Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Bachelor: Somethin' Ain't Right

On Monday night, Hubs and I watched the season premier of The Bachelor. We're not huge fans of the show, but we watch it because our friend Lincee writes a rockin' blog recap of the show each week, and seeing the show makes reading her blog recap way more fun. Are we dedicated blog buddies, or what?

As is the scenario on the first episode of every season, the handsome bachelor stands at the entrance to a mansion as limousines full of hopeful, gorgeous women roll up to the curb of the mansion to meet the bachelor for the first time. Talk about your awkward moments. One of the women actually got out of the car, introduced herself to the bachelor, and said, "You're everything I'm looking for."

How in the world does she know that? She doesn't even know the guy! Unless personality doesn't matter and good looks is her only requirement, that statement was just silly.

Once each of the 25 bachelorettes has introduced herself, they all go inside for a party that involves too much alcohol and too much information. The party becomes a show-off talent show/freak show. On Monday night's season opener, some of the bachelorettes did the following to make an impression:

-dance for him
-show him her webbed toes
-change into a bikini and jump in the pool and then invited him to join her by saying "You should take your pants off."

At the end of the party, the bachelor has to eliminate ten bachelorettes right then and there. It was so sad to see the longing in the eyes of the women, hoping to be chosen. Some even cried when they weren't chosen.

Now, I understand that this is a reality TV show, and the awkwardness of the contrived situations can make for "good" TV, whatever that means. But there is something really twisted about the whole setup of the show that strips all the dignity and beauty out of dating. Instead of the knight in shining armor fighting to win the heart of the princess, this hoard of beauties desperately clamors to win the guy. He has no fighting to do whatsoever. Basically, he just gets to eliminate and whittle down the damsels until there is only one left that suits him.

Never mind that we already saw lots of preview footage of him smooching lots of different bachelorettes. How special is the "chosen" bachelorette going to feel when she sees that her not-so-chivalrous knight kissed his way around the competition before he settled on her?

I feel a little bit bad criticizing these people, as I'm sure they are lovely human beings. But they have chosen to put themselves on display in a public forum, so I think that gives me the right to publicly opine.

In a nutshell, the desire to be chosen is natural and good. Being chosen and then pursued by Hubs was a true delight! And I know he was just as delighted that out of all the matches in my eHarmony inbox, I chose HIM! This mutual sense of choosing is beautiful and good. I just think that the formula of The Bachelor strips away the dignity of the experience and then exploits the vulnerability of its participants for our entertainment. And honestly, half the time, I want to turn my head away from the TV and give those people their private moments. It just feels too voyeuristic. It seems, though, that our voyeurism is the only thing keeping this show alive. It's not like the concept of the show is successful in helping people find their soulmates. According to wikipedia, only two of the ten Bachelors are still with the women they chose. As for the spin-off The Bachelorette, the odds are bit better, with one of the three Bachelorettes still with her sweetheart (they married and now they are parents).


J at said...

I might watch if I had a bloggy buddy writing about it, but that would be the only reason. I've never watched, because of the reasons you mention...horribly demeaning to the women, to the man, to the whole PROCESS. Demeaning to humanity, I would venture.

Lincee said...

Thanks for the shout out Tracy! WHOO HOO! Bachelor is BACK!

ML said...

ICK! I would never watch this show. It really makes the whole relationship/dating thing look sick.

I agree with your post!

Buttercup said...

It's like watching a train wreck. I watched the first two but now I can't get in to it. The bachelors and all the damsels just seem too dumb and too desperate. But, I too appreciate the entertaining blog write-up of the show.

You said: "How special is the "chosen" bachelorette going to feel when she sees that her not-so-chivalrous knight kissed his way around the competition before he settled on her?" Totally know what you mean here. Lots of people will say "but they weren't together yet." Who cares! It's hard to feel special when the person you're in to has been spreading it around all over the place.

Love Bears All Things said...

And why are you watching, again?
Mama Bear

Ginger said...

I don't watch this but I saw the commercials and heard the bachelors "resume". I've got to wonder after weeks of having women fall all over him how smug and full of himself will he be?

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I haven't had cable for 7 years because I can't stand watching all the junk they have on TV now. I miss the news (get it online without commercials), and I miss the football and march madness.

Other than that... I'm SO glad I miss all this. What does that tell our young ladies who are glued to television sets... you have to be 'what Hollywood determines as gorgeous' and lucky and a guy might pick you?


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Autumn's Mom said...

I'm soooo addicted. and you forgot to list the strange girl who thought it was a good idea to turn herself vagina-up into a pretzel and say SPIN ME. So bad I know..but hey, they signed up for it. They are fair game I say!