Reality Show Dating Reaches a New Low
It’s always boggled my mind how so many women are ready and willing to put their lives on hold and sign up for “The Bachelor” in a effort to find true love knowing that the success rate for relationships fostered on reality TV are slim to none. It may be hard to believe, but this thesis was written by an eternal optimist, one who truly believes that anyone can find love…given that love is rooted in reality and not based on a series of fantasy dates, not shrouded in a champagne-induced haze, and sans dramatic elimination ceremonies involving roses.
Last night’s finale of “The Bachelor” confirmed all of my doubts about the legitimacy of reality shows created to give men and women the chance to find life partners. This season’s bachelor, Jason Mesnick, got down on one knee and asked contestant, Melissa, to spend the rest of her life with him. An ecstatic Melissa yelped for joy, jumped up and down, and the couple celebrated over voice-overs of Mesnick proclaiming how good it was going to feel to put that ring on her finger.
It seemed almost too cute, too happy, to sickeningly sweet to be true…
Turns out it was.
Unfortunately for Melissa, her fiancee must have taken a course on “ultimate inconsiderate break ups.” Mesnick took the opportunity of “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose” special to call off the engagement and tell her that he still had feelings for runner-up, Molly. Not only did he publicly humiliate the woman who he said he loved, but he didn’t even give her the chance to talk about it without a camera rolling.
Granted, once you sign on to participate, you’re probably contractually obligated to attend the reunion shows and specials related to “The Bachelor.” However, there is something to be said for the lack of sensitivity displayed by Mesnick, who appeared to feel completely justified in his decision to go back on his final elimination.
It gets worse. No more than a commercial break after announcing he no longer wanted to be in a relationship with Melissa, breaking her heart, and accepting the engagement ring back, Molly appears on the show.
After hearing that Mesnick had broken up with fiancee Melissa, and how he wanted to give it a go with her, Molly gladly welcomes him back into her arms. All this without seeming to realize how badly he hurt Melissa (just seconds earlier) and how quickly he was ready to rebound reunite with someone else.
Television is all about ratings, and ABC is probably raking them in with the extended “After the Final Rose” specials, all of America interested in this controversial outcome. Especially because we all thought that single-dad Mesnick was a good guy who deserved this chance to find true love. After all, we did watch him get rejected by DeAnna Pappas in “The Bachorlette.” Ouch. And while I still believe that everyone deserves love, I also think that break ups should be considerate, private, and sensitive. This very public split was none of those things, and definitely worthy of a “Tool Academy” nomination.
Tune in to ABC tonight at 10 PM for part II of “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose.“