Review: ‘My Antonio’

Sabato's acting has improved since his days on "General Hospital."

If reality TV has taught us anything, it’s that where hunky men go, desperate and cosmetically enhanced women will follow. Such is the case with VH1’s amusing and somewhat addicting “My Antonio,” wherein former soap star Antonio Sabato Jr. decides that the best way to find a lifelong mate is to have them jostle over him in Hawaii. Sabato tries to maintain a semblance of sincerity throughout the process, and it’s clear, at the very least, his acting has improved since his days on “General Hospital.”

Sabato, unlike his VH1 colleagues Bret Michaels and Flavor Flav, doesn’t give off an aura of being involved just for publicity’s sake. It’s possible he believes this is inspired matchmaking and the woman of his dreams will fight her way through the 12 others femmes to be with him.

That won’t necessarily make couch potatoes put down the remote, however. It’s hard to care much about an unemployed 29-year-old prospective dreamgirl who, when asked by Sabato what she’s done in the past to support herself, answers, “Stuff.”

Being part of a close-knit Italian family, Sabato invites his mother to the islands in order to get her thoughts on who’s a worthy match — or more specifically, who’s not good enough — for her son. It’s at this point that things begin to veer toward NBC’s “Momma’s Boys,” and that’s not necessarily such a bad thing: The Sabato matriarch clearly doesn’t worry about hurting the feelings of the trash that has washed up on Hawaii’s pristine beaches.Staying focused on his romantic mission, Sabato declares, “This is really important to me and not a game.”

Maybe so, but like “The Bachelor,” a man whose sense of intimacy includes two cameras and a boom mike might suggest otherwise.

My Antonio

Series; VH1, Sun. Aug. 16, 10 p.m.


Taped in Hawaii by VH1 Prods. and Ish Entertainment. Executive producers, Michael Hirschorn, Stella Bulochnikov Stolper, Chris Choun, Michael Bloom; supervising producer, Scott Shatsky; producers, Tracy Steinsapir, Stewart Strunk; co-exec producers, Antonio Sabato Jr., Jacquie Dincauze; director, Peter Ney; camera, Keith Duggan; editors, Buzz Chatman, Tato Maizza, Dan Morita. 60 MIN.

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