Arranged marriages. The phrase conjures up images of traditional practices of many cultures, bringing man and future-wife together for the purpose of secure and stable marriage. Happiness and love are said to often stem from this security, companionship to follow in the years they spend as a married couple.
Bringing men and women together in the hopes of gaining a secure and stable marriage in the end...arranged marriages seem to be basis of ABC's hit show The Bachelor. In the latest season, previous reject from The Bachelorette Jason Mesnick has begun the search for love once again, choosing from 25 beautiful, interesting women in the hopes of finding his wife and the mother of his son from a previous marriage.
However, this season is markedly different from years past. Sure, the contestants are beautiful and the competition fierce, but this season exemplifies a different type of woman. That is to say, one who will make the move to do anything to be with "her" man, her number one. This was demonstrated in forwardness of the contestants: early sleepovers (first alone date with Molly), women making up cards for "the fantasy suite," and cutthroat competition between women in group dates. However, perhaps the most anticipated moment is the return of Deanna Pappas, the infamous Bachelorette (well, infamous in this context) who broke Jason's heart. From the beginning of the show, Deanna has been hinted at returning, pleading with Jason saying that "she made a mistake..but he still had time to fix it." Turns out, her engagement to the carefree snowboarder Jesse didn't last. Shocking.
Previews for the highly anticipated episode have shown Jason positively distraught in this love web: should he go for the girl who got away, or either of these two girls who have gone through this dreadful process thus far under the pretense that he was over his ex? Never before in Bachelor history as a bachelor/bachelorette from a previous season crashed another's show...one has to question her motives. Has she just missed the limelight? Is she jealous that one of the men who "loved" her is about to propose to another woman (keep in mind, she got very angry at contestants on her show for not paying attention to her....could this be round 2?), or does she truly believe she made a mistake (in spite of her intense break up sesh with Jason while he was on bent knee in proposal...).
For many viewers, Deanna's return is not welcome; after choosing a different man, Jason became the hero of his new show and as a result Deanna became the bad guy. Deanna was the reason behind this great guy's unhappiness. We have to ask ourselves, is the dislike of Deanna's return about what she did to him , or a depiction of the failure of the show to function as a social experiment? Indeed, Deanna's return is nothing short of outlier results in this setting: first, it demonstrates that the Bachelorette failed in keeping her love with Jesse, while actively throwing a kink in the Bachelor, essentially disrupting the whole process that we have designed. Indeed, the shift with Deanna interrupts the concept of the arranged marriage to which we so desperately cling in these intense moments. She is not supposed to be there, she can't present him with a choice....he has two women left, and that's it. (or so many think)
Tune in for his final decision tonight, deciding between the confines of the social experiment and the limelight for his previous love...on The Bachelor.