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The Onion's non-news parodies, including "Sex House"

Today marks the second weekly installment of the Onion’s new web series, Sex House — a parody of The Real World/Big Brother/Glass House-type reality shows that pretend to be about something other than throwing a bunch of people into a Sartre-esque No Exit living sitch with a bunch of raging hormones and an endless supply of cheap vodka. It’s the first series from the Onion Digital Studio, which according to the Huffington Post, will focus exclusively on non-news parodies. The other three web series premiering on its YouTube channel this past week include Lake Dredge Appraisal (think Antiques Road Show meets 1980s public-access TV), Horrifying Planet (think National Geographic meets When Animals Attack meets American’s Funniest Home Videos) and Troublehacking with Drew Cleary (think vloggers with delusions of grandeur).

So far, Sex House has the most promise — but maybe that’s just because it’s got the highest production value. Considering our (OK, Lo’s) shameless, longtime love of watching (and then trash-talking) most reality-based network television, we expected to find the show HI-larious. But not unlike the recent web series Burning Love — a parody of ABC’s The Bachelor that featured real-live celebrities, including Jennifer Anniston, and some spot-on skewering of the genre — Sex House also left us, surprisingly, a little unsatisfied.

Which we guess is part of the point (i.e. of course there’s no good sex in the Sex House). But when the first episode ends with what could be considered the drunken date rape of the house virgin by a puffy, mustachioed, middle-aged married man, it’s hard to laugh. Especially in light of Daniel Tosh’s now-infamous rape “joke” (which, by the way, received the most spot-on analysis from fellow comedian and fellow dude Curtis Luciani — if you haven’t read it yet, do so right now. It’ll make you feel queasy about the ending of episode 1 of Sex House too.)

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