The Gray Line Tour

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 13, 2001


Temptation not for the foolhardy of couples

Purely as an intellectual exercise, I gave myself an assignment to see just how low the Fox Network could go. Obviously, there are depths yet to be plumbed, but “Temptation Island” is headed in that direction. The premise, for those handful who don’t know by now, is four “attached” couples taken to a Caribbean island where they are separated from their companions on opposite ends of the island. Once there, the guys are “tempted” by a bevy of scantily-clad beauties, among them a reigning Miss World, a kindergarten teacher and a Playboy model. The ladies, on the other hand, are on the other end of the island with buffed young studs, including a poet, a massage therapist and a son of former pro football player Mercury Morris. The idea is this: will they remain faithful and will the couples be able to return to each other and put all this shameful episode behind them, once the two-week separation is complete? Don’t bet the farm. The entire group was allowed to inspect the “tempters” all at once and vote on some to immediately leave the island and for others to be “banned” from dating their significant others, as if that will really work. The scenes from the upcoming five episodes give an indication of the turmoil to come. These include lots of physical activity, from volleyball to SCUBA diving to hints of much more physical activity. All the…uh…participants were tested for sexually-transmitted diseases prior to arrival, and the tears have already begun to flow. The girl in one of the couples, upon her man’s departure, dissolved into tears – she positively “knows” her man will stray. What will likely happen is that SHE will end up jumping every man within reach and the arguments and doubts and recriminations will certainly follow. The idea behind the whole weird mess is how secure are these couples in their relationship and can that closeness withstand heavy temptation? The answer, at least among this crew, appears to be not for a single weekend. Add to that mix the fact that unedited videotapes of what the partners are doing will be provided to each other. Sounds like a good mix for mayhem to me. There’s one provocative snippet, for example, of one of the women in a hot tub and suddenly three scantily-clad men approach her. She has a look on her face of utter delight. Would I have tried this little experiment? Not on your life. Could I have survived it? Don’t want to know. I will likely catch as many episodes as I can, purely out of scientific curiosity, of course. I can confidently predict lawsuits, broken hearts, high ratings and a new low for Fox. I don’t even want to speculate on what will follow this. But if there’s something lower, more depraved and more immoral, Fox will find it. LEONARD GRAY is assistant managing editor of L’Observateur.