This is the latest “reality” show on VH1. On the surface it’s a typical TV dating show. Two strangers, a man and a woman (I wonder if they’ll ever do same-gender?) fly to an exotic island for 4 days where the first three days they go on a “date” with a different person, including each other. These dates involve island and beach activities like water-skiing, raquetball, riding an ATV through the woods, building sandcastles and bird-watching. On the fourth day all of the contestants stand in a ceremony where our original couple each has to chose who, if anyone, they want to go on another “date” with. The catch, as if you can’t guess from the title, is that during the dates everyone is NAKED.
I didn’t plan to watch the first episode (I swear), I just happened to be flipping channels and there it was, and the masochist in me stayed on that channel and watched it. Last night I caught a rerun of the 2nd episode (admittedly that was a little more planned). My very first impression? I’m surprised to find out that you can now show full bare-asses on basic cable television. They blur out everyone’s genital areas and the women’s breasts, but when shot from behind, butt-cheeks are in full view. I distinctly remember way back in the days when I used to regular watch The Real World and Road Rules on VH1’s sister station MTV, whenever nudity would come up (usually during skinny-dipping), the butts used to be blurred along with everything else. But not anymore. So, progress?
Anyway, I am fully aware that these “reality” shows are mostly faked. Even if they’re not completely scripted line by line, I know there are various tricks the producers use to encourage the participants to act a certain way for the cameras, or even using editing to make things look different than what actually transpired. And both of these two episodes were so blatantly “coached.” It was obvious. How do I know? Because each episode had a specific “story” or two that was like a character arc that drove the plot. That doesn’t just happen randomly.
There first episode featured Joe and Wee Wee.
Wee Wee’s real name is Christina, but she says everyone has always called her Wee Wee, for no explained reason (my childhood nicknamed was Bootsy, because I have big feet). Joe is in his 20’s, looks like a musclebound party-animal, but he swears that deep down he’s a hopeless romantic. He was actually briefly married at age 19, but then they got it annulled. Wee Wee is in her 30’s, and ready to settle down and have kids. She actually tears up a bit at one point as she faces the camera and discusses the possibility of missing out on having children of her own someday. AWWWW…
During their date, Joe and Wee Wee seem to really hit off. They’re laughing and joking with each other. They get serious and discuss their dating history and what they want. Joe says he wants 7 kids, while Wee Wee says she’ll settle for 2. It’s all good. Then comes day two, time for their 2nd dates with new people, and that’s when the “storyline” kicks in. Wee Wee says she had such a great time with Joe, and would just like to keep spending time with him. She has no interest in going on a new date, but of course has to go along with it. Her 2nd date is a tall pale-white man and she tries to be friendly and polite on their date (she notices that he has a “nice package”, I’ll let y’all guess what she’s referring to), but frequently admits that she’s still thinking about Joe, and what he’s doing on his date, and what does the other woman look like (is she prettier? Does she have bigger boobs?)? Well, we see Joe and his 2nd date, who happens to be an Israeli model named Jasmine. And, yes, she’s hot, and Joe is definitely impressed. And that night the now 4 people all hang out and drink in the little Villa they’re staying at. When Wee Wee gets a look at Jasmine all of her insecurities come rushing forward, and she’s wondering if Joe feels the same connection that she felt with him on their first date. Joe reveals his conflicted soul, as he did really enjoy spending time with Wee Wee but, damn, Jasmin is hot!
The next day is the third dates. Joe and Wee are each set up with Black people, which I found to be an interesting coincidence, but neither really hit it off with either of them. Wee Wee is still thinking about Joe during her date, and Joe is still trying to figure out how to choose between Wee Wee, whom he felt a mental connection with, and Jasmine, who is so damn hot. When all six get together at the Villa that night, Jasmine is flirting with Joe, which annoys Wee Wee, who is starting to wonder if Joe is the nice guy who wants something “real”, like he claims to be, or if he’s just going to pick the hot chick, like a typical man would. She even catches Joe and Jasmine KISSING. Now Wee Wee doesn’t know if she even wants Joe after all.
But fear not, we get our happy ending. Joe does pick Wee Wee on the last day, and she picks him. The whole episode was like a traditional little romance mini-movie. Like I said, that’s not an accident.
The 2nd episode was even more blatant, as it had two ongoing storylines. The couple was Steven, a bloke from Australia, and Taryn, a hot blonde from California.
Their first date goes well enough, but there’s no romantic spark. So the drama comes from their next date. Steven goes out with voluptuous Southern Belle Ashley from South Carolina. They seem to get along for the most part, although she mocks his manliness (or lack therefor) a few times. Then at night during the Villa she drinks heavily and flat out says they’ll never sleep together. Poor Steven is not enjoying that. He goes to bed early. And when he’s getting ready for date #3, he laments his lack of luck, so far, wondering if he’ll find his true love? AWWWW…
His third date is a hot young Asian woman named Marissa, who seems to be a lot of fun. She tests video-games for a living, and is even a part-time cosplayer. OMG Steve thinks he’s found his ideal geek-girl! But then later she admits to using men “like chewing gum.” She seems to think that’s funny, but Steven is worried now. He thought he’d found his soul-mate, but will she just break his heart?
Taryn has much better luck on her 2nd date. She goes out with tall long-haired Dar. He’s an “artsy” type of guy, whom Taryn admits isn’t what she usually goes for.
But that night at the Villa, after Steven and Ashley leave, Taryn and Dar are left alone in the pool (still NAKED) and Taryn start aggressively flirting with Dar and they kiss in the pool. It is then heavily implied that they go back to her room and have sex. There is where I think the editing process came in. We see Taryn and Dar in towels heading back to her room while we hear her in voice-over saying that she’s “guilty” of having had sex on the first date before, and that she “is happy with the way things are going.” So did they have sex or not? Again, that’s the heavy implication.
Taryn’s next date is with hunky muscular Andrew. From the start she’s like DAMN.
She says he’s hot and is her usual type. All throughout their date she makes several references to how hot he is. The only flaw is during a conversation about their pasts he says his longest relationship was only 8 months. That worries Taryn has she wonders if Andrew is just a player who isn’t really ready for a commitment, despite his insistence that he is. That night at the villa, Dar is visibly jealous when he sees Andrew, especially since Taryn doesn’t do much to hide her attraction to Andrew, including doing a body-shot off of Andrew’s washboard abs.
Taryn is conflicted. She likes both guys, but isn’t sure how to choose. Does she pick Dar, with whom she had a spiritual connection, or Andrew, who just flat-out turns her on? She and Andrew sneak away for a minute and she invites him back to her room (to “hang out”) later. And when she sits with Dar, who asks her what she’s going to do, she lies and says she’s just going to her room to go to sleep. And then we see Taryn and Andrew in her room. Except I noticed that the very brief shot that they showed us there was from a little bit earlier, because when we see Taryn and Andrew they’re both naked, and drying themselves off with towels. But they’d already gotten out of the pool and gotten dressed earlier. Again, the implication was clear, they wanted it to look like Taryn had sex with Andrew.
Now, keep in mind, everyone is single here, so if Taryn did want to have sex with either or both guys, that’s her business. But the show shouldn’t fake it, if that’s not what actually happened. They just wanted to add drama. Ooh, look at Taryn, sneaking around with both guys. And at the ceremony, we’re left wondering who she will pick, which seems even more dramatic now that they’ve made it look like she banged them both.
In the end, she picks Andrew. And Steven picks Marissa. So another “happy ending.”
Again, the set-up was just too perfect for this episode. The nerdy guy trying to find a girl who appreciates them, the hot chick who is torn between two guys. This was so clearly set-up. I bet the real footage of the show is a lot more boring.
And then the final proof about how this is all staged is when you look up the main contestants. Are these really just average people looking for love, as the show would have us believe? Well, I found most on Twitter. Wee Wee is a Comedian/Writer/Singer and good ol’ Joe is an actor/comedian. So that’s what this whole thing was, they went on this show to help their careers. Here’s Wee Wee trying to get Howard Stern to put her and Joe on his show. And Steven is a Host / Writer / Game Show Contestant / Karaoke Superstar. Again, this is a career boost.
UPDATE, AUGUST 31, 2014: Also, as a helpful reader has pointed about in the comments, Jasmine the “Israeli model” is actually XXX film star LAYLA SIN
Ironically, Taryn, who was made to look the worst on this show, in my opinion (people on twitter are calling her a THOT, slut, ho, etc.) is the only one who doesn’t appear to have any kind of entertainment credentials (yet). I couldn’t even find her on Twitter, just an Instagram page.
It is funny to see people discussing this online as if the show is “real”. Get a clue, folks. Don’t believe everything you see.