Blog Archives

BBC: ‘Bachelor Nation’.

I’m heading to the doctor this morning for my annual checkup and blood test. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that last year, I (finally) faced my fears and got my blood tested for all sorts of things… everything turned out fine, so now I am happy to have a comparison and see how things are going. Plus, I’m really not scared! But, I’m still going to treat myself to a fancy pressed juice afterward.

But, wow have I got a T-R-E-A-T for you guys! It’s the latest read from Blanche’s Book Club and it’s juicy: “Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure” by Amy Kaufman. Here’s the description from

For fifteen years and thirty-five seasons, the Bachelor franchise has been a mainstay in American TV viewers’ lives. Since it premiered in 2002, the show’s popularity and relevance has only grown–more than eight million viewers tuned in to see the conclusion of the most recent season of The Bachelor.

The iconic reality television show’s reach and influence into the cultural zeitgeist is undeniable. Bestselling writers and famous actors live tweet about it. Die-hard fans–dubbed “Bachelor Nation”–come together every week during each season to participate in fantasy leagues and viewing parties. 

Bachelor Nation is the first behind-the-scenes, unauthorized look into the reality television phenomenon. Los Angeles Times journalist Amy Kaufman is a proud member of Bachelor Nation and has a long history with the franchise–ABC even banned her from attending show events after her coverage of the program got a little too real for its liking. She has interviewed dozens of producers, contestants, and celebrity fans to give readers never-before-told details of the show’s inner workings: what it’s like to be trapped in the mansion “bubble”; dark, juicy tales of producer manipulation; and revelations about the alcohol-fueled debauchery that occurs long before the fantasy suite. 

Kaufman also explores what our fascination means, culturally: what the show says about the way we view so-called ideal suitors, our subconscious yearning for fairy-tale romance, and how this enduring television show has shaped society’s feelings about love, marriage, and feminism by appealing to a marriage plot that’s as old as Jane Austen. 

Okay, soo… I have watched so many freaking episodes of “The Bachelor” (I don’t really enjoy “The Bachelorette”), it’s not even funny. I used to really love it, and then I just kept getting so upset when they wouldn’t pick the woman I thought they should pick… so then I swore it off… and then I watched Arie’s (horrible) season… all of that to say that the addiction is real, but why?

How does a reality show filled with champagne and tea lights hold such power over us, and how has it affected our expectations of romance?

And that’s why I was so excited to read this book! While I enjoy Tweeting along with millions of others during the show, I am not really familiar with the inner circle known as Bachelor Nation. Amy Kaufman really got an inside look, as she used to write recaps of the show, professionally… that is, until she got a little snarky and The Bachelor franchise shut her out.

So she set out to write a book, and used her connections to get the inside scoop from camera men, producers, and contestants. It. Is. Good. Shit.

Now, I’m not naive, so much of what’s in the book wasn’t a total shock, but it was nice to get confirmation of what I’ve been thinking while watching the show.

Reading this book, you’ll get the scoop on how the show chooses contestants, what it’s like to be a contestant, how all of the dates are planned, how the limo/introductions are planned, who gets paid, details on wardrobe and hair/makeup, and info on the Bachelor Mansion, plus more.

There’s even lots of info about specific contestants, infamous hookups and moments on the show, and a complete list of every season and it’s winner.

This book is like a giant box of Godiva truffles and I loved every bite of it. The thing is, what are we supposed to do after we’re handed such rich information? It doesn’t make me want to pick up watching the show, but I do think we have to consider the type of world we live in where people are willing to sacrifice so much for a drip of fame, and possibly romance.

I’m recommending this book to anyone who has ever watched “The Bachelor” – even just one episode. The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarty.


The Bitter Lemon’s Winter TV Guide!

Every night is a TV night.

Last week may have been everyone’s first week back to work, but it was also a week FULL of TV show premiers, and I’m in heaven. Seriously, every single night there was a new show or a new season starting, and this is what I’m dubbing the most wonderful time of the year… So yeah, I’m OD-ing on the extra-trashy, and I don’t give a damn. If you’re with me, read on my friends.

“The Bachelor”, season 22 (ABC) – Reality Drama

Did you choke when you read “season 22”? I did. This is a terrible show, but we all keep watching. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t NOT watch when I found out the bachelor would be Arie Luyendyk Jr., 36, after his dramatic place in Emily Maynard’s season (which I rewatched during Christmas break, because obviously). The show premiered last week, but you haven’t missed much if you’re tuning in tonight – you can also watch full episodes on Airs Mondays at 8/7pm C. 

“My Big Fat Fabulous Life”, season 5 (TLC) – Reality Drama

Season 5 picks up right where season 4 left off: With Whitney heading on tour with the Fitness Marshall. But the preview for season 5 makes it look like a lot has changed for Whitney, including a new man, and possibly a wedding? The show premiered last week, but there’s still plenty of time to uncover this mystery! Airs Tuesdays at 8/7pm C.

“The Challenge”, season 31: Vendettas (MTV) – Reality Competition

Yes, season 31! I have never been much of a fan of “The Challenge” – I was more of a”Road Rules” person, but I watched last season, “Champs vs. Stars” and it was good enough to keep me interested. “Vendettas” brings together people that hate each other and the interesting twist is that its contestants from any reality show, including “Big Brother”, “Ex on the Beach”, and “Geordie Shore”. It’s every player for themselves, and as we all know, there will be new vendettas created as the season continues. Airs Tuesdays at 9/8pm C. 

“Catfish: The TV Show”, season 7 (MTV) – Reality Drama

Yep, “Catfish” is baaaack! People are never going to stop catfishing each other and I hope this show is always around to bust the suckers. It’s another season with Nev and Max out to discover the real person behind the computer screen, and even just one episode in, it’s obvious this season is going to have some unexpected twists. Airs Wednesdays at 10/9pm C.

“Project Runway All Stars”, season 6 (Lifetime) – Reality Competition

I’ll admit it, “All Stars” isn’t necessarily my favorite form of “Project Runway” (not a fan of the hostess and judges), but it’s still a fantastic competition and I love seeing the contestants from former seasons back in action. This season has some of the BEST competitors, including Joshua McKinley, Kelly Dempsey, and Fabio Costa. It’s “Rookies” (those who are first-timers on “All Stars”) versus “Veterans” (those who’ve competed on “All Stars”) this year and I can already see lots of drama coming. Airs Thursdays at 9/8pm C.

“Revenge Body With Khloe Kardashian”, season 2 (E!) – Reality Drama

Everyone knows Khloe is the best Kardashian, right? I absolutely loved season 1 of this show, as you get to see people transform their lives, and tbh, Khloe isn’t really on the show that much. It follows participants as they try to lose weight, get fit, and gain confidence. Most of the time, they’re going through a breakup or hard times, and the journey helps them, mentally. I love it! Airs Sundays at 10/9pm C.

“Siesta Key”, season 2 (MTV) – Reality Drama

Ugh, the little rich bastards are baaaack! I’m actually shocked that a second season was ordered here, but I’m here for it. That means more drama with Alex and his “friends” – everyone is returning from season 1, plus a new additions: Canvas, Tarik, Hannah, and Paige. Whew! Premiers Monday, January 15 at 10/9pm C. 

“Summer House”, season 2 (Bravo) – Reality Drama

I have been ready for season 2 since the second season 1 ended. I freaking LOVE this show! It feels like an insider’s look into the Hamptons, and that’s what I need. The gang from last summer is all here, but there’s a few new houseguests in the mix, and that brings a whole load of new drama. I cannot. freaking. waaaaait. Premiers Monday, January 22 at 10/9pm C.

The Winter Olympic Games, PyeongChang (NBC) – Sports

After the weekend drama in the women’s ice skating competition, we already know there’s going to be some REAL life craziness in the Olympic games. Plus, I really enjoy watching the opening ceremonies. The opening ceremony will be aired Friday, February 9 (likely at 8pm) on NBC.

“Music City”, season 1 (CMT) – Reality Drama

The chances are likely that I’m going to spend my life looking for a replacement for “The Hills”. That’s why I got sucked into “Siesta Key” and although it didn’t completely fill the void, it helped. But now, there’s another chance… and that is: “Music City”, created by Adam DiVello (same guy who created “The Hills”) and it’s premiering in March on CMT. This show looks so good! It follows a group of people looking to make it in country music in Nashville (but of course). I’m all for it. The show premiers on Thursday, March 1 at 10/9pm C. 

…If you didn’t think I was a TV junkie before, now you know! What shows are you looking forward to these next few months? My DVR has room…

‘Mariah’s World’: Mimi’s Anniversary.

Mariah is baaack...

Mariah is baaack…

Happy New Year! Can you believe it? 2017 is finally here! I wokeup yesterday around 10, and while I was getting my morning coffee going, my smoke detectors blessed me with a glorious ring because their batteries were low! It took me a solid 16 minutes to drag out my ladder and at least get the noise down to a tolerable chirp until I could get to the store.

I then went to the store (I had to get my bean soup prepped first) in my pajamas and slippers and bought batteries and a Cherry Coke Zero. I didn’t even know that existed! I love Cherry Coke, but only allow myself such a treat on very rare occassions. So, I can honestly say my first negative experience of the year was totally overruled by a great one.

So, on to last night’s episode of “Mariah’s World”… well, first, let’s talk about Mariah’s performance on New Year’s Eve. I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch any of the countdown specials – instead I was watching a marathon of “Tiny House Nation”, which we can talk about at a later time. But, I first heard about poor Mariah’s performance while watching Kim Zolciak’s SnapChat feed.

When I checked Twitter yesterday, it was allll I could see. Oh, boy. So, I watched a video of it… if you want to see it, you can Google it. I mean, it wasn’t as terrible as what I expected. Is it a shock to know she was planning to lip sync the performance? Not at all. I’m not really sure what the right way to handle something like that would have been – I actually thought she handled it pretty well.

Having now watched half the season of “Mariah’s World”, I can say two things about Ms. Carey: 1. she has surrounded herself with many people who don’t really know what they’re doing, and 2. When they mess up, she fires them.

So, I can assure you, that whomever had the bright idea to skip the soundcheck on that performance is probably job hunting today.

Anyway, onto last night’s episode!

So, it’s Mariah’s birthday, but she calls it an “Anniversary”, and the staff wants Tanaka to jump out of her anniversary cake.

But before this happens, Stella’s assistant Molly, decides to dress up as the Easter bunny and she looks ridiculous and scary, simultaneously.

Mariah’s anniversary falls on Easter, and to commemorate the day, she’s wearing a rose mini dress that’s completely beaded. Because why not?

Meanwhile, Tanaka is feeling pretty nervous about jumping out of Mariah’s cake – which very oddly makes me nervous about it, too.

At the gathering, Mariah agrees to prank-call Molly, and she instantly picks up a fantastic Jersey accent. Mariah tells Molly to pick up mozzerella sticks, and asks her what she’s wearing. It’s actually pretty funny; probably just because Molly was squirming.

So, they load Tanaka into this cake… where he waits for at least an hour and is sweating as he waits for Mariah. But then he jumps out of it and is like “Magic Mike” up in there – I think Mariah blushed a little.

But, everyone in the room is starting to feel awkward… because remember, she’s engaged.

Later, Stella’s kids get sick and Molly is nowhere to be found, because she’s out getting a tattoo of “the globe emoji” to remind herself how lucky she is to have the job.

Needless to say, Stella is piiiissssed and we all know what happens then. She ended up firing Molly, but it was no easy task, mainly because she wouldn’t come out and say it and I wondered if it was for unemployment reasons. Stella just kept saying, “I think this job is just too demanding for you…”


In the preview for next week’s episode, it appears things are getting heated between Mariah and Tanaka, and there is also talk of the wedding… oh man.

In other news, much of America has one decision to make today: whether or not to watch the season premiers of “The Bachelor” or “Celebrity Apprentice”?

Let’s start with “The Bachelor”. I used to LOVE watching “The Bachelor”! I also liked watching “The Bachelorette”, but not as much as “The Bachelor”. I stopped watching it a few seasons back, though, for many reasons. For one, I was getting pissed off that the main contestant always picked someone that just wasn’t right.

It was also becoming painfully obvious that the season was more scripted, and very fake. I mean, why was there no diversity in the people on the show? Not only in terms of culture or race, but I felt like even the women contestants were all the same – they all had great jobs or trust funds, they were all unbelievably gorgeous, and I noticed during the hometown visits, they all came from happy families that lived in large homes. Only recently did I see a divorced family featured on the show.

And in a way, all of that made the show appealing. I get it – pretty people make great TV. But come on, now!

The other thing that’s really tough about “The Bachelor”, is the time committment. Every episode is two hours long, and sometimes there are additional specials and tell-all epsiodes – it’s a huge time suck. So after you’ve invested 35 hours into the show and your person doesn’t pick the one you’ve been rooting for all along, yeah, you want to throw your case of wine at the television.

The latest season, season 21 (can you BELIEVE that?!) of “The Bachelor” premiers tonight, featuring Nick Viall as The Bachelor. Here’s the season preview:

Wow, ABC sure made him look like the coolest guy at the party, didn’t they? But Nick Viall is probably the least cool guy that has ever been featured on this TV show. Here’s why:

We first met Nick on “The Bachelorette” during Andi Dorfmann’s season. He won her over with handwritten poems and he even made it to the final two, but he was dumped.

And then we were #Blessed when he appeared on the “After the Final Rose” special and told the entire country that they slept together in the Fantasy Suite – BASTARD!!! It was horrid.

Then the little weasel appeared on yet another season of “The Bachelorette”, when Kaitlyn Bristowe was the main contestant. Little did the audience know they’d been chatting online before she began filming the show, so he swoops in mid-season, and is all “Hey dudes, I’m about to win this bitch”.

So, he joins the cast, sleeps with Kaitlyn, makes it to the final two, and then gets DUMPED. So, he gets an invitation to appear on “Bachelor in Paradise”, where he makes his comeback, and chooses not to propose to his girl on the show. And ta-da, now he’s The Bachelor.

Will you be watching “The Bachelor” this season? I don’t think I can stomach it, but we’ll see.

The other show premiering tonight is “Celebrity Apprentice”,  which used to be hosted by our now-President Elect, so the new host, Arnold Schwarzenegger, will be taking over. Le sigh.

I have ALWAYS been a fan of “Celebrity Apprentice”. I have loved it for the celebrities it features, the challenges they have, and I loved the slight inside look at the Trump family and their business. Of course, this was before I knew how gross he was.

But now, I still know Trump is a producer on the show (weird), and I am not really a fan of Arnold. So… do I watch? Here’s the promo:

…There’s a few contestants on there I want to see, so I very well might be watching this tonight.

What about you? Will you be watching anything new tonight?

Chatting With ‘The Bachelorette’

The beautiful new Bachelorette, Andi Dorfman.

The beautiful new Bachelorette, Andi Dorfman.

My job as a journalist, an editor provides all sorts of opportunities to meet, or talk to people I would have never expected. Last week, I got to listen in on a conference call with The Bachelorette, Andi Dorfman.

While I’ve always gotten suckered in to watching The Bachelor — every season I swear I’m not watching it again, and then I get sucked in — but I’ve never really been a fan of The Bachelorette, or Bachelor Pad, for that matter.

I don’t believe any of the shows have a formula that works, or we would have seen it by now. But of course, that’s not really the point of watching (no matter how much ABC tells us so) — it’s really for the drama. And I’ve found that I can deal with watching girls fight over one guy, but the reverse?

It kind of makes my stomach churn.

But this season, I really like Andi, and I think she’ll bring something new to the table, for once. Maybe it’s all smoke and mirrors, but I’m pretty sold after just watching the season premier that was on Monday.

To check out my story on The Bachelorette herself, go here.