Manhattan Matchmaker

  1. It appears that the Matchmaker's product consists of a four-date package and a fashion consultation.

    The way the Matchmaker finds potential matches is first, she walks around the city with the client, and has her point out boys the client thinks are cute.

    Then the Matchmaker walks around the city by herself, and walks up to strange men who have the look she is going for and introduces herself as the Matchmaker, and asks the guys if they are married or have girlfriends. If they say no, then they get sent on dates.

    So far I have seen only two episodes of this show (Fox Reality, 190 on Dish), so maybe I am rushing to judgment. I hope so.

    In the first episode I saw, the girl was told she needed to raise her standards. In the second, Tracy, the client, or "matchee," is told that she needs to lower them.

    Her best friend informs us that Tracy always likes really good looking guys, and really good looking guys want models, and Tracy - well, Tracy isn't a model.

    To me, Tracy seems like a very pretty, very fresh-faced girl who could just as easily be a model as not. I also find myself thinking "This is her best friend?"

    Anyway, the Matchmaker and her partner agree that Tracy needs to lower her expectations, and after the fashion consultation, from which Tracy emerges essentially sytlistically unchanged, she is sent on her first date. This is called the "test date," and afterward, she receives a critique on her dating behavior. She arrived late, a valid criticism, but the Matchmaker's partner advises her against being so witty.

    (And in my mind, a Flashback Montage: All the sweet, pretty blonde girls who used to take me aside, opaque yellow-blue eyes widened in earnest concern, and counsel me: "You're so funny ShimmaPuff! But boys just don't like girls who are always making smart remarks").**


    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

    Back to the Matchmaker's Master Plan for Tracy:

    For her second date, the Matchmaker chooses one that Tracy, she says "will have to reach for her," meaning someone she feels is less attractive than Tracy. And reach for her he does, calling her back several times. Tracy does not return his calls. The Matchmaker advises her, correctly in this case, anyway, to step up to the plate and let him know straight up that she is not interested.

    The second date is with a man the Matchmaker and Tracy both think is really hot. This is one that Tracy will "have to reach for". The kind of man that according to Tracy's best friend, wants a model. Not Tracy.

    And in fact, that does turn out to be the case. He really liked talking to a girl who is smart, he said, but he didn't feel any chemistry. Tracy did, but them's the breaks. She is, after all, not a model.

    This particular version of the Matchmaker's Master Plan is following a Goldilocks theme, and the last date is with a man that is considered to be "just right," the same attractiveness level as Tracy. But Tracy is concerned because he is 5 years younger. She is advised not to nitpick, and to go on the second date that he has requested.

    Tracy is worried about being a cougar, but the Matchmaker's partner tells her that she doesn't need to worry about that because she does not wear leopard prints and she is not desperate.

    After that date, the Matchmaker tells her good-bye, and Tracy and her best friend agree that Tracy has really been changed by the experience, and is now more open-minded about whom she will date.

    We are not told whether there were any subsequent dates with the guy who is 5 years younger.

    Anyway, even if I were both single and in the market for a Matchmaker, I don't think I would hire this one.

    Some of the advice the Matchmaker gives is very sensible, and some of it would strike me as pretty stupid and shallow, especially if I were paying for it, but the main thing that really stuck out about this show is that the Matchmaker does not really seem like a Matchmaker so much as a dating consultant, or a social interaction specializing life coach.

    She doesn't really find matches for people.

    I assume she does some additional interviews or screening of these men she walks up to in the public streets, but if there is any effort made to identify people who might actually be potential matches for her client in terms of personality, interests, etc, that is just as invisible as at least the basic background check I surely hope that she does, just to avoid the embarrassment of sending clients out on dates with people who are psycho-killers.

    Or married and lying about it to get on TV.

    **(Luckily, the universe eventually bestowed upon me the gift of Mr Puff, who just so happens to love him some smart remarks. He is always making them too).
  2. You deserve your own website Shimma!