I’m morally bankrupt enough to admit that among the things I miss here in Stockholm are bad reality shows. I especially miss you, Bravo, with your Millionaire Matchmaker and your 437 cities chock full of nut job Real Housewives. When so many of the bright shooting stars of reality TV have flickered and sputtered out too soon (yes, you, Shot at Love with Tila Tequila), your network has always been there to lobotomize me whenever I need a good drool.
Tomorrow marks eight weeks of reality detox, and as if explicitly to torture me, the Swedish television execs have scrambled to cast and shoot a new season of their own TV trash: Paradise Hotel. Why torture? Equal parts Bachelor Pad, MTV Spring Break and Dating in the Dark (confession: I’ve never actually seen that one but I have enough to go on from the title), Paradise Hotel is just about the stupidest and most wonderful possible programming that you could hope to find on one of your two functioning channels. And according to the promos that have been running every 11 seconds since I got here in August, it was scheduled to start this week! Yay, right? No! Not yay! Despite the English title, the whole show is in Swedish! I can’t understand a word they’re saying, and it turns out that reality TV is actually intolerable without the ridiculous sound bites. Go ahead, watch the clip. Behold how they’ve stolen all of the joy.