"I'm America's Dream
Imagine trying to woo a model/club hoppin' VIP that
would probably put Paris Hilton to bloody shame. AND you
have to get past her girlfriends. AND you only have 45
seconds to do it. That's your basic synop of the
premiere of "The Player", UPN's answer to every dating
show that ever existed. And since it's UPN, you can
expect either oversexification or a Star Trek reference,
so stay sharp.
Welcome to Miami, city made famous by David Caruso, Will
Smith, and Bea Arthur. This is where we meet 24-year-old
Dawn, a local model and clubber from St. Petersburg. In
a word... DAYUM. Not a bad body, but what's up with the
teeth? As good as she is in front of a camera, she's
also a player with some game (note to
players-in-training: eventually this game will fail, and
you'll end up falling for your conquest. Good if you're
into that sort of thing. Bad if you're a player). She
would consider abandoning the game for someone that
meant something, but just in case she too would fall
prey to the game, she has her friends Jinelle (also a
model) and Ananda (an insurance agent) looking out for
Now to the 13 players
who want to get with this player. Kyle
(confidence), Eian (competitive nature),
Marvin (intellect), Federico (honesty),
Bryan (mystery), Ben (difference), Chyno
("Love hurts from what I heard"), Trever
(charisma... and a van down by the river), Alex;
or "Big Al" (sincerity), Jason (thinking),
Byron the Loverboy (love), JJ (white guy with
street), and Acie "Viva Las Vegas" ("creative
Rules are simple: if you
get played, you're going home.
Oh yeah, there's one
more player we haven't yet met... The Player Operator,
the voice of the game, conveniently disguised to keep
his identity secret. He informs the guys that at the end
of the week, one player is going to get played. Also,
there's a party in the crib... in an hour. Get ready
So they do... Dress,
groom, drink. You know, the whole nine. And since this
is a Miami beach party, expect women. Lots and lots of
women. Could one of them be Dawn? We don't know. They
don't know. So they'll just hit up with every chick in
the place. But she isn't there... Yet. DJ brings her
out. Group mentality the same: definitely the whole
package. Yeah, just don't watch her mouth as she
Of course, as a player,
Dawn does not walk alone, as she brings forth the double
whammy that is left hottie and right hottie (aka Ananda
and Jinelle). And before we can get further into intros,
the Player Operator messages Dawn on her two-way:
"Gentlemen, we will now
begin our first challenge. Each of you will have 45
seconds to give Dawn, Jinelle and Ananda a little taste
of what you're all about. It's a battle, playa style,
you can do anything you want... Just represent. Five men
will win this competition; Dawn will choose one, Jinelle
and Ananda will each choose two. The winners will
accompany Dawn on a player's tour of Miami's hot spots.
Good luck, gentlemen. Let the game's begin."
Acie lays down a rhyme. Byron goes for the funny.
Apparently, he hates dumb people. Jason just comes at it
with the honesty approach. Bryan tries stripping. Chyno
sings. Ben is just "him". A sweet talker. JJ also
rhymes. And dances. Marvin also rhymes about "a Cali
lawyer". Thank God Eian shows him how to do it proper.
Kyle.. no clue. Trever... even less of a clue. Alex...
might just be a dork. Federico breakdances and flips
into the pool. But in the end, it's Ben, Federico the
flipper, Eian, Chyno, and Dawn's choice JJ going
clubbing tomorrow night. A real cross-section.
Meanwhile, the others
play cards and laugh at the guy in the fat-stripper
suit. Everyone loves it... except Marvin.
Next day, 7am. Doorbell
rings. Everyone is still asleep everywhere. And place
looks like... well, a bachelor's pad. That's about to
change, because the ladies are moving in! The girls are
living upstairs, while the men (and Alex's hair, lot of
product use, that man) stay downstairs at "their little
Bryan puts this in its
proper perspective: "The queen is upstairs, while the
horny peasants are downstairs." Dawn makes it clear that
the upstairs lounge is invitation only. Meanwhile,
Marvin, not unlike at least six of the sixteen, has a
higher-than-absolutely-necessary opinion of himself.
Everyone wants to
approach the queen in the kitchen. And everyone goes
about it in a different way. Except touching. She can't
be touched. Except in a way that a date and her
so-called heart is involved.
5:35pm - the guys head
out to the club, and Eian wastes no time trying to make
the big score. But Dawn, as you know, is a player, and
she comes back with "We haven't even been in the car for
five minutes." Mistake #2: Federico just keeps on
correcting her on name pronunciation. He's thinking too
much. Dawn loves men to say the right things at the
right time. Test, the one-on-ones, as JJ is just "cool"
("A true player never reveals himself."). True.
Back at the Player
Mansion, it's nothing but a chill thing with the
girlfriends. They just want to get to the meat of these
guys... mentally. All the while Marvin is dropping the
knowledge: "Somebody's getting eliminated TOMORROW."
Back on Ocean Blvd., the
dates continue. Chyno wants to play her average-like,
but Dawn feels like she's the one playing all five
(well, she IS!). Well, Ben's not the playing type, per
se, as he takes his time falling for her.
It's 8:45am on
elimination day. Federico desperately tries to find some
common ground. "Just chill, that's all," she says. So
much for that. Player Operator phones again with news of
the elimination. Jinelle and Ananda will each nominate
one man for evic... sorry, elimination. Then, it's
Dawn's choice. Bryan doesn't want to be the first gone,
because "Dawn doesn't know him." Well, tough rocks, pal.
That's the way of the game.
But first, it's the
Board Room, player-style. Jinelle nominates the
way-too-immature Federico, and Ananda marks the
princess-like Marvin. Of course, each person gets one
more chance to defend themselves. Federico was trying to
be funny, and he realizes that he's wrong to do so. He
acknowledges his age, but hopes that that will not be an
issue. Marvin hasn't run up on her like that and says
that he has a lot to bring to the table.
In the end, an effort to
make an effort may save him, but at the same time,
Marvin hasn't had that many chances to run his game.
Dawn looks forward to it, so he's staying. "Federico....
Game over, player. Don't hate the player, hate the
My take... that
catchphrase: "Don't hate the Player, hate the Game."
Well, okay, if you say so. Here's a big post-it for
every TV producer out there: If you're going to create
some reality TV... MAKE IT WORTH MY F(^_^)KING WHILE!
Don't just rush some crap on the TV to sell the genre
and make these reality fanpeople happy! Brothers, you
want to find out how to make the score, you may want to
pass this one.
More game next week.
Play on, playas. Oh, and my guess... Dawn's the Player
Operator. It would only make sense.