Good news! We may have sipped our last cocktail on the secluded beach/prison of Bachelor in Paradise for this season, but we have not seen the last act of show-sanctioned ocean coitus — this brilliant piece of important art has been renewed. I don’t think the network will take Grantland’s advice and turn the show into a 24/7 network, but I hope it takes our advice and sends home the boring couples so we don’t have another Marcus-and-Lacy situation.
There is hope on the horizon for lovers of the lowbrow, though. Fox dropped Utopia on us this week, and it was depressing, discouraging, and troubling — and I loved every single second of it. This week I will be breaking down that new offering and a show I stumbled upon called Love Prison that had nothing to do with prison coitus and everything to do with taking an online couple who had yet to meet, trapping them on an island, and seeing how long it took before they ate each other. But before we put these new offerings through the GRTFL “should I watch this?” filter, we must first address the most important element on the Bachelor in Paradise finale, the dicknotism of Michelle Money.
The Dicknotism of Michelle Money
Sex is a powerful drug. It can infect your brain, it can turn your morals and priorities upside down. It can make you do things you would never imagine doing. It can make Michelle Money, an attractive and semireasonable woman who has been completely smothered, hassled, and harassed by a meathead named Cody, completely fall for Cody. Michelle Money and Cody were easily the most mismatched couple on a show formatted to fabricate mismatched couples, and by the end of this week there they were in love. What caused Michelle to fall for a man who was overcommitted to her from the second date? She was dicknotized.
This is what the recipient of a successful dicknotism looks like the morning after:
This is what the recipient of a successful dicknotism sounds like the morning after:
After the time I spent with Cody last night I’m really sore, and very satisfied. … I am so crystal-clear about what I want right now. … He has an amazing [bleep] and he is actually really [bleeping] good in bed. We [bleeped] the [bleeped] out of every part of that room.
This is what the provider of a successful dicknotism looks like the morning after:
This is what the provider of a successful dicknotism sounds like the morning after:
Last night was one of the best nights of my life. … I marked some things off my bucket list last night, I’ll tell you right now.
While the art of dicknotism has given hope to many mismatched relationships, it has never bestowed longevity. These two are still dating — according to Juliet, who follows up on reality TV couples like a loan shark follows up on loans — and I am absolutely shocked. Sex is indeed a powerful drug.
Sarah, Robert, and Robert’s Jeans
Sarah did not get dicknotized. She got whatever the opposite of dicknotized is. Here is her account of her romantic night with Robert in the ol’ fantasy suite:
Last night I got up to go brush my teeth, I come back out and the lights are all off, the candles are out, and he is in bed. I get in bed and [pause] he had his jeans on. So I went to unbuckle his pants, and he stopped me. … His hands did not touch my body anywhere below the neck, and he was on the complete opposite side of the bed facing the other direction. So I don’t even know if he has a penis.
There are a lot of possible explanations for why Robert behaved the way he did in the fantasy suite. There is the knee-jerk “He’s not into women.” Then there’s “He’s not into her.” And then there’s the always possible “Hey, maybe he is a weirdo who sleeps in his jeans.”
We don’t know the real reason, but Sarah, the lone non-delusional person in the house, distilled it all down to this: “If a guy doesn’t want to hook up with you in a fantasy suite, if he doesn’t want to make out with you, he doesn’t like you.” Truth.
New Show Alert! Utopia
I may love this show only because it’s new, but who cares? I love this show. Don’t believe the highfalutin hype that Fox tries to sell you. Utopia is not about a group of people who “set out to create a society from scratch.” It’s about a bunch of lunatics who get drunk, get naked, and argue all the time. (They argue all the fucking time.) When you break it all down, this is just Survivor with a barn and more booze. Oh yeah, and a host who looks like the love child of Waldo, Frank Perdue, and a Brooklyn bartender who takes 10 minutes to make a Jameson and ginger:
The key to this show is the casting; EVERYONE IS CRAZY. Every. Fucking. One. They all are super tropey, stereotypey clichés who have nothing in common except for a lack of self-control and a propensity to yell at each other over the slightest of perceived slights. There is the hooch-making handyman hillbilly, the crazy-eyed ex-con, the horny, hot 20-year-old, the yogi-slash-healer, the Bible thumper, and on and on. They aren’t just caricatures, though. They are caricatures with an extra dash of insanity. In the first two episodes alone we had a sexual assault trial, alcohol poisoning, omnipresent nudity, money theft, a dude freaking out because he didn’t get ramen noodles, a chicken tractor, a death threat, and two physical altercations. Utopia has already devolved into chaos. I know producers and PR reps are boasting this is some sort of social experiment, but the truth of the matter is, they are just filming hangry people. People get so pissed when they are hungry.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next nine months. Fox has committed to airing damn near a full year of this lovely mess, and the initial ratings indicate that all the money it dumped into this may not be a good investment. America may not watch this show, but I sure as hell will.
New Show Alert! Love Prison
Love Prison is one of those shows that looks way better on paper. The premise is brilliant: have a couple that has dated online for months but never met in person live in a house for a week and be recorded by surveillance cameras. They get to go outside the house for only one hour a day and, oh yeah, the house is on a fucking island:
I love that there is no one else on the island. There’s no sound guy, no producer, no one else — just two people who fell in love over email. The most interesting aspect of the show isn’t watching the love grow between the couple, it’s watching the stir-craziness grow. Just think about living on an island and being forced to stay inside 23 hours a day with very limited entertainment. Everyone would start to lose it. I watched the premiere episode and was concerned that it was the premiere.1 Usually shows like this launch with their best ep, and I found myself quickly going from “This is the best format I have ever seen” to “Watching bored people is kind of boring” to “I wonder if that beef and broccoli from two nights ago is still in the fridge.” I wouldn’t say I recommend Love Prison, but I wouldn’t recommend avoiding it either.
I haven’t looked at the ratings for this show but I would venture to guess that 40 percent of the people who watched the premiere did so for the same reason I did: they saw the words “Love Prison” on their guide and thought it was a prison doc show about a low-security coed prison where sex runs rampant.
Check back next week for a breakdown of a couple of other new shows, listen to the Right Reasons podcast, and enjoy your weekend.