Monday, August 15, 2011

Become Your Own Matchmaker

Anyone who has read my musings on Tuned in to Pop Culture knows that I'm a big fan of Bravo TV. And, one of my favorite shows, "The Millionaire Matchmaker," comes back for a fifth season tonight. Patti Stanger is the millionaire matchmaker and CEO of an exclusive dating service, the Millionaire's Club. And since just about anyone can write a book these days, Stanger has.

I breezed through "Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate" in advance of tonight's season premiere because I wanted to get a little more of Stanger's entertaining, no-nonesense attitude instead of rewatching reruns of previous seasons - after all, you can only watch the Hello Kitty girl crash and burn so many times. "Breezed through" is key here, because "Become Your Own Matchmaker" is written very simply, and somewhat poorly. It's so conversational - and not even in a good way. I could hear Stanger's voice as I read the book, but the tell-it-like-it-is attitude about her didn't translate well from the screen to the pages. Her anecdotes seemed fake, and I lost track of where she was going with some of her examples (the "Red Lights" and "Green Lights" of men you're dating, with nicknames that went on for pages and pages that I couldn't even keep straight). And the book committed one of the biggest sins, in my opinion: poor editing. I have been trained to be an editor and cannot read something without editing it, so I had a lot of trouble stumbling over the mistakes and inconsistencies throughout the book.

The best part of the book was the introduction, during which Stanger details her background. I wonder if that's the only part Stanger actually wrote - and if her co-author Lisa Johnson Mandell took care of the rest. But maybe I just liked the content of the introduction because I like the author's persona on TV, and I'm not looking to become my own matchmaker.

Not that the advice isn't good. Stanger is spot on with her suggestions for how women can feel better about themselves and how they should handle different dating situations in order to find their "perfect mate." I suppose I'm just not in her intended audience. I can't even figure out what audience this was written for. Maybe Hello Kitty girl? I sure hope she's read this book. She could really use a lot of Stanger's advice.

The fifth season of "Millionaire Matchmaker" airs at 9 p.m. today on Bravo TV.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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