Once upon a time, there was a show called "The Bachelor." After 12 seasons, it is still waiting for its happy ending.
Many a dewy rose — and a few engagement rings — have been doled out to ladies in waiting, but so far none of ABC's "bachelors" have found lasting love with the women they met in the show's bubbling hot tubs. (Only the first star of "The Bachelorette," Trista Rehn, wedded her TV pick, Ryan Sutter.)
The franchise's newest prince, 27-year-old global financier Matt Grant, hopes to change all that with "The Bachelor: London Calling," debuting Monday night.
"I'm in love," Grant said in his British accent. "That's all you need to know."
Viewers have heard that one before. But before you balk, perhaps this strapping Londoner deserves a chance. After all, he is the first International "Bachelor"! At the very least, he's not just another American guy.
"I'm not bothered about previous shows," Grant said. "I'm bothered about myself and 'the one.' I think we have what it takes. I really do."
"The One" is how Grant now refers to the woman he fell for on "The Bachelor." He's unable, of course, to speak her real name, urging us — daring us — to watch the drama unfold onscreen.
And unfold it does.
"I had a thong pushed down my pants," Grant said. "At first I thought it was like a message on a napkin or something … that was pretty gross."
(The thong incident comes courtesy of a bachelorette named Stacey, who proudly declares that she is "all that and a bag of chips." )
Of course, anyone who watches reality TV knows that Grant's got it easy. On VH1's "Rock of Love 2," Poison rocker Bret Michaels is subjected to half-naked women gyrating to get his attention as he searches for his supposed soul mate (for the second time). Rapper Flavor Flav's three seasons of reality TV romance on "Flavor of Love," also on VH1, have been replete with hair-extension pulling and high-pitched shrieking.
But "The Bachelor" started the trend of reality matchmaking shows, and Grant's trying to keep things classy. With his fondness for American women somehow still intact, Grant describes his "chosen one" as "an exceptional individual" with depth, substance, warmth and sincerity
Grant will be missing those attributes while he is kept apart from his new girlfriend. He's contractually bound to remain mum about the outcome of the show until the finale of "The Bachelor: London Calling." There is presumably an ocean between them, but that doesn't seem to phase Grant. Like a few "bachelors" before him, he says he is in love.
"That's happiness for me," Grant said. "I hope it'll be happiness for the viewers."