Bob Bestler

Marriage at first sight? Here’s why network TV is hitting new lows

It’s Scotty McCreery vs. Chris Kattan on Sunday’s episode of “Celebrity Family Feud.” (L-R): Scotty McCreery, Steve Harvey, Gabrielle Alyse Dugal, Merrick Anthony Dugal III, Michael Porterfield McCreery and Paquita Rivera McCreery.
It’s Scotty McCreery vs. Chris Kattan on Sunday’s episode of “Celebrity Family Feud.” (L-R): Scotty McCreery, Steve Harvey, Gabrielle Alyse Dugal, Merrick Anthony Dugal III, Michael Porterfield McCreery and Paquita Rivera McCreery. ABC

I’m going to spare you, dear readers, the indignity of watching a summer television show called “The Proposal.”

In the interest of keeping up with contemporary culture, such as it is, I watched it the other night and could only marvel at the shamelessly low bar being set by network television producers.

For those of you lucky enough to never have seen it, here’s what happened while I watched “The Proposal” over a one-hour span that included commercials.

This guy, see, was hidden from view while 10 desperate women competed for his attention. They gave him a nice a bathing-suit fashion show and discussed with the host their search for everlasting love and how they hoped to find it in the next 45 minutes.

One by one they were eliminated until only two were left.

Now our guy emerged to find out in person what he (and they) had wrought. He asked a couple questions to learn which one had fallen in love with him the most now that she had seen him for the first time.

Then our guy got down on his knee and proposed marriage (complete with diamond ring) to the one whom he has fallen in love with after knowing her for about four minutes (including commercials).

She is ecstatic and, of course, says yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

ABC would call it a proper engagement, but some might call it a hookup - except that lining up a one-nighter usually takes longer.

So I ask: Is this a sign of the apocalypse?

No, it’s just the networks’ lazy, crazy answer to summertime television.

You can go down the list of offerings these days to get an idea that TV producers have simply run out of good ideas.

Look at the current prime time lineup of stale TV fare pulled from the distant past.

There’s “Match Game,” which long ago became too cheesy for afternoon television. Host Alec Baldwin, without his Donald Trump makeup, is no help, but I expect he laughs all the way to the bank.

Then there’s “To Tell the Truth,” “$100,000 Pyramid” and “The Gong Show.” Each one drags out a passel of D-list stars to keep the TV lights glowing through the scorching summer months. Better than re-runs? Maybe not.

“Family Feud” managed to round up enough D-listers to move it from its perennial dinner-time spot to prime time as “Celebrity Family Feud.”

The list of oldies goes on: “The Love Connection,” “Will & Grace,” “Roseanne” and, on the horizon, “Murphy Brown.”

Ah, well. Save for “Murphy,” it’s back to Netflix.

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tdsd.net.





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