WILL 'JOE' FIND HIS 'JANE'?
Mon Jan 6, 2:50 AM ET
By ADAM BUCKMAN
REALITY TV just keeps getting nuttier.
And that's really incredible when you stop and consider that it was only two years ago that TV - for a short time anyway - ran as fast as it could away from reality TV shows in the wake of the "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire" disaster.
Cut to the present day and "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire" seems positively quaint.
Which brings us to tonight's premiere of "Joe Millionaire."
The promos for this new, seven-episode series (making its debut at 9 p.m. on Fox) have been raising eyebrows and eliciting groans for several weeks now.
The show is the latest twist on the "Bachelor" scenario with an average "Joe" getting the chance to choose a mate from among 20 eligible young women.
The gimmick here is: The women have all been told that Joe is a multimillionaire worth some $50 million. The truth is: He's a construction worker who earns $19,000 per year.
In fact, the "Joe Millionaire" concept is a lot less suspenseful than it is absurd - which is the direction reality TV appears to be going lately.
The WB's new "Surreal Life," premiering Thursday night, is the ultimate exercise in reality-based absurdity.
This is the show that has no reason for being other than to see what it would be like to throw a group of Z-list celebrities together in one household.
You don't know the meaning of the word "absurd" until you see seven pseudo-celebs - including MC Hammer, Emmanuel Lewis of "Webster," Vince Neil of Motley Crue and former messed-up child star Corey Feldman - co-habitating in a garish Hollywood mansion described as the former estate of Glen Campbell.
In its perverse way, "The Surreal Life" actually provides some genuine entertainment.
The same cannot be said for the celebrities who have been assembled for "Celebrity Mole Hawaii," premiering Wednesday night.
This is the same "Mole" series whose competition never made any sense in its last two editions. And the addition of celebrities doesn't make it any more comprehensible.
It is, however, ridiculous - and a sign that the reality-TV well might actually be running dry.