Every time you think the reality television genre has officially achieved its nadir, those clever industry minds hit you with something even worse than the last one. This time it's "Cougars: NYC," another see-how-the-socialites-live offering -- except that these particular socialites are 40-something women who date only much younger men.
Producers have already cast three of the five cougars -- including R&B singer Mel'isa Morgan -- but two other slots will be filled at a mixer for cougars and "cubs" at Manhattan bar Libation on Aug. 20. Here's the curious thing: Libation's Web site defines "cougars" as women over 40 and "cubs" as men 25 to 35. So five years counts as a cougar-qualifying age difference? Are you kidding me? When a wealthy middle-aged man goes out with a woman five years younger than he, we want to give him a medal for age-appropriate dating. Obviously, sexist double standards are the very lifeblood of this show, but come on!
Hilariously, executive producer Elizabeth Mwanga told Page Six that the word "cougar" is "meant to symbolize empowerment" because -- wait for it -- "this isn't just horny older women chasing younger guys. It's women who are beautiful, successful and hot, who can get these younger guys because they are hot." Ah, I see. In my day, women didn't see being judged primarily by our looks as "empowerment," but then, we didn't see a five-year age difference between romantic partners as scandalous, either. I am so far behind the times. Better go find myself a 35-year-old "cub" to teach me about kids today. Then maybe I'll be ready when someone actually decides to make "MILF Island." It can't be long now.