Friday, 17 February 2012

Desperation is a stinky cologne - and I like it!

I don’t know if it’s because I have a daughter or if it’s because I’m a woman, but the TV show The Bachelor makes me uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, much like the car-wreck analogy, I can’t seem to look away. I know editing has a lot to do with how the ‘contestants’ (I’m not sure what else to call them) come across, but I can’t help but shake my head at the amount of available footage they have to work with. My husband and I actually share in this guilty pleasure; though it took him a few seasons to actually tune in and realize what I’ve been saying since it first aired: The Bachelor is a comedy! I think that’s the problem; no one really knows how to take it. Many of my friends have expressed to me that they just “can’t” when it comes to that show. They list the obvious reasons including the terrible premise, the irritating, over-used “will you accept this rose” question, and basically the overall cheese-factor. I get it, really I do. I think the problem is those who hate this show might be taking it all a bit too seriously. Incidentally many of these friends who can’t bring themselves to watch spend their entire week eagerly anticipating “Jersday”.

 Ask yourself this: Why is Jersey Shore so popular? I’m sure everyone would conclude that it’s because it’s absurd. If you were to compare the two shows, the only variation is that there’s actually more fighting on The Bachelor. Also I’m sure anyone would agree that a bunch of women desperate and crazy enough to go on that show in the first place; at each other’s throats and pulling out ALL of the crazy, is much more entertaining than watching a bunch of self-proclaimed “guidos” GTL. Just saying. By the way, before you assume I’m a hypocrite and like only one of the two shows, I happen to enjoy both equally. Basically I don’t discriminate when it comes to mindless entertainment.

Out of curiosity I did an online search to find out how much time these women actually spend with their ‘Prince Charming”. I mostly just found articles/blogs encouraging women to hate the show based on what are pretty obvious reasons. All of which happen to be the reasons why I watch it. Is it mean if I say that I like watching a bunch of lunatic women fight over a man they hardly know, a man they wouldn’t look twice at in an ordinary setting, all while being followed around by a bunch of cameras? The fact that cameras are in their faces on these “dates” is hilarious in itself. Imagine being on a first date and having some (presumable) riff-raff camera-crew perched up on the side of the hot tub you’re making out in (HA!). I always picture the sound guy with his little headphones on holding that giant sound-boom over their heads. No, that wouldn’t be awkward at all. As terrific and entertaining as all of that is, the icing on the cake is that they’ve managed to make it even better by allowing these women to combine their personality disorders with copious amounts of alcohol. Man, this is TV at its finest.

Who wants normalcy in their television shows? I’m so tired of everyone’s muppet-critic commentary. In my opinion, the whole point of TV is to be preposterous, mind-numbing, entertainment. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m a paramedic and I sometimes feel the need to offset the extra dose of reality that comes with my job with a silly TV show. Basically I feel that we live in real life. Do you really want to come home and watch more real life? Oh hurray! Loved that episode last night about another mom with unwashed hair marinating a pork tenderloin. That part where she had to answer the phone and do a load of laundry really hit close to home. Spot on. Fascinating stuff!

Alright, so maybe that’s a little far off but seriously, if not for people doing open-heart surgery in elevators, the world being taken over by sexy aliens, or a bunch of crazy, drunken, desperate women sobbing over Mr. Awkward; I probably wouldn’t have cable.
Now going back to the original statement I made about this show making me uncomfortable. Yes, I suppose the depiction of women could be viewed as offensive, especially to those who generally take life too seriously. What I find particularly bothersome is the fact that I have a daughter; which reminds me that these women have parents. How awful for their poor fathers to have to sit through a two-hour episode, week after week, and watch their beautiful and (sometimes) successful daughters literally throw themselves at a man. One of the women from this season is a Ph.D. student for goodness sake. Not that I’m implying education coincides with rationality, but one might typically assume that women of that calibre are out of place in the world of reality TV romance.  Or maybe, on a slightly darker note, it was their “Daddy-issues” which landed them on this show in the first place. Something has to be wrong with you to think that after a few weeks of ‘group-dates’ you’re ready to be publicly engaged. I guess Chris Rock said it best (of course this is slightly out of context): If your daughter is falling all over herself on The Bachelor, you F#%ked up! 

If you happen to be a ‘hater’ of this show, I wonder if going into it knowing that it’s a comedy would change your outlook. If you can’t get past the premise, try picturing the sound-guy. If you don’t think that’s funny, then I guess when it comes to comedy television we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

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