With the name ‘FBoy Island,’ HBO’s new dating show is either amazing or very, very bad
HBO Max just announced some prestige programming for the summer: a dating show — er, “social experiment” — delicately titled “FBoy Island.”
There’s no way the show can be as excellent as its trailer, above, which is basically a parade of muscles and flesh centered on an oceanside swimming pool in the Cayman Islands, precision-cut to match its catchy music. But hey, a viewer can dream.
The show’s mission statement, as articulated by comic and host Nikki Glaser? “Women have been forced to tolerate the manipulative douchebaggery of fboys for far too long. And that’s why we’re here. Welcome to Fboy Island.”
Elan Gale, a Bachelor Nation executive producer, came up with the concept. “Married at First Sight” veteran Sam Dean is the showrunner.
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Three women — CJ Franco, Nakia Renee and Sarah Emig — are tasked with finding love among 24 male contestants, half of whom are “nice guys.” The other half? They’re the “fboys.” Lotharios. Users. Players. The ones your mother warned you about. (You can guess what four-letter word that “F” stands for.) The gimmick, of course, is that nice guys and fboys all look alike on the surface.
“They look like angels, but they’re really the devil,” says Renee, right before the trailer cuts to one of guys crushing a raw egg as he flexes his exceptional biceps.
There’s also a prize of $100,000 available to one of the men, who range in age from 22 to 35. The prize for the women, who are between 25 and 30? A shot at “true love,” which hardly seems fair.
“He’s really cute, but he looks like he’s gonna ruin my life,” Franco says, describing what many people know as “dating.” (On the bright side, at least the contestants aren’t dressed up as beavers, pandas and scarecrows, like on Netflix’s bizarre upcoming dating show.)
After revealing 11 new cast members Monday, hit U.K. reality TV show “Love Island” returns June 28 for a seventh season full of firsts.
“FBOY ISLAND is a social experiment that asks the age-old question: Can FBoys truly reform or do Nice Guys always finish last?,” HBO Max said in a press release Monday, raising a question few have actually asked.
Reactions Monday on social media were all over the map.
“would love to finish this pilot today but i have to ‘meet the cast of hbo max’s cheeky new reality dating show FBOY ISLAND,’” a screenwriter tweeted.
“FBoy Island looks too terrible to even hate watch,” one woman wrote.
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“Congratulations!,” wrote a married mother of two, specifically addressing Gale. “Big fan of your work with the other franchise that has not been the same since you left. I hope you’re able to inject heart into this as well.”
“is this porn?,” a dentist wondered, while another person asked, “does the f in fboy island stand for family”?
“I hate myself for how excited I am about this lol. #FBoyIsland,” tweeted a New York woman.
One self-declared “leftist who’s done with the left” took things very seriously, writing: “Seriously wrong. INFORMED consent is the only consent that IS consent. Lying and manipulating people into sex isn’t cute or funny. This is rape culture you are celebrating.”
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But for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction. “ok maybe we get HBO again,” tweeted a guy out of Boston.
“As a lesbian I am willing to watch for science,” wrote a woman who described herself as a proponent of “overt homosexuality, platform boots, clogs, big hair & striped tights.”
Meanwhile, a man in Monterrey, Mexico, wondered out loud to HBO Max, “Are you the same guys that made The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire? lol.”
“FBoy Island” starts streaming July 29.
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