You'll need to sing this to the theme of Magilla Gorilla:
A Bachelor! A Bachelor's for sale! Won't you buy him? Take him home and try him? He's really ideal … Don't want a single guy you can call your own? A Bachelor who'll be with you when you're all alone.
[Little girl:] How much is that bachelor on the TV?
Take the network's advice, at any price, A Bachelor like this one is mighty nice! The Bachelor, The Bachelor's for sale. [Music to fade]
And that's what we have on ABC TV. The Bachelor is about a man who decided to pimp himself on network TV to 25 hungry women who decided they were so desperate to find a decent man that they would subject themselves to being picked over like day-old garbage in the dumpster of an unlicensed Indian take-out restaurant in Manhattan.
Here's the kicker — women are obsessed with watching this drivel. This begs the obvious question: What's the appeal?
Is It Him?
He's Alex. He's 31. He's a Harvard graduate and has an MBA from Stanford. He likes root beer and The Simpsons among other things, including every kind of sport known to man. He's had five serious relationships and he's very nice-looking.
Alex thinks he's funny, although he's yet to show it on television. But there's gotta be a reason he's NOT married yet. So what's wrong with him? I'll tell you what's wrong with him. He agreed to partake in a show that guarantees him a wife in six weeks. It's kind of like buying one of those weight-loss products because you've seen the picture of a 300-pound girl who gets Janet Jackson's washboard abs after taking just 90 supplements. Is It the Bachelorettes?
Twenty-five attractive women subjected themselves to participating in a dehumanizing experiment. Let a man have a look at you, talk to you for a few minutes, then decide if he wants to bother to get to know you. Then, talk to him a VERY little more, let him have a second gawk at you and then let him decide whether you're a keeper or one of those unwanted curry dishes that I mentioned earlier.
Let's keep in mind that these women have also not been able to score the big hubby by any conventional means. Or perhaps what happened to Darva Conger made them rapt with jealousy and they, too, wanted their lives practically destroyed for public viewing. Whatever.
And so through the steady progression of whittling down the choice chicks, we've been allowed to peek into these highly unrealistic love vignettes (they call them dates) and see The Bachelor get to know these girls, kiss 'em, hug 'em, fondle 'em (we didn't get to see that unfortunately), then dump 'em. Sounds a bit like real life, don't it, ladies?
Whatever the case, it's ludicrous — and women love watching it.
Why? Why? Why? Why? (I'm holding my head and stamping my feet as I scream these words to the sky. Draaaaama!)
Because this guy and his choice ladies are absolute eye candy and they do the things that your average woman doesn't get to do. Fantasy Vs. Reality TV
The Date: One of the bachelor's dates had him and Amanda staying in the presidential suite of the W Hotel, where they ordered a dessert called "Sex in the Sheets." It consisted of ice cream, hot fudge, butterscotch, whipped cream and a CAMERA. They went to town on each other and the room like two crazy kids.
The Reality: Any woman that got a sundae like that wouldn't waste it on the walls. She'd inhale the thing and NOT in front of a date. Afterwards, she'd be consumed with guilt. Also, she wouldn't allow someone to put it all over her nice clothes. And finally, any woman that had a man that could afford to take her to the presidential suite of a very pricey hotel AND order her an ice cream sundae, wouldn't be watching this show.
Another Date: The bachelor and Trista are in Hawaii where they frolic along the beach and have outdoor massages while they hold each other's hands. He gets sick and she sits with him in his bed, wearing a red dress, until he's better.
The Reality: If you're in Hawaii with a guy you don't really know, he gets sick and you're dressed and ready to go out looking all fabulous, you're out. Two Mai Tai's and your getting jiggy with Don Ho, 'cause you are only there for a couple of days and no feverish man is going to keep you down.
This is not real and now that he's chosen his wife, reality is going to set in. They'll have to go back to work. She's going to have to move and leave her friends and family. And, to be sure, no one's there to clean up the ice cream. Matter of fact, I'm guessing he's not going to let her have ice cream at his place.
Like on Millionaire and reality TV mating shows, the relationship forged here will no doubt fall apart. By three months, we'll hear they're feuding because he sees how she deals when they're home. He'll get sick and she'll have to clean up mucous-filled tissues. Finally, she'll see how cheap he is when she suggests another jaunt to Hawaii — this time on his dime.
I'm guessing one more go-round of The Bachelor and we'll be seeing the same face on the series premiere of the new fall show, The Divorcee.
Heidi Oringer is director of entertainment programming at ABCNEWS Radio.