I’ve been thinking very deeply about how to convey the witches brew of disgusted fascination and shameful enthusiasm I feel for ABC’s reality show The Bachelor, So far this is the best I can do:
Watching The Bachelor is like watching someone shit out a live snake.
I only just discovered this game show of ‘serial boudoir polygamy’ in the last couple of weeks. Since I cut the cable, TV has become less of a genie’s bottle and more of a page in an old school TV guide. I have been reacquainting myself with the concept of the standard network lineup.
So when I landed on The Bachelor a few Mondays ago, I put the remote down and settled into the Ugly Couch for a new experience. I like to dip into cultural phenomenon long after their height of popularity so I can enjoy them on my own terms and not those of the masses. #hypekills
A literal review of this smash
shit would not capture the sensations I felt in my guts as I experienced this (two hour!?) show, so I have crafted a little allegory for your consideration.
In place of The Bachelor, a show in which a 30-something man courts/sex-auditions/serial cheats/manipulates/stands by like some harem sheik while a dozen SoCal brothel-sorority sisters have no choice but to drape themselves in Lido feathers and prance around in front of millions of TV viewers in the hopes that they will be the chosen girl for the evening like some effed up modern version of Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”...
....I will use, instead, a hypothetical show called Shitting Out a Live Snake. The premise should be obvious. The victor wins, let’s say, a million bucks. Here goes:
When I first watched Shitting Out a Live Snake, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Sure, the concept was interesting - I mean people were shitting out a live snake on TV! So strange! So intimate! You would swear it was fake, but there it was. I was extremely conflicted when I tried to pin down what exactly made the show so captivating.
Was the network manipulating my basest instincts? Certainly, 'cuz that’s their job. But why hadn’t it worked for other reality shows? Big Brother who? Is Survivor even still on? What was different about SOAL?
Was I being complicit in something dark, sad, and…morally bankrupt? (Pfft. It’s just a TV show. Lighten up, snowflake.)
It blew my mind that people would even audition for the show in the first place. Surely they’d seen it before, right? They had to know that while some people got to shit out a live snake most didn’t because they were too batshit crazy to be trusted with the snake. The odds weren’t great.
They had to know that the same snake was shit out of everyone, right? And that they had a lot of close-ups of people shitting those snakes out? With audio?
And doesn’t the snake always die shortly after the show ends?
What motivated these grown-ups to put their lives on hold for this TV snake lottery? Was it for the prize money? Was the experience just too YOLO to pass up? Perhaps they truly believed in the nobility of shitting out a live snake?
I started screaming at the women on the TV: “WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID!?” then stopped. Whoa. Why the rage, OSM?
“It’s not natural! People don’t shit out live snakes in nature.”
Or do they? Was SOALS reflecting or creating a reality?
Is Shitting Out a Live Snake happening all around me but I’m oblivious because my world has become so small? Is missing the Shitting Out a Live Snake craze a consequence of my choices? Maybe I’m the problem.
I accept, too, that this could be a trickle down from the immature, small-minded resentment I sometimes have towards the beautiful-rich people. Those ladies ain’t buying those snake-shitting outfits at Target, that’s for sure.
And who am I to say what is and is not appropriate for other people to do with their assholes? If I don't like to see it I can always change the channel.
So why the rage? The opposite of love is indifference and I was not indifferent about Shitting Out a Live Snake. I was enraged. I was fascinated. I was disappointed. I was….something.
Imagine how rattled I became when I discovered that the show was not one but two hours long, and felt shamefully pleased that there was still a whole hour left of Shitting Out a Live Snake. (Bonus marvel factor: Could they really make Shitting out a Live Snake interesting for two whole hours?)
And how disgusting did it feel when my heart leaped with despicable joy upon learning that the finale was going to be a whopping THREE hours long?
God Help Me.
I would love to wrap this post up with a few bullet points hypothesizing the psychological roots of my push-pull revulsion with this modern shit show, but I can’t. Thankfully I have 180 more minutes of programming tonight to try and figure things out.
(I think he’s picking Becca, you guys.)
That's my piece, and that's my peace. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my silly words. It truly means the world to me. Carry on...
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.