Episode 1 Genuine Ken: Whitney Port Judges Men's "KENtertainment"

by Mara Siegler · January 19, 2011

The first episode of Mattel's Hulu project "Genuine Ken: The Search for The Great American Boyfriend," has been posted. In "Kentertainment," the eight men compete in a talent show. Several sing. Two of them are cheerleaders! As one of the guest judges said, it was "both entertaining and confusing."

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As for the confusing, here are just few things that are puzzling:

1) Why does this exist? This show features adult men that adult women will find attractive. Or at least that is what the intention is. Does Mattel want to captivate an older audience to broaden their market and generate sales?  Why go after a target far past the age when playing with toys is appropriate?  Why not make a web show about, you know, for instance, Barbie, that is geared towards children?

2) These dudes, and they are indeed "dudes," are the perfect American boyfriend? Please, no. Is Party Ken and his mini hawk tuft your idea of Prince Charming? I will say Leeron Cohen, Kickboxing Ken, is actually pretty hot and spends most of the episode with his shirt off.  It is, to be fair, the best thing about the episode. But he's no Mr. Right. His level of sexiness decreases every time he opens his mouth because something stupid comes out.  Then he laughs with pride and repeats whatever moronic thing he just uttered and laughs again.

Not only do they not have brains, they also don't seem to be talented in other ways. One guy raps, one sings, one does something that is maybe supposed to be music????. None of them could be considered "good."Whitney Port's bland facial expression and empty eyes actually seem to flash with the resemblance of an emotion while watching. That emotion: pure sadness. They promised her a Dream House and this is what she gets?

And the entertaining?  The prevalence and popularity of reality TV proves that we as Americans love watching others humiliate and degrade themselves. This is freaking full of it. In that sense, it's great!  It's not quite a total train wreck (no fistfights or drunken hot tubs make-outs), but it's close.