It must be tough being Jesse Palmer, the newest incarnation of ABC’s inexplicable reality TV hit, The Bachelor.

Jesse, a third-stringer QB for the New York Giants of the NFL and an Ottawa native, is apparently all about depth and integrity in his ladies.

His final two choices came down to two exceptionally attractive blondes, both of whom are virtually indistinguishable from each other. Sure, they’re both well-healed young women, flattering Jesse with lots of appreciation for his good looks, athletic prowess and the fact he’s arguably the biggest boy in a man’s body that’s ever graced the TV screens of North America.

I watched this one final episode of The Bachelor last night. I saw Jesse do his manly duty and propose to this girl named Jessica, and it was a sweet, predictable ditty of a marriage proposal (just wait, the divorce lawyers are already manning the torpedos).

Watching The Bachelor is a lot like pushing a button and being sent back to Middle America, circa 1955 – all the conventions of a sometimes-dignified institution in its sexless, anti-feminist glory. It’s what “love” and “marriage” should be all about to those who appreciate their partners without messy, dirty details, or even a modicum of reality (ah, the irony is priceless).

The most surprising part of The Bachelor (and, to a lesser extent, The Bachelorette)is not so much the fact every woman looks essentially the same (slim, gorgeous, and generic to a fault)but how immediate their infatuation is for these Bachelors. Are these women that desperate for a good man? Are these men cocky enough to believe that these women genuinely believe they’re in love and not playing it up for the camera? Emotional pornography, thy name is The Bachelor.

It’s all a big come on, The Bachelor as an institution. Keep waiting – the main U.S. networks can only dream of the day when they skip the “courtship” part and go straight to the wedding night.

Now that’s going to have mad ratings.


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