The Age of Reality Redundancy

Tuning in to Age of Love on NBC, I expected to see a cross between The Bachelor and Temptation Island. And that was about right. 30-year-old tennis hunk Mark Philippoussis (no I didn't make that name up) thinks he's going on a Bachelor-esque dating show, only to discover that all of the female contestants are over 40 years old. Surprise!

Then he finds out there's another group of contestants -- all hot chicks in their 20s. Surprise again! Now he has to choose between the two groups. It's wisdom and experience versus youth and energy. Will age matter? Looks aren't really a factor because all of the women are gorgeous, even the 48 year-old who Mark aptly pointed out could be his mother!

Of course, nothing about this first episode was really a surprise. Viewers knew everything that would happen in the first two minutes. NBC revealed the entire plot up front, complete with previews of the whole season. I suspect they had to, lest people think this was just a Bachelor rip-off. But I sure hope there are some interesting twists and turns as the season goes on.

Video: Age of Love: That Makes me 40

Video: Age of Love: I'm 48

Video: Age of Love: We Won't Bite

The biggest shock of the night for me was actually a commercial for a different show next Monday night, a one-time, one-hour special on NBC called Science of Love. A single guy dates two women, one chosen by him and the other chosen by scientific and relationship experts. Will he find true love by following his instinct or expert advice? I don't know. Will I care? Doubt it.

What's the deal with this new wave of relationship reality shows? Seriously, how many of these programs are they going to do?

Age of Love stinks of being a Bachelor knock-off. But I guess that's just how it goes these days. Reality TV shows seem to appear like animals on Noah's Ark -- in twosies, twosies.

Bravo has Top Chef and FOX has Hell's Kitchen.

NBC has The Biggest Loser, while VH1 has Celebrity Fit Club.

FOX had Nanny 911 against ABC's Supernanny.

The list goes on and on.

I don't know how many more variations on the dating theme they can come up with. I'm sure quite a few. As long as people are willing to humiliate themselves by going on TV and putting their raw emotions on the line, only to have their hearts ripped out and stomped on in a degrading attempt to find a loveless relationship with someone that won't last, well... we'll all keep watching, don't worry.

As for Age of Love, I'll definitely keep my eye on it. Look for my blogs about it each week. Maybe there'll be a few surprises after all.

My money's on the older chicks. You know what they say: "Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill every time."

Ethan Morris: "Not always right, but never in doubt." Go ahead and write me.