A few weeks ago, we reminisced about the reality TV shows we miss, but my yearning for “Temptation Island” to be brought back from the dead has been eased by the knowledge that season two of “Love in the Wild” debuts tonight! The first season had everything I love in a dating competition show, so I’m psyched that it’s back for another round. Here are five reasons you should watch too…
1. Jenny McCarthy is the show’s new host. Jenny got her entertainment career started as a game show host — remember MTV’s “Singled Out”? — and she is hilarious. She’s also on the brash side, so I imagine she’ll be good at getting the competitors to spill their guts.
2. The show is all about teamwork. Each week, the competitors choose who they want to compete with and the last remaining unmatched man and unmatched woman are eliminated. Get it? Singles are losers. I don’t know about you, but I needed the reminder.
3. But it’s also about romance. Each episode features a competition and whichever couple wins gets to spend the night at a fancy pants hotel called the Oasis — bow chicka bow bow — while the other couples have to slum it in ordinary cabins. But it doesn’t matter where they’re sleeping — on “Love in the Wild,” someone is always gettin’ it on.
4. Loyalty will get you further than stabbing someone in the back. If a couple sticks together and always chooses the other as their partner, they’ll continue to advance so long as they don’t lose a competition. See, partners are picked each week in order of how the couples did in the previous competition (the gender of who picks first alternates each week).
Let’s pretend Ryan Gosling and I are on the show; we won the previous week’s competition as partners and it’s my turn to choose my partner for the next competition. If I ask Ryan to be my partner again and he refuses — as if! — I automatically get my next choice in partner (say, Channing Tatum) and Ryan gets his (meh, Eva Mendes). Channing and Eva are not allowed to refuse us. But let’s say Ryan and I came in second the previous week; if I ask Channing to be my partner this week instead, and Channing refuses — again, as if! – I would be sent to the dreaded Singles Area (a terrible place to be!). Ryan can then either forgive me for my treachery and ask me to be his partner or ask someone else because I’m a backstabbing skank. If he chooses the latter, my survival in the competition would be in the hands of the remaining guys left, one of whom would have to choose me to be his partner or I would be eliminated.
The message is simple: ’tis better to play it safe and loyal than to risk it all for a chance with someone new. If you can find a partner you like and work well with, and you agree to stick together, the two of you have a much better chance of winning the ultimate prize of a trip around the world.
5. The cast is easy on the eyes, but in a more normal person sort of way. The advent of celeb reality shows has led to far more scripting, makeup, hair, and overall staging of reality TV in general. I hate this. I like my reality shows contestants to look at least a little like real people! This is why I’m still attached to “Survivor,” with its scabby, bug bitten and pit-haired cast. I just find it easier to believe a couple really has chemistry between them if they don’t have on 10 layers of bronzer and perfectly waxed chests. “Love in the Wild”‘s competitors are crush-worthy (Tim Parrish, I’m looking at you), but I can actually tell them apart unlike, say, the many, many blondes on each season of “The Bachelor.”
This post is sponsored by NBC’s “Love in the Wild,” don’t miss the two-hour season premiere tonight at 9/8c. but the enthusiasm expressed by the reality TV-addicted author is totally legit.