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Joe Millionaire(31 posts)

Joe MillionaireFunston
Jan 7, 2003 7:38 AM
What a fun TV show! For those who don't know what it's about, the show's producers found a hunky looking, beer swilling 28 year old construction worker who makes $19K per year, and set him up in a French chateau posing as a single guy who inherited $50 million a couple of years ago. The butler, who is actually the point man for the show, spent time educating the guy in advance on such subjects as etiquette, wine and foods, ballroom dancing, riding horses.

Then the producers rounded up 20 American babes and sent them together over to the chateau to compete with each other for the guy's..... whatever. The gag is that none of the girls know the truth about the guy, all thinking the guy is filthy rich.

As it appears to be an elimination contest (eight of the 20 were kicked out of the chateau last night) it has a lot of potential for things to get real catty.

I love to watch women get catty, so it's gonna be a real laugh when the truth is finally revealed at the end.
Some issues with the show,TJeanloz
Jan 7, 2003 8:02 AM
I watched, after much anticipation, the first episode last night, and a few observations:

1. $50 million is not enough to live the lifestyle he's living. To reasonably preserve capital, he couldn't really get away with spending more than ~$4MM a year (and that would be aggressive). $4 million doesn't buy you a lot of jets. I assume they picked this number because one can inherit $50 million relatively anonymously in the US- more than that, and the "fortune" would become relatively traceable, and the story would have to get more complicated.

2. I didn't understand the point of the etiquette training. The ladies were informed that the guy had been a regular "Joe" prior to his inheretance, and had come upon the money unexpectedly from a simple background. Why then, would there be an expectation that he would be schooled in the ways of the wealthy? Wouldn't he just be a Bill Gates or Warren Buffett type (both have famously simple tastes)- why would he know how to waltz? That part of the story didn't seem to compute.

3. How did nobody make a wisecrack that the butler shares a name with Crocodile Dundee? Not even a comment?

Thankfully, the ladies are too stupid to realize any of this, making the show moderately entertaining.
I take issue with your insulting womenFunston
Jan 7, 2003 8:35 AM
Sorry TJ, but my topic title was a shameless marketing ploy designed to boost thread readership :-)

1. Don't get paralysis from too much analysis with the show. You really think those women are going to be calculating the cost of running the chateau on an annual basis, much less estimating how long $50 million is going to last? Don't be ridiculous.

2. Hey, the guy was pulled off a bulldozer and put into a chateau. If you don't understand why a bit of etiquette training may be useful for his role, go rent the James Bond movie, "From Russia With Love" - the answer will be there.

3. No comment. I never saw the film, and I didn't pay attention when the butler's name was given... Paul Hogan it was?
Some issues with the show,53T
Jan 7, 2003 10:08 AM
I don't completly agree,

1) $4MM per anum after taxes is enought to get you a good lifestyle. I didn't see the episode, how many jets does he have? An annual lease on a Learjet 60 with 800 hours and full service is about 1.9 MM per year. That's a 100% share, 400 hours per year would be about 1.1 MM. That leaves plenty for operating expenses at the house, say a staff of 5 and a lot of food and cars. He would own the house, since that is an appreciating asset and wouldn't count as an expense.

2) You're absolutly right about the manners question. This guy is suposed to be a Joe sixpack. Of course, why would Joe sixpack be in France and not South Beach or La Jolla, or somewhere that people speak english.

3) These people have no idea who Crocadile Dundee is. How old do you think hot chicks are these days? (Hint: the first digit is a 1)
Other issues....Becky
Jan 7, 2003 8:21 AM
I didn't watch it last night due to my own issues with the whole concept. As much as I love to watch gold-digging, money-grubbers get what they deserve, I have issues with the concept of using precious ideals like love, trust and respect as entertainment. Has the entertainment industry stooped so low as to treat the sacred bond of lifelong love (and marriage) as nothing more than a cheap thrill for TV viewers? Shows like The Bachelor, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire, Temptation Island, and now Joe Millionaire seem to indicate that the answer is "yes".
On another note, do these girls have any idea that a TV network is bankrolling this charade? If so, that should be a blatant clue that someone is going to get burned....why set yourself up for that heartbreak and humiliation?

IMHO, of course.
Jan 7, 2003 8:46 AM
I don't watch any of this crap, but I've seen the commercials so many times I know what's going on. I have some of the same issues as you, but I don't feel too strongly about them. After all, I don't know of any actual marriages that resulted from any of these shows (the Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire one was annulled). What they are trivializing is the courtship process, but how can they trivialize that, since there is no modern day roadmap that leads couples to marriage. It's all just an updated The Dating Game.

With this show, I think FOX is hoping for two results here:

1. A really bitchy, screaming, cursing, crying, face-slapping denouement (hey, it's France, look it up!).

2. A really sweet, charming, crying finale where the girl somehow already figured out the guy wasn't a millionaire and doesn't care that the joke is supposedly on her. They live happily ever after.

Since it's FOX, what they really want is #1. But secretly, they won't be too upset with #2, because FOX has a heavily male demographic, and #2 appeals to the ladies.

I only caught a quick glimpse on the commercial, but the chateau they are in looks like Chenonceaux, which is one of the most popular chateaux in the Loire valley. If any of these women had ever been to France and ventured out of Paris, they might know that and figure something is amiss.
Other issues....Jon Billheimer
Jan 7, 2003 8:51 AM

I totally agree with you! The answer to your question, with respect to the girls, is that they are greedy, stupid, publicity seekers. Reality tv seems to appeal to the absolute lowest moral common denominator in all of us.
irony of "reality tv" termDougSloan
Jan 7, 2003 8:55 AM
What's funny is that none of these shows are about anything close to "reality". The closest is maybe the Osburns, but they aren't very close to most people's reality (I think ole Ozzie is nearly brain dead).

People with issuesKristin
Jan 7, 2003 9:21 AM
Unfortunately, our nation is getting sicker and sicker. There more than enough boundariless, screwed-up, emotional wrecks walking the streets of America to stock a million shows like Elimimate, Who Wants to Bonk a Millionaire, and Gross Factor. But really, they're just dressed-up, toned-down and drawn-out versions of The Jerry Springer Show.

The thing that angers me about these shows is that they take pleasure in, and makes sport, of emotionally damaged people by exploiting them for entertainment purposes. And the popularity of these shows is a commentary on our society. Its evidence that dysfunction is a big problem in the US and its getting worse.
Well said, Kristin! (nm)Becky
Jan 7, 2003 9:35 AM
our version of the Roman gladiators? nmDougSloan
Jan 7, 2003 9:38 AM
same old same oldmohair_chair
Jan 7, 2003 10:16 AM
The number of people who can truly claim to be happy with their lives and situation has always been a very small percentage of society. I cannot believe that this has changed much over time and that therefore our nation is getting sicker and sicker. We're already sick. Most of society is "screwed up" in some way and most of us are emotionally damaged in some way. Some obviously more than others, but most not so obviously.

The only thing that has changed is the rise of media in the late 20th century. Shows like Jerry Springer had to compete with "respectable" fare such as Donahue and Oprah, so they started seeking out messed up people for entertainment purposes. Supposedly everyone is disgusted by it, but clearly they are not, since the show had no shortage of guests or viewers for years.

Don't let the perception become the reality. I love the story about how the Soviet news service never printed bad news when the USSR was around, so most of the people were blissfully ignorant of it. When the USSR fell, the bad news started getting printed, and the people equated it directly with the change of government. It's a natural response, but what really changed?

I think at the most basic level, these TV shows are not about sickness or emotion at all. They are about conflict. Life is full of conflict, and any TV show that doesn't have some sort of conflict is not watchable, because conflict derives from passion (love, anger, etc.). People without passion are boring.
You may be right, IF happiness were a good inicator...Kristin
Jan 7, 2003 11:29 AM
But I don't think that we should use a person's perceived level of happiness as a determination of thier mental/emotional well-being. There are several problems with this. First, happiness is a feeling, and therefore it is interpretted individually. If I ask you if you are happy, I may be attemtping to ascertain whether or not circumstances are good for you. But you may interpret that I am asking if you "feel" joyful. Now, if I ask this question at 6 am, and you are not a morning person, then your answer will likely be, "No." It does not speak to your state of emotional health, only to your state of grogginess. There are lots of mentally unstable people out there who would claim happiness, and even bliss. Second, since happiness is largely dependant on external circumstances, so it could not be used as a sole indicator of a persons overall state. A couple who has just lost a child would never claim happiness, yet they may be a quite healthy and emotionally balanced pair.

I think that better benchmarks for determining a persons mental/emotional well-being are things like boundaries and character issues. By well-being, I mean one's ability understand and feel thier own emotions, an awareness of their own cognition, the ability to care for and protect themselves from others who are abusive, and freedom from dysfuctions such as personality/character disorders or addictions. (NOTE: cycling addictions are an exception. ;)

Probably one of the clearest indicators would be boundaries. Lack of boundaries is probably the biggest thing I see happening on these shows. Boundaries development occurs largely between the ages of 9 months and 4 years. Boundary development then ceases until adolesence. Boundaries help us to keep bad things out and to let good things in. A person who feels that they can not say, "no," to others has a poor or "broken" boundary. This opens the door for others to take advantage of them, and keeps them from choosing what is best for themselves.

Another poor boundary, and one I'll admit to struggling with myself, is what I call a person's "neediness quotent." And, to my shagrin, some have called me on it on these boards. When I "need" other people to like me, and pay attention to me, then I am not free. I also give WAY too much power to the people I "need" from.

Another indicator of poor emotional health is a common character issue called the "reverse shame-blame game." This is typically what you witness when you see someone insult or belittle others. Another character issue is a persons ability to control their anger.

Would you say that these things are worse today than they were 20 years ago? The point was attempting to make in my post, was that I believe our society overall--using indicators I mentioned above--is demonstrating a downward spiral. Emotional stability is something we learn from our parents. They can't teach us what they don't have knowledge of themselves. That's how the spiral works. The only way to turn it around is to grow good boundaries, overcome character disorders and heal from our addictions.

Is everyone dysfuctional on some level? Yes. Can a person reach perfect emotional health? I doubt it. But this doesn't trouble me. Its a journey, and I'm good with that. What troubles me, are the massive amounts of people who don't ever seek to improve their current emotional health. The just bury their heads in the sand by ignoring the issues in their own lives and trying to create a facade of happiness. And as long as that is the trend, the spiral will continue downward. Personally, I want to pass on something better than was passed onto me.
yes, you are rightmohair_chair
Jan 7, 2003 12:19 PM
I agree with you. But my impression of your original post was that you were implying that certain TV shows were actively leading us down the road to a state of emotional damage and promoting loss of boundaries and so forth. My view is that many of these shows are simply revealing a la cinema verite what is already there and has been there for a long time.

In one sense that isn't a bad thing. If the environment becomes safe enough and stigmas are removed, people can admit to problems that used to be shameful, and get help. Depression, for instance, which is a big unacknowledged problem, especially in men, and can lead to rage and what we now call "anger management" issues.

Of course the bad side is all the stuff no one needs to know. The airing of grievances that is supposed to be private. The Springer "I slept with your sister and want to tell you on national TV" thing. I wish I knew what that was all about. I guess some people just love humiliation, giving or receiving. And some of those shows were fake. Thank god Springer and most of that world is gone. Did we all grow up, or did 9/11 make us care a little more?
I didn't communicate that clearlyKristin
Jan 7, 2003 2:51 PM
I'm glad we agree. I don't think these shows making us more unhealthy (though they certainly don't take us the other direction either); I simply think they indicate that, as a society, have some very real issues below the surface.

I agree that until the environment become safe we won't change. Therapy is still a bad word, and I still have trouble saying, "I'm in therapy." Even though I have been for quite some time, and I'm glad for it. Someone on this board recently tried to make me feel ashamed of being "a little uptight" by suggesting I "need" therapy. And so it goes...

Most people who are only a little unhealthy, usually get by by just living to the best of their ability and faking the rest. Its too bad--theres so much more to gain by growning. But its a costly pursuit (money, time, emotional turmoil), so if the stakes aren't high, I guess it just doesn't seem worth it.

I have a different vantage point. Unfortunatly, I grew up in a pretty unhealthy (and sometimes scary) home. I love these films that portray kids coming out of these horrendous situations and suddenly turn into beautiful people who are seemingly untouched by all the mahem of their childhood. What a crock. As an adult I faced two possibilities. Either remain emotionally unhealthy, never able to sustain healthy relationships, and ultimately live as an outcast. Or I could seek help. My experience left me so far south of "normal" that faking it was impossible. So I chose to get help and do the work. It may take the rest of my life, and I may never get there; but I'll fight for growth and healing until my dying breath. What else can I do?

Two real bummers I've discovered along the way:
*Only about 25% of all therapists are in it for the right reasons and emotionally healthy enough to do their jobs well. It took me several attempts before I finally found someone who really understood this stuff and could really help. Now...all things by leaps and bounds.
*Growing and becoming emotionally fit removes you from one minority and places you in another. The number of compatable suiters will shrink in proportion to your growth.

Geewiz. I'm rather wordy today. I think I need to start a journal.
ain't that the truthmohair_chair
Jan 7, 2003 3:30 PM
Sadly, it's an exponential problem. The number of compatible suitors also shrinks as you get older, so the longer it takes you to reach the point you are looking for, the less likely you are to find one! Ah, but that's life. It's not purely exponential, of course, since some possible suitors finally walking away from bad relationships might come available around at that time.

I wish you well in that pursuit. Hopefully when you find your suitor, your toilet will be flushing beautifully....
new meaning to "life's in the toilet" ;-) nmDougSloan
Jan 7, 2003 4:17 PM
Kristin...Jon Billheimer
Jan 8, 2003 9:19 AM
To your credit you are moving in the opposite direction of the social drift you so deplore!!! Your comments about boundaries especially, in my opinion, are extremely important, and our entertainment media's obsession with obliterating boundaries and fostering normlessness are a commentary on where we are as a society. Good for you! You may be screwed up, but you're obviously a hell of a lot less screwed up than the producers of this mental/emotional garbage that passes as tv programming. You "hit the ball out of the park" today, girl:)-
give them bread and circuses (nm)ColnagoFE
Jan 8, 2003 8:02 AM
what about wine? nmDougSloan
Jan 8, 2003 8:47 AM
irony of "reality tv" termNo_sprint
Jan 7, 2003 10:42 AM
Yep. Cops is real reality TV. I like it. I'm a Cops addict.
re: Joe MillionaireAlpedhuez55
Jan 7, 2003 8:28 AM
I thought it was kind of funny. I see myself getting sucked into this show. It will never work a second time so hopefully we will see some infighting and arguments between the women. It is funny how they all were so excited about the money. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. It is probably somewhat degrading to all the people involved, but they volunteered for it. They get what the deserve.

It works well because the bachelor seems like a genuinely nice guy. For his part, he is trying to weed out the women who he thinks are only interested in money. He feels guilty about the deception.

It is one of those so bad its good shows, kind of like American Idol was. I will probably watch it and feel guilty after it is done each since I should have read a book instead.

Mike Y.
they can't be seriously interested in a relationshipDougSloan
Jan 7, 2003 8:51 AM
Anyone would have to be a complete idiot/sucker to sincerely think that they can go on a TV show and leave with a good lifelong relationship. I think people go on these shows now, after a few of them have been exposed, merely for that, exposure. They are hoping that some agent or producer will see them and get them into show business or something. That, or they are very, very bored.

So, no, I don't think there is any deception really going on, at least any more than you might get on any ordinary game show or Candid Camera sort of show. This is pure entertainment, that's all. Can't take it seriously.

Then again, I could be wrong.

Idiot Seekers in the next showAlpedhuez55
Jan 7, 2003 9:28 AM
THey had a commercial for the next reality marriage show on Fox last night. It is one where they have viewers call an 800# and match a couple up. The couples are going to get married depending upon the results. I think the promo said something like "60% of all marriages end in divorce, can we do any worse?" It sounds like Love Connection but instead of an akward date, they will have a honeymoon.

Talk about cheapening the institution of marriage. I bet half the people who watch that show would vote against gay marriages saying that belittles the institution of marriage. It will only get worse until we stop watching. But I am guilty of getting sucked into watching Joe Millionaire.

Mike Y.
I think I live in a caveDuane Gran
Jan 7, 2003 10:39 AM
I don't own a TV, and aside from staying at a hotel or visiting a friend, I'm really out of the loop on public programming. Needless to say, I'm pretty surprised at such a show. I think I'll crawl back in my cave now. ;)
Got room for one more?4bykn
Jan 7, 2003 11:40 AM
Some of this "reality" crap is downright frightening. I'm proud to say I've never seen one of any of them and never will. TV is bad enough without 'em.
Jan 7, 2003 1:00 PM
Speaking of caves -- when you saw Cast Away (if you did), were you sort of envious? Would you have just stayed on the island?

cavesDuane Gran
Jan 8, 2003 8:22 AM
I really enjoyed that movie. Although I avoid television, I do enjoy film. I found the movie thought provoking, and after reading about the research done into the project I gained more respect for Tom Hanks.

Personally, I probably would have stayed on the island, not because I found it idylic or good, but because dying alone on the island (with food & shelter) is preferable to dying on a raft alone. His rescue at sea was a very unlikly circumstance.
I hear ya.Sintesi
Jan 7, 2003 12:59 PM
My SO and I went years and years without a TV just fine. But not too long ago we went whole-hog, spread-eagle, apesh1t and now have 200+ channels, digital cable, DVD, etc.....the works.

Two results:

1) I barely read anymore.

2) i have 10 pairs of pants that no longer fit.

So you miss a few cultural reference points here and there, I still think you're better off living the semi-19th century existence. : )
re: Joe MillionaireDave Hickey
Jan 7, 2003 11:21 AM
I watched and I have to admit, I'm hooked. A couple of observations:

1. "Joe" is not a plain, run of the mill, construction worker. I read he's had bit parts in a couple of day time soaps. He's just another SoCal wanna be although he does seem like a genuine nice guy.

2. My favorite person on the show is the butler. Whether he's a real butler, I don't know.

3. I'm not convinced "Joe" picked all of the 12 women. Some of the remaining 12 seem too controversial. I think Fox producers had a say in who's kept on the show.

I agree with all the above who say it's not reality TV but it sure was entertaining.
re: Joe Millionaireemptyhanded
Jan 14, 2003 11:30 AM
despite the deception of the premise, i think everyone involved is fairly aware of the farce of the whole thing. i'd be shocked to find out that one of the women truly thought she would find love this way, or that joe millionaire is really trying to find a bride.

they are most likely people seeking the limelight to attain celebrity and all its rewards. Some of them may want to get into acting, perhaps others are just hoping to capitalize in any way off the show (think playboy). Remember the old clips of The Dating Game with guys like Tom Cruise and Tom Selleck? I think there's still a certain mentality of "if i can just get seen, someone will scoop me up and make me a star."

Then there's the whole angle of how fox edits and presents the show. Most interviews with the participants of these types of shows allude to how certain things were accentuated, while other aspects were completely ignored, and some practically fabricated.

it's all a ridiculuous joke, which is kinda why it can be such a guilty pleasure to watch.

It makes me laugh to realize that the most intelligent show on fox is a cartoon - The Simpsons.