Sunday, February 28, 2010
Episode 8: The Women Tell All
Where to begin? I suppose we need to start with the fact that I watched this in dirty pajamas, alone, at 2:00 a.m. on a Friday night. All is full of love.
Media scholars love the word "convergence." It gives them a massive boner. Think I'm kidding? Just look, man!! But isn't this what the show is about?
I've actually forgotten why "convergence" applies here. I just wanted to say it to make myself sound smart.
It appears that former contestants continue to be paid to act like complete and utter slutbags with each other. They call it "Bachelor Reunion Parties." Ex-rejects from various seasons intermingle on a cruise ship, drink, and have sex with each other. I'm glad to see that the traditions the show instilled in these people are alive and well.
But what about this year's group of jilted beauties? No regrets, no bitterness. Elizabeth #2 and Ali own up to behaving like Grade-A assholes. Michelle tries to explain the crazy away. Rozlyn accuses Chris Harrison of hitting on her producer-BF's wife in New Zealand. In fact, Chris Harrison and Rozlyn engaged in behavior fitting of a bratty 8-year-old and her drunk father. I smell a conspiracy.
And why do I smell one, you may ask? Well, it turns out that ever since December, online tabloids-- the dirt of which has spilled over into OK! Magazine and US Weekly--have reported that Rozlyn's affair was staged, and that the reason that they wanted her gone was because she was complaining about not being allowed to talk to or about her son. She didn't make a convincing case on camera. But Chris Harrison is the version of Satan from Left Behind, so all bets are off.
Further tabloid juice! Remember the guy Vienna married in a shotgun wedding when she was 18, only to have it implode a couple of years later? That guy--a Marines sergeant--now claims she cheated on him with his best friend while he was stationed in Iraq, then drained their joint bank account to pay for her boob job. When ABC found this chick, they knew they had struck gold. Why else would she have made it to the final two?
Further evidence that ABC has now mastered the design of the show: the outtakes make all the women look like Real Human Beings. Ashleigh even calls Vienna a "Fucking white trash trailer bitch." Pure. Goddam. Gold. Lenny Bruce would be proud.
Ali wants her shit to come out smelling like the rose she never got because she comes to Vienna's defense by saying that "she's a real human being who doesn't deserve that kind of treatment." Excuse me, Ali, but that's my phrase, and I don't appreciate you misusing it. (BTW, totally agree with Bill Simmons: this broad is the next Bachelorette.)
So now here's a question: I think, from what meager evidence I've been able to gather, that roughly 10 million people watch this show every week. Major supermarket tabloids--OK!, US Weekly, People--write about it obsessively and devote cover stories to it. Somebody must provide me with real ratings numbers. And then tell me how much this thing is really part of the cultural conversation. Because for my money, nothing speaks to this moment of ours better than Jersey Shore.
So that's it. One more to go. On Monday night, I'll be liveblogging the season finale of The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love. I'm prayin' I get a chubby out of the whole proceedings.