For the network that ballyhoos the fruits of bedroom labor (“Jon and Kate Plus 8,” The Duggars, “A Conception Story”) it made sense to balance things out with a bunch of virgins.
“Losing one’s virginity is a big life decision,” TLC’s west coast vice president of production, Timothy Kuryak, told ABCNews.com. “It seemed like one of those seminal life moments that’s interesting to follow for TLC.”
So was born “Virgin Diaries,” an hour long reality special starring a group of 20 and 30-something virgins that premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on TLC. A trailer for the show features Carey, a 35-year-old bachelor who confesses that he’s “not a virgin entirely by choice” and three 30-year-old female roommates from British Columbia who Kuryak said are “saving themselves for when they meet their husbands.”
But the show’s must-see factor comes from Ryan, 31, and Shanna, 27, a couple who decided to save their first kiss, let alone their virginity, until their wedding day. “It was a religious choice for both of them,” Kuryak said.
Shanna had kissed other people before Ryan; Ryan had not. That fact becomes sweetly apparent when Ryan lifts up his bride’s veil, plants his lips on hers, and sucks vigorously away.
Some critics have dubbed “Virgin Diaries” “ TLC’s newest gawk-fest” and its participants “ exploitation victims.” Kuryak countered, “We’re not trying to make light of this or treat it in a sort of trivial way. We want to document these peoples’ stories and why they make this decision.”
“A lot of stories about later in life virgins talk about it like a problem,” he said. “We want to show that this is something that can be celebrated.”
And, if it gets good ratings, something that could be celebrated again and again and again.
“We love the special as it is right now, and if it does well, there could be more to come,” Kuryak said.