“The Millionaire Matchmaker” and My Love/Hate Relationship With Los Angeles

img_1415I did not move to Southern California to be part of the “scene,” whether that word is preceded by “entertainment industry,” “Hollywood,” “celebrity” or some other term.  It’s fine with me if others are immersed in that, but I prefer the serenity of beach town life.   Of course, due to our location, one can theoretically bounce between serenity and “scene” as one wishes.  And Hollywood is a mere 15 miles away.

One area, however, where “Hollywood” and my beach town come crashing together is in the countless films, television programs,  commercials, videos, and print ads that are shot near me in Marina del Rey, Venice, and Santa Monica.  I never realized how often this happens until I moved here.  Usually, I’m proud and excited to see my neighborhood pop up on television or the big screen.  But the television program containing more scenes filmed in my area than just about any other, “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” is also one of the most annoying, and represents some of what I dislike about Los Angeles.

The “Millionaire Matchmaker” for whom the program is named is Patti Stanger, who may be a beautiful person in real life but who, on television, comes across as overbearing and abusive, yet charismatic.  On the show, Stanger fixes up Los Angeles millionaire men (and a few women) with a bevy of bimbos/bimbros.  Her bluntness in dealing with them all can be brutal.  For example, she inspects a would-be millionaire date’s hair and tells her that it is “destroyed.” Sometimes, this is like watching the proverbial car wreck.

Patti often meets her clients near the beach (for example, at the Novel Cafe in Santa Monica), and the clients sometimes go on their televised dates in my area as well. In one episode, a millionaire client (who I have met once or twice, back on the East Coast) went on one such date near my home. On the “love” side, I was happily surprised to see my neighborhood, and even my building, in the background, but on the “hate” side, this Hollywood guy inaccurately described to the camera where they were. Maybe he didn’t even know, or care.  And “The Millionaire Matchmaker” dates are often filled with limousines, yachts, and silicone.  These episodes might give the impression to viewers that our stretch of beach is just a day trip destination for seemingly superficial Hollywood tourists. 

I guess I’m touchy about my town because I see it as one thing, and others may see it as something else.  Maybe the truth is that it’s both.  Maybe that’s true about the mythical “Hollywood” and much of Los Angeles.  Maybe I’m guilty of some of the same media-fed generalizations that I deplore.  Maybe that’s what makes this area such a fascinating place to live.

So why, you may ask, do I bother watching any episodes of “The Millionaire Matchmaker”? Just like my love/hate relationship with Los Angeles, the real/fake contradictions inherent in “reality television” shows, and my strange attraction to Patti, it’s complicated.

6 thoughts on ““The Millionaire Matchmaker” and My Love/Hate Relationship With Los Angeles”

  1. I’m totally enamored with the whole filming in my ‘hood thing. Its part of the magic of LA, something I came here for though I am totally not in the “scene”. Its just cool to know something I will watch soon was filmed in my ‘hood and thats enough for me.

  2. I’m with Frazgo, and although I am in the industry, I still think I’d be down otherwise.

    The boon to the local economy alone. Not to mention all the good people working on sets and their ability to be close to home. It’s a good thing.

  3. I gotta say folks
    She’s not that bad of a person

    I mean how many of you were able to put together a successful business in a place that charges high rent and costs a lot to live in?

    Why don’t you just accept that there are decent people in Hollywood and hte business world

    This woman provides a service that is in demand

    Last time I heard, is that one of the reasons for success is strong demand and supply

    Is it your business that they paid $25,000 for a match?

    If she does her job as she tells the clients, then I guess she did nothing wrong

    There are no guarantees in this world of success and she explains that I believe

    But she’s gone thru enough men and women to tell you that there are a lot of screwed up folks looking for love or lust out there

    Look at Bret Michaels who made $5mill per show
    Now you’d think he was a jerk
    But most people tend to say he’s a pretty nice and generous guy
    Even with his querks

    Who doesnt have querks?

    Even the best of the best have screw ups because their just human

    Doesn’t give you or anyone else the right to put them down

    If we were all normal, it would be a boring world

    So stay tuned for episode 3
    Bravo obviously likes whats going on, don’t they?



  4. webstar — did you miss the parts of the post where I wrote that Patti

    “may be a beautiful person in real life,” is “charismatic,” and that I’m attracted to her?

    I think you did.

    Are you affiliated with Patti, her company, and/or the “Millionaire Matchmaker” program? If so, please disclose the nature of this affiliation so that our readers can take your comments into proper perspective.

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