You may not know the name Mike Fleiss, but you definitely know some of his “creations.” After all, the man behind ABC’s trilogy of trash (THE BACHELOR, THE BACHELORETTE and BACHELOR PAD) helped introduce the world to such tabloid darlings as Vienna Girardi, Brad Womack and Bentley Williams. So it’s not particularly surprising to see that Fleiss is the executive producer of The CW’s new show, H8R, on which loathed celebs get a chance to try and clean-up their image by confronting one of their haters and trying to convince that person that they’re just plain folks.
Yeah, good luck with that.
The problem with H8R — aside from the dizzyingly bad camera work and a premise so flimsy that it’s difficult to believe the haters don’t realize they’re about to meet the object of their derision — is that in an obvious attempt to make the celebs look as good as possible, the folks whom they “confront” are at least as obnoxious if not more so. In the premiere, JERSEY SHORE’s Snooki was taken to task by a guy who was flat-out rude, and THE BACHELOR’s Jake plastered on his best fake smile in an effort to win over a girl who was just as determined to feign aloofness.
I’m sure Jake’s PR team thought going on the show would be an awesome way to both keep him in the spotlight and help spiff up his image, but the dude came off faker than a million-dollar bill. Word of advice, Jake: It doesn’t help to talk about how you’re going to prove you’re not what people see on reality TV… but going on another reality show. It also doesn’t help make you seem more “real” to take someone not to your own home or to someplace that means something special to you, but to the house at which the Bachelor franchise is filmed!
It’s interesting to note that in the world Mike Fleiss and company occupy, “celebrity” equals “reality star.” Of those featured in upcoming segments teased at the end of the episode, most were genre staples such as Kim Kardashian, Janice Dickinson and basketballer-turned-DANCING WITH THE STARS contestant Ron Artest. After suffering through one episode, all I can say is that if they ever decide to do a show about people who hate on H8R, sign me up.