Why ‘The Bachelor’ is gross | PostIndependent.com

Why ‘The Bachelor’ is gross

Open Space
Derek Franz
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Kendra, I lost the bet. You were right. But it was April’s fault.

To anyone else out there listening, know this: The TV reality show, “The Bachelor,” illustrates a disgusting problem with American culture. Not only that, Kendra bet me that it would be impossible for me to avoid watching it for 10 weeks. And she was right, even though I don’t have cable, rarely watch TV and don’t even like the show.

It all started back in January at my girlfriend’s house. Both of us are nerds and we watch “Jeopardy” when we find ourselves settled in the couch there around 6 p.m. on a weeknight. So “Jeopardy” ends and “Wheel of Fortune” comes on immediately afterward. Well, we’re comfortable on the couch but we get bored of watching Marines, fat grandmas in flannel muumuus and a mix of individuals who basically seem less interesting than Factory Army Surplus and Alpine Bank radio ads stand around clapping and making empty guesses to “solve” an arbitrary “puzzle” like, “Fred Flintstone walks the dinosaur.” So, my girl and I start channel surfing. That’s when we catch a juicy 30-second snippet of “The Bachelor.” The teaser had something to do with one of the female contestants having sex with a producer of the show. Of course, we would have to tune in next week to find out. We turned off the TV and went to bed, guessing that the scandal was probably invented like a pro wrestling script to boost ratings. We never intended to tune back in.

About two weeks later I attended a football playoffs party at my friend April’s house. A teaser for “The Bachelor” came on and I commented about the 30-second snippet I’d seen.

“Aaaah! Derek watches ‘The Bachelor’!” Kendra screamed in a fit of mocking glee.

“Nuh-uh!” I shot back.

Moments later Kendra and I shook hands on a bet in which I would attempt to go the rest of the season – 10 weeks – without watching the show. I promised I’d be honest and was sure it’d be no problem.

Well, two weeks ago I agreed to take care of April’s dog and house-sit. Naturally, I went over there on a Monday evening so she could get me squared away on the needs of her golden fluffy named Elwood. She was cooking some pasta, pouring some wine … and watching the one dreaded show I could not watch. Did I mention that April LOVES “The Bachelor”? Oh, man, that woman is hooked and she was not going to turn it off. My bet was blown – I would have to write a column containing the words, “Kendra was right.”

Now, let me tell you what I observed. For starters, it’s the kind of show loaded with advertisements that try to convince women this or that product will complete their lives and make them young again. Ads for crap like – and I quote – “wrinkle-free nut cream” litter the reality series. Who thinks up this stuff? I’d like to meet them so I can demonstrate a better use for their products, such as a sunshine plug or a food blocker, if you catch my drift.

For those unfamiliar, the premise of “The Bachelor” is for one lucky man to live in a luxurious mansion with 25 luscious ladies and pick one for his bride at the end of the season. From my perspective, the girls seemed more driven by competition (to be the winner is to be the prettiest and most desired) or desperation to get married. Meanwhile, the guy is enjoying every second of plugging fish in a barrel. This particular Bachelor, who was suspected of sleeping with some of the girls, said multiple times near the conclusion how he preferred not to eliminate one of the last three. Duh – because three is so much better than two! He obviously had a thing for blondes, too. The girl eliminated was the last brunette.

There was hardly any reality about the situation. How much easier it is to “fall in love” with someone when sponsors have you riding around in limos together and sipping drinks on the beach with none of the jobs or hassles of your former lives? Of course, all the contestants have to be beautiful (by a camera’s standards) and their interests tend to include material BS like fashion and partying. The latter, of course, is all about spending money and enjoying things our commercial culture tells us we need to be considered successful in life, like jet ski. In short, the entire show is a fake to convince us reality really is a lot like the commercials.

I would say the solution to finding a happier life is to turn off the television, go for a hike and discover some real beauty. However, now that our government makes no secret that it’s ruled by lying, corporate whores, I’d be branded as an unpatriotic anti-American if I said so. These companies want you to believe that money is the meaning of life, but what’s money these days? An electronic number on your computer screen, that’s what. The next time you fork out some cash for one of their over-packaged products, remember that people up the ladder are using that moolah to live the life they market to you.

Derek Franz likes the movie, “Avatar,” and thinks we’re tearing our natural home apart to build one out of garbage. E-mail him at dfranz@eaglevalleyenterprise.com if you have any idea how to save ourselves that doesn’t involve giant pterodactyls.

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