Monday night, 10:16 pm. I'm still coming down from this week's episode of 24. The Wife is with me, the remote firmly gripped in her hand. I prepare myself for the inevitable episode of Law & Order: SVU which will surely flash onto the screen at any minute. It's a favorite of hers, and since it's on at all hours of the day and night, it's become the "default" show to watch when there's nothing else on. Thank you very much, USA Network.
No, Wife throws me a curve. Sitting on the floor, looking over the screen of my laptop, a sense of horror grips me as I realize what's on the TV.
The Bachelor in Paris.
Me: Come on, you've got to be kidding me!
Me: Don't tell me you've started watching this?
Wife: I just want to see who gets sent home this week.
The Bachelor is akin to a rip in the space/time continuum of quality television; an intellectual black hole who's gravitational pull is so strong nothing can escape it, not even the light of reason.
If reality tv is a sin, then this show is bonafide blasphemy.
I can actually feel myself geting stupider the longer the show is on. I quickly pull up The American Thinker site, an intelligence booster shot if ever there was one. It's fine, I tell myself, I just won't pay any attention.
I'm halfway through the first post when I hear one of the women tearfully confess that The Bachelor has to pick her since, by virtue of having known him for four weeks, only she can truly know what's best for him.
Me: Oh, give me a break! Quiet, you fool! Don't get sucked in!
I'm perusing some news sites now, catching up on the days events, when I hear The Bachelor conversing with one of the women's parents about the depths of his feelings for their daughter. "I'm completely real" he announces. "There's nothing scripted about me!"
Me: Please! This show is the epitome of scripted! Who believes any of this?!? Stay strong, man, stay strong! DON'T get sucked in!"
Looking at some movie sites now, when I hear the woman and her mother arguing about taking things slooooooow. Woman's just gotten out of a longterm relationship, you see, and Mom thinks her daughter is not ready to jump back into anything. "My feelings for him are REAL!" Woman proclaims with all the passion summer stock-honed acting skills can muster.
Wife: God, her mom's a bitch! She's worse than my mother!
Me: Come on, that's not her mother! She's an ACTOR! This whole thing is fake as hell. You're losing it, man!
I'm ready to shut down the laptop for the night when suddenly, the level of suckitude on the tv screen reaches critical mass.
The Rose Ceremony.
It's like the Thunderdome of the reality tv world, except that here four women enter, one woman leave, and the host is no where near as cool as Aunty Entity. Three of the women gleefully take a rose, a thorny guarantee that their fifteen minutes of fame will continue. The loser gets the bum's rush out the door, tearfully lamenting the loss of true love, but taking solace in the fact that she'll probably make it onto the reunion episode.
I can't hold it in any longer. I begin to hold forth on the idiocy that is reality tv, and how it spells the end of western civilization. And as I do, I realize that I have in fact, despite my best intentions, been sucked in.
Game over man. Game over.