This week Tiana, a 29-year-old mortgage banker from Chicago, meets Geoff (26) and Christian (25) best friends and professional soccer players from San Diego.
Guy Aside: Box Scores for The San Diego Flash Western Conference A-League soccer team list Geoff Huber and Christian Broadhurst as players.
Day One – The Triangle Begins
The first diary instructs the trio to meet at the beach. Geoff and
Christian meet Beach Blanket Tiana and spend a few minutes
getting to know one another. Just then a person walking casually down the beach tosses a red-bound diary onto the blanket. About as subtle as the Meet My Folks fax machines, but they need to move the plot along somehow.
The diary is first heard: And the two men have a beachside soccer competition. The winner gets a date on a Yacht with Tiana. The loser must don a wetsuit and swim out to the boat to join the pair.
The match is very even, but Geoff wins the prize. Geoff and Tiana sip margaritas dockside while Christian battles the waves for the next hour and change. When Christian finally arrives, sensitive Tiana reacts with, “Oh, have you been swimming all this time?” By the green look about Christian's gills, I'd say he was swimming half the time and drowning the other half.
Tiana takes a potty break and Christian takes the opportunity to go to the side of the boat and vomit. I use the less delicate word, because the producers spared us nothing. I guess this is how this heavily scripted show fits into the category of reality tv, as he's really tossing his cookies.
Thankfully, a raft arrived to ferry the trio back to shore. Although the diary instructed Tiana to kiss the gentlemen goodnight, she declined and simply enjoyed the cozy interlude.
Day Two – “Dude, I’ll Wrassle Ya For Her”
The diary interjects:Christian and Geoff placed a bet. The winner of the match wins a date with Tiana.
The best friends engage in a wrestling match to win the chance for a one-on-one date with Tiana. Think high-school, not WWF. Christian admits he has never wrestled before. When the ultra-competitive Geoff wins the match 29-0, I believe him.
Though Christian has a great physique (and looks disturbingly like my brother-in-law – and I don’t want to go there mentally) Geoff is obviously the ‘hunk’ of the pair. When comparing the two, you immediately know which one of them has a better ‘score’ ratio on a layover to play the Long Island Rough Riders.
While Tiana shops for a romantic dinner, Geoff begins applying hair products. Tiana arrives at Geoff’s place carrying dinner and a long stemmed white rose. Over dinner, the pair clicked over a discussion about music and song lyrics.
Meanwhile, The diary has a sneaky suggestion:Christian quietly spied on Geoff and Tiana and carefully stayed out of sight.
Christian dresses in dark spy clothes and plays Kilroy over the fence while Geoff and Tiana eat ice cream. The diary can be rather creepy.
The diary slyly suggests:As the day ended, she gave him a kiss goodnight. The diary is obviously playing favorites here.
Day Three – “Poison Oak, Snakes and Gorillas, Oh My!”
The diary speaks:Christian gets his chance with Tiana.
They decided to go on a hike. Christian found a pack filled with picnic supplies in the back of the car. After lunch they decide too get relief from the 95 degree heat by making extreme dives in a scenic pool. Tiana declares that there was quite a bit of flirting going on.
The diary evens the score:As their date ended, each of them
expressed affection toward the other. They share a chaste kiss, which Tiana declared to be ‘long awaited’.
Day Four – Is That Your Biological Clock Ticking, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
The diary starts bossing them around again:Their date together began at a coffee shop. Then:
The diary mandates:The three hopped into the car and drove to their next adventure.
As a lover of office supplies in general, and of bound journals in
particular, I am beginning to lament the waste of individual diaries used in this show. Yes. I counted. And there were at least 40. I don’t think they are recycling, but that's what re-runs are for I guess.
On the drive, the friends engaged in their favorite super-secret parlor game, “Deal breakers.”
Geoff’s confesses: “When we meet a girl, if something in my life doesn’t correlate with hers, that’s a Deal breaker.”
Geoff asks Tiana if she has dogs. “Why yes. I just got a puppy. A Maltese.”
Then Geoff asks if she likes Mexican food. When she replies in the
affirmative and Christian gives thumbs up, I guess the dog question is Geoff’s deal breaker.
Later, in a confessional scene, Geoff explains the dog issue. Apparently if he is dating a girl and she brings home a dog, that is evidence of some unmet need in her life and their relationship, and serves as a “Deal breaker” for him. While I’m thinking of deal-breakers in terms of character, values and in-laws, Geoff
has obviously either had a Jack Handey moment with a dog eating his dad, or his emotional maturity gauge is reading “shallow.”
The diary wants some photo ops for the episode and mandates:They went for an afternoon ride in the Hollywood Hills where the trio found a stack of envelopes, which they took turns opening and answering questions.
Christian’s question is: “Is there anything that anybody could have told you that would have made your first sexual experience better?”
When he responds, “Yeah. Your parents are coming home, bro.” I laugh out loud and begin to like him even more.
During the Great Swami picnic, the fellows divulge the Deal Breakers game they had played with her earlier.
Meanwhile, Tiana’s confessional reveals a growing discomfort with some innuendo and gentle arrows from Geoff regarding her age. I wonder if the diary had instructed Geoff to be rude about her age, but realize Geoff thought that up on his own.
The diary rudely interrupts:The three return to Geoff’s place. The diary then directed Tiana to give Geoff a foot massage upstairs, while Christian realized three’s a crowd and waited downstairs. At the same moment I think the diary is diabolical for granting hunky Geoff with an added advantage of time alone with Tiana, Christian concurs with “The Diary sucks right now.”
After the foot massage, the trio regroups downstairs. For some reason, Tiana is relaxing in an absurd cowboy hat.
Tiana, already emotionally bruised from earlier Deal Breakers game, endures the following exchange:
Geoff: When do you think you’ll get married?
Tiana: (answering cautiously, in case this is a Deal Breaker)
Probably in the next six or seven years. (then reflective) I still want to be young when I have kids.
Geoff: Well, you’d better hurry up then. (yuk, guffaw, yuk, yuk)
Tiana looks up. As the remark hits her she squints a bit in disbelief and generally just looks stunned by what she has just heard.
Geoff: You know it’s a joke. (Hint: anytime you have to identify something as a joke, it didn't work.)
An uncomfortable silence follows, then we're saved by the (door)bell, as :
The diary pulls rank: Christian thanked Geoff and Tiana for a
wonderful day and decided to call it a night.
Left alone with Geoff, Tiana excuses herself for a powder break.
Reminiscent of Bachelorettes in Alaska's Cecile, Tiana breaks down crying in the bathroom.
Geoff, in a moment of blinding insight, confesses: “I could see she was hurt. I wasn’t sure what it was. But I guess it was about kids.”
Finally the diary grants Tiana leave and she gets into the transport car whispering, “Go, go” to the driver.
Day Five – Hey y’all watch this!
The diary speaks: A special surprise awaits Tiana. As she drove to find it, on her drive her heart was heavy. She realized that the trio would soon part forever.
As Tiana wonders if Christian realized how badly her feelings had been crushed the night before and wondered if he would support her, little does she know the diary has decided that it's arts and crafts day. Christian is given paint and a billboard to declare his feelings for Tiana. She arrives, is blindfolded by Christian and led to face a billboard which reads, "You are an amazing girl. I have enjoyed every minute spent with you. I miss U."
Meanwhile, Geoff is dealing with an unknown medium in the middle of the desert. Leaving Christian, Tiana drives arrives after dark and is led by Geoff to a picnic blanket overlooking his art.
Geoff realizes his blunder of the night before and tries to make amends. I think of the classic redneck last words "Hey, y'all - watch this!" as Geoff lights a long fuse which, when illuminated reads, "I'm sorry. G."
Tiana says, "This is the best damned apology I've ever received." and she seems impressed by Geoff's display of contrition.
Day Six - Memories, Like the Corners of My Mind
The diary has the nerve to suggest: … as They Meet at the Place Where the Triangle Began, Before They Parted Forever . ..
Back on the yacht, Tiana presents a scrapbook to each of her suitors commemorating their week together. The diary then instructs Geoff to leave the meeting abruptly without explanation. Christian and Tiana return to the place where the triangle began. Meanwhile, Geoff leaves photos with messages on the beach where the trio first met. At dark, Tiana and Christian kiss passionately for the first time.
Tiana: "I've had the most perfect kiss in my entire life. I've had the
perfect everything (before). The perfect date, everything .. but not the perfect kiss."
The diary starts bossing folks around:
1. The time came for Christian and Tiana to part.
2. Let Geoff have another chance.
3. Lots of moving about, and more red journals bite the dust.
Final Day - And They Lived Happily Ever After … "
The diary finally acknowledges that these folks know how to write:
The three are instructed to write their own ending to the story. As Tiana and Christian meet on the beach again, they open the diary that Geoff wrote, which reads:
"Geoff did not go back to the beach where the triangle began. He wanted to wish Christian and Tiana the best. In the end … the best man won."
As Christian and Tiana kiss and share the moment, we see Geoff looking down on the site and in a voiceover he says: "Even if I was madly in love with this girl, I'd walk away, because it's not often that he finds a girl he's interested in. There's no question in my mind that he's going to be able to treat this girl like she wants to be treated."
As a 'dating' show, I am impressed with the concept around "Dating Experiment." Not only does the concept grant variety - but it caters to my own personal belief that America is made up of normal people and not just reality TV dating show contestants who require minimal airbrushing to be 'beautiful people' - the contestants I've seen to date on this show are
traditionally 'good looking' without being overly so.
Tiana is a beautiful girl, who passed on the obvious Prince and went for the guy who wasn't counting the ticks on her biological clock.
Next week on "Dating Experiment": A 'traditional' man is paired with a topless dancer and each is forbidden to discuss their vocation.