May 25, 2009

Hitched or Ditched.jpgReality TV continues to be the dominant force of today’s programming. While the idea was innovative years ago, with experimental shows such as Real World, the concept has spun into a free for all, spawning series after series of less than imaginative, rehashed shows that are just trying to get a piece of the audience. Soon to be premiering on the CW, Hitched or Ditched is basically like all that has come before it.

In the newest edition in the reality TV craze, the show follows couples that have been together for quite some number of years, without ever fully committing to each other. The couple of the episode gets a knock on their door from the show’s host, and one of their best friends. When the hellos have been said, the couple in question are presented with an invitation to their own wedding, which is set seven days from then. The show takes care of all the finances and arrangements, all the soon to be weds have to do is show up and give their answer at the altar. Following this, the two are subjected to a plethora of drama, which calls into question their devotion to each other, and if their love is strong enough to survive the rigors of marriage. At the end of the episode, the two stand at the altar, as the preacher asks if they do or don’t.

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The show itself is not so terrible in itself. The couples they choose are at least interesting in some way or another, though most of the entertainment to be had from the show (which is not much to begin with) mostly comes from the families involved. They’re always the source of all the anxiety and tears that the couples share. In the premier episode, the potential bride’s father, the almost stereotypical souther, takes the possible groom inside for a ‘man to man talk’, where exchanges of, “I’ll make you regret it if you ever hurt her. I own guns,” are heard. Of course he’s tattooed up, rides a motorcycle, has a throwback haircut, and completely ‘macho’. It definitely reassures you that all aspects of the show are pre-screened to make sure that every ounce of drama that could be found in the situation rears its head.

Though the show itself is not a complete train wreck, it does suffer from one major point; it is still a reality TV show. The amount of originality left in the field is minimal at best, and what you tend to see today is boring at best. One could make the comment that the show is making a mockery of the institute of marriage, turning what should be a well thought out, meaningful ceremony into a game show of sorts, but this nothing new. Reality TV has been doing this for years. In all honesty, there is not anything in this show that has not been seen in anything before it. In most reality TV shows, the focus of a particular episode has something that makes them inherently interesting to the viewer. The girl might be ‘too young’, the guy might have cheated on her ten thousand times, she used to be a call girl, something. In this program, there is not much to look at. The viewer is given a quick intro to the couple (mostly just the length of their relationship), and they jump right into the drama. Unless you have been in the situation before, you probably will not care. You might find yourself accidentally reading a book while this is on, not really caring if they get married or not.

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The usual hook to reality TV is not knowing how the situation is going to turn out, or that something completely surprising happens during the episode to alter the ending. So far, Hitched or Ditched has neither. You almost expect the host to come out during the episode to say, “You thought this was going to happen, but we have a surprise for you.” Keep looking. It does not take a highly intelligent person to realize what each person is going to say before the answer leaves their mouths. There is no grand surprise, no major show stopper, no real draw to keep the viewer interested. While the show could build on the concept as times goes, at present time, it is lackluster.

If you are in the mood for a run-of-the-mill, completely mediocre reality show, then Hitched or Ditched might be worth taking a look at. You might be better off waiting for the show to improve in time though.

Hitched or Ditched premieres Tuesday, May 26, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET.

Show: D

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