First came Next, the MTV dating show most notable for the great care participants take in crafting casually cruel brushoff lines. Then followed Parental Control, the MTV dating show on which adults set up their children on rendezvous with prospective new paramours and trade insults with their current ones. And then MTV Exposed spurted onto the air, a lively little number featuring daters secretly monitored by lie detectors. Taking cues from each of these uplifting programs—and also from Fantasy Island, Brian De Palma films, and police stakeouts—The X Effect marks a logical step downward. This one combines a dating show and a divorce complaint.