Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Bachelor

Okay I admit it; I have watched some segments of the Bachelor reality show this year. On Monday night last week I sat upstairs with the small TV so I could watch the two hour special ‘24’ show. Bachelor was running simultaneously and downstairs, Christine was devoted to that show. When 24 concluded, I caught the tail end of Bachelor too. While it is a compelling fantasy to have fifteen women vying for one man’s devotion, I have always disliked the reality of such a scenario as he kisses each of them with regularity to find the perfect match. Why not call it Harem Search. That show confirmed for me both the romance and the disgust I feel for the show – which of course is precisely what makes it so appealing. On Tuesday night last week the absolutely last hour of 2009’s Bachelor show was telecast.

Bachelor Jason came to a choice between two girls each of whom he cared for immensely. Both Melissa (left) and Molly (right) are fine people and would have been good partners for him. Both professed to have fallen in love with him. One of them was going to be hurt. Jason was torn in making his choice but he said goodbye to a stunned Molly and of course the camera showed Jason buckled over in grief when he she left in the limo. As devastated as she was, she stated to him that she believed he was making a big mistake that he would regret. But then that segment ended with his glorious proposal to Melissa who was overjoyed as he told her he loved and he was the happiest man in the universe. And they kissed and spun in circles and embraced with Jason’s three year old son Ty.

The Monday night show began solemnly without a studio audience because we were primed by show host Chris Harrison that a measure of privacy (no audience) was required out of respect for Melissa and Jason and who else? Molly! That’s right. So these three spoke individually in front of a camera crew but very aware that a TV audience of millions was also watching. Some privacy! First, Jason, highly emotional, explained to Chris that things had changed between Melissa and him and he still had feelings for Molly. Then Melissa came out and he broke the news to her and she properly detonated and left the studio telling him never to contact her again. In came Molly who in private with Chris said that she loved Jason but when Jason entered to tell her that he just broke it off with Melissa and he wanted another chance with Molly, Molly was at first staggered and then clearly thrilled. Then Tuesday night’s show was a closer as the happy couple announced how much in love they are and how much hope they have for a future together.

One thing was clear. Jason, the super nice guy and father of Ty is a confused character who finds it hard to commit after losing his wife and that putting himself into the artificial setting of fifteen women competing for him was the wrong approach. A second point is that ABC or any network cares only about ratings and dollars and lives and reputations are disposable, but of course all participants in signing on, know this is a show with no guarantees of happiness. Third, the TV show is a great diversion for viewers like me with our own personal issues, because the reality show is not my own reality.

Reprise: Melissa is on the new Dancing with the Stars show now as a contestant. Jillian a Canadian and earlier dumpee from Jason’s nest will be next year’s Bachelorette who decides between 25 bachelors. Life is great isn’t it?

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