Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Singles Project - A Recap / Review of Episode 1

VH1 takes dating shows to a whole new level with The Singles Project. The show is filmed week to week, so the network has no idea where it's going to go, and it's interactive. Like, viewers can text in and may even get the chance to meet the singles and appear on the show.

The first of the singles is Ericka. She's a 38 year old who has a career representing a lifestyle brand. She met with her friend Onika, who called her out - she said Ericka needs to step away from work to meet a man. Onika said that she and Ericka would be going out and approaching guys, and Ericka was shocked by it - she said if a man likes her, he should approach her.

Next was celebrity eyebrow stylist Joey, 28. Joey, who is gay, felt restricted growing up in Connecticut. At first, he wanted to date a lot, but now he wants a life partner. Joey's trainer, who was working with him during his opening scene, said he might have a partner for Joey. Joey seemed receptive when seeing this guy's picture.

Kerry, 27, is an only child who is close with her parents. She would never date anyone who wouldn't take in her mother if she needed it. Kerry looks spoiled and loves to shop, and talks kind of like a ditz. Kerry said she gets hit on a lot but never gets asked on a proper date. She wants a guy who is handsome and is willing to have pets.

At this point, we saw a poll asking who was most likely to find love, and pretty much nobody thought it would be Kerry.

Ericka went out and got two numbers, but she was super uncomfortable going up to guys. She was even more shocked that she'd have to call the guys to follow up.

Next, we met Tabasum, a 34 year old dermatologist who focuses on the cosmetic side of things. In her parents' culture (they're from Kashmir), many people get married young. She, instead, had tunnel vision on becoming a doctor. She said she's inexperienced with dating and she'd be going out with a 24 year old.

Kerry and her friends trolled Tinder looking for guys. She sounded so. ridiculously. shallow. Between saying "I hate you so much" in a valley girl voice and taking photos of herself with a popsicle, this girl did not come off as highly desirable.

Joey was next, and he was much cooler. He prepared for his date with Anthony, who seems to be the guy his trainer set him up with. The guys hit it off right away. Joey was clearly smitten. Go Joey and Anthony!

Lee, 37, came up next. He's an aesthetic dentist, so he notices detail. His brother is his business partner, roommate and wingman. He got two phone numbers at the event shown on TV, although what was super weird is that he had his brother program a number into his phone, versus saving it in his own.

Ericka gave in and called a guy, but he shut her down. He said he'd just been out the night they met to hang with his friend. Ericka was mad - she started complaining about the "pussification" of men, saying they're too soft. (Pussification is her word, not mine, by the way.)

Tabasum seemed happy with the guy she met on her date, although she was not enamored with the guy's carer - he's an actor / other stuff / a list of (as Tabasum described) random things. However, he was hot (also her words) so she was happy. Tabasum can do so much better - she said the guy looked like he got his model training from the Zoolander she's funny!

Lee was concerned that getting two numbers at the event he'd gone to being sleazy. According to the audience poll, most people seemed okay with it. I agree! It's not sleazy to meet people! Lee invited Kiki over to hang with him, his brother and his brother's girlfriend. She's one of the girls from the event. As Kiki talked about herself, Lee checked his phone and used the excuse that it could be communication from a patient. Kiki asked if Lee got other numbers at the event, and he told the truth - he had to, as this show filmed week to week, so Kiki would know now that the episode aired. Kiki took it in stride - she seems like a woman with a good sense of self and confidence. (Go Kiki!)

Tabasum's date said something about how he's dated women older than she is, and it did not come across well. She turned down a first date kiss, and rightfully so. At least she admitted this kind of dating would get her nowhere.

Kiki shared the fact that she's a model. Lee was instantly enamored when she said she worked for Victoria's secret. Kiki was great - she made it clear that something could happen that night between the pair, she called Lee out on his BS, and she was confident with her past and current self. At the end of their date, Lee walked Kiki to a cab (rather than engaging in any, um, activities) because something didn't feel right for him, and he was looking for the perfect match for him.

The daters looked at their profiles in the New York Post. One review said there's hope for Ericka but the other two females will die alone. Okay then!

Tabasum talked to her friend about her dismal dating life. She admitted that life is tough because she'd recently lost a parent and gained a niece, and it made her realize what her life is missing.

At the end of the episode, the daters asked people for their opinions of them (they will be screened, by the way) or if people wanted to meet them. Next week I guess we'll find out what happens!

My thoughts:

This show is a good watch because you don't know what's going to go down. It's not as if Bravo pre-filmed and edited the whole show ahead of time - they picked singles with interesting personalities and hoped for the best. If nothing else, it'll be interesting to see Lee navigate the dating world, root for Joey to succeed, and make strange faces at things that Kerry says. Today's gem was that she wished she could move home and marry her mom and dad. Of course, nobody should take that literally, but it was a stereotypical spoiled rich girl statement.

I think the interactivity of this show is a novel idea in the world of typical dating shows. I mean, even Dating Naked, another VH1 dating program, is typical aside from the fact that people are like, "Oh hey, I totally see your boobs and stuff!" (Don't get me wrong - that show is great. They cast some very strange people on it because really, what totally normal person is willing to get naked to date on a TV show?)

I think this show is pretty cool. I'm not totally enamored with it but it's not meant to have crazy story arcs like The Real Housewives of New Jersey or anything - it's meant to show more of the real life dating scene.

Is it worth watching? Yeah, it least one episode to try it out, and maybe send some helpful tweets to the daters. Like, hey Lee, don't rely on your brother so much. Or Tabasum, believe in yourself! You're smart and you can get a man who's on your level. These are real people with real experiences. Sure, the show is contrived like any other 'reality' show, but it's a lot more real than a lot of the stuff out there.

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