We have some really exciting news -- yesterday we got a new TV, one of them fancy flat-screen ones with the HD's. We opted for the "Dynex" brand. At first I thought Dynex was a new prescription drug I should ask my doctor about ("side effects may include dry mouth, chronic persperation, and nymphomania") but it turns out they just make TV's. We spent a frustrating hour or so trying to get the screen resolution just right, trying to make sure our inputs were correct, comparing our zoom options, and checking to see that we weren't wasting our time on AV-2 when obviously we needed to be at HDMI-3. What are we, farmers?
We christened our new television, which is the culmination of decades of innovation and technological breakthroughs and is designed to capture every individual raindrop, blade of grass, and glittering city light caught on camera, on a fantastically bad episode of "The Bachelorette." I think the new TV heightened my own sense of shame and personal embarrassment on behalf of the participants, but otherwise it wasn't that different from normal, low-definition "Bachelorette."
What strikes me about this show is the weird cult mentality that seems to infect all the participants like a cold sore. All of these people -- the bartenders, pharmaceutical representatives, teachers, lawyers, and medical equipment salespeople -- are linked along a sordid chain of previous contestants, starting with the Ur-Bachelor, who lived 3,000 years ago and rejected one contestant who went on to become the first Bachelorette, who in turn sent one of her cast-offs to be the next Bachelor, and on and on in perpetuity. All of the participants reassure each other constantly that they are there for "the right reasons," such as serial making out and the opportunity to recreate pathetic school-girl fantasies of fairy tale romance. And all of them aspire to be one of the lucky few who get to drag their chipper Bachelor or Bachelorette (with their telegenically capped teeth, angular jawbones, and classy hair extensions) back to their home towns, where their poor innocent family members have to spend a day ogling the couple and dividing into weird little interview clusters to talk about how all of them are all there for the right reasons. It seems like a particularly exquisite hell to have to explain, justify and defend your make-believe-let's-pretend-TV relationship on camera to your grimacing parents, siblings, and in-laws.
All of this became much clearer thanks to the Dynex ("call your doctor if your retinal discoloration lasts longer than a week"). We have learned to fast forward through the actual date parts of the show, unless it looks like people are fighting. Bring on the conflict! Bring on the artifice! Bring on the ugly cry! These are the real right reasons to watch.
("...Please don't use Dynex if you're a werewolf.")