Here Come the Newlyweds

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10-11 p.m. Sunday, March 2
ABC

Right behind Oprah's new reality show, "The Big Give," comes what could be called "The Big Take" for the hour it robs from us while providing little entertainment value.

Actually, it's titled "Here Come the Newlyweds," perhaps because "The Newlywed Game" had been snapped up years ago. Remember "The Newlywed Game"? That was the show in which three recently married couples answered embarrassing questions, invariably humiliating each other. It was a big hit because, at the time, going on TV to make a fool of yourself was still a novelty.

In this show, seven couples are sequestered in the Newlywed Mansion, each of them with at least one unique trait. There's the couple that married quickly and the couple that knew each other 14 years. There's the couple from an arranged marriage and the couple who had been previously married to others three times. There's also the interracial couple who are dubbed the interfaith couple because he was brought up an atheist.

Why no gay couple? Baby steps, remember, baby steps.

Genial host Pat Bullard asks the couples to perform challenges and vote one another out of the mansion. The surviving couple gets a prize that, by the end of the premiere, had grown to $310,000.

In the first challenge, the men wear blindfolds and the women take turns giving them a peck on the cheek. In the second game, an immunity challenge, the blindfolded husbands drive a minivan through an obstacle course directed by their wives in the passenger seat. In between, a sex therapist drops by to ask how often they want to do it each week. (The men were not required to wear blindfolds for that part of the show but they would have been helpful for viewers.)

At the end of each episode, a vote is taken. The "interfaith" couple won immunity in the Sunday night premiere but traded it for $10,000. The other couples, displaying a heretofore unseen jealous streak, promptly made them the first victims.

Cute, maybe. Especially the transitional shots. For the most part, though, this is dull, unimaginative and sleep-inducing. The most suspenseful part of this show will be guessing if it stays on for its full six-week run.

HERE COME THE NEWLYWEDS
ABC
The Jay and Tony Show in association with Warner Horizon Television
Credits:
Executive producers/creators: Jay Blumenfield, Tony Marsh
Co-executive producer: Alex Campbell
Supervising producer: Shannon Keenan
Senior producer: Dean Ollins
Producer: Jeff Anderson
Editor: Patrick Fraser
Set designer: Patrick Smith
Host: Pat Bullard
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