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<I>More to Love</I>: An Uncomfortable Thing to Watch After months and months of hype, speculation and abject horror at the idea, More to Love finally premiered last night. And, as Angel warned us, it really does boil down to just being The Bachelor, but with larger people. They really didn't try very hard at all to differentiate the two shows. There are some key differences, however -- some of which are great, but most of which are yikes city.

I'm going to start out by accentuating the positive, I guess. First of all, Emme is fierce. Total Chris Harrison upgrade. She didn't have much to do and was kind of a creepy statue with a chiffon cape and non-moving hair, but it was totally working for me. Secondly, though I'm not quite sold on this Luke guy, it definitely felt to me like the girls are on this show for real. They are really looking for love! Which is a refreshing change from The Bachelor/Bachelorette, but it was also a really uncomfortable drawback. At least when things get really awkward and humiliating on The Bachelor, I can just tell myself it's fake, and that they're actors, and most of the time I'm certain I'm right. It's just theater! It can't really hurt anyone! But here, though we have some girls who are really confident and just trying something new (like that kick-ass Bonnie girl, who is totally my new favorite), we also have a lot of girls with some serious psychological and self-esteem damage. The girl who cried constantly and who said she never accepts when she's asked out on dates because she assumes it's a cruel joke? Holy crap, that girl is in a world of pain, and this show is probably just going to make it worse. And there were a lot of girls like that. This public flogging is the last thing they need.

Plus the whole "I'll give you the promise ring, then you have to give back the promise ring, then maybe you'll get it back" is just kind of unnecessarily weird and mean. Nobody makes The Bachelor contestants hold a wilting rose all episode, you know?

And it was remarkable how well Luke had that lecherous "How do you say 'kiss' in Spanish?" act down, just like the Bachelors. Have you ever wondered what those coaching sessions with the producers of these shows are like? "Dude, just pick some random thing they said, and then figure out a way to turn into a creepy on-the-spot makeout session. That will be great television." Yack.

So yeah, this show is really weird, but so are its predecessors. It does seem especially exploitative of its contestants though, which makes me feel dirty and sad in a way that regular-sized Bachelor usually doesn't. At least we have a summer of Emme, I guess.

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