The Bachelor (ABC TV). Yes, I admit it, I watched the latest three-hour episode and I will watch Monday's upcoming three hour proposal special. There is something fascinating about observing this muliple-choice on screen speed dating. It's compelling television. The glitz, glamour, beautiful people, great frocks, exotic locations and the drama. However, I have a problem with the whole concept. My moral compass is swinging wildly as I watch the selection process whereby the potential bridegroom 'samples the goods' by sleeping with a string of willing young woman, one night at a time. It feels so calculating, I hear the sound of souls being sold and question whether the chance of brief fame and perhaps fortune on reality television is worth the price. How can we celebrate the values of love, romance and presumably what the girls want, 'a Happy Ever', when the bedroom door has been so publicly left open? Call me old fashioned but do these women not suffer from jealousy, insecurity, regret? When the rather endearing Batchelor Nick offers his proposal, surely his bride-to-be must think, "Will I ever be able to trust him? How important will fidelity be in our marriage?" I can't help wondering if the eager participants are setting themselves up for a lifetime of unhappiness and insecurity. Maybe the contenders who got sent home without a rose are the lucky ones!
Ellen Frazer-Jameson is a journalist, author, actress. theater producer and drama coach. She co hosted the largest live late night radio show in Europe for the BBC and has appeared on national TV shows and taken leading roles on stage. She lives in Miami and London and loves to dance Argentine tango.