You don’t really need to read this

So-called “reality television” seems to have settled into two camps: game shows, and dating shows.

Okay, look, when it was The Bachelor and such, it was an understandable variation on a theme. By the time we got to Bret Michaels’ Rock of Love?


So, anyway, there I was, flipping through the stations, minding my own business, when I saw a listing for The 650 Pound Virgin. Apparently, they got a morbidly obese person to lose a bunch of weight, and are now trying to get him laid. Good luck with that. Sincerely. But I won’t be tuning in.

And then I encountered not only a listing, but eventually an advertisement for a program called For the Love of Ray J, and all I could think was, “Who the fuck is this?”

When it was Flavor of Love, that idea was hilarious, much like Rock of Love. But in neither case am I going to wreck that nostalgic smile—I used to listen to more Poison than is healthy—by actually watching these shows. I know these people are dysfunctional, speak nothing of the contestants.

Of course, I do understand the attraction of watching a man choose from a bevy of beavers; it’s something of an overwrought sex fantasy. But think about it for a minute: You’ve watched people eat bugs, hold their breath underwater, jump between moving trucks, cook for foulmouthed bastards, race all over the globe, and the whole time they’re making utter fools of themselves. But now you’re down to watching people dating.

So let’s make one thing clear: I have no life. Of all the people in the world who need to get a life, I’m one of the most obvious candidates. Yet I still haven’t gone so low as to start watching shows about people dating.

Really, at least the Psychic Kids audience is watching children who believe they’re psychic. Compared to dating shows, there is some merit to it. After all, just like Ghost Hunters, you can make a drinking game out of it; every time someone tries to con the audience, you drink. By the end of an episode, you’ll have put away more than enough.

Do that for a dating show? What’s the rule? Drink every time someone says or does something stupid? Doubles if it’s trashy? You’ll be lips-down on the bathroom floor, and probably before the second intermission. At which point, you’ll probably still be mildly more conscious and intelligent than the people clamoring for the love of Ray J. Or Bret. Or the 650 pound virgin. Or Flav. Or … um … you know, the thing is that I probably haven’t covered even half of these stupid shows.

Seriously, the Ray J winner’s name was Cocktail. She beat our Danger and Unique in the final, apparently, and competed overall against Chardonnay, Stacks, and a few other equally stupid monikers.

And think of this: Cocktail won back in April. I’m pretty sure the advertisement I saw was for a Ray J marathon. Not only are people watching this shit, they’re watching reruns.

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