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The Goddess Speaks

By Stacy Yuen Hernandez

Tuesday, February 27, 2001

‘Temptation’ fan
and proud of it

How can you watch such trash?," my best friend asked me. For a moment I felt embarrassed to be tuning in every Wednesday night for the past few weeks to watch the racy, sex-driven reality TV series, "Temptation Island."

I'm not the only one. Although viewership has declined slightly with each episode, on average, between 16 and 17 million viewers tuned in to the series, which ends tomorrow night.

I feel a tad bit ashamed that I make sure dinner is prepared and eaten by 8 p.m., so I can sit down, relax and watch the four unmarried but "committed" couples put their relationships to the test.

These couples, all good-looking, are stranded on an island in Belize with a host of tempting possibilities. For the guys, the list of 13 single women includes a medical doctor/Playboy centerfold, a kindergarten teacher/ former Laker Girl, even Miss Georgia 2000. I think the gals have less to choose from because the credentials of the single guys aren't nearly as interesting. Among the single studs are a Princeton grad, a naval flight instructor and a masseur.

FOX is capitalizing on a simple aspect of human nature. We all love water-cooler gossip, especially when it concerns others' relationships. We all say we don't like it, because it may not be politically correct, but we can't help but watch anyway.

I have never been one to watch a lot of television. My friend, Deb, rolled her eyes when I told her that I'm very picky about the TV programs I watch. I've never seen an episode of "Friends,' "E.R." or "The X-Files," but every once in a while, a show comes along that tickles my fancy, and I make sure to watch. In the late '80s, it was "The Wonder Years," then in the '90s it was "Doogie Howser, M.D."

OK, I'm not what you would call a TV connoisseur, but I'm glad to say I've matured, and my latest fix is "Temptation Island." For some reason, this series has piqued my interest.

When I first tuned in to the show, I was in stitches whenever something scandalous happened and someone, usually one of the women, ended up sobbing. I guess it's because I don't know these people and don't really care if they're hurting, especially since they're exposing themselves on TV for all to mock. But after a few episodes, I began connecting with some of these couples and actually felt sorry for them.

Lying in bed one night after a rather upsetting episode in which one of the women ended up on a rather hot date, I told my husband, "I feel sorry for Billy. That was not a good thing that Mandy did by making out with Johnny."

"I agree," my husband said.

So, there I was, getting emotionally involved with people I didn't even know, much less cared to know in real life. My friends have ups and downs in their relationships and they tell me about it, but their experiences are nothing compared to what's going on on "Temptation Island."

"Mike forgets to take out the garbage every time," complains my friend, Carol (names changed to protect relationships), or, "I wish Jerry wouldn't watch TV in his underwear all weekend," says Marilyn.

I snore. "C'mon, give me some good stuff. Is anyone cheatin' on someone here? Does anyone have the hots for someone else?! Take me back to 'Temptation Island,' please."

As beautiful, curvy, bikini-clad temptresses parade across our TV screen, I ask my husband, "Which one would you pick?"

"Oh none of them," he quickly replies, not pausing for a second. "None of them are you."

Good answer.

Stacy Yuen Hernandez is a Honolulu writer who
recently became a reality TV junkie. The finale of
"Temptation Island" airs at 8 p.m. tomorrow on FOX.

The Goddess Speaks runs every Tuesday
and is a column by and about women, our strengths, weaknesses,
quirks and quandaries. If you have something to say, write it and
send it to: The Goddess Speaks, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, P.O.
Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802, or send e-mail

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