the bachelor cycle of shame

I want to talk for a minute about how I went from despising the show The Bachelor, to last night lying awake in concern over the fate of Brad and Emily’s relationship.

First of all, every season I vow to stop watching this show.  I find the whole premise skeevy, especially the inevitable fantasy suite date where the bachelor spends the night with three different women in some attempt to kick the tires before he buys  test the limits of a 10-day dose of zythromax get to know the women on a more intimate level.

There are so many things wrong with this show. A guy dates several girls simultaneously, who he courts with big-budget dates including helicopter rides, candle-lit jacuzzi makeouts, and overnight dates. Hardly the kind of environment that leads to fidelity and commitment. And then he is expected to propose to the girl in six weeks.  A few days after he shared an overnight date with another woman.  Hardly shocking that few of them make it.

I really had no intention of watching this season, but darn you, Twitter!  Every Monday night, the pithy comments were flying about Brad the Tool and his bevy of spray-tanned pharmaceutical reps with neon white teeth.  I needed to watch, just so I could understand the jokes!

So I did, with judgement and shame.  It went a little something like this:

Weeks 1-4: Watching with righteous indignation

Weeks 5-6: Wait, Emily’s story is really sad!

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Weeks 7-8: Okay, Brad is a tool, but also, maybe a little sincere?  And lonely?

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Week 9: Wow, Emily is so pretty and poised.  I might be falling in love with her. And what lipstick shade is that?

Week 10: OMG EMILY!  SHE LOST EVERYTHING AND IS SO SCARED! SHE NEEDS THE SHELTER ONLY BRAD’S LARGE BICEPS CAN PROVIDE!

Week 11: Brad reveals his desire to be a father to Emily’s fatherless child.  My heart melts.  I become completely enmeshed in the future of Brad, Emily, and Little Ricki.

And so somehow, it came to pass that I went from thinking this show was a spectacle to mock, to chewing my nails off yesterday worrying about whether or not Emily was going to be rejected.  I was completely invested in this outcome.  I tried to play it cool, and when Mark turned on the Les Miserables 25th anniversary just as the finale was about to start, I was like, TOTALLY!  Let’s watch Les Miserables.  I love PBS way more than reality tv!  And I did – for about an hour, until finally I was like, ENOUGH!  I cannot stand it.  WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH EMILY!?

And then I turned on The Bachelor and bawled at their happy proposal.  BUT WAIT!  Trouble in paradise.  Apparently, Emily did not enjoy watching her fiancĂ© making out with other girls over the course of the last twelve weeks.  Apparently Brad has a temper.  Apparently dating someone who lives in another city is not such a great plan.

Oh, I was so disappointed to hear of their troubles.  Couldn’t they see . . . they were just sabotaging their relationship out of fear?  I was just so concerned.  Listen to what Tristan is saying, you fools.  LISTEN!

And then Mark walked in on me crying wiping something out of my eye.  And he said, “Those two are the final two?  They look like that and they both haven’t been able to find someone yet?  Whatever.  They have issues”

He’s probably right.  But it didn’t stop me from googling them this morning to try see if there was any update to their relationship. 

In related news: I may be giving up reality tv for lent.


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