Monday, July 20, 2009

The Televisionist: "Dating in the Dark" and "Obsessed"

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 2:03 PM

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DATING IN THE DARK
9 p.m. Monday, July 20
ABC

God, when will you wipe away the scourge of Reality TV? Probably never, given that it's cheap to produce and can be a ratings bonanza when it works. In exchange for an hour of their lives, couch potatoes get a glimpse into someone else's existence, usually while the person trapped in the idiot box is poked, prodded, threatened, cajoled and bribed into making a complete fool of him or herself. That said, since “Survivor” hit it big a decade ago, there seems to have been every permutation of the Reality genre, everything from fat people dancing to heroin addicts. Now comes a worthy candidate for the Harbinger of Armageddon Reality TV crown: “Dating in the Dark.” Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like: three men and three women move into a house, then they meet, date and pick their mate in total darkness. It's supposedly an experiment to see whether or not love is truly blind, but the whole concept sounds fairly dumb. Our prediction: Expect hours upon hours of toe stubbing and accidental eyeball pokes, all filmed like Paris Hilton's sex tape.  

 
OBSESSED
9 p.m. Monday, July 20
A&E

I've got a friend who has mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I can tell you from experience that it's an incredibly frustrating disease. Basically, OCD is a panic disorder, in which a person's mind irrationally convinces him that he's in danger at all times. From food. From dirt. From what might be lurking outside their house. Depending on the severity of the disease, OCD can literally make a person unable to function. Some OCD sufferers, for instance, check the locks on their front door hundreds of times a day, or scrub their hands raw for fear of germs on their skin. Luckily, with medication and psychiatric treatment, many OCD sufferers can lead productive lives. Every week, this show from A&E follows an OCD sufferer as he or she seeks treatment. While “Obsessed” has a bit of a “freak show” quality to it (most medical-themed reality TV does), it's still inspiring to see people making strides to overcome their psychological demons. This week, the show follows Marie, a woman obsessed with the idea that her refrigerator is going to fall through the floor of her apartment, causing the building to collapse on her and her family.

David Koon
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