Though I’m really hesitant to admit it and I’ll probably deny it if anyone asks me in the future, last night I watched the first episode of the new ABC “reality dating” show, The Proposal. How soul-searingly bad was The Proposal? It was so bad that I am now convinced that not only is our current world about to end but also whatever world comes along to replace it is probably doomed as well.
Why Was I Watching It?
Because I’m an idiot.
What Was It About?
If you’ve ever watched The Bachelor, you know that it’s pretty much a tradition for the women (and the men, in the case of The Bachelorette) to announce that they can see themselves marrying the Bachelor after only knowing him for three days. Of course, the audience at home always rolls their eyes when they say that. We know they’ve probably been pressured to say that by the show’s producers, just like we know that there’s little chance that anyone on the show’s actually going to end up getting married to anyone else on the show. It’s a fantasy and it’s kinda fun to get lost in it.
Well, The Proposal is basically The Bachelor on cheap steroids. Now, instead of taking a whole three days to fall in love, The Proposal suggests that it can be done in an hour! Woo hoo!
Here’s how last night’s show worked. A man named Mike was sitting in a pod, hidden from the view of the audience. Host Jesse Palmer assured us that Mike was a good guy and a police officer who deserved a good wife. We were also told that, as the result of getting hit by a drunk driver, Mike lost part of his right leg but he was still an athlete who loved to go on hikes. The message was clear: “If you think what’s happening is totally regressive and problematic, then you’re a terrible person who is saying that a one-legged first responder doesn’t deserve a chance at happiness.”
Ten heartbreakingly insecure women were brought out on stage. While wearing swimsuits, each one made a pitch to Mike (who, keep in mind, was hidden from view the whole time). Mike proceeded to cut five girls, all of whom were promptly ordered to get off the stage. Mike then asked the five remaining girls a question. Based on their answers, two girls were cut and three were left on stage.
From the beginning, it was obvious that the final three were going to be Jessica, Monica, and Kendal. Jessica and Monica were the most attractive while Kendal was the only one who had a real job. In fact, Kendal was a neuropsychologist who spoke movingly about how happy it made her to help stroke victims. Given Mike’s own stated to desire to want to inspire people and create something good from his accident, Kendal seemed like the perfect choice…
Until, Mike’s best friend, Andrew, asked some questions! Andrew wanted to know if the women were interested in having children. Kendal said that she didn’t want to have children. The audience gasped in horror and Kendal got this panicked look on her face. Oh my God, I’ve missed out on my chance to get proposed to by a man I’ve never seen before because I was honest about not wanting to have children!
Mike announced that the final two would be Monica and Jessica. Sorry, Kendal! I guess you should have lied until you got that ring!
Once Kendal was gone, the pod opened and Mike emerged. Everyone breathed a sign of relief as Mike turned out to be a generically handsome guy who basically looked like a cop. (He even sported the shaved head look that is oddly popular among police officers.) At this point, I was sure that Monica and Jessica would get a chance to ask a question but no. That’s not the way The Proposal works. The fact that Mike looked like he might be distantly related to Wentworth Miller was good enough. There was no need to know how he voted or if he was religious or if he drank or anything else. Instead, Moncia and Jessica were sent backstage to work on their final plea and change into a nicer outfit.
After a commercial break, both Jessica and Monica returned and made their final pleas but it didn’t really matter what they had to say. Mike was staring at Monica even while Jessica was talking. Mike announced that he had been smitten with Monica from the first time he saw her an hour ago. He got down on his one knee and proposed to her. She said yes. While Jessica silently headed backstage, Monica and Mike shared their first kiss.
“You’re a wonderful kisser,” she told her bald pod person, before adding, “Just wait until later!”
Actually, let’s give credit where credit is due. The off-stage announcer was properly snarky as each women was introduced. The tone basically said, “Yeah, I can’t believe this is actually happening, either.”
Plus, I had a lot of fun live tweeting the event! My anxiety was acting up something awful all day yesterday but making fun of The Proposal on twitter helped me calm down.
What Did Not Work
Every single moment of this show was icky and regressive. Imagine The Bachelor without any of The Bachelor‘s goofy charm and you’ve got The Proposal.
“OH MY GOD! Just like me!” Moments
None. Absolutely none. Well, okay — I did relate to the women’s obvious terror when, at the beginning of the show, they were forced to walk down a steep staircase in high heels. I’m amazed that everyone made it down safely.
The world is doomed.
Also, I’ll apparently watch anything. What’s really sad is I know I’m probably going to watch next week’s episode, too.