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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Marriott's portrait will be hanging in the Hall of Television Shame after this one

Author: liquidcelluloid-1 from www.liquidcelluloid.blog.com
14 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Joe Millionaire": Network: Fox; Genera: reality, game; Content Rating: TV-PG (for adult situations); Classification: contemporary (Star range: 1 - 4)

Season Reviewed: season 1(2 seasons total)

Let's talk about `Joe Millionaire'. No let's not, it's too depressing. Let's talk about the state of the `reality' television fad, as `Joe' is a show that might be looked back on as the moment an entire genera Jumped the Shark. This is programming president Gail Berman's vision of the new Fox network coming to fruition. The product of a network that is now so drunk on it's own arrogance and out-in-the-open contempt (not just disrespect, mind you but outright contempt) for it's own audience that it has gone completely off it's hinges.

Let's backtrack a little bit. Why are reality shows so popular and so prevalent? Ratings, that's part of it, but mostly, I believe because networks have a vested interest in these shows succeeding, because they are cheap and because they have maximum control over their content - no pesky writers to deal with. Nowadays a show's success directly correlates with, not it's ratings, but with how much network support it gets. If Fox or NBC wants something to succeed or fail - it usually will. They don't want to reap the syndication benefits unless it's on their terms with a product that they can claim soul profit over.

If you think about it all the networks have developed these personified character traits. CBS is, obviously, a little old lady walking across the street. It doesn't take a lot of risks but it isn't quick to cancel something good either. ABC is like the bumbling, stumbling oldest sibling that's been handed the family business and doesn't know what to do with it, is constantly screwing up and mismanaging everything he does. NBC is the young brat that constantly runs around school telling everyone how cool and edgy he is in a desperate attempt to find an identity and usually just drawing laughs from his parents and peers because everyone knows he's all talk. But Fox is the worst of them all. Fox is like the annoying grandpa that comes to stay with the family in a sitcom. He puts on rap music, dances awkwardly, tries in vain to be hip with the times, appeal to his grandkids, constantly embarrassing everyone and just ends up passed out under the Christmas tree with a tin of bourbon half-cocked out of his mouth. He clings to the past without any knowledge of how irrelevant he's become.

That is Gail Berman's new Fox: a pale shadow of it's former edgy self. Instead of being the rebel network it's now virtually indistinguishable with the other 3 (just as she wants it). It cow tows to complaint letters from parents, afraid to do anything that will rock the boat. Between ditching it's prime male demographic for the tween girl demo to it's Gestapo tactics used to push shows toward cancellation or keep them from syndication it's hard to tell if it wants to be the new WB or the new Disney Channel. They don't have the patience or confidence in the audience to allow scripted shows to find an audience - `Seinfeld', `MASH', `Everybody Loves Raymond' and even `Married...with Children` and `The X-Files' would never have made it on today's Fox. So instead they are forced to jump on the nearest train-wreck fad. Not just jump on but create. That's the problem: they are now in the business of creating fads. Telling people what they should think is the hot thing with a suffocating gag of hype. When one fad gets dull they have to create a new one - even more shocking and more disgusting. The network races to the bottom now with such insane giddiness that it never bothers to look back and see if anyone is even following it. Because they have kick scripted television to the gutter (which viewers watch on autopilot for years if one is good) their entire survival now depends on shows that, from conception, can only last a couple of weeks.

I have to talk about the show itself. `Joe' (the network's favorite name) is Fox's spin on straight dating shows like `The Bachelor' in which one guy must choose between a gaggle of women. Except in `Joe' instead of a rose ceremony it's called a Necklace Ceremony. Oh, yeah and it's based in a lie. Women are invited to a castle under the guise that they will meet a millionaire. We're all supposed to wait with breathless anticipation until they learn what we already know that `Joe' (Evan Marriott) is a really dirt poor construction worker (out of a Diet Coke commercial). The most easily and obviously correctable flaw with the show is probably that, as part of the lie, the women are told that Marriott just now inherited this fortune and castle. Think about it, wouldn't it have been vastly more interesting if they where told that Marriott had been a born-into-money socialite all his life. That way Marriott would have an even bigger challenge trying not to let his blue collar roots show and we would have something kind of funny to watch. The sad thing is that butler Paul Hogan is an engaging fellow. He gets trampled under this disaster just like everyone else.

Marriott himself is a total stooge who stumbles to get the simplest sentences out of his mouth and trips up when asked his middle name. It, apparently, never occurred to anyone that any of these people be likeable. Every personality here is so distasteful, I wonder if we where even supposed to care. Is one of the women as innocent as she seems? Is one a porno fetish film star? Did Marriott really check his zipper after coming back from the bushes and what does that mean? Who gives a damn - other than people who use the show as an excuse to get out their urge to gossip. Will true love conquer all? That doesn't even appear to be the goal. All the women can hardly stand Marriott with his slurs and caveman looks. They appear to be onto him from the beginning and when the requisite catty girl gets tossed off in the first 3 episodes - there goes any friction. Marriott, himself, claims to only like the unfortunate "winner" as a friend and she couldn't care less.

***Spoilers*** The real slap across the face here is the ending. After weeks of hype about how edgy this show was and that it was going to be the dating contest "Fox-Style" all we got was a blast of hot air and resounding proof that Fox is completely out of ideas. We waited for a twist that never comes. Did anyone want to see such a fairy tale, nausea inducing, sap-happy ending? This kind of gutless, about-face would have negated everything that had gone before - had any of that been worth saving as well.

`Joe Millionaire', the relentless hype that lead up to it, the ratings boom (Super Bowl numbers) and the inevitable bust in the 2nd season is exactly what Fox thinks a reality show should be. It does the job for that one ratings period and then is expendable when the audience finally wakes up, comes to their senses and can no longer stand it. Even Fox can't keep it up forever. It is the fate of every reality show, and indeed the genera as a whole, crammed into a 1 year period of time. This show was an embarrassment. One of the worst little novelty acts of all time. But does Fox care? Will any lessons be learned? Of course not. On to the next one.

0 stars / 4

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Stupid, inane, brain-dead drivel!

1/10
Author: Asteri-Atypical from Orlando, FL
20 May 2003

What a piece of stupid tripe.

I won't even waste time evaluating any of the points of this show. It's not worth the time. The one comment I will make is - why get such a DUMB, inarticulate doofus to be the star?!?

There aren't many more dismal testimonials to the deteriorating mental condition of the networks than the fact that FOX has stated it will NOT bring back John Doe (a decent series) but WILL bring back brain-dead drivel like Joe Millionaire for yet another round of killing the brain cells of the american public.

FOX has lost it, IMHO.

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Get over the $$$'s GIRLZ!!

Author: Nichole Reiniger (catherineruskin@aol.com) from Ruskin, Florida, United States
2 June 2005

It's June 1st. 2005. I saw Evan Marriott on t.v. the other day.He happened to be mentioning some of the mean things women say to him when they see him,because of him being on "Joe Millionaire" and not telling the truth about how much $$$'s he really make (or something to that effect). D**N! Get over it,girlz!You know you would have only wanted the money too. Not Evan.Or true love.Why is EVERYONE becoming so materialistic in this lifetime?You can't take the money with you when you die.And although a person can't completely live without some cash.I think it's a lot less lonely at night being held by true love's arms than by $$$. T.V. is acting,right? DUH! Personally,I'm thrilled for Evan. He bought his own construction company.Cool! I doubt he'll ever settle for less than true love.I hope all your dreams come true Evan! I hope you find the one who makes your heart smile.

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Not the perfect one

Author: petya_1984 from Bulgaria
10 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw some of the series of 'Joe the millionaire' and I really don't find it's interesting. These's only one thing that it's great - the castle of the millionaire and the beautiful places that Evan and the girls visited. I thought that it's going to be the next interesting reality show, but I was disappointed. I think that the whole concept is very interesting because there isn't any other reality show with the same concept. Finally, I don't recommend it to anyone! It's boring and is just a waste of time. My mother liked it because of the nice places, but that's all. The rest of the show is just another form of a soap series.

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Why did they destroy such a great idea...

Author: jpalmberg from Vaasa, Finland
21 December 2003

I have to start by saying that I'm a great fan of reality tv (Survivor rules), and I was looking forward to this show. But the disappointment was big. Great idea, but made really boring. The girls are not pretty and have nothing great about them (for example the girls of Bachelor are much better). Evan, the main star, is boring as hell and the butler really ruins the show. If they do a follow-up I hope they change the concept!!!

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That man is HOT!

Author: judi-7 from Toronto, Canada
5 February 2003

With or without $50 million, that man is HOT! Personally, I'm not a fan of "reality television", but this show is compelling. Maybe it's Evan's good looks, great body, adorable dimples, or sweet boyish charm. In any event, I do find it enjoyable to watch. Can't wait for the next episode.

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The dirty truth

9/10
Author: toni-35 from Miami
4 February 2003

This is reality TV at it's best! Lies, sex and money! Dynasty wasn't this good! What happens when you put 20 women in a house with a newly made millionaire? It is almost impossible to believe this is non-scripted television. Money does bring out the worst in some.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

That was sooo nine months ago.

Author: shrek2004 from Manitoba
2 November 2003

I think the first one was a success because nothing like it had ever been done before and we wanted to see the feuds between the women. Evan was semi-hot, too, and the butler was cool. But now, we have the same thing going on with greedy European women and a squeaky-voiced Texan. Rather passé.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Do people really watch this stuff?

1/10
Author: U2DesertRose
14 February 2003

You loose 100 IQ points just for tuning in. This show has to be awful, I refuse to tune in from just what I've seen in commercials. Where did they dig this guy up at anyway? Also, what do they intend to do next season? The secret is out. Everyone already knows the set up? Are they going to look for people who has been living under a rock to star in next season? Where are they going to dig up more stupid women? No wonder America is a big joke to outsider's,look what you are watching!!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Kind of boring despite all of the hype.

Author: perni from Owensboro, KY
27 February 2003

When I first heard about this crazy new reality show, I thought it was a pretty interesting premise. Unfortunately, most of the episodes were just boring and tedious, with multiple flashbacks to past dates that dragged on forever. Fox seriously needs to be smacked upside the head for making its audience suffer so much. I mean, come on, did we really need a 2-HOUR finale? That's stretching my attention span a bit. I did tune in for the last 30 minutes or so of the finale, but in the end the big moment everyone was waiting for (when the girl finds out about her Joe's true past), was a huge bust. She just sat there, smiling, not doing a thing. Then the final scene in the ballroom felt genuinely staged, with false suspense created as we waited to see if the lovely lady would show up after all. She did, of course, and recited a speech only Hollywood executives could think was believeable. Fox tried to get one more punch in with The Aftermath, a bonus episode that told us what happened later. I didn't tune in for this one, though, becuase I did not want to be tricked into watching another snore-fest hour. And why did they call it The Aftermath? That sounds like something MSNBC would use to describe the effects of a hurricane or earthquake. It's not like Joe killed the girls one by one. Now with everything said and done, Fox is prepping a new gimmicky show called Married by America. Something tells me I won't be watching that one, as it sounds even more loathsome and flash-in-the-pan. As for the possibility of a Joe Millionaire 2, I roll my eyes at the idea. Why would anyone want to watch this premise all over again? They would have to put something really new and clever into the mix to get me to come back. Personally, I like Saturday Night Live's ideas: Joe Rapist, Joe Woman, etc. Hee hee...1/4

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