Reality TV, So Predictable We Can’t Look Away
Chris Sandstrom’s book, “Reality TV and Hookers” pokes fun at the ridiculousness of society’s obsession with reality shows. And while I absolutely agree with him that it is pretty atrocious that I’m more likely to recognize Snooki on the street than a member of Pearl Jam, I’ve come to terms with my truth. For better or worse, after reading his book I can now admit that I am one of the millions of Americans that simply can’t turn the channel. It’s for this very reason that Chris has decided to let me borrow some of his blog space to be your reality TV correspondent. Because, after taking a hit from his novel, I understand that you probably need a shoulder to lean on…
So let’s talk! As any reality TV junkie is probably aware, ABC’s, The Bachelor is taking over our TVs on Monday nights and making women swoon all the way from California to Maine. So much so, that January has actually been renamed to Juan-uary. Clever ABC, clever.
And the man behind all of the madness? Juan Pablo, a name that slips off the tongue almost too easily. Not only is his name made for TV, but his good looks, saucy accent, and innocent charm are what makes TV producers’ eyes light up with dollar signs. Oh yeah, and did I mention he’s a single dad with an adorable daughter? Women eat that s&*# up.
While on the outside he may seem almost a little too perfect, lucky for us reality TV addicts, ABC has made sure its contestants will add some spice to the show, just the way we like it. No matter the variables though, after 18 seasons we’ve come to expect a little bit of predictability in the general story arc. Predictable? Cheesy? Staged? At times, but what addicting reality show isn’t? So here’s a look at what I have identified as the 5 stages of a season of The Bachelor.
1.) Awkward introductions, desperate girls, and ridiculous antics. The first few episodes are always the best for this. First you have the girls stepping out of the limo with introductions so staged, you can almost hear the producers whispering in their ears. Then you have the cocktail hour where everyone will seem to forget that they’re all vying for one man’s love until…dun, dun dun, that dreaded rose pops up.
Suddenly it’s every girl for their own trying to steal every last second with the bachelor to make sure their name is called at that first rose ceremony. And for the unfortunate girls whose names aren’t called? You can count on at least a few stories about how they really thought he was “the one” and how they just didn’t understand. Honey, you spent 5 minutes with the guy and he didn’t call your name partly because he couldn’t remember it. I’m sure the guy who messages you next on your OkCupid account has just as much chance being “the one” as he did…
2.) Isn’t he dreamy?! Everything out of every girl’s mouth is, “Aww, he’s just so hot…” or “He is just so perfect…”. At this point in the game, the girls aren’t really looking at each other as competition but rather as school girls in the yard all fawning over the cutest boy in the class. All of them have daydreams of walking into the sunset with Juan and his daughter but none have looked around to realize there are 20+ other girls sleeping under the same roof with the exact same idea. It’s fun while it lasts!
3.) I just don’t know if I can do it. It may only be the end of week one or two but you can always count on the early bird who is going to have a breakdown, most likely alcohol-induced, about if they can go through with this or not. Double the meltdown if they are parents. The daydreams for this one (or two) have started to die down a little now that they realize, “shoot, I’ve only spent 15 total minutes with him and I’ve had to remind him of my name 3 times already.” Mr. Right? Maybe not..
3.) Time for the claws to come out! Once the girls drop down to the top ten, things will start to get a little catty. The old, “I came here for love, not friends” phrase will definitely be dropped a time or two. It’s inevitable even on the seasons with the nicest of girls.
4.) I just don’t know if “the one” is here. As some of the women have second-guessed themselves earlier, there will be a time when the bachelor will wonder if he can actually find love with the girls on the show. Someone will back-stab someone else, or be holding back those three little words and suddenly the whole system will be in question.
5.) Head over heels. And as soon as that self-doubt has filled his thoughts, suddenly there won’t just be one person who could be “the one” but three or four. How did that happen so quickly? Oh, maybe it was that elephant ride through town, followed by a 5 star dinner and private concert date? Funny how the perfect date with a fantasy suite at the end has the power to change all of those thoughts of doubt.
Insert the, “I didn’t know I could feel this way…” and “I never thought I’d find the one on national television..” quotes here. What do you mean? You didn’t think living in a fairytale world, being set up with hot singles and being whisked around the world on the most romantic of dates – all without paying a dime could evoke some kind of magical feelings?! Let’s chat again after the glitz and glamor have died down and “the love of your life” doesn’t have a stylist and makeup artist on call anymore. ;-)
Predictable or not, I for one can’t wait to tune in each week to see which women will turn out to be the crazies or have an old skeleton from their closet pop up. Or maybe, I just tune in for the mere fact that I can’t get enough of Juan Pablo’s perfect abs.. Either way, keep up the good work producers because you’ve sucked me in for another season and secretly I, along with millions of others, are still really hoping there is storybook ending for Juan.
(photo credit: http://bit.ly/1kVXec7)