Finding Prince charming, an unfortunate letdown
The guilty pleasure of reality television is like nothing else. Opening a bottle of wine with friends and turning on shows like, the Bachelor and the Bachelorette, is a perfect way to enjoy a quiet night in. What is it about these cookie cutter shows that interests audiences enough to keep them coming back, week after week?
Is it the hope for those romantics out there that want to believe love still exists? Is it the entertaining drama that keeps us interested? Or is it because, as a heterosexual being, I am more interested in viewing television programs, reality or not, that relate to me? In that case, what about those who are of other sexual identities and genders? What television shows are out there for these people to relate to?
Finding Prince Charming is an American reality dating show on Logo, similar to the Bachelor and Bachelorette, but includes a cast of 13 gay men, rather than the mix of both heterosexual men and women. This is the first LGBTQ+ dating show, since the short lived Boy Meets Boy on Bravo.
This is a step forward into a changing society where acceptance of all sexual orientations, as well as sexual identities and genders, should be celebrated and displayed, so growing LGBTQ+ youth have something to relate to and feel apart of in society.
After watching the first episode, I noticed the term “gay monogamy” used by one of the contestants. He was explaining how monogamy and gay relationships are often not thought to be one in the same and hoped that a show like Finding Prince Charming could shine a light on the misconceived notion that gay men don’t want a long lasting loving relationship.
However, the reality show failed to display that concept by having 13 contestants who are pursuing one suitor. This displays more of a polygamous type relationship — as do the heterosexual counterpart TV shows — which ultimately upholds the stereotype that gay men are overtly sexual.
Aside from a questionable portrayal of gay monogamy, this show presents unoriginality by following the exact concept of the Bachelor and Bachelorette. On top of that, it presents stereotypes of what one would think a gay relationship would consist of, which creates a misunderstanding of what is real and what is stereotyping. As an LGBTQ+ ally, I expected to see an open, real platform showcasing what real gay relationships are like so that these stereotypes can be squashed.
Similar to heterosexual dating shows where the contestants and suitor are drop dead gorgeous, as contestants on Finding Prince Charming are eliminated, it became apparent to many viewers that only the traditionally ‘hot’ guys are left.
A show so superficial as a TV dating show of this nature, viewers should have expected no less. There is no space on reality TV, yet, to find true love. True love takes months and months to find and it is not found in a fraternity house environment.
One contestant, Chad, found it particularly hard to find true love with the suitor, Robert, attributing it to fighting tooth and nail to get just a few moments alone. It seemed almost as if these eligible bachelors were interviewing for a job, rather than for love.
But maybe its just the viewers that are high strung with emotions. Perhaps this is all just one big money grab for the production company, Logo TV and free promotion for budding social media personalities.
Reality TV should be taken with a grain of salt, regardless of if it’s the straight bachelor, or the gay bachelor.
We should all drop any high expectations and understand that it’s trashy TV, not a place to really dive into social issues.