'Hooking Up' Sucks as Bad as Internet Dating Itself

Last week ABC premiered its latest venture into reality programming, Hooking Up. Slightly masked as a documentary, the show follows a handful of single women as they explore the world of internet dating. What do we learn? That, just like traditional dating, your sister calls the shots. After the jump, Intern Rachel reports.

There are currently 40 million Americans dating online. ABC's new series Hooking Up tails 11 city chicks around the country who digitally spit their game for a year. You, of course, are expected to watch.

Last night s episode (which was the second we missed the first because we re irresponsible. Sue us.) focused on Amy, a 28-year-old NYC real estate broker only slightly less evil than Barbara Corcoran, is on her third date with Chris, a man for whom she's steadily falling for, and vice-versa. For her, the real test (after how he drives a car) is how her sister will feel about him. After watching Chris play in a rugby game, Amy s ready to take him home and do him sideways. Dinner and a movie is replaced by a barbecue with the sister; shortly thereafter, the two move from dry hump to real hump. Pre-sheets, Amy is thinking Chris is the one, and you want her to be right.

Post-screw, Amy freaks. The next morning, her sister vetoes Chris, mostly for being too macho and all over you. (Only in NYC is a man too manly.) Amy considers a few more romps, but her sister vetoes that too. Too bad Amy s not in charge, or else she d get laid.

Three days later Amy and Chris meet for lunch, where Chris presents her with a kick-ass bracelet. Despite the shiny mother-of-pearl bauble, Amy is already thinking of how to break up with Chris. The producers want you to know that this is heavy, so I make sure my pulse is racing as my heart starts to crack a little. Amy launches into the usual spiel, about it all being her fault taking things too fast too soon, and now she's stuck trying to extricate herself from the romance, and she's really bad at that. If you have to clarify that, I m gonna agree: You are really bad at this.

After more break-up drama, I m thinking next week will be full of aftershock sex.

Bigger observation: Many of these dates seem to talk about the same, internerdy things. Everyone feels weird about putting pictures online. Everyone is horrified when someone doesn't look as advertised. Everyone hates people who lie about their age. No one knows how soon, when dating someone from the web, is too soon for sex. Um, how about never?

Whatever. Even as the female marriage rate continues to drop (a Vera Wang-frightening 50% decline since 1970 alone), there are still plenty of women set on happily ever after with Mr. Right. But adding a reality show camera to your J-date adventures doesn t seem like a recipe for success. Suddenly, Sex and the City seems remarkably sensible.