Then came The Bachelor. I watched five minutes of it and had to go outside and clear my head. I stood there for awhile, looking into the twilight for answers that wouldn’t come. I wondered: Does the Bachelor get to bed all those fine ladies? If so, that’s a pretty sweet gig. For him. I understand that the female contestants do get some benefit, such as the TV exposure, which in turn could lead to appearances at state fairs and Kotex commercials somewhere down the line. But for now it seems like they’re getting the short end.
Consider: They have to make goo-goo eyes at one of the biggest reality-TV dorks in recent memory, and keep a straight face while they say on national television that they really could see loving and spending the rest of their lives with him. You know, should they be lucky enough to be chosen.
That’s some heavy freight. Think of the indelible regrets, years from now. First, that they were ever on such a show, and second, that they weren’t even chosen. Explain that one to the kids. It seems they were also contractually obligated to never mention his stupid haircut. So all in all, I’d say they’re working harder for the money than he is.
I know, this has all been debated before. And I don’t mind a little sexism, as long as there’s something sexy about it. I don’t mind seeing fake women being fake-humiliated in fake scenarios, since they’re all of legal age and have all eagerly elbowed their way to one of the coveted slots in The Bachelor’s fake harem.
But somebody please tell me: What is this show about? It’s not reality, because not a single televised moment of it could ever occur in an unscripted situation. It’s not drama or tragedy or comedy or psychological thriller, because there are no characters and no story. (Did I mention that the untalented Mr. Flajnik and his soul mate haven’t spoken since shortly after the finale was taped?) You get more genuine humanity in one of those Cialis commercials where the man and woman end up in matching tubs while a voice drones on about possible side-effects.
My theory is this: “Reality” TV is dying, but can never be truly dead until one show proves for all time exactly how bad this genre can be. Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that The Bachelor is that show. So no more grousing for me. From now on, the quality of my free entertainment has nowhere to go but up.