Usually, if I really work at it, I can find a logical reason for someone to appear on a reality TV show. There’s a big prize, or they think it will advance their career, or they are willing to let someone pose them in front of a cruel three-way mirror so they can get some new clothes. With “Miss Advised” (Mon. 10 p.m. ET), which wraps up its slow spiral into crazy tonight, I’m scratching my head.
It’s actually in the promo to the show that these three women, who consider themselves RELATIONSHIP EXPERTS, suck at relationships. I would not think this would be a great blurb on a resume (exposed as incompetent on national TV!), nor would it do much for your self esteem. I guess I should just be happy this isn’t a show about neurosurgery (Three wacky surgeons think they can cure people! But their hands shake when they get nervous! It’s so wild! And deadly!).
I stumbled across this series in the middle of the season, but it didn’t take long to sort out who seemed mostly sane (Emily Morse, a sex expert who hosts her own radio show, “Sex with Emily”) and who seemed utterly unhinged (everyone else). Okay, that’s not entirely true. If you’ve been single in the big, bad city, you’ve probably made some of the mistakes these women make, not the least of which is giving a crap about the opinion of someone who is, at best, a douchebag. Of course, most people who’ve been single in the big, bad city do not claim to be relationship experts (though that is what Bravo chooses to call these women). Julia Allison writes about dating for Elle.com and lives in Los Angeles, while Amy Laurent is a matchmaker in New York.
Of the two more neurotic women on the show, Laurent stands out as a twitching mass of insecurities, nerves and general prickliness. She is also the author of a book called “Eight Weeks to Everlasting — How to Get (and Keep) the Guy You Want.” I would think allowing a TV crew to follow you along on dates during which you cry, freak out, complain and generally do everything possible to broadcast “TOO CRAZY FOR A RELATIONSHIP” would not help you sell your book. I would go so far as to suggest she read her own book, as I’m sure there are some helpful tips in there she’s completely ignoring. In last week’s episode, however, Amy seems to have found something like love with a guy who ignores her general spasticity, as he’s too busy reading smarmy lines out of a Hallmark card, so what am I saying? I’m sure she holds the secrets to the dating universe.
Julia may be crazy, but she seems to be crazy in a fun way. She asks her dates to recreate prom with her, she visits a witch, all the things that make for good fun in ye olde blog. However, I suspect most guys would think long and hard before signing on for a relationship with Julia, as she has a 73-point checklist (available for you to read online) for her perfect guy, sort of like what they have at Jiffy Lube when they check out your car, but different. I hope. Apparently she ditches this checklist in the season finale (temporarily, it turns out), but you just know she’s keeping it somewhere in her designer purse.
But for someone who’s so tuned into what she wants in a man, she seems incapable of reading the signs when prospective boyfriend Andrew tells her she’s fun and all, but he has no plans to fall in love with her. Of course, she’s already invited herself to visit him in San Francisco (nooooo!) in anticipation of a weekend of romance, and when said romance is not forthcoming, takes it upon herself to flutter her eyelashes at him and ask, “So, where do you think this is going?” as every viewer with a pulse is screaming at the television as if they’re watching Freddy Krueger stalking a clueless teenager, “HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU! SHUT UP! PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SHUT UP!” Mr. Wrong fells terrible, and invites her to slap him. And she does, as she laughs and cries and chokes back snot at the same time. When people write about feeling horrible and humiliated, it can be fun to read. When you actually watch someone acting this way, it just makes you hope you have never looked this psychotic, then change the channel to something cheerful, like alien autopsies.
Ironically, the woman who seems most committed to trying out every weird sexual activity she can find (and in San Francisco, there’s PLENTY of weird sex) seems to be the one most likely to end up in a committed, monogamous relationship — something she’d previously dismissed as an unfortunate “epidemic” in America. Having reunited with her fifth grade crush, David, she seems hell-bent to go all yuppie on us with a trip to Napa possibly featuring lots of wine tasting and gentle, monogamous sex. I suspect there’s a twist in the road during the finale, but right now Emily the unflinching sex expert is looking like a candidate for her own show about, say, scrap booking or what to crochet during your kids’ soccer games.
Still, “Miss Advised” is an alluring car wreck, sort of like “Sex and the City” with less sex (well, on screen, at least), more crying, more crazy (yes, more crazy) and the occasional shudder of recognition. But these “relationship experts” had better hope no future clients Google them before they write a check.