Color me excited that there is going to be a Canadian version of The Bachelor.
The announcement on Tuesday that CITY TV is going to produce a Canadian version of the aging U.S. reality show (16th season) caused much excitement in the press and online.
Why the excitement for a Canadian version of a cheesy (but admittedly stupidly entertaining) American TV show? Are we excited that there will be something worthwhile to watch on Canadian TV? No. We’re excited because the potential for really, really terrible TV is so huge! This could be awful on an epic, only-in-Canada way.
Less-than handsome candidates! Poor production values! Desperate attempts at multiculturalism! Political correctness! This baby has classic Canadian TV written all over it.
First, for those of you unfamiliar with The Bachelor (and it’s little sister, The Bachelorette), here’s the concept.
It starts with a bachelor who — despite being a fabulously handsome millionaire who develops wind farms, rescues baby seals and builds schools for disadvantaged children in Uganda using recycled water bottles he personally collected from dumpsters — can’t find love. The bachelors are generally considered to be ideal men, a catch for any woman, so why these guys can’t “find love” is one of the eternal mysteries of The Bachelor.
The bachelor is thrown into a venomous pit of women who, just like him, can’t find love. The first episode is always one of the best, as the women are paraded in front of the bachelor like prize dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. They are then herded into a mansion for a cocktail party, where the sparks generally begin to fly thanks to the potent combination of stress, TV cameras, and lots and lots and lots of white whine. Each week, the bachelor takes some of the girls on impossibly romantic dates (which he always claims to have come up with, although exactly how one guy books Carnegie Hall for a private concert from the reanimated corpse of Franks Sinatra is never explained), and decides which of the increasingly-desperate women gets a rose, which signifies they get to hang around for another week of humiliation. (I have a theory why Bachelor relationships flounder. Once you’ve had a gourmet meal in a hot air balloon over the Grand Canyon, two-can-dine-for-$20 night at Kelsey’s is just too much of a comedown.) As the season progresses, sweethearts and villainesses emerge (Ooooh, I just HATE that scheming Courtney. Why doesn’t Ben see her for what she is??) until there are just two left. The Bachelor then must decide which one he chooses, resulting in either a marriage proposal or a promise to “explore a relationship”. (In one infamous but fantastic episode, the bachelor rejected both.) In 15 previous seasons, The Bachelor has spawned exactly one marriage. So, success!
So that’s what The Bachelor is all about. It is a guilty pleasure, and I am guilty of getting pleasure out of this tawdry spectacle. (Seriously, what’s not to like about a tawdry spectacle?) Now The Bachelor is coming to Canada, on a semi-network not known for its high production values, or anything else for that matter.
So what will we see on The Bachelor Canada? I predict …
• The show will be hosted by someone from the stable of Toronto CITY TV people. In other words, someone nobody has ever heard of.
• The Bachelor will be an entrepreneur, likely something in the renewable energy field. He will like to ride horses, fish, snowmobile, ski and play hockey. Lots and lots of hockey.
• He will wear flannel shirts.
• He will be named either Gordie or Doug McSomething.
• In a nod to Canadian multiculturalism, there will be at least one Indo-Canadian, at least one Asian-Canadian, and one African-American Canadian. (The Bachelor U.S. used to have at least one black woman in every season, but over the past few years the show has gone lily-white.)
• In a nod to inclusiveness, there will be at least one Differently Abled-Canadian. I’m thinking maybe deaf, so there will be sweet scenes of The Bachelor learning sign language.
• All the romantic dates will occur in Toronto or nearby. There will be one date at centre ice at the Air Canada Centre (Toronto Maple Leaf players will act as waiters), one at the Hockey Hall of Fame, one at the CN Tower (including the obligatory bungee jump), and a private concert at Massey Hall featuring the Barenaked Ladies, or maybe Sam Roberts. There will be one date on the set of a CITY TV program, although this will require that CITY TV produce a program.
• Somehow, Tim Hortons will be involved. I’m thinking a very cheap group date.
• Since CITY TV is ‘edgier’ than most American TV, there will be cameras hidden away in the hotel suite during the notorious ‘overnight dates’. This will prove to be disappointing when the only action captured is The Bachelor reluctantly watching a Ryan Reynolds movie with his date.
• There will be a romantic proposal at Niagara Falls, followed by a brief courtship, and a quiet break up . The event will go unnoticed.
• After one season, CITY will decide that the costs of producing The Bachelor Canada ($2,000 an episode) are prohibitive, and it will be canceled.