Could “COUPLED” Give The Reality Dating Game A Bit More Soul?

"Coupled" starring L-R Alex and Talyah. Photo courtesy of FOX.

Review of the pilot episode of “Coupled” the new dating show from executive producer Mark Burnett (“Survivor,” “The Voice”) and hosted by Terrence “J” Jenkins (“E! News,” “The Perfect Match”) airing tonight at 9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT on FOX.

In that perplexing duality that we have come to know and accept from FOX, while we don’t exactly vibe on that ultra conservative news bent they’ve got going on, a lot of their non news related episodic shows ( insert here “Empire,” airing Wednesdays at 9:00/8:00 central) actually have something that we can see getting excited about – or at least checking out to see if it is worth a second viewing. To that end, tonight, May 17th airing at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT is the premiere of the pilot episode of FOX television’s new dating show “Coupled from executive producer Mark Burnett ( “Survivor,” “The Voice,” “The Apprentice,” and “Shark Tank”) and hosted by Terrence “J” Jenkins (“106 & Park” and “E! News”).

While most dating shows are about one rose allowing one “special” couple that slim to none chance of hitting the love jackpot via national television exposure, “Coupled” is a little more liberal and forgiving when it comes to how many folks and what kind of folks get to give it the good old college try when it comes to successful relationships.  Starting with 12 single professional women from a mix of divergent racial and ethnic backgrounds living on a beautiful Caribbean Island,  the show flies in eligible men via helicopter, with the aim being to allow the women to be the ones who decide which men stay and which men get the boot back to the mainland.  Eligible men who have been chosen to stay by one or more of the eligible women then get to then choose which interested women will accompany them one on one across the island at a luxury villa to discover whether initial chemistry can bloom into compatibility.  In short, the rules have been set in such a way that allows the capacity for every woman on the island to find the “right” man.

Considering that today’s first episode is flying in one African American male digital ad executive pitching himself as the real deal to not one but three young professional African American women among the twelve sitting “Coupled” island dwellers, and this could be something a bit different from all of the others in this mainstream reality genre.  You’ll have to tune in to see how music and a stated affinity for freestyle rapping figure into this episode in a way that is up for debate as to whether it’s simply unexpected or destined for immediate filing in the “corny” bin.

“Coupled” premieres tonight, May 17 at 9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT on FOX.