Remember the days before Tinder, when MTV's Next was the most efficient way to reject a bunch of ugly people? I do.
Each episode starts off with a trashy (but somewhat attractive so they don’t realize they’re trashy) bachelor or bachelorette. They tell us their hobbies, one of which will undoubtedly become the theme of the episode and turn into a dumb ongoing sexual innuendo. We of course DGAF about any of this seventh grade horseshit, but it does gives us time to effectively gauge just HOW desperate the main contestant is and how fun this episode is going to be to watch.
Then, the ratchet ass party bus rolls up and the real fun begins. We meet the motley crew that is the 5 contestants, who inevitably end up having a far better time chilling on the bus than the poor sucker who takes a second date instead of the money. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that? This show PAYS people by the minute for going on shitty dates. This feels a bit like emotional prostitution but TBH I support it because no one should go through that type of demoralizing small talk without at least walking away a little richer.
It’s worth noting that there’s always at least one gay or totally asexual person on the bus, which further confirms suspicions that this show has literally NOTHING to do with dating, and EVERYTHING to do with watching the various ways in which weird people can get shut down romantically….And then continue to be weird so we can laugh at them while they attend group therapy with total strangers.
When a contestant off of the aforementioned ratchet ass party bus has their turn to go “Next,” they strut their shit down the stairs (hopefully they fall) and tell you their name and three facts about themselves. These are usually fetishes or other disgusting habits. I never really understood this part, like did MTV also ask them for 3 shameful anecdotes in their application and just use these instead? I’m entertained though so ok.
As soon as the guy/ girl steps off the bus, the timer in the corner of the screen starts ticking. This part actually speaks to me because I feel like this timer exists in my own life when I’m having an incredibly heinous conversation with a boring person. Like ughhh why can’t it always be socially acceptable to Next people??
In fact, one of the BEST and most entertaining things that can happen on this show is when the main contestant Nexts someone in the first second they walk out. This is always so hilarious because it is either a) totally valid and the creature that just walked out gives an “aw shucks” gesture but isn’t actually that surprised, or b) it’s because the main contestant thinks they’re hot shit and way too good for that person, only later to find out that they’re all 4s anyways. Sucks to suck.
Another thing that’s so funny about this dating show is how goddamn cheap the production cost must be. If The Bachelor/ The Bachelorette depicts unrealistic dating because the dates are so great, Next depicts unrealistic dating because I’m pretty sure there are more fun things to do in prison.
“Soooo, I’m really into guys with personal hygiene. So I thought we would dress up like dentists and then you would get some teeth pulled and then we would do an obstacle course through a maze of dental equipment while blindfolded and wearing rollerblades. Sound good??”
Like damn maybe the party bus isn’t so bad.
By the end of the episode, the main contestant has either Nexted all the guys (and left pissed that MTV literally rounded up a handful of street performers for them to choose from) or will offer one of the contestants an exciting choice: a second date, OR the $15-$100 they have accrued by spending time with them. Often times they take the second date, which I’m pretty sure is just out of sheer awkwardness. But other times, they take the money in the name of “revenge” for their new friends and overall acknowledgement of the fact that meeting potential love interests off a bus is literally the WORST idea ever. Snaps.
TBT to this wonderful gem of a TV show, which affirmed that money always wins and there is literally no reason to go near a tacky party bus. Ever.