Over the last 24 hours, I have found myself wondering what happened to my life. What had I done…what specific bad choices had I made to get me to this point?
And it all started shortly after watching both Take Me Out and The Choice on FOX last night.
I could hardly be blamed for questioning life choices that had led me to that awful fate. I mean, why would anyone watch that shit? Even morbid curiosity has its limits, right? What kind of person had I become that would voluntarily sit through such tripe? And I guess the answer is simple: I’m a blogger, and I’m suffering for my art.
Take Me Out and The Choice are both gimmicky “dating game shows” that spotlight the worst humanity (or at least struggling actors portraying humanity) has to offer. Take Me Out is hosted by former sitcom star/talk show host George Lopez, who may be debating his own decisions more than I am at this point. Its gimmick is that there are 30 women – The Flirty 30 – all in varying degrees of “hot,” deciding the dating fate of a series of men by listening to their life story and then turning off their lighted lectern if they don’t want that guy to Take Them Out.
Oh, but it gets better! The guys arrive on what is hilariously dubbed “The Love Lift” and are apparently encouraged to pose ridiculously as they ride down. The first poor bastard down The Love Lift actually played the “Leg Guitar”. I’m serious. And only a few women turned off their lights after seeing that. They were actually more turned off by his bodybuilding and hunting prowess, which would – once upon a time – seemed like ideal male pursuits. But no, classically-handsome and muscly Brandon gets sent home with only a hug from Lopez and the audience serenading him with “All By Myself.”
The next dumbass is a mohawk-sporting, pierced, and inked-up drummer from New York. The big knock against him, apparently, is that he’s too much of a momma’s boy, but he still ends up with a few of the girls “fighting” over him. Even after his less-than-inspired demonstration of what I can only call “Salsa Drumming,” John winds up with the enviable opportunity to choose his own date. After some ridiculous theatrics, the “lucky” couple ascend a staircase to their destiny. Probably not a hangman’s noose as I kept hoping.
Then the douchiest douche in all of Doucheland appears in The Love Lift, flexing his butt and introducing himself as the “Guido Torpedo.” Sickeningly, the lights don’t immediately go out. A woman named Zaza is actually taken with his small stature, leading him to proclaim, “I’m like a DVD – compact and full of action!” My girlfriend then proclaimed, “This show won’t see a second episode…I feel sorry for George Lopez.” But then we felt sorry for ourselves as The Guido Torpedo stripped down to a silver speedo and did the worm across the stage, prompting all the girls to extinguish their lights. Yes, I wish there was a way to unsee what I have seen. Where’s that machine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind when you really need it?
Finally, a black guy showed up. And not only a black guy, a black Italian guy. Accent and all. The only girl to turn off her light said she “hated accents.” But needless to say, most of the girls were swooning over this Mocha Adonis until he showed up dressed like a gladiator and said that this is something that he regularly does. Hunkiness and Italian-ness aside, apparently dressing as a gladiator is frowned upon on the dating circuit. Still, he wound up getting to take his pick and ended up choosing a woman he later found out “enjoys belching,” which led him to classlessly try and change his mind.
I was starting to change my mind too. Mostly about whether humans deserve their status as the world’s dominant species. And those doubts were only magnified by The Choice, where four “celebrity” guys try to pick their hot women dates just by hearing their voices.
Let me give you some idea of what this show’s idea of “celebrity” is…Pauly D from Jersey Shore was the most famous person there. Yeah.
When the men decide they like what they are hearing, they grab their “Love Handle,” (no I’m not making this up) which turns their chair around so they can see the woman they’ve been mildly entertained by. Then some other stuff happened but it was too much stupid to adequately process. I think I may have actually left my body at some point, and the spirit floating above me looked down on its former shell with a mix of pity and regret.
When I snapped back, it turned out that each guy got to pick three women, and then narrow those three down through a series of pointless and inane questions that essentially boil down to “What’s your sign?”
If the women weren’t clearly paid actresses I would have felt offended for them as they were herded and separated like cattle, but mostly I felt a deep, overwhelming sadness. Because somewhere, somehow, some one actually finds shows like Take Me Out and The Choice genuinely entertaining and will tune in next week to see “how the dates turned out.”
But that person won’t be me. I realized I’ve made some pretty good choices in life, and I am a good person because of them. I may have chosen poorly when I decided to watch these shows, but I certainly didn’t deserve to be punished for it in such a disproportionate manner. I have questioned my choices, I have examined my life, I am stronger for it, and I will never again watch Take Me Out and The Choice because of it.
Also, I gouged out my eyes just to be safe…