The season 8 premiere of THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER, titled “Larry Birkhead and Melyssa Ford” introduced a new format that made the program seem fresh and more upbeat. Even Patti looked like she was having a great time.
David Cruz is still around, now elevated to Director of Matchmaking and new addition Candace Smith has been named Director of Recruiting.
Here’s how much the tone has changed: Patti Stanger dealt with some miscues on the part of Candace and didn’t blow her top, understanding that she’s new to the organization.
No, really that is what happened. It was only one of the significant changes that made the premiere a pleasure to watch.
1) The clients were not jerks and both were more than willing to take tough advice from Stanger. Larry Birkhead, baby daddy to Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter, needed a refresher course in dating conversation, eye contact and how to lose the deer-in-the-headlights appearance.
Melyssa Ford had to be convinced that while she’s hot looking and comes with a vixen pedigree, she’s got to feature her true self and that incredible intellect if she wants to attract men who aren’t into her body and nothing else.
2) Patti didn’t go through the video review with the assistants at the top of the show, tearing the clients to shreds and giving them nicknames based on their personality traits.
3) No mixers! Who saw that coming? Instead, Candace and David assembled people suitable for the clients and Patti met with them at what used to be the mixer site to screen them and narrow the choices.
4) No mini-dates. Melyssa was given a handful of choices and she met with them to pick the one to date. Larry got a blind date, without the necessity of mingling with candidates like Melyssa did, because Patti realized it would be too overwhelming for him. He trusted her judgement and went out with her choice.
5) Gone are the two big rules: Two-drink minimum and no sex without monogamy. Is this really THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER without that? Yes, and it wasn’t necessary after the screening process.
Melyssa met with the politically incorrect Dr. Pat who told her to ditch the hoochie clothes and attitude if she wanted to succeed and while the clothes remained, Melyssa and her choice Jay connected on a very personal level. No talk of their careers. It was about fun, bowling (their choice of activity) and family.
Larry loved his blind date Michelle after a scary few minutes of being unable to find her in the crowd at Universal Studios. She is a lovely lady, divorced with two kids who are close in age to Danny Lynn, Larry’s daughter. She was amendable to moving to Kentucky where he resides and works if things work out.
After the show we learned they talk multiple times a week and are continuing to pursue a relationship. All in all a good start to the season. Here’s hoping the rest of the shows are as crisp, sharp and fun.
Season 8 of the MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER continues next Sunday night Dec. 14th at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BravoTV, then moves to its regular night on Thursday Jan. 1. Image credit: NBCUnivesal/Bravo, used with permission.