Thursday, May 19, 2005

Bachelor recap

OK, so we went to the live broadcast of the season finale of The Bachelor. I wanted to bring my camera in, but it's safe to say that that wasn't in their plans, so... that didn't happen. So I'll just give a basic recap.

Basic recap: lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong day. Really long day.

OK, a more detailed recap.

We pulled up—right on time, I'll add—in front of what appeared to be an old public school book depository or maybe an abandoned DMV building in Glendale. This was the studio. My first thought was that the whole series had been filmed in New York. Now these girls come out here for their big night, the big finale, and they're probably expecting to driven out in a limousine to some large complex in Studio City, with palm trees and the Hollywood sign in the background and instead... they're gliding past graffiti-covered body shops and carnicerias to a book depository building in Glendale. Yuck. But OK.

So we go up and have to sign in. There's a huge line of people waiting to sign up. At this point, we're thinking, fuck this, let's just blow this off and go to LACMA and have corned beef sandwiches at Canter's or something. But we stuck it out. We finally got signed up and got our dandy bag lunch. Awesome. Peanut butter pockets and a rotten apple (Carrie's wasn't rotten, but the whole bottom of mine was rotten and moldy; nasty).

So then things really started happening. Not really. Nothing ever really started happening. But we moved from where we got the bag lunches to standing in another line. Then we went inside and got seated, so that was good. And then they did the show. So that was pretty exciting too. If you saw the show, well, it looked pretty much like that. If you didn't, then you probably don't care. Either way...

What was interesting—not unexpected, but interesting—was the gender make-up of the crowd. There were, I think, 5 men there out of a crowd of probably 150 people at least. It was a chick fest to the nth degree. We ended up getting moved to the center of the back risers behind the rose where the rose ceremony was going to be held. Our theory is that they thought it would be good to have a guy visible. As it ended up, we were pretty spectacularly unvisible, although we did crop up once near the beginning of the show.

I'm not going to recount what happened on the show—suffice to say that they really did not need to fill three hours with it—but there were a few interesting things.

First, they cheated a little bit. All of bumps were filmed an hour or two prior to the show, so whenever they were going to commercial and Chris Harrison said, "We're here live in Hollywood" or words to that effect, it was bullshit. It was like a Linda Richman routine: "The Bachelor Finale Live in Hollywood is neither live nor in Hollywood; discuss." Not a big deal, but there it is.

Second, the few times that I've seen famous people (I haven't seen that many, because they seem to actively avoid me; I'll write that up sometime), they've appeared quite different from their two-dimensional representations. Dolly Parton was probably the most egregiously weird (you'd think her boobs would dominate, but when I saw her outside Rockefeller Center one time I couldn't stop staring at the enormous five-story-tall wig on her head), but it's been fairly true in my experience. Well, here everyone looked exactly the same in person. Oh, Charlie O'Connell was a bit taller than I expected. The women looked exactly the same. Chris Harrison looked and sounded exactly the same. I wonder what that guy's gonna do when the Bachelor/Bachelorette is finally cancelled?

The really strange thing was the presence of the women's families. I was really wondering how bizarre it was going to be to have Charlie ditch one of the chicks in front of her family. That would have been massively uncomfortable for everyone involved. And, regardless of your take on reality TV, I can say with certainty that the principals involved take it seriously, at least at the time and at least in this instance. That was finessed by Charlie dropping the bomb on Krisily in her dressing room.

Eventually it was over, the Bachelor claimed his womanly prize (and she did look pretty damned fantastic, I have to say; the spurned woman was also quite lovely, which isn't a shock considering she was Miss Rhode Island USA), we were served Martinelli's sparkling cider (no way you're getting free booze out of these cheap bastards), and we were on our way. Seven hours of ass-numbing pain and no real revelations. We do, however, have another check on our list of "Things to Do in Southern California:" Been to a TV show live, check.

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