Can’t Win Me Love
by CATE MCMANUS
I have been watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for a few seasons now and have always found them equal parts fascinating and disturbing. I just never put much thought into why I felt that way, because let’s be honest, who puts that much thought into the reality TV in their life?
As far as social experiments go, The Bachelorette takes it to another level, even more so than its male counterpart. I don’t know why but it just seems normal to watch a bunch of girls sit around being lame, bitchy and competitive over a guy than the other way around. But maybe that’s because being a girl, I know how girls can be.
To me it’s more disturbing to see a bunch of guys acting like girls, worse somehow. Guys are also hunters and to watch them in action is fascinating. They want to win for different reasons on The Bachelorette than the girls do on The Bachelor. But they all pretend to be in it to win it for the same reason. ‘To find love.’
Not only is The Bachelorette a dating show, it’s also a game. A game with the prize being ‘love.’ Love isn’t supposed to be a prize you win in a competition. Then add the most annoying chick and lame bunch of douches ever and why the fuck do I care if any of these people find love on this show? I am all kinds of disturbed by it, it just seems so wrong on many levels. If it doesn’t disturb you too, seriously it should.
This season we have Ali Fedotowsky and a whole slew of the worst pick of bros ever to grace a reality dating show! Are you excited? I am. This will be the worst train wreck yet. I am tivo-ing every episode. Obviously.
Of course Ali thinks, or acts like she thinks, she has won the bro lottery, as do her potential suckers suitors. So I guess that aspect of it is funny. But, again, are all these people really trying to find everlasting, true love on a TV show? You’re fucking kidding me right? It sounds like my worst nightmare. Am I watching it? You better believe it.
In this season, our bachelorette appears to be a narcissistic fame-whore. I could be wrong though. I mean, maybe it’s the editing. She was, as usual, plucked from the last season of The Bachelor. She’s annoying as hell and not all that likeable. It’s not that she’s stupid, she clearly knows what she wants and how to get it, which is what’s scary. It’s all so contrived.
None of it is organic or real. How can it be with cameras in your face during every interaction? I would also like to take a minute to say that the stylist/wardrobe people on this show are assholes. Ali thinks she looks good too with those ball gown/ wedding dresses and Jessica Simpson hair extensions. She is straight loving herself. But then, you kind of have to to put yourself in this position.
Let’s meet the bros shall we?
Jonathan ‘The Weatherman’. I think he got confused though and actually meant to try out for The Bachelor. He got visibly nervous during the awesome music video they were making for The Bare Naked Ladies - and seriously, whose idea was it to feature Barenaked Ladies as the feature musical act? Anyway, little Jonathan doesn’t realize he’s not into girls, sorry but I laughed/squirmed when Jonathan and Ali kissed.
Chris L, L for landscaper. He actually seems the most normal of them all and if I was forced to pick one of these guys I guess he’d be it. At least we’d have a nice backyard.
Jesse ‘Canadian Tux’, maybe not the brightest. But nice. I’d have sex with him probably. Except for his lame tattoo. Yes, I’m that shallow.
Chris N, who reminds me too much of an ex-boyfriend of mine so I can barely look at him. I don’t even know who this guy is, where has he been hiding?
Ty, I think he plays the ukulele? Anyway, he’s a country musician. Yawn.
Kasey ‘What’s in My Mouth?’ I have to admit my girlfriends and I did think that Kasey was maybe hearing-impaired at first so we tried, (kind of), not to laugh when he talked. But now that we know he’s not disabled we LOL every time he opens his mouth. They should really sub-title him to be fair. Either way, the way he speaks is creepy as hell. Kasey might be Patrick Bateman. He got a tattoo. It was some weird rose and shield situation just for Ali. You know, to show his commitment to her. Psycho.
‘Fatal Attraction’ Frank, who after his first one-on-one date with Ali thought they were like boyfriend/girlfriend. Does he not realize she has like a lot of boyfriends? Frank, the ‘retail manager/screenwriter’, might have a nervous breakdown though. He’s actually starting to loose his shit here. He’s worried that his girlfriend Ali is actually kind of slutty and is not saving the special stuff just for him. He’s starting to get the crazy look in his eye. I predict a full meltdown soon.
Craig, who thinks he’s like the house bullshit detector because he’s a lawyer. Fug + boring.
Justin ‘Rated R’, is an actual ‘professional entertainment wrestler.’ And he wore his ‘Rated R’ shirt under his suit shirt on the first episode so he could bust it out. Proof that sad things can be funny. Also, he’s on crutches. He hobbles all over the place. I think these two would make a good couple. For reals. He loves some hair product as well.
Roberto, who I don’t have that much to say about, I mean he seems okay and likes hair product too. He might fancy himself as a bit of a Latin lover.
The best contestant, who alienated himself pretty much immediately and picked a fight with little Jonathan, but still managed to get a lot of screen time was Craig M. He thought he was Patrick Dempsey and was maybe on coke. Either way, he was good TV. Bet the producers were bummed he couldn’t string two words together when he was alone with Ali.
So you know what happens next right? WEEKS AND WEEKS of nauseating ‘one-on-one’ dates and these super lame ‘cocktail parties’ where we watch Ali whittle down which bros stay and which go home. So pretty much her making out with everyone, giggling at all their un-funny jokes and listening intently as they all try to impress her. It’s so sad. So desperate. How do these guys not feel totally desperate?
As the show progresses we see things heat up. Like more dates, more ‘connections’ forged, more make-out sessions and more losers sent home with no rose. All leading up to a week of ‘home town dates’ to meet the parents, exotic local ‘fantasy suite nights,’ where they can get it on and finally the big day – picking the winner. It always comes to the agonizing decision of having to pick one of these guys she’s madly in love with to be her husband.
It also weirds me out that she makes out with everyone any time she gets some one-on-one time with one of these bros. But don’t worry, she’s looking out for your feelings guys. On her blog she says this, “The group date this week was a blast! There was a lot of kissing in my scenes which made things really awkward. During my scene with Kirk, I actually asked the guys to leave the room because I wanted to be respectful and not make them feel uncomfortable.” See, she is such a lady.
She goes on to say, “What a crazy week of dates. My relationships are starting to grow stronger and I am feeling really good at this point. I feel like I could find my husband here! I actually started a journal at the beginning of the show and the very first sentence reads, “This is the story of how I met my husband…” Shut up.
Then at the end of each episode there’s a ‘rose ceremony’, where she gives the bros she likes and wants to keep a rose and the others have to beat it. CLOSE CALL I SAY! The rose ceremonies are the most cringe-worthy pieces of reality TV ever to be produced, rife with the show’s winner of a tag-line, ‘will you accept this rose?’
As for the not-so-lucky ones that miss out on finding true love, we get to see them in their fifteen minutes of humiliation on the ride home in the limo where the reject can tell us how he can’t believe she would keep, insert name here, over him and how he felt like they had a real connection. How you expect me to buy, that after two ten-minute conversations and one date you felt such a strong connection that you’re devastated to be going home, is beyond me.
Look, I love reality TV, don’t get me wrong. But manufactured bullshit romance like this really rubs me the wrong way. How much is scripted? At this point we’re all fairly savvy viewers when it comes to reality TV, but this show is actually asking us to suspend ALL disbelief and get on the love train with these people.
What I hate is feeling like I’m being sold something that’s not what it says it is. I’m not into Valentine’s Day. I think love happens when it happens, not on a TV show for ratings with a bunch of people with all kinds of hidden agendas. I guess I’m just a romantic at heart, and this show has nothing to do with romance.
Cate McManus is a contributor to This Recording. This is her first appearance in these pages. She tumbls here.
"Out There" - Lali Puna ft. Yukihiro Takahashi (mp3)
"Remember" - Lali Puna (mp3)
"Hostile to Me" - Lali Puna (mp3)