I doubt MTV will preserve charm of popular Irish TV program


The makers of the Irish television show 'Paisean Faisean' have sold the idea to MTV and good for them. I'll be curious to see if it's a success.

First time I saw 'Paisean Faisean' in the listings on the Irish language station TG4 I had no idea how to pronounce it. I looked at the first word for a bit and then out of my mouth came the word 'paisan', using exactly the same intonation as when I was in college and wanted to get a smile out of one of my Italian friends. However, 'Paisean Faisean' is not pronounced 'paisan fye-zan', but more like 'passion fashion.'

The program is 'The Dating Game', but with a twist. Rather than the girl asking the three guys a series of questions, she has to choose her date for the evening based on his sense of fashion - for her. Each man is given €400 ($536) to buy an outfit for the woman to wear on the date and the outfit she chooses determines who her date will be.

I've seen 'Paisean Faisean' quite a few times and it's not without its appeal, but I doubt very much that I'd ever want to see MTV's version of the show, which will be called 'Style Date.' There are some things about 'Paisean Faisean' that just won't be part of 'Style Date.'

First of all, the program's all in Irish (with subtitles), which is the reason why I watched it initially. Generally with shows like this – where many contestants are required – the Irish is pretty basic. I can learn a word or two this way. Also, it annoys the life out of my children when I put on a television show in a language they know I can't speak. Sometimes, however, they get to like these shows in Irish and 'Paisean Faisean' is one of those.

The other impact that the language has on 'Paisean Faisean' is that there just aren't that many young people confident enough in their ability to speak Irish that they'd take part in such a program. This means that there is a lot of reality in the show. The physical appearance and behavior of the women and the men who feature on the show varies quite a bit.

Vacuous, shrieking women with sculpted bodies and conceited, boisterous men with sculpted bodies are rarities on 'Paisean Faisean.' In other words, there's a lot of normalness amongst those who take part.

I doubt MTV will go that route. Maybe I'm wrong, but in my head I see many Paris Hilton wannabes choosing from three Kevin Federline wannabes on a weekly basis.

{You can see a clip from 'Paisean Faisean' here.}

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