Monday, November 14, 2005

NEXT! ----->

Flipping through channels Sunday afternoon, I happened upon NEXT on MTV. NEXT is a dating show where one person is set up on 5 blind dates in one afternoon. The minute the dater is either annoyed or is no longer having fun, he/she simply says ‘next” and the date is over. The sullen datee returns to the bus for some good-natured ribbing from the other 4 datees. After 30 minutes or more, the successful datee is given the option of either taking the money and ending the date or foregoing the money to go on a second date with the dater. I’ve seen it go both ways. It was cool though to see some gay date setups (but then again, it was MTV).

What cracked me up was that (on his/her way to meet the dater) a few datees walked off the bus exuding self-confidence and assurance only to be “nexted” as soon as the dater laid eyes on him/her. And of course, the datees were then instantly defensive about how the dater just simply could not handle “all this”. Some dates were ended based on immediate looks, some on political affiliation (I might have to agree with that), some religion, and some based on the fact that the datee was either too pasty white or too orange from tanning (personally I don't mind the pasty white thing, to me it just looks clean; however I too have a problem with dating someone who looks like he should have a 'Sunkist' sticker on his forehead). The pleasure of knowing that there was another datee waiting in the wings if the current one sucked seemed to sweeten the pot, as it should. But the rejected datees remind me of a line from The Golden Girls where Uncle Angelo says, “You mean to tell me I shaved my shoulders for nothing?” Classic.

What also cracks me up (I crack up a lot) is the lengths to which these datees will go in order to score the hopeful second date. One guy shoveled horseshit while the dater just stood there watching. That's horseshit, y'all. Another datee dressed as a rodeo clown and fended off a bull – that’s right, a bull – while the dater hid herself in a barrel. The motivation for staying on the date for the datee is 1) scoring the possible second date, or 2) earning $1 for every minute the date lasts (we are whores at heart, all of us).

On one hand, I kinda love this idea. There have been plenty of dates I have been on that I would have loved to be able to just administer a violent death right in the middle. There have been dates where I would have spared myself a lot of anguish simply by saying “next” before the appetizers even arrived. The date where the guy sent his steak back 4 times before we could eat - could have been completely avoided. The date where the guy decided to join me for dinner instead of staying home to nurse the quarter-sized zit on his cheek - might not have happened. The date with the dude who showed up in a tee shirt that read "Sore/Loserman '00" - should have stopped with the removal of the jacket.

But on the other hand, it’s simply just mean-spirited. And it all goes along with America’s incessant desire to witness failure in action. We watch “Survivor” to see who will be eliminated each week. We watch “Lost” to see who will die. What’s the reason for going into the Astros locker room after the World Series unless its to watch how despondent they all are (and perhaps a few unexpected beefy butt shots!) NEXT is just one of a myriad of these kinds of dating shows on TV right now. Is it any wonder the rest of the world laughs at us?


  1. Man, Dop, that blog entry was so friggin' long...must've been several hundred words...I better call my Mom, just to let her know that I'm OK...and then maybe the milk company so they'll take my picture off their cartons...

  2. >>>>>>>>
    Dop - Agree with the element that so many of these reality-based shows do have a a touch of mean-spiritness to them. I've even found myself hooked on one or two of them. It's sad what some people do at the sight of money, exposure for fame, etc.

    Think I'd rather walk away with my some of my pride inn tact. But then again, no one has offered me $1 MILLION outright (no competition) to do something outrageous. Hmmmm! One never knows......

  3. Regardless of the lack of redeeming qualities in Next, it is one of the most entertaining shows on television. Did you see the gay episode with Matthew Fashion? He *trained* with Bobby Trendy (from the Anna Nicole show on E!) to be a tv icon. Truly amazing! (or amazingly pathetic)

  4. I've seen "Next" once or twice and while I agree that it's amusing, I definitely agree more with your last paragraph. It's just mean. To be one of the daters on that show requires immense levels of self-confidence (pretty much cockiness) to put yourself on the line like that. Then again, I don't really care for cockiness, so I'd never want to be on that show.

    Deep down, really, I think my biggest objection to that show is that if I actually went on it, I'd be one of those guys who makes $1 out of his appearance.

  5. Have to agree, but I loved the beefy butt shot!! Thanks for that!

  6. mmmm mmmm mmmm dish me so' mo' butt pics