Review: Baggage
Originally posted: April 23, 2010

This year, GSN has come up with failure after failure of a show. You already know my feelings about their offerings this year of Carnie Wilson: Untalented...I mean Unstapled, Hidden Agenda & Instant Recall. So, when I heard that Baggage was set to debut this week, I didn't have high hopes for the show. But, after watching a few episodes this week, They did better than I thought that they would do.

The premise of the show is simple. A Bachelor or Bachelorette has to select one of 3 Bachelorettes or Bachelors by looking at some of their dirty little secrets or "Baggage" as the show puts it. The first round has relatively tame stuff like "My last girlfriend was half my age." or "I Drink Every Night". Then the people explain their baggage, so it's not without merit.

Then we get to the "Dealbreaker" Round where they open some baggage that's even more damning. Such ones that I remember are "I only get two Hours of sleep a night." and "My Girlfriends must be completely waxed." However, the person doesn't know who's baggage belongs to who. So, the picker must decide which piece of Baggage is too much for them. After the decision, the person who owns the piece of baggage that's deemed the dealbreaker, then they are asked to pack their bags and go. Then they sit on the Hot Seat and explain their medium sized baggage. The last round is their Big Baggage. This is where it gets really weird. I remember one set of baggage being "I frequently go to Strip Clubs" and "I have a freezer full of my sperm." Then after all of that, a match is made when the picker picks the person with the least offending amount of baggage.

However, in a simple, yet devious twist, the picker must reveal the baggage that's in their Big Red Bag. Before the big reveal, 3 situations are presented, while some might seem tame, some are quite bizzare. One set was "I live in my parents Basement", "I purposely Maxed Out my girlfriends credit card", or "I am a 33 Year Old Virgin". Then the Baggage is revealed and the person that was picked must decide whether to go out on a date with them or reject them because they couldn't accept their baggage. If a match is made, then they go out to dinner at GSN's expense. If not, then all of them get 6 months free at a dating website.

It's a good show, but a little too slow at times. However, the host is what shines here in Jerry Springer. He's dealt with this type of show before and his humor shines here. I dig his little jabs at the contestants baggage and he really seems to want the people to make genuine matches, which is what any dating show host should do. The set is also nicely done, because it's a real in-studio set and looks slick and modern, without all the unnecessary neon & other stuff that you see on Modern game show sets. Not only that, but it's probably a better pairing for The Newlywed Game than Catch 21 was. For those that are fretting about Catch 21, don't worry about Catch 21, that show will be back probably in June with a new original. Hopefully, that original will be another in-studio show as well. I hope this show lasts, it's a great, cheap show that will hopefully give GSN another shot in the arm that they need.

Grade: B+