Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Bachelor Post-Game Show



Tonight, many of my friends were tweeting about the big story in sports: Randy Moss becoming a San Francisco 49er.

Others tweeted details about their March Madness pools, as well as their predictions about the games.

Still others tweeted about their excitement regarding Baseball Spring Training, and the news, rumors, and politics that stemmed from it.

I, however, was tweeting about the season finale of The Bachelor, and doing so at an alarmingly rapid pace:






As some of you might know, The Bachelor is one of my greatest guilty pleasures.

The season finale is a night-long affair.  Down to two women, the bachelor must decide who he is going to choose.  For two hours, we witness him seeing the girls, the girls meeting his family, him seeing the girls again, him staring off into the ocean or mountains, him meeting a jeweler, the girls staring off into the ocean or mountains, him talking to the host (Chris Harrison), him rejecting one of the girls, and then him proposing to the other.

They kiss.  They say they are in love.  Then he asks the girl if she will accept the final rose, thus putting the bow on another gift-wrapped season of The Bachelor.

A bow, however, which is quickly ripped off.

After the proposal, we are immediately whisked onward to another hour of viewing (The Bachelor: After the Final Rose) in which all of the viewers’ hope for the couple’s happiness are systematically crushed.

And thus, we are presented with the reason why Bachelor relationships never work.

I mean, look at how happy they look.

The woman who made it through the process and is the one standing at the end has, in fact, won.  She has endured weeks of having to deal with the reality that man that she loves is simultaneously dating other girls.  During this process, she has had to tolerate loads of drama, but she has willingly dealt with it all, mindful of ultimate goal to be standing alone with her man.

Once that goal is reached, then all is right in the world and she can live happily-ever-after in the arms of her now-monogamous man.

That’s the theory, at least.

But after the filming is complete, the couple is separated.  The girl has to watch the entire season before being able to be with her fiancé.  She has to relive all of the drama that she was a part of.  At the same time, she (as well as the rest of America) gets to see things that her fiancé and the other women did.

So what if it was in the past?  Who cares that despite all of the romantic dates and sensual evenings with other women, he ultimately chose her in the end?

Could you imagine being forced to watch home videos of the person you love not only kissing and sharing other intimate moments with another person, but also witnessing the cute moments of courtship that brought them to that point?

It doesn’t matter that those events were in the past.  Despite it being an earlier version of your partner’s life, it is still a past that existed and when that history is presented to your eyes, it doesn’t matter when it happened, for the events are playing out as if they are in the present.

As a result, the Post-Game Show-esque “After the Final Rose” is typically a somber one, where we learn that the happy gleaming couple, who we just witnessed exchange promises of eternity, are not so happy after all.

The man has to face tough questions about how he could possibly have such feelings of love for other women and canoodle with them while he was also in love with the woman he chose.  Despite it being explicitly in the spirit of the show that the woman signed up for, she is typically heartbroken by her man’s actions.  As a result, the couple is on the rocks, and “After the Final Rose” is a somber affair in which the couple’s future is more unclear than ever.

This season was unique in the fact that it was the girl who fucked up.  Courtney, the girl in question, treated the other girls like absolute shit.  She was mean to their faces, talked trash behind their backs, and presented herself as an embodiment of everything that is wrong with the world.  She was such an awful person, that it was a no-brainer that America would rise up in a unified hatred towards her, much like post-9/11 bin Laden.  But the fact that her wickedness became the focal point of this season is something that really detracted from the show.

She was pretty much the worst.

I was pretty disgusted with the fact that he picked her, but I was looking forward to finally witnessing a Post-Game Show in which the bachelor was not asked to defend himself for also falling in love with other women who had signed the same contract as the “winner.”

When Courtney walked onto the stage of After the Final Rose, she was met with some boos (from an audience of mostly disapproving females), but in a twisted series of events that only The Bachelor could produce, Ben was still the one who ended up looking guilty.

Apparently, he “abandoned her” during the process of re-watching the season after discovering how terrible she was.

Ben is a tool, but he is also a decent dude.  Decent enough, at least, for me to root for him and feel bad for the fact that he (in my opinion) was essentially duped by this girl and will be labeled as a terrorist-supporter for the rest of his life, regardless of whether or not they work out as a couple.

*   *   *

The intent of The Bachelor is to successfully create a new married couple.  But they are doomed from the start.

It is not the show that is the failure, though.

No.

The show is pure entertainment gold.  And their intentions seem to be pure.  Sure, they might play up the drama between the girls.  And yeah, they add dramatic and unnecessary narration (Think: “The most dramatic rose ceremony EVER.”  Think also: “The most shocking season finale…. EVER), they still seem to have the best intentions for the involved parties and permit the rules to be bent so as to create a more stable platform for allowing an actual relationship to form.

I just bought this.

It is the experience that is the failure. 

What the people have to endure.  Not only do they have to deal with re-living the experience, but they have to do it while America knows who they are and have a vested interest in the goings-on of their lives.

As a result, the only Bachelor couples that could ever manage to have a relationship survive are ones that are massively in love.  Like, “I-would-die-without-you” love.

Most of the couples haven’t survived.  And that is one of the leading arguments against watching shows like The Bachelor.

But then again, most real-life couples don’t survive.

And I offer this statement to you, dear skeptic:

Every single relationship you have ever been in has failed in one way or another except for the one you are currently in. 

So chew on that bitter-but-true fact.

It’s okay, though.  I am single, so all of my relationships have failed, too.

Perhaps that is why I enjoy watching The Bachelor from season to season.  I root for the girls that I could see myself dating and wish disaster to befall the girls that annoy me.

In the final moments of the show, I am happy for the bachelor and the woman he chose as they share proclamations of transparently artificial love.

I want to believe the charade, but at the same time I am also coldheartedly expectant to learn that the difficulties they underwent after (ahem) the final rose proved to be too much.

I spend as much time making fun of the people and the process as I do rooting for a happy outcome, so it is somewhat awkward for me to admit that while I spend so much time watching a full season of The Bachelor, I am secretly satisfied when the relationship ends up failing in such an immediate and drastic fashion.

Because if these troubled, emotional, and fame-hungry individuals are unable to find love, I suppose it makes it a bit easier to deal with the fact that I also have yet to find it.

And yes, I know that my lamenting makes me sound like a woman.

And yes, I realize that such lamenting does not move me any further ahead in having my Man Card reappointed to me.

-Youngman Brown

43 comments:

  1. I havent seen The Bachelor for a long time, not even if it is even showing here any more but I can relate to the attraction of reality type TV.
    As I comment, on the TV in front of me is My Kitchen Rules and I definitely have my favourites and ones I really want to go. We love our Heroes and Villains and especially love when someone messes up. Train wreck tv is a rating winner everytime

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never heard of these shows but I'd certainly like to see them.

      Delete
  2. I've never watched even a second of The Bachelor, but after reading that post, I feel like I did! hahaha What an awful thing to do for people's entertainment. It's a cat fight in the making. Ok, ladies, now do you not only need to fight over the bathroom BUT you need to fight for this man. Game on!

    Seriously? I think you should start watching Once Upon A Time. It's on hulu and VERY good :) You're welcome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The drama is as you say. They fight about pretty dumb stuff.

      Just because I like one girlie-show, it doesn't mean I like them all.

      But I will heed your advice and maybe check out an episode.

      Delete
  3. Good(God)Man! I can't bring myself to watch most reality TV.

    You've inspired a post!

    Wg

    ReplyDelete
  4. And today I learned about the Bachelor.

    I don't think I need to watch it now - I know how it's going to end, and how doomed the winning couple is. It's like knowing everyone's going to die.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but it still keeps me coming back episode to episode, season to season.

      Delete
  5. Having never watched The Bachelor, I know more now than I thought there was to know. I thought the reason the relationships failed was because (duh) it's a reality show, not because the couple has to watch the entire season. Can you imagine if, before starting a marriage, you had to watch video footage of your soon-to-be-spouse in all their past relationships? *doomed for failure*

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  6. In the last British version of 'The Bachelor' he ended up marrying the female presenter...it still ended in failure...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's funny. In a previous season in the states, one of the girls was sent home for hooking up with one of the cameramen or something.

      Delete
  7. Now all the tweets make sense. =]I've actualyl never watched it, but don't plan to either but you bring up a valid point..."Every single relationship you have ever been in has failed in one way or another except for the one you are currently in."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea I apologize to you and all my other Twitter followers for Twitter-bombing last night.

      Delete
  8. I'm a Bachelor fanatic and play a drinking game with the sexual innuedos. Ex: "I'm so ready to open my heart again to the possibility of love". Translation- I can't wait to have rockin' hot sex with you. DRINK!!!! Ex: "I was so closed off before but now I'm really ready". Translation- I'm gonna wrap my legs around your back and bang the hell outta you. DRINK!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like it.

      I must ask: is the drink of choice a glass of wine?

      Delete
    2. I drink my wine out of a huge goblet. Makes for great toasting to the Bachelor.

      Delete
  9. So I totally trashed this show like 30 min ago... but I have to say, It was much more entertaining reading your synopsis than actually watching that ridiculous show :) thank you

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad I could provide the show with a saving grace for you.

      Delete
  10. Hahaha. I haven't watched The Bachelor in years, but I really appreciated your poigant play by play on twitter last night.

    I'm not a fan of the show, but I get why people watch it. It's pure soap in every sense of the word. Some people like The Bachelor, and some people (like me) LOVE The Walking Dead.

    My guilty pleasure, however, is Bridezillas. It WILL make you never want to get married. Trust me.

    Also, I love this post like I love sausage pizza.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bridezillas sounds like hell to watch.

      I hope you love sausage pizza a lot!

      Delete
  11. I'm not at all convinced true love can happen in fron of, and for the benefit of, a TV camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think true love can happen under any circumstances.

      Staged love, on the other hand...

      Delete
  12. They're on a hiding to nothing on this show. Usually your partners flaws become apparent over time not over a few shows. But I'm a bit addicted to these shows as well...they're always entertaining

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, its not a very long timeframe, either.

      Delete
  13. I absolutely and completely ABHOR reality tv! Reality, my ass! It's all so fake and it brings out the worst in people! I suppose that's what makes it so entertaining, but in my opinion, if you want to see animals, behaving badly, watch Animal Planet! I've seen better bahaved chimps!

    Well, that's enough whinging from an old fart like me. You enjoy your guilty pleasure, dude! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the reasons I like it so much is that I hate it so much... if that makes any sense.

      Delete
    2. It does! There's an 'aspirational living' show that airs here (Top Billing - utter rubbish!)I it watch religiously so that I can make fun of the plastic presenters! I hate the show with a passion, but it's cheaper than anger management therapy! :)

      Delete
  14. How many of these seasons have resulted in a long-lasting, happy marriage?

    I think two?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One. Trista and Ryan.

      There are others that are still together, but it is rare.

      Delete
  15. I was so distracted by Courtney's eyebrows I couldn't watch.

    Yes. I am indeed that shallow.

    Still, I'd like a couple of those "most shocking rose ceremony EVER" t-shirts. You know. For my *friends*.

    It's good to get ahead on your Christmas shopping, after all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be careful, Julie.

      We are touchy about eyebrows here at YMB.

      Delete
  16. I hate to sound cynical but I have to wonder if any of the contestants go on this show SERIOUSLY expecting to live happily ever after. Like you said, Young MB, relationships are difficult enough without having to relive all of your partner's past courtships.

    Did you ever see "Temptation Island"? Now THAT was painful.

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    Replies
    1. I think that probably half of them actually go on the show with the intention to find true love while the other half just do it to get famous, etc. Some of them definitely do seem to be truly heartbroken.

      I never watched that show, but remember it very well!

      Delete
  17. I don't watch reality TV. I find it funny that you like this one...not funny in a bad way. Obviously, the good way.

    I think it is late and I need to stop typing now.

    OK. I am done.

    Now.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I always like that no matter how many cycles of this show they have, there are women who still believe they'll get true love from being on it. They can say it's courting, but really, they're just all fighting to get one real date with him. Why? Because how much can you really know about a person when they're on a TV show trying to sort out 20 squabbling girls? After that, well, that first real date begins, which is usually why it fails.

    I've been on a shitload of bad dates prior to getting married, and let me tell you, if I had to endure a 12 week reality show and fight with 20 other guys over that single date... I'd cancel on the spot.

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  19. I really wish you hadn’t posted about this show.

    I’m a recovering reality TV junkie (Top Chef & Work of Art are faves) who’s worked SO hard to cut back on the junk shows I watch—and then you post this? And make a show I’ve never seen sound so interesting?

    Oh that’s just so cruel…

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really want to jump in and dish with you on this season of the Bachelor, but I am embarrassed to admit I have never seen an episode. If, however, you want to have a go at 'ANTM' or 'Intervention', I'm your gal. I eat that shit UP. :)

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  21. Just so you know, I fell in love with you a little bit when I saw that t-shirt. Too soon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha it is never too soon to fall in love with me!

      Delete

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