5 Reasons “I Wanna Marry Harry” is TVs Worst Reality Show

Treva Bowdoin | May 20, 2014

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“I Wanna Marry Harry” star Matt Hicks might just be a worse dating show contestant than Juan Pablo, and that’s saying something.

Some women on “The Bachelor” probably felt duped after getting to know the real JP, but at least he was being himself. This ended up being a huge mistake, when he walked away looking like the biggest fool on his show. The 12 American women who competed for the heart of Prince Harry look-alike Matt Hicks now have an idea about how JP feels; the world is having a good laugh at the gaggle of gullible gals who thought that they had a shot at becoming Kate Middleton’s sister-in-law.

FOX’s “I Wanna Marry Harry” is probably going to be our new favorite guilty pleasure, but here are five reasons why it’s the worst reality show yet.

1. The setup is sinister.

Unsurprisingly, this royal ruse was the brainchild of Mike Darnell, the former FOX exec responsible for duping women on the similar “Joe Millionaire” reality series. He really upped the ante this time by making the phony eligible bachelor so much more than a mere rich guy – now the millionaire is also a royal with a swoon-worthy British accent. And unlike “Joe Millionaire,” “Marry Harry” doesn’t want contestants to fall in love with the man behind the money, a regular ol’ bloke who works for an environmental consulting firm. Instead of being told to be himself, Hicks was trained to act like a completely different person. It’s possible for a woman (even a reality show contestant) to forgive a lack of funds, but how could she agree to marry a guy based on what amounts to one long acting performance?

2. Matt Hicks is no gentleman.

Even if a woman did fall in love with the cheap Prince Harry knockoff, it doesn’t sound like he was looking to find someone to settle down with, anyway. He was just there to have a good time and get paid. “It’s a bit of fun,” Hicks told The Huffington Post. “It was all just an absolute barrel of laughs for six weeks.” In the previews for the show, these “laughs” include locking lips with women who are falling for a fraud. At least Hicks did admit that he felt a bit bad about toying with the contestants’ emotions. “As the women left the show and there were fewer numbers there, I got more attached to the ones that were left,” he told “Inside Edition.” “I started to feel bad about lying to them.”

3. It’s too terrible to be true.

There will be plenty of people who believe that the female contestants were in on this ruse. After all, Matt Hicks isn’t a dead ringer for Harry, and you’d have to be ridiculously dense to believe that the prince would agree to appear on a reality show. Hicks admitted to “The Insider” that only three contestants seemed to be genuinely convinced that he was Prince Harry, and he told “Inside Edition” that the show has been cut to make the idea that the women fell for the hoax more believable. In other words, some of the women might not be as clueless as the show makes them seem – they’re playing along and willingly being catfished.

4. You know how it’s going to end.

Obviously we won’t get a royal wedding at the end of this reality show, and Will and Kate are not going to pop in to meet Hoax Harry’s harem. Matt Hicks is simply going to reveal that he’s a normal guy to all the contestants, and they’re going to react by being shocked, angry, and upset. At least it will be somewhat interesting to see if any of them can laugh along with Matt at the great prank that he’s pulled.

5. It will probably be a hit.

I have a sneaky suspicion that this will be a big hit for FOX – many Americans are Anglophiles, and they also love their trashy reality TV. Just get ready for a slew of series in the same vein that try to convince women that they’re scoring a date with other British babes like Harry Styles, Robert Pattinson, and Benedict Cumberbatch (I’d watch that last one to see some crazy Cumberbiatches battle it out).

FOX moved the air date for “I Wanna Marry Harry” forward to May 20 at 9 p.m., and this could be an indication of how the network feels about the dating show – this is the coveted slot after first night of the “American Idol” finale. Now there’s an idea: “I Wanna Marry an American Idol” (you’re welcome, FOX).

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Photo: Glyn Lowe
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