Studying Reality TV – or, Would You Like a rose with that?

Snippet of conversation between me and Miss 16 the other day.

Scene setting: Miss 16 walks in the door after a day at school and immediately comes and gives me a hug.

Me: What’s wrong?!

Miss 16: I had a horrible, horrible day.

Me: What happened?! *thinking Mama Bear (which Miss 16 cutely calls me) thoughts of rampaging the school for poor daughter*

Miss 16: *gut-wrenching sigh* We had media studies this afternoon and we had to watch…The Bachelor. UGH! It was sooo embarrassing.

Me: Seriously? That is SO cool! When I was at high school we didn’t get to…

Miss 16: *glazed eyes appear and she reaches for her phone*


Whatever. I’ve tried for the last year or so to share the long-held mother/daughter bonding tradition of watching 20 something women make fools of themselves over one really-not-worth-it-in-most-cases guy (and in the Bachelorette, 20 something guys) but Miss 16 isn’t buying what I’m selling. Yes, she’d rather watch The Flash (her current favorite featuring my future son-in-law) or action movies with her dad. I’m all alone with my weekly guilty dose of pleasure watching the Bachelor.

Before you roll your eyes – I know how fake it is. And I know it’s not high quality, intellectually stimulating viewing. But, dammit, although it’s kinda cringy, a little voyeuristic , and some of the morals and ethics are a little dubious, it’s fun and fascinating as a romance author to watch the male-female dynamics – and even more fun to watch the female-female or male-male dynamics, play out. And yes, sometimes I get a little teary eyed at the end of the season with the proposal…for all of 5 minutes until I Google and find out the happy couple lasted about 2.5 weeks after the show finished.


Anyway, I liked the show enough to have it inspire part of one of my books, Playing For Fun. My poor hero, Ford, ends up in the crosshairs of the island’s oldest matchmaker (probably also a Bachelor fan by now I’m guessing). A local TV station gets wind of Ford’s dating escapades and suddenly Oban’s most reluctant bachelor becomes Oban’s THE Bachelor. Sort of. But without the roses and mega-expensive dates and cameras in his face.


Here’s an exclusive little excerpt from Playing For Fun, where Ford meets a couple of women who’ve come to Oban to ‘meet’ the bachelor:


“Hellooo?” Trilled a high-pitched, female voice from the front of the workshop. “Are you Ford Komeke?”

Ford let the new cam belt hang off the crank shaft and ducked out from under the hood. Ben stared toward the front roller doors with a WTF expression and his coffee frozen halfway to his mouth. Once Ford glimpsed the three women stepping daintily around the sawdust-sprinkled oil spill at the front of the workshop, he understood why.

Sky high heels, miles of ironed-flat hair, enough foundation between them to conceal every one of Ford’s tatts. And a predatory look in their made-up eyes—eyes that skipped from Ben’s stunned silence to Ford as he moved around the car.

“I’m Ford. Can I help you?”

The pint-sized blonde a few steps in front of the other two women pinned her glossy-pink lips back in a smile. “I hope so. Wow. He does look like his brother, doesn’t he, girls?”

Just as inappropriately attired in a goose-pimple-displaying short skirt, the brunette behind her smirked. “Emily’s blog post didn’t do the younger twin justice, though. He’s much cuter.”

Rocks dropped from a height into the pit of Ford’s stomach.

Emily’s blog post? Emily, who hadn’t left Oban as his number one fan, wrote about him and Harley? What the serious fuck?

Ben cut him a glance, perfectly reflecting Ford’s bafflement.

“What blog post would that be?” Ford asked.

“She called it Forecast—Muddy with a Chance of Dating a Douche. On her blog, Emily Envisaging.” The brunette’s fake eyelashes narrowed until they looked a helluva lot like two black spiders stuck to her face. “She said you were a bit of a dick.”

“A giant bag of dicks, were her exact words,” the blonde supplied, her smile not slipping a millimetre. “But I’m into that.”

©Tracey Alvarez 2015


If you haven’t read Ford and Holly’s story, check out the Playing For Fun book page with all the links here.


Tell me about your secret TV shame in the comments – what do you love to watch that kinda makes you blush a little to admit?

Have a great weekend,


Comments (2)

  1. Rhonda Brant


    Man, you so crack me up! I don’t watch much TV, and won’t consider Bobby Flay my guilty pleasure. Unless we’re talking about Jamie Doran in Fifty, but you aren’t, so I got nuttin on TV. Now books, I’ve got a ton!!!!

  2. Tracey Alvarez


    Hi Rhonda,
    I made DH watch Fifty with me a while back and we giggled like loons all the way through it. Wasn’t our cup of tea at all – but each to their own!
    Thanks for stopping by,

    Tracey A.

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