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Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-06-27 life & times
Just having fun at 'Paradise Hotel'
Cletus Turner

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Just in time for summer, another reality show pops up. This show takes advantage of summer activities like beach, sun, and sand. Who doesn't want to see skimpy bathing suits and beautiful smiles. Sadly, those things only last for a while, till you get to know the person behind those things. Sometimes the person just gets more interesting, sometimes they don't. The latest reality show from FOX is Paradise Hotel. Just when you think the reality show craze will die down just a little, along comes FOX to make sure we have that fix.

Paradise follows a group of eleven men and women who are given the opportunity to live the most exclusive resort ever created. Just as in real life, paradise doesn't last forever. Each week, a guest will be eliminated to make room for someone new.

How is that new person found? The audience will have an ongoing chance to become participants on the show. Viewers at home can even become guests by logging onto the Paradise Hotel website for a chance to join the rest of the group in the sun. The catch is the contestants already on the island get to choose the new member of the group. Once that person is chosen, they are immediately after the show flown to the hotel. Sound like fun? Well, put your soap opera hat on cause this show is a doozy. What is the overall goal? To remain at the hotel for as long as possible. It seems that the guests are pampered in every way. Everything is taken care of for the guests. All they have to do is have fun. Now, that is paradise.

So far, the contestants range in age from 21 to 30, because the 31 year-old Melanie was ousted last week. The new person to come on board was 26-year-old Dave from Boston. The guests have differing careers as well. Amanda is a resort concierge from Miami. Beau is a radio DJ from Scottsdale, Arizona. There must be something about Scottsdale because two other guests, Zack and Amy are from that town too. Five total contestants are from Arizona. Are they stacking the deck over at Paradise?

You have no idea of the mayhem that happens on this show. In one episode, Charla, from St. Paul, Minnesota, gets Zack to come to her room. They are making out when Andon, from Denver, Co. shows up at the door. Zack hides in the closet while Charla and Andon talk. Go figure. Why did Zack hide? Supposedly, everyone is an adult here. Technically, everyone knows what happens at the resort will probably be a one-time deal so why hide? Could it be Zack is a chicken heart? Andon, by the way, has been roommating with Toni. Charla has had a roommate. She is given the opportunity to pick someone to go on a yacht with her. To nobody's surprise, she chooses Andon. She asks right in front of Toni. I was waiting for a fight, but one never materialized. However, Charla later chooses Scott from Roselle, Ill to be her roommate. This leaves Melanie from Santa Monica, Calif. out of the loop and off the show.

There were, of course, other hijinks, but these were the most interesting. This show will never win an Emmy, but for just plain old fun, it isn't too bad. Everybody on the series is just wanting to remain at the hotel. As Cindi Lauper from the 80's said, everybody just wants to have fun. There are no actors on the show, these are supposed real people who don't want to go home. It is a perpetual spring break.

Although it is fun to watch, for quality programming, this show isn't anywhere near quality. It is low brow and plays on the most base of humanity's urges. For once or twice viewing, the show probably would be fun. However, the appeal will soon wear off and life will return from paradise.

2 suns

Notes from the couch:

NBC just can't seem to stop while it is ahead. For Love or Money has been a major headache for the peacock network since the main man, Rob Campos, was ousted for having reportedly groped a female while he was in the Marine Corps JAG program. The backlash from the show was enough to make the ratings for the show jump. Interestingly enough, this has prompted NBC to order a second series, this time to follow a woman and 15 men. In many ways, it will be nice to see a woman in the control seat. However, it will also be nice to see what MEN will do for money. THAT will make interesting viewing, if you can stomach all the posturing, that is.

NBC is also working on a different type of show along the lines of Meet My Folks. This series would have adult children trying to find a wife or husband for their parent. The reverse of the current show would be interesting if only from the standpoint of how the different generations view love, marriage and dating. All too often, when three guys are brought on the show, inevitably, the parents ask the guys when they are hooked up to a lie detector, "Do you want to have sex with my daughter?" I want to know what they are going to ask the so-called adults. Should be interesting.

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