Sunday, February 13, 2011

Somebody Needs to Tell Brad Womack he's on a Dating Show

The girls competing for Brad's heart on The Bachelor get a first class ticket to a tropical paradise and yet they still bitch and moan. Why? Because they’re insecure about how Bachelor Brad feels about them. Fair enough, they can cry all they want as they gaze at the sunset from their five star palace paid for by the hungry advertising execs of ABC.

In one episode, Brad is having second thoughts about one of the remaining "women,” as he likes to call them. He is worried she’s too dramatic. I think someone needs to tell this guy he's on a dating show. He seems confused.

In one episode the show has taken the Brad and his “women” to Costa Rica. I get the audience is interested in seeing beautiful aerial shots of Costa Rica, it's a stunning country. But another helicopter date? Seriously? I want to speak with the Associate Producers on this segment. Disappointing and lazy work people.

Okay now I'm certain Brad doesn't know he's on a dating show. In one episode he actually tells one of the women competing for his affections not to "play games" with him. Dude! You're the bachelor on a competitive dating show! The whole damn thing is a game. How can he not know this?

Somewhere on a story board in the ABC Network offices there is a box that says “Ali- Scared of Bugs.” And one episode we got to see how that story line was played out.

During the casting process of The Bachelor clearly one of said applicants answered “bugs and bats” which is why the producers set up a one-on-one date with Brad and Ali to a dark cave with you guessed it, bugs and bats.

Guaranteed, over 50% of the reason why The Bachelor is suddenly in Costa Rica is so the producers could find the biggest bugs and bats on earth and freak this woman right the $#!* out.

And I have to mention the “We are sinking” comment Brad made during his and Ali's dinner. The two of them were for a lack of a better term "sinking" with nothing to say to each other and awkward silences. It was clear Brad was not going to be giving Ali a rose. But the best part was that their dinner was taking place on an actual sinking table on the water. Trash TV doing high brow double entendres. Priceless.

Except for the predictable and overdone helicopter date, generally speaking the date scenes work really well for The Bachelor. Because it's a TV show, the dates have to be entertaining so they do over the top crazy Fear Factor style dates. They don't go bungee jumping and repelling down 100ft buildings because it's a great first date activity. They do it because it’s great TV. However it's also not necessarily a bad way of judging someone's character.

This blog was first posted at

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Polyamory Experiment Season 15.

While watching the The Bachelor Season 15, Episode #3 a few things occurred to me. For one thing, this show is complete and utter manipulated and overproduced smelly garbage.

But.. it does have some progressive messages about love and dating.

For one thing this show promotes polyamory. It's not even an argument.

We even saw Brad's TV therapist come and tell him it was completely natural for him to have feelings for multiple women and even more natural to make out with all of them if he wanted to.

The show is also a great lesson on jealousy. These women have a total right to be stark raving mad jealous, since they're willingly dating the same guy. During a group date he even openly tells one of the girls that he wants to get to know her better, while the other girls squirm in their chairs.

The only complete contradiction to the bachelor experience is when Brad says he's never cheated on a women, meanwhile he makes out with 6 different girls in every episode.

Yet when these women come to Brad sobbing, big jealous tears dripping down their TV-ready face, Brad essentially tells them to go with the process of the show and continue being open and honest with him and not let jealousy get in the way of them getting to know each other better.

Imagine dating with less jealousy and more love and acceptance of the nature of relationships? Wouldn't that be wonderful? Brad is not a smart man, but he's promoting some advanced relationship ideas and I for one applaud him.

Emily Maynard: A PWD

If you have any doubt that producer's don't 100% manipulate reality TV shows, look no further than the second episode of The Bachelor this week. How many times did we the audience here about Bachelor contestant Emily's Maynard's story about finding out she was pregnant a week after the love of her life died in a plane c rash?

Well let's count. Considering there's only been two episodes in total. The tragic love story has probably been told over 5 times. The intense repetition brings us so close to the story that by the time Emily actually reveals the story to Brad (The Bachelor), the audience feels as though they too lost the love's of their lives in a plane crash. And hey, perhaps some audience members have, but statistically speaking most have not.

They featured the story at the beginning of first episode, then throughout that episode about two more times. In the second episode, with teary eyes, Emily tells her fellow contestants the story again. This scene is referred to as a PWDS, or Producer's Wet Dream Scene #1. The PWDS #2 was when she revealed the story to Brad.

So knowing this and considering all the one-on-one dates the Bachelor goes on, is it any wonder why show producers would organize his date with Emily to include a private jet ride?

It's cruel, but a terrific story element. We know why she's nervous, but Brad doesn't. Brilliant build-up for the reveal to Brad.

The upside is that if she's anything like she comes across on TV (a cute southern bell who’s down to earth but lacking of self-awareness), she probably didn't even see the connection.

And if she doesn’t figure it out and instead thinks it was just gosh darn coincidence that she ended up on the date involving a small plane, when then gee whiz them producers did some golly good casting.

“Golly that’s a strange coincidence!” She may think."Out of all the dates Brad get's to go on, he chooses one that involves a plane ride without even knowing my story. This is fate. and I'm going to make-out with him."

And then she did. And it was a great PWDS #3 for the second episode of the Bachelor.

Reward Yourself With Some Reality.

I used to be embarrassed about relishing your typical reality dating show but since working in the belly of the beast itself I seem to enjoy it on another more complex and intellectual level.
Who the #$% am I kidding I've always loved reality dating shows, long long before I started working for one.

They just make you feel so much better about yourself. They even give you a set of standards that you didn't even know you had. Because as much you may have wished you slept with Charlie Sheen in the 80s, you know it's just not worth the potential risk of becoming an illiterate crack addict who talks to parrots.
However with Heidi Fleiss gone, Celebrity Rehab isn't the same. So I've turned my attention to more deserving shows such as The Bachelor Season 15. I found last season's bachelor so deliciously over the top I couldn't wait to see how they were going to up the ante this time.

Oh ye have little faith. Not only is the flock of whores whorier, but also some brilliant producer came up with the idea to bring back a former bachelor from a previous season. But he's not just any bachelor from any season; he's Brad Womack. The guy who broke two woman's hearts on the show’s 11th season and left The Bachelor, the same way he came in, namely, a bachelor.
We reality TV junkies live and breathe for these insta-story lines. Will he do the same thing again? Will he pick someone for the sake of not doing the same thing twice?
Will fans (present company included) be able to continue to convince themselves the show is not merely a vehicle for struggling models and actors to catch a break and in fact a viable way for two people with above average looks and below average intelligence to fall in love?

Given the choice, I pick the latter. Because let's face it, if I don't, then I'm readily admitting that I’m choosing to watch a regular TV show with horrific acting and a painstakingly redundant, boring and poorly written script.
Reality TV exists because we watch it, making us no better then the people who choose to be on those shows. Except of course if you've managed not to become a drug addled former hooker who talks to parrots. You're definitely better than that person or anyone who resembling that person.

So I say feel good about not being a crack addict. Or If you are a crack addict, feel good you don’t talk to parrots, and reward yourself by watching The 15th season of The Bachelor because it's hot damn that show is entertaining.

Bad Reality


Dear person who reads while walking:

Is it my responsibility to escort you across the street because you're too busy making the rest of us feel bad that the Google has taken away our ability to read on paper?

Unlike having to put disinfectant on my 90 year-old aunt's bed sores, sadly for you, it's not my responsibility. 
So next time you feel the need to parade your reading skills about town, do it where you're not relying on the general public's goodwill to guide you through the streets unharmed. Because next time I see you I promise I'll make it my sole duty to kindly escort you into oncoming traffic.


Dear anti-renegade pedestrian:

Why must you look at me l ike I'm some renegade pedestrian when I decide to walk before the official "walking" sign blinks? 
I do not appreciate you projecting your fears of inadequacy on me because I refuse to obey useless societal crosswalk regulations.
Rather then transfer your jealous rage into a unison of stink-eyes meant to shame me for my maverick jay-walking actions, why not join me? Come one, come all! Together we can rid the world of nonsensical street rules that beat away at our sense of dignity and individuality.

I will walk when I see fit to walk and I hope you will all join me.

I Work In Reality TV. I Judge Myself So You Don't Have To.

Like many stuck-up, over-educated television watchers, I was appalled when reality television started gaining steam. I considered it a travesty, a catastrophe in the extreme. It was cheap and tawdry. And worse, it spelled the end of real story telling. But while reality TV was gaining big audiences, no one would admit to ever actually watching it. It was too embarrassing - even as the guiltiest of guilty pleasures.

At that time, I was at university, studying poli sci and communication theory with dreams of making my mark in the world of broadcast journalism.
However, I’m not writing this as a broadcast journalist, I write today as a member of the Reality TV production world. 

They say we all become what we hate. Actually no one ever said that. It’s something I just made up to make myself feel better.

That said, working for the devil does have its benefits. Not dental or anything practical like that. By benefits, I mean having a free pass to act like a complete turkey-ass without anyone being able to call you out on it. And if they do, all you have to say is “I’m working for a reality television show, I’m allowed to be hateful.”