By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Femia: Already has impressed everyone with her modesty: "I'm the total package--I'm smart, I'm pretty, I'm athletic." Why do reality casting directors look for only crazy, bitchy black women?
Tiffaney: The National Watermelon Queen talks about only two things: watermelon and God. Why give her the million bucks? It would be like bankrolling Bubba from Forrest Gump.
Shawn: Easily the biggest beeyatch out of everyone. Not just on the show. Possibly the whole of North America as well. I feel confident that she would kick her way through a wall of babies while wearing steel-toed boots if she suspected there were a few Ben Franklins on the other side. And she teaches second grade. Good. God.
But the contestants are almost irrelevant, because the only person Cuban cares about is Cuban. Unlike Trump, he's in virtually every scene. I still can't figure out why. The last time I saw someone that stiff on camera, I had been forced to watch Ronald Reagan's funeral because nothing else was on TV. Even in death, Reagan had more charisma.
Since the game doesn't make any sense--in the first episode, Rich was eliminated because he allegedly called the show "stupid" (and no kidding), Laurel was axed because she couldn't muster the nerve to play air guitar and Grayson was sent home after losing a game of...Jenga--The Benefactor relies on Cuban, who, for the bulk of the show, is wearing a gold chain that wouldn't fit a 10-year-old. Most of the time, he comes off like a bullying jackass, so far up his own backside that he's returned to an upright position.
Consider this: At one point, Cuban criticizes one of the contestants, William, a histologist who, with his lack of personality, boundless optimism and terrible dancing, could very well be Cubes' brother. Cuban says re: William, "There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance and annoyance." You know what? Cuban just makes this too easy sometimes. He might as well have been reading from his own biography.
Not to mention the fact that Cuban can't carry on a conversation without saying one of the following three phrases: "one...million...dollars," "this is gonna be fun!" and "expect the unexpected." Here's another thing to expect: There will not be a second season of The Benefactor. That's my American dream, anyway. --Zac Crain