“Terrible boyfriend? We can fix him. Complete tools transformed into knights in shining armor.” These are the promises of the opening credits of Tool Academy, VH1’s latest trash-tastic series in which women drag their truly terrible boyfriends through a relationship boot camp in hopes of turning them into nice guys. The tools agreed to come on the show thinking it was called Mr. Awesome, a competition to determine “the biggest Alpha male in America.” After they learned the show’s real premise, they all stayed on in hopes of proving themselves to their girlfriends...and winning $100,000 for being the best boyfriend.
If you’re wondering what makes a tool a tool, it appears to be a combination of made-up names (Celebrity, M.E.G.A., Matsuflex, etc.), excessive hair gel, and behavior that’s just…well, look if you dare:
But since the competition is about showing growth, the tools can usually get by with half-assed apologies and promises to try harder. The least sincere guy gets “expelled”, but even after elimination 2 out of 3 of the girls have chosen to stand by their tools. In fact, the couple in the clip above just announced their engagement!
It is NOT fun to be watching what you think is a guilty pleasure about tools getting schooled only to be confronted by a surprisingly intimate look at emotional abuse. However, there’s a rare value in common-denominator entertainment that has us all devastated when a woman stays with a man that doesn’t appreciate her. Since nobody wants to be a fool for tools, could Tool Academy actually inspire some female viewers to rethink their own relationships with men? I’m willing to bet that they will...and that VH1 will have no trouble finding contestants for Season 2.
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