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Wow, how embarrassing is this? After all this guilty pleasure, watching other VH1 Shows just for the kick of it and arguably the social aspect, because at the end of the day, it seems like everybody does - enjoying the hilarity that usually ensues - it took the show with arguably the cheesiest premise to get me to this point...
I'd have to say I went in for the "peace of meat" bravado in the first place, because I found it somewhat refreshing, that "My Antonio" was the proverbial carrot on a stick for each and every female contestant on the show, and they all knew it from the very beginning - But instead of following the premise and "playing the game", like the many before - this guy somehow seemed to try building deep connections, acting to eliminate almost all group effects with a "everyone gets a chance" attitude - which ultimately made for some intensely boring middle episodes, because the decisions at the eliminations were so transparent. But, oh my God - the third act is almost divine...
You get it all - the all to obvious soap analogies in the form of a reenactment challenge, the former wife, the intriguing, but good willing mother, the bunny that gets played - this series culminates in a moment where three of the contestants - who at this point want "Their Antonio" badly, can stand in one room respecting each other, as well as the fact, that he has made out with two of them on the same day, just the day before (if editing didn't tweak time too much... ;)), while he is kissing the third one - just because they believe in the fairness and judgment of one guy...
The emotion in the last episodes is palpable and real, if I ever saw real emotion. I can't watch soaps, because I can't stand emotion that does not come out of the scene, but directly from script - but this made me understand the fascination and attachment, that others could have regarding this medium of entertainment.
This is the quintessential soap. The best Reality TV as a concept has to offer.
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