Beauty And The Geek
It was once said that the Queen believes the entire world smells of paint because wherever she visits has just had a lightning visit from a decorator. In much the same way, attractive women in their twenties go through the world inside an invisible bubble where all their jokes are funny, all their unreasonable behaviour is tolerated, everything they say is infinitely fascinating to men and life generally consists of one unsolicited upgrade and special favour after another.
"It’s one of the most poignant things you can imagine. I say poignant – naturally, I mean hilarious."
So when an attractive woman starts losing her looks or puts on a bit of weight and begins to suddenly notice that men stop laughing at her jokes, the upgrades stop coming and that everything she says is infinitely irritating to men it’s one of the most poignant things you can imagine. I say poignant – naturally, I mean hilarious.
I mention this because the premise of Beauty And The Geek (pairing seven glamourous girls with seven dorks in a remote Scottish castle) seems to suggest that the power each group has is equal when it’s with the women in real life. This is certainly true while the women remain in their twenties and aren’t pressured by ticking biological clocks and fading looks.
“Rather like Benny Blanco from the Bronx in Carlito’s Way or IncrediBoy from The Incredibles, the scorned come back to bite you in the ass.”
But as time goes on, the geek who has at least half his life together becomes gradually more powerful. As reality bites and the girls age he becomes the selector and they become the needy supplicant desperate for validation. Beauty And The Geek is at least a tacit acknowledgement that this power dynamic will change over time. Rather like Benny Blanco from the Bronx in Carlito’s Way or Incrediboy from The Incredibles, the scorned come back to bite you in the ass. Thus the rejected stone becomes the cornerstone.
But for now we can laugh at these tragic sacks of shit interacting with these vacuous tarts with a clear conscience. The programme-makers bill it as a social experiment which has caused much guffawing in the press but that’s exactly what is. I’m not saying it’s scientific or even profound but there are genuine lessons to be learned about how not only men and women interact but how the smart and the pretty interact.
"I provide social validation and a comfortable lifestyle – you provide arm candy and blowjobs."
One of the predominant scientific explanations of why relationships work is the social exchange theory which proposes that how we feel about a relationship with another person depends upon our perceptions of fairness. I provide social validation and a comfortable lifestyle – you provide arm candy and blowjobs.
While this may seem horribly cold and rational, we all know there’s a fair amount of truth in it. Even the most dewy-eyed romantic has a what’s-in-it-for-me principal operating at some level. So the dames and dorks are here to learn from each other, become more rounded individuals. The dorks learn how to salsa and the dames learn that pathos isn’t the latest Greek party-and-drug rape holiday destination.
“A booty dancer (which I understand involves shaking your arse for a living. To think I’ve been doing this for free – what a sucker!)”
The girls include a page-three stunner, a booty dancer (which I understand involves shaking your arse for a living. To think I’ve been doing this for free – what a sucker! ) a ring card girl (walks around a boxing ring between rounds holding a card with the round number on – not that anyone’s looking at the card) and the winner of FHM‘s High Street Honey. It’s a Who’s Who of Check The Arse On That.
The guys include a computer scientist, an Oxford theologian, an academic and, intriguingly, the young Conservative who snogged Christine Hamilton. Surely such high-profile interaction with the opposite sex disqualifies him from this dork fest? Apparently not. Maybe having your tongue inside the mouth that fellates Neil Hamiltonscores minus points? Aerial Telly, as ever, steadfastly refuses to pass judgment.
Some of the girls are quite sweet, some horrendous. Some of the guys are quite engaging, some unbearably spoddy. They seem to be taking the competition quite seriously which I guess is good. Nothing drags a reality TV show down like a participant who thinks that standing around hiking her knickers out of her arse constitutes entertainment.
But you can’t help wondering if they think they’re on some spiritual journey of discovery. Maybe they are – it’s certainly looks like a religious cult setting but I’d hate any of these kids to be disappointed. The guys should know that these girls aren’t giving up any ass to them until they learn some mack knowledge and this a million miles away from that.
"Knowing that Istanbul used to be Constantinople doesn’t make you intelligent if your favourite book is still Jordan’s autobiography."
And the girls should know that knowing that Istanbul used to be Constantinople doesn’t make you intelligent if your favourite book is still Jordan‘s autobiography. Fake tits, Peter Andre and Dwight Yorke’s blind baby are not yet the favoured icebreakers in polite society (give it time, though).
The best thing about it: The geek’s ham-fisted attempts at flirting.
The worst thing about it: Some fairly cheap unimaginative tasks
The verdict on Beauty And The Geek : There is nothing like a dame.
Marks out of 10: 7