Grace Dent on TV: The Bachelor, Channel 5

These women are ready to love Spencer from Chelsea forever. They just haven't met him yet

After the success of last year's series of The Bachelor – where girls competed for the hand (the pecs, the gonad district and the cash collateral) of Gavin Henson – the show's return for a second series, now with Spencer Matthews from Made in Chelsea, was much anticipated.

OK, it was "anticipated" by about 18 people, and by 750,000 other viewers it was "stumbled upon at Friday pub closing time by people not quite arsed enough to pull all the sofa cushions off and find the remote… is that cat asleep on it, go on, move the cat… oh sod it let's just watch this bachelor thing". Worse still, the show runs after Channel 5's version of Big Brother. Oh those poor anonymous buggers all sat in a house playing up for the cameras and no-one caring. God bless their souls. These days Big Brother is less a reality show, more an in-depth televised experiment in MDF soundproof-ability.

Last year's The Bachelor, it must be said, was a real success, with affable clot Gavin Henson finding love everlasting with Carianne Barrow. Delightful Carianne stuck with Gavin just long enough to harvest strong anecdotal material about his sex technique, leg-shaving routine and issues with intimacy to furnish a number of trashy-mag exclusives. It was like movie love. Obviously, a sane person would have pointed out that Gavin – who was fresh from his marriage to Charlotte Church and was therefore possibly in that zombie-like Walking Dead freshly divorced state – was not a good candidate for a televised Cupid-hunt. But the trouble with sane people is they're enormous buzzkills. If sane people had their way in TV then Embarrasing Bodies, where folk too shy to show their anal prolapse to a GP instead fling their ankles behind their ears and Skype the nation bum-cheeks akimbo, would not exist at all. Sane people would notice that The Voice's spin-off UK tour had been cancelled due to levels of public boredom and replaced series two with a more feel-good, cost-effective webcam of a basket of six-week-old kittens discovering wool.

Thus, The Bachelor, mark two, with "him, y'know wotsit, the posh one out of Britain's third-best structured reality show, no not Hugo, the other one" is returned and continues to thrill. The Bachelor series three began many months ago in a production team's mind when someone in a headset on a coffee-break began writing down a wishlist of "men daft enough to sign up for series two of The Bachelor after what happened to Gav. At the top of the wish list would be, I'll venture, men in the league of Tom Hiddleston (Loki from The Avengers) and David Gandy (male supermodel, seemingly only ever clad only in white underpants), followed by "men who have big tax bills", "virtually unknown, unskilled but pretty", "men who will probably sexually assault someone but we can increase the chaperoning budget", "totally gay but is prepared to blur the issue", and, under all these, "David Van Day: only call in absolute emergency".

Having located a bachelor, the production team then audition for 24 young women prepared to love him forever. It's a big ask – as the girls have no idea who the individual is – but after a short sojurn in a C5 harpy-holding-pen a lustful mass-hysteria envelopes the sorority. Then they're prepared, if need be, to rain down hammer blows amongst each other's real Eastern European hair extensions just for a chance of some face time with him ("Y'know, him? Thingy, no not him off Geordie Shore, the other one, Spencer who's dating Louise in Made in Chelsea, only he says he's not now"). Fascinatingly, only one girl, Renay Louise, on catching sight of Spencer for the first time, looked crestfallen and said he just wasn't her type, that the chemistry wasn't there. A mere 24 hours later, Renay had breathed in enough surplus stupid from the other females to now believe Spencer was worth the fight.

In episode one, the girls were presented to Spencer one by one, employing all methods of subtle seduction from "belly dancing", "simpering", and "informing him they make a good pasty", to the timeworn hit, "hinting strongly they're quite mucky in bed". In episode two: a sexy photo shoot, a helicopter date, a luxury catamaran outing, then the "rose ceremony" where unsuitable birds are turfed off leaving 13 warring women, some of whom now profess to be "genuinely in love". I cannot summon up umbrage to be offended by the image of womenhood portrayed in The Bachelor.

If you can't be a good example, the adage goes, be a terrible warning, and these women are a veritable parable to teenage girls on the perils of inhaling shellac-nail fumes and not paying attention at school because, "look at that Coleen Rooney, she's got all them lovely shoes and she probs only has to put out for that fella that looks like a potato, what twice a month tops?". The hunt continues…

Very good BBC3 comedies in the iPlayer Feed My Funny series: People Just Do Nothing with MC Sniper and Kurupt FM, and Dawson Bros Funtime. So good they took my mind off "summer"

Grace’s marmalade dropper

Very good BBC3 comedies in the iPlayer Feed My Funny series: People Just Do Nothing with MC Sniper and Kurupt FM, and Dawson Bros Funtime. So good they took my mind off “summer”.

Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson on stage

film
Arts and Entertainment

Grace Dent on TV

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
art

‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us