Last night I was doing manly activities: lifting heavy weights, drinking (craft) beer, looking at nudy magazines, scratching myself, et cetera, et cetera. In the midst of said manly activities, I heard, from the living room, a sound I ne’er catch on Monday nights while my wife is watching The Bachelor: a female contestant explaining in clear, pithy language that she’s leaving because the bachelor is a self-centered douche.
The Bachelor is your typical ‘reality tv’ show. By that, I mean, it contains very little reality. Though these shows don’t have writers, they are carefully scripted and directed. Watch three episodes, and you’ll get the formula. The real people in control of these shows are the editors who splice just the right facial expression with just the right comment to create ‘reality.’
Anna has been watching this show for years now, and I’ve caught my fair share of it. (There’s no easier way to shut down your mind before bed than watching The Bachelor.)
I’ve come to think of the show as a silent solar system where everything is static. There are no signs of actual human life. Year after year, the solar system functions according to its own laws without much new excitement. But last night, after years observing a dormant solar system, I saw a flash of something unique. Like I was a scientist staring into the Hubble Telescope for years, waiting for some semblance of life from a distant galaxy. And then, something finally does happen.
Recap of the honest moment on last night’s Bachelor: Andi, a lawyer from Atlanta, explains to Juan Pablo, the douchy bachelor, that she’s leaving the show after they shared a night together in the fantasy suite. Why? Because he spent all night talking about himself, name dropping, and not giving a shit about who she was.
My favorite moment was when Jaun Pablo tried to catch Andi by asking her what religion he practiced. To which Andi quickly responded, “Catholic.” Juan Pablo’s only response was that vacuous blank stare. Like a true narcissist, he seemed unaffected.
Andi telling off Juan Pablo wasn’t even the real supernova of activity from the vacuous universe that is the Bachelor. No. The real seismic event in the this universe was that the editors at ABC actually portrayed something that looked like real life. Usually the bachelor/bachelorette comes off looking like the good guy/gal in all Bachelor scuffles. The editing last night completely worked against Juan Pablo. Something happened inside the producers room to allow this to happen.
Maybe they’d had it with Juan Pablo. Dumb, and at times bigoted, statements flow from his mouth with astounding frequency. In response, he tries to tell us that he doesn’t know our language. The most famous example of his I-don’t-speak-a-the-language missteps was his statement off the show that there should never be a gay bachelor, because all the gay people he knows are ‘perverts.’ Nice one, buddy.
Last night, I saw a quiet universe snap into life for the briefest moment. I’m sure the activity will subside, and we’ll get another eighteen seasons of dormancy. However, like that scientist staring into the mighty Hubble, I was just glad I witnessed signs of life in an otherwise lifeless universe.