Photo Credit: Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images
On first glance, The Bachelorette seems fairly appropriate for kids, especially tweenish girls looking for a real-life fairy tale to follow. The shows certainly plays the part, with beautiful dresses and stately tuxes, soft lights and candles, reverent formalities, romantic settings, twinkling eyes and unlimited recreational budgets. For the most part, these are the same reasons my 7-year-old loves princess movies.
Even the hometown trips -- like the one aired this week in "Season Ali" -- push the script: Everyone's happy, everyone hugs, someone always knows how to cook, and everyone loves each other intensely.
But there's a reason fantasy and reality, like politics and ethics, are inherently opposed concepts. Assess how the Jake-Vienna split hurts the franchise however you like, but there's no greater demolition ball to the Bachelor/Bachelorette fantasy than the upcoming ABC bachelor-spinoff Bachelor Pad, in which losing contestants from past shows vie not for true love, but $250,000. With this, Oz's curtain is finally thrown back with gusto, as if it was ever there at all. All that stands between The Bachelor and Rock of Love franchises is a lot of booze and a lower morality threshold.
During this week's Bachelorette hometown visit, a child relative of contestant Kirk gives her blessings for his hoped-for engagement to Ali, who's weirdly partial to Frank, the goofy noncommittal guy from Chicago. Alas, Kirk was booted from the final four in the same show, and now has to explain to this little girl why he never got to pop the question. He might say it just wasn't meant to be. Closer to the truth: He was a dull guy with a weird taxidermist dad. But the most accurate answer of all: "Because this is TV, honey."
Point: Don't get your own kid hooked unless you're also prepared to pop her real life vs. fantasy bubble.
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