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Photo: Byron Cohen (ABC)
“What you are about to see has never been attempted afore on television.” With this baldfaced lie, ex-NFL quarterback Jesse Palmer bliss off a absoluteness TV appearance area a agglomeration of women acknowledge their personalities (and bodies) to a guy hidden abaft a bank whom they apperceive annihilation about, and achievement he’ll adduce to them. Quelle romantique!
The ProposalPre-AirThe ProposalPre-AirSeason 1C-The ProposalPre-AirSeason 1C-C-Season 1Created by
Monday, June 18 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC
Hour-long absoluteness antagonism show; best of one adventure watched for review
You could altercate he’s technically not lying, in that there’s never afore been a appearance alleged The Proposal on ABC in which women are paraded about like beasts at an auction, acceptance beasts who accept to acknowledgment invasive questions about their sex lives to addition who doesn’t alike appearance his face in return. But to pretend this is article new is ridiculous. Top to bottom, this is a apart adjustment of Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire?, the turn-of-the-millennium Fox appropriate that commonly acreage on lists of “worst TV shows of all time.” (Not coincidentally, The Proposal was created by the actual aforementioned actuality as that baseborn program—Mike Fleiss, who additionally oversaw the bearing of ABC’s gargantuan Bachelor franchise.) Aback the premiere adventure of this new alternation began, it seemed there was no way ABC would be impaired abundant to accompany aback the best alarming and cringeworthy elements of a about abominable TV appropriate from about 20 years ago. But as it turns out, ABC is absolutely that dumb.
The shudder-inducing abstraction is aloof what it sounds like: One man (or woman—progress!) introduces themselves via annotation to the flat audience, afresh takes an assigned abode abaft a bank area they can’t be seen, to sit, like an abnormally empowered Peeping Tom, and watch as 10 contestants are paraded out to present themselves as abeyant spouses. After three circuit of “competition,” there are alone two bodies remaining, at which point the suitor comes out from abaft their time abridged aback to 1950, and decides whether or not to adduce alliance to their final choice. At that point, apparently the contenders accept a best to say yes or no; I don’t apperceive for sure, aback ABC redacted the aftermost eight account of the beforehand screener, evidently to anticipate the abstruse of whom the aboriginal suitor chose from leaking, but added acceptable because the absolute set, alive admirers and all, burst into a atramentous aperture of shame.
Where to activate with the post-mortem of this deranged exercise? The best that can be said for The Proposal is that it is so camp at times that it becomes a banter of itself, an accidental ball of Dada-esque proportions. I wrote bottomward a few of the annotation introductions of the women, because they were the alone allotment of the appearance that adumbrated someone, somewhere, knew how fucking brainless this accomplished endeavor is:
Lady cardinal one, Jessica, was alien with a hearty, “Loves to affair and loves the Pittsburgh Steelers. She additionally loves white-water rafting, archery, and science.” A motivational speaker’s key allotment of advice was her pride in “tending to her massive accumulating of dolls.”Kendall, presented as a able “baton twirler. She’s been twirling batons her accomplished life—and sometimes, the batons are on fire. Kendall is additionally a neuro-psychologistlogist.” An ER assistant is presented with the tip that she’s “very appreciative of her calves.”
After the antecedent introduction—i.e., the women appear angle on the stage—without added ado, he sends three of them home. Conceivably their sartorial choices affronted him? Whatever, it leaves added time for the swimsuit round! Yes, in 2018, a above TV adjustment ample it was acute to the success of The Proposal that there be a swimsuit portion, article so astern and objectifying that alike the Miss America celebration no best includes it in the competition. So we’re advised to the afterimage of seven ladies aimless out and carrying a ambiguous account about their behavior beneath the aggregate apparition that actuality “vulnerable” in this way is empowering. (There is cipher accidentally abutting additional size, of course; one of the women alike includes a “before” account of her contempo weight accident aloof to accent the “no fat chicks” action of The Proposal.)
From there, it’s addition three women cut, about alone based on looks—and while no one’s against concrete allure is important, aback the absolute butt of your action for allotment a fiancée is one catechism followed by your best acquaintance allurement addition one, conceivably authoritative about bisected the action appearance-centric is a wee bit obnoxious. If this all fell beneath the explanation of “This is idiotic, let’s accept a beam that we’re accommodating in this,” afresh maybe it would be fine. But ABC wants to accept its bank corruption after acceptance that that’s all it is; host Palmer always reassures the castoffs how “brave” they are for accomplishing this and how they’ll acquisition Mr. Appropriate someday. Thanks, guy who couldn’t alike administer to accord the rose to the appropriate woman his aboriginal night as the Bachelor, that’s actual thoughtful.
The Q&A allocation is acutely unenlightening. Our aboriginal suitor is a cop who absent his leg beneath the knee a few years back, so “Could you date an amputee?” gets asked, as does, “Could you date a cop?” (Wouldn’t it accept been abundant if one of the women said, “Ew, a cop? Fuck no.”) By the time we ability the third and final round, animadversion one added woman out to leave three, the questions are asked by our bearding man’s best friend. Ironically, one of the women’s answers gets her cut, yet it isn’t asked of the others—meaning the added two women ability accept the exact aforementioned deal-breaker of an answer, and our administrator of the law would accept no idea.
But that complete abridgement of accuracy apropos the women he’s debating accepting bottomward on one knee in advanced of is aloof a baby allocation of the bubbler of bad account spewing from this absurd footfall astern for animal dignity. It’s not a complete decay of time: There’s some blatant amusement to be had from the attestant address of such a wreck. But it fades, quickly, and anon all a eyewitness is larboard with is the ability that two bodies are activity to accept to airing off stage, potentially affianced to be married, and say, “So, what’s your name again?” Too bad it didn’t backpack over the abundance gap from its Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire? progenitor; at atomic afresh these women ability accept the affiance of a candied keep adjustment to atone for constant this televised ritual seppuku of their pride.