The premise barely intrigued me at all and the host, who can only be described as a Steve Gutenburg/David Copperfield love-child with a dash of Saget wit, did little to sway my initial negativity--a negativity that continued to build as the show went on until I was literally fuming mad, and boiling hot (on the inside).
My disgust at this point was less about the show itself and more about the people who had the sheer audacity to answer a casting call entitled, "Are you hot?" In their defense, most of these people were probably blissfully unaware of things like arrogance and impudence; after all, ABC's casting call notes that "Talent, personality, and strategy are not a requirement"--which was a smart move by the show's producers since anyone possessing even the smallest hint of something even remotely resembling talent or personality would never have stooped to the level required to unabashedly put their "hotness" on display for Rachel Hunter, some douche bag named Randolph Duke, and the Renegade, sans Harley and obviously no longer on the run, all for a mere two seconds of "fame". And by fame I mean looking like an egotistical schmuck on national television.
Maybe I'm just as pretentious or self-righteous as these people for writing this, or worse, maybe I'm just jealous, but let me just set one thing straight: I'm not the type of guy who pathetically fishes for compliments by claiming to be ugly. I don't think I'm ugly. But I don't think I'm hot either. I'm somewhere in between and that suits me just fine. To claim otherwise, as the show's contestants did, at best betrays a not-very-admirable, but not-very-uncommon character trait like being conceited or cocky. At worst it proves that a person is totally delusional.
Take for instance the woman who, after being cut, remarked, "I guess I just wasn't hot enough..."
Enough? Enough?! Not even a totally unbiased and purely objective panel of judges would find this poor woman anything short of revolting. Not to mention that such a panel would be impossible to find, since everyone knows that "hotness" is entirely subjective. And I wish that every guy who thinks a six-pack automatically qualifies him as a "physical beauty" and every girl who thinks having big tits somehow equals "innate sexiness" would just wake up to the notion that "hotness", even in purely physical terms, still constitutes a total package i.e. no amount of weight-lifting is going to change the fact that your face looks like a cross between Steve Gutenberg and David Copperfield.
Do you see what's happening here? I am being pretentious. I am looking down on these people and I have no right. So what if I think they're ridiculous? It's probably a safe bet that they'd view me in exactly the same unflattering light. But I am not entirely at fault here. Let me explain:
Every loser who's ever sat in front of the T.V. at two o'clock in the afternoon--unshowered, unshaved, and unmotivated to do anything but drink Miller High Life--knows that changing the channel to "Jerry Springer" is more than a chance to see a man whose wife is cheating on him with her own brother. It's a chance to feel better about yourself because you are not this man. You delude yourself into believing your life is good simply because, no matter what your own current standing, you can watch someone who you perceive to be far worse off. No matter how entertaining these shows seem on the surface, it is my own personal belief that a much darker element of human nature drives their success. These types of shows are, sadly, a neccessary part of daytime programming, but ABC's "Are You Hot?" is a completely inexcusable program airing in primetime. I will not watch this show again and sincerely hope it is nothing short of a ratings disaster for ABC.
I used to believe that the only thing worse than someone who knows they're hot, is someone who thinks they're hot.
But I was wrong.
What's even worse is the notion that either of these groups of people could potentially become even minutely famous.