#20: Chains Of Love
In 1999, game shows got a boost thanks to the runaway success that was Millionaire. Then in 2000, the runaway success of Survivor gave way to the reality competition shows that you have seen recently. But in 2001, we were treated to the revival of the dating shows. While some of them were decent, others were just plain awful. I'll delve into those shows later on, but the one I want to focus on is a show that actually made it to primetime TV. This show was created by the production company known as Endemol. A European outfit, which has had several hits around the globe. But this one wasn't one of those runaway successes that they have had. This one features one of the most inane concepts that I've seen in dating show history. I am talking about Chains of Love.
No No, not the Erasure Song from 1985. (although I enjoy the hell out of that song)
But instead, I'm talking about this Chains of Love. The show is set in southern Los Angeles in this picturesque mansion and to nobody's surprise, idiocy ensues. The premise of this show is simple. One person is chained together to 4 members of the opposite gender, each one representing a quality that they look for in a potential mate. They will live together in that mansion, eat together, even sleep together all chained together. While there, they will will try to woo the person in the middle. After a couple days, one member of the "Chain Gang" is cut by the person in the middle and is given some of a $10,000 purse. At the end, only 1 will be left standing and will get the person in the middle & whatever is remaining in the $10,000 Purse. It's quite pathetic really.
So, let's meet our host, Madison Michelle. She to me, is one of the dullest sounding hosts in history. Her voice completely belongs in one of those travelogues that you see when you send away for a video for vacations. Plus, her face doesn't even move during the opening. When she's on camera, she shows no emotion at all. She has no vested interest in the show & is probably thinking about how she can go back to doing mid-market morning news than this show. However, she's not really the star of the show. The star of the show is this guy.
The Locksmith. He's the silent big boy who carries the keys that unlock the losers from the chain gang. I mean, he's prominently featured on the title screen. He seems like that father that wants you to get away from his daughter or son or something like that. And although he's cool, he can't save the show from the people who are on the show.
We have our main girl in Stephanie, who's looking for someone who's fun, witty and an all around great guy. She's also a writer and a model. However, the way she looks, I think her modeling is something that is illegal in some countries. But enough about her, let's meet the 4 dopes she's going to be chained to.
First one on the hit parade is Jason. He seems to consider himself an intellectual and doesn't want to get into any fights and stuff like that. He also claims that he's too charming to lose.
Next up is Allen. He's a bad boy and doesn't like to lose. He also says that he won't treat Samantha like a princess if she is going to be a bitch to him. So, he's pretty much a straight shooter.
Then we have Pete, a pro beach volleyball player, who claims to have a killer side of humor. He also is a complete party animal who drinks and does all that fun stuff. BTW, anybody who has a classic Led Zeppelin poster on his wall is cool in my books.
Finally, we have Jack. Wait a second? I've seen him before on various shows like Whammy, Distraction, and Surviving Nugent. Well, I guess we found our Media ho for this show. Anyways, he says he's unpredictable and is a fun-loving guy. I'm guessing he's here also to promote his clients and all of that good stuff as well, being a talent agent et all.
Well, after they all meet, they go to the ritual room, where they meet Ms. Blandsauce and Heavy L. In here, they give the rundown of what goes on, and how the proceedings work. Then we get to the actual part of the show that matters. They all get chained together.
As we see the big main chain together our merry band of miscreants, they all got the rules and they leave the chamber of hedonistic haplessness and proceed to go on the game.
They go touring the house, to awkward results and sit down for lunch, where Stephanie gets some valuable information on her chainmates as how they rated her on looks, intelligence & whether they wanted to sleep with her, which like lumbering around the house chained together made everybody feel very very uncomfortable about the situation. And how does she react?
If you said throw the book over her head and onto the floor, then have a cookie.
But, that's not enough for a reality show. Oh far from it. They have to go out to places chained together and be able to work cohesively, such as...
Going to the grocery store and buying groceries for the house.
Cook dinner while chained together, drinking margaritas and arguing.
And going into a hot tub, where they did some more drinking and pontificating on the joys of bathroom humor. Then they all went to bed. Yeah, not shocked in the least that there wasn't a 5-some going on when the cameras and the lights were out.
But enough of that as they go outdoors some more where they have a team building exercise. They have to blow up a rubber raft, and go through this obstacle course and carry it through a cargo net, all in seven minutes. Yeah, doesn't seem that hard. So they get all the way to the cargo net, and....
Whoops, Locksmith time. So now, she has to let go of one of these losers. Which, is good because that's 1/3 of the way to getting to the end of this show. So after a little spiel on how this person was on the top of her list, but after the night of drinking caused him to fall completely by the wayside & wasn't a team player during the challenge, she decided to unchain...
Pete. So now, Stephanie has to get a figure in her head to give to Pete.
And because she said he got demonic, she's giving him $66.06, the number of the beast in her eyes. But that isn't even the number of the beast. The Number of the beast is actually 616, not 666. But alas, he goes home and the rest of the crew head back to Casa De Chains Of Crap and...
Do more drinking and talking about her sex life, which Jack makes fun of her joke about sleeping with a fat person, asking if she was on top or bottom. Well, after she gave him that cold moment, it gets colder...
as they play Strip Hockey. I am not making this up.
So, we see some skin, but not any of the naughty bits, until the lights go dim and...
Our Hero, ladies and gentlemen.
So now, she has to decide which one she has to let go. And after another boring spiel, she unlocks...
Jack. Man, the media ho is down. OH well, at least he can go on other shows and make some money.
But here, he's given $1,500 of the remaining $9933.94 that was left in the kitty and sent on his merry way to send an audition tape out to be on Surviving Nugent, which aired 6 months after this show.
So they leave the Ice Skating rink and head to bed. Then in the morning, they wake up and take a gander outside their window, which is a very lovely view. Afterwards, they go downstairs and smell coffee. And who do they see....
Ms. Cure for Insomnia is back.
She promptly tells the two guys left standing that dates have been planned so they can try to woo Stephanie one last time before she makes her final decision. Oh, little did they know that they'd still be chained together. I wish this show would just end, like how Hidden Agenda just ended yesterday.
Allen's date is that he plans to have a day of beauty. You know, manicures, pedicures, massages, Avacado masks, that sort of thing. So, what does Jason get to do while this is happening?
He gets to watch them get all prettied up, and enjoy those massages and manipeddies. Classy. However, Jason gets to turn the tables as...
His date consists of a Romantic dinner, dancing and a walk on the beach. So, what does Allen get to eat...
Looks like some french fries & some ribs from Tony Roma's. Yummy.
So, they return to the house, and they start to converse and enjoy each others company until...
Thankfully, the show's almost over.
So, after another monotone dialogue of how they had a great time, but yadda yadda yadda,
She sends Jason home after saying that it was the best date she's been on in awhile.
She sends him packing with $2,000 and he goes off on his merry way.
They get to talking and cuddling and in the morning, bells ring. So, it must be time for them to go into the Ritual Room and be serendipitously sacrificed to the gods of awful television.
Oh, it's just to be bored by Ms. Decaf herself.
Allan gets unchained from Stephanie and she has to make the decision. Stay with Allan and Split the money, or reject him and give him only a portion of the money. And if we know how much girls love the bad boys, you've seen this coming.
She accepts him, and she splits the dough with him. You'd think the show would end there, but in a classic Vince Russo esque swerve, it's now Allan's turn to decide. So, he leaves the ritual room and Stephanie is told that either he'll be in the balcony waiting for him and they'd continue the relationship...Or he would have bolted with the money and the Locksmith would be waiting for her.
I mean, who wouldn't want to be with the coolest silent cat this side of the Debt Security Guard.
Well, not Stephanie as she finds Allan waiting for her and they live happily ever after as the cameras stop rolling.
This was a disaster from all sides, and is one of the worst dating shows of all time. The host was duller than dishwater, the people were annoying as all hell, liquor feeds most of the conversation and interactment between them & it was just painful to watch. Thankfully this only lasted 6 episodes before UPN pulled the plug.
There is only one memorable moment from this show and it didn't even happen on the show. It happened on an episode of WWF Smackdown! where Al Snow & Steve Blackman decided to do their own version of Chains of Love when Steve Blackman got to be chained to 4 of his "fans" Hilarity ensued and was probably the funniest thing that they did in awhile.
If only they had done this on the actual show.
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