Logo recently released a gay version of The Bachelor, and it is a mess.
Finding Prince Charming is a dating show hosted by former *NSYNC star Lance Bass. The show features 13 single gay men vying for the attention of a bachelor named Robert Sepulveda Jr.
Even if you can ignore the shameless exploitation of a contestant's HIV status to promote the show or Sepulveda's past as a paid escort, the show still doesn't work. The fatal flaw of Finding Prince Charming is that its format doesn't make sense for an all-gay cast.
Finding Prince Charming is a parody of a dating show.
On a show like The Bachelor, you have a harem of women all seeking the attention of a single male. This contrived format 'works' because the female contestants are presumably not interested in sleeping with or dating each other.
This is not the case with an all-gay cast.
Finding Prince Charming is more like a parody of a dating show than a serious attempt at "the first all-gay dating competition."
It features a house full of men bizarrely professing interest in Sepulveda while ignoring all of the equally attractive and successful men in the house.
The competition becomes even sadder once we realize that Sepulveda is (ironically) one of the least charming people in the show. Sepulveda's bland personality makes it unusually apparent that the contestants are just seeking attention while still pretending to chase the not-so-charming prince.
At least one of the contestants wasn't up for the charade - there's a man from Sepulveda's hometown of Atlanta who all but asks to be sent home after finding out that Sepulveda was the "Prince Charming."
About that sex worker issue: TheWrap reports that Logo TV didn't find out about Sepulveda's past as a paid escort until well into filming. Sepulveda nonchalantly admits to working as an escort in a video interview with Huffington Post and then quickly tries to change the subject.
Many say that Sepulveda's past a sex worker shouldn't stigmatize him today. However, Sepulveda's reluctance to have a full conversation about his past only makes things worse.
As Vulture puts it: "his lack of openness only further stigmatizes sex work because it suggests that the desire to settle down is somehow inimical to it."
We deserve better TV than this. Maybe it's time to bring back A List: Dallas?
Finding Prince Charming airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. CST on Logo. Some episodes are also available for viewing online.