One rebranding later, and Utah valley’s most awkward show is ready to get back to business. On the surface this should have been the most exciting episode yet, one contestant abandoned the show without notice, the show’s first kiss, and even zombies! In reality though I think this is easily the worst episode yet released.
The huge charm of reality shows is the reality part. We all know that most of what’s on these shows aren’t real, but in the moment of it all, it feels real. Provo’s Most Eligible doesn’t feel real in any way, shape, or form. Every moment feels wholely manufactured, and a huge part of this is the way they’ve edited this episode. The initial group date initially tries to convince us that the contestants are legitimately scared of the antics of their zombie-themed escape room, it’s over the top but on its own it’s fine. It’s believable that some people could be easily startled, but when you show them freaking flossing in the very next shot it makes it impossible to suspend one’s disbelief. All I was able to focus on was how fake everything felt. Soap operas are more believable than this BS.
I get why the show is doing this though. People initially responded to all the cringy/relatable things contestants did and they focused on showing as much of that as possible. By focusing so much of their time trying to find all the cringy moments though we’ve been left with little to no time to actually connect with contestants or learn about them. Seriously every time I write about this show I have to go look up what these peoples names are. It’s embarassing to still have to do that after 3 episodes.
Combine this bad editing/direction ruining immersion with the horrifically blatant and shameless shilling for sponsors. Seriously, in the escape room date it begins with them walking in and then the camera pans up to show the name of the place and it holds that shot way too long. Then we actually get a speech from an employee of the escape room basically telling us why their escape room is so great. It’s just an ad, it had nothing to do with the show. This is repeated for the solo date when they go slack-lining and then out to dinner to Zaos Asian Cafe, all three of these activities have extended shots on signage or logos of the apparent sponsors. You want to know a better and more organic way to include a sponsor plug, have your host welcome the contestants to the place of business, have the contestants give meaningful reviews of their time there. I hope none of these people making the show are interested in marketing or advertising, because they suck at it.
The pinnacle of these terrible decisions by the creators has to be the fact that they had a contestant suddenly stop coming to the events and no joke there isn’t any closure on that. They have Colin talk about how disappointed and worried he is for 2 minutes and then they just never come back to it. Any reality show worth its salt would dump 15-20 minutes on that, it’s an inherently dramatic moment. Is she in danger? Does she hate Colin now? Was there a family emergency? Did one of the girls threaten her? What happened to Meghan?
We should have Colin talk about how concerned he is, then cut to a couple of contestants that want to throw shade at her, a couple more that are worried about her and at least one who is totally indifferent. From there actually make use of the host as he is constantly trying to get in contact with her, Colin placing a single phone call isn’t nearly enough. People need to investigate this and we as the audience need to see them investigate! SHOW DON’T TELL! After some investigation, they decide as a group to reluctantly continue, then after the closing credits, we cut back to Colin or Remington and they tell us what happened to Meghan after the fact.
For those unaware apparently she got engaged between episodes, which is like the most Provo thing ever, but the fact that I had to have a friend tell me that is beyond stupid. Shame on you show, I shouldn’t have to go do research just to find out why a girl just up and left your show.
Let’s actually talk about the episode and what happened though, I could ramble about the terrible production decisions forever, but people want hot takes about the contestants. After the “Definitely not a rose ceremony” that barely even made an effort to change anything (If I was Warner Bros I’d still copyright strike that ish) were left with Wholesome Kate, Old Maid McKenna, Kissless Elena, Diversity Hire Annalee, and Saliva-Swapping Annali. I’m pretty sure those names give a clear indication who I like and who I couldn’t care less about. If I had to guess I would say that Annali and McKenna are the two front-runners to win Colin’s heart. I’m still rooting for Kate though, even though she’s too kind-hearted for reality TV. Annalee reeks of “influencer” culture which part of me simply despises, and I’m still unconvinced that Elena isn’t entirely carried by her accent.
I’m being pretty mean right now, but hot takes are gonna get a little mean and the show gives me so little to actually like anymore I’m stuck just being a hater. What can you do? I committed myself to write about this show so I have to keep watching, but I acknowledge that I’m doing it pretty reluctantly now. I’ll do my best to keep an open mind and if the show gets its crap together I’ll get back on the hype train. Later