I wasn’t fully following The Bachelorette despite the Canadian Content (in the moderately pleasing but not very interesting form of Albertan Jillian Harris), so I honestly am not sure whether the ending of the season was satisfying or not. It was certainly a dramatic, twisty episode, to the point that folks are once again wondering how much of these shows’ stories are created by the producers. Probably quite a bit, but it doesn’t require out-and-out rigging, just careful and selective editing and re-structuring of the timeline, plus properly timing the big events like the “surprise” return of Reid to the show. Plus the contestants, who presumably care more about making a good impression on the show than whatever happens after (they don’t have to marry, after all), want to do whatever will raise their profile and make for good TV. But I don’t really know whether the selection of Ed, the workaholic, counts as a culturally-fulfilling ending or an anger-making ending. Both types of endings work in their own way — that is, reality shows can make you happy about who won, or angry about who won, and both are equally good; the only type of ending that fails is the one that leaves you indifferent. But while my impression from comments online is that Ed is generally considered a work-obsessed, self-absorbed loser, that might actually be a satisfying ending at this particular cultural moment — no more artists or cool guys or snowboarding instructors. In hard times, practicality is what’s called for.
Of course the post-wrap-up episode might bring in some other wacky twist that will undo everything that’s been seen up to now.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.