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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

March 3rd, 2009 (03:52 pm)

There are many serious and intellectually taxing matters about which I could make a serious and intellectually taxing post right now, I am sure. However, I do not care. Thus:

I caught part of the the final episode and all of the post-final-episode of The Bachelor last night. No, I have never seen an episode of The Bachelor before, but I examined the situation of the participants very closely for an hour and fifteen minutes minus commercials, so I feel qualified to pronounce judgment on everyone involved and to divine their futures.

To Melissa -- You seem very nice and sensible and I really love the fact that when you showed up on TV to get dumped by Mr. Asshole you did it in a skintight strapless black-pleather number. I have never seen a better "fuck you, if you don't want this you don't deserve it" dress in my life. I am sorry that you seem to be under the misapprehension that Mr. Asshole has something more than a nanogram of Q-tip fluff floating around inside his head, something that would make him worth yours or anyone's time. Because he doesn't. Anyway, I am also sorry that your engagement got broken off on national television, but in the long run I am sure you will be happier this way than if you'd married the creep, so cheer up, sleepy Jean. Tell you what, go out and get a book deal with a big advance. It'll be remaindered in record time, but you should wear that dress on the cover. I'll smile.

To Molly -- Do I even have your name right? You were not very memorable. Anyway, you did the right thing when you gaped at Mr. Asshole for about five minutes after he asked you to come back to him, but then you screwed it up by telling him you were happy to hear him say that. See above re: nanogram of Q-tip brain. Here is how this is going to go with Mr. Asshole, Molly: if you decide to turn him down, he will pine over you for months and months on end and leave you whiny voice messages and probably show up at your doorstep at some point in a limo that ABC paid for and with a bunch of roses that ABC also paid for, begging you for another chance. The correct response to this involves the raising of one eyebrow and one specifically chosen finger. Because if you take him back, here is what is going to happen: he is going to be madly in love with you for precisely two weeks, and then he is going to start obsessing over Melissa again. And then some anonymous source who may or may not be him is going to tell the tabloids about how he is obsessing over Melissa, and then he is going to show up on her doorstep with the limo and flowers that ABC have provided, and if she is dumb enough to take him back he is going to sproing back to you again, unless he starts obsessing over some third girl from the show, in which case heaven help all of you. So seriously, show him the eyebrow and the finger, get an unlisted phone number, and see if ABC will pay for a bouncer to stand at your door in the hopes that Mr. Asshole will show up and there will be a big awesome messy scene that will give them a ratings boost. They might go for it.

To Mr. Asshole -- You are an asshole. This is why I have not bothered to look up your name. Also because you clearly have no idea who you are or what you are doing in life, and if you don't know I see no reason to bother. You are a weebly little twerp whose ears stick out and you epitomize the ideology that I hate most in American society's perception of love and commitment, which is that love consists of having an exciting string of hormones and endorphins all sparking in just the right way for the rest of your life, and if the hormones and endorphins ever get disarranged or falter for a minute that's it, it's time to call the whole thing off. Commitment, engagement, and marriage are not about endorphins, you doof. Every time you blurped out that line about "Melissa, when I told you I would do anything to make you happy for the rest of your life, in the moment I meant it..." I wanted to jam a pencil up your nose. How excellent for her that you meant that in that moment! Do you think you will mean it again in a moment in several weeks? What about at 12:47 last Tuesday? How did you feel then? And Mr. Asshole, what do you do when you're sleeping? This is a very serious question, because if you are sleeping you might not be conscious of how you are feeling, but then how do you know who you should be married to? Maybe you should get divorced every night before you go to sleep just so you can be sure that you're not married to someone you might be feeling the wrong way about. In the moment. And, hey, look, buddy-boy: if you want to skip out on a girl when the sparking chemistry hits a slow patch, that's your prerogative. It's called dating. In that arena you would be called one of those immature playboys who's not sure what he wants and isn't ready to settle down, but man is he a good kisser!, and you would have plenty of company. It's just when you get engaged and then try to do that that you turn into a full-blown Mr. Asshole. Something to keep in mind.

To Ty, Mr. Asshole's Kid -- I suspect your dad keeps telling you you're going to have a new mommy. I am really sorry.

To LJ -- Yes, I just made a long post about The Bachelor. You wanna make something of it?

P.S. to LJ -- Yes, I also know that this is reality television and Mr. Asshole probably signed a contract that said he had to propose to one woman at the end of the show. And I know that anyone who goes on such a show probably deserves what they get. But my understanding is that in the however many seasons this show has been going on, the majority of the final couples have not ultimately gotten married, but they have also managed not to do a followup episode in which the dude was like "OH I was SO RIGHT when I picked Girl X except that I was wrong but now I am SO RIGHT in picking Girl Y and also I cannot find my head!" And I always get very twitchy when people start doing that thing about love being an emotion and you can't help how you feel because if you are FALLING IN LOVE then there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT and all prior commitments are null and void. Also? That guy had big ears and was not attractive. Just saying.

Comments

Posted by: roseyviolet (roseyv)
Posted at: March 4th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)

Okay, I've never watched this show and based on the above, you're probably not the right person to ask this, since apparently you haven't seen it much either, but can anyone answer a question that has had me kind of curious for a while?

In the course of whittling down the number of "bachelorettes," i.e., while the contestants go on these increasingly bigger and more romantic "dates," is it permitted for the women to say "Um. YOu know what? I think I'll pass, kthx." I mean, not that I imagine anyone has ever done it, but if there ever actually were a woman on the show with the intellectual and psychological wherewithal to say "What the hell was I THINKING when I agreed to do this? This man is a set of twelve thousand dollar veneers in an otherwise empty suit!" could she simply say "thanks for playing" to the guy and go home under her own steam? According to the rules of the show, I mean.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 4th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)

I had wondered about this too. I don’t know the answer any more than you do, but if I were to guess, I would say that that would be allowed, for a couple of reasons. One, because the show is theoretically looking for this perfect-match-between-two-people dealie, and if the girl is not interested in the relationship, the way they’d frame that is not that the girl doesn't want the guy but rather that the *relationship* is *not right*. I think theoretically it’s not a guy looking for a girl to marry, it’s the guy looking for a lasting relationship.

Anyway I think that’s the supposed purpose of the show. The real reason I think they’d allow that is because if a girl gets pissed at the dude and quits it causes drama, and drama is the raison d’etre of reality shows. I would guess that the rules on shows like the Bachelor tend to be pretty wide open with regard to a lot of things, and that the main hard-and-fast rules are that a.) the guy is not allowed to go “meh, none of these girls interest me” and b.) no one is allowed to refuse to have cameras present at any moment, or to turn down any specials or interviews that the show wants them to do. Plus rules about ABC getting to determine their makeup and hair and all of that other stuff. They may even be more directive with regard to the plot; for all I know ABC even gets to decide who he eliminates and who he doesn’t eliminate early on. (I’ve read articles that have explained that reality shows do in fact have writers just like any other show, and that they can use video editing not only to take things the contestants say out of context and so on, but to dub in/splice in things the contestants have not actually said to create the plot twist that the show wants.) But I would suspect that anything the contestants themselves want to do that creates bitchiness and drama and crying would be more than OK by the network. In that light I would imagine a doofus like that dude last night is a huge gift to the network, because he was amazing at creating his own drama. Shucking off the girl you picked in the final episode to go after the girl you dumped also in the final episode is television gold.

(In respect to these specifics, also, I think I heard that this season’s “Bachelor” was one of the final contestants in last season’s “The Bachelorette”, and that he was so popular with viewers that they gave him his own show this season. So theoretically the girls who went on the show “knew” and “liked” “him” before they interviewed. Quotation marks deliberate and necessary.)

Posted by: roseyviolet (roseyv)
Posted at: March 4th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
drama is the raison d’etre of reality shows

I think it's more that "creating the illusion of drama" is the raison d'etre of reality shows, but otherwise I agree, and had concluded the same thing myself.

The thing I’ve noticed about this type of “win a date with/marriage to/blowjob from” Theoretically Desirable Person X shows (and this is gleaned purely from watching two-minute excerpts from them on The Soup) is how consistently, the first people booted off, in their exit interviews are already invariably sobbing and trembling with grief, doing that whole “s/he doesn’t understand! I JUST LOVE HIM (it’s usually him) SOOOOOOOO MUCH!! He has to change his mind and pick me!! Can’t he see how MUCH I LOVE HIM!??!? GOD meant for us to be together, God brought me to this show, I can just feel that, I know it, why doesn’t he?!?!” And it’s like, girl, you met this loser forty-five fucking minutes ago!! And it’s clear that if they’re not paid shills (and acting skills like that don’t come cheap, especially not if you have a budget dictated by the E channel), then they are completely off their fucking rockers (preliminary psych eval be damned — mental illness = good TV!). Meaning, they came to the show already in love with and prepared to fuck/marry/conceive children by a person they have never met and know nothing about, so I guess the likelihood of any of them ever having that level common sense is pretty slim.

But still, you have to wonder how it would go over. I mean, it’d be a huge ratings grabber for sure, so I’m surprised it’s never been scripted into one of these shows. I truly suspect that the only reason it hasn’t is that it might disrupt the perception that all women are desperate, ticking hormonal time bombs of white-dress-craving hysteria who will do anything, no matter how publicly humiliating, to snag themselves a fella.

Which if you think about it is probably about as solid a rationale as they need.

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