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"Love Cruise review and preview per TV guide"
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10-01-01, 01:29 PM (EST)
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"Love Cruise review and preview per TV guide"
Here's an article recommending the Love Cruise from TV guide. It also has some information about tonight's episode. If the intelligence test is for the switch card, it looks like Michael would have an excellent chance at winning. It's probably a couple winning together like the dance contest last week, so Lisa and her partner might have a good chance as well.


Low morals on the high seas. You gotta love Fox.

After giving unscripted television a healthy dose of hormones with last spring's Temptation Island, the network — whose roster can be boiled down to When Animals Attack Cops Who Marry a Multimillionaire — has topped itself this time. Setting 16 sexy singles loose on the Caribbean to look for love and settle for less. But there will be a cash prize. Hey, what can I say? Sex sails.
Of course, the show isn't presenting itself as some lascivious lesson in mating rituals. No, all of its horny ambitions are thinly veiled behind the ubiquitous "game" we hear so much about in these shows. But while most reality shows captivate us with real people, tough challenges and big bucks, this one is proving to be nothing more than real attractive people, tight tops and big... you know. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

This trend toward the torrid surely can be blamed on the steamy success of Fox's frisky, addictive Island. That lowbrow, low-cut creation showed the world that Richard Hatch had nothing on flaxen-tressed nymphet Mandy, and that if you had Kaya's bone structure, you could get the girl. And then some. Soon reality TV was sexier than actual reality. Survivor II served up Jerri's Colby-sundae fantasies, Making the Band had its quintet of over-gelled crooners mooning over their girls du jour, and Chains of Love... well, it manacled people to strangers — that was just weird.

And just last month, the usually dull Big Brother 2 spiced things up with Will's alleged Jacuzzi hoedown with newlywed Nicole, and Hardy's apparent allergy to clothes. What's next? Anderson Cooper's "very special" striptease on The Mole II?

Set aboard the 236-foot S.V. Mandalay (more a posh pirate ship than a Pacific Princess), the name of Love's game is romance roulette. Starting with sixteen singles, these beautiful strangers bunk down with a potential partner for 48 hours and try to make a love connection. After three days, one rep from Mars and one from Venus are booted off to "Loser Island" (actually Aruba, which I bet the locals love) and those left on board try to woo another victim, er, suitor. The last couple standing sails off with $200,000, a trip around the world and, hopefully, some penicillin.

Last week's opener hit the water running with a round of "Flash Dating," a musical chairs meet-and-greet among our cast of lonely lookers. There we met tattooed poet-guy, boob-job lady, the nice Jewish girl, the hairy-chested himbo and scads of other easily nicknamed stereotypes who, by the end of that first hour, turned out to be either villainous or vapid. Posing for the cameras and waxing dim about soulmates, these love duds only became truly watchable once they began pairing up or pitching fits over who's pretty vs. who's pretty skanky. And when the newly implanted Toni landed the man of a competitor's dream, things quickly heated up into a cocoa-butter-tinged orgy of hot bodies and hotter tempers.

To distill the sweaty tension, cruise director Justin Gunn is on deck playing Cupid for the pseudo-couples, and his compatibility contests seem lame already (Please, truth or dare? What are we, 12?). Of course, these prying exercises are meant to reveal a player's innermost thoughts, but sadly, it seems this self-involved troupe failed to pack them. Most confessions so far have revolved around the perils of being gorgeous and better living through cosmetic surgery, leaving us with the realization that these people have already found the perfect person: themselves.

Tonight, the 12 singles left after the first two episodes' expulsions are faced with an intelligence test (please, help yourself to any dumb jokes you'd like). Each couple wannabe will float on rafts tied to the Mandalay and be grilled on romantic moments in film, TV and literature — which presumes they can actually read. Honestly, it just seems like another perfect chance to get these kids stripped down and soaking wet.

Thankfully, as we get further out to sea, there are hints that stormy emotional clouds are gathering, which could turn Love into a guilty pleasure. Because all this sex and shallowness can only go so far, and it's going to take more to keep this Cruise afloat.

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