| || |
Wrapping up winter: 'Bachelor' and 'Taste' finales
March 13, 2013 - April Diodato
To me, winter in Western New York is characterized by maddening boredom and frantically trying to find a way to while away the hours until the first glimpse of spring. This typically results in a sharp decline my television viewing standards, and this winter was no different. I watched just about anything, including, but not limited to: “The Bachelor” (a new low); “The Taste,” a new televised cooking contest in the vein of “The Voice”; “Girls,” which has had a befuddling sophomore season; “Catfish,” “Shameless,” the entire series of “Veep” and “The United States of Tara,” and an epic, all-night catch-up session of “American Horror Story: Asylum.”
In my defense, I will say that I did also spend some time on other — more worthwhile — pursuits, such as learning how to cook several new dishes, going vegetarian for a week and continuing to attempt to eschew poor food choices (sometimes successfully), trying to learn some French before my trip to Europe this March, even embarking on a fitness quest starting in February. Also in my defense, I managed to avoid “American Idol” as I will have nothing to do with a trumped-up feud between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. But, yes, I did watch an insane amount of television and an almost-equally excessive number of movies, especially while I was stricken ill. It was more soothing than chicken noodle soup, and it was delightful.
I always feel assured that spring is arriving shortly when winter programming concludes. On Monday, “The Bachelor” wrapped up. The winner of “The Taste” was announced last night. “Girls” will end for the season this coming Sunday. I'll save “Girls” for another post, but I wanted to reflect on the two (very discordant) finales I watched over the past two nights: “The Bachelor” and “The Taste.”
Since I had never fully committed to a season of “The Bachelor” before, I had no idea how anticlimactic the finale would be. In fact, it was so inefficacious, on Monday night, I had intended to write about it the following day and didn't end up giving it another thought until now. It was all so disingenuous and fake, you guys. I mean, it's “The Bachelor,” but the guy and virtually all of the contestants were so bland, and the likelihood of the relationship actually lasting is so slim, I did not feel at all invested in the conclusion. The “most dramatic finale of 'The Bachelor' EVER” was anything but, and a mind-numbing three hours long to boot. Sean picked Catherine, the gal in the gold dress (it was mildly amusing how the girl in second place wore silver), and then they announced that their wedding would be televised on ABC – hooray, sponsors and free stuff! And, they reasoned, why wait any longer to tie the knot? Why bother getting to know each other off-camera? I'm sure it will work out. Please shake some sense into me if waste any precious summer hours watching former “Bachelor” contestant, Desiree, on “The Bachelorette.” But... I can't guarantee that I won't tune in. Sigh.
Conversely, “The Taste” finale was excellent. This show has been a lot of fun to watch, with a great judging panel (except for Malarkey, whose name I find befitting) and a very talented, diverse cast of contestants. It was truly satisfying to see the deserving winner, Kristianne, take home the prize. I guess you learn a thing or two about grace under pressure while working as Charlie Sheen's personal chef. Bravo to her.
I hope season two will be even better, and preferably, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre will be back. I only have one complaint on the format: in the contest, the eliminations are supposed to be determined by “the taste” alone. However, that's only partially true. That's the way they determine which chefs are on the chopping block but the loser is selected after their identities are revealed, making it NOT about “the taste.” A note to producers: please fix this for the next season. A note to all: check out “The Taste” next time around. And resist “The Bachelor.”