It's no secret around these parts that my guilty pleasure -- okay fine, one of my guilty pleasures -- is watching ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Religiously. So when I say that this season, starring Desiree Hartsock, is so bad that you couldn't even pay me to watch the season finale, you have to realize things must be pretty damn horrible.
Here are five reasons.
The Cast of Guys
There have been plenty of other people pointing out that this cast of guys is just not good, and for quite a number of reasons. It's worth pointing out that one of the guys has a past of domestic violence, which is not exactly a great quality for winning over viewers' hearts. Other viewers have been questioning whether some of the guys are gay. Others just say the whole group is flat-out boring. For whatever reason this time around, the usual cast of stereotypical characters (the bad boy, the douchebag, the nice guy, etc.) just wasn't able to inspire enough interest to carry the show. And the top guys weren't likable enough (or unlikable enough) to make you want to watch anyway.
The biggest question now will be which guy they choose to cast as the next Bachelor star. Depending on the choice, we could be in for another season of dull.
Drama is the reason anyone watches reality television, but much of the in-house drama on this season seemed completely unfounded. It's probably because the "characters" the producers tried to create were just too far off from the guys' real personalities. For example, Ben Scott, the Dallas-based dad, was made out to be the bad guy of the bunch. All season, there were complaints about how rude he acted and how much he didn't care about his 4-year-old son. The problem was that most of that criticism wasn't really backed up by the actions the audience saw. The whole thing made the other guys look pretty petty.
Bachelorette viewers aren't naïve. We know the show is scripted -- probably a lot -- but we appreciate attempts at illusion. I'm not sure what went wrong with this season, but it's like the producers weren't even trying to hide it. Maybe Desiree is just a terrible actress, but the writing itself was pretty horrible, too. Her date with Brooks, during which the couple drove to the top of a mountain and had a pretty awkward-looking picnic, included no less than a dozen references to "being on cloud 9" (gag) and let's not even get started on how she compared love to a toboggan ride. Really? A toboggan? Stop.
The "Right Reasons" Rap Video
I should have known this season was going downhill when one of the first group dates involved a bunch of guys and Desiree, of course, making a rap video with Soulja Boy. And as if that mental image isn't bad enough the rap was titled "Right Reasons," a cliché in the Bachelor/ette world for getting involved in that reality television show because you want to be (gasp) famous, instead of married.
Really what this speaks to is the fact that the show's date ideas are starting to get a little too desperate. And when they aren't completely ridiculous, they're played out. While we appreciate the effort to not repeat the same dates over and over again, if the format isn't broken, don't try to fix it.
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The Leading Lady
Desiree Hartsock, hands down, is the biggest, most obvious problem with this season. What is this show without an audience that wants the lead to fall in love? Nothing. And after watching hours of this season, do I honestly care if she finds her match? Not even a little.
Maybe we viewers have just gotten too spoiled by the interesting cast members of late. Last season, we got Emily Maynard, a single mother who lost her first love in a plane accident, and the season before that there was Ashley Hebert, the bubbly dental student. The season before that featured Ali Fedotowsky, who we liked for her little bit of sass. When it comes to Desiree, it's difficult to come up with an interesting storyline. They tried to play up her Cinderella story for a while, but it just didn't catch on. The bottom line is she's just a regular girl -- with questionable taste in guys.