Thursday, March 21, 2013

Burning Love: The Bachelor Gets Hosed

Burning Love, starring Ken Marino and created by his wife Erica Oyama, is a hilarious send-up of The Bachelor, the reality show where a man attempts to find a bride amongst a bevy of eligible women (most of them dental hygienists) whilst everyone pretends that this is a perfectly acceptable means to finding the love of your life. I must confess, I've never watched The Bachelor or any other reality dating show, but I would happily watch Burning Love again and again.

Burning Love is a web series and each episode is about ten minutes long, but you can also watch the first season on E! on Monday nights. That season focused on Mark Orlando (Marino), a fireman who is looking for love, and in the tradition of all great Bachelors, is completely ill-equipped to find it. The contestants vying for his affections are a who's who of hilarious actresses and comediennes, including Kristen Bell (who Marino knows well from Veronica Mars and Party Down), Malin Akerman, Natasha Leggero, Ken Jeong (yes, he's a contestant for a short while), and others, including cameos from some very high-ranking Hollywood types. Adam Scott (also from Party Down), plays Mark's therapist, while Michael Ian Black is the host of the show.

The web series format means each episode is crammed full of comedy gold, poking fun at every imaginable Bachelor tradition. Instead of a "rose ceremony" at the end, where the Bachelor gives a rose to the women he wants to continue on to the next round, Mark presents his ladies with a hose, symbolizing his profession (and something more besides). There is a contestant who is nearly nine months pregnant, who says she is looking for love, ideally before her due date. There's the unfortunately-named Titi, who Mark keeps around mostly for her name, while he gets rid of the blind girl, the super Christian one, and the incredibly old lady (a move he later regrets when he discovers she was very rich and likely to die soon). There are emotional breakdowns, hysterical pool parties, ridiculous Jacuzzi dates, and a constant stream of satirical commentary that makes this one of the funniest shows around.

One of Burning Love's greatest achievements is that, absurd as it is, it is not so far from the truth. The Bachelor would be exactly like this show if it just owned up to the fact that its contestants have less than pure motives, and the whole premise is a thoroughly immature and laughable attempt at matchmaking. Burning Love beautifully tears apart the facade of reality show dating and is well worth repeat viewing. The second season flips things around with Julie Gristlewhite (June Diane Raphael), a contestant who was rejected by Mark, returning to become the show's Bachelorette and select a husband from the likes of Adam Scott, Ryan Hansen, and Paul Scheer. So head on over to Yahoo! where you can catch her daring exploits, or check the listings on E! where you can discover if Mark Orlando ever manages to find the object of his burning love. 

1 comment:

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