Overall, the series premiere on Monday night generated a 0.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic — it’s a sizable drop from the 1.4 that the new episode of The Bachelorette generated, but it is better than the 0.6 rating we saw for Elementary. This is a show that leaned heavily into some of its Bachelor Nation origins — former Bachelor star Jesse Palmer was the host and beyond that, it is a product of series creator Mike Fleiss.
Now, we don’t think that the show has a huge chance of replicating this. Unless the curiosity factor from people who didn’t watch the premiere is extreme, we foresee the series within a couple of weeks losing a ton of steam … mostly because this is the sort of show that really puts the “guilty” within “guilty pleasure.” Is watching someone get engaged after an hour of television ridiculous? Sure, but in the end it’s rather arbitrary. You’re not actually getting married and in that sense, engagement isn’t binding. You’re not paying for the ring so it can always be returned. It’s basically just a dating show with a fancy name and a symbol of commitment at the end. It may mean a lot to some people, but we don’t think it means marriage to all of the contestants here.
The larger issue with The Proposal is the path that gets contestants there, one that includes emphasizing ridiculous talents (baton-twirling) over your professional achievements and also decided that having women don their bikinis to speak about personal vulnerabilities is a cool idea in 2018. The entire process feels like it’s picking up things that the Miss America Pageant recently decided were not appropriate in the world anymore.
Obviously, the whole idea here was to create something that could go viral and get headlines, and for one night that probably worked. However, it’s hard to see this Proposal being one that lasts.
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