Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Television Tuesday: The Bachelor

Once Upon A Television Show
I used to be someone who thumbed their nose at a program like, "The Bachelor/Bachelorette" A corny reality show about a man or woman supposedly looking for love whilst a bunch of guys or gals fall all over themselves in the hopes of also finding love despite the fact they are competing with a bunch of other folk for attention? Seemed silly. Then I started watching more and more reality television shows that garner even less respect then this program, and here we are.

I would say it all started last season when it was announced the Bachelorette would be a woman named Rachel who was smart, funny, and a person of color. Promos showed how the show would address complex things like race and dating, and it looked kind of interesting. My wife and I watched, and we decided we liked the show. So again, here we are, in the latest season of, "The Bachelor," and this time our protagonist who is looking for love happens to be a guy named Arie from many seasons ago, and God, are some of these women after his attention crazy.

Random Observations
Now, I shall offer some random observations about the show and then close with some overall thoughts.
Group activities can be bowling or more esoteric.
The Formula Works
Basically every week we see a formula of Arie going on group dates with some women, solo dates with other women, and in the meantime the gals who aren't dating him stay behind and chat with one another/scheme about how to take their competition down. This is how it always happens and despite it being a little predictable it works. We watch Arie take a girl on a date, if it goes well he gives her a rose and then they walk to another room and some random band the producers were able to book plays a song. If the date sucks he sends her home. It's the same setup with group dates, except just one girls gets a rose and the rest have to wait for a big ceremony at the end of every episode where roses are handed out to women who will continue to get to know Arie and anyone who is roseless goes home. In summary, you want that damn rose.
Arie is kinda milquetoast
Disclaimer: Arie is Dull
We really should talk about how Arie himself is actually kind of a snooze. That isn't a slight against his character, however--he's a perfectly nice guy, there is nothing wrong with him. He likes to race cars and sell real estate, he is very successful, financially stable, and without a doubt a good catch. The problem with him actually being a mature and well-functioning adult is that makes for him being a bit of a boring protagonist. He's shockingly well-adjusted, and that makes the times he is on the screen talking with all the women or going on a date with one girl less-than-riveting. Thankfully, the women this season run the gamut from pleasant to utterly crazy to keep viewers' attention.
Sienne is really cool.
Some of the People Seem Like Actual, You Know, People
Oftentimes on reality television we will see people behave in an unrealistic way, with a personality that they clearly couldn't function in the real world with being shown. That said, there are some women on the show who amazingly seem like actual human beings who are full of depth and interesting. Tia, Kendall, and Sienne are all smart, fun, quirky, and women that viewers could want to be friends with. They are people to root for and who seem actually interested in maybe--as crazy as it sounds--finding love on this reality show.
A brief, drama-free moment.
It Gets Angry, Petty, and There is Lots of Drama
Whether it is men trying to woo the Bachelorette or ladies after the Bachelor, things can get really petty, there can be lots of anger, and drama is the dish of the day. Everyone of course wants to be the love of Arie's life with season, so they get mad when other women get time with him, kiss him, or they otherwise face the risk of going home. Certain women seem to get more disdain from the house however as everyone loves a good villain, and speaking of a good villain...
Krystal AKA The one to run away from as fast as possible.
Krystal be Crazy
It could be the show's producers are editing things to make her look like a childish, mean, self-centered, and delusional woman-child, but Krystal has gotten a lot of attention in the latest episodes that have come out (we are about halfway through this season) as she continues obsesses over Arie in a way that's more, "Fatal Attraction," than it is romantic. I asked a chum of mine who has watched more previous seasons, Suzanne (found on Twitter here), if Krystal was an anomaly or if people like her were a regular occurrence. I was told there being one or two people like this was, "Normal," and it makes sense. After all, a shit-stirrer creates some good television, and boy does Krystal like to stir shit with her angry exclamations about how she's the only one for Arie, the other women are pitiful, and etc. Arie almost seems to be catching-on to her crazy, with him actually delivering a good burn yesterday when Krystal observed during a heated discussion about how she deserves more attention, "We're having our first fight!" and Arie simply said, "It could be our last fight." Ouch.

Overall Conclusions
The demolition derby date was cool.
Yes, a show like, "The Bachelor," is not necessarily a good way to find love, that is a fair criticism. Then again, are any of the other romance-based shows I've enjoyed generally any better for the folk who appear on them? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Besides, it makes for surprisingly good T.V. and at the end of the day this is still more highbrow than anything with Mama June (of Honey Boo Boo fame), whom last I checked went from, "Not to Hot," and now is going to get a new season of her show where I assume they are going to take her from, "Hot to Not," because at this point that family has arguably been so damaged by reality television who gives a fuck anymore? So yeah, Arie may be dull, these women may be catty, and Krystal seems like she's going to murder Arie and wear his skin any day now, but it is a fun show and maybe, if the stars align, at the end of the season we will get a rare couple that lasts. One can hope!

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