Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On the continued fakeness of The Bachelor

There are certain reality shows I like and continue to watch, mostly Survivor and The Bachelor. I like them because they provide what really only podcasts provide in the media landscape: truth.

From the first moment when Sue Hawk gave the blistering speech to Richard Hatch on the first season of Survivor ten years ago, TV was changed forever. And hopefully, those who make TV realized that while scripted shows are wonderful, it is the scent of the real that people really hunger for.

Some shows: Survivor, The Amazing Race and sometimes The Bachelor, seem to adhere to "let's leave it real" as their esthetic. The problem with these shows, and adding "writers" to them, is that then you are manipulating reality, diluting what was already pure. I can't speak for anyone else, but that makes me not want to watch them anymore.

Last season, The Bachelorette had a particularly heinous twist (obviously some producer came from The Amazing Race or some similar show) where the bachelors were running obstacle courses and crap to get to the one woman to date. It was absolutely horrible. I hope they never repeat it. It was a big misstep.

Another (and yes, we have a trend now) is manipulating the ending. And I'm so pissed off about it, I have to write about it.

Let's revisit, shall we? In that very same Bachelorette edition, there was a guy named Ed that we didn't see very much of. Certainly didn't see Gillian (the Bachelorette) falling for him in any way whatsoever. There was big drama when suddenly he was "called back" by his work. In other words, it was his job or his new girl (potentially).

Even then, I thought: come on now. You know ABC vets these people six ways from Sunday, and they have to sign papers which state: during the next (six or eight) weeks, I have enough free time to pursue this thing till the end. Certainly. It was so in EVERY PREVIOUS Bachelor/Bachelorette version.

But apparently some (obviously male) producer decided that wasn't dramatic enough. We couldn't just see Gillian falling in love with Ed (which, btw, we didn't). We had to have this big reveal. He leaves. Shocker! He can't live without her, he comes back. She takes him back. (Which comes from out of nowhere.) And another contestant whom we had seen her falling in love with, Reid, gets bounced. And HE comes back, heart in hand, to actually propose. But no, unbeknownst to us, she had somewhere along the way (not in the edited and shown version of the show) fallen in love with this Ed guy.

Dear God, put a woman on this thing!

What we want to see (speaking for the women out there) is some poor schmuck (male or female) gradually falling more in love with someone among the candidates. So that at the end, when they propose, we can all go: "Awwww" because that's how it's supposed to be. That is what fell into place right before our eyes. We are lucky to have seen it. They are happy to have it. Swoon.

Like Tricia and Ryan. Though we didn't really understand it, it was obvious she liked him. That was beautiful. (And they are still married.) Is that so hard to put together? Come on, producers!

No, apparently they like this "finalist towards the end suddenly gets called away by his/her job, then comes back because she/he is too in love." Yawn. I know it's a scripted manipulation. You know how I know? Oh, other than they did it frikkin LAST SEASON TOO? I'm currently watching The Bachelor episode where he is frolicking with his chosen final three. AND THEY CUT TO ALI, the girl who had the job angst on the last episode, in her apartment. CUT TO HER. Being all angsty. "I can't stop thinking about Jake." Make me throw up.

Oh, lemme guess. She comes back, disrupts the final rose ceremony and he bounces someone else to keep her. Maybe he'll end up marrying her, like Gillian did with Ed last season.

For me, from this moment on, this is no longer fun. Any more than being manipulated in real life is fun. No thanks, Bachelor. I hate this.

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