First off, a tweet from five years ago:
I cannot begin to put into words just how much I miss the Fox Reality Channel! From 2005 until it went off the air in 2010, Fox Reality was the channel to go to if you wanted to watch some of television’s greatest guilty pleasures. It was all reality tv all the time, a mix of original programming with reruns of shows like The Amazing Race, American Idol, Hell’s Kitchen, and about a hundred different dating shows. Occasionally, they would devote an entire weekend to showing just one show and I have many fond memories of binge watching Paradise Hotel on Fox Reality.
Fox Reality also showed its share of cheap original programming as well, including today’s guilty pleasure. If you were watching the Fox Reality Channel in 2009 (as I was and I have the tweets to prove it), there’s a good chance that you saw this commercial:
Now, of course, after seeing that commercial, you probably said, “Oh my God, I have to watch this show! I mean, it says ‘sex’ right there in the title so it has to be good!”
So, you tuned into the Fox Reality Channel and, after sitting through the last 15 minutes of a rerun of The Rebel Billionaire: Richard Branson’s Quest For The Best, you watched Sex Decoy: Love Stings.
Fortunately, just in case you were unsure about what you were about to watch, the opening credits explained the whole concept behind this “reality” show:
All 8 episodes of Love Stings started out the same way, with Arizona P.I. Sandra Hope talking about how worried she is about her three daughters: Kashmir, Jasmine, and Xanadu. It upsets Sandra that all three of them dislike her nerdy boyfriend and business partner, Tom. It also upsets Sandra that all three of her daughters work as strippers whenever they are running low on funds. (But, if Sandra is so worried about all of her daughters becoming strippers, why did she give them all stereotypical stripper names? That’s what I’ve always wondered…) Then the daughters show up and make fun of Tom and complain that Sandra doesn’t treat them like adults…
It’s probably around this time that you, the viewer, came to realize that Sex Decoy: Love Stings was obviously an attempt to create a hybrid of Cheaters and Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Much like the Kardashians, Sex Decoy was obviously scripted. However, Sandra and her daughters made Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and even Kris look like Oscar-winning thespians by comparison. Sandra, in particular, had an amazingly robotic voice. Her dialogue and her interactions with Tom and her daughters were so lacking in emotion and spontaneity that they became odd portraits of existential dread. And when Sandra robotically talked about how much money she made by exposing cheaters, it almost felt as if we were watching one of Jean-Luc Godard’s experimental attacks on capitalism.
Anyway, after each episode’s family crisis had been set up, we would then meet this week’s client and get around to exposing their mate as being a cheater. This, of course, involved a lot of secret cameras and a sex decoy who would be brought in to seduce the cheater while the client watched in a nearby trailer. (Often times, Sandra would use her own daughters as the decoy which was kind of icky. A running subplot, throughout the series, was that Kashmir felt she was never properly used as a decoy and, as a result, would threaten to go back to stripping.) The client, naturally, would often get very upset and eventually, the cheater would end up being confronted while the cameras rolled.
And again, what made this so fascinating was the total inability of Sandra or her daughters to show any hint of human emotion. The client would get upset and start yelling. The cheater would try to talk his way out of it and occasionally beg for forgiveness. Meanwhile, Sandra and the daughters would watch and say things like, “He. Is. A. Cheater.” It was almost as if they were aliens sent down to Earth to expose cheaters.
Each show would end with Sandra, Tom, and the daughters doing some sort of family activity. Sandra would often brag that Sex Decoy was a family business but, being a robot, it always came out as, “After. All. We. Are. A. Family. Business.”
It was seriously just so strange to watch and that strangeness made it the epitome of a guilty pleasure. Sadly, Fox Reality is gone but Sex Decoy lives on! You can watch every episode on Hulu. And, fortunately, there’s only 8 of them so, right when the novelty of the show starts to wear off, it’s over!
Previous Guilty Pleasures
- Save The Last Dance
- Every Rose Has Its Thorns
- The Jeremy Kyle Show
- Invasion USA
- The Golden Child
- Final Destination 2
- The Principal
- The Substitute
- Terror In The Family
- Keep Off The Grass
- Girls, Girls, Girls
- King Kong vs. Godzilla
- Hawk the Slayer
- Battle Beyond the Stars
- Walk of Shame
- From Justin To Kelly
- Project Greenlight