+ Reply to Thread
Page 4 of 13 FirstFirst 12345678910111213 LastLast
Results 31 to 40 of 126

Thread: "Reality Love Stories:Where Are They Now?"

  1. #31
    FORT Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    42
    Page 1-
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/02/ar...d=1&oref=login

    A Romance Drained of Its Heart

    It's official: "The Bachelor" franchise has jilted us all, and the pathetic love affair is over. It has always been a toxic sideshow, anyway, a soft-focus smear campaign against love and hope. How could we ever have been taken in? The fake-tan-colored confessionals, the stupid hot-tub make-out sessions, the pathetic red roses wilting on their props-department tray: everything about the Splenda-sweet "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" damages the souls of their participants more than all of the openly snide, gotcha reality shows put together.

    Yes, that includes the misanthropic heavyweights "Joe Millionaire" and even "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé."

    The cruelty of the "Bachelor" shows had become increasingly obvious, but it was unmistakable on Monday night. That's when Jen Schefft, late of "The Bachelor" - which in 2002 produced her ill-fated engagement to the richie Andrew Firestone - turned the three-hour finale of "The Bachelorette," the spinoff series she had turned to for a second chance to find a husband, into a grating spectacle of heartbreak and despair.

    That's right: three hours. "After the Final Rose," the live one-hour coda, was ABC's effort to protract everyone's misery, a poisoned nightcap to the recorded two-hour finale during which Jen took John Paul and Jerry, her final suitors, home to Cleveland to meet her parents and then in principle decided between them.

    To be sure, when John Paul flashed a Harry Winston ring reportedly worth $50,500 under some stringy tinsel in a cavernous orange room, Jen said no, citing a "gut feeling." That left only Jerry, the uncannily handsome art-gallery director; we were told we'd see his months-old recorded proposal and Jen's live response after "The Bachelorette," on "After the Final Rose."

    This live thing needed to be good. Jerry had apparently waited for months to hear whether Jen would marry him. And we viewers - we dwindling, doubting "Bachelorette" viewers - had endured the grind this season to see whether Jen, who had once long ago evinced a faint but real spark of charm, would right herself, regain her Cleveland ***** and just finally shout her love from a rooftop as she claimed she was so eager to do.

    But as the new, curdled Jen, awkward in a tight flowered top, mustered her second pallid refusal (she and Jerry, blah blah, "better as friends"), she revealed that the shows have utterly drained her charm, just as they drained the charm of her "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" predecessors and the charm of television matchmaking itself. Once a fun, short-waisted opportunist eager to play land-a-Firestone, Jen had frankly become deranged by the end of her own show.

    Jen's self-possession first cracked on Monday's "Bachelorette," before the show went live. In what might be a first in televised sobs, tears covered not just her face but also her neck, streaming down the front of her shirt as she choked out a statement for the cameras and presumably the show's producers: "I need to figure this out. I want to be smart about it, and I'm sorry that I'm not somebody who just takes a leap of faith and goes with the moment. I did that, and it" betrayed her, she said, using an obscenity.

    Was she, as seemed clear, now cursing at the "Bachelor" machine, which desperately needs an engagement, any engagement, if it is to preserve a shred of integrity? (Only one of seven matches from either series - Trista and Ryan from the first "Bachelorette" - has resulted in a marriage.) "Leaps of faith" and "going with the moment" sounded suddenly not like the clichés of romance, but like a coercive television idiom that Jen was violently, physically rejecting, as one would an incompatible transplant.

    It was an existential crisis for a woman who had repeatedly made it plain that she did not have the depths to endure one. She was at the end of her vocabulary for justifying this misadventure. Fed up with leaps of faith and spontaneity, Jen appeared in a serious bind: sick both of love and of minor celebrity culture. In America, as a rule, love is what you get instead of celebrity; celebrity is what you get instead of love. Jen would now end up with neither.

    She was down to her last shred of palaver: "I think we both came to the realization that we were better as friends."

    Jerry took this "friends" send-off with more than equanimity. He said he loved her for it. He said she had opened his heart. He said she was amazing.

    Page 2-
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/02/ar...d=2&oref=login

    But Jen did not reciprocate; she was cold, fearful, and anxious to get away. Maybe, facing loveless obscurity, she was finally embracing the bourgeois cynicism her mother had explained to Jerry: "I mean, I can't lie. I think Jen would like to be in a relationship where, you know, you want to be comfortable in life. She likes nice things. I'm not going to lie about that. I like nice things."

    The lines of logic that must have collided in Jen's head - carpe diem, marry for money, and the no doubt hundreds of imperatives of her "Bachelorette" contract, which probably mandated her appearance on this ignominious live broadcast - seemed to short-circuit her.

    "Sometimes I think that I'm a little bit crazy, and I've always thought that," Jen confessed earlier, sounding sincere.

    If Jen had been driven crazy, it was her fault only for succumbing, twice, to the terrible regime of "The Bachelor" and the "The Bachelorette." The same might be said for those of us who continue to tune in, even as each season offers diminishing dramatic returns, providing blinding evidence of the incompatibility of love and celebrity, or love and market forces, or even love and - dare we think it? - American life. Each grueling round of roses breaks the stupid hungry heart a little more.

    Why do these shows miss the mark of lightness and love so wretchedly? After all, they find, screen, spray-tan and style eligible singles. No one on the shows is ugly or documentably poor. The shows also foot the bill for dream dates involving surf and fantasy suites; they encourage childlike folly and over-the-top romance; they banish commitment phobia, career pressures and other scourges that are said to interfere with modern love. And the producers seem to want to score with a Trista-Ryan reprise so badly. So what is it?

    It's everything. It's that there are cameras everywhere. It's the styling. It's that the participants all have conspicuous sound equipment tucked in their pants. It's that the bachelor or bachelorette at the center of it all is forced not only to develop an interest in one of the candidates, but also to sham enough interest in all of them to keep suspense alive: up until the very end, his or her job is not to enjoy new love but to create a nail-biter for the viewer, pretending to the final few contestants that any one of them might win the game. Even as she knows she's not feeling anything. Nor are we, not anymore.

  2. #32
    FORT Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    89
    I think the Times article says it all. Ryan and Trista found love in spite of the show, not because of it. Usually the show is doomed by the casting. I think that if they casted people who were genuinely compatible (like what moron looking for some good outtakes thought Kentucky Chris would ever be compatible with Jen?) the show could have a chance. It has always been contrived and we had hoped that love would prevail despite that. It worked once, it hasn't worked since.

  3. #33
    FORT Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Deep in the heart of Texas
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by obsessed
    I think the Times article says it all. Ryan and Trista found love in spite of the show, not because of it. Usually the show is doomed by the casting. I think that if they casted people who were genuinely compatible (like what moron looking for some good outtakes thought Kentucky Chris would ever be compatible with Jen?) the show could have a chance. It has always been contrived and we had hoped that love would prevail despite that. It worked once, it hasn't worked since.
    Very good point! In trying to make for dramatic or exciting shows, they put completely incompatible people on the show, thus reducing the chances of the happy ending some of us are looking for. (I know some of you like the conflict and drama better than the actual romance!) It's a hard balance to find, because you want the show to be entertaining, yet you want there to be a chance (however unrealistic it is) that two people can find lasting love on a TV show. I also think that the show should last longer, that the men/women need more time to get to know each other. More dates, more interaction. But how to make it interesting, spicier for the viewers...I don't know how to solve that one. I'm pretty turned off right now by the debaucle of the Bachelorette and the casting of the new Bachelor, so I doubt I'll be watching any more.

  4. #34
    Big Electric Cat jasmar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    3,802
    Thia, thanks for posting the article. I'd tried to view it, but wasn't able to register. It was a very interesting commentary on the whole phenomenon of reality TV romance. Sounds like the Bach/ette is over, for all intents and purposes.
    Token Christian.

    If truth is relative, how do you know?

  5. #35
    FORT Junkie gardenia36's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    The left coast
    Posts
    289
    This is a great, insightful article! There is just so much wrong with this show, and Jen clearly wasn't cut out for the craziness of it. I do think her lack of emotion at the end was just her wanting to get the hell on with her life.
    As I got older I had to step out of the lines and make up my own mind. --Liz Phair

  6. #36
    Just a Series Fan Working Mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    17
    I'd give the poor girl a break and just understand that she just froze these guys out at point X and spent the rest of the show waiting for a kind exit/hasty retreat. I mean ---you are in a limo with your best girlfriends trying on dresses and engagement rings and you can't decide between these 2 guys? That was the biggest clue of all as it should have been 90%+ clear to her. Even my 6 year old wanted to know why the heck Jen was crying...

  7. #37
    Premium Member NYGal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    1,486
    Quote Originally Posted by Working Mom
    I'd give the poor girl a break and just understand that she just froze these guys out at point X and spent the rest of the show waiting for a kind exit/hasty retreat.
    I don't think Jerry was "frozen" out. He was "the one" from beginning. None of the other guys stood a chance. Her family and friends thought JP would be perfect for her, but she didn't want JP. She wanted Jerry but they didn't approve. Jen was in a lose-lose situation. It was either go with JP and be miserable or pick Jerry and have everyone tell you it will never work. I think that is the reason she had the breakdown.

  8. #38
    Summer Break bamabrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Globally
    Posts
    3,523
    [QUOTE=Noreen]
    Quote Originally Posted by Whill381
    AmyM..

    Jerry said he was not giving Jen the finger on TV...he said "That was directed at Fabrice..." and they all laughed again.

    I don't buy this for one second. If Jerry was thinking about Fabrice at a time
    like this, something is seriously wrong.

    I wouldn't have that priceless moment as my avatar if it weren't Jerry flipping off Jen. It came at the moment in the ATFR when she was telling him that she wouldn't accept his ring.

  9. #39
    Summer Break bamabrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Globally
    Posts
    3,523
    Quote Originally Posted by ADKLove
    JP didn't really propose? Huh? What did I miss?
    Here I go with my theories again, but I really think some of the FRC was reshot after it became clear that Jen was not interested in any of the men and that maybe she was even dating someone else.

  10. #40
    FORT Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Deep in the heart of Texas
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by gardenia36
    This is a great, insightful article! There is just so much wrong with this show, and Jen clearly wasn't cut out for the craziness of it. I do think her lack of emotion at the end was just her wanting to get the hell on with her life.
    You would think, though, after having gone through the Bachelor show, she'd have shown just a teeny weeny bit of compassion for the guys she basically rejected on national TV, especially Jerry. She made it seem like she didn't care about them a single iota. I can handle her saying no to a marriage proposal, in fact, it seems like a reasonable and rational action to take. It's just the cold and uncaring way she carried it out that I have a problem with.

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.