Every television genre has their iconic programs. These shows symbolize the genre, regardless of whether or not the specific viewer is a fan of those shows.
Among reality shows, The Bachelor/The Bachelorette (2002/2003-present) is an iconic behemoth that has been on the air for nearly twenty years. The premise of the both shows is simple. At the center of the show is a single man or woman. During the first episode, the self titled bachelor or bachelorette is introduced to a group of singles. As the series moves on, the number of contestants vying for the heart and the hand of the man or woman is whittled down to two potential partners. He or she must then decide whom they want to spend their life with.
I usually have a high tolerance for reality television. I know it’s fake and as produced as any fictional television program. But there is still some enjoyment to be had as a viewer. However, when it comes The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, this is one show that I cannot stand and refuse to watch. As far as I am concerned, it is pretty people falling in love for the cameras and for the sake of ratings.
Reality television is a misnomer. While it is not as strictly scripted as traditional fictional television programs, what the audience sees on the screen is not 100% authentic reality.
The Bachelor and it’s spin-off The Bachelorette has been on the air since 2002. The premise of the both shows is as follows: a single man or woman lives in a house with a group of single men or women for a period of time. The goal of the show is for one of the contestants to win the hand and heart of the single man and woman. Each week, one man or woman is eliminated until one remains and the couple hopefully gets engaged.
Today is International Women’s Day. Since nearly the dawn of time, a woman’s only option in life was marriage. Thankfully, over the past few decades, that idea is slowly becoming a thing of the past. The problem is that shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are still reinforcing that marriage should be a woman’s only priority.
I am not a fan of the Bachelor or The Bachelorette, for a multitude of reasons. Then the finale of the recent season aired. While I understand that everyone needs a guilty pleasure (I have several of my own), I think there needs to be a disclaimer about this show. Not only because it’s not real, but also that it reinforces a false narrative about a woman’s life that we should be phasing out, not retelling.
Jane Austen’s novels are full of plots and characters that we are all very familiar with. That being said, it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to see why many writers over the years have tried to put their own spin on Pride and Prejudice. However that does not mean that every Pride and Prejudice fanfiction or reboot holds up to the original text.
Taken out of early 19th century rural England, this adaptation of Jane Austen’s most famous novel takes place in modern-day Cincinnati. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are still the parents of five daughters. But instead of living on a small estate in Hertfordshire, they live in a dilapidated mansion. Elder sisters Jane and Liz, 40 and 38 respectively, live in New York City, away from the tumult, drama and chaos that is the Bennet household. Younger sisters, Mary, Kitty and Lydia, all in their 20’s still live at home and are happy to live under their parent’s roof.
Enter Chip Bingley, Ms. Sittenfeld’s answer to Charles Bingley. Chip has two very good things going for him: he is a doctor (meaning in Mrs. Bennet’s eyes, he must be waiting to marry one her daughters) and he starred in Eligible, a Bachelor like reality show. New to town, Chip is holding a Fourth Of July Barbecue to get to know his new neighbors. Joining Chip is his good friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Chip and Jane hit it off immediately, but Liz and Fitzwilliam are more apt to have a verbal battle than play tonsil hockey.
I will be honest. I wanted to like this book. I wanted to like it because I adore Pride and Prejudice.
I didn’t like it. There were parts of the novel that were slow and almost made me put the book down altogether before I finished it. My main problem is that while Ms. Sittenfeld was able to translate Pride and Prejudice to a modern setting, I lost Austen’s voice and the certain quality that is only contained within an Austen novel.