Will Someone Break Out the Tiny Violin for this Poor, Put-Upon Reality Show Producer?

Entertainment Features
06.15.12 9 Comments

In an interview with the Calgary Herald, Mike Fleiss — the reality-show producer behind basically the worst sh*t on television (“The Bachelor,” “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?” “More to Love,” “The Cougar,””Hitched or Ditched,” “World’s Scariest Police Shoot-Outs”) — expressed some deep disappointment with the fact that other reality show producers keep ripping off his ideas with “The Bachelor” imitations.

“I never saw it as flattery,” he says. “I’m sort of over it now, maybe through sessions of therapy. Initially, I was very upset. When I pitched the show (to ABC) it took me an hour to explain how to do it: How do they date? Where do they live? How would they be eliminated? What would happen afterwards? How would we would cover these things? Literally, there was nothing like it so the pitch took a full hour. Now people come in and say ‘Brett Michaels is the Bachelor, what do you think?’ That’s not really creative. For a pitch that originally took an hour can now be boiled down to eight words, I don’t feel those creative people are really doing their work.”

Number one: He went to therapy? To deal with the fact that other people were piggybacking off of the success of a crappy low-rent idea? I’m sure he must feel like The f—ing Beatles, who have had their musical style appropriated by every rock band in the latter half of the 20th century. NO. MIKE FLEISS. HOW COULD THEY RIP OFF YOUR GENIUS? Only in Hollywood, people. Number two: He’s bitching because he spent an hour explaining the concept. A WHOLE HOUR. MY GOD. Where did he find the time? There have been 13 seasons of “The Bachelor” and Fleiss has undoubtedly made millions of dollars, and here he is complaining because it took him a WHOLE HOUR to explain the concept. THE EFFORT MUST HAVE BEEN TRAUMATIZING. There’s a guy I know who works in the salt mines for $12 an hour that I think would like to have a word with Mike Fleiss about perspective (that’s technically a lie; I don’t know anyone who works in the salt mines. I’m a blogger. I don’t know anyone except the people who live in my computer).

Oh, but wait. Mike Fleiss is not done complaining about how hard his life is yet. He’s also not happy with the lack of originality in the current crop of reality series. Kettle: Call someone black.

“I think most of the shows are fake,” says Fleiss. “I think there’s all kinds of bullsh—t going on behind the scenes with, I would say, outside of the talent shows and the Bachelor, where we really kill ourselves and spend a lot of money and time and destroy our staff to make sure its real, that 70 to 80 per cent of the shows on TV are bullsh—t. They’re loosely scripted. Things are planted. Things are salted into the environment so things seem more shocking.”

Hey! Newsflash, dipsh-t. There’s nothing real about “The Bachelor.” Or “More to Love.” Or “The Cougar.” It’s fake romance manufactured for mass consumption. Does Mike Fleiss actually believe that there’s anything real about his crappy little dating shows? They may not be fully scripted, but there’s nothing genuine about them. People in the real world don’t test drive 30 women in a two-week span and eliminate them one-by-one in flower ceremonies with elaborate musical cues and dramatic pauses. If you think about it, EVERYTHING in “The Bachelor” is planted. Your taking people out of their natural environment and planting them in a studio in an attempt to fabricate love. What could be less authentic?

Mike Fleiss: Get off your high horse, dude. Have some awareness of what it is you do, take two aspirin, wash it down with a glass of PERSPECTIVE and call me in the morning.

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