But nearly four years to the day before the royal wedding to end all royal weddings, critics and viewers everywhere were stunned by a naivete of a group of women—some actresses, some not; all American—appearing on a reality TV show under the assumption that the man whose affection they were all vying for was that of Prince Harry himself.
We’re talking, of course, about I Wanna Marry “Harry”.
And though the show, which debuted on Fox on May 20, 2014, didn’t last long—it turns out audiences weren’t too keen on watching women be lied to and the show was yanked from the schedule after just four episodes—it certainly made quite the impression.
While at first glance, the show seemed to resemble a deceptive version of The Bachelor, I Wanna Marry “Harry” actually had more in common with a series that Fox had mounted a decade earlier, 2003’s Joe Millionaire. On that show, a group of single women looking for love were told they were competing for the affection of a millionaire bachelor, when, in actuality, he was merely a working-class construction worker. His true identity wouldn’t be revealed until there was just one woman left, and if she agreed to stay with him despite the ruse, they’d win a million dollars.