I love reality television. Don't get me wrong—I don't watch the garbage—but my quality of life has somehow improved just by knowing that producers will shovel out one IQ-draining idea after another. The most recent evidence of this is ABC's Dating in the Dark, in which desperate contestants met their possible one-and-onlys in a pitch black room. Then, if everything went right, they won the ultimate prize: A lifetime (or at least fifteen-minute) supply of each other!
Now ABC has done it again. The network has ordered Conveyor Belt of Love, says The Hollywood Reporter, and it is exactly what it sounds like (I do love the frankness of reality show titles). Five women in search of hot studs serve as a panel and keep their soulless eyes glued to a conveyor belt—a real-live conveyor belt, for God's sake—that serves up 30 men who each get 60 seconds to make an impression. If a woman likes what she sees, she pulls him aside as more men are assembly-lined out. The women can exchange men as often as they like by keeping one man pulled aside, but once they get rid of a guy, they can't get him back. It's basically a White Elephant gift exchange using people with low self esteem instead of presents.
I present video proof:
As great as the show sounds on its own, here are a few ways that ABC could make it even better.
1. Add Super Mario Bros.-style obstacles to the conveyor belt
It's ingrained in our nature to select the fittest, most well adapted partner to produce spawn that share those survival traits, so why not put the men in peril? And what is a conveyor belt without the threat of molten lava, spinning fireball rods, and hammer-throwing turtles? If he can survive a one-on-one with a giant dragon-turtle, he's a keeper. We are trying to find true love here, right?
2. Have an auctioneer handle the intros
These guys are basically cattle, so let's treat 'em like it. Get an old man in coveralls who can speak five-miles-a-minute to get the trivial stuff like hometown, occupation, and sibling count out of the way. As a bonus, he can also check the guys' teeth to see if they're lying about their age. That's a good horsey!
From the sound of it, the men who get rejected simply stay on the conveyor belt in the modern equivalent of the old-timey hooked cane yanking 'em off stage. These dudes are getting dumped. Let's demean them some more. And nothing says demeaning like a good old fashioned trapdoor. Whoosh! Later, loser! (Catapults would also be acceptable.)
4. Create a binding marriage contract
Disney/ABC has the best lawyers in the world (isn't that right, Miley?) so how about this: If the date goes well, craft up some binding contract that forces the reality-TV coupling to go the distance. I'm talking a ten-year marriage full of misery, infidelity, and disappointment. If these people want to go on television to find true love, force it on them. And make another reality show about it.
5. Cancel this now
Seriously ABC, do us all a favor and just throw this in the crapper now. While we like to laugh about the ridiculous idea of it, we don't actually want to see this on the air.
Conveyor Belt of Love airs Monday, January 4 at 10 pm on ABC.