Monday, March 15, 2004

Average Joe My GOD!

They're evil geniuses. Truly evil, and truly genius. It was brilliant.

At first I was nervous. It started off with a bunch of recaps of the first Average Joe, and the reactions of Adam and his friends back home to his rejection. Fine, that's to be expected.

Then they brought back the freakiest of the freaks from the first show, and set them up in obviously scripted "searches" for the right match for Adam. Dennis (├╝ber geek) was screening tapes at NBC. Tareq (terrifying enginerd with the anger issues) whored himself out to shill for eHarmony.com, since he's the scientist of the group, he was using a "scientific" method to find Adam a mate. All four of the extremely overweight guys -- the first four eliminated by Melana -- were sent to Vegas to find "the hottest possible chicks."

Blah blah blah, the mansion, the hot tub, the airplane hangar, the bus. Dennis and Tareq arrived with the women they'd chosen...and Jason, the prettyboy Melana had chosen, in drag. Seriously. He was supposedly on the bus to spy, but I think that would only work if Dennis had brought a busload of blind women. As MCM said, "For such a pretty boy, he makes a really ugly woman."

Writing about it, it all sounds hopelessly silly, and I would have preferred if the other Joes had been used a little less obviously (or scripted better). But Adam is so damn charming, and frankly the other freaks are fascinating too. They showed some tapes of women who'd applied for the show, and many of them seemed smart and funny. It was all just astonishingly watchable.

What really makes it interesting so far are the women. While none of them are on the sad, sad level of the last crop of Sub-Par Joes, they're an amazingly diverse group, with a pretty wide range of looks and both good and terrifying clothing choices. There are more Jews than in the current revival of Fiddler on the Roof. It's kind of a refreshing change from the usual dating show crowd. And I've already been creeped out by someone, which is really my test of any reality show. One of the first eliminees cried in her exit interview about how she was sure Adam would pick her and she'd move to New York to be with him. Putting the cart before the horse a bit, aren't we sweetie?

The only twist they've told us about so far is that, like on the previous Joes, a busload of super-hot competitors will arrive. In this case, they're the ones the producers expect us to believe the fat guys rounded up in Vegas. It's doesn't seem like such a big deal this time around though, since some of the women already there could give them a run for their money, and none of them are as ugly or creepy as even the best-looking season two Joes.

Regardless, I'm hooked. And to think I originally didn't like Adam and was put off by his upsettingly large teeth. (One of the women has an...exuberant smile as well. I shall call her Gums from now on.) I can't wait to see him deal with all this, and I'm especially interested to see how he handles making the elimination decisions, many of which will be, by their very nature, superficial. He seems like he's smart and together enough to know what he's gotten himself into so he won't make too big an ass of himself. But he also seems like he expects to find the love of his life on television, so maybe not. And that's the inherent contradiction that keeps me watching garbage like this.

No comments: