Hoping to get it right, we tune into a show or read a book to teach us "The Rules." And then, maybe, we feel better: We weren't all that bad to start with!
The beauty of this show, though it was ridiculous, was that men and women were on a basically even plane: They were both capable of looking like total jerks or insane people, and often did (it's the way of dating, after all, and more than that, the way of the successful dating show.
Chalk it up to human foibles, schadenfreude, whatever). These also mostly pitted men and women against each other on something of an even playing field, with a game show feel that made both sexes seem pretty idiotic.
They were also launching pads for people who wanted to become celebrities, like Farrah Fawcett and Tom Selleck, who both appeared as contestants on and so on.
There are too many to count, but suffice it to say, dating shows are a staple, pairing the big business of reality TV with a universal interest in sex, dating, and relationships.
At the center of this new reality is a type of woman the feminist economist He Qinglian calls “gray” -- one who stands somewhere between the legitimate, “white” world of marriage and the illegitimate, “black” underworld of prostitution.
These so-called gray women include the mistresses and “second wives” (ernai) of wealthy, powerful men, as well as the hostesses and massage girls who entertain the elite.A., take on what the producers clearly want us to understand as their greatest challenge: Their own dating lives.(Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.) In so doing, Bravo gives viewers a whole new type of dating show, including an element we've seen before, for instance, in episodes of in which we got glimpses into Patti Stanger's sometimes troubled dating life.I'd like to see it, and I'd like to see women, who are successful and powerful in their own right or at least, have made names and careers for themselves, not fall back and rely on these same old tropes.Failing that, take us back to the old days of , when we at least got to make fun of everyone equally instead of whiplashing between stereotypes of women ranging from husband-hungry to sex-crazed to messed-up to mean to men or to the worst of all, sad and pathetic.Then enter the "instructional" element, i.e., how to do it right, or how to watch people who are doing it wrong and compare yourself favorably.