Posted at 1:00 PM Mar 03, 2009By Sharon Steel
Last night's finale of The Bachelor was a truly horrifying spectacle. As I sat watching it I had the distinct sense that the current season has actually turned out to be more twisted than any other reality-TV vehicle this year so far, which is saying a great deal about MTV's shifted focus. (Artistic endeavors and soul-searching have replaced boozing and sexing on The Real World, for the moment.) The most recent Bachelor, Jason Mesnick, managed to damn his longstanding reputation as the Single Dad Prince Charming in less time than it takes to run out for more M&Ms during the commercial break.
Jason ended his search for love by proposing to Melissa, a cute, perky sales rep who was cool with giving up her life in Dallas to move to Seattle, and looked as if she'd be content to stare at him gushily for hours a day when she wasn't helping him take care of his son, Ty. It was saccharine-sweet, there was a ginormous sparkly ring, declarations were exchanged. Normal, typical, overblown Bachelor fare! Fast forward to the After the Final Rose ceremony, which aired immediately after the finale. Sad-eyed Jason dully tells Mr. Host Man Chris that things have changed since the end of the show. The chemistry between him and Melissa is different! (Imagine that, without anyone planning your dates and no champagne or roses available on demand.) Mesnick concludes that he and Melissa aren't right for each other, and he's prepared to break up with her. On national television.
Oh, but that's not all! Mesnick admits he's still in love with his second choice, Molly, who he dumped back in New Zealand. He was hoping to win her back tonight, as soon as he's gotten rid of his fiancé. Follow? Yeah. Gag on that for a second -- it's like trying to pull a roommate-switch in front of millions of people.
An upstanding guy would have ended things with Melissa privately, and maybe, MAYBE attempted to reconcile with The Other Woman a few generous weeks or months down the line, after the cameras have all been tucked safely away. Not Jason. It's true he had to appear on the After the Final Rose show, of course, being contractually obligated. But! Did he have to break up with Melissa on camera and then, a mere five minutes later, ask Molly to take him back? (Which she did! You should have run far away, pretty lady!) I think not. And that's where the buffoonery really takes on a whole new level of suck.
America is kinda maybe definitely judging you, Jason. Discuss.