The awkward small talk, the carefully made up façades, the dodging of any and every controversial question – the delights of dating and romance are a reality TV audiences’ current delicacy of choice. Instead of being swept off of our feet ourselves we sit perched on the couch with a takeaway meal for one ready to watch the exploits of someone’s quest for love laid bare. Now where’s the heart in that?
Australian television’s first taste of romance was the charming Farmer Wants A Wife, a show that delivered a bevy of beautiful women to the outback for the location-challenged men. You see Tinder just isn’t the same experience when you’re the only human within 200km. It was horrifically kitsch, the women were trotted out like show horses and shown the wonders of farm life. Awfully enough, often the show’s producers hadn’t vetted the women to ensure they would even consider moving rurally to be with their potential outback beau. Maximum heartbreak makes for ultimate reality television theatre.
The Bachelor / The Bachelorette have brought that much needed Hollywood glamour to Australian romance reality, the scent of candles constantly burning has brought about three seasons of The Bachelor with another on the way. The matchmaking team have recently been taking the rejects and giving them their very own show, we’ve seen Sam Frost go on to reclaim a suitor, Richie who found love and lost it and now we see Matty J return to our screens.
These TV Shows are the ultimate conversation starter, the water cooler chatter of TV network dreams.
Pushing these desperate lovesick fools so far out of their comfort zone they implode in a sea of champagne bubbles and Michael Buble croons. The final ceremony is a producer’s dream, engineered for amplified emotions and exaggerated exclusions. The setting mirrors Survivor’s tribal exile but instead of the tribe has spoken, the ladies watch on with dire eyes, desperate to feel a rose between their fingers.
We apparently are so eager to see these “real life” romance and love stories take place the gossip mags have taken to drone filming over the set’s. While filming the last Bachelor season with Richie Strahan, the Indonesian military was deployed to keep the true love under wraps. Is there not something horribly archaic about finding love in a meat market ritual of exhibition?
With new entries to the arena of romance reality springing up every week it seems like this is where the audience is. What’s left of the TV audience anyway. First Dates, Married at First Sight, Seven Year Switch and Kiss Bang Love are all loved up reality shows pushing couples to be and existing matrimonies to the very edge. Engineering the contestants, positioning them to compete for love and creating an environment of heightened stress may make for great TV but it does not provide a suitable state of mind to find a life partner. But a show about finding a casual fling just wouldn’t be as marketable, Tinder LIVE perhaps.
These TV Shows are the ultimate conversation starter, the water cooler chatter of TV network dreams. Tweets flood in, opinions overflow and people tune in ready to criticise. From show’s like Gogglebox, we mere couch dwellers believe our opinion is akin to television gold, witty, poignant and somewhat valued.
Where is the reality in a situation that could never take place in real life? In real life would you marry someone upon first sight no questions asked, switch your long term partner to spice up your relationship, or upon first kiss without uttering a single word take someone to the bedroom? Perhaps you would and in that case you lead a far more exhilarating life than I, my friend.
If you’re up to find true and everlasting love, click on through and apply for yourselves. It’s legit:
Image source: The Bachelor.