Wednesday, August 3, 2011

J.P. or Ben? Who are these Men?

“Critics said reality television’s latest evolution was supposed to be like disco - - a hyper-popular fad with a relatively fast burnout. But three years after CBS’s reality cash cow Survivor became the surprise hit of a bland summer schedule, and 12 years after The Real World changed reality TV forever, the voyeuristic genre is still going strong.” -Robert Morast, Argus Leader, 2003.

Before Monday night I had never watched The Bachelorette. But Paige had about a dozen girls over watching the season finale and since Brent had a red-eye flight, I tuned in with the show enthusiasts.

The majority of the girls in our living room were rooting for Ashley to choose J.P. (Kelli was even sporting her homemade "Team J.P.” shirt - funny girl! :).

I was probably a bit of a buzz kill for the die-hard Bachelorette fans on our couch questioning the “reality” of the show. But, I did come away from my first episode understanding how Paige and company becomes sucked into the drama. For instance, I really liked Ben too and obviously both guys can’t win so it’s heart wrenching TV viewing.

I’m still completely perplexed how these Bachelors or Bachelorettes charm, date, and ostensibly “fall in love” with more than one guy at a time. It seems like the show only works if there is drama which I’m still skeptical whether that is real or played up.

According to the TV ratings, viewing was way down for Ashley’s final show. But, since I was one of the 9.5 million viewers, my personal average for viewing The Bachelorette skyrocketed! And I might even be willing to give the show a chance next season. Stay tuned!

“I think people watch this for the elements of bizarre. There’s a sick sensation by watching humans in risk or fail. We criticize people who stop at the side of a road to watch traffic accidents ... in a sense, it’s the same thing as that.” -Dr. Jeff McCall, Communications professor at DePauw University