Reality TV

#TheProposal: What Was Mike Fleiss Thinking?

I am completely perplexed by The Proposal, a show that aired after the two hours usurped by other mindless drivel, something that’s nevertheless a guilty pleasure, TheBachelorette. When people commit 120 minutes of their Monday night to a vapid reality dating program, it’s bad enough. For ABC to tag on another hour for a program that goes so much lower than The Bachelor franchise ever would (and that’s saying something!) is a crime…As is the premise of The Proposal.

In the premiere episode, a guy named Mike sat behind a partition where he could see everything going on, but no one could see him. There was a stage fit for a pageant (we’re getting there shortly) and the host was Jesse Palmer, a former athlete and ABC Bachelor-turned sports host. Palmer could not have looked more uncomfortable for what lay ahead, and if you didn’t notice that, a source tells me he’s currently vacationing in Europe – which makes sense because I too would flee the country as this show started airing if I had his gig.

Palmer introduced a few young ladies to Mike and announced to the audience that at the end of the night, Mike would choose one special woman and there could be a proposal.

Did creator Mike Fleiss not learn from the disastrous fiasco of Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger?

The women were introduced with taglines befitting first day of school intros. There was a baton twirler who also happened to be a neurosurgeon and someone named Alona who didn’t “want to be alone-a anymore.” I kid you not, the show was just that dumb.

There was even a swimsuit portion because of how important physical attraction is (the host made a deliberate point of stating this) – it’s especially important if you want to propose to someone in under an hour when there are other prospects to choose from, and you’re only getting to hear a few sentences out of each of their mouths.

From behind the partition, Mike issued questions that were neither deep nor probing. They were certainly not enough to get a person past a first date (especially since multiple women were fielding these questions) let alone to the wedding aisle. But in the end, Mike clearly picked the woman he found most attractive after another attractive candidate said she wasn’t open to having kids. Then there was the runner-up who might have lost out to the winner’s sparking effervescence (and perhaps, if I’m being candid, bigger chest).

Mike proposed to the sparkly, cute looking lass – whose name escapes me because this truly was the worst show on television and a wasted hour I’ll never get back. Then they kissed for the first time. Two strangers kissing on a stage before an audience…..

“You’re a great kisser,” he remarked after getting down on bended knee, proffering a Neil Diamond sparkler and hearing her accept his tres awkward proposal. The entire debacle was incredibly forced and that included panned shots of the badly-acting audience who had been coached to oooh and aaah and appear charmed by this….love story????

Here’s the thing: I felt this was the worst show I had seen in a very long time with the most ridiculous premise…but People magazine is reporting that this couple is still together months later. Yes…after only meeting for a matter of minutes on stage and getting “engaged.” I did notice there was no ring on her finger in the update video, so that’s something that needs to be explored. The couple do seem to be dating at the very least and may even be cohabiting.

I predict their relationship will last longer than this show runs.

The Proposal airs Monday nights at 10 PM EST on ABC with brand new contestants and suitors each week…but seriously, don’t bother watching it!

(Photo credit: Bryon Cohen/ABC)


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