Get ready for more sex, islands, and undignified scheming, says Kristen Baldwin

August 11, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

New reality TV shows are in the works for fall

I’ve learned something about myself this summer: I have the attention span of a gnat, and I’m addicted to any and all forms of reality television. Hell, I even watch ”Making the Band.” So it’s lucky for me that TV executives (no doubt in preparation for the impending writers/ actors/ directors strikes) are already cooking up a bevy of ill advised concepts for new reality series that will entertain and horrify us for months to come. Here are a few of the more intriguing proposals.

”Chains of Love” NBC is about to announce a show in which four folks are literally chained to one member of the opposite sex for a yet to be determined period of time. Then the man or woman releases his/ her potential dates one by one until only the preferred match is left. The details on this one are sketchy: Does a woman have to visit the ladies room while tethered to four men? Will all five morons fit in a king size bed? Is a free date really worth all this bother? Please, gods of reality TV, get this show on the air soon so we can have some answers, dammit!

”Temptation” Reality series are nothing if not cruel. Case in point: In this upcoming Fox show, five couples at a ”crossroads” in their relationship are sent to a kind of Hottie Island ?- an ”exotic locale” filled with attractive singles. After everybody goes on a series of dates for two weeks, the couples then decide if they want to switch to a new & improved mate or keep the old & used model. (Think ”Change of Heart” with bikinis.) Call me crazy, but I’m guessing ”building a committed long term relationship” will wind up losing out to ”gettin’ some.”

”Castaway” Viewers who get the BBC America channel will be able to sample this U.K. import in September, in which 28 fools are stranded on a remote Scottish island for an entire year. And here’s the kicker: NO ONE WINS ANYTHING. But they do get to grow their own vegetables, kill their own livestock, and even operate all the cameras, since no crew in their right mind wants to spend all that time on a cold, harsh, unforgiving island. In other words, if watching folks suffer at their own hands purely for some vague notion of ”glory” is your bag, then this is the show for you.

”Love Cruise” Fox’s other new reality offering is pretty self explanatory: Frisky, young, attractive singles take a cruise to an exotic locale and try to hook up with Mr. or Ms. Right Now by participating in what the press release dubs ”revolving matchup dates and sexy games.” There’s a slight element of suspense, too, as two singles will be booted off the boat periodically, and eventually a winning couple gets some kind of ”fantastic grand prize.” May we suggest a nicely gift wrapped box of dignity?

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