The Box is Hot

· Oct 15, 2001 Tweet

Welcome back, gentle reader, to another edition of The Box is Hot.

As some of you may know, I graduated last spring. Obviously, by now I’ve become gainfully employed, have made millions, and I light my Cubans with Benjamins, so I won’t bore you with the details of my rocket-ride to the top. Instead, take my hand, and let’s see what’s burning on the Box this fall.

In between circulating petitions for a Guns’N’Roses “Behind the Music” and chasing down the address of the Real World 11 house in Chicago, I’ve found a few precious moments to rot my ever-diminishing college intellect in front of the Box. Despite season premieres being pushed back nearly as frequently as a Wu-Tang release, I’ve managed to find a few general-broadcast gemstones to get my shine on.

Supposedly, the new college dramedy “Undeclared” has had huge success. This is what I hear anyway; as I haven’t bothered to watch more than 15 minutes of it. After seeing what I saw for four years in Madison, college life is a subject that is trivialized by squishing it into half-hour chunks.

At the very least, it deserves something along the lines of PBS’s 10-hour series “The Civil War” or “Baseball”, except with a name like “If Doing Keg Stands On Fahrenbrook Street is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Do Keg Stands On Fahrenbrook Street: A UW-Madison Story.”

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a reason to keep yourself out of the Pub on Wednesday nights, one needs look no further than Fox’s 8:30 p.m. time slot, where we find the swaggering return of that perverse prodigal son “The Family Guy.”

Finally, it has apparently cleared all the hurdles that stood between it and making weekly jokes about the Fonz’s venereal diseases, and it is slated to return this winter. All praises be to Rupert Murdoch.

But the show that’s really got me this fall is definitely “Love Cruise.” I’m pretty sure they had to call up the geniuses behind “World’s Most Dangerous Police Chases” to cook up this one. Maybe that white-haired ex-cop guy narrates.

“Love Cruise” is basically like “Survivor” combined with “Temptation Island,” if you threw in all the worst elements and, oh wait, they’re all bad elements. Yeah, when television historians look back at the era of reality TV, “Love Cruise” will most likely mark the time when Fox began harvesting the splinters at the bottom of the barrel.

It goes like this: Take eight single men and eight single women that are easy on the eyes, put them together on a boat, force them to “pair up” (read: sleep in same bed) for 48 hours at a time, and then vote one man and one woman off. Add gossip, drama and an ample supply of liquor. . . why, you’ve got yourself reality TV at its best.

(Note: Due to a scheduling conflict with a semester in Hong Kong, Herald Sports Dynamo Johnny Daly was unable to appear on “Love Cruise.” Rumor has it, however, that he is in negotiations to host the upcoming “Temptation Island 2.”)

It’s really pointless to try and explain the hilarious chaos that has transpired so far without employing elaborate charts and a color-coded list of names to keep the cast straight. Basically, “Love Cruise” has more lye than the soapiest opera, and to get an idea of the volatility of the Love Cruisers, imagine this: Take all the most cantankerous members of the Real World in one of the Road Rules buses, tell them they’re competing for $200,000, and crash it into the nearest Caribbean island.

So far we have been treated to scenes of couples breaking up due to malicious gossip, angry exchanges approaching blows by both the males and females, one girl making out with two different guys in the space of half an hour, one woman whose eyes nearly pop out of her head when she’s angry, and outright attempts at bribery. Oh, it’s hot.

And if the stakes weren’t high enough, those voted off the ship are sentenced to await the game’s conclusion on the shameful Loser Island (formerly known as Aruba). It’s this kind of subtlety that makes “Love Cruise” so addictive.

In Tuesday night’s explosive finale, the two remaining couples will compete against one another (as well as an additional couple that will return from Loser Island) for the grand prize of $200,000 and a trip to Europe.

Like “Survivor”, the winners will be decided by a vote of the dismissed cast members, making the already-super-dense plot that much thicker. The Box is Hot’s forecast for Monday night on the Love Cruise is 100% chances of backstabbing and treachery, with scattered accusations of bribery and a 0% chance of love.

As cast member Anthony said on last Tuesday’s episode, “Sometimes you have to turn to reality to get away from the insanity of the world.” Well, if “Love Cruise” is what we are turning toward to get away from the world, I seriously don’t want to know what’s going on in the world today.

Oh, wait, that’s right.


This article was published Oct 15, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Oct 15, 2001 at 12:00 am


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