Watching a year in the life of a star or an interesting person, when they just do what they do and let down their guard, that I will watch from time to time. One I enjoyed was a movie/documentary on Woody Allen as he played New Orleans Jazz in Europe. That was a very interesting thing to see. And certainly not scripted..or boring.
However, I don't live alone. I do have a wife. And she does like Reality TV. All of it it seems. The Amazing Race, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, all the matchmaker shows, the cooking shows. You name it, she watches it. From time to time then...I am exposed to these. Mostly, I tune them out but every now and then I pay attention.
Her favorite is The Bachelor (and its partner in crime The Bachelorette). The last few weeks I have happened to pay attention when she was watching The Bachelor. That is mostly the case because of who the bachelor is this time. I found this guy, Sean, to be extremely phony and a total player/playboy. So when it got down to the last 3 women and he met their families an interesting thing happened. There were 3 girls left, Catherine, Lindsay and Desiree. Desiree was the first to get cut. She seemed like the nicest girl in the world and it was hard for her to understand why she was cut. But anyone watching didn't have to guess. Desiree's brother called Sean out about being a player and a phony. Any guy who sees Sean knows his type. He will say the same exact thing to every woman he meets and in fact did that on the show. So, for that reason, I was a bit interested to see how he would handle the last two.
If you have ever watched this show, then you know that when it gets down to the last two the real drama starts. Everything that comes before that is just TV formulated drama so that the viewers will keep watching and ratings will be high. It is nothing more than Dallas or Dynasty, except with real people that can't act.
When you are down to the last two, then real hearts are on the line. That was the case last night. Here is where it gets much worse.
The way they set it up is that the guy basically tells both women that they are "the one" even though he knows and they know it can only be one of the two. Both women believe wholeheartedly that they are "the one" and that the other one is going home.
From there, it follows a similar pattern and script. The guy says (and they all say this, I haven't seen one not say this) "I never thought this would be so hard, this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do."
Then he meets with both of them separately, each one not knowing if they are getting cut or if they are going to "spend the rest of their lives with him."
Last night was the worst of it that I have seen.
Lindsay, who got cut believed completely that she was going to be "the one". She even said repeatedly that it was going to be the best day of her life. The first day of the rest of her life. If ever there was going to be a deer in the headlights it was her. And the producers knew that. They filmed it anyway and then milked it for every cent. If they had any class they would have stopped it and even if they didn't stop it they should have never shown it.
Again, The Bachelor is an inherently stupid show. Twenty five women all fighting at the same time, living together in the hope that they will end up being the one woman he picks. In most instances he is at least kissing all of them...at the same time. I don't know a woman alive who would put themselves through that knowingly. It is just idiotic on its face. That is the way I used to look at the show. It is just stupid. Until last night, when it went further.
It is not just stupid. It is just plain cruel. The lengths that they will go to get ratings these days is shameful. Sure, you can say that the women are stupid for putting themselves in this position, and that is true, but even so the producers of these shows make it extra cruel to the point you know they are doing it at the expense of the feelings of the participants. It is one of the worst things I have ever seen on television.
The woman who got cut last night, Lindsay, actually told the guy to "stop, just stop." She couldn't take it anymore. It was painful to watch.
But, they just kept rubbing it in. It was terrible to watch that and see them milk that cow for everything they could. Even for reality shows, it was way over the top. Shameful would be a good word for it. No, cruel would be better. I used to think reality shows like The Bachelor were just stupid (and they are) but there is another level. To intentionally cause pain and keep doing it like they did, just for the sake of the ratings is cruel. And to watch the above clip, to see the host just keep pushing it, keep digging into her, was beyond cruel. If you watch this show on a regular basis, then you have to take a look at yourself. Why do you want to see that sort of thing?
I will leave it there. I think this is a turning point for how our society views entertainment. We have to start thinking about why this appeals to people. It was all fun and games when it was The Dating Game, but there isn't anything fun or satisfying watching The Bachelor.