December 04, 2002


NOT YOUR AVERAGE "JOE": The Fox Network announced this week that they will broadcast a new reality series called "Joe Millionaire." Along the lines of ABC's "The Bachelor" and the network's own controversial special "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire," the show will feature a male multi-millionaire being pursued by multiple women, until one wins and then becomes (possibly) his wife.
But there's a twist this time- the "millionaire" is not a millionaire at all, but rather a blue-collar worker who makes less than $19,000 a year. The audience is aware of the deception, but the women aren't. Now this sounds to me like it's going beyond mere "parody" of reality TV and straight into genre deconstruction. "Joe Millionaire" is to "The Bachelor" as Todd Haynes' "Far From Heaven" is to Douglas Sirk's "All That Heaven Allows."
I have a couple of reservations about this concept though: one, I don't find "The Bachelor" and other such shows the slightest bit watchable, and "Joe Millionaire" sounds like it'll be the same, except with a slightly more entertaining final episode. And also, I don't see how this show can have any outcome other than making the women on it look like golddigging wenches- I don't know how they can do this without being sued.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 4, 2002 05:44 PM
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