Rose-related-anxiety was at fever-pitch within the first few minutes of last night's premier of The Bachelor. Photo: Kerrie O'Brien
The Bachelor was never going to be my cup of tea, I have to admit. Not due to a dislike of reality TV – as my long-suffering housemates will attest following numerous Geordie Shores marathons, I actually love a healthy dose of trash. Reality TV may be to BBC costume dramas as Kraft singles are to a nice Roquefort, but sometimes it’s ok to want the lowbrow version, as long as it doesn’t form your entire diet. Besides, I remain convinced that those people who claim to prefer relaxing with the latest Jonathon Franzen novel are those most likely to eventually be busted sneaking in to see a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book.
The reason for my lack of enthusiasm for The Bachelor is simply because the premise itself is so utterly tedious. 25 conventionally attractive women set against each other to compete for the affections of a sentient tub of hair gel?
Leaving aside the peculiar spectacle of what is essentially Channel 10 sanctioned polygamy, one can generally get better human drama simply by taking a tram and eavesdropping on high school kids talking about their romantic dilemmas. Give me the unabashed weirdness of Honey Boo Boo any day, or at a bare minimum a nice pilonidal cyst excision on Embarrassing Bodies (and take my advice, do NOT google that).
The Bachelor navigates the cocktail party on last night's premier of The Bachelor.
Still, following Saturday night’s rollercoaster of emotion, I was in dire need of something unchallenging to accompany my mug of Shiraz. And so, for those who have actual social lives, here is what transpired on The Bachelor.
The Bachelor himself is named Tim, and is a 30 year old chiropractor from Newcastle. He seems perfectly unobjectionable, although I remain convinced that you could fill a charcoal suit with cottage cheese and still elicit fervent avowals of romantic chemistry from his harem of saucer-eyed cult members.
Tim introduces himself as ‘looking for love’, and follows up with the controversial admission that he is very fond of his mum and dad. Hang on to your hats, ladies, it only gets more interesting from here.
Blindingly dull though Tim the Chiropractor appears to be, it’s actually OK for him to be the human embodiment of a Michael Bublé song, since he’s really nothing more than a shiny prize in this elite level contest of performative femininity.
Gathered in a McMansion that looks like someone vomited the contents of a $2 shop’s fake flower section all over it, the women of the show appear to be engaged in a bitter race to see who can lose their dignity the quickest.
Frontrunner for ‘Most Likely to Steal a Lock of The Bachelor’s Hair’ would have to be Ally, a 27 year old real estate agent who fetches up on the red carpet (don’t ask) in a bridal white dress, bizarrely introduces herself in German and then proceeds to declare her deep emotional connection with Tim the Chiropractor after a total of about three minutes’ conversation.
I actually liked Ally, and suspect her of possessing a healthy dose of nascent feminist rage – at one point she confesses that she ‘feels like screaming inside’, then unabashedly attempts to go in for a pash. Of course, this is presented as the action of a crazy slut, as everyone knows that courtesy dictates when you like a boy you must wait in a corner, eyes averted, until he decides to ask your parents for your hand in marriage.
This attitude was appropriately displayed by Laura, a woman who confidently declared that she wasn’t going to go talk to Tim the Chiropractor as this would subvert his responsibility to pursue her, then spent the rest of the evening getting increasingly annoyed that he was prioritising women who had, controversially, actually displayed a modicum of interest in him.
One of these women was Judy, a frighteningly accomplished medical doctor whose appeal was reduced to her foresight in bringing along a chocolate rose to give to Tim the Chiropractor. Judy was subsequently given the first rose of the evening, to which she responded by doing a spot of snotty crying.
Her rose was met with the appropriate mixture of awe (this is not hyperbole, one women reverently touched her arm and said ‘The first rose is yours. You’ll have that for the rest of your life’, at which point I had to temporarily suspend proceedings so I could clean up the wine I’d snorted all over the rug) and outright hostility.
The hostility largely emanated from Disney villain Jolene, a woman who sounded like she’d been fed a healthy dose of horse tranquilizers, and whose most notable moment came when she ripped Judy’s rose in half. Jolene was unfortunately not given a rose and was therefore released back onto the streets of the Shire, where I presume she stalks to this day, a blight upon innocent floral arrangements.
There are now 20 women remaining in contention for Tim the Chiropractor’s totally natural and unstudied affections, ranging from Belle, who is an evangelist for the healing power of rose quartz, to Danielle, an events coordinator who identified her perfect boyfriend’s key quality as ‘buying me lots of things’.
Probably the only way I could be induced to keep watching it would be if they introduced weapons and made it into a Hunger Games style fight to the death, or brought back Jolene and gave her the power to choose everyone else’s outfits.