Is 40 the new 20?   

Confession time. I am not generally opposed to reality shows but if there are any that I dismiss out of hand it’s the dating ones. Especially if the premise has the show ending witih a marriage propopsal. It’s all way too fake for me. Kinda like dating online (don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making a connection online but the actual dating has to take place offline), there’s no way I’ll realistically believe two people have gotten to know each well enough to know that they love each other from this kind of dating show set up.

So, I can hear you asking, why am I making a special post about the premiere of Age of Love? Well, because it’s fucking hilarious. I’m not going to lie. I had no plans to watch. NBC sent me a press release and promo for it and I was just going to make sure people knew it was starting tonight and that was pretty much it. Then I watched the promo and it was good. Like, really… surprisingly good. I couldn’t quite believe it but I was impressed enough to let you guys know that I planned to watch the first episode and why. (The fact that I completely forgot to post that even though I did have it typed up is besides the point.)

Then last week NBC sent me a screener of the first episode and I gotta tell ya… my mother and I were glued to the TV the whole time and I’ll be tuning in to see what happens in the second episode for sure.

Before I get I try to capture what I liked about the show, let me sum it up for you. Age of Love is a dating reality series in which Mark Philippoussis (Australian tennis star, 30) searches for his true love. The twist to this dating show, though, is that Mark’s not just choosing between young hot wannabe starlets (sorry for the overgeneralization but, I’ve yet to see the girls on dating shows be anything but). No, no, he’s also got a good selection of successful older women as well. Plus, the show is hosted by Mark Conseuelos who some of you might know from All My Children but these days are more likely to know him as “Kelly Ripa’s husband.”

Ok, so you get the idea. The twist is actually pretty interesting on its own. I don’t know how long its uniqueness will last since, at some point, there won’t be enough women left for the age thing to really make a different anymore. However, the show is only 8 episodes long so perhaps they kept short enough to keep it interesting throughout.

I’m not going to lie. I did roll my eyes whenever any of the women would start talking about hoping this is their chance for happiness or wanting to find someone to be with, etc., etc. The show hasn’t changed my opinion of dating shows that much! However, the show itself is pretty hilariously set up. Just the intros to the what’s taking place at first made me laugh. They are like a crazy combination of camp and cheesiness and hilarity. At first, Mark is only introduced to the older women and, from what I can tell, even the women don’t realize there will be more women added into the mix. I have to tell you, the expressions on Mark’s face when he realizes that all of the women he’s meeting are over 40 make this first episode well worth the price of admission.

Of course, there are other things that made the show different from other dating shows I’ve checked out. Like the fact that older women really do have different priorities and it was kind of refreshing to hear their reactions the first time they are shown an intro to Mark. It’s the first time I felt we were seeing “real” reactions on a dating show. The only bad thing was that we didn’t get to see the 20 year olds’ reactions to the Mark intro video so I’ll never know if they all had the same reaction or not. I don’t love the way they seem to be hyping up the 20 year olds’ competition talk about how older women aren’t as good as younger women but I guess that is the point of the show so I can’t expect them NOT to make that a focus

In conclusion, I won’t blame you if you are like me and refuse to check out a reality dating show on principle alone. However, if you want a good laugh and like it when reality shows find a way to mix things up, then you owe it to yourself to at least check out tonight’s premiere episode of Age of Love on NBC at 9/8c. The worst that can happen is that you’ll think I’m crazy (although you have to stick it out up to and through the intros between Mark and the first group of women… trust me, you’re going to enjoy that part if nothing else) but maybe you’ll like it enough to stick around another week!

5 Responses to “Is 40 the new 20?”

  1. 1
    invadersteven says:

    I won’t watch it.

    But I did find the “The Cougars vs. the Kittens” ad to be hilarious.

  2. 2
    raelee says:

    Haha. Yeah, that’s the promo – only I saw an extended version of it – that convinced me to give at least the first episode a chance. Unlike other reality show *cough*Pirate Master*cough* promos that don’t didn’t end up being anything like their promo, I have to say that Age of Love actually matches its promo (so far, at least).

  3. 3
    upanashad says:

    I might watch it! I don’t like dating shows, either, but it sounds funny.

  4. 4
    eolivet says:

    Dating reality shows don’t offend me at all, but for some reason, I find the concept of this really offensive. Like…who cares how old or young someone is if it’s love, y’know? I’m not so naive to think this type of judging or age-stereotyping doesn’t go on in other dating shows and even RL, but they don’t like…call it out. :/ Or generally play it for laughs.

    I think the thing that bothers me the most is that, because they’re making the age such a giant deal, if the guy picks a 20something, it will be played like “ooh, he likes the young ones.” If he picks a 40something, it will be played like “ooh, he likes the older ones.” It’s a woman being reduced to a number, and making it her dominant trait — independent of her personality, etc.

    I guess to me, it’s kind of a slippery slope from here to “Religion of Love” or “Race of Love” — both of which people would absolutely flip out if those kind of shows ever aired. But because it’s age…that’s somehow OK.

    I hope you know I’m not judging you for liking the show, I’m just judging the show. I’m usually pretty hard to offend, but something about this really bothers me. :x

  5. 5
    raelee says:

    Oh, no, I udnerstand. I get why the concept would offend you but I guess it’s such a part of my life that it doesn’t really bug me (my best friend is 10 years older than me and my other friends are from such a diverse age range that the age thing comes up as a discussion all the time).

    I will say that the way it’s played for laughs is not quite as bad as you’d imagine it would be from the commercials. Honestly. Maybe it will be once we see the older women react to the young women (at this point they don’t know about them) but, really, Mark was a class act about it all. Yes, it was funny to watch his intial reaction but even then it was only funny because we got intercuts with him actually telling you what he was thinking. As one of the women put it, “He seemed sweetly stunned.”

    I don’t agree about the slippery slope, though. I don’t find age comparable to race or religion. Maybe religion but I don’t think it’d ever play a part in a TV show because people who truly separate themselves becaose of their religion would never agree to be on a dating show for that very reason. But, I don’t think it’s fair to compare race and age. To me, age is a legit factor in the dating game and it has nothing to do with a woman being reduced to a number anymore than it has to do with a man being reduced to the same. It has to do with the type of things you want at certain ages and how your outlook on love and life changes with age (and, therefore, experience). That’s actually what I kinda liked about it… so far. We’ll see if I still like it when I have to sit through the younger women’s dates with him. But I was amused that instead of the regular dating answers you’d get on these type of shows you had a woman saying she’d been married… twice.

    I guess, ultimately, I felt like it ended up being more of a… here’s the reality of dating vs the fantasy of dating. The reality is that everyone comes with baggage and wants different things. The fantasy is that you’ll get a girl who’ll be beautiful, willing to mold herself to you, and history free. YEAH.

    I will say this, though, the real issue I have with their “experiment” is that it’s set up in such a way that he’s surely going to pick a younger woman or one of the younger older women. If only because most of the 20 year olds are younger than him but I think only one is 9 years younger. Whereas all of the older women are 9 or more years older than him. To me it’s not old vs young. It’s the actual numbers of years in between. Those make a big difference in the things you want in life and that’s what can make and break a relationship. Even the older women said it… Mark is 30. He’s looking to settle down and have kids but most of those women are past that stage of their lives. It doesn’t mean they won’t change their mind about it but it’s a rather fundamental difference in what they’re looking for and what he’s looking for.

    Hmmm… haha, I so got off track from what you were saying. The point was, I do understand but I mostly don’t get offended for people on reality shows because I feel like they’re all there for fame anyway. It’s why I don’t generally care for dating shows at all because at least the other reality shows don’t pretend to be about love when they’re really about money and fame. And I will lose interest in this show once it gets to that stage (and it will based on the slant of the previews seem to take for later in the show) but, for now, I’m enjoying seeing the difference in how younger women act to how the older women act… and maybe it doesn’t offend me because I feel like the older women are actually more representative of how “real” women act.