opposed to a gay dating show. I've been wondering when someone was going to try a show like that.


> I too wonder what'll happen if the "chosen one" is straight

Then one of them will go on a change-your-orientation show. Duh. Posted Image

#11 of 53 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted May 28 2003 - 03:06 PM

So when does the lesbian version come on?

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#12 of 53 OFFLINE   Gary->dee

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Posted May 28 2003 - 03:27 PM

Yeah! The gay male thing is passe in 2003 isn't it? What about a lipstick lesbian show to provide some "groundbreaking television" or is that still taboo?

#13 of 53 OFFLINE   Joel Mack

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Posted May 28 2003 - 04:00 PM

I want a Bachelor-type show where some of the women are female impersonators...

#14 of 53 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted May 28 2003 - 04:53 PM

Quote:
> Wasn't the whole reality TV bubble supposed to have burst, and all the stations are returning to scripted entertainment?

Who said that? There are new reality shows all the time. What's rare is the ones that run more than one season.
When all the networks announced their programming, there was a lot of media coverage that made reference to the fact that there was a surprising reduction in the number of reality shows in the schedules in favour of actual shows with real writers.

I'm not saying that I was expecting a complete absence of new and returning reality TV shows, I just hoped that they were just going to peter out and be forgotten. Apparently my hope was misplaced.

The annoying thing about reality TV is that it is the ONLY form of TV that I can think of where the aim is to be worse than every other show. You make a comedy, you want to make a good comedy. You make a drama, you want to make a good drama. You make a reality show, you want to be worse than every other reality show, you try to undercut every other show, more degrading, offensve and shocking, because otherwise the show has NO hope of surviving.

It's like David Letterman said when describing Joe Millionnaire - "A guy pretends he has a million dollars, chooses a girl, and in the final episode, they have sex on screen." The sad thing is that he's not too far away from where reality TV is. I honestly never thought reality TV could get worse than Temptation Island, and I really hate it when I'm proved wrong. I'm honestly beginning to think the world of Series 7 is not that far off - reality TV murder live 24 hours.
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#15 of 53 OFFLINE   Dan Rudolph

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Posted May 28 2003 - 05:10 PM

This sounds good to me. The straight guys are given a much more interesting challenge than most reality show contestants.

I assume the sex rule was to keep the straights in the game.
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#16 of 53 OFFLINE   JohnAP

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Posted May 28 2003 - 06:16 PM

It's easy to trash reality tv. Personally, I can't stand it, but in the one of the last issues of Entertainment Weekly, Joel Stein made the only convincing case I've heard for why the bubble hasn't burst and it kind of turned my thinking around as to how much I hated its existence. Truly great scripted shows aren't in danger from cheap reality filler programming, just bad scripted programming.

Bravo seems like a network that should have a little more class than this. Just because it deals with homosexual relationships doesn't mean it's more groundbreaking or less exploitative. When it comes to non-fiction programming, they should stick to things like The Awful Truth.

#17 of 53 OFFLINE   David Williams

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Posted May 28 2003 - 06:44 PM

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Reality TV reaches a new low

And how exactly is this worse than The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Joe Millionaire, For Love or Money or Mr. Personality?

I don't see how it is inherently 'lower' just by giving another sexual orientation its crack at the Reality TV Brass Ring o' Sleaze. Tacky now becomes an equal opportunity event.

Reality TV doesn't bother me in the least. It just proves that there will always be someone, somewhere who is moronic enough to totally embarrass themselves for fame and/or greed. It has to make you feel a smarter and/or superior life-form just by watching. Posted Image
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#18 of 53 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted May 29 2003 - 01:17 AM

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And how exactly is this worse than The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Joe Millionaire, For Love or Money or Mr. Personality?
Well, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (and arguably Mr. Personality) are at least honest; even if the relationships that grow out of them aren't likely to last, they haven't been sabotaged from the get-go. And the others are just money; it's something that can be looked past in the end. They're not insurmountable.

This is. If the guy knew about the rules going in, that'd be one thing, but this just strikes me as mean.
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#19 of 53 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted May 29 2003 - 02:50 AM

This is. If the guy knew about the rules going in, that'd be one thing, but this just strikes me as mean.

Yeah, I don't know why it needs to be a big secret. I'd think if they told the guy up front that half are gay and half are straight, it would work equally well. It might even be more interesting (to me, anyway) to see if the guy can figure out which is which.

I'd think once things start getting intimate, even if it's just kissing, that who's who would become rather obvious. It's not hard to pick up the vibe when kissing someone who doesn't want to be kissed.
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#20 of 53 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted May 29 2003 - 03:03 AM

Quote:
This is. If the guy knew about the rules going in, that'd be one thing, but this just strikes me as mean.
I think it's safe to assume that if you are on a "Reality" show, don't expect "Reality".

Hopefully everyone realizes that these shows are pretty F'ed up and the creators are going to throw twists and turns through every episode.

Thinking it's mean that they pull this sort of thing on the guy is like feeling sorry for the people on Jerry Springer...You know what you're getting into from the get go.


p.s. Now that I think about it, the lying part is more of a reality than not.


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