The basic concept of “Playing It Straight”
isn’t a new one: One girl dates several guys in hopes of
finding the man of her dreams. “The Bachelorette” and
“Average Joe” have both followed this simple formula
and have found moderate success. Unfortunately, the FOX network
took that idea and added its usual ridiculous twist. The end result
is a program that serves no worthwhile purpose on television except
to embarrass and discourage any viewers who watch it.
A small-town girl named Jackie arrives at the Sizzling Saddles
ranch in Nevada with the belief that she is on a dating show that
will have her going out with 14 studmuffins. She soon finds out
that some of the guys are not revealing their true personalities
and some, in fact, are gay. Not only that, if she selects a gay guy
at the end of the show, he gets a million dollars. If she selects a
straight guy, however, the two will split the million.
True love immediately takes a backseat to playing a guessing
game about the sexuality of the guys. Jackie, once again proving
that shallow people will do anything for money, forgoes her chance
at meeting her Prince Charming, trying instead to select a straight
man and collect her fat paycheck.
The male contestants are not much better. In addition to some of
them concealing their true selves, each one is determined to
project an extremely macho image in hopes that Jackie will select
him. This becomes clear early as, upon meeting Jackie for the first
time, the guys gather in the living room and immediately begin
discussing the size of her chest. Every move the guys make is
scrutinized, whether it is owning a hairdryer or being forced to
stay in the pink-colored bedroom. In one of the more awkward
moments, two of them flip a coin to decide who will sleep in a
queen-sized bed, as sleeping in the same bed together would
no-doubt ruin their machismo.
In a long, drawn-out process at the end of the first episode,
Jackie chooses two contestants whom she believes are gay. The
eliminated guy reveals his orientation, and everybody gets to see
if Jackie’s “gaydar” — a term used
extensively in the show — is indeed correct.
Whether it’s the awful country-western theme song or the
look on Jackie’s face after she makes a wrong guess,
“Playing It Straight” has nothing of value.
There’s only one thing to say to Jackie and the immature
boy-toys who are playing this pointless guessing game: Grow up.
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars.