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David T. Cole

S01.E01: Return

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We talk about this episode on tomorrow's podcast. It is actually pretty good. Good casting and though a little pilot-y at times it is a strong debut.

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I'm really looking forward to the premiere tonight. Glad to know about the podcast, Dave. Thanks for setting this up for me. :)

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Ah, so now I know why I couldn't access this show on my iPad Xfinity app. It hasn't aired yet! New York Magazine says it's really, really good.

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Because of the good reviews, I decided to check this out and I'm glad I did.  I really enjoyed it even though so much of it was uncomfortable to watch.

 

I haven't seen more than an episode or two of The Bachelor but if I were a regular watcher, I think I'd have a hard time coming back to it after this show. 

 

I wonder if future series will have different bachelors. 

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I enjoyed it as well. It was pretty trashtastic but in a thoroughly entertaining way. I'm not a Bachelor watcher, but I wouldn't be too shocked to find out this show is based in a bit more reality than I'd like to believe. 

 

I wonder if Rachel will crack before the end of the season. Glad to see Shiri Appleby on my TV again, as well. 

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I too watched because of the good reviews, and I liked it but didn't love it.

 

Good: the pacing was phenomenal particularly for a pilot, the acting was strong even in the minor roles which is sometimes a problem on basic cable, and the way the show demonstrates the sausage making of reality TV, it goes without saying I like Constance Zimmer,.but the real standout was Shiri Appleby's Rachel, who is a great complex character.

 

Bad: I found the show very gimmicky: the incompetent jealous co-worker, ex(position dump) boyfriend on set, Adam's scandal which means he wouldn't be a Bachelor, and Rachel's meltdown and the show's ability to evade the law. I rolled my eyes at the young intern doing the community service when I think I was supposed to be amazed.

 

I'm having the same thoughts about a second season. Once you show the tricks of the trade where do you go? 

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I don't watch the Bachelor but this show had names that attracted me in Shiri, Contance Zimmer and Josh Kelly (not enough of him for my liking!). I was and still am a bit hesitant about Marti Noxon being the actual producer given what she did on Buffy, but this was good. The Entourage movie commercials probably aren't helping but Constance seems type cast based off her Dana role in Entourage, but, I liked Dana and I like her in this.

I can't figure out yet if Rachel is suppose to be actually mentally unstable as in a diagnosable issue or just messed up and so far I'm okay with that.

I'll be back next week.

Edited by Gigi43
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I enjoyed it as well. It was pretty trashtastic but in a thoroughly entertaining way. I'm not a Bachelor watcher, but I wouldn't be too shocked to find out this show is based in a bit more reality than I'd like to believe. 

I would guess more reality than not. The other co-creator used to be a producer on The Bachelor. I loved the general sourness in its representation on the ugly sausage making of reality TV. I liked that Rachel is really conflicted about what she does. She's really good at what she does, but isn't happy about it. The other thing that I appreciated is that the show kept throwing romantic entanglements at her and she brushed them off because didn't have the bandwidth to deal that at the time.

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As a reality tv obsessee, I really enjoyed this! I was interested to see how Rachel used information about the contestants in such a cruel, calculating way. There were moments that were just painful to watch (like telling the girl who grew up in the system that she was unlovable) and you have to wonder how anyone can treat people like that. It's amazing that they would take her back, considering how she flipped out in the previous season.

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I really enjoyed this.  I expected it to be lighter in tone.  It got really dark.  The manipulation of the contestants was so disturbing yet it made so much sense. There was some of the usual pilot episode clunky exposition, but even that was reasonable.  The acting was excellent.

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I really enjoyed the pilot.

One thing that kept taking me out of the show a bit was that the Rachel character looked and acted very much like Kate Mara's Zoe from House of Cards. And then she was paired with Constance Zimmer on top of it! It was like the Slugline girls quit D.C. and moved on to become reality TV producers.

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I enjoyed this, although as others have said some of it was uncomfortable to watch. I really had to pay attention due to the fast-talking and often talking over each other. I'm going to rewatch today since I'm sure I missed a lot. Rachel is my favorite so far and I think she's got the best role of anyone on the show.

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I was watching for CA and SA and they didn't disappoint.  Wow, Craig Bierko!  Haven't seen him in ages.

 

My DVR cut off the preview for the rest of the season and Lifetime doesn't seem to have it online...all I'm seeing is a preview for Episode 2.  Anyone know where I can catch it online? Thanks!

Edited by Jillybean
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I created a thread to discuss previews of shows before they air, so please post any info about upcoming episodes there. As well as any spoiler information you may find out about the show.

There's also a thread to discuss the actors and actresses from other shows they have been on.

Have fun!

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Really good pilot. I'm a "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" watcher, so it was fun to see some of the things we've all assumed have been happening behind the scenes.   It was a little darker than I expected, but I imagine there will be plenty of lighter moments coming up. 

 

I'm in!

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I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as the hype led me to believe I would.  I just am not surprised to discover that reality TV is scripted and that the cast is set up to behave in ways that will draw viewers.  The acting was excellent and I really liked the script, too.  I'll definitely keep watching, but Mr Washables found it way too soapy and tuned out almost immediately. 

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I have high hopes. I really enjoyed this episode. But I've been burned before so I'm cautious. But I really loved it. Rachel is so conflicted. I'm really hoping she can subvert the whole 'show' with her suggestions to the bachelor guy. That could be kind of fun. 

 

I was disappointed that the bitch had such a 'sympathetic' backstory. Sometimes a bitch is a bitch and that would have been fun. Then again since they seem to cast for instability it makes sense I guess. And I'm sure there's more than 1 bitch in the room waiting to fill Brittany's void. 

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I enjoyed this episode as well!  As a fan of Bachelor Nation I enjoyed it because of the behind-the-scenes stuff going on in the show.  The seediness, the manipulation, all very compelling to me.  I'm not all that invested in the lives of the people behind the scenes.  The producers, etc. and their breakdowns or whatever they are going thru didn't really interest me yet.  Perhaps that will change as the show goes on.

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The manipulation of the on camera people was really gross but not surprising. It always amazes me that people are so desperate for recognition that they'll allow themselves to be put in these kinds of situations. I wonder if afterward they think it was worth it.

 

There was a lot of talk a few years ago about how reality-show writers and crew weren't unionized, so they were being completely exploited. It's ironic that what's happening on one side of the show is also happening on the other.

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Behind the scenes relationships will be interesting to me.  You know that goes on.  These people live and work with each other on the road for 3 months at a time.  There has to be love, hook ups,  broken hearts and intrigue there too.  

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Behind the scenes relationships will be interesting to me.  You know that goes on.  These people live and work with each other on the road for 3 months at a time.  There has to be love, hook ups,  broken hearts and intrigue there too.  

Especially since it looks like the normal 8 - 10 hour workday most people have doesn't seem to apply here. This is more like a summer camp job where you're thrown together almost 24/7 which can create intense relationships fast that fade quickly too. 

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I, too, liked but didn't love this as much as I expected. I was a little disappointed that it felt so one-note honestly. The manipulations that go on to make "reality" TV aren't a surprise to anyone who's watched/followed reality shows for the most part, though this does go darker than one might expect.

 

But I kept waiting for someone or something with more depth or a complex motivation to be revealed but it never really was. So Rachel has a shitty job that she hates and makes her feel terrible and even gave her a breakdown...why does she go back? Was that established? Did she need the money? Could she really not find ANYTHING else to do? I get that Rachel is unstable and depressed but it was so completely awful that I was a bit unsympathetic to her for putting herself back into the circus. It might have been nice to get a hint of what she could be doing/a way out for her at the end of the season instead. (She'd be a great lawyer or sales person, obvs.) And everyone else--they're also in it for money/fame? I would've liked to see one character (probably a contestant) who maybe had more noble/idealistic aspirations and see those illusions get ripped away. They might be going there with the virgin character or maybe even the mom (since she's the most famous name of the contestants) but they came off as somewhat mercenary as well.

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This is dark. I was expecting something more along the line of a farce/parody. However, the behind the scenes manipulations didn't surprise me, especially after reading an interview with Chris Lambton, the runner-up on Ali Fedowsky's season of the Bachelorette. Chris said that when they were down to three guys, he didn't feel a romantic connection with Ali so he asked to leave. Frank, one of the other finalists had already bailed, so the producers told him he couldn't leave. He said after he told them that he wasn't going to propose, they made it appear that it was Ali's decision to let him know before hand that he wasn't the one and save him the embarrassment of a rejection. Chris went on to say that they offered him a ton of money to be the Bachelor, but after witnessing first hand what it takes to make the show, he didn't want any part of it.

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So Rachel has a shitty job that she hates and makes her feel terrible and even gave her a breakdown...why does she go back? Was that established? Did she need the money? Could she really not find ANYTHING else to do?

No backstory on her yet.  Probably something like a widowed, handicapped mother in a care facility, so she desperately needs the high-paying gig to support mom, even though it's destroying her soul. 

 

Or she's part owner of an animal rescue organization that burned down and they had no insurance, so she desperately needs the high paying gig to rebuild, even though it's destroying her soul. 

 

Mix and match the people/animals/situations/threats to your liking.  It's bound to be one of them.  :)

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It was established that Rachel was basically forced to go back because she needs to be employed while on probation and, also, she's being blackmailed with the possibility of having some pending charges dropped.

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In the last segment we were shown that Rachel stole a car from production during her end of season breakdown.  She got a DUI for which the intern is doing her community service by working on a highway clean up crew.  Also, she mentions that she is paying off the damages.  She has mandated work reporting; she had her boss sign off on her paperwork as proof of work attendance, and she has mandated therapy which the show had transferred to their on site therapist.  Rachel mentions that the show could just drop the charges (although in reality it would be much too late for that since she has already been charged and sentenced, unless it's the grand theft part that still hasn't been addressed in the courts).  She states that making her come back on the show feels like blackmail.  

 

So she could have taken a job elsewhere, assuming she could get one that would agree to her reporting issues.  However, if there are pending charges, the show would push hard for adjudication.  Also, it gives us a premise for the show!

Edited by Muffyn
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Behind the scenes relationships will be interesting to me.  You know that goes on.  These people live and work with each other on the road for 3 months at a time.  There has to be love, hook ups,  broken hearts and intrigue there too.  

 

Especially since it looks like the normal 8 - 10 hour workday most people have doesn't seem to apply here. This is more like a summer camp job where you're thrown together almost 24/7 which can create intense relationships fast that fade quickly too.

 

 

I was drawn to the show because I also work below the line and I think you pretty much nailed it when it comes to bts relationships. The camera operator/makeup chick is probably the biggest cliche in the business so I'm glad they snuck that in there. The producers work on the show year round. They work for the studio, but crew members are independent contracters and their job is done after about 10 weeks. So even though one show is done, they pretty much pick up and move onto the next with a lot of the same crew. Everyone is really cool about helping their friends get jobs.

 

It is kind of like summer camp except it never ends. A lot of the time you're living together, or at least nearby. When you're on a crazy schedule like this, these are your only friends so at the end of the night, the crew is getting together for drinks and hanging out on the weekends.  It's definitely an intimate work environment. But in my experience, everyone tries to stay friends after breaking up. It's a very small world and you'll inevitably work with that person again. In fact, there's probably a lot more sleeping around amongst the crew than real relationships. There's a chance you'll be jetting to the opposite coast for a last minute job so it's hard to maintain a real relationship.

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The real Rachel, the show's co-creator Sara Shapiro, has said that she started as a low level crew member because she needed a job. When she wanted to leave, she was told she couldn't break her contract. They couldn't believe she just wanted to quit. They were sure another reality show had poached her. They only let her go when she convinced them she was moving out of California.

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the high-paying gig

I don't think she's making much money, especially given that her job is basically 24/7. It'd be nice if we got a bit of info on this, though, to be sure. Working on a reality show like this is probably akin to production boot camp—you learn a lot in a short period of time.

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Hmm, even though I caught all of that rationalizing in the show...I guess I didn't buy it. What court would mandate she went back to work for the employers who have charges pending against her? I can kinda buy that the hollywood peeps are ruthless enough to want her back because she hopes they'll create good ratings for them again...but...even that is in Swiss Cheese territory. Would any lower level behind-the-scenes peon honestly be worth bringing back and risking a worse freakout where she attacks someone or causes huge financial damage or whatever? I know I just need to take it at face value as that's the set up to get the show moving but I guess I just found it all a little less than convincing. Plus, how does she have not ONE friend on set? Not one person who is happy to see her back (other than Quinn but her interest isn't exactly altruistic.)

All that being said, I like these actors and I am interested to see where it goes. I just hope it lightens up a little and isn't this entire pit of awful people doing awful things in every episode.

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It does strike an awfully dark tone, I'm ok with that.

 

So far it is pretty interesting to see what probably reflects behind the scenes manipulation and goals of "reality" tv.

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I enjoyed it but a couple of minor things made me snort. Not to be overly analytical and assy*, but it doesn't matter what the actual order is out of the limos because the editors will subsequently change it so that the favorites will be first or last to arrive. The star also reviews with the producers what his cuts will be on the first night and they wouldn't allow him to let the designated villain go so soon.

 

 

 

* But I was isolated, given a lot to drink, and asked leading questions by the producers.

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I don't watch reality tv so I have no context for this show and yet I find it entertaining as hell.    Do people who watch these kinds of shows find it entertaining or informative?  Honestly I love a good soap and the crazy pants cute girl and her dragon lady boss are going to be my favorites.  Don't care for the main guy or any of his potential whatevers.   Still the manipulation that goes into so called reality tv is interesting.  

 

Would any lower level behind-the-scenes peon honestly be worth bringing back and risking a worse freakout where she attacks someone or causes huge financial damage or whatever?

 

 

 

From what I understand she isn't lower level she is for all intents and purposes one of the bigger closers on the show (she gets good shots, gets good people on them)) So yes I can see them wanting her.  Also  her freakout generated major ratings so again I think that went a long way to getting her job back.  Plus her boss holds jail time over her to at least keep her on a leash.  Don't think it will last throughout the season but it will be good for a push/pull for awhile.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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The star also reviews with the producers what his cuts will be on the first night and they wouldn't allow him to let the designated villain go so soon.

 

It was my impression that they DID review who he was going to cut and when he talked to Rachel she convinced him to go a different direction. That's why Constance Zimmer's character was so shocked. I would guess the girls themselves wouldn't know who was going to be cut as to get as close to an honest reaction as possible. 

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I haven't read any posts yet because I like this show so much I am going to watch it again. My fave character is ruthless!

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I had hoped to like this but just found it too over the top for my taste. I am not thinking reality tv is all unicorns and rainbows but I just don't think the sets are quite so intense. I am sure there is manipulation, etc but I just found the intensity of this as too much to depict what goes on.

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I agree with Alexa. I'm a veteran watcher of the Bachelor/Bachelorette and I don't believe the real shows are as frantic or overly scripted as this show. If the participants of the show had every single line scripted, and the shots were changed every 10 seconds, the show would really look like a mess. Of course I believe some contestants are brought on for various reasons, and I even believe the lead might be asked to keep a person if it was early on and he/she didn't have any favorites. But not to this extent. Oddly enough, I found the comedy Burning Love to be a better take off.

 

I have always liked Shiri Applby, but I am finding both her character and Constance Zimmer's character to be over the top. This was based on a lifetime movie with the same characters, which I did like. I might give it another chance. 

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This show is the very definition of, "You can't handle the truth!" Check Twitter to see how many reality cast and crew say, "They nailed it." Granted, this is one subgenre of reality TV. Most people enjoy their time on many types of shows, but you'll hear horror stories if you ask.

The only thing that rings false is that Rachel was asked back. No way. Plus, no show creator is ever on set past the first season. Most of them live in Europe anyway.

I'm hooked. For those who aren't, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Edited by tivofanatic
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The only thing that rings false is that Rachel was asked back. No way. Plus, no show creator is ever on set past the first season. Most of them live in Europe anyway.

 

Rachel being asked back seems to fall under the fictional trope of "rogue cops/doctors/reporters who are very good at their jobs so their bosses, who also have a complicated backstory of friendship with the miscreants, overlook a shit ton of rule-breaking for the greater good."

 

Is Craig Bierko playing the Mike Fleiss character? At first I thought he was Chris Harrison.

Edited by lordonia
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Maybe Rachel being asked back is an homage to soap stars dying and then years later you find out they were found downriver by a kindly fisherman, suffering from amnesia and are now alive with a new family in Cleveland.

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Is Craig Bierko playing the Mike Fleiss character? At first I thought he was Chris Harrison.

Craig Bierko plays the show creator. The host was some other guy who didn't have much to do this episode, but I would love to see Constance Zimmer feeding him strategic lines through his earpiece like Cyrano de Bergerac. He actually turned his head both directions and I was surprised he wasn't wearing one.

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I don't watch reality tv so I have no context for this show and yet I find it entertaining as hell.    Do people who watch these kinds of shows find it entertaining or informative?  Honestly I love a good soap and the crazy pants cute girl and her dragon lady boss are going to be my favorites.  .  

People watch reality TV shows for the same reasons people watch soaps.  There's friendships, love, betrayal, glamour, competition, sex, cheating, fights...etc.  In fact, I've seen it theorized that reality shows slowly began replacing soaps.

 

I agree with Alexa. I'm a veteran watcher of the Bachelor/Bachelorette and I don't believe the real shows are as frantic or overly scripted as this show. If the participants of the show had every single line scripted, and the shots were changed every 10 seconds, the show would really look like a mess.

I remember a few years ago, one of the Amazing Race contestants started posting about what happens behind the scenes, leg by leg of the race. I don't think he was supposed to but he wrote about how that show was manipulated, how you had to repeat certain things so they could get good angles, how they would have you say certain things or being asked very leading questions. 

 

And this was The Amazing Race!  One of the allegedly "purer" reality shows. So I can absolutely believe shows like the Housewives of the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows are highly manipulated.  That's not to say that real connections can't be made.  There have been a few love matches but that's likely more of a byproduct of working so closely with these people than truly by design.

 

Plus, no show creator is ever on set past the first season. Most of them live in Europe anyway.

What if the creator is having an affair with the EP?  I do think they gave a nod to the fact that it was somewhat surprising he was on set.

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The star also reviews with the producers what his cuts will be on the first night and they wouldn't allow him to let the designated villain go so soon.

 

 

It was my impression that they DID review who he was going to cut and when he talked to Rachel she convinced him to go a different direction. That's why Constance Zimmer's character was so shocked. I would guess the girls themselves wouldn't know who was going to be cut as to get as close to an honest reaction as possible. 

 

In actuality, they film every possible scenario. For The Bachelor/ette, every contestant

is filmed receiving a rose

, just in case they pull a stunt like Adam's character did. There's a whole lot of procedural manipulation that they didn't include on the show. Based on the preview, it certainly looks like they used a little creative embellishment and it's only going to get hyperdramatic from here. In real life, they also don't mount cameras in the bathrooms, but they needed a way to pop in that bulimic episode for future dramatics.

Edited by rho
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Really, really liked it. As the culture goes increasingly reality television based, I don't think it's a bad idea to question the point-of-view of the people that makes these shows and what agenda they're promoting. 

 

One episode in, I already think Quinn and Rachel have one of the more interesting female relationships on television (which isn't saying much considering the lack of really good ones on current shows). I'm glad they didn't go the route that Rachel was forced on Quinn and they're immediately at loggerheads. Instead, Quinn seems to respect Rachel's skill and maybe has a tiny little bit of affection for her. 

 

I thought the characters showed nice depth, Rachel and Quinn seem interesting and multifaceted, the Bachelor seems a little dickish but not a total asshole. We'll see where they go with all the various bachelorettes.  Hope it can live up to the promise, I'm expecting things to get darker and more complicated from here on in. 

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