Reasons to Watch Reality TV

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Feb 08, 2006 9:37 PM

An actual piece of dating advice from "Beauty and the Geek" tonight:

"Whatever you do, don't talk about the monkeys with lasers."

I don't know if y'all are into the whole reality TV thing or not. I know a lot of the reality competition shows can get pretty catty and negative. "Beauty and the Geek" is actually pretty uplifting.

The premise is as follows. Bring eight beautiful but not terribly booksmart women together with eight brilliant but socially awkward guys, put them into a house together, and split them into teams of couples.

After that, every week consists of a separate challenge for the guys and girls. The guys have to do things like sing karaoke and learn about pop culture. The gals have to learn to hook up a PC and give a speech on American politics.

Each week, one couple is eliminated, of course. But they actually learn from each other. The guys really come out of their shells, learn to talk to women, and begin to have a little fun. They learn that beautiful people have insecurities, too.

The girls learn that they are capable of learning, and that geeks can have hearts of gold and be pretty darn cute (after the makeover show, of course).

In the end, the show has a whole warm, fuzzy, everyone-has-something-to-offer-and-we're-better-for-taking-time-to-recognize it kind of vibe.

So, the next time someone tells me about the increasing and incurable division in this country, I'll point them to "Beauty and the Geek." And, if that's not reason enough to check it out, there are the monkeys with lasers (read Wes' bio on the site to figure out how this came up).

I wonder if they'd try the show the other way around, with beautiful men and smart women. I guess the marketing material wouldn't be as beer-commercialesque that way, but I'd like to see it.