'Get the Guy' flirts with reality, butcomes off as fake
By Matthew Gilbert, Globe Staff | June 12, 2006
There's something creepy about the two ``love coaches" on ABC's new reality series ``How to Get the Guy." JD Roberto is just a little too happy, and Teresa Strasser is just a little too arch, as they coax the show's four lovely ladies into dating. I'm not saying they're pimps or anything, OK, but as I watched them push their glammed-up charges into love connections in order to create lively TV, I was spinning the metaphor while I was twiddling my thumbs.
``How to Get the Guy," tonight at 10 on Channel 5, falls into the more plasticized categories of the reality show genre. Produced by David Collins and David Metzler of ``Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," it's thoroughly artificial and proud of it. The four women are a little too attractive, their comments and voiceovers feel a little too semi-scripted, and everyone is a little too willing to ignore the camera crew on the dates. The women --``Party Girl" Kris, ``Career Girl" Michelle, ``Dreamer" Alissa, and ``Girl Next Door" Anne -- fit into their show-given pigeonholes a little too conveniently.
With the postcard-perfect settings of San Francisco as the backdrop, ``How to Get the Guy" is as documentary as a hair-color commercial.
To be fair, the series isn't trying to be real so much as instructive, thus its practical title. The segments are about learning to invade a man's personal space in a bookstore; learning to hold eye contact for at least four seconds; learning to smile while flirting. They're about taking a scientific approach to finding the one, not ``a guy," as the show tells us, but ``the guy." Giving up control to submit to the winds of romance is not an option ; ``How to Get the Guy" exists solely to provide the four women and viewers with pick-up tricks.
Last summer's more documentary-like ``Hooking Up" focused on the stresses of dating and the duplicities of men in New York. And it was a lot more interesting than this prefab and relentlessly positive guide to acquiring Mr. Right. The love coaches of ``How to Get the Guy" might be more tolerable if they were teaching women the art of guerrilla shopping.
ABC strikes out with "How to Get the Guy"
June 11, 2006
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Last summer, ABC trotted out the documentary series "Hooking Up" that followed the Internet dating trials and tribulations of 11 women over the course of a year.
It was actually pretty interesting and insightful, unlike "How to Get the Guy," which by comparison is a mite trite (OK, maybe even more than a mite).
The idea from the producers behind the now passe "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" is to assist four actual single women in San Francisco in their quest to find Mr. Right -- or, given the city, at least Mr. Not Gay.
You'd think they could find a better place in which to uncover eligible straight males, but whatever.
Anne is "The Girl Next Door," Kris is "The Party Girl," Michelle "The Career Girl" and Alissa "The Dreamer," and once they're suitably stereotyped by a pair of "love coaches" (Teresa Strasser and JD Roberto) we get to watch them prowl various venues like barracuda in search of unsuspecting prey.
So get this: these women go out searching with their cloying coaches and a semi-clandestine camera crew in tow. And from this, natural attraction is supposed to ensue.
Each woman goes to speed dating and volume dating gatherings, where they are taken aside and given instructions like "Show more vulnerability!" and "Drink fewer dirty martini's!" and "Drop the hankie and send out signals ... eye contact ... smile!"
I don't know about you, but there's nothing that will help me find love quicker than having a couple of know-it-alls scrutinizing my every tentative move along with a national TV audience.
It's an artificial conceit for a superficial show. "How to Get the Guy" casts the search for romance as a series of hassles, hurdles and hardships, an arduous trek of self-discovery leading to some poor schlub's entrapment. Wow, where do I sign up for that?