where the writers are
Ashley Hebert, current Bachelorette

            As another Bachelorette nears its “most dramatic final rose ceremony ever” I find myself thinking back to the Bachelor debut in 2002. Twenty-five beautiful young women vied for the heart of one alpha male. Many weeks later, he whittled it down to one. Kind of like a harem in reverse. I was horrified. I couldn’t stop watching.

            If I had teenagers, I’d encourage them to watch this show. It teaches how to behave (and not behave) with your dream mate. When your love is unrequited, you’ll know how to read the signs and graciously bow out. Wait, I know a few people way past their teens who need this primer.

I’m sure a lot of my addiction comes from the horse race thrill of it; divining who will cross the finish line, in this case, last. Or do I still crave the Cinderella fairy tale? Am I intrigued by the bizarre psychology that takes over the contestants' brains that’s a combination of Lord of the Flies and Stockholm Syndrome? If I was stranded somewhere with only one man around I’d probably fall hard and fast for him, too.

Or am I just at that age (42 forever) where I’d much rather watch other people go through Dating Hell and feel smugly wise than to subject myself to that mess. One woman’s adventure is another’s headache.

A bigger question is why do these people go on the show in the first place knowing that they’re opening themselves up to massive public embarrassment and heartbreak? Is it the idea of wanting romance, wanting it now, and all the seductive trappings? There is a certain appealing efficiency to it. And there’s the fame. Can’t discount that.

Here’s what I find most fascinating about the Bachelor/Bachelorette. It always comes down to two strikingly different people capturing the chooser’s tormented heart. Every single time we hear: “I never thought I could fall for two people . . . This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make . . . I have no idea who I’m going to pick.”

I’ve been in that place before. It wasn’t tortuous. It was head-swirling delicious. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. But just once, I’d like to see that final rose sliced down the middle, the Bachelor/Bachelorette give half to each finalist, and say, “Let’s try time-sharing.”

No one under forty would ever say that.


4 Comment count
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Sharing the Bachelorette's journey

I am delighted to find another intelligent, accomplished woman who does not appologize for her fascination with this program. If it weren't for the many credits I've accumulated with the people closest to me, I wouldn't have been able to live down that constant questioning of my choice to watch the program.

I justify it that being a novelist I watch human interaction, group dynamics, emotional responses--genuine and made-for-TV--and polite competition. 

Like you, I am waiting for the final rose. I hope that Ali will choose Chris. But having watched her willing to go into the sunset with Frank--the least settled, still living at home, and unsure of his future when she is ready to start a family--I believe that she will follow the more passionate, exotic Latino, Roberto (also a great guy.)

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Guilty Pleasures

Thanks for your comment, Talia. Do you know about www.RealitySteve.com? He writes a fascinating spoiler blog that tells you everything that's going to happen. He has inside sources. As a writer, I find the show even more fascinating knowing the outcome because I can see how it unfolds more clearly. I cannot get enoughof this show but I'm determined not to get sucked into the "Bachelor Pad"!


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Actually, I dislike the spoilers, especially this season with the foreshadowing of Frank's sudden change of heart.... As a novelist you can understand how we want to accompany the protagonist on her journey. The surprise about frank, IMHO, should have come to me at the same time Ali found out.

But I am also fascinated by the editing the show goes through and how the producers make certain editorial decision to create excitement (and hype), or take sentences out of contest--only for the viewer to discover that it meant something else. (Last season, Jake said to Ali on the phone, "take the first plane and come here," when in fact, at the time the episode aired, he actually said, "I wish I could have told you to take the first plane and come here."

Oh, well.

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False Advertising

Agree the editing is everything. All about manipulation. www.RealitySteve.com also gives a lot of juicy behind-the-scenes dirt that I relish. At first I didn't want to know what was going to happen but I was surprised at how hooked into it I still was. Seeing it unfold was just as interesting. In fact, the ratings have gone up since this spoiler site started. Go figure! 

This is my guilty pleasure. My cheap thrill. I could do worse. At least I'm not hooked on those Kardashian girls. 

So nice to find a like mind!