She’s Not That Into You…or Is She?

In Entertain Me on January 31, 2012 at 10:49 pm

On an idle day of channel surfing I unsuspectingly landed on the Men’s Channel XTM and found a show I couldn’t turn away from.  On first appearances it seemed like just another game show, but what stopped my trigger happy remote finger was the conveyor belt of women performing an array of bizarre songs and dances.  Confused?  I sure was, so let me explain what I think I have figured out.

The show is called 그녀는 당신에게 반하지 않았다…which basically translates to That Girl is Not That Into You.  It starts with a male contestant who is positioned behind a podium and he is presented with 12 women, some of whom would like to date him and others who do not.  Those that don’t will still lie through their teeth to get him to choose them.

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The women are zoomed out on a conveyor belt and the male contestant will press a pass or fail button, thus whittling down the lady suitors to 4 finalists through a series of challenges.  After girls are pitted against each other for things like ‘best sexy dance’ or ‘show us your aegyo’, they are two by two put into a water booth.  The male contestant makes his pick and drenches the loser  to ‘ooohs’ and ‘awwws’ from a sympathetic crowd.  When he finally gets down to one lucky lady, he himself goes into the booth and finds out if she is a ‘good girl’ or a ‘bad girl’.  If his women screening skills are not up to scratch he himself becomes soggy Sam.

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Now it can be said that we have all sorts of similarly degrading and ego deflating date shows, but this program shines up some interesting Korean social trends.  Where ‘Blind Date’ shows might have contestants behind a screen so we can ask questions to find ‘inner beauty’, this show puts appearance as number one.  Women get chosen on what they look like, how they dress, how they move along the conveyor belt of love.  Moreover there is no direct conversation between the male contestant and his girlfriend wannabes.  As they slide across the screen, the women talk and ask questions of ‘Oppa’, but his only response is an obnoxious buzzer.  And of course, there is the obligatory plastic surgery test where a doctor pokes and prods noses and eyelids to determine who’s had a nip or tuck.

You could be forgiven for thinking this to be a male chauvinistic program, but the more I watch this show it’s the women who make me uneasy.  Some women who choose to come on the show have no intentions of dating the contestant, they just want to see if they can fool him into believing they do.  They put on their best performance, professing their sincerity and telling him things he wants to hear.  I for one can’t tell the saints from liars, so I can only imagine how he feels.

When they finally confess their undying disinterest to the audience, a common reason emerges as to why they would do this.  It was their boyfriend’s idea!  Many women say they watch the show with their boyfriend, and either he suggests it, or the women see it as some kind of challenge.  One women said quote “I saw the other women do it and I thought, ‘this is easy I can do that!'”.  What does this say about the morality and self respect of women, where we pride ourselves in being able to fool men into believing we like them?  It’s hard enough to guess the true intentions of one another when dating, how are we ever going to trust people when we can see just how easily they can lie?





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