I have a problem when I watch reality TV.
Far too often, I get embarrassed for the participants. I have a nasty tendency to project how I would feel on to the people on the screen. It’s why I tend to like reality shows like "American Idol" or "The Amazing Race," where it’s less about emotional reveals and more about the competition.
So, in general, dating reality shows make me uncomfortable. The premature confessions of love, the sobbing, the very public displays of affection — all serve to make me cringe and think "why do these people think they can find love on television?" And will they look back on this show ten years from now and just be mortified?
I guess, therefore, one of the best things I can say about "More to Love," premiering Tuesday at 9 p.m. on FOX, is that it is a lot like all the other dating shows on TV, specifically "The Bachelor" (not surprising since Mike Fleiss is the executive producer of both). What’s different, of course, is that the bachelor on "More to Love," Luke Conley weighs other 300 pounds and his 20 potential mates are overweight as well.
In addition to their ages, the show tells the weight of all the women vying for Luke’s attention practically every time they are on the screen. I don’t really understand why that was necessary because viewers can tell by looking at them that these women aren’t a size 2 and it’s not a weight loss show. What difference does it really make what they weigh? I’m pretty sure they don’t tell the weight of the women on "The Bachelor." Instead of a rose, Luke gives all the women diamond rings. But by the end of the hour, five women are eliminated and do not get their diamond rings back (too bad because a diamond ring would definitely soften the rejection blow, don’t you think?)
But other than that, the premiere unfolds much like you would expect. One woman tries to get Luke’s attention by diving into the pool with all her clothes on. Another declares "I think I could definitely love this guy." And there’s even someone who quit her job to be on the show (which doesn’t exactly seem like a good decision in this economy). Luke comes across as a nice, but kind of cheesy, guy. He’s flirty and kissy and, understandably, clearly enjoying having all these women vie for his affection.
It would be nice to think that we didn't need two types of dating shows — one for skinny people and one for overweight people but I understand that's not really the world we live in. I was nervous the show would exploit people with weight problems. But aside from playing into a few stereotypes (some of the women have never been on a date) I was no more uncomfortable than I would have been watching any reality dating show. I think in the end, no matter what shape or size they come in, they're just not for me.
I’ll be so curious to hear what you think about the series premiere of "More to Love." After you've watched it, definitely let me know what you think.
A Fun Link
. This apparently is what I would look like if I worked at Sterling Cooper (I went a little crazy with the accessories).
Obviously I was in such denial about the show ending last week, that I called it the season, not series, finale (remember it my world of denial, dark chocolate is plentiful and new episodes of "Veronica Mars" still air so it’s not all bad). But wasn’t the ending so bittersweet? The two final episodes were funny (loved the "24" clock and the digs at Matthew McConaughey) and poignant. And it brought us closure to Samantha and Todd while also leaving viewers at a point where you could really see what could have happened in the show’s third season. A few of you have written me that you wished they didn’t show the final scene of Samantha’s mom having left her dad and wanting to move in with Samantha. But I kind of think they needed to include that scene since much of the two episodes had focused on Regina and Howard wanting different things at this stage of their lives. I think without the scene the story line would have been left hanging even more. And wouldn’t it have been so fun to see Regina living with Todd and Samantha and interacting with Frank. So all in all I was satisfied but still sad the show ended. How did you feel about the series finale of "Samantha Who?" If you missed the final two episodes, they are now up on abc.com.
Highlights of the Week Ahead
Maura Tierney shows up at the end of this week’s "Rescue Me" (Tuesday, FX, 10 p.m.). This is also the episode that features the showdown between Sheila and Janet. While it is amusing, it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I wanted it to be. I don’t really get why either of these women would put up with Tommy for this long. I’ve also seen next week’s episode and it kind of confirms my belief that as much as I like "Rescue Me," the show really struggles to write believable female characters. They more write female characters as men would imagine them to be. Two episodes in and Maura Tierney’s character doesn’t exactly ring true.
Allison Scagliotti plays a woman who kidnaps Artie on "Warehouse 13" this week (Tuesday, Syfy 9 p.m.). Pay attention to Scagliotti because she also becomes a regular cast member this week.
I already wished I got DirectTV when the network aired "Friday Night Lights" last fall and now beginning Wednesday at 10 p.m., it’s airing the final four episodes of "The Nine" that ABC never aired. The final episode airs August 19.
Two episodes in how are you feeling about "Dark Blue" (Wednesday, TNT, 10 p.m.)? As I said, I did think the second episode was much stronger than the pilot so I’ll be curious to see what happens this week when the team must take down a drug dealing lawyer.
I definitely thought "Parks & Recreations" got better as time went on. If you missed the premiere, NBC repeats it this Thursday at 8:30 p.m.
We definitely have a weird phenomenon happening this summer as all the networks quietly dumping projects into the summer months. NBC is airing the conclusion to "The Storm" this Sunday and ABC is premiering the new series "Defying Gravity" at 9 p.m. on Sunday. Ron Livingston and Laura Harris stars as astronauts who head out on a six year trip to study Venus and things almost immediately start to go very wrong. The series is told both in the present and in flashbacks, which shows why the astronauts decided to go on this voyage in the first place. But honestly it’s very difficult to get excited about this series when it’s clear even ABC isn’t that into it.
That’s all for today. I’m back on Wednesday with this week’s familiar faces, thoughts on "In Plain Sight," and more. Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter. Talk to you on Wednesday.
Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal