LAST EDITED ON 08-22-01 AT 08:06 PM (EST)
Here is a the text (sorry, no link) to an article from the Baltimore Sun basically calling Love Cruise and the genre of reality tv the worst thing to happen to humanity since cancer....
And i just have one thing to say.......weight problem??? Yeah, like 8 years ago....fucking reporters!
But, on the plus side I do have a great quote in there from the first episode (and the only cast member quoted I might add) that I don't even remember saying....this is the great thing about being on a show that was filmed a year ago, I don't remember 95% of the stuff that happened so its all gonna be brand new to me. Anyway, on to the carnage....
Fox network execs talk a quality game, then proudly cruise along on the sea of sleaze. Who's steering this ship?
By David Zurawik
Sun Television Critic
Originally published July 19, 2001
LOS ANGELES - As if the lineup of reality television wasn't already crowded enough with rats biting contestants and players reduced to sobbing wrecks, the news here in Television Land is that the next wave of "unscripted programming" is about to hit - and it's even worse.
Network executives don't seem to care how many lies they have to tell or how much reality sleaze they have to wallow in to win young viewers. They are bedazzled by ratings facts like this: The No. 1 show last year with viewers 18 to 49, the most coveted of demographics, was not The West Wing or The Sopranos. It was Temptation Island, a show that brings couples to a tropical island and tries to break them up using sexy singles selected to match the confessed fantasies of the contestant couples.
Sandy Grushow, chairman of Fox Entertainment, and Gail Berman, the network president, spent Tuesday morning saying how they were working night and day to develop quality dramas and sitcoms, while emphasizing the dangers of committing to reality programming.
"Networks that use unscripted programming to mask their inability to create new scripted fare are going to fail," Grushow said, trying to sound like someone taking the high road.
And, then, in what amounted to a total about-face, Fox spent the entire morning yesterday showcasing three reality series. Murder in Small Town X, which will make its debut July 24; Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage, from the creators of MTV's Real World, which premieres Sept. 11; and Temptation Island 2, which does not yet have an air date.
And what a pack of narcissistic contestants, emotionally abusive situations, low-rent sexual titillation, exploitation and flat-out stupidity it was. But, if were only that, you might be able to dismiss it. The lineup and executive commentary on it also showed how far network television has strayed from any sense of gate-keeping responsibility for what it puts on the air.
In fairness, Fox is not the network that introduced such moments of physical debasement as contestants being strapped in a pit with rats crawling over them. That is NBC, which earlier this week ordered another 13 episodes of Fear Factor, the Monday night series this summer with the rats and police dogs biting contestants.
Fear Factor is the hit of the summer, giving NBC its highest Monday night ratings with young viewers since 1989.
Fox, on the other hand, has generally preferred what network executives described yesterday as "relationship reality series." You know, like the fabulous marriage "relationship" between a nurse-looking-to-be-a-centerfold and a con man with a record of being physically abusive to women broadcast live on Who Wants to Marry Multi-Millionaire?
Love Cruise, which Berman proudly introduced yesterday as "the next wave in reality television," flows straight out of that grand tradition of exploiting the emotional vulnerabilities of young adults with good bodies who don't seem to have the brains to know how to find a partner in more traditional, less public ways.
The contest, which features 16 single men and women in what Fox calls "the hottest romantic challenge ever to hit the high seas," begins with the players getting all of six minutes to become acquainted with their shipmates. Then the host says to the eight women, "Ladies, when I blow my whistle, you're going to approach the man that you would most like to couple with for the next 48 hours."
Mary-Ellis Bunim, who created the series with John Murray, responded to questions describing the contestants as knuckleheads, narcissists and poseurs by saying, "What you are seeing on the show are people who are genuinely looking for love."
But the tape showcased for critics seemed to have almost nothing to do with love. It was about sex, anger, insults, rejection and tears. For example, when host Justin Gunn blows his "coupling" whistle, we have two men who each wind up being selected by three women.
One of the men not selected - an attorney from Chicago with a weight problem - is interviewed about his feelings. "It was like I was the Ebola virus," he says.
But, just so men aren't the only ones emotionally exploited, now the men picked by three women have to decide which of the three they want to couple with. This instantly reduces one of the women rejected by the man she selected to tears. She winds up with the attorney.
They are not described by the others as a "power couple" - the term used by the contestants to describe the two most desired contestants when they get together. The first power couple consists of a 27-year-old screenwriter from Los Angeles with multiple tattoos and a penchant for bad poetry, and a 27-year-old personal trainer from Chicago whose surgically altered breasts seem to be the main topic of discussion on this love cruise.
The last couple standing gets $250,000. Meanwhile, those contestants voted off every 48 hours by their peers are sent to a place called "loser island." On the tape screened for critics, all that was shown of loser island was two goats walking along a weedy stretch of sand.
One of the men initially selected by three women is a 24-year-old construction engineer from Baltimore. His name is Darin, and Gunn labels him a "stud" after the initial round of selection.
(Murray and Bunim declined to give last names, saying they wanted to protect the privacy of the contestants. It should be noted that they said it with a straight face).
Another single man, Greg, is a 26-year-old Baltimore financial consultant.
Murray and Bunim said they selected the contestants from online dating services and places that singles who are looking for relationships are known to gather.
"We did some very fruitful casting at Dewey Beach," Bunim said, which might explain the Baltimore presence.
Murray declined to say whether viewers will see what one intrepid questioner called "real-life coupling."
"It's always a question, 'At what point you go out of the action and switch to a shot of the boat going along with the moon overhead?' " he said, instead of giving a straight answer.
Answer: the fat one apparently