Caitlin Rickard: Not so wild about ‘Wanna Marry Harry’

Just when you thought surely television couldn’t sink any lower, that there is no territory unchartered by reality television…there comes this.
Jun 4, 2014
Caitlin Rickard

Just when you thought surely television couldn’t sink any lower, that there is no territory unchartered by reality television…there comes this.

Enough with the reality dating shows as it is, but “I Wanna Marry Harry,” truly, and I mean truly, takes the cake.

The show premiered a few weeks ago and leading up to its first episode I was enamored (there’s really no better word) at the promos and trailers. Really? A dating show, first of all, centered on Prince Harry, and second of all, how.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t fooled into thinking it was actually Prince Harry, I was fooled, I guess, into thinking this had to be an April Fools joke from Fox. But here we are at the end of May and low and behold.

Of course I had to tune in to see this train wreck unfold.

Now the premise was about the same as Joe Millionaire, remember that show? It was a major hit, but then again it didn’t feature the so-called Prince Harry of Wales either.

Anyway, in Joe Millionaire the female contestants are tricked into believing the bachelor is a millionaire, so obviously they’re all onboard the love express. Guess what, he’s actually a blue-collar construction worker, and the whole “fake-a-date” principle is revealed at the end.

So here in I Wanna Marry Harry we have a Prince Harry “look-alike,” Matthew Hicks, working in a Bachelor-esque show to convince 12 women to fall in love with him.

So, so, so many things are wrong here.

First, I’m not obsessed with Prince Harry by any means, given, I’ve seen pictures of him before, I’ll admit, and the look-alike looks nothing like him! I mean, can’t they construct some sort of wax mask like in Big Momma’s House so the bachelor can look more realistic? Seriously, did these girls not have Google? They couldn’t search Google images for some reassurance? I can barely even get past this point to move on to the next.

Next, is the fact that there is anyone, much less 12 American women, who think actual royalty, a monarch fourth in line to the throne, Princess Diana’s son, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, would compete on a reality television show. Girls, can we represent the good ol’ U.S. of A slightly better, please? How did anyone believe that this is the format he decided on to choose a future princess?

As the episode unfolds, fake Harry is taught the typical things, how to walk, talk and act, like a prince (Princess Diaries shoutout there). 

He has to learn etiquette, issues, facts about Harry and his lineage and princely activities like fencing and ballroom dancing. As if women that are already fooled enough into believing he could be the real Prince Harry would actually know the answers to any of those questions or how to fence anyway.

Fake Harry is, however, of English decent, so he has his accent going for him? Score one for fake Harry! And he has the signature red hair that kind-of-ish matches Prince Harry. So, one and a half points for fake Harry?

Other than the overall plot of the show being absolutely unfathomable, it seems the producers and executives really think this thing could work.

Contestants are put up at a castle, made to believe to be one of the royal estates I presume, are taken on lavish dates (like are all Bachelor contestants) and are constantly surrounded by servants and security. You know what they say, if you’re going to do something don’t do it half way.

Another weird thing about this show, the servants and security never call him Harry or anything like that, only “Sir.” They never (in the one episode I watched) acknowledged he being Prince Harry and dodged questions from the contestants about his true identity. 

Spoiler alert: the premiere episode featured a masquerade, so for a majority of the episode a mask covered his face anyway. Tricky, tricky!

I assume the contestants are led to believe he’s Harry in kind of a “guilty by association” type thing and, like Joe Millionaire, the truth will be revealed in the finale, with the winner having the difficult, cumbersome decision of whether or not to stay with him, now knowing he’s in fact not a rich, sought after prince. 

Will his charm and personality be enough? Will they love him for him? We’ll probably never find out because the ratings for this show were so low in the first two episodes it’s bound to be canceled by next week.

I just can’t get over how far reality television has come and how far it’s fallen, but then again, how much of reality TV is real, anyway?

Caitlin Rickard is a staff writer for The Democrat. Email her at crickard@lebanondemocrat.com or follow her on Twitter @wilsonnewswritr.

 

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