The reality TV genre is at a juncture much like patients waiting
for a blood transfusion. Gone are the days when every new reality
show was strikingly original, the characters were interesting and
the themes were conservative. Less concerned with originality,
FOX’s latest effort, “Forever Eden,” instead
tries to put a new twist on an old thing.

The twists in “Eden” are interesting, if miniscule.
The once-stagnant banishment ceremonies, such as the tribal
councils in “Survivor,” have been livened with a
required revealing of the vote and an accompanying explanation,
which can make for some uncomfortable scenes. The entire premise of
“Eden” is rather unique — the contestants have to
live on an island, avoiding banishment, though there is no time
limit to their stay in paradise; so the show could last forever.
Unfortunately, it would be an eternity lacking any kind of subtlety
(for example, “Eden’s” large-chested,
British–accented hostess named, obviously, Ruth England.)

Also interesting are the biblical references. As soon as one
member is banished, the others cast lots for the leftover room and
money. The first two episodes were entitled “Reap What You
Sow.” This coincides with the show’s first twist; those
choosing banishment of a contestant are also banished.

As in most every reality show, the wonderful glimpse of the true
human spirit is also on full display. When the men of
“Eden” select the least desirable girl for banishment,
she is allowed revenge — her choice of which man is to be
kicked off the island. To see the once–powerful men squirm
and grovel at the feet of the women is gruesome and wonderful.

Accordingly, the characters of “Eden” are as stale
as those in any reality show. For such an exciting premise, the
show drags on and the cast will soon grow old. Despite some
intriguing twists, this show brings nothing beneficial to the
reality genre.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

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