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New FOX reality show - Joe Millionaire
December 2, 2002 1:20 PM   Subscribe

What's Joe's Big Secret? The FOX network has quietly finished production on "Joe Millionaire," a seven-episode series that combines elements of Fox's "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" with ABC's "The Bachelor." I won't spoil the "secret" for anyone who cares but isn't someone's financial status a valid factor when forming a relationship. If you lie to someone the entire time during a relationship doesn't that effect your perceptions and feelings towards the person who lied to you?
posted by suprfli (51 comments total)

 
Actually, you did kind of spoil the secret, but that's okay. I won't watch the show, but I think it's a good start for the third wave of reality television. Mocking people for their greediness and hypocrisy is something television could use more of.
posted by Hildago at 1:30 PM on December 2, 2002


Joe's big secret is that he wont even be important enough to wind up as trivial Pursuit question in a few years.
posted by bondcliff at 1:35 PM on December 2, 2002


isn't someone's financial status a valid factor when forming a relationship.

No.

If you lie to someone the entire time during a relationship doesn't that effect your perceptions and feelings towards the person who lied to you?

Yes.

These are two completely separate queries and neither of them are valid when you consider that no one going into this show, or the other two that it rips, with honesty in mind.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:35 PM on December 2, 2002


There should be an "is" somewhere in there.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:36 PM on December 2, 2002


i guess i alluded to the secret. i'm relatively certain this is only a secret to the contestants though. everyone watching will know the secret otherwise it wouldn't be as interesting to watch.
posted by suprfli at 1:37 PM on December 2, 2002


I still maintain that "reality television" is anything but.

When people know there is a television camera on them, they no longer act normal.
posted by BobFrapples at 1:38 PM on December 2, 2002


I don't think it's possible for a show of this format to become any more dubious in its sexual ethics -- "The Bachelor" already depicts women as desperate and greedy and men as slabs of meat, all trying to create a genuine emotional connection through sheer force of will (and a fair amount of cash).

So I kind of like this new idea, wherein we'll only get a happy ending if the two actually begin to fall in love; there has certainly been a lot of duplicity in all of this show's progenitors anyway. My main qualm is that the "you lied to me" factor might give the woman a way to back out without looking like a gold digger, which would kind of spoil the ending.
posted by Epenthesis at 1:39 PM on December 2, 2002


I think the women would have a good case for suing the network for false representation. What sort of contract do you suppose they signed, and did any of them show it to an attorney?
posted by SealWyf at 1:42 PM on December 2, 2002


isn't someone's financial status a valid factor when forming a relationship

Only if you are a gold-digger or opportunist.

Honestly, think of the person you love or have loved before. Would you have changed your opinion of them as a person or as a lover because of what goes on their tax return?

What's worse, think of the inverse. What if you were only loved because of what you own?

It's something most men almost never consider but unfortunately *SOME* (others would say *MANY*) women place a very high value on.

You will rarely hear a man telling another man about this great chick he bagged over the weekend because she's a partner at a law firm. He's much more likely to be bragging simply because she's firm.

On preview: Sealwyf: I'm pretty confident the Fox corporate lawyer army took that into consideration when making up the disclaimers and waivers I'm sure they all signed.
posted by Ynoxas at 1:49 PM on December 2, 2002


After Wedding Fiasco, Fox Vows No More Exploitation. So much for the honorable word of TV executives.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:51 PM on December 2, 2002


Sure, financial status is a valid factor in forming a relationship. So is that colour of their skin, choice of pet, and foot size. Anything quantifiable is a valid factor.

However, what separates these things from the normal choices people make in selecting a spouse is the fact that none of these are an intelligent factor in selecting a spouse.
posted by shepd at 1:52 PM on December 2, 2002


I'm sure we can look forward to a reverse-Cyrano reality show where it turns out that the witty, brilliant woman the guy has fallen in love with is actually employing a gorgeous actress to say her lines. After all, if he really loves her, looks don't matter.

Oh, wait. Women who care about money are gold-diggers. Men who care about appearance are following a biological imperative.
posted by transona5 at 1:54 PM on December 2, 2002


Do I smell the Ladder Theory a-brewin' in the air?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:56 PM on December 2, 2002


just when you think the bottom of the barrel has been scraped...i predict lots of spin-offs of this show, like say "The Crying Game Reality Show" [the hunky "bachelor" turns out the be a bachelorette...hosted by Jame Gumb], The Oedipus Reality Show [the winning contestant finds out he's unwittingly killed his father and slept with his mother...hijinks ensue], or The Online Pedophile Reality Show, where producers lure deviants with fake profiles of nubile teen girls and then bust them on a live episode of "COPS." wow, maybe i should get into this business...

on the legal tip [What sort of contract do you suppose they signed, and did any of them show it to an attorney?], i bet the contract just omitted any discussion of the "plot," i.e. they signed up to meet "an eligible bachelor," and the whole money issue was just a bait and switch, a la "Candid Camera." nobody ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
posted by serafinapekkala at 1:58 PM on December 2, 2002


Alex McLeod ("Trading Spaces") will host.

So that's what happened to her, I thought Paige Davis performed a whirling dervish ballerina spin and opened a vortex into her home dimension where all women have been bred to be unnervingly perky. Good to see she's still working, because that's a biological imperative in my pants and I'm happy to see her.
posted by Stan Chin at 1:58 PM on December 2, 2002



isn't someone's financial status a valid factor when forming a relationship.

Eyeballkid: No.

Ynoxas: Only if you are a gold-digger or opportunist.

I agree intuitively, but of course the majority of people in the world, and the vast majority of people throughout all of history would disagree. Forming economic and social unions is probably what the institution of marriage was invented to do. I think it's just a weird artifact of our culture and huge middle class that we don't see it that way right now.

Of course saying you marry someone for love when you're actually marrying them for money is despicable, and why shows like Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire" and The Bachelor aren't my cup of tea.
posted by Hildago at 2:00 PM on December 2, 2002


Wow, a reality show I'd actualy like to watch. Crazy.
posted by delmoi at 2:08 PM on December 2, 2002


What sort of contract do you suppose they signed?

I don't think it matters. What would they argue in court? That they were throwing themselves shamelessly at this guy on national television only because Fox led them to believe that was rich? Imagine what Fox's lawyers would argue in response. It would be ugly. Very ugly. Actually, come to think of it, it would probably make better TV than the show itself.
posted by boltman at 2:09 PM on December 2, 2002


A slight derailment, but did anyone catch this line: "They'll also watch as he undergoes a Pygmalion-like transformation from humble construction worker into someone who might pass for a multimillionaire"?

In myth, Pygmalion was the artist, not the sculpture that Venus transformed into a living being. In Shaw's play of the same name, it is Eliza Doolittle, not Henry Higgins, who undergoes the transformation. I know this isn't the biggest deal, but editors and writers make such a big deal about how well-educated they are, you'd think someone would have caught this. (/bitter rant)
posted by risenc at 2:18 PM on December 2, 2002


that's brilliant. i can't wait to watch. heh.
posted by centrs at 2:18 PM on December 2, 2002


Hey, risenc, I think its the Pygmalion play-like transformation they are talking about referring to Eliza not Henry! I don't see what needs editing?

Besides, Henry goes through some transformations in the play as well as he comes to understand Eliza in turn (to get persnickety)!
posted by Pollomacho at 2:27 PM on December 2, 2002


I think its an interesting societal reflection that the faux-millionaire is actually (nose in air) A Construction Worker. As if construction workers have no chance at getting hot chicks without lies and deceit.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:30 PM on December 2, 2002


Let's say for the sake of argument that the woman genuinely falls in love with the guy - If she were to say, "Yes, I'd marry you even if you were broke", she'd honestly mean it.

But then she finds out he's been lying to her. Not just a little white lie, but a huge lie worthy of it's own TV show. Would she still love him? Dear God I hope not. The shithead is liar. The whole point of his actions has been to illustrate what a superficial bitch she is.

Given that (already planned) ending, I'd only be happy if she ends the show by plunging a fork into his chest.

We've gone past exploitation to entrapment. Woohoo!!! What could be better? The nation has gone marching off to crazy town with Bush and the Fox network leading the way.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:33 PM on December 2, 2002


The shithead is liar. The whole point of his actions has been to illustrate what a superficial bitch she is.

Sure he'd share some blame for going along with it, but it's not like he's the mastermind. They're both being manipulated by the producers. If someone has to get a fork in the chest, it should be the people who are bankrolling the operation rather than the dopes who participate.

Of course the real villians are the people who watch the shows and demand there be more and more of them. Drive a fork into your neighbor's chest, and ask him to do the same for you. That's the only way to tighten the widening gyre of lowest common denominator television programming.
posted by Hildago at 2:46 PM on December 2, 2002


Pollomacho: If they meant the play, the reference would have been in italics or quotation marks. Plus, it's not like they couldn't have written "Eliza Doolittle" - how many readers familiar with Pygmalion wouldn't get a reference to her? To me, it reads like an example of a writer and/or editor getting in over their heads trying to give an urbane spin to a banal article.
posted by risenc at 3:09 PM on December 2, 2002


"In the end, he must reveal to her that he's basically broke," Darnell said.

I think this will dovetail very nicely with our new governor's State of the State address in January. Sounds like this show is much more timely than any of us really want it to be.
posted by smrtsch at 3:15 PM on December 2, 2002


three years till gladiators. mark my words.

i'm looking forward to it, really. these things are quite intense. i'm guessing we'll start off with convicts, a la angola prision rodeo, and then move on, to, i don't know, welfare mothers?
posted by fishfucker at 3:34 PM on December 2, 2002


Am I the only metafilter reader who has never watched a single episode of any of these programs? Why is it that people who wouldn't be caught dead watching Jerry Springer, somehow think that Survivor, Big Brother, The Bachelor, and of course, American Idol are any different?
posted by Beholder at 3:36 PM on December 2, 2002


fishfucker: Bring on the Running Man!
posted by Witty at 3:43 PM on December 2, 2002


three years till gladiators. mark my words.

Last night on ABC, I think, I saw a commercial for a "makeover" reality show, in which the participants are given plastic surgery. That's right: elective surgery as entertainment for the television masses. I can smell the sweat and blood on the Colosseum floor already...
posted by mr_roboto at 3:48 PM on December 2, 2002


You beat me to the punch, Beholder.

It seems many people have no respect for their minds or their time.
posted by rushmc at 3:48 PM on December 2, 2002


No, Beholder, you are not the only one. I see links to these things on the front page of CNN every week ("19 Dead in Hotel Blast" [br] "Bachelor Gary chooses Susan") and it annoys me. about two weeks ago someone posted a link about a new game show where the audience will select who gets married on the show (I *think* I represent it correctly), and called it "groundbreaking." Would it be groundbreaking if I had a cameraman follow me out into the street and I suckerpunched old ladies on camera?
posted by planetkyoto at 3:53 PM on December 2, 2002


Haha... that would be pretty funny though... you know, for a second or two.
posted by Witty at 4:00 PM on December 2, 2002


beholder: you're not alone.

Haven't we already had a Running Man show? I thought wozzname's execution was televised...
posted by five fresh fish at 4:00 PM on December 2, 2002


"If someone has to get a fork in the chest, it should be the people who are bankrolling the operation"

I disagree. Such ethical quandaries seem to be my bitch de jour today.

At some point the producers need to tell Joe, "We need you to capture this woman's heart and soul even though you'll be lying to her the entire time. You will be living a lie through the whole show, but we expect you to make her genuinely fall in love with you." Joe agrees to this. The woman then signs up for the show under false pretenses and believes the lie.

The ethical quandary is - Who's chest should she plunge a fork into?

I would lobby you that it should be the man who looked into her eyes and seduced her who should be carted off with a gaping chest wounded. No one has any expectations of ethical responsibility for FOX producers. Quite the contrary I would think.

"Am I the only metafilter reader who has never watched a single episode of any of these programs?"

I don't own a TV. But I still like to bash the shows. TV is bad for you and clearly causes brain damage.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:01 PM on December 2, 2002


Would it be groundbreaking if I had a cameraman follow me out into the street and I suckerpunched old ladies on camera?

no, i think tom green and jackass have basically tapped out the "reality slapstick" genre already (though i personally always welcome new forays into this particular field, and heck, it sounds like you have what it takes).

no. that's a blind link, for the most part.
posted by fishfucker at 4:05 PM on December 2, 2002


personally i'de like a reality show that would follow the hated elite; former enron execs, hillary rosen, etc then do jackass style pranks on them - relentlessly. hell - i would pay to watch that.
posted by Zebulun at 4:36 PM on December 2, 2002


I would lobby you that it should be the man who looked into her eyes and seduced her who should be carted off with a gaping chest wounded.

I disagree. Clearly, it should be her own chest, for anyone who would expect fair play and "reality" in a made-for-tv escapade entered into in hopes of fame and remuneration deserves whatever pratfall they suffer.
posted by rushmc at 5:08 PM on December 2, 2002


Since this discussion is about worn I'll put in my slightly OT comment...

I've always wondered why there hasn't been a reality gameshow based on a sports team yet. For example, the network could build its own minor league baseball/hockey/soccer/football team (from a pool of athletes who would jump at the chance for exposure), and insert them into an existing league. It would be like Road Rules, XFL, the Raiderettes documentary, Survivor, and Bull Durham all rolled into one. Put a camera on every player for every aspect of their lives, juice up the clubhouse heat by picking outrageous athletes, get really hot cheerleaders, and hey, they might actually win some games while they're at it. Imagine the early intrigue when a team has to cut its roster. If the team starts winning, great, if it loses, then there'll be enough pissed off-conversation in the locker room to wrap a show around.

I'm convinced this idea would pull in top ratings for the first few years before it puttered out. Oh, what a fantastic horrid world we'd all live in if I was a TV executive. You can bet your ass there would finally be a live-action Mechwarrior TV show though if I was in charge.
posted by Stan Chin at 5:26 PM on December 2, 2002


"I would lobby you that it should be the man who looked into her eyes and seduced her who should be carted off with a gaping chest wounded."

I disagree. Clearly, it should be her own chest, for anyone who would expect fair play and "reality" in a made-for-tv escapade entered into in hopes of fame and remuneration deserves whatever pratfall they suffer.
posted by rushmc at 5:08 PM PST on December 2


this is what i like about metafilter.
posted by oog at 5:41 PM on December 2, 2002


I've always wondered why there hasn't been a reality gameshow based on a sports team yet.

There has, in Australia. It was called, if memory serves me well, "The Club", and it had trials for the team (selected both men and women), elected a president, the entire shwang. Didn't go anywhere, but... well, the idea, it's been done.
posted by Neale at 5:44 PM on December 2, 2002


Damn you Australia!
posted by Stan Chin at 5:50 PM on December 2, 2002


New reality show concept:

1. Get a bunch of drunken, deranged homeless men.
2. Each episode, two of the "bums" must participate in a "fight", the victor of which moves on to the next round of competition.
3. The winner of this double-elimination contest will receive a Pygmalion-like makeover, such that he appears to be a homeless millionaire.
4. He then meets a woman who has been told he recently inherited $50 million, and he must attempt to woo her.
5. If, at the end of two-week period, she agrees to continue the relationship, it is revealed to her that he is actually a homeless man who fights other "bums" for nickles.
6. If she doesn't agree to continue the relationship, however, she and the "bum" must engage in a fistfight, the victor of which wins $1 million.

<ZIM> IT'S GENIUS!!
posted by Danelope at 6:49 PM on December 2, 2002


"......deserves whatever pratfall they suffer."

Touche.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:04 PM on December 2, 2002


No no no no no, make the him select the woman from a pool gleaned from the daytime talk-show circuit "Does that Chick have a Dick?" and you've got a ratings bonanza my friend! During the selection process the audience could scream at the TV "THAT BUM'S TRYIN TO HOOK UP WITH A MAN!" Imagine the final episode where the Bum reveals his true identity, only to find out that 'Rhonda' has a secret too!

Let's get to work on the pitch, I'll call up Fox.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:05 PM on December 2, 2002


You will rarely hear a man telling another man about this great chick he bagged over the weekend because she's a partner at a law firm. He's much more likely to be bragging simply because she's firm.

how is that any less superficial?

bleah. people suck. i guess we knew that though.
posted by mdn at 7:14 PM on December 2, 2002


Truth is stranger than fiction, Danelope, you're #1 & #2 have been done. Heh, heh, as IF you didn't know...Director is charged. Discusssed here previously. But don't worry folks, you can still purchase the video here.

I'm so glad I don't watch much tv, aside from some hockey games! Yoikes!
posted by alicesshoe at 12:40 AM on December 3, 2002


RE: Gladiators. Does chariot racing on TLC count?

I admit to having a weakness for shows like the Frontier House and the 1940s House, but those are on PBS, so they're classy, right? Right?
posted by JoanArkham at 4:38 AM on December 3, 2002


"Am I the only metafilter reader who has never watched a single episode of any of these programs?"

Well, until last week I could honestly say that I haven't, don't and won't watch any of them. All they would do (from the reports I hear) is confirm my worst opinions of my fellow humans...

However, I did see part of one last week. I was in a bar with some friends, and there was something on one of the huge wallscreen TVs - the sound was turned off but the captioning was on.

Maybe it was called "Beg, Borrow and Steal" - it was on ESPN. I was facing the wall the TV was on, so I kept catching bits of the captioning - there was a team of beautiful young people trying to complete some insane scavenger hunt. They kept talking about throwing the first pitch at a Chicago game. Very serious, very self-absorbed and completely unaware of how fucking retarded they sounded. Bleck!

So, yeah. It confirmed my worst opinions of beautiful young people. Yay me.
posted by Irontom at 6:00 AM on December 3, 2002


a "makeover" reality show

this already airs twice daily on TLC, "A Makeover Story." granted sometimes the stories are poignant: little kids with cleft palates getting needed surgery and such. but most of the time it's, "After I had my third kid I decided I *deserved* to have my tummy tucked so I can feel attractive to my husband again," or "My old nose was holding my acting career back," etc. It's slotted amongst their lineup of feelgood reality shows like "A Baby Story" and "A Dating Story," followed at 4pm by "Trading Spaces." uh, can you tell what i did all day when i was unemployed? hmmmm....what if all these shows were combined? "Trading Dating" would entail your neighbors and you partner-swapping, getting Botox injections *and* redecorating the family room, yeeeeha!
posted by serafinapekkala at 9:29 AM on December 3, 2002


"THAT BUM'S TRYIN TO HOOK UP WITH A MAN!" Imagine the final episode where the Bum reveals his true identity, only to find out that 'Rhonda' has a secret too!

Sounds like the Baitbus is going prime time! (not directly linking to it since it ain't work-safe, but it is baitbus dot com)
posted by ao4047 at 12:52 PM on December 3, 2002


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