Tag Archives: The Bachelor

The Bachelor Australia Via the Eyes of a First Time Viewer.

The Bachelor Australia-Season 4-Episode1-6
“I love you, You love me, We’re a happy family” (c) Network Ten 2016

So I have to admit, I have never watched a single episode of The Bachelor Australia.  Like never ever.  None of the US versions when they aired here and none of the three previous seasons of our very own locally made series either.  It’s not like the show has never been on my radar…The whole Blake Garvey fiasco and “Dirty Street Pies” flooded my social media timelines when they were taking place but truth be told, I have never been that interested.

That was until however I began watching the very awesome UnReal (currently streaming on STAN) which offers a rather gloomy and depressing look at the goings on behind the scenes of a show very much like The Bachelor and it got me wondering how having watched a show like UnReal would affect how I would watch a show such as The Bachelor. And luck be it, a brand new season of The Bachelor began last night.

The Bachelor himself, Richie Strahan, an orphan from the first series of The Bachelorette, is stupidly handsome and utterly charming enough for anyone to ever remember Bachelorette Sam Frost deemed other men more worthy to marry than him.  Anyways, it seems as though much like myself watching for the very first time, he had no idea what was in store as leggy lady after leggy lady disembarked from their black limousine to be introduced to Richie.

The Bachelor Australia-2
In case we forget their names. (c) Network Ten 2016

It’s here I began to devise a drinking game to go with watching The Bachelor.

*Take a shot anytime Richie’s eyes dart somewhere south when talking to a potential match.

This goes along with the following…

*Take a shot anytime the camera zooms in on cleavage or side-boob.

*Take a shot anytime Eliza sings her self penned song – either to Richie, to the other women or to herself.

*Take a shot anytime a woman is seen clutching at her hip slit dress in an attempt to keep her vah-yayyay covered.

*Take a shot anytime the camera pans to Osher Gunsberg and you find yourself yelling “YOUR NAME IS ANDY G!”

*Take a shot anytime one of the girls rolls their eyes or offer up a killer resting bitch face.

*Take a shot anytime the ‘token brunette’ demands she’s different from the other girls here.

*Take a shot anytime Olena comes on screen and you begin to question your sexuality.

You get the drift but basically, anyone playing this game, i’m assuming should be hammered by about the 20 minute mark of each and every episode.

So this brings me back to UnReal.  Throughout this first episode, all I could think was “God save the poor soul tasked with handling Keira”, “Is Alex, Faith or Megan the ‘wifey’ this season?”, “Is Janey the unstable one?” and other such questions that make UnReal so darned perfect to watch.  As the first episode dragged on however, I actually stopped thinking about the UnReal version and what could be going on behind the scenes and found myself, much like Richie, drowning in what what going on in front of me.  This sort of tag team system that was taking place as each girl goes to spend one on one time with Richie while the others watch on offering ‘if looks could kill’ glances at each other all while hoping to be the lucky recipient of not only a red rose (that according to Russian import Sasha is quite yummo to nibble on) by the end of the night but the exclusive and awe inspiring white rose.

As a first time viewer, it’s all quite bizarre and funny to watch a group of women henpeck each other over the attention of a goofy yet handsome man that may or may not profess his love to one of them but not before romancing and pashing all the ones he likes.

It’s those reasons mentioned above though that also make me understand why it’s so delicious to watch and why it get’s everyone talking.

My hot tip – Olena, Faith and Megan for the final three!

The Bachelor Australia airs Wednesdays and Thursdays 7:30pm on Network Ten.

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UnReal Feels Very Real

Quinn (Constance Zimmer) tells it like it is.  Photo: James Dittiger/Lifetime
                       Quinn (Constance Zimmer) tells it like it is. Photo: James Dittiger/Lifetime

To put it bluntly, the second season of The Bachelor Australia was a complete catastrophe – well once the season had ended actually.  From “dirty street pies” to back-stabbing and enough tears to re-hydrate outback Australia, the season was actually well cast and well crafted but left ‘The Bachelor’ – Blake Garvey, walking out on his chosen woman Sam Frost, then igniting a relationship with a contestant booted off earlier in the season and finally being titled “the most hated man in Australia”.

Said Garvey in an interview with smh.com.au back in February, “What’s more likely, that I managed to somehow fool an army of producers, 31 women and continually kept fooling the most switched-on woman I’ve ever met, and her family, or was someone playing it up a bit?”

So was it?  Was it scripted, was it spur of the moment decisions……

Which brings me to a little/amazing drama by Lifetime/A&E Networks (and currently airing on Stan in Australia) titled UnReal. A ‘fictitious’ and viscous look at the workings behind the scenes on a bachelor-esque show titled ‘Everlasting’ where camera ready women vie for the heart of a good-looking wealthy man – all with the help of some underhanded and (probably) unethical advice from back-end crew led by executive producer Quinn King (Constance Zimmer)

Drama between the women is created, controlled and contorted by Quinn’s crew of hard working and cash inspired producers including the mentally-unstable-but-sorta-self-healing Rachel (Shiri Appleby) who returns to the new season of Everlasting after a severe mental breakdown at the high rated season one finale – created by the demands of her job mixed with the self loathsome growing inside her regarding how good she is at manipulating the women and drama on the show (she’s really good at her job).

An exclusive dinner with our prince charming leads to drama.  Photo: James Dittiger/Lifetime
An exclusive dinner with our prince charming leads to drama. Photo: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Rachel’s up-and-down emotional struggle is even more so visible when compared to Quinn who has virtually zero regard for any of the women and their mental well-being on the show – she’s all about what will being eyes to Everlasting, ensuring all the right strings are being pulled and that certain women (such as the villain or the MILF) are sent home at the right time, but she’s also dealing with personal issues surrounding a not-so-secret affair with Everlasting’s creator Chet (Craig Bierko) whom she’s waiting to start her life with, you know, once he leaves his current wife…..It’s actually quite amusing to watch Quinn be so emotionless when it comes to creating a show about finding true love when personally, she’s waiting for a marriage to dissolve to make herself happy.

All the focus however isn’t solely on Quinn and Rachel as we’re brought into the world of Everlasting and get to meet a handful of the women looking for love including the shy virgin Faith (Breeda Wool), battered single mother Mary (Ashley Scott) and nice-as-pie Anna (Johanna Braddy) who flit in and out of focus depending on just how visible Quinn wants them to be.

Of the leads, Constance Zimmer gives warmth to the stone cold Quinn we’re supposed to secretly hate.  She’s quick off the mark with insults and threats yet behind closed doors there is a woman wanting to be loved.  Imagine if you will a Miranda Priestly, but without the killer wardrobe.  Shiri Appleby’s Rachel is channeling some form of a 90’s disheveled Laura San Giacomo with her tousled brown hair, denim jeans and zip-up hoodie.  Rachel is clearly a woman torn between staying afloat financially at any cost vs feeling good about trying to get a good soundbite out of a distressed woman just booted off the show.

Of the four episodes I binged on Saturday, I can easily say, I’ve become quite taken with this show.  The love for this show that had been flooding my twitter and Facebook feed forced me to give it a shot plus when Constance Zimmer tells me “I won’t regret” watching….I kinda had to.

It’s perfect timing for Stan to begin airing UnReal with the third season of The Bachelor Australia just starting.  If you watch and are a fan of The Bachelor, give UnReal a shot and see how it affects how you watch the match-making show.  If, like me, you don’t watch The Bachelor, watch UnReal for Constance, Shiri and the fact, this show is pretty darned cool!

What’s Really the Message in Reality TV?

The Block Glasshouse Michael and Carlene remained scandal free.  Source: Provided
The Block Glasshouse Michael and Carlene remained scandal free. Source: Provided

Does reality television have a message for it’s viewers?  Is it “Be rewarded for your hard efforts” or “true talent will see you reach the top”?  What about something less positive like “lie, cheat, bitch and moan your way through your journey”.  With the recent dramas surrounding The Bachelor, The Block Glasshouse and Big Brother, that last message seems to ring more true.

It’s funny to think that just over 20 years ago, we got our first taste of reality television in the form of the classic Sylvania Waters.  It was touted as a ‘fly-on-the-wall look into the lives of Noeline Brown and her partner Laurie Donaher, their family and their lavish lifestyle in the Sydney suburb of Sylvania Waters.

The 12-part program was one of the first for Australian television and became one of the most talked about programs in the early 90’s.  It had its lovers and it had it’s haters, but either way, the show was an early indication of just how

Now jump forward 20-odd years where the genre that was considered taboo all those years ago has now become a staple on our screens. Everyday people (and sometimes celebrities) are starving themselves in isolate locations trying to avoid being voted off an island, they’re cooking for strangers, they’re living with strangers being filmed 24 hours a day, they’re dancing or singing or performing magic in-front of large audiences, they’re re-building and designing multi-million dollar apartments, they’re competing against strangers to win the heart of a person they don’t know…it seems there’s not much that hasn’t been covered by the genre – heck, there’s even people meeting and going on a date for the first time completely in the nude!

But it seems, especially of late, these programs that are saturating our networks are becoming more and more surrounded by scandals and outrageous antics both from those working behind the scenes and the contestants involved leaving one to wonder – just how positive is the message that reality television is trying to push?

Chris the 'EPA Inspector' on The Block Glasshouse
Chris the ‘EPA Inspector’ on The Block Glasshouse

One of the biggest on-going stories is from Network Ten’s The Bachelor, which ended two weeks ago is still getting people talking with ousted girls and the Bachelor himself (and Australia’s most despised man of the moment) Blake Garvey, offering up exclusive tell-all’s that don’t really seem to tell all…at all. Surely Network Ten must be loving the publicity for the show coming off the shock of Garvey ending his engagement to winner Sam Frost just weeks after proposing, but now, has the circus that has erupted after the finale tarnished just what the show was actually about?

For instance, season one’s bachelor Tim Robards walked away with a long-term relationship in his final pick of Anna.  It was a happy ending that also cemented the message behind the show.  Sure, most people really only tuned in to see a bunch of super spray tanned girls bitch and bicker about each other while trying to ‘win’ the heart of a man but now even that has been out-shone by Garvey and his post-show antics.

Big Brother contestants Cat and Lawson have lie-down kisses. Source: Provided

This current season of Big Brother is also skirting controversy, from housemate Gemma’s brutal evicition to last years winner, Tim Dormer re-entering the house to housemates Cat and Lawson starting a relationship all-the-while Lawson’s girlfriend Candice sits on and watches.  While Big Brother and controversy have never been to far apart from each other, this season seems to have more people questioning the antics of the housemates and those behind the scenes – who some feel, may be pushing for certain actions to occur.

Even The Block has come under scrutiny for falsifying events regarding a visit from the EPA to inspect a 12,000 litre fuel tank discovered buried under the site (which was heavily played up by the show) There was a fuel tank, it was a big mother of one, but no one from the EPA was ever actually there to inspect it.   The finale of the show also brought some murmurs of unhappy viewers when three of the five couples failed to make a decent amount of coin from their auctions – and while producers and contestants have little control over the final auction outcome, it was hardly a glowing reference for wannabe contestants on future series.

In the end, we are now at a point where we’ve come to expect schlock and drama from reality television as a way to hopefully boost fledgling ratings but is it worth it at the expense of respect and decency?  Here’s hoping shows like My Kitchen Rules’ drama and scandal stays around someone using store bought pastry for a desert dish!