WE tv's latest announced reality show project brings to mind two classic lines from Cool Hand Luke: "What we have here is a failure to communicate," the punishment for which is "a night in the box."
On Feb. 27 the network premieres Sex Box, which it has billed as "extreme couple's therapy." Extreme is one word for it: After couples consult with relationship counselors, they retreat to an on-stage soundproof box to canoodle, then immediately return to Monday-morning quarterback the coupling while the oxytocin -- known as the "cuddle hormone" -- is still racing through their bodies. All in front of a live audience.
Note that not only is the box soundproofed, it is also camera-free. It's just knowing what is suppposedly going on that may entice viewers. And, of course, it's presumably a big learning experience for the couple, the live audience and TV viewers. Perhaps because it's slated to air at 10 p.m. (ET) on Friday nights, it feels kind of like a 21st-century, reality-TV twist on the 1970s Friday-night mainstay, Love, American Style.
Comedienne Danielle Stewart injects comic relief into the show with on-the-street interviews and her own raucous style of commentary throughout each episode. The "sexperts" advising the couples include Fran Walfish, a leading Beverly Hills psychotherapist; Chris Donaghue, a nationally certified, licensed clinical sex therapist; and Yvonne Capehart, a pastor and couples’ counselor.
The couples featured in the 11 episodes all suffer from variations on "The Thrill Is Gone," and run the gamut from a pair of high-school sweethearts whose passion has flamed out after 14 years of marriage and four kids, and another whose trust issues from a previous relationship have a negative impact on their intimacy to a duo in an open relationship where one partner wants to amp up the sex with S&M, and a couple that actually has too much sex.