Tonight, WEtv will air the premiere of Sex Box, a reality show about couples in crisis who have sex in a box before a live studio audience in an effort to repair their broken relationships. Oddly, this is an actual thing that exists and not something straight from the mind of Mike Judge in Idiocracy.
Here’s how the show is described in a press release from the network…
WEtv’s “Sex Box” takes therapy to a whole new level. Couples not only discuss their relationship issues with a panel of experts, but also spend time in a box on the show’s set to have sex in front of a live studio audience.
In each of the 11 hour-long episodes, couples speak candidly with a panel of “sexperts” for the chance to reignite their connection. After receiving initial advice, the couples must decide if they are willing to step into the box to resolve their intimacy issues. Post-coitus, a scientifically proven time when people are more trusting and open due to the body’s natural release of oxytocin (“cuddle hormone”), the couples have a shockingly raw discussion with the experts about their experiences and relationships in an effort to solve their problems.
Recently we were sent a screener of the Sex Box premiere, which we watched and kept a running diary of.
:26 A voiceover announcer just proclaimed that what I’m about to watch as, “The most radical therapy ever seen on television.” That’s a bold statement. Watch your back, Dr. Phil — you’ve got competition!
1:06 The aforementioned voiceover announcer just made the following proclamation in the show’s ridiculously long intro/setup: “These couples are about to bare it all…confessions will be made…secrets revealed…and lives changed…all by having sex in this box in front of a live studio audience.” If I had had any sort of liquid beverage in my mouth when those lines were delivered I would have spit it all over my screen, I promise.
2:22 We meet our first couple in crisis, Elle and Brandon. They seem like bad porn actors — like, maybe they both had dreams of making it in porn but just weren’t charismatic enough or good at acting — but nice. Thus, here they are on Sex Box. Also, Brandon is wearing a “thug life” t-shirt.
2:30 The live studio audience applauds as Elle and Brandon awkwardly make their way to the stage. The announcer notes that they’ve been married less than year. Surely, this will end well.
3:10 We learn that Elle and Brandon met while they were both touring with a band (he was part of the crew, she was a “supporting act.”) My guess as to what band they toured with was: Hoobastank.
4:30 Apparently the problem with Elle and Brandon’s sex life is that a) they’re both too busy and exhausted by their careers to have sex and b) Brandon always cums before Elle does. Also, the sky is blue.
5:10 The black lady therapist, a pastor/couples counselor named Dr. Yvonne Capehart, speaks for the first time and it’s obvious that she’s here to keep it real. Dr. Yvonne is appalled at Brandon’s inability to get his wife off. “You need to pick it up,” she tells Brandon as she wags a finger in the air.
6:40 Brandon is getting hammered by the panel. The world now knows that he sucks in bed. This is getting somewhat uncomfortable. To his credit, poor Brandon is trying to make light of the ridiculousness of the situation, and he’s being chastised by the panel for not taking this farce seriously enough, as the giant box he and his wife are to copulate in looms over his shoulder. I don’t think the color of Brandon’s shirt is helping matters.
8:00 The third therapist, the Beverly Hills-based Dr. Fran Walfish, is speaking but I can’t process anything she’s saying because I’m bizarrely captivated by her overtly nipped and tucked face in the same way I’ve always been bizarrely captivated by The Joker’s face.
8:27 The moment of truth has arrived. Dr. Chris Donaghue, the handsome, fit, tattooed, young white guy therapist states: “If we could actually be in your bedroom and help you with this, we would. But we can’t. That’s where the Sex Box helps us. Because after sex, the oxytocin’s at its highest, so you’re going to feel the most open and vulnerable and honest. And that’s when we can best really, really help you guys…So, Elle and Brandon: are you ready to go into the Sex Box?”
8:28 What the hell is oxytocin? Is he making this sh*t up? And how did he keep a straight face throughout that entire spiel? There had to be multiple takes on that one. Had to be. Or else dude is some sort of Sex Box robot, which he may very well be.
8:35 Elle and Brandon look unsure if they’re ready to go into the sex box. Finally, the both respond flatly, “Yeah” with all the enthusiasm of two people who look as though they’ve just been asked if they’d like hot coffee enemas to go with the bamboo reeds being shoved under their toe nails.
8:50 Dr. Donaghue tells Elle and Brandon that “we have a selection of intimate apparel available for you in the room. We’d love for you to both put something on that makes you feel really good and come back and join us on the stage.” And off they go into the sex box, where they remain for 17 minutes while the three experts banter about them, mainly ripping on Brandon. I can imagine it must have been excruciating to be in the audience during this time. I hope they were at least given cake pops or something.
10:53 Elle and Brandon emerge from the sex box wearing cheesy silk robes, looking somewhat mortified. (Elle’s robe has “Sex Box” embroidered on it. Brandon’s does not.) I imagine the conversation between the two of them inside the sex box consisted largely of, “What the f*ck have we done?” Also, there is no way these two people just had sex, in my opinion.
11:30 Wait, there aren’t cameras inside the Sex Box? We don’t get to see them having sex, even if their privates pixelated? THIS IS BULLSH*T! Not that I really cared to watch these two people bang…it’s the principle of the matter.
11:53 Elle and Brandon are asked to write scores of each others’ performances on cards. I hope Brandon draws a big cock and balls on his card for the judges.
12:25 Brandon gives himself an 8.8, presumably on a scale of 1-10. His scorecard is devoid of cock and balls, sadly.
13:30 Elle rates Brandon’s performance as a 7.9. Brandon seems shocked to have achieved such a lofty performance rating.