Network reality television has a new bottom feeder, and its name is Conveyor Belt of Love. Never before has television sunk to such depths in the name of "entertainment," regurgitating up a Dating Game knock off on a change-in-the-couch-cushions budget.
And I watched every minute of it. My thumb was on the remote, just itching to change the channel to something slightly more intellectually stimulating, perhaps a Jay Leno monologue, but it never happened.
Here's the premise: Five women form a panel in front of which men are trotted out, one at a time, on a conveyor belt. I repeat: a conveyor belt! Each gal holds up a sign that indicates whether or not she's interested in the dude, and if multiple ladies show interest, the man chooses between them. As more men are shoveled out, the women can "upgrade" their picks. One the entire herd of men has passed, the ladies go out on a date with their chosen ones, and surprise! Things don't always go as planned.
The show looks like it's filmed in someone's garage and doesn't care about dazzling intros, B-roll, or lavish set pieces. There isn't even a host! It's five chairs and a conveyor belt. And loads of attention-starved wannabe actors.
What makes the show work (at least for one viewing) is its complete lack of dignity. It's even more shameless than ABC's other low point, Dating in the Dark. There's no illusion of true love or finding "the one" (which its lead-in The Bachelor, has in spades). Conveyor Belt of Love is just a meat market. A meat market filled with maggot-infested carrion.
Take the star of the show from last night, for example. Keiko, a 23-year-old petite Asian woman, is the type of person you try and avoid in real life, but love to watch on TV. All she cares about is getting down; brains need not apply. She chose her mate because he came out in a Speedo and was carrying a tiny mutt. Her reasoning for snagging him while the other gals gagged? She loves hot men and she loves her own dog. Someone needs to get this girl her own show.
By no means take this article as a ringing endorsement. Conveyor Belt of Love is absolutely horrible. But that's exactly why should watch. If you like watching the trainwrecks on American Idol, Conveyor Belt of Love is right up your alley.
It's unclear whether Conveyor Belt of Love will be back (it aired as a "special"), but given its decent ratings last night, ABC is surely combing the streets for more attention whores. But as for me, I think I've seen enough.