COLUMN:`Temptation Island’ an escape from reality

Tim Paluch

I don’t think I’m alone when I say television has been pretty boring lately. I mean, how is America supposed to return to our own warped sense of normalcy when we are constantly being saturated with this “war on terrorism?”

I can only take so many special reports and round-table discussions on whether or not we should drop more bombs on empty villages in Afghanistan.

Thankfully, an alternative to the drab monotony of the 24-hour cable news coverage of the Afghan conflict is finally upon us with last night’s debut of “Temptation Island 2” on Fox, providing America the perfect opportunity to get back to obsessing over mindless garbage on television again.

“Temptation Island 2,” much like the original “Temptation Island,” is “reality TV” like no other. It’s an unscripted drama where four “committed” couples, all attractive young people, travel to a remote exotic island (this season it’s Playa Tambor, Costa Rica).

There they will be separated and set up with sexy, eligible singles of the opposite sex. Their only objective – make it through the entire series without having sex with one of these sleazy home-wreckers.

Think “Survivor.” If Larry Flynt was executive producer.

It’s the only show on television you can get an STD from just by watching.

The first season of “Temptation Island” was an overwhelming success, so much so that 60,000 couples tried out for a spot on the sequel. Which means 60,000 couples had a conversation one night over dinner not unlike this:

“Oh, Samantha. I love you so much.”

“I love you too, Brett.”

“I think it’s time we finally prove our love to each other.”

“You mean, , marriage?”

“No, I’m thinking exotic deserted island. National TV. I’ll slam some daquiries and we’ll see if I sleep with gorgeous bikini-clad women named Candy and Bubbles.”

“Oh, Brett. You’re wonderful.”

The first season of “Temptation Island” was brilliant, quite possibly the pinnacle of human existence to date. But, like any masterpiece, it had its flaws.

Sure, Fox managed to trivialize the beautiful bond that is a meaningful human relationship, turning real-life emotions into nothing more than a commercial product to be sold to 30 million voyeurs tuning in once a week. But it just didn’t go far enough.

Every couple stayed together at the end of the show; not one person cheated on their significant other. Very disappointing. I wanted hair-pulling and debauchery. In fact, I expected it. I can only hope that this season a couple or two actually succumb to the temptation and make it with one of the rent-a-prostitutes.

Maybe just putting people on an exotic island with half-naked singles isn’t enough. If that’s the case and everyone stays together this season, I have a couple of suggestions for the inevitable “Temptation Island 3.”

First off, if you really want to test the strength of a relationship, you don’t tempt the man with beautiful women.

Instead, have Samantha tell Brett her period’s late. That’ll send more guys running than any Playboy centerfold ever could.

Or maybe Samantha will begin feeling comfortable with the relationship and start letting herself go.

If, by week seven, Samantha can’t fit in her jogging pants anymore and Brett’s still sticking around, you know they’re meant for each other.

If Fox is really trying to exploit people’s relationship shortcomings on national television, they need to look beyond the obvious temptation of sex and throw some actual “reality” in there.

Tim Paluch is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Orland Park, Ill. He is opinion editor of the Daily.