Eons from now, when students are studying the culture of 21st Century America, and they get to the chapter in their history books titled “Reality TV”, they’ll either laugh at its provincial nature or be appalled by its Roman Forum type antics; I’m not sure which, it may be a tossup.
As it stands now, reality TV has yet to feed any infidels to the lions but we’re getting close. And after watching only 20 minutes of NBC’s new reality show Love in the Wild I had to consciously close my mouth and wipe the drool that slipped onto my shirt. I was at once repelled and intrigued. I instantly knew that what these real men and women needed was a lesson, or three, from authors like Pamela Clare, Leslie Parrish, Suzanne Brockmann, and Cindy Gerard.
The premise of Love in the Wild is simple - slimy, but simple. Ten men and ten women, complete strangers, let me repeat that, COMPLETE strangers, get dropped off in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle. They’re teamed up in couples and have to complete tasks in order to stay in the game to eventually wind up with their true love. This may seem farfetched, but it has lots of the same elements of a romantic suspense novel.
It took me a while to sort out my feelings but what I discovered is that when I’m reading a romantic suspense the hero is a hero in every sense of the word. He traverses snake infested waters, scales treacherous mountains and swims the deepest oceans with an assurance and self-confidence that is unshakeable. And even when he does have doubts or fears they are tempered with courage. Think Sam Starrett in any of Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters books, or Luke Colter in Cindy Gerard’s With No Remorse, or Zach McBride in Pamela Clare’s Breaking Point (I-Team Series #5) or Alec Lambert in Leslie Parrish's Pitch Black . These heroes have doubts, sure they do. They have angst, who wouldn’t? Yet, underneath it all they have a core of inner strength that makes them MEN.
Unfortunately in the real world or more specifically in the reality show Love in the Wild, the heroes and heroines whine, complain, gossip, manipulate and are just plain silly. The cast of characters range from a ‘fidiot’ to your resident Casanova. When one gentleman trekked through the woods with his possible ‘love match’, he had a psychotic break when he found himself standing near an ant hill. Seriously, he swatted himself, squealed, and ran around like a chicken with his head cut off until he eventually tripped and slipped down the mountain side. I laughed till I cried and then asked: would Sam Starrett or Luke Colter do that? I don’t think so. All I could think was “my eyes, my eyes… these images are forever burned into my retinas and will never be erased”. Damn you NBC.
In romantic suspense the heroines are women who you can stand behind and cheer for. Heroines like Val in With No Remorse or Samantha in Pitch Black have a strength, intelligence and resilience giving them an inner beauty that is at once attractive and admirable.
Love in the Wild scarred this lover of romance novels and had me turning off the TV and reaching for latest romantic suspense where heroes and heroines ACT like heroes and heroines.
In other words Reality TV can learn a thing or three from authors like Suzanne Brockmann, Pamela Clare, Cindy Gerard and Leslie Parrish. So if you're looking for a new and exciting romantic suspense adventure, I suggest you also turn off your TV set and read With No Remorse or Pitch Black .
I'm curious; what do you think?
Definitely stop by and visit with Melanie Murray at Romantic Reads - she's having a Q&A with author Loretta Chase all week long!