The Bastardry of The Bachelor

In the past few weeks, Australia has been genuinely shocked by a reality show.

Front page news, TV & radio interviews, modelling contracts; had it not been for all the wrong reasons (depending on your perspective) it would have been a PR�s dream.

When Blake Garvey proposed to Samantha Frost on The Bachelor reality TV show they were supposed to live happily ever after. They sailed off into the sunset on a holiday to South Africa.

We sighed at the romance of it all and turned to another program fully prepared to never think of them again.

But when �love rat� Garvey dumped Frost days after the cameras stopped rolling we were outraged. We agreed when she called him a �jackass� and a �joke�. You could call it the bastardry of The Bachelor.

One of my favourite movies is The Truman Show, where from birth Truman Burbank�s life is entirely concocted for a TV show, complete with product placement. He is the only person unaware of the role that he�s playing. The aftermath of The Bachelor represents the same blurring of the lines between fantasy and reality.

As far as I know, this is not a movie. This is playing with people�s lives for the benefit of ratings, a baying crowd if you will. It�s the Coliseum without the lions and the swords.

Part of our insatiably human demand for stimulation has always been the need for heroes and villains. Clearly, we�re not very discerning as to where and how we find them. Nor is there much concern as to who gets hurt along the way.


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Peter Applebaum

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