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"For Love or Money" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 06/04/2003

Okay…this is just getting sad.  First, ABC created “The Bachelor,” then FOX, the king of lowbrow TV (that is a compliment), ripped it off and twisted it in an interesting way with “Joe Millionaire.”  Now NBC is trying to pull a FOX, but they don’t exactly stretch far.  Their new dating reality show, “For Love or Money,” is “Joe Millionaire” in reverse.  The problem is that the show forgot also to rip off FOX’s ability to make an unoriginal idea interesting.


We start with the extremely familiar layout:  fifteen very hot women come to a California mansion with the hope that they might meet the man of their dreams (if we were to believe reality TV, it would tell us that being hot doesn’t seem to attract men anymore.  Who knew?)  They all meet the host, Jordan Murphy, and get to know one another.  That night, at a reception dinner, Jordan tells the girls the twist of the show.  They will compete for the affections of Rob Campos, a handsome, single guy from Dallas who is a practicing defense attorney as well as an athlete and former Marine.  The woman who wins Rob’s heart will also win $1 million.  None of the women will be allowed to tell Rob about the cash prize.  What both the woman and Rob don’t know is that the winner must chose between Rob or the money in the end, hence the title of the show.  In the first episode, Jordan presented each woman with a $1 million check with their names on them, but collected them back up and put them in a case for safekeeping.  Some of the women said they didn’t care about the money, while others were strategizing about how they were going to manipulate Rob’s heart so they can get the money.  They all meet Rob the next day, and several of them comment on how handsome he is (you’d almost think that they forgot about the money.)  After the first impressions, Rob makes his first eliminations the next night.  He sees each woman one-by-one and either asks them to stay or sends them home.  He does that annoying thing where he compliments them first, then reveals his decision (you can tell that they are going to get the boot when he follows the compliment with the word “but.”)  Rob asks ten women to stay and sends five women packing.  The women who didn’t snag Rob’s heart had to take their check from the case and toss it into a fireplace.


I thought it was odd that they even mentioned “Joe Millionaire” in their ads for this show.  They aren’t hiding the fact that this is the bizarro-“Joe Millionaire.”  The problem is that the show isn’t trashy enough to be as interesting as “Joe Millionaire.”  None of the women really stood out for me.  I remember little things they did, like bring paintings and cookies, but I can’t remember which woman did what.  It almost reminded me of what makes the beginning of each season of “The Bachelor” so boring.  I remember when “Joe Millionaire” was first announced, and women everywhere were debunking it for being the lowest FOX has ever gone (while they secretly watched it.)  I haven’t heard any such thing for this show, because it didn’t really try hard to twist the formula.

Of course, I am going to watch this whole series (it’s only six episodes…and what else is there to watch on Mondays?)  I do want to see if the winner chooses the cash or the guy, but “For Love or Money” doesn’t have the same guilty pleasure fun as “Joe Millionaire.”  NBC, don’t try to out-trash FOX…it’s hard to beat the king.


Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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