Date My Ex debuts tonight as Real Housewives’ Jo dates men living with Slade

The Real Housewives of Orange County spins off yet another series tonight when Bravo debuts Date My Ex: Jo & Slade at 10 p.m. ET. The series sounds like a hybrid of The Bachelor and the show Jo and Slade were on for two seasons, as it follows Jo as she dates four men who will live with and be tested by Slade. Here’s Bravo’s description of the show’s somewhat convoluted structure:

“In each episode, Jo will go on a series of dates that have been set up by her close friends, Myia Ingoldsby and Katy Metz. But in a bizarre twist, the men must all live with Slade, who has also moved to Los Angeles and remains Jo’s closest confidante. Following their dates with Jo, Slade will grill the guys and voice his opinions on which ones he deems most suitable for his ex. He will also test them in an attempt to find out which ones are there for the right reasons. Jo will choose one suitor from each episode to pass to the next round — in the end, whittling the choices down to that one special guy. Will Jo be able to break from Slade completely and find love again with someone new?”

Critics who’ev seen the show aren’t impressed. The New York Daily News’ David Hinckley asks, “Does anything about this ridiculous situation sound as if it wasn’t staged just so everyone could get on television?” The Boston Herald’s Mark A. Perigard argues that “[t]he twist is so improbable and dumb, it makes ‘The Bachelorette’ seem like a research program funded by the NIH,” while The Los Angeles Times’ Mary McNamara calls the show “a reality show that dispenses with the reality part.”

However, The New York Times’ Ginia Bellafante says Jo’s “deficiencies are trumped only by Slade’s narcissism,” and says while “[t]here is no good reason in the world to watch … there is something vaguely redeeming in its economic chemistry.”

Date My Ex [Bravo]