Fox's new faux-reality competition I Wanna Marry "Harry" is unwatchable not so much because of its "problematic," think-piece inspiring misogyny in an era of #YesAllWomen, but mostly because it's fucking boring.
Prank reality competitions had their brief moment in the sun back around the turn of the millennium when reality TV first invaded network television, but audiences grew super tired of the trend as soon as possible. Things like Joe Millionaire, The Joe Schmo Show, My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, and Superstar USA all invited us to mock the rubes who would appear on a reality show but these days reality TV is so normal that there just isn't that kind of pent-up anger toward the zeitgeist like there used to be.
So why exhume such a tired, mean-spirited concept that wasn't ever that funny to begin with? Because drunk ladies shouting. Always and forever.
If you weren't aware of Fox's newest attempt at feel-bad reality comedy, I Wanna Marry "Harry" plops a dozen especially incurious and uncouth American women onto an English estate where Matt, a ginger-from-a-bottle, is paraded around in front of them with all the trappings of a highly guarded royal. Many of them assume he's Prince Harry, most of them simply like to be wined and dined.
The production values are standard Bachelor (a format already permanently eviscerated by the parody series Burning Love) and the underlying tension has to do with whether the "winning" girl will continue to date the self-described, below-her-league Matt when she finds out he's just a regular guy. This will not end well for anybody, obviously, but there are limits to how entertaining uninspired schadenfreude can be.
So it should go without saying that all of I Wanna Marry "Harry"'s best moments involve what goes on whenever Matt isn't around. I'm not saying this show is well cast, but the few fly-on-the-wall moments between the ladies that do make it to air provide what could be reasonably called entertainment value. Like this week when the ladies passed the time sunning themselves by the pool and casually paying each other weird compliments. ("Your boobs look good.")
Or, in the video above, when a shouting match erupted after a very drunk girl was accused of being very drunk and also later when a mean girl was accused of being a mean girl. I'm not 100% sure I feel cool laughing at a group of women caught in a cycle of subterfuge, but if I hear the phrase "I think Jackie is not princess material," I am gonna laugh. I just am. Always and forever.
In related news, congratulations to Fox for getting that 2000s-era nostalgia train rolling! Just bring back Paradise Hotel and we're cool. (Whoops, close enough!)
[Video via Fox]