Ever since I started my experiment with this weird, stupid show called The Bachelorette, people have been telling me things like “Just wait til you see The Bachelor In Paradise” and “You have to do Paradise, too. It’s so crazy!” You guys built this show up so much you made it seem like it was the fucking Breaking Bad of reality TV shows.
So guess what? I watched it. Over the course of two nights and four hours, I watched the first episode of this miserable, heartless, alcohol induced mess of a show. And you wanna know what I think?
The Bachelor In Paradise is The Bachelorette with a cocaine addiction.
That’s really the best way to describe it. Everything is faster, crazier, and more ridiculous. Gone are the trappings of a dating competition show. Gone is the ridiculous faux prudishness that says people aren’t allowed to have sex until a predefined time. Gone are the illusions that this whole thing is constructed so that people can find love. Fuck that shit. Bathing suits and alcohol!
It is in this, that I guess I can respect The Bachelor in Paradise a little more. If you recall my final episode recap last week, the overarching problem I had with this show is that it actually took itself seriously. That it had convinced itself that it was doing some common good: that is, finding “true love” for some ridiculously attractive people that were inexplicably so incapable of building their own relationships that they needed to go on television to have people do it for them. If The Bachelorette is trash TV than Bachelor In Paradise is a sentient self-aware garbage monster. It knows exactly what it is and it happily embraces it as it devours humans whole.
And when you really look at the show, everything that they’ve constructed here ties into this point. The show is placed on a beach in Mexico because we can get everyone half naked. Our “contestants” are basically wearing nothing the entire time and the camera drinks it up, doing quick zooms on chiseled muscle, bare ass, and cleavage wherever it sees it. The villa has its own 24/7 open bar because we need to get these guys as drunk as possible. Alcohol leads to sex and drama, and that’s all garbage monster wants: drunken sex drama.
Because the garbage monster can pick contestants from previous seasons of the show, it can handpick from a basically unlimited amount of personalities to construct whatever narrative it wants. These people weren’t picked because of the likelihood of finding love. They were picked because when they were on The Bachelor/ette they acted in a way that aligns with the goal of the show. They were picked because they were the most likely to get drunk and bang and then cry about the banging. The living embodiment of this point is Ashley I: the girl whose entire schtick is that she’s an overly emotional virgin. She drinks, she cries, she talks about her weird obsession with Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin, and she makes all the guys want to bang her cause she’s a virgin. And the show allows her to bring her sister along for the ride because…why the fuck not? More drama! More sex! “Feed me!” cries the garbage monster. Crazy crying girl happily obliges.
At this point you staunch defenders of this show are probably saying something to effect of “No, Scott…it is about finding love. The show featured a wedding between two of the people that met last season, remember? They found love.” But, loyal readers, that is all part of the insidious plan. It’s just another stunt; just more food for the garbage monster. Would you really want to get married on national TV surrounded by a bunch of drunk strangers in bathing suits at a ceremony presided over by Chris Harrison? Literally nobody would want that ever. And yet here we have it. And not a minute later? Boobs. Abs. Alcohol. Drama. Crying. Sex. Garbage Monster.
At the end of the day the only real difference between these two shows is The Bachelor In Paradise is trash that realizes it’s trash. And we all happily jump in the pile. The same people that love this show are the people that chastised the Bachelorette last season for sleeping with someone early. The same people that accused Old Show Guy of coming back on the program just to get more attention. Yes, he did. They ALL do. That’s the entire point. The Bachelor/ette and Bachelor in Paradise are really just two sides of the same shit-covered coin. And we love it.
Bachelor in Paradise is not The Bachelor we need, but it is The Bachelor we deserve. I’m officially done with this show.