Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends - Courtney Robertson

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends:
Confessions of a Reality Show Villain
I have a confession.

Sometimes I watch trashy tv.

Not often and not a lot, but I have a weakness for the Bachelor franchise. I'm pretty sure my husband considered it one of my greatest flaws and my parents consider it one of their greatest failings every time my sister and I launch into a detailed discussion about the show. The thing I honestly enjoy most about it is getting to have those conversations with all sorts of people. My sister, my best friend, even a male vendor at work called me the morning after the latest finale because he watches it with his wife and daughter and wanted to chat about it. Like it or not, it's a connecting point for people. We all like fairy tales...and drama. Reality tv thrives on drama.

Speaking of drama, the woman who wrote the book on Bachelor drama, well, literally wrote a book.

Courtney Robertson was both the winner and the "villain" of Ben Flajnik's season. I did not actually watch that season (I go on and off depending on who the lead is), but I remember seeing plenty about her in the entertainment headlines. Her sarcastic, biting sense of humor did not go over well with the other girls and, eventually, her engagement to Flajnik crashed and burned. The whole thing played out quite dramatically in the press.

Robertson released this tell-all a few months ago, to much anticipate in Bachelor loving circles. I did not plan on reading it since I did not watch Ben's season, but when my best friend offered me her copy after she finished, I could not resist.

The book is super trashy. There is absolutely no getting around that. Robertson spares no details about her dating life both pre- and post-Bachelor. She's more than happy to share every last raunchy detail with readers. If you think the show itself is trashy, you likely don't want to come within ten feet of this book. 

Robertson does, however, share a lot of behind-the-scenes insight into how the show works and what contestants lives are like while on the show. She walks readers through her whole season week by week and, consequently, what happened in her relationship with Flajnik after the show wrapped. Honestly, that part was more fascinating to me than the behind-the-scenes info. It definitely put a more human spin on the whole uber-romance the show creates. These people are real and incredibly imperfect. 

Obviously, Robertson is sharing her perspective and, while she does admit fault at various points, she still is giving her own view. She still has no qualms about telling her real opinions of people and it's obvious that Flajnik hurt her. I mean, the guy is a jerk. I don't think that is just Robertson's opinion; it seems fairly well documented. But, having heard her side, I would be interested in hearing his as well. 

The book really was everything I wanted original Bachelorette Trista Sutter's book to be a few months ago. I actually started that one and quit because I thought it was boring and I figured I didn't know a reality show star to tell me how to be grateful for things. Sutter's book is certainly more wholesome and uplifting, but not nearly as interesting. Isn't that awful to say? I did find it ironic that the two released books so close together, especially since they have a pretty long-standing Twitter feud.

My real take away from Robertson's book was sadness. It makes me so sad that so many of the contestants on the show are so desperate for love and have so much of their happiness wrapped up in pursuing that. From the sounds of things, as told both in Robertson's book and plenty of media stories, the Bachelor alumni are an active crew and they get around within the family. The Bachelor family is definitely an extremely incestuous one. These people need a love much greater than they could ever find on a reality tv. It's good to know that at least some alumni, such as former Bachelor Sean Lowe, are sharing the good news within the family.

The book also made me wonder how I would be portrayed as a contestant on the show. It's no secret that the producers edit the cast into the roles they want them to play. Certainly personality types just play better in that environment and create the image the show wants. Robertson's sarcasm and vicious humor made her the perfect 'villain' for the season. I have a dry, sarcastic humor as well, but I certainly hope I would know when to bite my tongue in that kind of environment. And would my introversion turn me into a self-involved recluse on screen? Who knows. I never will. I quite happily married, thank you very much.

If you are a Bachelor fan, there are definitely some good tidbits in Robertson's book. And, the realism of the show will hit you full force. It certainly makes it easier to see the contestants and leads as real people. But, fair warning here, steer clear if you want to avoid graphic details. There were definitely some parts I could have done without. 

Pages: 272
Date Completed: July 28, 2014

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