Big Brother – yes! The Bachelorette – no.

I’ll be honest: my foray into reality tv is a recent one. Before last year, the closest I got was the Amazing Race which, knowing what I know now, is relative child’s play in comparison to what’s out there.

Sure, I’d seen a few other shows over the years. I used a seemingly endless Married at First Sight marathon to get me through three weeks in a very small town in Newfoundland and I am a sucker for what I call hotel tv – shows like 90 Day Fiance or Married By Mom and Dad. It seems that the reality tv world is positively obsessed with love and marriage. That is probably the most potent recipe for disaster around, but I don’t mind pulling up a front row seat for it – or so I’ve learned.

bachelor/bachelorette/paradise

It started with Bachelor in Paradise. Have you seen it? It’s RIDICULOUS. A friend of mine told me that and I bit. It got to be fun to talk about the absurdity and I probably stuck around longer just for that. After the story about Corrine and DeMario came out and was brushed under the rug in the past few weeks, I won’t watch it again. I just can’t.

Next up, I tried The Bachelor. It mostly went well. It was entertaining and made for good water cooler talk. I also liked Nick Viall a lot so that kept me hooked, but if I’m honest, it never felt quite right. Nick actually made me really sad and that endeared him to me, but I could never really get over it. After being a contestant on The Bachelorette twice before, making it to the final both times and not being chosen (winning?) he was a little gunshy when it came to relationships. I always felt really aware of his anguish and the bigger picture and how all this weird pageantry around FALLING IN LOVE! was feeding it. I mean, who wouldn’t be seriously messed up if they’d been trained to first of all, believe that being romantically partnered up is that important and second, failing multiple times to win (??) at it. That poor guy. (All those poor women, too.)

I watched it right to the bitter end and I was so sad when he chose who he did. (I blame the aforementioned messed up approach to romantic love… Raven would have been a way better choice!)

When The Bachelorette started up last month, I was on board. We stayed up to watch the first episode in full and made the same WHABOOOM jokes as were being made in households all over the continent. As the weeks wore on, my uneasy feelings continued to grow and I actually quit watching. I mostly thought it was related to me being equally bored and frustrated by Rachel. I mean, she is SO BORING and she continues to make terrible judgments on the dudes competing for her affections and gets way too involved in the drama. Sure, neither of those things helped, but I finally put my finger on the real problem last week: I don’t like the showcasing that she does with the guys. Whenever she gets out on a group date, she makes them take off their shirts and dance or perform some other kind of provocative act. I’m no prude, but it just didn’t sit well with me. The only Bachelor I know never made the girls dance for him or take their clothes off and I wouldn’t have appreciated it if he had.

The bonus I discovered by ending my Bachelorette consumption is that it is WAY more fun to have my work friends fill me in on (and act out!) everything that happens each week.

Edited to add that I’m pulling for Peter, but if she doesn’t take Peter, I hope she takes Dean.

big brother

My friend Yvonne would be one of those people who proclaims herself a superfan in her introduction video. After years of reading her weird summer BB tweets, I decided to give the show a try. Turns out, it’s a little more interesting than I’d thought and way more challenging. At first, it comes off as a combination of catty and shallow,  but there is some Grade A manipulation going on. All. Summer. Long.

I have to hand it to Da’Vonne for saving last season for me. Towards the end of the season, things started to get really tense in the house. There was ganging up, there was bullying, the ugly sides of humanity showed their faces. I’m really sensitive to that kind of behaviour and it makes me very uncomfortable. I hung in there after my favourite contestant (Paulie) was eliminated because I wanted to see how it ended. When it came down to two: Nicole and Paul, Da’Vonne had the deciding vote. It could easily have become a popularity contest, but instead of voting for who she liked the most, she voted for the person she thought had played the best game. That restored my faith in the process and got me watching again this season.

The other day, Yvonne posted her Big Brother 19 preview on her blog and I thought it would be fun to do my own. Here’s hers with updates on recent events. (Beware of spoilers if you’re not caught up!) And note that she made her picks before the season premiere. I had the benefit of watching three episodes (and one elimination/one exit) before making mine. And, if it’s any indication, my favourite player from the outset was THE FIRST ONE TO BE ELIMINATED.

Yvonne’s BB19 predictions

  1. Christmas
  2. Paul
  3. Mark
  4. Megan
  5. Cameron
  6. Elena
  7. Matthew
  8. Jessica
  9. Dominique
  10. Ramses
  11. Kevin
  12. Raven
  13. Cody
  14. Alex
  15. Jillian
  16. Josh
  17. Jason

my bb19 predictions

  1. Mark
  2. Elena
  3. Christmas
  4. Paul
  5. Alex
  6. Matthew
  7. Jessica
  8. Kevin
  9. Raven
  10. Cody
  11. Dominique
  12. Josh
  13. Ramses
  14. Jason
  15. Jillian

Which reality tv series are you a sucker for? Do you love or hate The Bachelor franchise? Have you ever watched Big Brother?

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