MTV, the network that's brought us such intellectual programs as The Real World and Jackass, has now come out with another "gem," A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. The modestly-attractive Tila [photo on left] is a reality show participant who's bent on stardom and -- even with the absence of any discernable talent -- will do just about anything to get it. She's started on a course that may remind some of Anne Heche, who used a relationship with Ellen Degeneres to kick-start her career.
Tila identifies as bisexual. Which is strange because she's said that her new reality show will help her decide whether she likes boys or girls (and here I thought bisexuals already knew that they liked both). The premise of the show is that Tila will date 16 straight men and 16 lesbians and then decide on who will be her lover. The twist is that the men and women will not be told that they'll be competing against each other until the second episode. (On this episode one gay woman wisely packs up and gets the hell out of there.)
I know there are people -- mostly the very young, stupid and possibly bi-identified -- who will say that the show is a breath of fresh air, so enlightened and liberated, fun for gays, straights and bi's.,that one would have to be an old meanie to object to it. Actually I think anyone would half a brain would see this merde for exactly what it is. A show that has absolutely nothing to do with gay (or even bi) pride and more enlightened attitudes and everything to do with simple exploitation and even homophobia, an even stupider show than Gay, Straight or Taken.
First of all, the outcome of this show was never in doubt. Did anyone seriously not think, in true Anne Heche fashion, that "bisexual" Tila would pick a guy in the final episode -- which is exactly what she does (wouldn't it be funny if he were a closeted homo?). Is there anyone of intelligence who does not see that the celebrity-seeking Tequila might be willing to neck with women to turn on straight male executives (and what is that about anyway?) but isn't willing to enter into a real live lesbian relationship for the cameras. [NOTE: Straight guys only get turned on by women getting it on together -- for whatever reason -- if the women are boobed babes -- as well as boobs -- and are definitely not total lesbians.] Tila is using a kind of mock bisexuality -- and this should insult the bi-identified as much as gays -- to be hip and different, to get attention, knowing as long as she suggests she's also or mainly into dick she won't be considered an icky "dyke." Going "straight" worked for Anne Heche, after all (does anyone think any of Heche's marriages to men will be particularly long-lasting?) If you want to believe that either Tequila or Heche are bi or straight, be my guest, but don't ask this doubting Thomas to agree with you.
So in the final episode Tila predictably picks a guy while the attractive lesbian gets to walk off into the sunset by herself. Gee -- this has nothing to do with the fact we live in a homophobic world? There is no talk about sexual identity, internalized homophobia, or any of the other factors that may have influenced her decision -- it's just show biz, as insubstantial and fluffy as cotton candy. Of course, let's not feel too sorry for the gay gal, who should have taken a hike as soon as she discovered the dumb deception behind the show (one woman honestly thought the program was a ground-breaking lesbian-only dating show and was proud to be part of it until she discovered the truth.)
I only watched the final episode, but gleaned other information from reviews and the like on the web. On one episode, one of the allegedly straight guys tells the other men that they shouldn't be upset that they lost an athletic competition to the lesbians because "they're really men, after all." Yes -- that's the level of discussion on homosexuality on A Shot at Love, which only manages to debase lesbians, especially those who aren't of the "babe" variety.
Bay Windows published an especially good review of the program by Linda Rodriguez, which can be found by searching their website. And there is an amusing write-up of the show by Susan Norfleet at the blog queersighted.