Are You Ready For Suckiness?


Are all executive producers like this with contestants?

Are all executive producers like this with contestants?

Okay, call me gullible.  I’ll admit I’m a naive idealist when it comes to relationships.  Why can’t we all just fall in love? I’ve also never understood the term “I could do better.” I see a lot of folks who could do worse–a lot worse.

And when I watch relationship reality TV shows I think that there’s actually an inkling of reality in them.  At least occasionally.

At least when it comes to maybe half the principles involved.

My friend, whom I will call “Elaine,” insists that all reality shows are fake. She says 100% A to Z fakery. She says all reality show contestants are actors or want careers in the industry.  Really? What loser seriously believes being on a reality TV show will turn him/her into Brad Pitt?  Or even Kelly Ripa? Yet with some shows, I can certainly see what she’s talking about.  I see would-be porn stars on The Bachelor, sure.

I don't know about the show, but those smiles look pretty fake.

I don’t know about the show, but those smiles look pretty fake.

It came out on the first bachelor that one of the contestants had used the 34k she got from the show to get a new pair of boobs.  And she didn’t even make it that far! Imagine how much the final contestants earn? But is 100k really worth having people see your character shredded in some reality house, and then watch you get dumped before millions of viewers? I guess I’m not very motivated by money–I have a hard time believing money can be the only motivator for alllllllllll the contestants.

So for some reason, I thought READY FOR LOVE would be different. They seemed to go to great lengths to avoid the reality cheese factor.  The matchmakers seemed to be giving sincere and intelligent advice.  The contestants seemed to have some values (Ernesto), to be sincere about past hurts (Tim) and ready to throw hearts on the line (Ben).

Was this show was a total sham from one end to the other?  I’m  not convinced all the contestants were insincere, but at the end of the show, I feel like I’m the one left heartbroken.

Why does Matt Hussey look more in love than the happy couple?

Why does Matt Hussey look more in love than the happy couple?

I gave up on Tim of the band Plain White T’s early.  He ended up with the youngest contestant–someone whom Matt the matchmaker hinted was very cute, but shallow.  I can just imagine Tim saying, “Wait a minute. You’re saying you’ll pay me to promote my band and throw in a band groupie as a bonus? Where do I sign!”

Meanwhile, Ben didn’t even make it in his relationship with the virgin hottie to the beginning of the show airing.  In explaining the demise of their relationship the virgin said they could barely see each other in person while waiting for the show to air.  Has she heard of skype? The telephone? The internet? Guess not.

So in love, but not even sitting together?

So in love, but not even sitting together?

Ernesto seemed to have such a high opinion of himself — and it turns out he doesn’t even go by the name Ernesto.  His family outted him as “Ernie” about half way through the season.

Even before the show had been on a few weeks, the rumors came that Ernesto was living in Eva Longoria’s house, who’s an executive producer for the show.  Explanations were given — but really the excuse was pretty lame. “Oh, Eva invites lots of people to come live with her.”

Really? That’s the best you can do? I mean, if he’s hanging around L.A. to promote the show, put him up in a hotel.  Even if they were together–common, just admit it.  Meanwhile, he prided himself on not kissing just anyone on the show, and up to that point having never said “I love you.”

Why is Matt the matchmaker always in the photos with Eva? Another man dazzled by fame?

Why is Matt the matchmaker always in the photos with Eva? Another man dazzled by fame?

But already knowing he didn’t wind up with anyone just made me watch the show with a different gaze.  As he wandered through Shandi’s small Southern home town, which was basically a shrine to her glory, he sparkled like her Miss USA tiara.  For all that he seems to have a high opinion of himself, he seems even happier being around a woman who’s even more successful.  Folks, is Ernesto is a bit of a star f*****?

Once we knew about the Eva Longoria factor, his neat trick of avoiding a proposal or committing himself by the big romantic gesture of sending home two contestants at once and then climbing up to Shandi’s podium area seemed, well, just too slick.

In the end I’m convinced Ernesto doesn’t have a problem saying “I love you”–if the money’s right.

I’m usually sucked into reality shows because I think they give us a glimpse of humanity we don’t usually get to see on “unreality” television.  Sometimes yeah, a show is total shallow dreck–but sometimes there’s really excellent perversity or lower class values and culture–which I find interesting.

Is it all just acting? How could untrained people be that good? I mean, actors spend years studying how to seem sincere and be “in the moment” and most of them suck at it.

The supposedly happy couple. Do they look happy to you?

The supposedly happy couple. Ernie looks like his neck hurts.

Meanwhile, does Eva even really like this guy? Is she just trying to spin gossip to benefit her own career? Did they knock boots a few times and then it was over, but NOW they’re sucked into this PR charade?

There’s probably a whole twisted complicated story about what really happened that we’ll never really know.  But look at these pictures.  Matt Hussey looks more in love with Eva than Ernesto does.

If you can learn from reality TV, then what I’ve learned from READY FOR LOVE is that you can’t tell a fame whore based on looks. Arg.

Meanwhile, what do you think? Are reality shows all fake?  Any thoughts on Ernesto and the bunch? Are romance writers the only career folk who are almost always happily married and have been for decades? ;>

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6 Comments

  • Elizabeth Shore
    July 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I agree, I don’t think it’s all just for the money. People like being on TV. And people like seeing and knowing people who’ve been on TV. I saw a documentary once about a guy who was on a reality TV show. He subsequently got into trouble because he murdered his girlfriend (!), which is why there was a documentary about this guy in the first place. Anyway, one of his friends was interviewed in connection with the incident, and the friend made a comment about reality TV stars nowadays being viewed as actual “stars,” whatever that means. They apparently have agents and are widely recognized, just like regular movie stars. Frankly, the terms sees much more loosely applied these days then it ever was before. I mean, seriously, the Kardashians??

  • madelineiva
    July 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I know the bachelor folk go on cruises after the show wraps– I think they get paid to go, paid to mingle with folks, and they hook up like mad.

    Maybe it IS like acting– just a kind of knack that some people have for presenting a modified highly relatable part of themselves to the cameras.

    Meanwhile, I’ve always found it a really strange experience meeting movie stars in person. My eye is used to seeing them large and facing the camera. But with audiences meeting reality folk it’s probably like the experience you go through when people meet you and they’ve read your writing–they feel like they already know you a little.

    Ah well! I’ve been scratching my head over it for awhile–but I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be moving on to other obsessions I have.

  • LizEverly
    July 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    They’ve become celebrities, that’s for sure. I don’t watch the shows, but I find the whole trend disturbing. From what I read, I don’t really want to know these people. I would not want to live my life like that. But the fame thing is so alluring to some people that they will do anything to get it. That makes me cringe. Interesting post!

    • madelineiva
      July 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Well, for some reason I just get sucked in. And where else–except Lady Smut–can I admit that without shame.
      ;>

      • LizEverly
        July 12, 2013 at 10:38 am

        True. I might get sucked in if I tuned in. But becasue I have kids, I tend to try to have other things on the TV. And we only have one in the house.

  • madelineiva
    July 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Well, SOMEBODY has to be a good role model around here.
    I feel it’s my job at Lady Smut to be the bad role model… ;>

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