Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Love in the Wild

Last year dating show Love in the Wild debuted on NBC and it's back for a second season. Contestants get paired up with potential suitors and suitoresses (I know, not really a word) in a small tropical country. Last year it was Costa Rica, this year it's the Dominican Republic.

They're forced to couple up and run around in the jungle, on the beach, find buries treasure, swim against the currents, wrestle alligators and pythons. OK, maybe no animal fighting, but you get the idea. The couple that finishes in first place gets to stay in a luxurious suite, while couples that finish progressively lower get progressively shittier accommodations. In the end, the couples decide (one week the guys get the pick, the next week it's the ladies turn) whether to stay paired up with their partners. If they choose someone else, their partner goes to The Unmatched Area, where maybe someone else will pick them, and maybe not. In the end, the one male and one female player left unmatched lose, and so on each week, until two people are left.

There are a few changes this season. For example, Jenny McCarthy has been inserted as host, replacing Some Boring British Guy. Also, the show inserted some extra guys in the first episode, so the women could date two men simultaneously, and then turned the table Tuesday night, giving the remaining guys an extra woman to date.

Here's the rundown:

Cringe Factor for Women: Medium to high. The new women brought out a certain cattiness and rampant jealousy in the existing women, who resorted to name-calling (though "Boobs McGee" was amusing). Also, it's pretty much shallow eye-candy-admiring/exploiting (for both genders, see below).

Cringe Factor for Men: High. In the confessional segments, there have been allegations on the show that some of the guys had "intimate relations" with their dates and then broke the bad news to them that, "the connection just isn't there." Funny how that connection faded after Boobs McGee arrived.

The Bottom Line: I would give this show an A if it were only the last 30 minutes of the show, when the couples are loving and hating each other in their respective quarters. But the first 30 minutes bore me to tears. If I'm going to watch couples run around on the beach or in the jungle, I want them to be chased by Sharktopus or Dinocroc or Supergator.

The Verdict: B-

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