My Xfinity cable listing for Take Me Out says it all:
"Thirty women continue their pursuit of the perfect summer fling."
Summer is here and that means two things -- cookouts and cheesy summer dating shows on TV. Based on the trailers that have run the past few weeks, I had low expectations for Take Me Out. That said, it's contrived and shallow yet more entertaining that I expected.
As the listings indicate, in Take Me Out 30 women get to choose from a cattle call of bachelors who come out, one by one, hoping to win their hearts. The guys look like good catches at first, but then the show plays a series of videos than tend to focus on the bachelors' potentially embarrassing idiosyncrasies ("I dress up as a gladiator," "I only eat animals that I kill," "I live at the gym, literally -- I sleep on an air mattress and box spring in a closet at my gym," "I set the world record for stove tossing.") If the ladies are turned off, they turn off their lights. If any still have their lights on after two videos, then the bachelor gets to ask a question of and then choose between any remaining women. (Generally, as you can imagine, by that point the ladies are either all out or there are only one or two left.)
Host George Lopez brings to the show an element of bewildering one-liners ("Time to bring out the next bachelor! Let the peanut butter see the jelly! Let the spaghetti see the meatballs!")
Cringe factor for women: Medium. (Admittedly, I'm not female so I can't truly judge this, and I welcome any dissenting or alternate opinions.) The women get to call the shots on whether to pursue the guys, up until the final round, so they're generally empowered. That said, some of them showed their true materialistic colors, turning their lights off because of preconceived notions about the guy -- which often ended up not being true.
Cringe factor for men: Medium to high. The guys are mostly goofy, and they're pretty much at the mercy of the women's whimsy until the end. In a way, that makes me feel good about myself. But as a gender they don't do men much justice (they have update segments of past dates, and one guy apparently tried to grope his date the entire day). I feel like more of a meathead now through osmosis.
I really didn't think this would be entertaining, but it surprised me. For better or worse, shallowness does at times make for fun guilty pleasure TV and this fits the bill. The women are (for me, of course) easy on the eyes. Most of them seem nice, though a couple were obnoxious. The guys are dorky, yet watchable in a train-wreck sort of way. I feel like George Lopez tried a little too hard to be funny and, while he occasionally succeeds, he falls flat far too often. Better writers would help.
My overall grade: B.