There are a few things you should know about me, if you don’t already. Shows like The Bachelor make me physically angry. The idea that men or women expect to find their be-all, end-all soul mate in a predetermined amount of time in an unrealistic environment is bad enough, but if I have to hear about someone’s “journey” or whether or not they’re participating on the show for “the right reasons” one more time, I might strangle myself.
If you’re a fan of these shows, I’m sorry — I don’t mean to offend you. I understand that a lot of people love watching them for the salaciousness they bring, and some people probably even make drinking games out of how often these people cry over silly crap. I’m just not one of them.
So it was with trepidation that I boarded a bus to the infamous Bachelor Mansion on Friday night here at TCA. On the way to Agoura Hills, where the house sits, we were treated to stop-and-go traffic along with a tape of the show’s “best moments.” These included several teary proposals and subsequent screaming matches, as well as Toronto’s own Justin R. traipsing through bushes to run away from the Bachelorette after it came out that he had a girlfriend back home. Oy.
We were also treated to Monday night’s new episode of the series, now starring Sean Lowe, but I didn’t walk away with anything other than clenched fists thanks to some chick named Tierra and a general hatred for roses. I know, I’m a bitter, bitter person.
I will admit that the house itself was stunning. Hardwood floors, stucco walls and bright colours gave the mansion a real Californian feel, and the bathrooms — while a little too open concept for me — were gorgeous. We didn’t spend any time outside since it was pretty cold, but I took a quick look at the pool and grounds, which were equally stunning. I’d also kill to cook a meal or two in the gourmet kitchen, but there is absolutely no way I could bunk there with 24 other gals, let me tell you.
Host Chris Harrison wasn’t in attendance, since he was in Las Vegas prepping for the Miss something or another pageant, but a life-sized cutout of his upper half stared at everyone from one of the couches. Current Bachelor Lowe was in attendance, as was Canadian Jillian Harris, inaugural Bachelorette Trista Sutter, bad boy Jake Pavelka, and Jason Mesnick and his very pregnant wife, Molly. All chatted happily with reporters about their memories at the house and what a family everyone has become.
Meanwhile, our little TCA family was on display in the contemplation room. Publicists had fished our pictures from the Internet, and sure enough I saw my framed face peeking out behind some guy with a mustache on one of the lower shelves. As a joke, I tucked the photo of Toronto Sun’s Bill Harris under my arm, and vowed to take it back to my Toronto office as a shrine of sorts. Every time I’m in a spot, I plan to ask it, “What would Bill Harris do?”
For real enthusiasts, like Toronto Star’s Tony Wong, the visit was even more interactive. He, along with a dozen other journos, participated in a fake rose ceremony hosted by Lowe, which ended in laughter when TV Guide Magazine’s Damian Holbrook was told to say his goodbyes, but threw a mock hissy fit instead.
Having came, saw, and conquered a couple of crab cakes and a glass of champagne, I decided it was time to hightail it outta there along with a handful of other critics, and we all headed over to In-N-Out Burger for an actual sit down dinner instead.
Have you tried those burgers? Now that’s true romance.
Up Next: An actual night off. In the words of former TV Guide Canada editor Melissa Hank, Whee!
Follow Amber on Twitter as she covers the 2013 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena.
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