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"Meet My Folks" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 07/28/2002

First, we get reality shows borrowing from other TV shows, and now we get reality shows borrowing from movies?  I guess it was inevitable.

The show Iím talking about is NBCís new dating reality show ďMeet My Folks.Ē  The show is a contest where three men compete for the affections of a woman.  The twist here is that they not only have to win over her approval, but her parentsí approval too.  In fact, it is her parents who get to decide which guy gets to go Hawaii with her.  They spend a long weekend with her and her parents, and are put through a series of grueling tests in order for the parents to be able to make up their mind.  Even though the daughter might have one guy in mind, it is the parents who make the final decision.

This show takes the funny, uncomfortable feeling given to audiences who saw the Ben Stiller movie Meet the Parents and turns it into a reality show.  This is especially apparent in the most talked-about element of the show, the lie-detector test.  You remember the famous scene in Parents where Robert DeNiro gives Stiller a lie-detector test, you know, just for fun?  The parents in ďMeet My FolksĒ arenít secret agents for the CIA, but they do use an expert to administer the test while they ask the tough questions.

The show is funny because it is uncomfortable.  It is hilarious to see the guys try to either hide or defend their pasts, which slowly gets revealed during the course of the weekend.  Aside from the lie-detector test, there is the dinner with ex-girlfriends in which the parents ask them things about the guys, who are not allowed to talk.  If the breakup with the ex wasnít too bad, then the guy usually doesnít have anything to worry about, but if it was messy, then it could really hurt their image to the parents.  In addition, there is a point in the show where the guys have to do something really embarrassing to the parents (like kiss the dadís head or talk about sex to the mom or something similar), and if they donít do it, then a fact about their past will be revealed, and it is not a flattering one.

The main complaint I have, and it is a big one (enough to knock the rating down a peg and a half), is that the first two episodes were almost exactly alike.  They did the same things in the same order, only they were different people.  They both had a scene where the parents could turn on their TV and witness one or all of the guys getting frisky with their daughter (in which the dad would promptly come out and scold them.)  I really donít want to see the exact thing happen every week, especially since it is good enough to warrant my attention.  I did see a preview of next week, and it showed the dad putting the guys through a boot camp competition, and that looked pretty funny (plus it hasnít happened before on this show.)

If you liked Meet the Parents or even that episode of ďThe BachelorĒ where the women brought the bachelor home to meet their parents, you will like ďMeet My Folks.Ē  It will make you think how lucky you are that your parents donít have cameras and lie-detector experts helping them decide if your new boyfriend or girlfriend is worthy of dating their child!


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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