TLC has become cable television's premiere destination for the most interesting, sometimes odd and bizarre, reality concepts.
There's "19 Kids and Counting," "Sister Wives" and "My Strange Addiction," to name just a few of the network's curious programs. Now, there's a new special premiering on December 4 called, "Virgin Diaries."
Based on the name, you can surmise that the show will focus on individuals who have been waiting to have sex. Back in 2006, MTV UK had a similar show that followed teenagers' sexual experiences called, surprise, "The Virgin Diaries."
A description of the new show on the TLC web site reads, "Virgin Diaries takes you inside the lives of adult virgins who reveal the challenges, truths, and anticipations of losing their virginity." While this sounds benign enough, the promo the network is running has the media bustling.
Black Book Magazine takes a relatively unfriendly approach to addressing TLC's current programming, but calls the "Virgin Diaries" preview clip "funny:"
Remember when TLC used to stand for “The Learning Channel?” Like KFC, TLC has become a meaningless acronym that is used to identify mass-produced, nutrition-free sludge like Toddlers and Tiaras, Little People, Big World, and Sister Wives. After the latter’s latest episode last night, an advertisement ran for The Virgin Diaries, a special that seems to follow TLC’s “exploit people who are different” formula. This one may be worth watching, however, as the 20 second promo clip is the funniest thing you’ll see all day.
The Huffington Post summarizes the quick preview as follows, "Based on this preview, 'Virgin Diaries' will be a more wholesome experience, in which being a virgin means never having to kiss your partner before marriage."
The previews that these outlets are referencing showcases a couple who have saved their first kiss for marriage. The short clip shows the couple getting married in front of a minister. When he says, "You may now kiss the bride," the man and wife engage in an uncomfortable lip lock. Then, another image of them kissing -- equally painful -- can be seen.
Kissing for the first time isn't always the easiest, and this couple, despite being a bit older, doesn't have the experience to flawlessly engage one another in a kiss. Jezebel calls their exchange, "A first kiss so awkward that folks are openly face-palming as the bride and groom smooch at the altar."
Watch the preview, which includes the kiss, below:
It is a common occurrence for Christians to hold off on sex until they are married. In rarer instances, some individuals choose with abstain from all physical activity, including kissing. While this may seem over-the-top to some, it is a personal prerogative.
The above clip certainly has entertainment value, but it leaves one wondering if TLC plans to exploit these individuals. A secondary consideration would be whether the network plans to show diversity in their showcasing of the couples that plan to wait until they are married (i.e. will the network show couples who do, indeed, kiss and act affectionately, or will they only show the outliers?).
"Virgin Diaries" will reportedly start off as a one-time special, but if it does well, it will likely become a series of sorts.