Friday, March 30, 2012

Put the Real Back in My Reality TV!

Or, How Courtney Caused the Bachelor to Jump the Shark...

Here's the simple truth of it. If I want fiction, I'll watch a fictional scripted TV show. If I want truth, I'll watch a reality show. You want DANCING? Watch Dancing With the Stars. You want to see how a bunch of different people cope when they are put together on an island to fend for themselves? Watch Survivor. That's the purity of reality TV.

Cause sometimes real people are way more interesting than scripted stuff. Truth, reality, the way people interact with each other in real ways is quite fascinating stuff. And the good reality shows play off this.

Somewhere along the way, as the moment lulled, and reality TV became huge, those writers whose jobs had been displaced (now that reality TV was so cheap to make) wanted their jobs back. They wanted part of this new phenomenon.

So we have this mixture that we have now (with some shows). Survivor will not admit to being scripted. (I actually believe them.) The most a reality show writer/producer should do is create the arcs of a show (where in the world The Amazing Race travels to, for example; and what they encounter when they are there). But the way the people themselves react to it, is the fun of watching it.

But the real rub is that you have to get 30, 15, 20 whatever schlubs every season who are willing to put up with whatever you put them through. Why would they do this? Simple. It's not just the cash prize they could win at the end. It has become, more and more, that they just want to be on TV.

Let us examine, for a moment, the two WORST examples of that, the two who have burned out my eyes from ever watching The Bachelor again: Ben F. and Courtney.

I think one can generalize at this point (and so I shall): Ben never wanted to get married, find true love, all that wooha he signed up for. He just wanted to have a TV show about himself. Every girl along the way who was going along with what the show was about ("sure, I could see myself with you," "sure, I could marry you," "Sure, I'm falling in love with you..."), once they went down that path, he kissed them goodbye.

But every girl, and I do mean every girl, starting at the very beginning of the season, who was willing to kiss, to cuddle, to snuggle, to put her sex on the line, he was down with it.

Courtney, on the other hand, who was completely open about the fact that she wanted to "WIN" this Bachelor thing, and screw everyone else who was in her way, spent the first half of the season showing her true colors. She was mean, she was condescending, she was judgmental, she was downright cruel. She was the most horrible person that the show has ever had on. Which, of course, in the cold cruel world of television, makes for great TV.

Vicious Courtney. What is Courtney gonna say next? Everyone talked about her at the water coolers. Bachelor producers must've been rubbing their hands in glee.

Except for one little thing. Ben dug her. Or, perhaps, he just saw a similar snake in front of him.

In any case, when little Miss Break the Rules showed up at his suite in Puerto Rico, and they ended up frolicking (insert the other F word here) in the ocean, it was really game over.

What I wish they HAD done, if this had really been REAL reality TV, and they were honest, was to put it back on the table. "Yeah, Courtney and I had sex. What are you girls gonna do about it?"

Although they probably would've all walked out (or most of them), it sure would've made for more interesting TV than what they tried to shovel at us next.

Because once Miss Courtney started becoming Ben's favorite, the producers had to back pedal. Furiously. They had to put words in her mouth that made me choke to listen to them.

How even though she'd been trashing everyone left, right and sideways all season, suddenly now she was "interested in falling in love." Whereas before she "had a hard time trusting people," now she was "ready for love."

It was a joke, and she was/is a bad actress. That whole nonsense of a fake wedding that they did on the hometown dates was laughable.

I won't bore you with too many details, it was painful enough to sit through as is.

My point, though, is that I was one of those who at least tried to invest in The Bachelor and Bachelorette for the romance of it.

And sure, I knew when City Hall is all cleared out and there's a band in there, for them to dance by themselves, that it wasn't Ben F. who did all that "for Lindsi." It was a team of people at ABC who pulled that and everything together. Sure, I knew there were lies (in that regard).

(And then they had Lindsi's parents say, "Oh we got married there!" (As if their 27-year-old daughter didn't know where her parents got married... I could puke...)


Starting from the fake ski slopes in San Francisco on, everything about this season just got worse and worse and worse.

It was almost like the rest of the country was watching the real show, with our sweetheart, Kacie B., and Ben and wench-o-matic Courtney were off doing their own "Screw everyone" show on the side.

At the end of it all, I feel manipulated. By Courtney, yes, but more by the producers and "writers" who created this fiasco. If I see one more helicopter ride, I swear I'll throw up. If I have to watch one more couple climb atop something high (bridges, Aztec ruins, gorges) and then make some LAME metaphor about how going through this together (even if you're terrified of heights) makes your relationship that much stronger, I swear I will heave.

It really was a morass of bad writing thrown at you all this season: Leap lists, and fakeness and unreality. At every rose ceremony (and I DO mean every rose ceremony), the entire country, in unison (or anyone who still cared enough to watch this madness) screaming at their TVs: GET RID OF COURTNEY!

To have to march through, like some twisted romance from hell, as one by one of the most amazing women are dumped, and the black widow spider is still standing at the end, is really beyond the pale.

And I really feel it's cured me of my desire to ever watch this show again. There's too much reality to live. I don't want fake scripted "reality."

I feel used, abused and stepped on, by suffering through as much of this season as I did. EVERY SINGLE PERSON AT ABC who was associated with this show this season SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES. Ashamed.

You will never live down the Ben-Courtney fiasco. You have jumped the Swiss shark.



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