Bachelor just gets blonder and blander
Bachelor just gets blonder and blander
It was always fake.
Now it's boring, too
How will it end? Who will he pick? Will he propose? And will she say, "Yes"?
Those are the hokey, melodramatic questions being asked in hokey, melodramatic promos as The Bachelor (ABC, Citytv, 9 p.m. tonight) ends another hokey, melodramatic season.
Behind the scenes, producers are secretly asking other questions. When will this end? Does anybody still care? How much longer can we fool viewers? Can this show suck any more than it does? Can it? CAN IT?
Now in its fifth stupefying season, The Bachelor has devolved into a feel-good show that doesn't. Consider the success rate. Of the previous Bachelors — Smarmy Alex, Dopey Aaron, Smug Andrew, Goofy Bob — not one has found everlasting love with his chosen "soul mate," a dubious distinction for a show all about the match-making.
Imagine if all the contestants died on Survivor. That's what this show is like. Imagine reading a suspense novel full of superficial characters that actually contained no suspense. That's what this show is like. Aside from Hollywood therapists and pre-nup attorneys, would anybody really miss The Bachelor if it suddenly vanished?
Anyway, where were we?
In tonight's two-hour finale, which will be as padded as Pavarotti's bed and as explosive as a wet firecracker, Bachelor Jesse Palmer will select between Jessica Bowlin, a 22-year-old law student from Huntington Beach, Calif., and Tara Huckeby, a 23-year-old general contractor from Shawnee, Okla.
Both are young, blonde and subservient. Speaking of dim, what's the deal with Jesse? Does the guy not wear a helmet in his day job as a backup quarterback with the New York Giants?
When not engaging in three-word false flattery and ghetto exclamation — "You look great," "You look amazing," "That was dope!" — the Toronto-born Bachelor whiles away the hours forgetting names, wearing flippers on the beach, seeking eternal reassurance, planting creepy kisses, and staring into space with the slightly befuddled expression of a man-boy wondering why Wile E. Coyote never did catch the Road Runner.
"I don't know what it is about Jessica that makes me feel like a little kid again," Jesse says, during their date at the Rose Bowl, just before a marching band stormed the stadium and played in heart-formation.
Oh, I don't know, maybe it's because she is a little kid! Still, you have to admire the jock's proficiency with misplaced metaphors: "We were all playing with the elephant and I took the bull by the horns."
The producers probably sensed that Jesse, despite being the target of automatic estrogen-obsession, would not be able to pull off the romantic scenes. So they ratcheted up the narrative manipulation.
This was most obvious during last week's episode, in which the eliminated Trish returned to "right a wrong" and "get back her boyfriend."
The sequence started with the Most Boring Date In The History Of Television, as Mandy Jaye and Jesse strolled through Washington, D.C., taking in the monuments, drifting aimlessly on the USS Sequoia presidential yacht and wondering when the time would come to get plastered and frolic in a candle-and-rose-petal jacuzzi.
Wait. A plane is landing. Cue the psycho music. That's Trish, in the back of a cab, barrelling toward the hotel where an unsuspecting Mandy Jaye and Jesse are staying. Oh! No!
Only a complete fool would not realize all of this was contrived and dreamed-up by producers, desperate to use such words as "stalker!" "unbelievable!" and "unprecedented!" in the shameless teasers.
This was Trish's last-ditch effort? An uncontrollable impulse? A surprise visit? Please. Even O.J. would have been stunned by the number of cameras on the highway that afternoon.
"I am a damn good time," says Trish, unpacking an arsenal of frilly and scanty unmentionables. "And if Jesse signed up to sit in church, then he picked three great girls for that."
Say what you will about Trish, but at least she's real — a novel concept for a "reality" show these days. Trish became persona non grata, a target of bitchy kvetching because, unlike the other shallow and judgmental airheads in her midst (note to Julie: I mean you), she doesn't live in the fairytale world The Bachelor is pretending to occupy.
Is this show about love? No, turns out it never was. But at least it used to be interesting.
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