'Mr. Personality' Goofs Out of the Gate
By Vince Horiuchi
TELEVISION Salt Lake Tribune
"Mr. Personality," the new Fox reality series, which debuted Monday, blew it from the start because it revealed the end.
Leave it to Fox, home of "Joe Millionaire" and a network not afraid to look silly with its occasionally absurd ideas, to come up with another outrageous twist to the dating series.
This time, it involves a bachelorette, Hayley, who must choose between 20 men. But she can't see their faces because they are covered by masks.
What the network hopes is that she will choose the right beau based on his persona, but be appalled by his looks when he reveals himself in the end.
"Mr. Personality," which runs every Monday at 8 p.m., began like any program reminiscent of "The Bachelorette." The 20 men courted Hayley in the premiere. They danced, gave her gifts and had their astrological signs read (one was particularly unnerved by his reading and almost went ballistic on Hayley.) All the segments were designed to give her a taste of their personality traits.
Then she booted off 10 guys, who unmasked themselves in front of her. The other men who made the cut received new colored masks and will be featured week to week as she winnows the contestants to her final man. Only then will he expose his true identity.
First, the show is kind of creepy. The men parading in those masks was like a frightening combination of the orgy scene in Stanley Kubrick's movie, "Eyes Wide Shut" and one of those old Mexican wrestling movies.
But worst of all, "Mr. Personality" made a fatal mistake: It exposed all of the contestants' faces in the first episode.
What producers should have done is kept the remaining contestants' identities secret to give viewers a taste of what it is like for Hayley. Chances are, audiences would gravitate toward a favorite contestant's personality through the course of the series, then commit to watching to the end to find out what he looks like.
Still, the network is banking on people staying to the end to see how Hayley reacts when she finally sees her pick. But viewers are likely to be disappointed: All of the men were decent looking and she is not likely to be shocked that much.