Miss Advised

When Bravo isn’t busy trailing housewives around major cities with a phalanx of cameras, it’s taken to a certain brand of romance/relationship overhaul in recent years. See examples like the hit Millionaire Matchmaker or a newer series like Pregnant In Heels, where spoiled, urban couples are prepared for parenthood. The network’s newest foray into this are is Miss Advised, which follows three “relationship experts” in three different cities as they attempt to follow their own glossy advice regarding the dating world and find their own happiness.

The three women who are having the tables turned include a sex writer/radio host living in San Francisco named Emily Morse, a successful matchmaker in New York named Amy Laurent, and a dating columnist in Chicago named Julia Allison. More interestingly, all three of these self-identified experts are single. And except for Emily, who believes “monogamy is an epidemic” and preaches free love, the ladies are casting their husband nets far and wide while looking to prove they can follow their own rules to romantic success.

Before delving into their individual adventures, it’s important to note two major troubles with this show. First up, there’s the herky-jerky jumping between the cities and ladies. It’s likely there’s supposed to be a dreamy excitement to getting to see these successful city gals hoofing it down sidewalks all across this big nation, but it ends up creating an overall feeling of disconnect over the show’s hour. Just as we’re settling into one woman’s storyline, we zip across the country to pick up on a half-formed storyline somewhere else.

More difficult than the physical jumpiness is the fact that these ladies are a bit tough to watch. Emily is all kinds of twitchy and high-strung nervous while she attempts to extol the virtues of her “free-wheeling” sex life. Meanwhile, Amy is a ball of jangly nerves while trying to reconnect with her ex (breaking one of her own rules!) over dinner while holding her face into innumerable poses for the camera in attempts to look “thoughtful” and “lovelorn.”

Julia is at least more three-dimensional and likeable than her counterparts. Her retro-inspired look—all big lashes and soft waves—gives a semblance of a personality that carries her from scene to scene. She’s also undertaking the biggest venture of the three as she moves from her hometown of Chicago to Los Angeles for no clear reason other than “change of scenery.” There’s also the riveting fact that Julia deems herself “the No. 1 most hated on the internet,” seemingly based on her attempts to build a name for herself by publicizing the sex-lives of the quasi-famous men she’s dated. Still, the fact-checkers at Bravo must have been up nights proving that No. 1 statistic, and I’m certainly proud of them.

By the episode’s end, very little has actually happened. We learn that Emily’s fears of monogamy have a lot to do with divorce in her family. This is brought to her attention by some serious real talk via her brother, who engages in creepy, flirty sex talk with Emily while on a visit. Meanwhile, Amy faces the consequences of having reconnected with her ex, named A.B., who looks suspiciously like Beauty And The Beast’s Gaston in orange glasses and a matching orange tie. And Julia outs herself as a jerky jerk-o who lures an interested suitor into helping her unpack and move boxes in her new L.A. apartment, only to tell him she only wants to be friends after all the box hauling. Ick.

The fact is that these gals aren’t compelling enough to keep viewers coming back to see how their love adventures go. This is a jarring conclusion to come to, but the fact of the matter is that they don’t have the charisma and/or obnoxious lingo of Queen Bee Patti Stanger. Anyone looking for Bravo-brand dating should just stick with the tried and true standard and hold out for the next Millionaire Matchmaker.

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