THE REVIEW PROJECT :: Bachelor Season 16, Episode 2

Watching The Bachelor with my girlfriend has changed how I interact with it a little bit. For some weird reason I really want her to like it too, which of course makes me embarassed about how unabashedly terrible it is. The fact that the second hour of each show is basically a long cocktail party-- read: excuse for all the girls to get drunk and provide tons of material for the gleeful editors to work with -- is less gross when you... well, when you don't think about it.

I can handle it though, don't worry. Because what I really love about The Bachelor is how slight it is. So much of my TV watching is about finding things that are not very distracting, so I can work while they're on. The Bachelor is perfect for this: it's a long show that's wayyyyy drawn out -- I think I read somewhere that they shoot the whole thing in like 3 weeks -- and is essentially about.. nothing. There's no value to the show, no real impact on the world (except perhaps on its psyche), nor any benefit at its end. Some dummy will or won't propose marriage at the end, and what's more meaningless than an American marriage in this day and age?

It's a most American show I think, and the fact that it's lasted this long, even spawning its weird sexier (and amazing) spinoff Bachelor Pad, is fascinating.

But don't let me fool you, what's really great about The Bachelor is how TRASHY it is. There I said it. Also how it encourages you to root against its own contestants -- because regardless of all the lovey talk, of course they're contestants, of course this is a game show. This episode featured the ascendancy of the contestant from Charlotte NC, which usually would ensure my faithful support, except that she's awful. She's got googly eyes and googly breasts and seems incredibly proud of both. During a group date where 12 -- TWELVE! -- of the girls audition with Ben in front of a bunch of cute kids, one of the boys ACTUALLY ASKED "can you run in slow motion?" which nearly made me choke to death. Later the woman, "Blakely" (they all have names like that; one of them's named "Lindzi", although I think maybe she got cut last week) drives the entire house insane, gets drunk, then squats in a corner next to some luggage, Terminator-style, until Ben comes in to see if she's alright and leaves confused after her dry-eyed, still-squating assurance that everything was fine, she was tired of this, everything was fine.

Man I love it.

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