Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dating, Southern style

While exploring the Internet, I came across a press release for "Sweet Home Alabama," a new reality TV dating show on CMT.

The concept: 10 "city slickers" and 10 "country" guys compete to for the affection of "a sweet Southern girl from Alabama."

The show comes on the heels of "My Big Redneck Wedding," another CMT reality show that focuses largely on relationships in the South.

Confession: I'm an avid "Redneck Wedding" watcher, and I'll likely sneak a peek at "Sweet Home Alabama" when it premieres.

I think it's safe to predict the first episode will involve cowboy hats. And camouflage. And country music.

Those factors make for great TV, but I can't help wondering if these shows reduce Southern dating to a pop culture novelty.

Sure, all regions of the U.S. attract some stereotypes.

But I don't think even California, with its abundance of hippies and surfers, has seen a reality TV presence as large as what's come from the South.

What do you think? Are these shows helping or hurting Southerners' chances on the meet market?