"Can true love survive a little 50 million dollar lie?"

The latest reality show from FOX. Joe Millionaire indulges in a little bit of poking-fun-at-one's-own-network on the part of FOX; the same network that ran "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" now exposes the aspect of human nature which gave them such high ratings.

The premise? Evan is an urban construction worker who makes $19,000 per year. FOX held auditions for another "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire" spinoff, and gathered twenty women excited by the prospect of wealth. The women then visit Evan's "French chateau", part of a fictional inheritance of $50 million.

The show has a duration of one month, over the course of which Evan will eliminate all but one woman, to whom he will reveal his true nature. The highly emotionally piqued climax will come when the lucky gal decides to stay with him or hit the road in search of a shinier man.

This is pretty clever; everybody in America will want to see whether materialism or love will triumph. The women on the show (Disclaimer: Obviously they do not represent women at large) are all certified evil -- you can see their eyes gleaming when they walk up to the house.

FOX has hit upon the ideal way to catch audiences: to give them ridiculously hatable characters and a spunky loser who's trying to get the girl. It's the perfect combination of formula and voyeurism; I expect the finale will have fanatically high ratings.

Joe Millionaire premieres Monday, January 6, 2003. You'll be watching.