the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Reality television

Age of Love

“Does age matter in love? Hi, welcome to NBC’s summer show Age of Love. I’m your host, Mark Conseulos. You may remember me as the hunky but safe Latino hearthrob, Mateo Santos, from “All My Children,” until I left the show with my annoying wife, Kelly Ripa, after she got a much better job as a talk show co-host and then, five years later, pulled some strings to get me this lame reality show hosting job.


The Age of Love is an important show. It answers the age-old question — in the realm of romance — who is better — twenty-something women or forty-something women? We will learn this answer by creating a whole series of irrelevant gimmicks that will help some dumb bachelor eliminate a new woman each week in some new, embarrassing manner.


Meet Mark Philippoussis, an uncharismatic, not very good-looking tennis pro, with an unpronounceable name, who has the difficult role of choosing the love of his life from the network’s cliched choices of unstable single women who are desperate enough to appear on a summer replacement TV show.


Our bachelor, Mark, is in the thirties. Don’t get our bachelor, Mark, confused with me, Mark, the host, although it seems a little dumb that the two men on the same show should have the exact same name, making things unnecessarily complicated whenever someone says “Mark.”

Now, traditionally, men like to date women that are younger than they are, but is that the case anymore?

Does age really matter in love?

Watch Mark as he romances the various women and French kisses all of them. From which age group will he pick his true love (who he will then drop two weeks after the show like a moldy tomato)?

Should he go for the naive idiocy of the twenty-something girl or the bitter, frustrated neuroticism of the forty-something woman? The youthful blank gaze of the twenty-something or the wisdom of the forty-something, who has had twenty extra years experience having disappointing sex with complete strangers? The brainless athleticism of the the twenty-something or the “Oh, shit, do I have to get out of the chair” laissez faire laziness of the forty-something? The perky fake breasts, standing at attention, of the twenty-something or the perky fake breasts, standing at attention, of the forty-something?

In fact, is it me, but don’t ALL of the women seem exactly the same whatever the age — really, really STUPID. Did all of these women grow up living in the same condo in Marina del Rey?

Luckily, our bachelor has a clear vision of what he wants from the perfect woman, whatever her age. Like most men already know, the real question is — who gives better oral sex, the twenty-something or the forty-something?

The Omorosa Strategy

The latest trend in reality shows, according to the LA Times, are shows involving pets, such as Animal Planet’s “Who Gets the Dog?” in which humans compete for the love of a cutesy dog.  When most of the losers don’t get the dog, they are crushed, but I was particularly surprised by Darren O’Hare and Ania Kamieniecki’s excuse when they  lost “Scooby” to another couple:

“We just thought of it as a fun thing, we weren’t looking to win” says Darren.  “We didn’t have our ‘Omorosa’ strategy.”

The Omorosa strategy?  Have reality shows so infiltrated our way of thinking that the name Omorosa carries so much weight to it?   Years ago, I remember my two uncles arguing at Thanksgiving dinner over who was the greatest strategist of World War II — Churchill or Stalin?   With the greatest generation fading, will Omorosa be remembered as this generation’s Sun Tzu?  Our Machiavelli?

Could it be that many of our missteps in Iraq are due to the Pentagon’s outmoded style of leadership?  Did President Bush have an Omorosa strategy?   Doesn’t our government see how much reality TV could be a mirror into our geopolitical world?

For example, in Iraq, isn’t it true that we were “Richard Hatch-ed” by the Iranians with the faulty intelligence about the WMDs?

What about the UN and our French and German “friends”?  This “betrayal” by our allies is not very surprising to any reality TV watcher.  Has there ever been a Survivor season where the strong guy who builds the shelter for everyone isn’t tossed off the Island the very next week by all the whimpering members of his “alliance”?  Isn’t the United Nations like the ultimate “Big Brother” house, all smiles when Julie Chen shows up on the monitor, but everyone gets busy backstabbing at night?

Would there be so many Iraqi uprisings if we ran things a bit more like Nanny 911?

Sure, there were some elections in Iraq and there is some progress with Syria, but can we we really win the hearts and minds of the Arab world?   Forget the neocons Paula Abdul-like optimism.    Is it really on the level?  As  Simon Cowell might say, very doubtful:

“Not if we continue to pick the wrong songs and sing them like we’re at a cheap karaoke bar.”

President Bush, if you really intend to succeed with your Middle East foreign policy, stop listening to those Pentagon wonks and watch some  “Apprentice.”

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