Combining elements of “The Bachelor,” “Biggest Loser” and daytime talkshows, “How to Get a Guy” plops four hopeful young women into San Francisco with two love doctors and a laundry list of ways to meet men.
It’s self-help pushed to an isolated extreme, with the premiere episode focused on picking up guys and getting them to talk to you. Having four women with sufficiently distinct personalities and a pleasant tone should help the show secure some viewership, but it really belongs on a specialized femme-oriented cable net.
The four women have been too focused on other aspects of their lives to secure and maintain a regular relationship, and now they’re trying to land an unsuspecting guy willing to have his romantic foibles broadcast.
Two of them are lawyers, one’s a massage therapist who won’t step outside veganland. Their teacher-therapists are J.D. and Teresa, and they send the women to bookstores, street corners, a sporting goods store and parties with tips on how to hook a hunk.
There’s a lot of hesitancy and flailing around, and one supposes the thrill will be in watching these women come out of their shells and blossom romantically. The concept doesn’t have the visceral appeal of watching people lose weight or lay their hearts on the line to secure love; this is relationship kindergarten, and if all parties are lucky, the contestants will be entering high school by the time the show finishes.
The two coaches give the women rules they are either uncomfortable with or else ignore. Vegan Ann struggles with eye contact and discusses subjects she has been told are taboo on a first date — it’s a Cosmopolitan article coming to life. Trial lawyer Michelle seems the most reluctant to enter the dating world, and should she triumph, her catharsis could greatly enhance the show.
Glamour shots are easy to come by in the Bay Area, and “Guy” is loaded with them, almost to the point of distraction. Producers do a decent job of keeping the action moving among the four women, going from group situations to one-on-ones.
Coming from the creators of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” show has a benevolent heart — nobody will want to see these romantic hopefuls fail.