Fake dating reality show

VH1's "Dating Naked," which began last night, paradoxically gains little from its conceit -- that contestants must choose one of three suitors while they're all in the altogether. Mention is made, early on, to everyone's vague discomfort with the situation (no one knows where to look!

), but the show takes weirdly little advantage of the fact that it could potentially strip away the rhetoric and pretension around dating shows.

Perhaps because the contestants are so sheepish about being nude and so unwilling to discuss how, exactly, being nude affects their fledgling relationships with one another.

I'd be incredibly self-conscious and would dodge the subject, too, but that's why I didn't audition for, get cast on, and take time off work to appear on, a show called "Dating Naked."Admirably, though, the show's cast looks by and large "normal" in the manner that people at any beach would; they're not fitness models. There's at once a prurience to seeing, immediately, what all sorts of people look like physically, and a sort of smug satisfaction at episode's end when you realize you had By contrast, TLC's "Buying Naked," which focuses on naturists looking for homes that meet their specifications -- that is, looking for real estate while naked -- makes being nude seem like the weirdest thing in the world.

It turns out the naked genre of reality TV is the least like reality yet.

It's just that when people are standing in the middle of a potential rental property naked, all of their casual requests seem inherently ludicrous.

Much like "Dating Naked," a "Buying Naked" without the nakedness would be almost unwatchable, a poorly executed version of "House Hunters."But nudity changes everything, of course.

That's the point of "Naked and Afraid," the Discovery show that made a huge splash when it debuted last summer.

One of the insiders said the pilot description has “overtones of a live sex show.” VH1, the first to bring the concept to fruition in the United States, premieres “Dating Naked” on July 17.

In contrast to Fox’s version, it places its contestants in exotic locales where they meet others of the opposite sex in the nude and then decide which one they’d like to continue seeing.

And the reality chief’s large-scale rollout of “Utopia” has been plagued by more internal fighting and doubts as to whether it is worth its million price tag. The show was not presented at the upfront advertiser presentation in May, and it has not been given a premiere date. Also read: 5 TCA Mysteries: Who Will Run Fox, and Star in ‘True Detective’?

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