If I tell you that the new reality/dating show "Momma's Boys" is bad, I'm guessing that it really wont come as a surprise.
But if I tell you that this new series exploits racism in the name of ratings, you might at least raise an eyebrow.
"Momma's Boys," which premieres tonight at 9 on NBC/Ch. 5, is yet another permutation/ripoff of "The Bachelor." Impossibly studly young men go looking for love on network television. Which is, of course, impossibly stupid.
So you know that all these people are really there just because they want to be on network television.
In this case, there are three guys. And each guy is accompanied by his mommy. Each mommy-sonny team is there to pick a young woman from among the 32 who move into an impossibly gorgeous estate in Santa Barbara, Calif.
You get the picture.
And, again, nobody is going to be surprised to learn that this show is tacky, stupid and just plain ridiculous. It's the racism angle that takes "Momma's Boys" from being just another bad reality show to being something downright shameful.
We get to know the three young men a bit in the premiere. And, honestly, they ought to have more pride than to go on TV and tell America that their mommies do their laundry, make their beds, buy their underwear and so on. And we get thumbnail sketches of the various women, many of whom are there not because anybody thinks they'd make great wives, but because the producers — including "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest — want to see what will happen when they introduce nude models and convicted criminals.
(Only nonviolent offenders, you'll be relieved to know.)
But the fireworks are really ignited when we meet Khalood Bojanowski, the mother of impossibly studly college hockey player Jojo Bojanowski. Because Momma Bojanowski is impossibly racist.
This is how she describes the girl she wants her boy to marry. Or, rather, the girls she doesn't want her boy to marry.
"I cannot have a black one. I can't have an Asian one," Khalood Bojanowski says. "I can't have a fat-butt girl. I just can't see that white and black thing right now because of the kids."
But she wasn't done there.
"No, no Jewish girl. No way! No way! I cannot stand them," she says. "I'm sorry, but I cannot handle them. It has to be a white girl."
It's not as if Khalood Bojanowski shows up and the producers are shocked to discover she's a huge bigot. She made all of the above comments in the audition tape she sent to producers.
So Seacrest & Co. are exploiting racism for ratings.
In an upcoming episode of "Momma's Boys," Khalood Bojanowski blows a gasket when she sees her boy kissing an African-American woman.
"I'm going to kill him!" she says through her tears of anger and frustration. "I'm going to strangle his (private parts)."
We also get to see Momma Bojanowski screech at an African-American woman, "Don't ever put your freakin' lips on my kid!"
Without having seen all the episodes, we don't know if Momma Bojanowski changes her bigoted ways. But, certainly, anybody who sees only tonight's episode will come away thinking this woman — an immigrant from Iraq — is a terrible human being.
And, while there's certainly no excuse for her behavior, the fact is that she's being exploited for ratings.
The only thing we know for absolute certain is that every time it seems that NBC couldn't possibly sink any lower in its pursuit of ratings, the network proves it can.
"Momma's Boys" is not the light-hearted dating/reality show that NBC is promoting. It's a show that gives a national TV soap box to a woman whose views are utterly disgusting.
The only thing more disgusting is that anybody at NBC thinks that blatant bigotry is in any way entertainment.