Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Beauty and the Geek

In the long grandstanding tradition of exploitative reality television, here comes the WB show you’ve all been waiting for: Beauty and the Geek.

Produced by boorish media buffoon Ashton Kutcher, the title of this TV show basically speaks for itself. Here’s the run down as posted by Yahoo! TV

“It all starts with seven women who are academically impaired. Next, add seven men who are brilliant but socially challenged. The concept is to pair up couples for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize. Each mismatched pair competes in various activities designed to test intellect, fashion savvy and even dance moves. There's a spelling bee for the girls, massage lessons for the guys, and an introduction to actual rocket science when the girls compete to see who can build a working rocket. During these competitions, the geek must try to pass his brains onto the beauty, while the beauty tries to pull the game out of the geek. They're so far apart on the social spectrum that they're practically different species, but if they make it to the end, they could both walk away gifted and gorgeous.”

Insipid sexism is nothing new to reality Television, but in my opinion, if you can’t apply the reversal rule, that the show is usually particularly bad. For example, there’s the Bachelor, but also The Bacherlorette. Shows like Fear Factor, Temptation Island, Survivor, and The Amazing Race, are at least co-ed and try to portray the image of equality between the sexes. Of course, a similar predecessor to this show, was Average Joe, an unbelievably painful reality, where a beautiful young woman thought she was going on the bachelorette, but instead of being presented with "normal" guys, the group of suitors were "average" if not downright dorky and/or geeky guys.

Just as a reversal of Average Joe, with average women, and one stud woudln't have worked, (and exactly why is that anyway? ahaha, isn't funny to laugh about how shallow men are?) there’s no way they could get away with reversing the roles for Beauty and the Geek. Brillant, homely women, paired up with stupid hunky men. It would never happen. The men wouldn’t give the time of day to the “homely” women, nor would they be impressed by their intellect. The women probably wouldn’t be able to deal with thier meathead couterparts either.

Not so, on “Beauty and the Geek”. Unrequited love or lust will play a major part in the team dynamic, I’m sure. The male “geeks” in this show will moon over the beautiful women, irregardless of their IQ, stumbling over themselves to try and charm them, while the women rebuff them and laugh at how pathetic they are. I’m not sure who I feel worse for though, the idiotic women who are being completely objectified, or the intelligent, but socially inept men who are being made to look completely pathtetic.

Not that I should sound so surprised by this, but the concept of the show, is flawed, because it is impossible to create some sort of comprable trade of “skills” that two disparate groups could pass on to each other.

“the geek must try to pass his brains onto the beauty, while the beauty tries to pull the game out of the geek.”

“pull the game out of the geek”? What the hell does that mean anyway? Who wrote this damn thing?

I assume that they mean the women will teach them how to be charming and flirtatious. But the rules of etiquette on these matters don’t match the opposite sexes. I mean, if any of these guys walked into a bar with a spagehtti strap tank top they would probably get punched in the face. Will the women just sit there and tell them to be mean and aloof all the time if they want to succeed at all with women? And what of these women. How could you not be ashamed to go on this show? To openly and publically announce in front of national Television, “I am beautiful, but I am also a dumb bimbo.”

Of course I haven’t seen the show yet, but I’m really curious as to how they spin it. There is a chance that they could paint both of these groups, the beauties and the geeks as social outcasts in their own rights, both of them struggling through life because of their own deficiencies. But I have a sneaking suspicion that they won’t do that. The beauties will be portrayed as coasting by smoothly through life without an intellect, while the guys will be the “oh poor geeks” who can’t get hot chicks. Blech.

So if you love yelling outloud at your TV screen don’t forget to tune in at 8 PM on the WB tonight.

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