Tag Archives: ABC

"The Bachelor": The Formulaic Falsification of Forever

-Emily Fraysse

The visions of a Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty love story are seen as pipe dreams to young women. Those visions are reserved purely for the fairy tales they grew up reading. This changed in 2002 when The Bachelor debuted on ABC. The show began by generating perfected, artificial settings where regular, very attractive single women get the opportunity to “win” their prince charming. Every episode strives to reassure the viewers that the process of cocktail parties, single and group dates, and eliminations work to single out the woman that fits the bachelor’s needs and desires, and, ultimately, to fall hopelessly in love. The reality television show illustrates what this “true love” looks like—or, what it should look like. Once the bachelor picks the last girl in the season finale, he is supposed to propose to her (although they are allowed to refrain if they don’t feel ready).

To make a relationship last on a round-robin-dating show such as The Bachelor, the women have to do two things in order to “win” him. They must be able to fully immerse themselves in the man whom they have never spoken with before, and they must do so incredibly fast. They must be willing to show affection toward him physically, either during their one-on-one time or later on in the show if they get offered to spend the night with him in the Fantasy Suite. The same goes for the bachelor, as he is also required to show a certain amount of physicality towards to the women. On season 14, Jake Pavelka was seen as a questionable bachelor candidate in the eyes of Entertainment Weekly when they wondered if “Jake’s crushingly boring style of courtship” would even be worth watching. Yet, later in that season, Corrie Adamson, a 23-year-old virgin, explained to Jake that she was saving herself for marriage. Jake replied with, “I completely respect where you’re coming from, and that’s not an issue for me” just before he sent her sobbing to the limo back to her home in Alabama. The realm that the show creates has twisted what is considered “normal” in a typical, long-lasting relationship.

If a candidate does not perform as expected, they may give off the vibe that they are just not that into him or that they are holding back. During the six weeks that the women and the bachelor have together, they do not have any other choice but to show that they are falling in love in order to keep him in the end. For the women who are more hesitant to show their true feelings usually end up getting eliminated. By giving the bachelor constant, over-the-top affection and attention,  they have a better chance of “winning” him.

For the women on the show, it is all about attempting to stand out among the sea of love-hungry females by dramatizing and aggrandizing their proclaimed love for the bachelor. By placing the contestants in various environments, situations, and challenges, they attempt to stimulate a “real-life” effect, except most people don’t fly to their dates in a helicopter or constantly go to extravagant locations.

To the younger eyes, this show can seem very inappropriate and unrealistic. Not too long into the show, the contestants still standing are offered the Fantasy Suite date, which is not exactly a “normal date.” This is telling society that although he is dating multiple women at one time, this is what is considered normal and almost mandatory to do if you are dating someone whom you would like to spend the rest of your life with. In order to capture a man’s heart, the women must perform an intimate act, which seals the deal and reinstates their affection for him. The show enforces bizarre claims of sincerity and a belief in love.

For the young women watching the show, the program could send mixed signals and ideals about what is considered appropriate, normal, and morally right in a relationship. The show tells the audience that it is “okay” and “normal” to sleep with your escort of the evening, that no holds are barred, and that it is okay to put aside your morals to snatch up the man and do what is best for a show dependent on high ratings. Although it is a new generation of thinking when it comes to dating, relationships and marriage, it does not mean that basic morals are thrown out the window. The “Prince Charming” fantasy lives on in The Bachelor, which oozes magical matchmaking powers, “true,” “real” romances, and horseback rides on the beach into the setting sun. The show is not meant to be taken seriously and is in no way a model for the public’s own conduct.

Image from http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/the-bachelor

If You Like Country Music, You’ll Love Nashville

-Whitney Menefee

ABC’s newest musical television series, Nashville, is full of romance, good country music, infidelity, and glamor, enthralling audiences everywhere. The show takes place in Nashville, Tennessee, the city known best for its contribution to country music. One of the most entertaining aspects about the show is that it gives viewers a deeper look into what the culture of Nashville is all about.

The main characters in Nashville are Rayna James (Connie Britton), Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), and Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen), who are all trying to make it big as country music stars. The majority of the storyline follows Rayna James, the Faith Hill and older side of county music, and Juliette Barnes, the Taylor Swift and pop side of country music. The drama aspect of the show is revealed through the rivalry between the two country stars and the irony that sets in (spoiler alert!) when both characters are forced to tour together in order to remain successful.

One of the more appealing things about the show is that most of the scenes are filmed in famous cafes and locations throughout Nashville. For example, a few of the scenes are shot in The Bluebird Café, a famous music club known for having country music stars perform small live sets for its patrons. Many viewers, myself included, love Nashville for its music, which has made the show’s soundtrack become a hit on iTunes. One song from the soundtrack, Panettiere’s Telescope, has become so popular that it is playing nationally on country radio stations.

The show’s appealing scenery and country culture make any viewer want to visit Nashville and experience the city for themselves. If you’re not a current viewer of Nashville, no problem— the show has aired a total of eight episodes with the season finale aired on Wednesday, December 5th, so it’s the perfect time to start watching the show!

Image from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2281375/

Party Like it's 1990!

-Drew Dakessian

I am a child of the ’90s, and I am proud. I grew up in a decade when morality still meant something, and music that you could dance to was not automatically deemed uncool. Fortunately, in recent years my nostalgia for the culture of the ’90s has found an outlet.

If you had a pulse in 1997, you probably are still trying (and failing) to get the song “Barbie Girl” out of your head. For that, you can thank the Danish bubblegum/dance pop group Aqua. With 11 singles (including three you might actually have heard before), the dulcet tones of Aqua were with me through countless Harry Potter books and childhood dance parties.

In 2010, Aqua released a greatest hits compilation featuring three new singles, which was followed up last year by a new full-length release available as an import to us United States fans (assuming I’m not the only one). You can sit on your high horse and extol the political resonance of Lady gaga, or you can shake what your mama gave you and celebrate the ethereal beauty of life. If you prefer the latter, go with Aqua.

Without a doubt, one of the most seminal TV show of the 1990s was Boy Meets World, which ran on ABC from 1993 to 2000. Like many other children of the ‘90s, I was captivated by the story of Cory “Hey, I’m average” Matthews, Shawn, his sensitive best friend from the wrong side of the tracks, Topanga, his beautiful and brilliant girlfriend, his increasingly clueless yet profound brother Eric, and his ever-sagacious teacher/next-door neighbor Mr. Feeny. The show gave us such timeless pearls of wisdom as “Life’s tough, get a helmet,” and “Tears are the thank-you-notes of the soul.” It was dramatic; it was hilarious.

Recently, ABC Family has obtained the rights to Boy Meets World, airing it in 2.5-hour mini marathons most weekday mornings beginning at 7 a.m. Do yourself a favor: join me in watching them and picking up on the sexual innuendo and subtle class commentary that went right over my curly head way back at the turn of the 21st century.

The ’90s would have been nothing without the trans media marvel Pokemon. The TV show, movies, and trading card game were all well and good, but the true highlight of the Pokemon franchise was its original product, a series of Game Boy games. I can think of few things more thrilling in 1999 than setting out to defeat all eight Pokemon gym leaders while attempting to capture and train all 151 (and then 251 and then 386 and then 493) Pokemon. It was a hero’s quest set to lo-fi synth music (think early Rilo Kiley, but repetitive). We are all grown up now, but when our love interests fail to call, or we fail midterms for no apparent reason, wouldn’t it be nice to escape into the world of Pokemon, where we can save the game before an important life event, and go back and restart if things don’t work out the way we wanted?

If your answer is a resounding ‘yes,’ I have good news: you don’t have to wait until the next time you return to your childhood home to dig up your old, scratched Game Boy from under your bed (don’t try to pretend you ever actually parted with it). Every single Pokemon game has been uploaded in its original, authentic format to Playr.org, where I and innumerable other children of the ’90s with bad cases of arrested development can indulge our desire to regress. And you know what? I’m not even embarrassed. After all, there are few things more deliciously nihilistic than getting two Dittos to battle each other.

Some of the Fall’s Newest and most Exciting TV Shows

-Laura Lundberg

I’m a huge fan of TV, and with many of my favorite shows at their season’s (or series) end, I find that the television has become a wasteland of reruns and filler shows. With only a few TV shows to look forward to this summer, I have found myself looking to the new fall line-up and I already cannot wait for September.

While I have never been able to find many of the trailers for new TV shows, this year I made it my job to scour the internet and find out which freshman TV shows I looked forward to – and which I hope would quickly crash and burn. So, in order to get you through until September, I’ve chosen five different TV shows that I’m excited for, and why you should be too.

Revolution

Revolution, which will be airing on NBC Monday nights at 10 pm, is one of the top new TV shows that I’m dying to see. J.J Abrams’ newest sci-fi drama is environmentally conscious, intriguing, dramatic, Lost-esque, and full of adventure – and all of this I got from just a four minute trailer. In this show, Abrams posed the question of: “What would the world do and look like if we didn’t have electricity?” and it begins with a mysterious worldwide event that leads to all electrical devices shutting down – never to turn on again. The trailer then flash-forwards to fifteen years later, where the world as we know it has fallen, and a new post-apocalyptic world has risen. The trailer then lays out some of the main characters – a girl named Charlie and her brother, mother and father. Her father seems to know something about why the electricity vanished – but I’m sure it’s going to take many seasons to figure out what that secret is. Hopefully this TV show will last many seasons!

The New Normal

Another NBC show that will be airing on Tuesdays at 9:30 pm, this series follows the life of one woman who has put her dreams on hold in order to raise her daughter. A single mom who begins to feel like she’s drifting away from herself and the world, she vows to make her dream come true however she can. In order to earn money to make those dreams happen, she is enlisted by a gay couple who are looking to start a family, to be their surrogate. A comedy, this TV show looks to be heartwarming, creative, and lots of fun.

666 Park Avenue

A TV show that will be airing on ABC on Sundays at 10 pm, the trailer is filled mostly with mystery. It revolves around an apartment building on the Upper East Side of New York that is more than what it seems. Terry O’Quinn (Locke from “Lost”) plays one of the building’s owners that welcomes a new, young couple into the building to be the Resident Managers. However, he seems to also have a different job, one that is full of the weird and spooky. Still, the posh environment attracts this young couple and they believe the job is perfectly fine and are unaware of the paranormal activity that is centered around the building. Intriguing and mysterious, this trailer seems to mimic what it says about its TV show: “Don’t let the amenities fool you”

Elementary

That’s right! CBS is jumping on the Sherlock Holmes bandwagon with its new series, Elementary. While the premiere date looks to be unknown at this moment, the behind the scenes trailer alludes to much of what the series will be about, and it’s sure to be different! This time, Sherlock Holmes is from New York, set in a modern-day era (much like BBC’s Sherlock), and the biggest twist is that there isn’t a Dr. John Watson. Now, there’s a Dr. Joan Watson. This seems to be the biggest twist that the creators of Elementary have decided to go with, and who to play a better female Watson than Lucy Liu. Thrilling and seeming to be full of twists and turns just like any other Sherlock Holmes adaptation, CBS hopes to succeed in making its mark on everything Sherlock Holmes.

The Goodwin Games

From the creators of How I Met Your Mother, the Goodwin Games seems to be fun for the whole family. A comedy that will be airing on Fox this fall, the TV show centers around a father who dies suddenly and leaves his entire fortune to his three estranged children, with just one catch: They have to play a game in order to find out who wins the entire fortune. What’s even worse is that all of the questions are about the memories that the kids had growing up and all about them. While the trailer does a much better job of explaining the characters as well as the situations that they’re all in, I’m more excited for how everything is going to turn out, and which child (if any) will emerge victorious.