Is All Fair in Reality TV Love?

Is ABC Throwing The Bachelorette Under the Bus for Ratings?

I'm not embarrassed to admit I still watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Okay, maybe slightly embarrassed, but still I watch. And so do many of my very bright and funny lady friends. In my opinion, there are many reasons we tune in every week, and not one of them is thinking that these folks are actually going to find their true life partners. We certainly poke fun at some of the contestants and the general absurdity of the whole set-up. But each Monday, we're back for more.

However, there's something going on this season that doesn't seem to be sitting well with a number of viewers — a quick glance at my personal Twitter feed proved that this Bentley situation may be turning people off. If you're watching, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you're not, here's a quick rundown: One of Ashley's suitors (who she had been warned about prior to coming on the show) is definitely not as they say in Bachelor-speak "in it for the right reasons." It would seem that he may have thought a different girl was going to be this season's Bachelorette or that he simply is in it for the self-promotion/"fame". Either way, it's very clear that he doesn't really like Ashley. In fact, he's fairly insulting to her in many of his one-on-one interviews.

In a classic "girl ignores red flags flying everywhere" scenario, Ashley is falling hard for this guy, even though he barely seems to be paying attention to her when they're in the same room. And the ABC promo editors seem to be reveling in her eventual humiliation and heartbreak (even more so than the guy who wears a Phantom of the Opera mask...but that's a whole other story.)

Now, obviously when you sign up to go on one of these shows, you have to know that you're not going to like every shot you see and perhaps the way you are edited. But this is starting to feel out-and-out mean to the poor girl. Of course, there was no guarantee that she would fall for Bentley and as far as I know, there's no rule that would kick you off the show for being a complete and total jerk. Still this is starting to feel like a low-blow ratings ploy by the network in how it is exploiting its Bachelorette's emotional state. And to be fair, it's totally working on that front.

What say you? Is anything and everything fair game if you sign up for a TV show to try to meet your husband? Or is there such a thing as going too far with a real person's feelings?