This amazing spoof of modern dating programs was created by Ben Stiller and set loose on the internets last week. While it most directly mocks "The Bachelor" (which is casting in Dallas this Wednesday), it isn't much crazier than the rest of the crap we're watching. Have you ever seen "Baggage?"
Successful dating shows are based around one, simple rule: Showcase the worst humans, those frustrating sacks of skin who clog up the dating pool's murky filter, thus making people at home feel better about themselves. Single folks think "Yes, that girl I took out last night only talked about her cats, but at least she didn't steal '$30,000 from her job' or 'chug ranch dressing like it's Smart Water.'" Those in relationships think "Thank. Fucking. God. I'll take 'boring' over 'crazy' any day."
But I've got to wonder, with newer shows like "The Choice!" (which uses spinny chair technology as its bait) and the UK's "Take Me Out" (which deposits suitors on stage in a giant bank tube) dry-humping their way up the dial, why do we need all of this crap? It's the same show regurgitated and served up over and over and over. I've got an idea for a new, more inspirational series, and women will watch it. My dating program would be called "Just Give A Shit," and it is based on nature's greatest daters, the bowerbirds.
Bowerbirds are unique because of their highly refined methods of wooing and courtship. Females tour male birds' bowers each mating season to evaluate and select the man with the most extravagant bachelor pad. Then, they do him. Sexy time is brief: the ladies fly away to raise the children solo while the dudes chill at their fancy homes, feet up, snacking on whatever fruit and nuts the gals have left behind. Each year the men get better at luring more women in by festooning their spectacular dens with flowers, pathways and creature comforts that ladies might find attractive. Basically, they Just Give a Shit. They do so for the most primal reason of all, the same one that drives the contestants of "Baggage," "The Choice!" and "Take Me Out" -- They want to get laid.
"Just Give a Shit" is done in the style of a nature documentary, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, and serves as a porn-y prime time series for women. We will watch awe-inspired as men vacuum their cars before dates, cook a lady dinner or simply offer her a jacket if it's cold out. They call ahead and make reservations at restaurants, hold doors open and politely offer an arm for support when she's walking on uneven terrain in high heels. Nobody flexes their six-pack, fist pumps or asks the lady what color her panties are. Instead, they put in a tiny bit of effort causing them to appear completely do-able. Everyone gets laid. In the morning, they go for tacos, exchange pleasantries and part with a hug. In follow-up episodes, they have only kind things to say about one another, even though the relationship didn't work out, long-term. We stare at the television, hypnotized.
I think "Just Give a Shit" will work. Especially with the 28 and over, female market -- which is more aroused by the thought of a guy with good manners than a bro in a hot tub. If ratings ever need a push, just have an episode dedicated entirely to men baking things, luring women in with the smell of cookies, pies and rising dough. Speaking of rising dough... is it getting hot in here?