Friday, November 24, 2006

Bachelor Rome Episode 7-Will You Take Erica Rose (tv review)

Coming into Monday night I had figured that the over-under on Erica Rose's time on camera for The Women Tell All would be right around thirty nine minutes out of a total of 48 on air minutes. Rose's schtick as reality show villain-clown is simple. She's basically a modern take on the ugly stepsisters from Cinderella. If you ever see the Drew Barrymore movie Ever AFter, you'll recognize the template. The producers put a tiara on her and then tell her to make the rest of us feel good about not being too wealthy.

Bachelor gender politics are fascinating. The show celebrates the wealthy or "seemingly so" male. Andrew Firestone was an heir, Travis was a Doctor, Aaron was a banker, and Lorenzo's a prince. Even Ian, Meredith's beau, clearly came from money. The women on the show,whom America is supposed to love, are almost always made to appear middle class. The winning females on the show tend to be nurses, teachers, have deaf fathers, go to school (in one case law school), or be retired NBA cheerleaders. Being an actual doctor, lawyer, or a socialite is a near guarantee that you won't make the home visits because the show will expose you as neurotic, angry, entitled, or just plain weird.

Consider some of the women singled out for special embarrassment on past installments. There was Doctor Rotting Eggs, of course. There was the actual attorney Jessie from San Antonio who supposedly "creeped" out the virginal backup quarterback, Jesse Palmer, by touching him while they were sunbathing together. There was an older woman who claimed to run several business of her own who didn't make it past the first rose ceremony. This time it's Erica who kept trying to remind the Prince that only she came from a comparable station.

I noticed that both Jessie the frog-loving attorney and Doctor "it cost me fifteen thousand dollars in business to come on this show" refused to show up for the Women Tell All, the b-fest ( the "b" doesn't stand for "bachelorette")that precedes the final rose show. So what is it that made Erica Rose come back? Well, it might be that the plastic surgeon's daughter always had her eye less on the bachelor than the camera itself.

The point of the "Women Tell All" is to confirm your worst fears about college sororities. You hold a camera up to a pack of young women living under one roof and voila 48 minutes of televised embarrassment. This is, of course, part of the Fleiss formula. With the bachelor alone, they talk about "journeys", "the most romantic date of their life", and "perfect". Together on the group dates in front of the bachelor, they tell jokes and confess things to the camera. Without the civilizing influence of rose-enhanced testosterone, it's claws out in steel cage.

For the last few installments, the formula has included a "first impression" rose which means the show's women declare open season on the recipient. There was Trish the stalker, "everyone hates me because I'm so beautiful" Sarah, and Susan who only wanted to go to Hollywood. This time it was Lisa and the wedding gown. Why don't they just call it the "ritual sacrifice rose"?

As first-impression recipients go, the ladies were relatively gentle with Lisa only calling her a "reality show whore", "two-faced", etc. One first night casualty who happened to be already thirty then instructed Lisa to "go live her life" while Lisa protested meekly that there's nothing wrong with having a timetable and that she wasn't as crazy as she appeared on television.

In the meantime, I'm stuck with five hundred official "Lisa Blank Dayplanners" which I was going to sell on E-bay after Lorenzo offered her the final rose and instead of kissing him, she whipped out her datebook and crossed off the next item on her timetable then high-fived the camera crew. Fortunately, I did hedge by also buying three hundred and fifty complete four book sets of Ellen Fein and Sherri Schneider's The Rules- all personally autographed by Sadie.

The Women Tell All serves one other function, it gives Chris Harrison extended camera time. I sincerely believe that if they ever have an Emmy for best reality show host, it belongs to Chris. In some sixty seven rose ceremonies, he's found at least fifty nine different ways to say "This is your last rose." More significant, he's demonstrated a super-human capacity for keeping a straight face. Who can forget how he took Jesse Palmer asside after the quarterback passed a rose to the wrong lady? Installment after installment, Chris Harrison serves as a reliable reference point for "normal" in the face of the behavior altering mixture of alcohol, sex, and fame that drives the show.

Chris was his masterful deadpan hosting self as they reviewed Kim's drunken beach rant,Gina atually saying something, Agnese's underdog run to the home visits, and especially Lorenzo the Bland. Part of the art of Chris Harrison is that like the Butler narrator in Ishiguro's Remains of the Day
he is so restrained that the viewer must watch very carefully to see any signs that he actually likes or dislikes the bachelor or bachelorette whom he serves as intermediary. One could never imagine Chris interrupting Jami's "Pretty Woman" fantasy with "Why are you comparing yourself to a prostitute?"

Despite the gentleman's club antics in the first couple shows with the body shots, ladies in Princely boxers lounging on royal bed, and confessions about the strangest place you ever did it (all somehow involving Desiree), the producers have worked hard to position Lorenzo as the ultimate gentleman. I find myself wondering what the ever inscrutable Chris Harrison thinks of the fact that Prince Lorenzo only seems interested in finding someone who fits his life rather than the other way around. He takes Sadie flying and scuba diving because they're the things he loves to do. His big moment with Jennifer comes when she shows a willingness to move to New York for him despite the fact that he went to college in her native Florida. Finally, it doesn't even seem to dawn on him that an Italian prince who finds an Italian woman might consider staying in Italy a while. He might say the right things, but...

Combine that with this guy's notion of a "great conversation" which almost always consists of his being judgmental whether it's Jami's parents' divorce, Lisa's less than perfect romantic history, and Jeanette's rather classy reluctance to be demanding after winning the chariot race in Ben Hur. This is, after all, a guy who's wittiest moment was a joke about cow penises (if you were wondering, cows are female). Throw in a couple glimpses of his car door slam with Lisa and his dismissal of Erica and I have this funny feeling that Erica has been right all along. Lorenzo is just pretending. He's really just acting like Prince Charming while having the heart of Prince Charles, the man who had the fairtyale wedding on worldwide tv only to prefer fox hunting and his affair with a mistress from the inner-circle.

When he told Erica, "We might have money in common but not values" it might have made for good tv, but it rang strangely harsh. A genuinely romantic soul might publicly dis someone who had hurt others or dishonored herself, but he would never do it to someone who'd simply been a fool. If you ask me, the only real love match that's been made on this installment is between Reality Tv's fifteen minutes of fame and Erica Rose.

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other Chancelucky reviews



At 11/24/2006 04:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, CL, such hard words about my guy Prince Charles who had the decency to continue his devotion to a plain-looking adult after being forced by The Weight of History to marry some fluffhead anorexic twit in whom the normanrockwell-sodden world invested some piffling version of romance. And he wisely digs good architecture and organic farming. I'm a fan.

At 11/24/2006 05:03:00 PM, Blogger benny06 said...

This one is beyond me, CL. However, it's so prosaic that I cannot deny what you say, as you are far better at writing than I. As for me, I've been watching Kevin Kline re-runs on DVD of late, such as "De-Lovely" and "Dave" as I was a bit under the weather for a "spell" as they say in West Texas. I enjoy Kevin Kline's acting.

I saw the movie "Bobby" yesterday. Quick review on my blog.

Hope you had a nice T-giving. Benny

At 11/24/2006 05:23:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I dunno Mr. Pogblog....I do think the private Prince Charles is probably quite engaging and while I make Lady Camilla jokes from time to time I imagine they really are "friends", something he didn't appear to be with his first wife. I would however say that he didn't turn out to be the fairy tale romantic prince that long ago wedding promised.

I hope you're feeling better soon. I actually have a partial review of "De Lovely" somewhere back in the archives. Just use the search feature at the top of the web page. It's about the "meta-musical" and the evolution of the movie musical.
I thought it was genuinely interesting to look at Cole Porter's "real" life and essentially reinvest his songs with new shades of meaning, but I didn't think the movie worked as well as it should have.

I didn't like Dave as much as I might have because I felt it was sort of a rip off of Being There.

I'm looking forward to "Bobby".

It's probably hard to follow Bachelor recaps if you don't watch the show. :}

At 11/25/2006 12:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Prince Charles ain't Clive Owen -- but then who is? Since Cary Grant, Clive is the only silver screen gent who isn't just an adolescent who got old (DeCapprio, Cruise, Damon et al].

There is the treasured Robby Coltrane, but he isn't the type that can cross the Atlantic very easily.

At 11/25/2006 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Perhaps if he's in more movies like the one with Jennifer Anniston, Clive will have to try to revive his career by appearing as the Bachelor.

Mrs. Chancelucky seems to like Jeremy Northam (Happy Texas) who I only know as an adult actor. Also Viggo Mortensen.

At 11/25/2006 06:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOW could I forget Viggo! Viggo rules.

See Beyond Borders -- Clive, Angelina, a rousing tale and good works all together and NO cg whatever except for one wisp of smoke in a wide view of a forest. Now that's something. Mrs CL will love this movie. It is not, however, a chick flick. A grown-up movie.

I just saw Land of the Blind with Ralph Fiennes (also good) & liked it a lot.

At 8/11/2009 01:08:00 AM, Blogger I'm Back! said...

Its really an nice post.Rome TV Show is related to history. Every thing related to the show is amazing. If you want to Watch Rome Episodes then go to the link and get this historical show for free...

At 1/20/2010 01:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog.I love this show.I download Rome episodes from this link.I never get bored of this show.


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