Has anyone else seen the commercials for this show, where Mr. Voiceover man says viewers have “fallen in love” with “Who Wants to Marry My Dad”?
Who? Who are you? Who is the viewer that has fallen in love with this sapfest? Oh, you sad, deluded little thing. Come sit with me, and I’ll explain to you how wrong you are. It’s not your fault. You’ve been swayed by the cheesy music and the aggressive advertising. You heard there was a lie detector test and you wanted to fall in love. Honey, I know how that is, believe me. I wanted it too! But, whoever you are, trust me – you haven’t fallen in love with this show. That’s just the producers’ subliminal youloveme messages working on your brain. If you, like me, had to break out the thesaurus to find synonyms for “sappy,” you’d realize it. Soon you’ll discover the show won’t ever live up to the image that’s in your head. Where you wanted drama, you get faxed instructions. Where you thought there was emotion, you get mushy music. When you wanted it to come to your mother’s for Sunday dinner, it watched football and drank beer.
You can do better than that. This show doesn’t deserve your love.
Let us see why.
There’s a Fungus Among Us.
After an overlong recap of last week – cosmetics, crying, etc. – we jump into the action, which proves to be the revelation that there is a mole among the women who are vying for dad Marty’s love. This mole is the aunt of Marty’s three daughters, and she’s ready to report on the women’s nefarious behind-the-scenes words and activities.
The women immediately start pointing fingers, trying to figure out who it is. But, unable to ferret it out, they troop off to dinner with Dad and the Daughters. It’s after they eat that the mole is to be revealed. For some reason, several women stand up and then sit down again. Ooh, decoys! Haha. I was so fooled. For like a split-second. Anyway, the mole is Lola. Everyone looks around uncomfortably and that dining room is, indeed, the hottest spot north of Havana.
Lola stands, and says Marty is sweet and she’s here to ensure that he doesn’t get hurt. She’s going to do that by dishing some dirt she’s overheard some of the women say while she was a spy in their midst. Not content with just doing the merengue and the chacha, Lola did the evil dance of note-taking. Lola ain’t happy, and she thinks the daughters won’t be either.
Naturally, this is to be a public humiliation. First up is Nicole. The unfortunate Nicole let slip to the other women that she once refused to marry a man because he didn’t like cats. Evidently, Nicole does like cats. A…. lot. You know, you can love your cats. But don’t love your cats. I’m not sure which kind of love Nicole’s been lavishing on her felines, but if she chose them over a man, I think we can guess. She also feeds raccoons. Yes sir, this woman is an animal lover.
Next up is Melanie. She made the mistake of dissing older men to the other women. I believe “flabby” might have been one of the words she used. So was “old.” Which is accurate. Older men are, in a relative sense, old. I’m too lazy to check her age against Marty’s, but I’m guessing they’re maybe 10 years apart, which qualifies him as an “older man.” Marty’s ego sinks to the floor, he pats his toupee and/or hair plugs, and wonders what would happen 10 or 15 years from now if he were to wind up with Melanie. Would she look at him and see old-man flab? Why yes, Marty. Yes she would. As would we all. You’re in your 40’s now. Do the math, man.
Next, we have Sharon. Sharon told the other women that she wants kids of her own. In addition to and apart from Marty’s three grown daughters. Sharon denies it, but – of course—we have the tape, and the tape clearly shows her saying yes, she would want her own children. Now, Sharon likely was under the impression that Marty wanted more children, so she was offering up her womb in hopes it would keep her in the game. And now her womb has bit her in the ass. Which is not something you get to say very often, but if you think about it, it’s a pretty frequent occurrence for many women.
Put the Seat Down Before You Use that Potty Mouth
At this point, we cut to Sarah pointing out how squirmy everyone felt. Naturally, Sarah is called to the stand next. Putting this into Lola’s own words, “all of us in the limo were shocked by your potty mouth.” I’m shocked that a grown woman is using the term “potty mouth” to anyone over age eight. From the looks of it, so is Sarah. Evidently she cussed in the limo. Big whoop. These prudes wouldn’t last five seconds on Joe Millionaire 2, let me tell you. Anyway, Sarah says she felt comfortable enough to use her native potty tongue. But Lola isn’t done. She’s also irked that Sarah is devoted to her career and that she said men are a “waste of time.” Sarah swears she’d drop it all in a heartbeat for the right man. F*** yeah.
And that’s the end of this uncomfortable segment. Lola says she likes a few of the women, but before she can trot them out, the fax machine goes off. It informs the daughters they have 15 minutes to eliminate one woman. They pack dad and the women off to their respective rooms, with Lola protesting that she doesn’t want to enter the women’s den alone to pack. I don’t blame her.
Alone, the girls whittle it down to two potential boot-ees, and agree their shared intuition is pointing them in the same direction. They call the women back, go through their ritual we’re-sorry-but-we’re-forced-to-do-this-sniffle routine, and kick Sarah out.
Cue sappy music, which appears to be entitled – in a sad example of overreaching by the producers – “Beautiful Lies.” Sarah packs and cries, informing us there was a lot more emotion involved in this than she expected. Which leads me to wonder, if she’s feeling emotional about Marty just days after meeting him, and even that was more than she expected, just how little emotion did she expect to have? I mean, what level of emotion would fall below the level you’d feel for a man you met on a reality TV show mere days ago and have spent all of a couple of hours with? The level you feel for a houseplant? Maybe the fondness you’d feel for a stranger on the subway? How about the affection you have for your 10-year-old kitchen tile?
Anyway, Sarah and her emotions snuffle their way out the door, and Lola isn’t far behind. She cautions the daughters to guard Marty’s heart because she wants a woman to fall in love with him “just the way he is.” Fake tan and all, I suppose.
As the door shuts on the departing women, Marty gets to choose one woman to have a “nightcap” with. He picks the blonde-not-found-in-nature Suzanne. They trot off to a chorus of “Have fun, Suzanne! Not too much fun!”
Upstairs – why do I think it’s upstairs? Well, maybe it is – Suzanne is oozing to Marty how much she likes his daughters, and how she could just pick them up and hug them and squeeze them and call them George.
Meanwhile, yet another fax tells the daughters to turn on the TV to spy on the canoodling pair. As Dad kisses Suzanne, the daughters – understandably – cringe. “No girl needs that kind of a visual!” one cries. Nor does any viewer.
Horn-Dad’s Backyard Romp
The next day – well, at some point later, during daylight – Marty announces it’s time for him to have some private time with the women. He cheesily offers the daughters money for the movies, encourages them to take in a “double feature” – do those even still exist? – and sends them on their way. When they’re out of sight, he leers at the women and says those words that send thrills through every woman’s heart: “The kids are gone. Let’s all get our bathing suits on.”
Naturally, no date on this show happens without the daughters. They get out in the street and hit the brakes, trotting happily into a laundry van labeled, “Your Dirty Laundry is Our Business.” Here, there’s only one feature: Marty and His Moves.
Back at the house, the women strut out in itsy-bitsy bikinis, to Marty’s unabashed awe. “Just imagine the dreams I’m going to have tonight!” he declares. The daughters wince. Say it with me, people: Ew.
He’s to go on “dates” with all eight women. These “dates” do not involve leaving the house, eating, drinking, or even changing out of a string bikini. They merely involve sitting on the various bits of patio furniture and talking. Or making out. Whatever. You’d think NBC could have plumped for at least a coffee date or something. I haven’t considered an hour on a tire swing a “date” since high school.
The first one, who is indeed on a tire swing, says she doesn’t believe in love at first sight but still gets Marty’s tongue down her throat. Actually, this really does remind me of high school dates. The daughters squeal in revulsion.
Next is Nicole, who praises the daughters and offers a back massage. The girls flinch. “How many years of therapy are we going to need after watching this?” one wails. I would like the answer to that, too. Because therapy is expensive. At this rate, I may need to start saving up.
On Suzanne’s date, she pushes Marty into the pool, then bravely jumps in after him. I say “bravely” because this is not a woman who runs around with the natural look. There is work put into her makeup and hair. Serious work. But I underestimate Suzanne, because she appears to have found some magical brand of waterproof makeup that actually does not smudge when drenched. Long have I sought such a thing, but as mascara after mascara turned to brown/black sludge, slipping off my spiky lashes and permanently affixing itself under my eyes, I came to believe that true waterproof makeup must be no more than a myth. So I stopped wearing the damn stuff in the pool, like any regular woman would do.
The daughters are impressed by Suzanne’s “playful” side, and Dad is impressed by … well, something else. They kiss. “When did dad become such a little player?!” the daughters squeal. Right about the time eight women pranced out dressed like Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, is my guess.
The next few women are less impressive. Machel declares herself to be old-fashioned then grabs Marty and plants a kiss on him. Another woman just won’t shut up through the whole date, and gets only a kiss on the cheek.
And Sharon. Ah, Sharon. This was the funniest part of the whole show, and I say that knowing a lie detector test is still coming up. For some reason, Sharon’s game plan to win Marty over involves “inserting secret messages” into the conversation. And no, they aren’t useful secret messages like “Timmy’s in the well” or even “the jewels are in the flowerpot.” There’s only one message, really, and by “insert” Sharon means “mumble it in the middle of a sentence.” So her end of the conversation goes something like this: “You look youlovemenice. Sure, I’d love a youlovemedrink.” Subtle it is not. Marty looks as though Sharon is displaying some odd tic. Which, I suppose, she is.
By the way, if Sharon makes it to the end of this, I’ll take back my derision and try her lucysrecapsrockplan myself. Wouldn’t that be a good lucyisawonderfulwriteridea?
Next we have… is it Stacy? All these women run together for me. Anyway, she and Marty first discover that they’re both intimidated by each other – there’s a basis for lasting love right there – and then make googly eyes at each other for a bit. She doesn’t kiss him because by now reports are coming back from the previous dates and she realizes he’s kissing everyone. Except Subliminal Sharon and that talky woman.
Last, we have Marilyn, who gets to cuddle with Marty in a hammock. She gets weepy, and Marty gazes into her eyes and intones, “I definitely feel something here.” Lie very still and think about baseball, Marty, and it will go away. (unless you took those little blue pills). Anyway, they kiss, Marty pulls the blanket over their heads, and the daughters look shocked.
I Wouldn’t Trust You as Far As I Could Throw You. Thank God You’re Freakishly Thin.
With Playtime in the Backyard over, the women regroup in the hot tub, with Marty flexing his muscles in front of them. Meanwhile, the daughters learn they must send two of the women to “fetch towels.” I think even the more slow-witted among us already realize this is code for “we don’t trust you, go take a polygraph.”
The daughters return to the house, break up the hot tub party and choose Machel and Sharon for the towel-getting/test-taking.
Machel goes first. Her questions are:
Can she balance a checkbook? She admits she cannot, and Lie Guy says it’s the truth.
Is there anything about the dad that she doesn’t like? She says no, it’s a lie.
Has one of the daughters bored her? She says no, and it’s a lie. Of course it is, everyone on this show is boring.
Has she made fun of the daughters behind their backs? She says no, and Lie Guy grins evilly while giving the daughters the “it’s a lie” thumbs-down.
Now, on to Sharon’s turn.
Has she ever lied to the daughters? She says no. Lie.
Has she ever borrowed money from a significant other’s wallet without his permission? She admits she has. Truth.
Has she ever cheated on a boyfriend? She says no. Lie.
Does she really want to marry a man who already has kids? Amazingly, she admits that no, she does not. What did she think was going to happen on a show where the premise is “Who Wants to Marry my DAD”? It’s not like the producers were hiding that tidbit of info.
The girls are aghast. They say both the women are busted as liars; they just have to figure out which one is worse. Sharon’s last answer has them worried, but they say Machel lied more.
“Till Death Do Us Part” Could be Interpreted as a Threat
It’s elimination time. Machel tells us she doesn’t want to leave because she feels a connection with Marty. The daughters gather everyone together and say that while they’d been afraid the eliminations would get harder as time went on, this one is actually pretty easy, because they feel like they’ve been lied to. If they could, in fact, they’d eliminate both women. Marty is surprised, and wonders what the women said that upset his daughters so much.
And the loser is….. Machel. Machel is hurt and feels wrongly accused of lying. With her bags packed and everyone gathered at the door to see her off – and isn’t that rather humiliating, by the by, having to leave with everyone watching like that – Machel launches into a last-ditch, desperate plea. She tells the daughters she never lied to them and she’s more attracted to Marty than some of the other women. She claims to hide “behind different masks” and says perhaps that’s why her answers were interpreted as lies. To Marty, she warns, “You may never know what we could have had.” I’m thinking that sounds like they could have had a restraining order, and Machel may still be eligible for one if she doesn’t scoot her skinny butt out the door.
Which she finally does, to the requisite maudlin soundtrack. As the door shuts, Marty announces dramatically that “under the circumstances” there will be no one-on-one nightcap between him and one of the women. He suggests they all go to bed. Alone. Well, except for the seven women still sharing a room.
Suzanne, she of the magical makeup, is developing strong feelings for Marty. Also, the daughters vote off a woman Dad liked, and he gets upset. Hey, you pays your money and you takes your chances, old man.
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