Review: A love misconnection with Take Me Out and The Choice
Jun 07 2012 10:35 pm ET
Thursday's television featured the premieres of Fox's two new dating shows: British import Take Me Out and "Gee, that look's awfully familiar," The Choice. However, both shows are difficult to love.
Take Me Out
This show, hosted by George Lopez, features one guy auditioning for a date with one of thirty women known as the "Flirty Thirty." The guy enters the stage via the Love Lift (an elevator, because this was originally British) and a song of his choosing. After making his entrance, the guy introduces himself. The women who are not interested with the first impression hit a button on their podium to switch a light from white to red. As long as there is one white light on, the guy is still in play. Lopez will also chat with individual women to discuss why they did or did not choose to stay in the game. These are not in-depth interviews and it is not important to remember anyone as actual characters on the show.
The second round features a video package with details about jobs, hobbies, and interactions with people. As the video plays, the women can turn off their lights, which we can see at the bottom of the screen and is accompanied by a Whammy-like sound effect. The third round features either an additional video package or a performance by the guy. If there are any women left after the third round, the guy will choose two (if there are more than two in play) to ask one final Dating Game type question. He will then choose who he wants to go on a date with at a resort set up by the show. If at any point all the lights go out ("blackout"), the guy is sent home as "All By Myself" plays in the background.
Although the premise is as goofy as any other show of this genre (this show owes a huge debt to Love Connection and The Dating Game), I found Take Me Out to be interesting in its capriciousness. The first contestant was a relatively handsome individual, but some women opted out because they didn't like his wardrobe. However, the major dealbreaker for the Flirty Thirty was his interesting in hunting. I am reminded of the surprisingly enjoyable Blind Date, but what it would look like in a post-OK Cupid world.
Although the general premise of the program is rather dumb, George Lopez is completely miscast in the role of hosting. His jokes and stiffness on stage are like an uncle trying to entertain the kids in the cake line at a wedding. Had this show existed before The X Factor, I think this would have been the perfect opportunity for Steve Jones.
In next week's installment, we get to see what happens on the dates for the two couples who made connections on this week's program. Take Me Out is fine as background noise, but there is no need to set your DVR.
Fox has put all their advertising muscle behind this dating show that is focused more on gimmicks and skeeviness than actual content. On The Choice, four celebrity bachelors sit in chairs almost identical to the ones from The Voice. The colors and handles are different and they got rid of the "I WANT YOU" banners, which would have made this show disturbing rather than just unpleasant. Each contestant comes out and has 30 seconds to say why each celebrity should turn around and choose her for a date. Because picking a potential mate by the sound of the voice is totally how dating works in 2012. Each celebrity will ultimately pick three women, which means we have to go through the tedium of at least 12 contestants prattling on about the superficial while being leered at by the audience and, eventually, the suitors. Cat Deeley's talents are completely wasted on this program, but any other host – particularly a male host – would have justified changing the show's name to 'So You Want to Build a Harem.'
Once the teams of three are created, the women are brought back on stage wearing pageant sashes with their potential suitor's name written across it. We are then assaulted with a speed dating session that plays like a cocaine-fueled round of the $25,000 Pyramid. After this round, one woman from each trio is eliminated by the celebrity.
The final round features each woman asked a pre-prepared question allegedly written by the celebrity. After hearing the answers, the celebrity is turned around in his chair for 10 seconds (we have the spinning chairs, we're going to use them) to consider his options. Then the celeb will choose one of the women to go on a date. Like with Take Me Out, we will find out the aftermath in the following broadcast.
Both shows are fluff television that do not really require all the words that you just read. Neither is trying to advance the medium and, like The Dating Game and Love Connection, you either enjoy the dumb fun or you find something else to watch. I recommend the latter.
Mike McComb – TVLatest.com
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