Another week, another episode of America’s favorite guilty pleasure – “The Bachelorette.”
Before I get to this week’s episode, I wanted to share an interesting article with you on reality TV that I recently read on The A.V. Club. The writer of the post spoke with an experienced reality TV show producer. One of the shows the producer worked on was “The Bachelor.”
While the interviewee never mentions anything specific about the Bach franchise itself, I found several portions of the interview quite interesting, especially this section:
AVC: The line gets especially blurred when characters fight. Do writers or producers actually instruct arguing cast members to be more or less emphatic?
TDV: Typically, there’s a producer on set, and as things start to come back in post-[production], there are times when you see somebody and you’re like, “Wow, that person seemed so much livelier in casting.” So you have the phone call that says, “Listen, you’re really closed off. You’ve got to find some way to be more expressive on this show, because you’re not the person we cast.” When there’s hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars riding on them being open, you sometimes kind of have to force that a little bit. It’s not in a way where it’s like, “You’re going to have to get in there and start screaming and yelling at people.” It’s more a matter of, “You’ve got to be passionate about whatever it is you’re saying and believe in, and don’t be timid and hold back for the camera.” That’s almost always what it was, holding back for the camera, that you have to overcome and say, “Listen, you need to step it up a little bit and be yourself.”
AVC: But you’re not actually putting words in their mouths?
TDV: No. In a scene, I might have to say, “Can you guys please have a conversation about what happened last Thursday, because I can’t make sense of these two scenes without you talking about how you got from this point to this point; something happened off-camera.” There are certain things you’re going to have to ask for. Interview content is a little bit different, because there are some people that come in and they’re like, “What do you want me to say?” It’s like, “Well, I want you to answer these questions.” So whenever I write questions for people, I always start with the phrase, “If this is true…” because you’re going to drive the person bananas if you’re like, “So, tell me about how much you hate so and so.” Then they shut off, and they don’t want to work with you anymore.
Reality TV coaching? No big surprise, really. When people are upset and in the heat of the moment, it’s probably hard to verbalize what exactly someone is feeling so they might need help with that when a camera is in their face. Also, if you look at the roster of shows this producer has worked for, his programs really want over the top drama.
I’m sure some of the techniques this producer mentioned in the AV piece are universal, but I’m also sure there are other rules that fluctuate by show. After all, not all reality shows are created equal. There’s a big difference between “Basketball Wives” and something like “The Amazing Race.”
What are your thoughts on the reality of reality TV shows? I’d like to hear them.
Why talk when you can make-out?[/caption]
Okay, enough jibber jabber. Let’s get to this week’s episode. As usual, be sure to check out the flavor filling links
7:00 – 7:01 – A heated preview for this week’s episode. It looks like it’ll be all about James. Good! The more drama, the better.
7:05 – Drew has the first date of the night, a one-on-one. Cue the touristy montage. The Barcelona Tourism Board couldn’t be more pleased.
7:07 – We learn that Drew’s dad is a recovering alcoholic and for the 47th time this season, Desi cries. When Desi was filling out the “Turn Ons” section of her Bachelorette application, was the first thing she wrote down: “had to have endured some kind of family crisis”? Is there one guy on this show not devastated by tragedy?
7:10 – Just saw this Clorox Bleach spot with a Bachelorette spoof. Nice to see ABC embracing Bach humor.
7:15 – Time for the evening portion of Drew and Desi’s date. They’re sitting at a table when Drew, driven either by the raging hormones or the fear of not getting a rose, drags Desi off so he can make out with her in an alley away from the cameras. Not surprisingly, Desi in heels on cobblestone was not particularly fleet of foot and the cameramen caught up quickly.
7:17 – Drew gets the one-on-one date rose in makeout alley.
7:18 – And then proceeds to ruin his date when he talks about James thinking he’d become the next Bachelor if he makes it into the top four. Desi is visibly upset. While she’s acting like she’s okay, Drew made the mistake of associating something bad (James not being there for the right reasons) with him. It’s not intentional of course but still not a good move. I’d of left it alone and had my buddy Hashtag Kasey tell her on the group date.
7:27 – Group date time. The men are playing against Desi and a team of women at RCD Espanyol soccer stadium (which as a Liverpool FC fan looks like it would be a blast). James, playing goalie, is getting beat like a rented goalie. Desi can tell he’s a bit of an outcast amongst the guys and he’s not hustling at all. Bobby Knight (1:20 mark) would have thrown at least two chairs at this guy.
7:34 – Time for the evening portion of the date. Hashtag Kasey looks ready to do a Watergate-style expose on James.
7:36 – Desi is TOTALLY into Chris. During the group date she takes him into her bedroom, throws compliments all over him and then proceeds to read a poem she wrote about HIM. Holy cow! This fight is over! Why is this show still on?!? She’s already made her choice.
7:44 – Confrontation time. James is having a chat with Kasey, Chris, and Self Righteous Michael. During the preview this looked like it was going to be fun to watch but after seeing Desi practically throw herself at Chris a few minutes ago, all this chest thumping means nothing. James isn’t a contender anyway.
7:47 – The conversation with James is a bit convoluted. James probably said what he’s accused of, but there’s a good chance it was taken out of context. My guess? He was just talking big with a guy he was close to, something along the lines of, “And you know what? If worst comes to worst, maybe if we make it into to final four we can be the next Bachelor. Haha!” or something like that.
7:49 – Here’s the funniest part of this entire segment. Says Kasey, “Mikey asked him (James) what about your job back home? I know that you could lose it. And James says ‘I’m not worried about it, I can get a meeting with anyone once I’m on here. But plus, if I make it into the top four I’m in a really good spot to be the next Bachelor and basically then I wouldn’t have to worry about money.’”
Two things: 1) Are these morons really that delusional? Do they really think that being the Bachelor leads to wealth? They can’t be that stupid. And 2) I love the uppitiness of Kasey and Michael. They’re like junior high girls. I hope they stick around for awhile.
7:55 – Desi sends every guy home, except James. She sits down with him one-on-one.
8:00 – After a lot of tears, James has almost pulled off a Jedi Mind Trick on Desi. Just as it looked certain that he was going home, James flipped the script on Desi and told her that he might feel different about her next week after all he’s been through. Suddenly Desi was on the defensive and didn’t know what to think. The court adjourned until morning when Desi has a clearer head and James went back to the men’s hotel, much to the other bachelors’ surprise. Smooth Jimbo, very smooth.
8:08 – Zak W gets the final date of the episode. After all the drama from last night, this date looks like pure filler.
8:13 – Never mind. It’s not filler. It’s an excuse for women to see Zak with his shirt off at an art studio. So enjoy that, if that’s your thing.
8:22 – The evening portion of the Zak/Desi date went very well. Gotta give Zak credit, he handled what could have been a tough situation incredibly well. After this date he’s leaped up with the other frontrunners.
8:30 – The guys are sitting around and Michael is leading a round table discussion about James. Remember when I talked about the uppitiness of Michael and how I liked it? Yeah, I was wrong. He’s a jerk. When you call someone “sinister” and “evil” based on what you’ve experienced on a dating reality show, you’re a jerk. Michael acts like James ran over his dog with a car or something.
8:34 – As the guys are talking, Desi appears and pulls James out of the room. She’s dead set to send him home…but Desi gives James a chance to talk and the Jedi Mind Trick is back in play. She’s again confused on what to do, despite the fact that she has at least four other guys that she’s likely much more attracted to.
8:37 – And Desi retreats again. She still doesn’t know what to do.
8:46 – James and the guys are arguing about the possibility of one of them being the next Bachelor. The other men are arguing that everyone there should only be focused only on Desi. I’m going to side with James on this one. You KNOW they’re all thinking about it. James was just stupid enough to say it out loud. Sadly, one of these chodes is actually going to be the next Bachelor. If it’s Michael, I’ll never watch this show again. Probably.
8:51 – Final rose ceremony time. Three guys are going home. I’m guessing it’ll be Kasey, Juan Pablo and Michael. Yep, I think James stays.
8:52 – We get our first glimpse of Chris Harrison this evening. He’s been such a non-factor this season that I almost forgot that he hosted this show.
8:54 – Brooks and Chris receive roses (Surprise!) and there’s one rose left. Mathmagician Chris Harrison, using his incredible powers of perception, comes out and tells Desi there’s one rose left.
8:55 – Noooooooooo!!!!! Michael gets the last rose! Anybody but Michael! Gah! Juan Pablo, Kasey and James are sent home. Looks like the bus all the other guys were throwing James under finally ran him over.
8:59 – A drama filled preview for the rest of the season. It looks like Drew leaves under mysterious circumstances, Brooks gets sent home, and Desi has a meltdown and wants to quit the show. Is it possible that the last few episodes are the best of the season? Let’s hope so.
Final thoughts – This show is much too bloated. Two hours? Is that really necessary? Hell no. Cut it down to one hour. The James issue took up 90 minutes of airtime. Yawn…I really like Zak. Despite my early impressions of him, he seems like an honestly genuine guy. Best of all, unlike the rest of the men on this show, he actually has a sense of humor…My front runners have to be (in order) are Chris, Brooks, Zak and Drew. If that’s not the final four I’ll eat my hat. Of course, there’s only five guys left so I like my odds…If I had to chose between the guys from this episode to be the next Bachelor, I’d have to go with Juan Pablo and Zak. Those would be the only two I could stand.
See you all next week!