Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reflections on The Bachelor

Thank God that's over. As much as I do enjoy a good The Women Tell All show, ABC has done a fantastic job upping the ante for their final episode and the ever so terribly dramatic After the Final Rose show. So it's no surprise that I had little interest last night in rehashing Megan and Erica's cat fights, hearing Orange McOrangePants from Suburban Chicago defensively talk about how fantastic she is, or checking in (yet again) with Trista and Ryan.

I do have to say that one fantastic bit of Bachelor/ette knowledge gleaned was the existence of Caesar, the seemingly sweet and unassuming limo driver who's stuck with ABC lo these long seventeen seasons, despite his better judgment. Between Chris Harrison giving the bro-hug to Caesar and pounding it with Jason ("Hey, man!"), I kinda wish Chris Harrison were every guy's BFF. I think the world might be a better place.

So as the interweb world fell apart in the chaos of conspiracy theories speculating about the uber-dramatic Finale and ATFR episodes ("I heard Jason dumps Melissa, proposes to Molly, dumps Molly, proposes to Jillian, then instead absconds with Orange McOrangepants to Chicago where they run into Noelle and Fred and where, after a night of revelry and "amazing" self-discovery, Jason sets up a storefront kissing booth to satisfy his lady cravings..."), it was nice to finally return to something pure and true to reality TV, like the WTA episode. It reminded us all of simpler times. (See below.)

The recent complaints of some Bachelor fans may have been slightly put to rest last night with the on-screen revelations of Holly and Jesse's relationship, as well as Noelle and Fred. (Noelle and Fred, btw, are totally adorbs.) That something "real" might be squeezed out of this reality show, even if it happens long after their seasons are over and only when the cameras aren't rolling, might reassure some fans who have sworn off Chris Harrison and the rest of the gang. Scripting of a TV show?! Well, I never!

I suppose I don't watch The Bachelor/ette to experience love through the eyes of a demi-celebrity on a reality TV show. If their relationship falls apart after the fact, so what? I had my cake watching the entertaining, and often ridiculous, drama that Chris Harrison and Company cooked up during the season--I don't need to eat it too.

What would The Bachelor be without fame-seekers like Matt Grant and Shayne Lamas? Or habitual inmates like Mary Delgado? Or the gratuitous ab shots of Jason Mesnick and his rehearsed hugs with his dragged-through-the-muck-of-reality-TV son, Ty? Can these camera-loving people like this really find love on national television as they drag innocent bystanders (see: Ty, Melissa's parents) through the process with them? I personally don't think so.

That doesn't mean the show doesn't work. Maybe more "normal" people can find love, like Trista and Ryan (who to their credit, seem almost boringly normal) or the recently be-sobered and be-normaled Charlie and Sarah (Probably not. Their stint last night reeked of seeking-new-TV-show-and-cash-money-contracts.). Maybe Jillian, should she come back to the show as The Bachelorette, could find someone normal too. But those normal people like Jillian are a breath of fresh air to a show clouded with the stormy drama queens (and kings) like Shayne, Orange McOrangepants, or Ryan from DeAnna's season. (Remember Ryan's bleep? Ah, the good old days.)

But let's be genuine here--those precious drama queens and kings are really what make the show enjoyable. Without them to temper the sweetness, The Bachelor would be a saccharine slope so slippery with sugar and rose petals that we'd probably all go careening down its side and wind up changing the channel to watch something like Gossip Girl or Bridezillas just to get a decent dose of vile.

So I can't blame ABC if this finale is scripted or tweaked or whatever else. It's what I'm watching and what I want to watch, so I'm asking for it. Give me what I want, Chris Harrison!

So until next week's uber-dramatic finale and ATFR episode, I am imagining the couples who--like Holly and Jesse or Noelle and Fred--might belong together. The Bachelor/ette may not have brought them together in front of the cameras, but my friends, these people are destined for one another. Any thoughts on other couples of Bachelor/ettes past who belong together? Here are just a few of the couples and how they will most certainly meet.

Nikki and Jeremy

Perfectionists at the core, Nikki and Jeremy met at a self-improvement seminar hosted by Chris Harrison. Jeremy reminded Nikki that long before Jason stole his ab thunder, he rocked the abs of steel for DeAnna. Meanwhile Nikki absent-mindedly pinned her 'do into place and used L.A. Looks gel of steel to mold her stray hairs into place. Today, they run a Vitamin Shoppe together in southwest Chicago burbs where Jeremy doles out law advice on the cheap and Nikki, selling all-natural teeth whiteners, knocks the confidence of future beauty queens.

Brian and Stephanie

The two sweet former contestants ran into one another at a vegan bakery where Stephanie had brought Sophia for a special cupcake because it was a Saturday, and that is how the wonderful mother and daughter spent their time together on Saturday. The Silver Fox, upon seeing them there, swept Stephanie up into his arms, bought a car seat for Sophia, and the rest is history.

Matt and Raquel

Recognizing their common bond of superior international descent, Matt and Raquel met in Barcelona where Matt had gone to party away his Hollywood sorrows. It took only one salsa dance about the room with Raquel to tame the Brit Bach into domestic bliss. They now run a dance studio together in Mumbai and served as extras on the final dance scene of Slumdog Millionaire.

Kelly and Erika

As two loud drunks from seasons past, the two ladies met at a bar, challenged each other to a drinking contest, took some snakebite shots together and immediately recognized their bond. They now run a therapy center together, where they occasionally host conferences entitled "I'm a Reality TV Reject, Now What? : Recovering From Your Televised Post-Traumatic Stress."

Twilley and Shannon

Twigs and Resident Bachelor Stalker Shannon met at a post-traumatic stress conference hosted by Kelly and Erika. The two skittered into one another, Shannon rubbed some black napkin on her face, they fell in love and lived happily ever after.

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