Sunday, January 20, 2013

Game Time: Singled Out (1995)

In the 60's, Chuck Barris created The Dating Game, which the now-deranged game show icon now claims was used as part of some heretofore undisclosed super secret missions for the CIA, as depicted in his autobiography, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Somehow, I can't buy into that, even if it really happened, because if it did, would some of the contestants have had similarly weird stories coming out of the series' spiritual offspring?

MTV expanded on Dating's basic concept----oh, did they ever!----with the introduction of Singled Out in 1995. Instead of just three bachelors/bachelorettes, contestants had to wade through a pool of 50, and they still managed to get through 2 games per half hour show. Comedian Chris Hardwick served as MC, with Jenny McCarthy as his sidekick for the first couple of seasons. After two years, McCarthy was spun off into her own self-titled series, and actress-singer Carmen Electra was tapped to take her place. Unfortunately, that falls into Jump The Shark territory, since Singled was cancelled after a year and a half of the Carmen era.

Today, ABC's Bachelor & Bachelorette "reality" shows borrow and compress the Singled concept, as contestants go through 13 weeks to wade through a field of the same number, albeit in a 1 hour show. I wonder what Barris thinks about that.

Following is a clip with future author Leonard Clifton.

I think guys tuned in hoping for a nip slip from Jenny, more than anything else. I wasn't quite that amused to start with, and, to be honest, this is a show MTV should bring back, even though Hardwick is one of the busiest guys out there these days.

Rating: C.

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