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October 4, 2015

I Can't Believe I'm Still Single From Portland to Portland: Episode One (series premiere)

by Paul Goebel, posted Jun 23rd 2008 8:03AM

Eric Schaeffer(S01E01) The good thing about this new series is that you know in the first two minutes whether or not you are the audience the show is looking for. All you have to do is ask yourself, "Am I interested in seeing a man forced to go down on a dildo being worn by a dominatrix?" If the answer is yes, keep reading.

The premise of the show is quite simple. Eric Schaeffer wrote a book about being single and trying to find love. When he went on his book tour he decided to make stops along the way, talk to different people about love and relationships and film it all for this documentary.

In case you've never heard of Schaeffer, he's a fairly successful writer and actor. His most recent project was the FX show Starved, which ran for one season. My favorite of his body of work is a short-lived sitcom he starred on with Jeffrey Tambor called Everything's Relative.

The show is rife with too much information. I'm sure Schaeffer finds a lot of humor in his stories about masturbation and being anally violated but for me it's sort of like having a friend who you've known for a short while tell you something personal you never wanted to know, like he enjoys being anally violated.

Right after Eric arrives in Los Angeles he calls Amy, a girl he met online, so they can get together and have dinner. Amy is one of the few women that Eric thinks he could have a relationship with. When we get to see her in person, it's clear that she isn't very comfortable on camera. Personally, I can't blame her. If you've ever seen Schaeffer act, you know that he generally plays an obsessive, self- involved chatterbox and his behavior in this documentary is basically the same. Maybe he's playing it up for the camera but it seems to me that if he is really looking for a relationship then this experiment is not the way to go about it.

At the halfway point in the first episode, I have already had enough of Eric. Maybe it's because I am a single guy myself and I have a lot less at my disposal to help me snare a lady, but his compulsive, self-destructive routine doesn't really impress me.

Not to cast aspersions but I also have my doubts about the "reality" of the show. While it's clearly unscripted, it seems that many scenes are planned out in order to demonstrate Eric's food addiction or his fear of aging. Like most of you, I can spot that kind of stuff a mile away.

Another annoying part of the show are the multiple interviews Eric has with his longtime dominatrix. I suppose if I had an interest in S&M, I might like hearing her talk about their activities but while I enjoy many colors of the sexual rainbow, that particular shade doesn't appeal to me, Moreover, I don't have much interest in the sexual habits of a guy as desperate as Eric Schaeffer, therefore those conversations are of no value to me.

When all is said and done, it turns out that Eric and Amy decided not to continue dating because "there wasn't much chemistry." This ending is the final proof that Schaeffer is destined to be alone because if he can't find some kind of connection with a woman as beautiful as Amy there's clearly something wrong with him.

Which is your favorite Eric Schaeffer project?
Starved56 (23.9%)
Century City4 (1.7%)
Too Something1 (0.4%)
If Lucy Fell32 (13.7%)
Fall35 (15.0%)
My Life's in Turnaround7 (3.0%)
I've never seen any of these99 (42.3%)

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Such suckage I've never known. It must really be miserable to be you. So sorry.

August 21 2008 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok, I actually sat down and WATCHED the show all the way through and didn't have to write a review about it!

I was equally horrified. I being a single woman, had many points where I said to myself, I CAN believe your still single why can't you?? Look at yourself. I have never (thankfully) met anyone so self involved, whiny, and utterly repulsive.

Why did I watch it to the end??? We can either chalk it up to insomnia, or the fact that it was like a train wreck, you didn't want to watch, but, couldn't help yourself.

June 28 2008 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Starved was a horrible show, and I can't even see that guy's picture without thinking of it. I think he has a pretty big hurdle to overcome.

June 23 2008 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Starved is pretty great. The only reason I refuse to watch "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is because FX chose to renew that over Starved.

June 23 2008 at 8:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Cody's comment

I feel that FX, prior to releasing both Starved and It's Always Sunny..., was betting on Starved to be the bigger show. I remember seeing countless promos for Starved, and It's Always Sunny being mentioned as a sidenote.

However once the two shows aired, It's Always Sunny... turned out to gather more interest from the viewers, and gather a bigger following. I don't think FX did Starved any wrong, they definitely hyped it more before it aired and well into the season; it just didn't perform like they thought it would and wanted it to, where as It's Always Sunny... outperformed their expectations.

I watched both, and may be Starved just wasn't for me, because I feel that It's Always Sunny... blew it away. I stopped watching Starved about 3-4 episodes in yet could not wait for the next episode of It's Always Sunny...

June 23 2008 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eric f

FX can't tell that you aren't watching "It's Always Sunny", so the only person losing is you. It's a great one that you shouldn't miss.

BTW, for the review, it would have been nice to know what channel this was on...

June 23 2008 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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