Arrghhhhhh… there are so many logical and logistical flaws with Bachelor in Paradise that I have a hard time switching off my brain and simply enjoying this show for the sludge it is. For example, if the purpose really was to return to the Bachelor franchise’s roots of “finding love”—which is what a producer told me was the reason they scrapped Bachelor Pad and instead created this—it would stand to reason that all contestants show up on Day 1, right? You know, to have the maximum amount of time with your person of interest and not allow for folks to do what Joe is attempting? The show is banking on another Marcus & Lacy® to dispel memories of drama and prove them right, which I’m sure will happen. But if you think about it, there would be more Marcus & Lacy®s if there wasn’t the constant wondering if something better is around the corner. Also, I have strong doubts that many of the contestants would participate if it weren’t for the attached paycheck. In most cases they’re paid per episode, so aside from the embarrassment factor of rejection (which I admit is not to be underestimated), there is obvious financial incentive to stick around longer. How is that any better than just coming out and making it about a cash prize? At least then it’d be out in the open and honest. And really, Bachelor Pad had just as many hookups and couplings! (I remain staunchly #BringBackBachelorPad, apparently.)
But I have a theory. The flaws of this show are not alone to blame here. It’s Princess Syndrome, which (unfortunately) seems to be alive and well. No, I’m not referring to Ashley I.‘s bizarre Disney princess obsession. I’m referring to the sense of entitlement to a fairytale and the lack of a steadfast sense of self-worth when the fairytale doesn’t come to pass. (It never does.) I couldn’t stand that, even though the women technically held the power this week, some of them could seem so powerless. WHO CARES if not one of eight or so men—who, remember, are also being paid to be there—came solely to meet you, has only had eyes for you, or sweeps you off your feet the way you always envisioned? Of course I realize there is a team of highly skilled puppeteers, waiting in the wings to pepper them with full drinks and pointed questions. But my beef with these ladies is their allowing themselves to be painted the Desperate Single Woman. That’s not the alternative to finding love! Their sense of self worth and ability to have a nice time in “paradise” shouldn’t hinge upon some stranger’s fickleness or ulterior motives.
Speaking of ulterior motives, it’d be impossible to discuss this episode without ripping Joe a new one. The side of me that still has faith in humanity would like to believe that watching himself last night was punishment enough. However, since Joe seems to be sociopathic in his lack of empathy and remorse, in addition to his apparent knack for manipulation and deception, I have my doubts. Happily for all, Joe’s list of villainous characteristics didn’t include intelligence or foresight, since he deemed it reasonable to share his diabolical inner-workings with his producer “friends” and the many cameras following his every move. What a cunning fox! Joe, I hope you enjoy the repercussions your idiocy has on your personal life. Your family is proud of you, I’m sure. In the off-chance Paradise worked out for you, I hope your lady friend is as horrified as the rest of America to discover your Jekyll/Hyde tendencies. And last but not least, enjoy the internet trolls. Unlike most people on these shows, you’ve duly earned them.
Bachelor in Paradise airs Sundays and Mondays on City.
For more from Sharleen Joynt, visit her blog, All the Pretty Pandas.
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