I Feel so Dirty…
I have a terrible thing to confess. It is horrible… beyond horrible, actually. It goes against everything that I believe in and I am ashamed for what I have done. I have no excuses other than not having the fortitude to turn away from it once I initially got involved. It happened late at night, when I least expected it. I got sucked in. It wasn’t my fault. Once I started though, I knew I would have to see it to the end no matter how painful and personally damaging it could be. It is over though. I feel like now is a good time to come clean and shed the weight of the secret I have been carrying around with me these past few weeks.
I watched the entire season of “The Bachelor”.
It truly pains me to say that. I feel like I have betrayed a part of myself. My hatred toward reality shows is well-known but I started watching anyway. I watched as the women sauntered in and met the floppy haired douche they would be fighting over for the next few weeks I could feel my brain softening and leaking out of my ears but I was undeterred. I watched as each one competed for attention while my IQ silently ticked down like the seconds wasting away before a microwave burrito is cooked but I continued week after week. I watched while these fame hungry, deluded, empty vessels of women plotted and schemed for a guy they barely knew. The truth though is that I watched for the same reason EVERYONE watches shows like this… to give myself a sense of superiority (mission accomplished).
Why the fuck do these women parade themselves around fawning over some guy who is dating 10 other women? Why does this make sense in the reality TV world and nowhere else? If you had a friend that told you she really liked a guy and she was falling in love with him… but he was dating enough other chicks to field a baseball team (I call pitcher!) you would be a bit skeptical, right? They get sucked in though. The same way that I get duped in to watching the show they get dragged into the abyss of reality television and they start believing that this alternate universe that have become a part of is real. For the people involved in the show it is a highly charged, intense environment so it makes their decisions look even that much more foolish to the casual viewer.
Sitting on the couch with nothing invested and being able to walk away from the show in an hour’s time creates a detachment for the viewer that the contestants do not get to enjoy. For them, their experience has all the qualities of a dream. They are so immersed in fiction that it becomes a reality in and of itself. They eat, sleep and breath this competition with producers and show-runners using editing and other tricks to distort and manipulate their emotions and motives. It is no wonder why a receptionist from the Midwest can be turned into a sobbing puddle driving away in a limo screaming ”Whaaaatttt the FUCK HAPPENED?” That she only met met the object of her tears a couple weeks before seems to make no difference.
This “dream-like” state is built upon throughout the series as the women get pulled deeper and deeper into the fantasy culminating in a final episode where the producers try to convince the viewers that the bachelor is in love with 2 women at the same time and could potentially propose to either of them in the end. I watched this episode last night and as part of my healing process I thought it would be a good idea to talk it out right now and finally get the monkey off of my back.
Bachelor Finale Recap
The finale kicks off by declaring the bachelor’s choice as “the biggest decision of his life”. Really? Most important? I would probably rank this decision somewhere between ”Do you want fries with that?” or “Should I take a dump at the gas station or gut it out until I get home?” They show the final two contestants and start playing the obligatory David Grey song as the Bachelor wistfully stares out into the mountainous landscape of Zermatt, Switzerland. At this point the “Mom and Sister vag-block” portion of the finale commences. The two objects of Ben the Bachelor’s desire now need to get vetted by his dour faced Mom and sister who is wearing one of those crappy poncho-like tops that can make any woman look unattractive. At the end of interrogating each woman his Mom says of Courtney “Give it a try, see what happens”. Ummm, Bachelor’s Mom, this is the decision for whom your son is to marry not deciding weather to try out a yoga class.
It is obvious that Lindzi is a non-factor and has no chance, so I zoned out a bit and started playing “Draw Something” on my phone during their date. By the way, I would not have been able to watch this show without some sort of distraction whenever the show was repetitive or was too awkward to watch directly. Sometimes my level of embarrassment for the actions of the characters is so intense I can’t even watch, it is like looking directly into the sun.
His last date with Courtney starts off with a helicopter ride through the mountains and is “one of the top 5 experiences of this life”. The Bachelor has logged more hours in a helicopter this season that most gunship captains did in ‘Nam. The Helicopter Pilot’s Union lobbyists must have gotten a hold of the execs at ABC because the helicopter budget must have been half a million bucks. After they are done flying around the mountains Courtney gives him what I like to call the “Game Over Scrapbook” and puts the final nail in Lindzi’s coffin. He thumbs through the book and asks breathlessly “Where did you get all of these pictures??” At which point I screamed at the the TV “The show’s producers gave it to her, you DUMB FUCK! You are on a REALITY SHOW! There are FUCKING CAMERAS on you at all times!”
They wrap it up by talking about how “vulnerable” and “open” they are to each other. The illusionary “openness” of the contestants is always very important and is talked about in hushed tones on the show and is much of the basis for how the pairings work. If I were to make a ACT question out of this it would be “Openness” is to The Bachelor as a red ass is to a mating baboon.
They wrap things up on the mountaintop when he dumps the blond and proposes to the sociopath model, Courtney. Ben notes how surreal the proposal is and it is exactly that feeling that should tip him off to the illusion of this manufactured setting. They leave the show, engaged, at the center of a media frenzy and apparently they broke off the engagement… which they promptly flip-flopped back to being engaged during the after show. So much for the “most important decision of his life”.
Ahhhhh – it feels good to get that off of my chest. Now when does Jersey Shore start again?