Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker debuts tonight

Like Flipping Out, Blow Out, and Work Out, before it, Bravo’s newest docudrama follows a business owner who caters to wealthy clients. The Millionaire Matchmaker debts at 11 p.m. ET, but will air at 10 on subsequent Tuesdays, and stars Patti Stanger, who runs a dating service for millionaires.

The series follows Patti “and her dogged staff as they give their big-bucks clients complete transformations with the help of personal shoppers, interior designers, date coaches, and therapists,” according to Bravo. “In each episode, two wealthy men are set up on dates with potentially compatible women, who are hand-picked by Stanger based upon their beauty and intelligence.”

Why do rich people need help dating? Patti likens it to being sick. “I have to diagnose their illness and find out why they’re still single with all their money and looks. Some of them get makeovers and some of them get emotional makeovers. There are experts on the show that help us with the transition,” she told the New York Daily News. She says she also carefully screens everyone based on important criteria. “The men must be certified millionaires. I will check your lifestyle out — your homes, your cars, how you treat women. … [Women] are not allowed to gold dig. We will screen for that. I can spot them from 5 miles away, going, ‘How many cars does he have? How many homes does he have?’”

The few critics who reviewed the series seem to find the show interesting, if a little disturbing. Patti “cannot stop uttering things that make her seem abrasive, thoughtful, funny, shallow and utterly moronic,” The Chicago Sun Times’ Doug Elfman says. The New York Daily News’ David Hinckley calls Patti “obnoxious” but says that eventually, she “starts to look a little less like an obnoxious publicity-seeking wanna-be celebrity and more like the only person who will tell these rich guys the truth.” And The Philadelphia Daily News’ Ellen Gray says that the show “seems too often focused on the drama of a workplace that’s not nearly as interesting as Stanger and Bravo seem to think it is.”

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