TV Review: ‘Ready for Love’

TV Review: 'Ready Love'

Ah, the good ol’ days of reality shows, when networks were content to just knock off one existing hit. Today, the trend seems to be toward Frankenstein-like mash-ups, which explains NBC’s “Ready for Love,” an ungainly mixture of “The Bachelor” and any number of Bravo shows, with gameshow-style studio-audience elements of “The Dating Game” and relationship “mentoring” a la “Dr. Phil” thrown in for good measure. NBC launched “Ready for Love” on Tuesday with a bloated two-hour premiere. And while the soapy, dating-coach aspects could certainly tap into fans of the genre (particularly for the snark factor), one suspects many gawkers lured in via “The Voice” lead-in were ready for bed well before the show ended.

Although the program (produced by Eva Longoria, who provided an extended “We’ll show you the entire season in four minutes” introduction before disappearing) will focus on three bachelors who appear to need absolutely no help getting laid, the opener focused exclusively on Tim Lopez, the guitarist of Plain White T’s. As in “Hey There Delilah,” can’t you just go out and pick up groupies like a normal rock star?

But no, the divorced Tim is ready for you-know-what, and thus free to pick from among a dozen women assembled by a trio of matchmakers. Told by host Giuliana Rancic he would have to quickly jettison the first batch without the benefit of seeing them, Tim responded, “I’m not superficial,” which given the context might be the funniest thing said on NBC since “Frasier” signed off. (On the plus side, it was hard not to hum his band’s catchy “Rhythm of Love,” so Tim might wind up scoring in more ways than one.)

Add to the twists the fact Tim knew and had a complicated history with one of the women, which seems like a silly wrinkle, there strictly to tilt the playing field and heighten the drama. The commercial breaks, too, were almost comically exaggerated, as in, “The person I choose is” — click.

Frankly, NBC would have done the producers a favor by launching the show at an hour, instead of asking them to vamp through such a protracted winnowing process. “Over-produced” is seldom an insult in this genre, but “Get on with it, for crissakes” is. (Update: Ratings did show people tuning out as the show wore on.)

Other aspects of “Ready for Love” were equally puzzling. Bill Rancic, for instance, went unseen for long stretches, making one wonder why his wife needed him along for the ride as co-host. And it feels like something of a gamble to start over entirely next week with the other bachelors who don’t have chart-topping singles to go with their well-chiseled abs.

In hindsight, the night’s most clever moment actually might have belonged to Investigation Discovery, which (on the NBC station I was watching, anyway) dropped in a promo for its cheeky reality show “Dates From Hell” — piggybacking on what will likely be a much bigger audience.

Then again, as the women who were sent home can testify, all’s fair in love and war — especially when it’s being waged in front of a hooting studio audience.

Ready for Love

(Series; NBC, Tue. April 9, 9 p.m.)

Hosts: Giuliana Rancic, Bill Rancic

Produced by Renegade 83, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and Universal Television. Executive producers, Jason Ehrlich, David Garfinkle, Greg Goldman, Eva Longoria, Jay Renfroe; co-executive producers, Susan House, Kevin Finn; supervising producers, Camilo Valdes, Stephen Hurley, Christine Grund; director, Alex  Rudzinski; production designer, Anton Goss; casting, Robyn Kass. 120 MIN.

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  1. james bond says:

    I just saw a bunch of Barbies and a ken alive. I felt disgusted that its ok for ‘Ken’ to kiss all the girls and the ‘Barbies’ to fight over this lucky dickhead .This show so lame , i cant believe its made possible and aired. Stupid script writer ,casts, director and producer. Made me a HATEr !

  2. Chris Tove says:

    This show was the WORST! Everyone…Eva, the hosts, the “matchmakers”, bachelors, bachelorrettes…were ALL FAKES who wanted cheap fame and more money for their books/careers! Good to know the masses aren’t that stupid to buy it! Shame on fame, attention hungry, wanna be glamorous but 4 ft. short plain faced Eva!
    Now…when will the Kardashian pukes go away?

  3. Freda Bauman says:

    Thank you for a well written review. “Ready for Love” is offensive on so many levels. And I won’t waste anyone’s time commenting on the details. NBC, please take this off the air ASAP!

  4. okay. new show:

    take three guys who want to date strippers – but need behavioral modification to avoid looking creepy. bring in three (currently working) pimps to teach them “the moves” (ex: how to slap a woman w/o leaving a mark. how to degrade her until she’ll have a menage a trois. etc.)

    call it: RACE TO THE BOTTOM.

    hey NBC! where’s my $5,000,000.00 bucks!

  5. Bill says:

    Absolutely dreadful. Should have known as soon as it became evident that the Rancics were involved. Asking a young woman about whether or not she had been “intimate” with someone is worse than embarrassing. It’s absolutely disgusting!

  6. AZ Viewer says:

    Awful show. I wanted it to be over long before it actually was. l won’t watch it again.

  7. steve says:

    Your review was so well written and so funny; I completely enjoyed it. And, I’M IN THE BIZ, which hugged my beatific smirk. Thank you.

  8. Cassandra Chamberlain says:

    Horrible show, the worst I’ve seen in a long time, and there’s plenty of competition for stupid reality shows. The Bachelor times three? Women on the auction block? Sexist, putting women in boxes like Barbie Dolls? Really?? Too many plugs, too long, too stupid, too sexist, too ridiculous to not get cancelled.

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