Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Millionaire Matchmaker”

Dear Frank,

I’ll just say this — sometimes, I tackle subjects for this blog because other people make me. And sometimes, I do it to myself.

Over the past few months, some ill-advised bouts of channel surfing have created within me a hate/fascination for the Bravo reality series Millionaire Matchmaker. Frank, this show is the WORST show I have ever watched multiple episodes of. It is about horrible human beings and the horrible things they will do and say just to be on television. I have seen at least six episodes and could easily watch six more.

The queen of these horrible people is a woman named Patti Stanger, who claims to be a third generation match-maker “with a 99 percent success rate.” (If I were to base that success rate on the episodes I’ve seen, I would put it at maybe 25 percent? If I’m being generous. If I’m being VERY GENEROUS.) She also looks just a bit like what would happen if Snooki ditched the Bump It and aged 30 years.

When I first started hate-watching this show, I quickly became conscious of the fact that Patti was a human nightmare whose personal insecurities are matched only by her incredibly offensive beliefs about men, women and the way relationships are supposed to “work.” However, I’m no longer entirely alone in this knowledge, as last week she made headlines by saying on live TV that gay men are incapable of monogamy and Jewish men lie. She said this in front of her gay Jewish boss, which made it all the more special. But not at all a surprise to me.

Because to observe Patti on a long-term basis is to learn that apparently being a matchmaker means dealing in stereotypes and making snap judgements about people’s psychological makeup based on superficial facts. Patti will say to a girl, “Oh, you have a dog? That means you’ll be a good mommy.” Patti will say to a client, “I wouldn’t sleep with you, and I wouldn’t give you a blowjob either,” because he’s wearing a hoody. In short, I feel very comfortable giving Patti a fun little nickname. Given how she “encourages” ladies looking to “date” millionaires to get hair extensions like hers, let’s call her Peltwhore!

Here is the way a typical episode of Millionaire Matchmaker works: Two millionaires (usually guys, but not exclusively — though when they are women, they’re [BARF] “millionairesses”) are introduced via a video diary-type thing. Peltwhore decides immediately what’s fucked up about these guys and why they’ve never found love without paying for the privilege. She will never change her opinions of them, even after spending hours in their company.

Having decided for herself who these men are and what their damage is, Peltwhore then meets her clients in person, whereupon she asks them what they’re looking for in a lady and tells them what they need to change about themselves in order to find one. This ranges from life coaches to hypnotherapists to full makeovers, none of which are ever very successful.

After that, Peltwhore and her assistants have a literal casting call (with headshots and resumes!) where they bring in scores of women and judge whether or not they’re right for these guys. This is again based entirely on appearance and vague first impressions, and is actually probably more soul-sucking than being an actor on a real audition.

Following the casting call is a “mixer” where the two guys and the two dozen or so selected girls mingle uncomfortably with glasses of wine. After who knows how long, the two guys select two girls each to talk to for ten minutes, after which they each pick a girl to take on a “master date.”


After the master date, everyone regroups to discuss how fucking wrong everything went, and we get a brief postscript as to whether these “matches” actually managed to work out.

Spoiler alert: Probably not. Because what one learns after watching more than one episode of this shitshow is that if someone has a lot of money and isn’t in a relationship and has resorted to a reality TV matchmaker in order to find what they’re looking for, THERE IS PROBABLY SOMETHING DEEPLY WRONG WITH THAT PERSON.

Here are just some of the clients Peltwhore has “helped”:

  • The guy whose non-negotiable requirements for a lady include being blonde, busty and “Godly.” Oh, and she can’t be under 30 and she can’t have a career or a job she would mind leaving to immediately start having children. Peltwhore has to explain to him that most ladies over 30 who are single might have been doing something up until then. He ends up with a lady that meets most of his requirements, but then during his first date he makes some really creepy jokes about getting her pregnant. Fabulous.
  • The Vegas plastic surgeon who says that all the women he dates in Vegas are “retarded” and is deemed by Peltwhore to be too “controlling.” To her credit, he does flat out say that any woman who shares his bed has to get the fuck out of it when he does. At 5 AM every morning. He takes a lady on a MMA fighting date at 7 AM! It’s the 7 AM, not the MMA, that leaves him single at the end.
  • The former London party girl/stripperobics instructor who Peltwhore tells to be “less aggressive” and instead “be a girl.” Oh, and Peltwhore also tells her to be less slutty. And calls her trash. NOT EXAGGERATING. I actually like kinda stripperobics lady, but the more she agrees to do things like wearing Ann Taylor dresses the sadder I feel inside. Fortunately she rebels! Unfortunately, she rebels by putting on a pole-dancing show during her master date for the guy she picks. Because this show is in part about how women should be ashamed of their sexuality, it ends up not going well.
  • The 27-year-old Groupon writer who actually seems really cool and interesting in a nerdy way, but manages to pick the stupidest and ditziest girl possible for his master date, because he’s looking for a hot party girl to get him out of his shell. Oh, Groupon boy, thank you for reminding me exactly why the nerds I crush on never seem that interested in me.
  • The 41-year-old salon lady who wants her future boy toy to have a perfect model body and talks obsessively about wanting to give grown men makeovers. Hilariously, the salon lady says she doesn’t like Peltwhore’s bangs in her introductory video, and Peltwhore thus declares salon lady to be her mortal enemy, and they bitch each other out and Peltwhore makes fun of how much plastic surgery the salon lady’s had and only reluctantly agrees to take her business.
    • Seriously, Peltwhore takes EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY to knock down this lady’s looks and call her a bitch. The episode, TOTALLY COINCIDENTALLY, opens with Peltwhore having to do a photo shoot for the cover of her new book and freaking out over her weight, age and appearance. NO CONNECTION THERE. I’M SURE.

Such a happy, well-adjusted person. The great irony of Peltwhore's existence, of course, is that she is 47 years old and she has never been married.

In short, Frank, the show is the worst of the dating life. Episodes should be shown to couples considering ending relationships as a deterrent, as a reminder that being single can at times be an awful, bleak, terrifying thing.

Why? Because this show could be considered a best case option for a single person. It’s certainly set up like a fantasy, with the “romantic” dates and the promise of financial and emotional comfort; the show’s entire premise hinges on the possibility that love is possible for all these people.

Except, of course, it isn’t. Because human beings are weird and unpredictable, and treating them like “types” and talking to them like they’re very stupid children is no way to figure out what kind of person would make them happy.

It is, however, how to make television that I will hate-watch whenever possible. Seriously, Frank, this show is the fucking worst and my legitimate genuine hope is that by telling you about it, I will rid myself of the desire to ever watch it again.

How I hope, Frank. How I hope.


About Liz Shannon Miller

Liz Shannon Miller is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor, and has been talking about television on the Internet since the very beginnings of the Internet. She is currently Senior TV Editor at Collider, and her work has also been published by the New York Times, Vulture, Variety, the AV Club, the Hollywood Reporter, IGN, The Verge, and Thought Catalog. She is also a produced playwright, a host of podcasts, and a repository of "X-Files" trivia.

Posted on October 4, 2011, in Some Spoilers, TV and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Liz, I need to stick up for the Groupon guy because he was on Julie Klausner’s podcast the other week and admitted that he chose that girl basically as a joke. He seems like an okay dude!

    Also, I saw part of that guy’s episode (because I stumbled upon it and because I had heard the aforementioned podcast) and the prince guy who’s also on that episode winds up going out with Clark from Top Model a few cycles back. You might remember her as the bitchy girl with whom the edgy, bisexual robot girl fell in love. So that made me laugh.

    • Oh, that’s PHENOMENAL re: Clark. I am beginning to suspect that we will reach a point with reality TV where the only people on reality TV are people who have already been on reality TV. AND THEN THE INFECTION WILL BE CONTAINED!

      And fair enough re: the Groupon guy — I did kind of get that vibe from him, to be honest, and if I were a 27-year-old humor writer at Groupon I might also see how far I could take things. Of course, if I were a 27-year-old humor writer at Groupon, my life would be very different indeed.

  2. I hated the Groupon guy. What a nerd, picks the dumbest bitch and gets all whiny when she tries to come on to him! Seriously?

  3. terri hollencamp

    what happened to the “different” couple that used to work for patti.? it was always funny when they would critisize people looks. what a laugh . they arent there any more.

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