If there was ever greater proof that we now have too many TV channels filled up with rubbish it is Millionaire Matchmaker, writes Ben Lammas.
This American monstrosity of a show, which has now found a home on British television, is the definition of trash television. It is a dating show, but one that would have Cilla Black hiding behind the sofa.
The series, which has somehow run for six seasons in America, follows the loud-mouthed Patti Stanger, owner of the Beverly Hills-based “Millionaire's Club” dating service, as she matches single wealthy people with closely compatible dates.
Yesterday evening's episode was part of season two which is now running on ITV2.
As is the norm for American shows of this kind it moves at a million-miles-an-hour. Patti storms into her office, freshly botoxed and demands to see her latest clients.
This time around it was millionaire 31-year-old Jason, the vice president of a medical training school, who we are introduced to as he is driven around New York in a limousine.
Then there is gay man David, the owner of a his own recruitment firm, who sits in one of his show home apartments telling us he is worth around £7 million. Patti quickly susses them both out and orders her staff to round up some guys and girls pronto.
What follows is a kind of audition stage where some poor candidates for the dates are paraded before Patti and her assistants who hurl insults at them like “you’ve got a bad stripper look”and “are you really 27, you look 37”; she even bluntly shouts at one cowering girl “you’re ugly” before turning to her assistant and yelling “if you don't bring me some hot girls I am going to fire your ass.”
Patti Stanger makes Anne Robinson look like Mary Poppins. But no sooner has she as much as thrown anyone ‘too ugly’ for her clients out of the window of her office than Patti suddenly comes over all pious and demands vain David has an ugly makeover so he can appreciate what it is like to be dismissed on looks alone. This is despite the fact this is exactly what she has been doing just minutes before.
And when it comes to the speed dating section later in the show Patti is overjoyed when chauvinistic Jason chooses Kim Kardashian lookalike Amy for his date – the only one in the room wearing hardly any clothes. But then she later berates him and throws him out of the Millionaire Matchmaker club for being too sexist shouting a tirade of what we are to assume are obscenities after him – as they are all bleeped out Jerry Springer Show style. This leaves you thinking Patti really is as vacant as her fake-tanned face suggests.
It really is a wonder this programme is aired at the early ‘after-school’ time it is because it offers some dubious messages about finding love and relationships.
And large parts of it are bleeped out because of the colourful language used. At the end of the show neither David or Jason ended up finding the perfect match despite Patti’s claim of a 99 per cent success rate. Although to be fair to her this is not wholly down to Patti’s failure but also to the fact they are both detestable characters. While Jason thinks it might be funny to take his ‘teetotal’ date to a bar with all his male pals so she can watch him getting drunk, David’s opening line to his chosen date is “I hate people.”
It is programmes like this that have you longing for the simple days of four TV channels and good old Blind Date on a Saturday night.