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Big Island lends scenery to wreck of a dating show


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POSTED: Thursday, September 17, 2009

Normally I try to ignore bad television, but “;My Antonio”; is like watching a car accident in real time. It's so awful that you simply can't turn away. Because it was shot at the Hilton Waikoloa and in various locations around the Big Island, I have to believe the lovely scenery will separate itself from the wreckage.

In the first episode of model/soap star Antonio Sabato Jr.'s attempt to find “;love”; via an arbitrary and harsh selection process, he makes quite an entrance up the beach (the only redeeming qualities are his fit body and cute dimples when he smiles). It goes downhill after that when he rejects a candidate immediately because of her hands and feet. Hello?

Though I felt kind of sorry for her, I must say that I've never seen so much cleavage and so little intellect in one group. It was kind of alarming.

Later he says, “;I'm looking for someone who's physically fit and athletic, someone who can go the distance with me!”; The women vying for his affection are wearing tons of jewelry and teeny dresses without bras and must run up a long, steep sand hill. As he's screams, “;Let's go, let's go!”; through a megaphone (football practice, anyone?), dresses ride up, forcing producers to blur certain areas. When the girls get to the top, one says, “;I wish I would've worn better underwear!”; Wow, it's this kind of introspection that makes the show so powerful.

Then his mother shows up and starts quizzing the girls and telling Antonio which ones to dump. His ex-wife also joins the fun. Get the idea? The best comment appeared on the chat board online at http://www.vh1.com, where you can watch full episodes on demand if you can stomach them: “;Whipped Mama's Boy. Worst catch ever ... Run, ladies, run!”;

On a more sophisticated note, “;Lost”; is climbing back into our consciousness. The Honolulu Symphony will tell “;The Story of Babar”; with a little help from Michael Emerson and Elizabeth Mitchell (good news that she's still around following her perilous proximity to a massive bomb in the season finale). They will narrate behind conductor Andreas Delfs and music from Debussy, Poulenc and Tchaikovsky.

Shows are at 8 p.m. Saturday Oct. 3 and 4 p.m. Sunday Oct. 4 at Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall. Call 792-2000 during weekday business hours, or visit http://www.honolulusymphony.com.

Also, don't miss the Emmy Awards on Sunday. “;Lost”; is up for Best Dramatic Series. And be sure to plan ahead for the Hawaii International Film Festival's all day “;Lost”; event on Oct. 17. HIFF director Chuck Boller just confirmed that three master classes will take place at Dole Cannery, with an opportunity to participate in an “;Inside the Actors Studio”; function with several of the “;Lost”; stars at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Royal Hawaiian Theatre. Cost will be $50, less if you're a HIFF member. More to come on this. For tickets, visit http://www.hiff.org.

When “;The Informants”; opens tomorrow, be sure to watch for quick scenes shot at the Makaha Resort & Golf Club. Producers swooped in and remodeled some of the guest rooms and the main banquet room, according to Susan Shupe, the resort's assistant general manager. Though Matt Damon was there for a week, nobody paid much attention. Shupe said, “;It was really relaxed.”;

Local girl Tia Carrere (”;Wayne's World”;) will produce and star in a film about Rell Sunn, Queen of Makaha. Early word on “;Wave Dancer”; comes from the Hollywood Reporter, though buzz about this movie has circulated for a while ...

Also, the DVD premiere party for the 26th annual Universal ShowQueen Pageant is slated for 9 p.m. tonight at Hula's Bar & Lei Stand, with live performances as well. Produced by filmmaker Brent Anbe, it features the female impersonator/gender illusionist pageant—“;The Ultimate in Boy Beautiful”;—held at the Hawaii Convention Center in June. Cover is $5, with proceeds benefiting the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation. Check it out at www.UniversalShowQueenDVD.com. It's pretty amazing!