Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Televangelist: 'The Bachelor' season finale

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 6:24 PM

click to enlarge STEP RIGHT UP: To be continually disappointed
  • STEP RIGHT UP: To be continually disappointed

Twists! Turns! Shocks! Drama! Until this season, "The Bachelor" train had blissfully passed me by without note.  Sure I knew one or two girls who'd been on the show in the past, but not well enough to really care deeply about how it turned out. On a whim I flipped to the show a few months ago and — unfortunately for my pretentious television taste — never looked back.  The show's high drama is addicting, and like the early rounds of "American Idol," (another show I avoid) is full of crazies for the first few episodes. But what made this season of "The Bachelor" stand out was the Bachelor himself. Seattle resident Jason Mesnick may not be the most handsome or amazing guy in the world, but he's divorced with a young son to whom he's devoted, which gives the show a new and very genuine twist. The gimmick worked for ABC: The show's drawn unexpectedly high ratings. As families in America become more complex, perhaps Mesnick's situation resonated with viewers in a way that past boy-meets-girl romance shows have not.

So here we are, viewing "the most dramatic season finale in Bachelor history," where Jason has to choose between sweet Dallas Cowboy's cheerleader Melissa and cat-eyed Girl Next Door Molly. Since the show isn't sponsored by the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, Jason must choose between the lovely ladies. In another twist, Jason himself was chosen and subsequently rejected by a previous Bachelorette, DeAnna (who is not, for those keeping score, his ex-wife or the mother of his child). Plenty of "like ... yeahs" and "like, y'knows?" later, Jason takes the contestants (let's be honest here) to visit his parents and make his final deliberations on which girl to marry that he's known for less than two months. (This can't end in disaster again, right?)

Before he can choose, DeAnna returns, dressed like an aging train wreck, and looking for love in all the wrong places (from what I've gathered, this may be accurate). Though the teasers showed Jason being emotional after DeAnna's visit, in reality he told her in no uncertain terms he was over her with a "thanks but no thanks" to her ramblings about how she followed her heart and that was a mistake. Uh, ok.

From the start I was unabashedly on Team Melissa. After you delve beyond the tan and the NFL cheerleading past you find a clever, sweet, happy, somewhat (unexpectedly) insecure girl who reminded me of someone I would know and be friends with. Molly seemed genuine, but never quite opened up in the same way Melissa did. Plus, Melissa was able to show Jason her "downtime/normal gal" side, whereas he and Molly seemed to be more focused on, er, the physical aspects of their relationship. Both girls scored high with Ty, and Jason got along well with both sets of families. (Even Melissa's reclusive parents. A big deal was made about that, but I understood it completely. If my parents didn't disown me for being on a reality show, they certainly would never want to appear on camera, for any reason.)

After all the BS (the recaps, the flash forwards, the redundant inner monologues), the episodes really last for about 15 minutes, so let's get down to the nitty gritty: He chose Melissa! Hooray. So happy ... we knew it couldn't last. Jump to six weeks later: Without an audience or music, Christ Harrison delivers The Awful Truth, and Jason breaks up with Melissa on camera in favor of Molly. Not classy, Jason, not classy. I was genuinely uncomfortable during the "After the Rose" show. The reason for the break-up wasn't that clear, except it seems like Jason seemed to want his cake and to eat it, too. Molly's exit from the not-so-final ceremony as well as her appearance on the after show felt awfully scripted. It seems like, despite their own suggestions otherwise, the two have been seeing each other since the show ended (or at least keeping in touch). The "acting" was rather artificial, and Melissa said to him, "There are things you are not owning up to." Rumors from various reality blog sites (including Reality Steve) confirm as much. I'm sure it'll be another six weeks or so before the cad Jason bores of Molly and calls Jillian! Will I ever watch this show again? No, ABC, you broke my heart in such a cheesy way, it's shameful.

Tomorrow: A Part-Two?? Perhaps from Melissa's point of view? Or maybe Jason walks off the stage and realizes Molly isn't right for him, either ... .

Musings and Miscellanea:

- "I would have choosed you." That's not a typo. That's DeAnna.

- Some of the juxtaposing shots are so great. For instance, Molly tanning in the sun with the voiceover, "I'm really putting my heart out there and this could be it!"  But first ... does my tan look even?

- "Being in love with two women ... sucks." Boo hoo, Jason, boo hoo.

- Times Jason all-out cried? Four. Times the word "like" was used as a modifier?  78,453.

- Molly sure did spend a lot of time on her hair to just pull it back in a ratty pony tail for that final ceremony. (Although I understand the dangers of humidity on one's luscious locks.) I truly felt bad for her ... it's terrible to get all dressed up and be rejected. Sounds like my Friday nights! Remember girls: Don't go inside that tent without a ring! (This was written before I saw the very end ... throw her into the ocean!)

- I loved DeAnna's visit and how anticlimactic it was. So ... she chose the party boy instead of the safe, family oriented Jason. And now that party boy has dumped her, she goes crawling back to the good guy.  Guys, a word of advice: If you are ever in Jason's position here, follow his lead and Just Say No.

- Um, booking my tickets to New Zealand right now. Absolutely gorgeous.

- "I don't want to live my life with regrets."  "You are such a bastard!"  You tell 'em, honey! Team Melissa!

- I checked the ABC.com message board for the show after Jason broke up with Melissa and there were boos and hisses from the peanut gallery with lots of caps and exclamation marks expressing what a lame guy Jason is. I have to agree!

- Rumor has it that Jillian will be the next Bachlorette. Thoughts?

(Photo courtesy Abc.com)

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