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JANUARY 21, 2013
Reality TV crying makes me smile a little
I’m one of those people who cries when he sees other people crying. I’m not a crier myself but when I see others upset it does something to me. But there is always an exception to the rule. When I see people crying on ABC’s The Bachelor, I do tend to giggle a little. Actually, I laugh for almost two hours straight.
For my job I have the grueling task of sitting through hours of reality TV and talking and writing about it. A couple years ago watching TV went from being enjoyment to sometimes downright boring – unless I find it incredibly ridiculous. Enter: The Bachelor.
Men and women (mostly women though) clamour to be on the show in the hopes of finding their soulmate. After twentysomething seasons the show’s track record is less than stellar. In fact, last year even the host went through a marriage breakup. Irony.
It was previously rumoured that producers bring on certain types of people to spice up things and create conflict. They later confirmed that with a news report going behind the scenes of a casting call where producers talked about the types of people they want on the show. Let’s be clear: they purposely bring in villains to make for interesting TV – otherwise, would you actually sit through two hours of Prince Charming/Cinderella love stories? Probably not.
This season the women are being wooed by a previously booted guy who was going for a woman’s heart on The Bachelorette. (She picked another guy with whom she eventually split after relationship conflict and cheating allegations.) So the heartbroken bachelor got a second chance to find love.
Each of the out-of-this-world dates are romantic and spectacular… and arranged by producers. So when the bachelor picks up his date in a helicopter and whisks her off, it’s not really his doing. He might be a romantic but there is some TV magic behind the whole itinerary. The women probably do understand this but in their Cinderella moment are too blind to recognize “reality” while filming a “reality” show.
Once the cameras stop rolling the couple is forced to sit back and go, “Holy crap, we got engaged but we can’t stand each other” and viewers wait for news of the breakup. Generally the couple denies rocky patches and tries to play it off as being an adjustment back into real life but therein lies the problem: it’s back to real life. And viewers once again lose faith in finding love on TV but giggle with excitement when another relationship fails.