New York City, baby.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Notes From Our Future Thesis On Reality Television

Don’t get fooled by the former Miss USA Contestant manifested on earth to fulfill the higher purpose of the bikini.

Don’t get suckered by the prospect of regular guys getting a shot at this bodacious belle.

The reality show Average Joe 2: Hawaii is not for dudes.

If it makes you feel any better, we were duped. We didn't realize that we weren't the intended audience, that those sneaky bastards at NBC were gunning for a different target (no, not aliens) until it was much, much too late.

Our first piece of evidence: the twist. Eight studs join the show halfway through to vie for the bodacious belle’s affection.

Opening up the competition to include jocks doesn’t necessarily ruin the appeal for regular guys. On the contrary, it promises to increases its charm if, in the end, one of the average joes wins the cutie’s heart over the cock-sure crew of studs.

The dating underdogs watching at home cheer: There is hope! There is hope!

But there isn't.

On the first Average Joe the bodacious belle went for the pretty boy. And the dork who wan't picked went back to his underdecorated pad and downloaded some porn. And all the dating underdogs watching? They followed suit.

Were the producers disappointed with the studs-on-top outcome? The producers didn’t care. Why? Becuase despite the babe at the center of attention, the show is really trying to appeal to… women.

Blubox admits: it was only after the 894th bare chest shot of the studs that we became suspicious.

Hey, maybe this show isn't targeted to us. Good God, we don't want to like a show that isn't trying to hit our specific demographic. That makes us feel creepy.

Worry grew. What other programs aren't for us? The OC is trying to appeal to 29 year-old white men. That's obvious. But what about other shows? American Idol 3!? My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance!?

Before we have a panic attack, let's return our focus to Average Joe 2: Hawaii. This show is for us. Right?

Our doubts soared the moment we started thinking: hey, who has all the power on the show? The female.

She samples. She kisses. She discards. She’s calling the shots. The guys are in the position of weakness; although, amusingly, they don’t always realize this (okay, the geeks do).

Each week, the cocky good-looking guys are put in the same position of weakness as the joes. The studs are so focused on their superiority over the joes that their bitch-level vis-à-vis the bodacious babe doesn’t dawn on them until she gives them the oh-so-benevolent boot.

Watch as dignity and dominance drop rapidly from them with each step towards their departure vehicle: a bus.

But hold on, seeing hot guys getting stepped over is not the whole appeal for female viewers. That’s the set-up. The appeal is that, in the end, she can’t resist the cute guy. Why? Because he’s just so cute.

And thus American Joe 2: Hawaii neatly solves a modern feminist dilemma of conflicting desires. (Thank you, NBC). Women can delight in feeling that powerlessness over their instinct attraction. But this is okay because, remember, in this game she’s in control. The guys are trying to win her over while she sits back and makes the call.

Regarding the show's unspoken appeal to women we're going to stick with our “have your cake and eat it too” theory. But then again, it could just be the chest shots.

Either way, one question does remain: is the greatest control the power to relinquish it? The show is definitely for women, but maybe the question is for everyone.

(Yes, even aliens.)


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