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Have the Producers of "Beauty and the Geek" Destroyed the Series?

Sigh. Going into this season of Beauty and the Geek, I was already not entirely happy with this series' latest "loud" twist: that instead of the pattern we've come to know and love about Beauty and the Geek, the hapless geeks wouldn't be paired with beauties this time around. Instead, the geeks would face off against the beauties in a sort of war of the sexes.


I understand the need for reality series to keep their formats fresh but I don't understand why the producers of this typically charming series--whose basic, inspirational/aspirational structure has been a standout among the increasingly trashy reality genre--feel the need to constantly mess around with what essentially works about the series.

Last season's male beauty/female geek twist worked despite itself (or possibly because female geek Nicole was so gosh darn awkwardly cute), but this latest game change just grates from the start and seems to go against everything the series is meant to espouse. Shouldn't these beauties be helping the geeks transform and gain confidence, rather than compete against them in challenges in which, so far and from the scenes for next week, they seem to have the upper hand?

Color me disappointed about this development. Add to that the fact that for some reason this time around Beauty and the Geek's casting directors seem to have hired the contestants from the sleazy VH1 casting pool. (Or would it be casting hot tub?) While the geeks are certainly geeky (what in the hell is with the creepy cowboy?), the beauties for the most part seem downright trashy, a 180 degree turn from the gorgeous but, er, socially acceptable beauties from previous seasons. When a series can make Hooters girls, cocktail waitresses, and bikini models seem wholesome, worry when that same series introduces a slew of beauties, several of whom seem more suited for streetwalking than fronting a reality series that proposes to be inspirational and aspirational. Hell, it's like that first season of America's Next Top Model all over again.

Still, there are a few standout contestants whom I will be rooting for, if I end up sticking around for the long haul... and right now that's a rather big IF: geek Greg (a self-proclaimed "gayasian") and beauties Leticia (an extreme sports model with confidence, poise, and intelligence) and Cara (a squeaky voiced and compassionate aspiring soap star). As for the rest, I can't say enough how I am not clicking with the cast this season and how the "game-changing" twist grates on my nerves.

Then there's the matter of the completely anti-climactic elimination, in which five geeks (who lost the digits challenge) face off in a game show-themed elimination room, complete with buzzers and little blue screens with their names on them. In changing this, producers removed any drama, suspense, or tension from the process. The geeks that buzz in to correctly answer a simple question can leave the room; the last one remaining is eliminated. Gee, wow. So not only do the geeks have to compete with the women, but they also have to compete against each other to stay in the game?

Maybe Beauty and the Geek's producers need to remember one simple rule: if it's not broken, don't fix it. In avoiding that cardinal command, the producers may have broken one of the few original and heartfelt reality series on the air today and that's not just a shame, it's a slap in the face to fans of the series.


Seat42F said…
Couldn't agree more... as I watched I couldn't help think maybe a survivor twist was coming where they would pair up boy girl before too long.

Would much rather see "regular" beauties then a bunch of playboy models. What's next.. geeks from the Chippendale's?

Not looking forward to a season of male bonding and female backstabbing....
Anonymous said…

I was sorta willing to give it a shot, but I was very disappointed. When they did the makeunders? Come on - most of those women were still pretty, and with dark lighting? Seemed unfair.

I like a few more than you do. I like the same 3 that you mentioned, a lot. I also like the two shaggy bearded guys (not the cowboys, the two guys who sorta fit into that pre-makeover Nate category). And I liked the girl who said she's willing to be goofy.

With a couple of exceptions, I honestly don't find them trashier or sleazier that other seasons. I thought there were a lot of daddy's girl types, but I find that most of them fit the typical BATG model.

But that catfight after the challenge? Ugh, that is not the show I love. That's Flavor of Love material.

I still hold out hope they will go back to pairs at some point.
Anonymous said…
Such a bad idea. Watching the "new" version of this just made me feel dirty. Especially after one of the girls (forgot her name but she was also in the catfight) attempted to whore herself out to a lone geek in the hot tub in exchange for help during the competition with "math and science." Gross.

There are a few people who shine but I had a hard time focusing on them with all of the unnecessary distractions. And that elimination was just downright sad.
Anonymous said…
My husband and I look forward to this show, but after watching the first show of the season, I'm not sure that we will continue to record it - we didn't even watch the whole show before switching over to Ghost Hunters. So not happy with the quality of players, especially the beauties (like the sports girl though). We are so sad, downright depressing to watch :(

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