Bachelor Pad: Tears, Glorious Tears
A couple of weeks ago, I proposed a Bachelor Pad Drinking Game. The rules were simple: when Tenley started crying, you started drinking and you didn’t stop drinking for any reason short of the emergency room.
The game was elegant in its simplicity, but it started me to thinking, practically right away. I wanted to make it as good as it could be, i.e. maximizing the opportunities to drink, but I didn’t want to just tinker for tinkering’s sake, either.
The most obvious change – why single Tenley out when there’s a whole house fulla ladies who would surely start crying for just about any reason at all? If somebody’s going to start bawling just because nobody likes them and thinks they’re stupid or someone said something mean about their friend or they can’t figure out how to turn the bubbles on in the hot tub, etc., then if you’re one of this show’s producers, you’ve got to take what’s going to be one major irritation and turn those tears into a major selling point of your show.
Out come the questionnaires. Everybody’s gotta fill one out, everybody’s gotta be truthful (whatever that means). Questions like: who’s the biggest jerk, who’s the shallowest, who do you think is most likely to win, who’s the dumbest, who’s got the worst boob job, who’s most likely to be always the bridesmaid, never the bride. And then everybody sits out on the patio and has a guess at who got the most votes for each question. Each correct guess gets a point, first of each gender to four points wins the rose and a one-on-one date with whoever they choose.
Here’s the thing. On the one hand, they promised tears on last week’s ‘Coming up next time’ segment, and they delivered tears. So good for them, those little Bachelor Pad promise keepers.
On the other hand, and you can call me hard to please if you want, but there weren’t really enough tears for my tastes, in a couple of different ways. Way #1: yes, the women were crying, but not all of them, and not for the entire episode. A challenge like this, geared specifically toward getting under the skin of the women and pinpointing their greatest misgivings about themselves and fears for their futures, would have had us in tearwater tea for weeks if the questionnaire makers had really channelled their inner sonsabitches. It was a little disappointing to not see Ashley or Nikki cry at all. I mean, who’s going to tell me, with a straight face, that these two don’t have exploitable issues?
Way#2: Sorry if this sounds…you know, but it’s just not as hard to make women cry. If the Bachelor Pad folks really wanted to impress, they woulda tried a little harder to zone in on the fellas’ problems. “Who’s the biggest jerk?” Are you kidding me? You have to know that any one of those guys would wear that one like a party hat for the rest of the episode. How about something more like, “Who will spend his entire life overcompensating, to no avail, for his dad’s opinion of him as a complete disappointment and utter waste of time?” or, “Whose mom goes to sleep at night, consumed by her wishes that she’d given him away when she had the chance?”*
Okay, so that’s that about the contest. Needless to say, there were winners and there were dates and there were roses given out on the dates. I bet Jesse regrets giving away his flower as early on his date as he did**, but if you hadn’t already guessed, it all sort of boiled away to ‘Big whoop.’ People went home at the end, and that’s the most important thing.
So, finally, with Wes and Krisily gone, hopefully all this talk about “the couples need to be broken up, the couples need to be broken up!” will die down a little. Because seriously, I beg to differ. First of all, there’s only going to be one winner of this thing, right? So, eventually those couples are going to get broken up anyway, right? And, there’s not anybody to be found in that house full of unlovables who you wouldn’t be happy to ultimately see disappointed, right? But you also know that the disappointment will be that much sweeter to witness after they’ve been allowed to revel in a little bit of success for awhile first, right? Maybe even better still if those couples are allowed to revel in success and couplehood, and then forced to turn on each other in order to actually win the contest, right? RIGHT. So hear this loud and clear: the couples do not need to be broken up, the couples need to be broken down.
*It’d probably take more than that to make Dave cry, but how will we ever know if they don’t make the effort in the first place?
**Fully intended to be vaguely icky.