Today was a pretty enjoyable day in the Greater Michiana area. For one, it snowed. I’m sort of tired of winter by this point, but after all the dreariness of rainy Sunday at least it looked pretty today. Erica and I took a ridiculous roundabout way to get to South Bend (and stopped at the only gas station in America without Dr. Pepper) and then met Jose at Bar Louie for lunch. We also went to Borders and laughed at that book FU Penguin. Then we went back to Berrien and met up with Seth and Charee and proceeded to drive BACK to Niles for Mexican supper. After all of this I was going to go home and Erica was going to go to her boss’s house to watch “The Bachelor” but the roads were TIRRIBLE so she didn’t go. This was too bad for her, but it was nice for me because I had a nice time hanging out and watching “The Bachelor” with her. She was even a good sport about my running commentary on the show! So much so that I will share my main points here…
Surprisingly, I don’t have any strong ethical objections to the main idea of “The Bachelor”. The common complaint is that this is NO WAY for somebody to meet their spouse. But choosing a mate is an extremely arbitrary practice that varies widely by culture…even within our own American culture there are multiple ways people meet and come to major life decisions. I don’t think it’s fair to say that meeting on a reality television show is any wackier than some of the other methods. What does bother me a little is that the program is really just masquerading as a show about two people meeting and finding love and (presumably) getting married. The contestants on “The Bachelor” aren’t REALLY competing for the right to be married to the star. They are competing to be crowned the winner of the contest.
Why am I so sure of this? Well…for one the contestants on “The Bachelor” (and to be fair I am making this judgment based on the one episode I saw and my preconceived assumptions about the show) are ALL unequivocally in love with the object of their pursuit. In the case of this season, the bachelor is a vanilla tool whose nearly every sentence is a tired cliche. He has no personality whatsoever and I have yet to decide if this is an act for the cameras or if he is…literally…THE MOST UNINTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD. And while the contestants are far from fascinating, I’m just not buying that EVERY ONE OF THEM caught feelin’s on him. I’m the first to attest to the fact that familiarity can breed emotions so I wouldn’t go so far as to say that all these feelings are made up, but for them all to be head over heels in love has got to be either a network-conceived construct or just hyper-competitiveness on the part of the contestants. I mean…what are the odds that out of all the women competing for his love, not one of them would be like, “Wait a second…this guy’s kind of a chode…I’m actually not all that interested.”
Aside from all that…no beef from me. It’s your typical run-of-the-mill reality show. Don’t put too much stock in it and it is as entertaining as anything else. My suggestions for those interested in watching an episode is to approach it with a good drinking game. A good start is to drink every time the bachelor mentions that he’s “really feeling a connection” or “she’s a great girl.” I was sort of depressed by the reaction of the girl who was eliminated. She cried and cried and told the bachelor that she has never been treated this well by anyone ever before and it almost felt like she had bought into the idea that this was actually somehow about more than a TV show. And I suppose it is…I’m jus sayin.
(Coming tomorrow…I kick knowledge on Jephthah’s daughter and her accursed virginity.)