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The future of MTV

Chris McGrady | Tuesday, April 4, 2006

There’s a recent phenomenon running rampant across American television screens. It’s a new twist on the dating show fad. Gone are the days of classics such as “Singled Out.”

The newest hot thing is “Date My Mom,” a surprisingly popular show on MTV where several unsuspecting young men take a young woman’s mom out on a date, allowing the mom to choose which lad is suitable to date her teenage daughter. The show is obviously scripted – poorly so – and is so mind-numbing that the viewer would be better served by simply packing his or her head in a tub of ice for half an hour to achieve the same effect.

The reason this show still exists is because no one has said anything to the malevolent producers of such trivial trash. Fear no more. Because I am a man of action, I will propose several different ideas for dating shows that are in the same vein, but of significantly more interest.

The first show I suggest is “Date My Senile Aunt.” Think about it – we all have that relative. The one who insists that you are still five years old and sends you a “Happy Bar Mitzvah” card every year on your birthday with a newspaper clipping that she found interesting. This is the same aunt with the mismatched pantyhose who pinches your cheek when she opens the door, when she leaves and every time she sneezes. What better way to find a new significant other than to spend an afternoon with the senile aunt of someone you’ve never met, reminiscing about that time she ate dinner with the Pope (never actually happened)? It makes so much sense!

The second show I suggest is “Date My Farm Animal.” I know at first mention this seems insane. But these cuddly and misunderstood mammalian creatures have a sixth-sense and can almost always tell good from evil. My proposal: The contestants spend an afternoon with the benevolent beast, be it a llama, a pig or bovine creature of any kind. During this afternoon, the contestants will walk the animal, clean it and feed it – you know, generally wine and dine the thing the way you would anyone else. At the end of the afternoon, the contestants will stand in a line. Depending on the quality of the interaction between the contestant and the animal, our mutually exclusive furry friend will walk to the contestant that is the ideal fit. Interesting dialogue a problem? Hardly. Wait until that llama spits in your face – the verbosity that follows will truly be a thing of beauty.

Another idea I was thinking of is “Date My Possessive Spouse.” While this show may be a little controversial since the final decision will take place in a divorce court, the idea is still great. Few people will be able to judge who is more suitable for a woman than her spouse. It’s foolproof.

The next idea I have is “Date My Nosy Family Physician.” A doctor is one person who knows your most intimate secrets – disease history, immunizations records and family past – and thus is able to determine your ideal mate. Furthermore, a doctor can run all sorts of tests on the various contestants. This is an ideal situation to get to know someone. You don’t want to be dating someone who’s more riddled with STDs than a Tijuana prostitute – or do you? Who wants a biological game of Russian roulette? This one is fun for the whole family.

Furthermore, there’s “Date My Sloppy, Inconsiderate, Smelly Roommate with a Ridiculously Screwed Up Biological Clock.” If you can make it through a day dealing with the putrid, insensitive oaf you can live through anything. This would be an interesting series because rather than making a decision at the end of the day, the winner would be the person that manages to stay alive. Who doesn’t want a boyfriend with a strong immune system?

Some other ideas that may not need as much explanation are “Date my Ex-Con Father,” “Date My Grandma” and the Notre Dame exclusives “Date My Rector” and “Date My ResLife Officer.”

With the influx of shows like this and the popular “Parental Control” (also on MTV), something needs to be done. These ideas would be much more entertaining and well received than “Date My Mom.” All these shows would be unscripted and the dialogue would be candid. This way, the shows would be more believable and definitely more watched.

Anyway, I have to go – “Simple Life” is on.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Chris McGrady at cmcgrad1@nd.edu