Feb. 21, 2000

All that Glitters...

Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing after all.

The "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?" show, that is.

The one where fifty women paraded around in a beauty-pageant-like contest where the prize turned out to be not such a prize.

I watched it. I'm not quite sure why, but once it started I was hooked. I didn't know how the host (Jay Thomas, looked familiar from some sitcom or other) kept a straight face. I didn't know how the women were able to retain a shred of self-respect. It's been argued that it wasn't exploitation, since the fifty women chose to be there, but if these particular women were not exploited, womanhood in general and the institution of marriage certainly were. I also wondered how a man, particularly a "self-made multimillionaire" (can't he get his own dates??) would agree to marry a woman who would do this, no matter how great she looked in a bathing suit or how many questions she answered to his mother's liking. (As for the mother, there isn't enough valium in the world to get me to do that for either of my sons!)

In the days since the show aired, compelling little factlets have emerged. First, the women all had to sign a pre-nuptual agreement (not surprising but it should have been mentioned on the air - I guess prenups aren't part of the fantasy;) AND an agreement to annul if "it didn't work out". Annul, not divorce. No muss, no fuss.

Then, it turns out that the groom spent more of his time pursuing fame than developing real estate. He's a stand-up comedian and self-proclaimed "motivational speaker". He's tried to get into the Guinness Book of Records by telling jokes for 30 hours straight, and has ridden from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on a bicycle to promote a comedy club. There were also questions about the "multi" suffix.. he has two million in assets if he's lucky, so they say. Not exactly Bill Gates. For a man over 40 who (presumably) has had no wife or children to support, accumulating two million isn't a near-impossible feat. Neither is losing it quickly.

The piece de resistance, though, is the restraining order and the accusations by an ex-girlfriend that the groom hit and threatened to kill her.

I'm not implying the accusations are true. They do exist and are documented.. we can all see them here. Somehow they managed to elude the show's producers, which is quite an embarrassment for Fox. A threatening cloud of potential violence is certainly never part of happily-ever-after.

And it may not be over. Who knows what might surface tomorrow. It's already enough to take the stars out of the eyes of the most romantically gullible viewer and for that I'm relieved. If anyone was misguided enough to take that show seriously, they should have learned by now that if it looks too good to be true, it most often is.

Linque Du Jour: Famous Birthdays

Look up celebrity birthdays, check who was born any particular day, greeting cards, a quiz, coupons, listings organized by name, date, or year, and of course links.

I learned here that Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, and Mick Fleetwood were all born in the space of less than a week in June, 1942. I don't know what that means but, coincidence? I don't think so!

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