In this era of crazy mash-ups, I’m sure someone at NBC thought “Ready for Love” was an awesome idea. Or maybe just an idea. NBC has been boasting only slightly better ratings than my microwave lately, so I think the network will try anything at least once. Or, in the case of “Ready for Love,” everything at the same time (not that it worked; the ratings showed it pretty much shed all of its “The Voice” lead-in). It’s like that Taco Town skit on “Saturday Night Live”: It’s a taco wrapped in a corn husk and a Parisian crepe and a deep dish pizza and then a deep-fried blueberry pancake! Yeah, “Ready for Love” is kind of like that. And just as hard to swallow.
If you missed the two-hour torture-a-thon that was the premiere, the show is basically “The Dating Game” meets “The Bachelor” meets “Deal or No Deal” with a generous serving of “Death Race 2000” and human trafficking. And that’s not all! The deep-fried blueberry pancake is that this is “The Bachelor” if “The Bachelor” had three bachelors! One’s a rock star! One’s Latino! The last guy’s a CEO! And these lucky guys break up with women (who are hauled up and down the set like the prize cattle they are) in something called The Garden, which is under the stage and sounds kind of ominous! And there are three matchmakers who pick teams of women to woo the bachelors, so it’s like “The Voice,” too! And that’s a hit for NBC! We MUST MAKE THIS AS MUCH LIKE “THE VOICE” AS POSSIBLE!
So many parts. So many of them suck. It’s hard to know where to begin, you know?
Let’s start with the matchmakers. Ever watch “Millionaire Matchmaker”? Patti Stanger is insane, but she’s fun. Sometimes she has valid points, even. The matchmakers of “Ready for Love”? Probably insane, but not fun. They tell the women to be themselves, to be sexy, to work on their “personal brands” and to think way too much about being in the moment, which sort of negates the point.
While Amber Kelleher-Andrews is perhaps the most pimp-like of the matchmakers (I’m waiting for the day she tells her women to wear shorter skirts and cross their legs “Basic Instinct”-style) and Matt Hussey does have that nice British accent, Tracy McMillan seems both the most logical and the least qualified of the bunch. She appears to be just some thrice-divorced chick who wrote an article about women not being able to find good men because they’re asshats. This falls under the category of “duh,” but she’s turned it into a cottage industry.
The role of the matchmakers is to talk to the women. And talk to the men. And talk. And talk. And you know what? If I wanted to read a crappy self-help book on how to date, I would. Patti Stanger at least has bad plastic surgery and a mean, crowlike caw to make things interesting. These matchmakers try to be encouraging and soothing and sometimes deliver difficult truths while making sad faces. They’d be great as mortuary staffers, but don’t bring much life to this DOA mess. Meanwhile, the women try to focus on their advice, focus on the bachelor, focus on the TV cameras and try not to go insane.
Our first bachelor, Tim Lopez of The Plain White T’s, is handsome and famous and heartbroken after the failure of his first marriage. So, you know, he needs professional help finding a girlfriend. Because women just hate him. All that talent, all those good looks, jeez.
The show bounces between pre-taped dating and wacky game show-style theatrics in front of a live audience while Giuliana Rancic (whose eye make-up is so dark she looks like a walking bruise) and husband Bill try to keep things moving along. A la “The Dating Game,” at first Tim must eliminate women after they plead with him desperately to
save them from being sold into slavery date them. The women he doesn’t save from a hellish fate of reality TV dating sink into the floor, possibly to be slaughtered. I just wouldn’t be surprised.
The women seem eager and attractive and, for some reason, desperate. One woman, Alexis, raps very, very badly and, as punishment, is sent packing. An elementary school teacher talks about farting and weeps in front of Tim, which should, really, be the last date for these two, but isn’t.
No, Tim sends home Leah, whose lip injections should qualify her for a guest appearance on at least one “The Real Housewives” program of her choice. Alas, she was the only woman who came into the show with an interesting backstory — she actually knew Tim as a friend for six years and decided to go onto the show to test her previously unrevealed crush — so, sure, send her ass home. On “The Bachelor,” producers would have been smart enough to slow Tim’s roll and make him keep Leah around to get us to come back next week. But then, “Ready to Love” clearly isn’t ready for primetime (or basic cable, or late night, or YouTube), so maybe the show itself won’t be back too many weeks anyway. Of course, it is NBC. Sucktastic might be the best it can do.
Did you see “Ready for Love”? How quickly do you think it will be canceled?