E!'s new show Bridalplasty (which premiered last night), in which women compete in a series of challenges to win a series of plastic surgeries they can spring on their fiances when their wedding days arrive, is the stupidest, dullest, and least entertaining unscripted show I have ever seen. It has no whimsy, no wit, no fun, no charm, and no whiff of the guilty pleasure it so aches to be.
It's sort of shocking to realize that even reality shows have generally had a philosophy of "first do no harm" when it comes to performing surgery on people, but this one thinks nothing of encouraging women who do not even arguably need cosmetic surgery -- women who, in some cases, give every appearance of possibly suffering from actual mental issues somewhere on the body dysmorphia spectrum -- to permanently alter their bodies in a way that cannot be undone when the season is over. More than anything I've ever watched, screening the first episode made me simultaneously ill from the show's utter actual depravity and aggravated with myself for bothering to be upset by it.
This is the phantom reality TV that people who don't know anything about reality TV are talking about when they say "reality TV." The fact that its first-episode ratings are swirling their way toward the rest of the sewage demonstrates yet again that even people who watch unscripted shows on E! have their standards. Lame, boring, offensive, slow-moving and brutally unpleasant in every way, it's everything its early publicity promised and more.
Don't worry: You're not missing the next mischievously entertaining train wreck, even if you have a weak spot for that sort of thing. You're just saving an hour you can devote to something more enjoyable, like actual surgery, done without anesthesia.
Let us never speak of it again.