Michael Somerville, Wingman
The term wingman is often thrown around in the dating world as one guy doing whatever it takes to help his buddy get the girl (even if it means taking one for the team with the less attractive chick). Fine Living Network has put a new spin on the definition by creating a new reality dating series, Wingman, airing Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET. Get an early start with a Valentine's Day Date-athon starting at 2 pm/ET this Saturday. The show follows the dating-challenged men and women of the world as they are guided by comedian and relationship columnist Michael Somerville. The funnyman previews what kind of disaster cases he takes under his wing and how he tries to up their game.
TVGuide.com: How did you land the Wingman job?
Michael Somerville: I started out in the stand-up comedy world and did a lot of relationship material. Glamour magazine took note, liked my style and thought I had some insight, so they gave me a column as and started giving out real advice under the pseudonym Jake. Then Wingman came along and was the perfect combination of the comedy and advice. It's not a mean spirited show. No one's out to embarrass anyone. It's really just a fun entertaining show.
TVGuide.com: What type of people are you trying help?
Somerville: I play the wingman role to people trying to find love in this world. We worked with both men and women, and it's not exclusive to straight singles. We get to know them, their lives, their experiences and each one has a particular challenge they need to overcome. These people are having trouble finding a love interest because they can't seem to step out of their comfort zone — they're doing the same thing and getting the same results.
TVGuide.com: Any examples of what these challenges are?
Somerville: Well, I work with one guy who's single and still dressing like it was 1985. Then there is a woman who has a Chihuahua and calls it her chastity Chihuahua because she brings it on dates with her and doesn't get a second phone call. My favorite is a woman who owns her own business, works 22 hours a day and treats her men like job interviews. If she's not interested in them in the first ten minutes, she just dismisses them.
TVGuide.com: How do you go about helping them?
Somerville: I give as much insight as I can, and from there an expert comes in and addresses specific issues — wardrobe, confidence, becoming comfortable with flirting. Then we push them off the cliff with a live test. We have lipstick cameras, and I'm standing by with an earpiece watching them for if they need a little bit of guidance.
TVGuide.com: What was the most common mistake made amongst your singles?
Somerville: We found that it's always comes down to confidence. The behaviors often translate into a lack of self-confidence, so I think everyone will be able to relate or get something out of it because it comes in different forms — like starting out in a new city or living with your parents at 30. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: What kind of results have you seen?
Somerville: In some cases we've had genuine connections. In others, it's just a good experience, but they need a few more rounds of practice. But in every episode, everyone has come to me off camera and said "I really feel better about my dating prospect" or "I have confidence I didn't have." It's been great.