On these shows, the contestants are thrown into extreme, fantastical situations that I’m pretty sure even Kate Middleton and Prince William’s courtship didn’t include — and they’re legit royalty. How can you suspend disbelief to watch "real" dates that include a farm-to-table meal in Vietnam or visiting the set of The Hobbit in New Zealand? Then, at the end of this magical gambol, two people who’ve spent mayyybe 24 hours together total are supposed to commit to getting married.
Now, I’m no relationship expert, but I feel like everyday married life involves a lot more “Are you picking Ella up from karate? Did you remember to get Q-Tips? Does this mole look bigger than last week?” than “Jet-skiing this morning sure was fun. Go change into the couture dress I had made for you so sitar players can serenade us while a snow leopard feeds us dinner.” I mean, even the latter couple would have to deal with things like paying taxes, choosing a healthcare plan, and deciding what beliefs and values they want to raise their children with. (Loose ones on animal rights, it would seem.)
Therein lies the problem with the illusion of fairytale love The Bachelor tries to project. You can’t really discuss how it’s important to you that your kids be bar mitzvahed when you’re cave-diving in front of cameras, with producers goading you to make out under a waterfall. Andi tried to use her fantasy-suite date to see if Juan Pablo actually wanted to know about who she is as a person, and if they would be compatible in the long run. He apparently used it to buy directly into the bullsh*t of the show.
Maybe Andi was wrong in thinking she could go on a reality show and fall in love with someone she got to really and truly know in a few short weeks. Maybe Juan Pablo really thinks that’s what he’s been doing this entire time (and with multiple women). In the end, it went exactly as Annie says, though, and that’s why many people are using Andi’s experience to stand for something much larger.
When she tried to confront Juan Pablo about her feelings, he just kept saying “It’s okay” to all of her points of contention. But it wasn’t okay, and the fact that a man ABC selected as worthy of having successful, beautiful, independent women vie for his affection thought it was caused the show to lose a lot of credibility for the brand of romance it tries so hard to sell.
Marry: Last week — or really any date before this past Tuesday — if you’d asked me what one of my wildest fantasies would involve, I would’ve said, “Easy: Paul Rudd. Queen. Dancing. Lip-syncing.” There may have been some other stuff involved, but I won’t go into it here. Nevertheless, let’s just say the brilliant minds on the writing staff of The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon got ahold of my “Fantasy Folio” (not to be confused with my Dream Journal) and made so many of them come true. Please be more perfect and dreamy, Paul Rudd, seriously. And don’t stop him now, cause he’s having such a good time. He’s havin’ a ball — and I’m right there with him.
Kill: Just going to keep a running list of things I “learned” from the premiere of ABC’s newest sitcom named after a trend piece from The New York Times circa 1999, Mixology.
— “You’ve been out of the game, what, a decade? Girls have changed, man. They will sleep with anything…Sex and the City changed the game, my friend.”
— “She’s wearing flats. Girls who wear flats are never trying to get laid. I’ve told you guys this a thousand times: The higher the heels, the looser she feels.”
— “Big booties are what’s in, dude. Black guys were right all along; we should’ve listened to them.”
— “It’s 2013… no one is named Carol anymore.”
— “I have to date pro athletes. They’re the only real men left.”
— “How is a person ever supposed to improve if we don’t point out their weaknesses to them?”
— “Scones: They’re like a muffin, but hard. They’re better sometimes.”
Also, there needs to be a name for the archetype portrayed here by the bearded redhead. He’s more than a perennial wingman. He’s the guy men are friends with because even though he spouts horrifying, objectifying, crude, lewd, and chauvinistic aphorisms (that’s him up there with “the higher the heels...”), he’s always there to pick them up, dust them off, and take them out after a breakup or rejection — and, let’s be honest, make them look better by comparison. He openly calls himself gross, but he seems almost proud of it because he still manages to bed women — which says a lot about the level of respect he must have for the women who sleep with him. (And, if we're going there, the level of respect this show's writers must have for women in general.)
I’m trying to come up with something — maybe The Dumpster? The Groda (grody Yoda)? The Grubber? The Blumberjack? Please add your suggestions in the comments.