Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Yesterday was quite a holiday in New York. Liz and I both had the day off, so we spent it relaxing at home and playing in the snow a bit. Around 3:30 PM we went out to see what stores were open in our neighborhood. Starbucks was closed, but Xando was open, so we enjoyed mint mochas and watched what little traffic there was go by. Liz pointed out that trudging through the snow was a good aerobic workout on a day when the most work we had to do was get out of bed. Even though I'm no stranger to large snowfalls, as you probably read below, I hadn't previously been in New York for a blizzard. So I took some pictures of buried cars and kids romping through Washington Square Park. I'll post a link to those later tonight, when I have a chance to upload them.

We watched with great interest as Evan chose Zora on Joe Millionaire. As Lisa De Moraes pointed out in her Washington Post TV column today, it was almost like FOX wanted us to root for her from the beginning. Gee, FOX wouldn't do that. I'm glad the show didn't end with a wedding, or the revelation that Evan was really a millionaire after all, or that Zora was. But the "mind-blowing" twist that the producers gave the happy couple a million dollars to split was anything but. The reason that most people were suggesting outlandish scenarios (like the women getting to choose Paul over Evan, or that Evan would choose one of the women he dumped earlier) was that giving them any amount of money was an obvious ploy and thus not the way the producers would go. But we are talking about the FOX network, after all, so the obvious choice was the only thing they could come up with. I would have preferred something like this:
Before Evan reveals his choice to anyone, Paul tells Evan that the show's producers have just given one of the women a large sum of money, like $1 or 2 million. Or after he picks one, they tell him that the other one suddenly has lots of money. Now Evan has to choose between love and money. That would have been more interesting than the lame stunt they pulled last night.

Still, it was a fun two hours. The first hour wasn't the stale clip show review I expected; I guess they got that out of the way last week. Instead, we got a closer look at some of the women, including Heidi. Wasn't it amazing that the man she's currently dating is even dumber and shallower than Evan? I wasn't sure that was possible. And Evan's friends that turned up as character witnesses were just as meat-headed as he is. In the second half of the show, Evan did a good job of keeping the audience guessing, even as he gave Zora what seemed to be the brush-off speech. When he gave Sarah the real farewell address, I would have enjoyed hearing him say, among his other platitudes, "...and I really enjoyed banging your rocket body." But that wouldn't have been too prime-time friendly, even for FOX. I'll have to put off recovering my dignity for another week, since I won't miss the "reunion" show next Monday night. I forget who said it, but someone on TV either last night or this morning (it might have been Mark Consuelos subbing for Regis on "Live") suggested that FOX is looking high and low for people dumb enough to fall for this stunt again, since it was such a ratings bonanza. I'd love to see the kind of people, male and female, that would appear on that show.

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