Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Season Premiere Review: Beauty and the Geek (Season 4)

Beauty and the Geek [s4 ep1]: "A Curveball for the New Contestants"

*** Spoiler Warning ***

Key Plot Points of Season Premiere

  • The new 2-hour premiere kicks off with the host, Mike Richards, and last year's unlikely love connection couple, Nate and Jenny Lee, traveling to the following cities for casting: Boston, Mass.; Washington, D.C; my home state's captial, **Raleigh, North Carolina**; Chicago, Illinois; Little Rock, Arkansas; Los Angeles, California; and Las Vegas, Nevada (lots of beauties, no geeks).

  • Nine male geeks and nine female beauties are chosen. After the lengthy introductions of contestants on both sides, the cast gets to have an outdoor slumber party in tents on the back lawn.

  • For their first challenge, the beauties undergo an intellectual skills analysis and the geeks undergo a social skills analysis. The purpose is to measure how much each contestant needs to improve.

  • After the analysis tests, Mike revealed that the lowest scoring beauty Shay and geek Joshua were the winners of the challenge because it showed they had the furthest to go to improve. Their reward was to choose their own teams, and assign everyone else's teams as well.

  • After some arguing over strategy, Shay and Joshua chose to team up together, even though they were both the lowest scoring people in the challenge. They slowly reveal their other pairings. Aspiring Playboy model Amanda got her wish to be paired with Asian, bowtie-wearing Tony. David was disappointed to be paired with Jasmine instead of Katie. Overly-bleached "blond" (practically white-haired) Erin was thrilled to be paired with Jesse. Natalie, who looks amazingly like Denise Richards, got John. The quiet Jen got red-headed William, who was hoping to be paired with Rebecca or Hollie and found it hard to hide his surprise and disappointment. Rebecca, the most attractive beauty among them, got Will. Professional Betty Boop Impersonator Hollie got Josh, despite how much Hollie and Luke wanted to be paired together. Luke was left with the sweet and understanding Katie.

  • The big "shock" this season is that, for the first time, there will be a tenth team consisting of a female geek and a male beauty.

Opinions and Observations

  • I know some people are better at book-smarts than others, and that part of the point of the show is to find female beauties who use their appearance and social skills to survive, but it still astonishes me how uneducated some of them tend to be. One of the frequently asked questions of the potential beauties during casting was, "Who won the Civil War?" Some of the answers were, "Who was that between," and "We did...We win all the wars."

  • Mike Richards: Who's the current Vice President?
    Chicago Beauty: Are you kidding me?!? Pass!! Hehh.
    Mike Richards: What's closer, the moon or the sun?
    Chicago Beauty: They're both equal. {she says confidently}
    Mike Richards: What are the three branches of the U.S. government?
    Chicago Beauty: They're's branches?

    Mike Richards: How many stripes on the U.S. flag?
    Another Chicago Beauty: Fifty-two.
    Mike Richards: How many stars?
    Another Chicago Beauty: Hmm. Eight?
    Mike Richards: What was the last book you read?
    Another Chicago Beauty: Well since I've been at school I haven't been reading much because I've had to study a lot.

  • The beauties this year look a little better than last year. On average, there seem to be fewer "over-processed" girls. There also seems to be a better balance between blonds and brunettes.

  • One brunette named Amanda who may have been "over-processed" but in a good way and in one particular area (if you know what I mean) seemed to be very proud of her enhancement and very open about her ambition to be in Playboy. She has one of the best faces of all the beauties, so with her enhancement included, she should have no trouble getting in the magazine.

  • One of my favorite beauties so far is Katie who seems to be sweet and more open-minded about the geeks. She feels sorry for them when they're nervous, said one of them was cute, and said that another was going to be "like a diamond in the rust." (Yes, she said "rust" not "rough.")

  • Usually respectful of the unique strengths, weaknesses, and personalities of the contestants, the show hit an uncharacteristic low point with the geeks' social skills tests. They had to draw their ideal woman (hello, what do art skills have to do with this contest?), undergo an ink-blot test (what???), and--most insulting of all--hug and kiss a feminine mannequin. The mannequin test was so absurd and degrading that they only showed three of the geeks take that test (I'd like to think the other six refused). As if the request to hug and kiss a mannequin weren't insulting enough already, the mannequin was leaning back at a bit of an angle, making it physically awkward to even complete the task. Wouldn't it have been just as informative yet less degrading to ask the geeks questions about dating, fashion, romance, etc.?

  • The beauties' analysis test wasn't much better. They were given a math problem, which wasn't too bad, especially since they made it a word problem about shopping for clothes. However, they also made the beauties read a paragraph with a few big words in it, which just made the beauties seem illiterate.

Hopes, Concerns, or Expectations for New Season

  • I think it's a good idea to switch the genders on one team. I always wondered if they would do a whole season of male hunks and female geekettes. I guess having one team like that this season is the test run for such a thing.

  • Overall, I love this show, even though it is hard to endure sometimes. Sometimes I identify with the geeks a little too much, and other times they're so geeky in ways I'm not that it's almost embarrassing to watch. I'd like to think I'm not quite as awkward as these guys are. On the other hand, I almost envy how smart they are.

  • I like that the beauties, so far anyway, seem to be sweeter, kinder, and more open-minded than than some of the overly shallow, b**chy contestants they got last year.

  • It's too soon to have any favorite teams, but I just hope they keep this a genuine social experiment as they have in the past. I sometimes get emotionally invested in the players the way some people do in sports teams. I'm often impressed and even a little envious as to how much some contestants improve. I hope this season is even more enjoyable than the past ones.

No comments: