"Bet you can’t eat just one" may have entered the vernacular as the tag line for potato chips, but I have come to think of it as the slogan for ABC's "The Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" franchises. So long as I stay away, I could not be more indifferent to this long-running reality series wherein a man or a woman attempts to find true love by dating 25 people in a very short period of time, commits heinous crimes against the word "connection" (all apologies to E.M. Forster, but my other, alternate "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" slogan is "Only connect!"), deludes him or herself into thinking he or she is really in love, and then ends his or her relationship in the months after the cameras go off. Of 23 completed installments, "The Bachelor/ette" has spawned one marriage. But all my sanguine dismissiveness flies out the window whenever I actually watch an episode. "The Bachelor/ette" is one of the stickiest reality shows that exists. Due to some addictive alchemy of repetition, stupidity, hope and flashes of genuine humanity, it is impossible to eat just one.
This is all a roundabout way of confessing that I have somehow ("somehow") gotten extremely involved with this season of "The Bachelorette," which stars single mother Emily Maynard, who previously "won" an installment of "The Bachelor," only to find out the bachelor in question was more interested in remaining a bachelor than he had seemed. It’s been a while since I watched a cycle of "The Bachelor/ette" from start to finish and as this season nears its conclusion (the finale airs in two weeks) I have been struck, again, by just how strange this show is about sex.