Thursday, February 27, 2014

THE ONLY TIME I'VE WANTED MORE REALITY IN MY REALITY TV

As avid Bachelor fans, Josh and I both have our own opinions about the show. You can read his here. As for me, The Bachelor is my brain candy. It is the reality trash that I watch because I find it entertaining. For whatever reason I can't do The Real Housewives but The Bachelor, yes please. 

Usually a Bachelor night in my apartment involves me laying on the couch, in sweatpants, possibly having a glass of wine, and generally talking to the TV when I think they are being ridiculous. However, the episode that aired on Tuesday night completely pulled me out of my 'reality relaxation'.

You've probably seen articles all over the internet about the episode explaining how contestant Andi dropped off the show. 

via

I completely understand why she left, but the whole exit drama left me with an extremely bad taste in my mouth and completely pulled me out of my mindless TV watching. Suddenly the show was no longer fun and fantasy based, it was nasty and calculated yet still anything but real. For the first time as a reality TV fan, I found myself wishing for a little more reality. 

Let me explain. 

Let's put this in real life terms: You are an attractive, smart, single woman. (Get it girl!) You go on a blind date with a man and kinda hit it off. So you go on a few more dates. You make out, you talk about potentially having a family together one day, you introduce him to your family, and things are going well. Then, you have a less than stellar date with him and you realize he's kinda boring and asks you very little about yourself. Suddenly your dream boat is less dreamy and you find yourself wishing you could just leave the date. What do you do?

The normal answer: You break up with him.
Things fizzled. He didn't lie to you or hurt you in any way. He just isn't that great in your eyes and you realize you want someone who is more giving, attentive, intellectual, etc. You tell him, "Hey guy, thanks for the great dates. I'm sorry, but I'm just not feelin it anymore." And you go on your merry way and take your hot self out dancing with your girls. There are plenty of fish in the sea. 

The Andi / Bachelor Producers answer: You dramatically confront him when he has no idea that you are otherwise unhappy and chastise him on national TV. 
Notice I am careful to say that Andi and the producers are both responsible for this TV mess that I didn't want to be watching. Honestly, I imagine that Andi had the normal reaction and then was spun up by the producers to make her more angry than she was. And they wanted good TV so a fight was in order. So Andi confronted Juan Pablo and basically fought with him while she told him she wasn't feelin it and wanted to leave. But I ask you, as educated, smart women, do you really think that segment was good?

What we were shown as viewers of the show was Juan Pablo and Andi kissing and going into the fantasy suite (arguably not that great to show on TV when his daughter is watching anyway). And then we see them the next day and he's really into her and she's really not. 

Yep. That is REAL LIFE. 

You go on dates. You date for a few months (not weeks like on this show and certainly not with other 'contestants' vying for his heart) and sometimes it fizzles. You see a different side of a man or woman and one party falls out of like. It happens. It's called dating. 

I am fully on board with Andi that if she found the conversation off-putting and he seemed selfish, then get off of the show. Good for you. But don't scream at the poor idiot, just leave gracefully. Just break up. 

The fact remains that Juan Pablo, love him or hate him, has been very consistent the entire show. He has always fixed people's eyebrows and pushed hair out of people's faces and brushed away tears. It's actually kind of his move. He has always been terrible at describing people's personalities and probably never asked the girls that much about themselves. He is who is he is. He is not a malicious, evil guy. He's just Juan Pablo and maybe a little selfish. But he didn't change overnight, so why should Andi get to yell at him about his behavior all of a sudden? 

My point is, let's be adults here ABC and instead of exploiting your contestants and throwing your  bachelor under the bus (after you told the bus to aim for him), maybe you could show that breakups happen and it's not the end of the world. Andi had every right to be put off by his conversation that night if it really was all about him. Heck, I would have been too. But in my opinion, she didn't need to attack him. A simple, "Juan I'm just not that into you," would have sufficed. 

I suppose that I should address the "he mentioned the other fantasy suite dates" accusation. 

Yes. He probably did. Because he's not the brightest. However, was that morally wrong of him? No, I don't think so. Andi, you knew he was going on other fantasy suite dates. 

I totally agree that I wouldn't want to hear about it either and yes it was not the smartest for him to remind her but it wasn't new information. He did not cheat on her. It's a show. That she signed up for.

Ah. The main point. 

IT'S A SHOW. 

I know that The Bachelor needs to keep ratings high and have some interest to keep their audiences hooked. But as one of their biggest fans, I would like to ask for a little more human decency on the show. That's what I want to see. I want to see fake falling in love where people still treat each other with respect and where producers don't villainize the women or the men on the show. 

Andi did the right thing by leaving. He wasn't someone she wanted to be with. You go sister. But maybe next time, don't kick the guy while he's down. Just handle your own business. He wasn't right for you. We get it. No need to make him seem like he's an axe murderer. He's not. Juan Pablo is just a pretty guy, who likes to talk about himself, and doesn't realize he shouldn't talk about other women he's dating on the show (even though everyone knows it's happening). No, I wouldn't want to date him either. But I certainly don't think he is a bad person for being self-centered. And as I said before, Andi, he was like that the whole time. It just took you a little longer to realize it. 

I still plan to watch the Girls Tell All next week, but I'm going to go on the record stating that I sincerely hope they don't bash Andi or bash Juan Pablo or accuse anyone of being a jerk. I don't enjoy hearing that from my friends about who they're dating so I'm not sure why I'd want to see that on TV. If we could all just get back to treating people with respect and talking about fake love, I think we'd all be a little better off. 

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