Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The New Bachelor, Jake Pavelka, Hates Clothes

A steamy shower scene. Close ups on a bar of soap slowly being rubbed all over a tight, wet body. A nude torso, rising from a pool. Wood being sawed in the hot sun, just a tool belt and some big muscles to keep you company.

Whoa! Since when is ABC in the business of creating primetime soft-core porn?

Last night’s premiere of “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love,” the fourteenth installment of “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” franchise, was nothing if not a dip into the waters typically dominated by late night Skin-a-max. Moving into its hormone-driven teens, the show took all the typical factors audiences have come to expect from their “Bachelor” fix: heaving fake cleavage (is it just me or are there way more implants this season than usual?), tears dedicated to a relative stranger, promises to “cut a bitch if she gets in my face,” vows that they’re all “in it to win it,” and, of course, those red roses. But they upped the ante this season in a surprising way, making sure that Bachelor Jake Pavelka was as naked as possible, as often as possible. It was very Matthew McConaughey. At a certain point, you had to wonder if this man even owned a shirt.

Pavelka, a 31-year-old Ken doll of a commercial pilot, was cast off by last season’s Bachelorette Jillian Harris. It was obviously very difficult for him. So how did he heal? By discussing his pain while filling a water glass, shirtless. Doing pushups and jumping rope by an infinity pool, shirtless. Sawing wood in his backyard, shirtless. Now, I’m not complaining, the man is a prize specimen, but the first thirty minutes of the show were beyond gratuitous. All that was missing was a “Bow-chick-a-wooo-wooo” instrumental in place of the Jeffrey Osborne song (which I haven’t been able to get out of my head since.) Is this season’s Bachelor so dull, his only selling point is his hot, sweaty bod?

If so, it’s going to be a long, slow season, especially since there seems to be little question that Jake will end up picking Ali, the sweet, pixie blonde who tripped when they had one-on-one time, joking “I’ll always be able to say this is the night I fell for you.” She’s also the only girl who admitted she’s afraid to fly. Gasp! Could that be a deal breaker for this daredevil pilot? Not for the man who proclaimed that “Love is perfect.” Cue the music as they soar into the clouds together. “Come take my hand and together we’ll rise/On the wings of love/Only the two of us/Together flying high/Flying high up on the wings of love.”

Sigh. It’s so romantic.

Now take your shirt off.