The Bachelorette (2003– )
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If you find yourself liking this show, seriously, you need to rethink your life choices. Do me a favor. The next time this show is on and you're about to sit down to watch it, take a hammer and hit yourself in the head. Maybe then, you'll have some sense.
That's what makes The Bachelor (and while we're at it, Bachelor in Paradise and 90 Day Fiance), escapes for which I am personally grateful. Is it an example of the moral decline of civilization? You bet! And with chocolate cake and ice cream, it's even better.
It's not meant to be analyzed. It's supposed to be stupid. It's trash. Wonderful, vacuous trash. So check your brain at the door, get over yourself, fire up Twitter, and forget for two hours that we all might die tomorrow. Really, you (yes even you) could do to loosen up a bit.
The Bachelorette exposes how each man (and Rachel) handles group dates, one-on- one's, hometowns, and two-on-one's — all situations that uniquely challenge a person more in a few weeks than in years-long relationships where the same deep questions about vulnerability or marriage are not discussed at the same rate, if ever. The show is ridiculous because the dates are extravagant and a woman is dating 25+ men simultaneously; however, not every contestant is ridiculous nor is he or she necessarily crazy. Rachel is the most intelligent Bachelorette I have seen thus far — even better than Jojo, for whom I wept tears of joy in her decision to choose Jordan. She challenges the men, interrogates them, allows them to open up, and treats every man as though he is the only one that matters in the moment: it is not impossible to fall in love in a few months if the conditions push two people to ask the right questions early on in order to filter out other incompatibilities. If one remains skeptical of the sleazy producers, then go ahead and watch the show through that lens. For example, after rose ceremonies, notice there is daylight behind the departed contestant with whom the producers conduct the exit interview. This means the "rose ceremony" lasted all through the night, and ended at sunrise. This is a strenuous, long night in which alcohol and emotions dangerously mixed and circulated in the mansion. Not only can the viewer attain a more thorough understanding of production behind the scenes, but he or she can also garner empathy and understanding for the contestants. Notice if a contestant is slurring his words, crying uncharacteristically hard, acting "crazier" than you would in a situation — try to understand why. This scavenger hunt is one of understanding. Don't fall for the "coming up" previews that precede commercial breaks, for almost every single one is falsely advertised or skewed. Listen for unnatural cuts during a contestant's interview insinuating that his line was cut up and edited by the show producers. Differentiate men who want to win the game/fame and win the girl. The show has done a cunning job exaggerating, omitting, implanting, and influencing the truth, no doubt; however, the character and relationship developments are what truly drive the show surrounding petty, surrounding drama or silly, inconsequential, albeit funny cuts to quirky elements of the season (say, Ashley S. from Chris Soule's season or Adam's horrifying dummy from Rachel's season). Rachel genuinely believes she can find her husband if she plays the game right. I can tell she believes that past contestants have failed to find love because they did not immerse themselves in this process or in each relationship fairly. She takes the journey seriously and makes the hasty decisions that she does, not because she is naive, but because she believes in the journey ahead. Be smart when you watch, and the show becomes smarter than you initially (and pretentiously) thought.
There is only one thing more entertaining than 25+ women battling over a desirable Bachelor... and that is 25+ "dudes" battling over a Bachelorette. Here gender and society expectations play a key role: Guys may have fist fights and hot arguments, but are quick to get it out of their system; by the time the "Men Tell All" special is broadcast, they're often all buddies. In contrast, "The Bachelor" shows have ladies who bottle up their anger and act catty. Although the "ette" early episodes supply plenty of "beefcake" for female viewers, it is interesting to note that the Final 1 selected is either the shy/sensitive jock or the Average Joe.
Surprisingly, these shows hold up better than you'd expect with repeated viewing, thanks to all of the high emotion involved and a less structured format. Only the rose ceremonies are a drag. (By comparison, "Survivor" may be a much better show when seen weekly, but its VERY structured format makes it a bit tedious viewing reruns back-to-back.) The Trista/Ryan season still entertains after a couple years (even if the wedding that followed went on too long), as does Meredith's. Jen (the controversial one: she dumped both of her final 2) and Deanna had slightly duller runs. The best episodes, as in "The Bachelor", are the "hometown dates" (& the colorful families), the erotically charged Fantasy Dates in exotic locales... and, of course, the finale with the final 2 runner-up leaving in a limo "broken-hearted".
Jillian Harris' season is arguably the best season, but also the most difficult to sit through: The Classic Emotional Train Wreck. It starts with the usual share of high comedy and scripted drama with a foot-fetish suitor (Tanner) and a "bad boy" country singer (Wes), who delivers the theme of "They say love don't come easy". (*Spoiler alert*) In episode #4, Jake, the "perfect" pilot states the ominous line that it is inevitable that Jillian will fall for two guys and have to send one away brokenhearted. At first, the storyline focuses on Kiptyn as a key player, but eventually the saga boils down to Reid and Ed. One falls hard and fast for her, while she falls harder for the other when he takes a two week leave of absence. When she dumps Reid at the #3 spot in Maui, she fails to explain her changing affections to him and he attempts a return in the finale to verbally express his feelings for her... only to be dumped again. This is not a show for the faint at heart.
The biggest kicker about this show is that the Bachelorette, Trista, was formerly a contender and winner of the previous show, The Bachelor, and that the Bachelor dumped her very shortly after she won and married him, so she signed on to be on this show to get a new husband! Is that pathetic or what?
First, there was the gasp heard around the message boards when fan favourite Richard was denied a rose on his one on one date with Deanna. There was the jaw dropping farewell to the adorable lawyer Fred, who had the distinction of being part of a double exit night. There was the ever present class clown Twilley, who for some mystifying reason managed to endure until the final five even though he and Deanna clearly did not have an ounce of chemistry. After knocking off twenty-one potential suitors we arrive at the final four men. A mish mash of personalities, all very different from one another.
Graham, aka "Smoking Hot", was the first of the final four to receive the proverbial boot. It was clear why Deanna had kept him around for as long as she did. He was not ready to jump into marriage, was not ready to start a family, but he had a sexy charisma that willed Deanna's lips to his. There was no lack of chemistry between the two. What there was was a lack on Grahama's part to shower Deanna with constant attention and bend to her every whim. For when they were not making out, they were busy arguing. I found his departure the most chastising I've ever seen. It was not done with any sort of dignity or appreciation on Deanna's part for having put himself out there for her. Up until the moment the pro basketball player climbed into the limo she berated him for not meeting her expectations and disappointing her.
Jeremy, while equally attractive as Graham, took a polar opposite approach in winning Deanna. He gave her exactly what she claimed to want. He constantly flattered her with his time, his attention, his compliments and made it a well known fact that he was there for her and her alone. He seemed the perfect match. Serious, but with a playful nature, stable in his career, home, close to his family, and without question in love with Deanna. He received rose after rose, more than his share of one on one time, yet in the end he was not what Deanna was looking for. To paraphrase her: he was only good on paper but not in actuality. He was sent home broken-hearted leaving us wondering, "What exactly does Deanna Pappas want?".
Then came, "The Men Tell All" where we see a very contradictory Deanna from the woman who had continually said to the men: "I know what you're going through. I went through the same thing. I know exactly how you are feeling." This woman, did not display an abundance of compassion or understanding for her rejected suitors. She was cutting to Jeremy, who was obviously still hurt and had feelings for her, and the fact she still held a grudge against Graham - the one man she claimed to be falling in love with during the show - was evident. Even Brad Womack, who rejected all of his twenty-five potential matches was not this cold when faced with the women's questions.
The final two men could not be more contrasting to one another.
Jason, the thirty-one year old account executive was a single parent who combined stability with an adventurous side. He had a quick, genuine smile, was handsome, caring, fun, considerate, attentive and couldn't be more perfect for the Deanna who started off on this journey. In Jason, Deanna already knew what a wonderful father he would make for there was no faking that emotional reunion he had with son Ty during the show. Jason was clearly a man who respected and adored his family, and had won over Deanna's own father and family members during the hometown visit. Deanna really couldn't go wrong in choosing Jason.
Jesse though, the twenty-six year old professional snowboarder who had been portrayed as potential future buddy-for-life material literally came out of the editing blue and blew Jason and every other man out of the balmy waters of the Bahamas. For weeks, we saw not a single kiss, or steamy hot encounter between Jesse and Deanna. Camaraderie, friendship - yes. Passion - no. We listened to Jesse hem about the thought of starting a family so soon, haw about the idea of jumping straight into marriage. Then came the Bahamas and suddenly the very stay-in-the-background snowboarder was leading man material. He was grabbing all the air time, cuddling with Deanna on the beach and taking romantic horseback rides through splashing waves. For their final date he spent an idyllic, romantic day with her on a secluded island while Jason sat immobilized on the ocean floor surrounded by man-eating sharks.
The guy least likely to managed to be the one. Jesse received the final rose, the final kiss, and will be joined in matrimony to Deanna on May 9th, 2009. Is it for real? Will it last? What will the relationship be like once the cameras are turned off? Will Jesse keep his hair short to please Deanna's dad? It's hard to say. We do know one thing for certain though, if they make it to their wedding and it's televised...ABC will have one heck of a sweeps week.
She's: A silly, sin-burdened woman? A slut? Stupid? Clueless? Ignorant of how the world REALLY works? Harboring a pathetic Cinderella complex? Pity? Derisive Laughter?
But you're going to watch anyway, because you're one of the thousands of sheep who waste an hour or two weekly watching this drivel. Enjoy.
And if you think for one moment that I approve of "The Bachelor", you're wrong, wrong, wrong!
Let me get to the premise of the bacherolette. You have one girl who chooses between many different guys and finds someone for a life partner. Some of the romance in the show is absolutely unrealistic. It's not like you look at a good looking guy and start making out the first time. The romance makes me cringe at times and all the guys are so cheesy, yet the show is so stupid to just have a good laugh. These guys at ridiculous to win the heart of bacherolette Rachel. There is very funny drama in it with all the guys fighting for her or starting arguments because they want more one on one time with Rachel. I will admit this show is garbage, but it's just a show to watch and laugh or be in awe of their stupidity. My god the guys can be so dumb at times and the decisions made(like giving lee the rose) is incredibly stupid. But yet again I only watch this show for good drama and to cringe. Seriously cringe worthy and can be shallow as heck showing the dating culture now. Wow like I said I don't understand why I bother watching it it's just my guilty pleasure even tho it's kinda dumb.
Ben is a 28 year old unmarried young dad from Texas. He's good looking, tall at 6'2" with an athletic build (he tells us his favorite magazine is Men's Fitness) and a sweet talker. He scored an early rose and became the frontrunner.
With a tour of duty in Iraq under his belt, Army vet Bryden is a true hero and looks the part. The 26 year old from Montana is a square jawed, country boy who seems honest and open. With a rugged build this guy is no lightweight.
James, a big dude, at 6'2 with a linebacker's shoulders, his physical presence stands out. His bio lists two tattoos, including one of a bull on his left shoulder. This young muscleman sets the bar high for the other guys.
Mikey T, a brawny 30 year old plumber from outside Chicago, has a big city accent to match his big city swagger and powerful torso. Though he's street tough -- tattoos, a fan of Stallone ("He brought fitness to Hollywood,") -- he's a diamond in the rough.
The last contender is Zak with a body that could only be described as "sculpted." He arrived stripped to the waist and asked Des to "accept these abs." Some already say, with his physique and crazy style, he might be a shoe-in as the next Bachelor.
While Des goes out on dates to evaluate them as possible mates, the testosterone level is definitely rising among these five "manimals." These hard charging young men know they are in a fierce competition to mate with a beautiful women. Whether it's on the football field or in the boxing ring or even in the workplace, these are the kind of guys that give it their all and don't like to lose. With that said, it's no surprise that tempers are rising and bad blood is beginning to flow.
Ben seems to be the target of most of the dislike. With boyish good looks and an athletic body, he's made points with Des as a father dedicated to raising his son. It doesn't hurt that he's also a soulful kisser that never misses an opportunity to whisk Des off to a private spot for a passionate make-out session. Just watching her face when he's got her in his arms, you can see that this hot young dad has her under his spell.
Bryden says flat out "I hate Ben." Zak isn't far behind. Mikey (though he's from Chicago, he's got more in common with his muscular Italian-American brethren on "The Jersey Shore,") goes even further. "Ben needs a punch in the face," he says, cocking a big fist and bulging arm for the camera, "Sometimes you just gotta get physical." At a mock "Mr. America" competition, the rivalry between Ben and Mikey went red hot. When Ben was given a tight speedo to wear, Mikey offered to trade him for his loose jams ("I'm disappointed I can't show everything off.") Ben later admitted he, too, wanted to "bare a lot" for Des. On stage the two went head to head, with Mikey oiled up and jacked for the competition, posing like a bodybuilder. Mikey looked like a real Mr. America and even Bryden admitted, "Mikey killed it." But Ben, though smaller than Mikey, still caught Des's eye, crunching his washboard abs while exhibiting his ripped physique.
Though these two studs are locked in a tight struggle that might just get "physical" before it's all over, the race may not go to either one. While they -- and Zak and Bryden -- were on stage flexing, back at the hotel penthouse, sexy young muscleman James was getting ready for his one-on-one date with Des. Even bigger than Mikey, with Hollywood good looks and Southern charm, we see him slipping off his robe and easing into a warm bath, sipping wine, eating strawberries and planning how to make Des forget every other guy but him. With a better body than Mikey, and more of a ladies' man than Ben, this player may just be the Man to take it all.
Millions of women live vicariously through Trista with the hope of one day finding the man of their dreams. This is a fun spin off from the original Bachelor. Trista makes a great return after being eliminated, but this time around, she is calling the shots and is now in the enviable position to select her handsome soulmate.
The romantic dates, the exotic getaways and the chivalrous gentlemen all vying for the effection of one woman can clearly be defined as a return to old-fashion values of 1950s family television, but with a twist. The show is extremely sexy yet the producers do it with tasteful elegance and class.
Everyone wants to find that perfect guy or gal. True love is hard to find. This reality show may be the unwitting role model to millions of young Americans who lack dating skills but can now be hopeful that they too will someday find the perfect mate if they take the time to get to know a person first.
The production values on this series are sleek and top notch. Sure it's formulaic but who cares. Dreams are free!