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Millionaire Matchmaker

I’ve been working on a list of books, movies, tv, and podcasts that I ingested in 2010, but it’s gotten to be quite exhausting, and I might not finish. I see I was being overly ambitious to think I could review or even briefly comment on every single piece of cultural flotsam and jetsam that came my way in the course of a year, and I’m probably going to omit many of them, and list some without any commentary. In the meantime, I offer this teaser, a fluffy commentary on my favorite fluffy reality show.

Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo. Patti Stanger, a “third generation matchmaker,” or yenta as they were known in the shtetl, takes on millionaires (of either gender) and finds their soul mates for them. Patti’s m.o. is to hold a “mixer” to which she invites a pre-screened select group of potential mates to mingle with “her” millionaires, as she calls them; at the end of the evening the clients select one person for a “master date” (which she articulates utterly poker-faced).

Not only are many of her clients out of their minds, so is Patti. Disobey one of her numerous rules and you’re “out of my club! Now! Out, out!” The show’s teaser says matchmaking takes “a lot of patience,” but this gal’s a fuse that blows whenever a client makes a misstep – which they frequently do. And yet, Patti turns out to be right every time: when a client disobeys her, he or she suffers consequences far beyond exile from the club: whatever they did, Patti triumphantly declares, is to blame for their miserable state of singlehood.

Patti’s punky assistants are a young man with a huge black mohawk and his wife, who, not to be outdone in the hair department, sports a hot-dog shaped roll of bright purple bangs upon her forehead. When these two started out with Patti they were somewhat shy, but by now they’ve adopted the boss’s bold style and attitude, to the point where they can blithely tell someone he’s “creepy” without mussing a spike or a curl.

The whole gang recently moved their headquarters from LA to Manhattan, where they freely toss out observations about the differences between the cities. Briefly, LA women are blonder, better dressed and physically maintained, but a little ditzy; New York women are quick and sharp, but dismal dressers and too aggressive with men. New York, in contrast to LA, is teeming with acceptable-plus single men, but unfortunately their response to female aggression has been to lie down and take it. Thus, confusion reigns on the New York dating scene – but not to fear: Patti’s on the case. After persuading a few women to change their dress style, she proclaimed her conquest over the City of New York. Yes, Patti is certifiable —  but it’s all very entertaining.

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