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”.

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman
film
News
Top Gear presenter James May appears to be struggling with his new-found free time
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kendrick Lamar at the Made in America Festival in Los Angeles last summer
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Marley & Me' with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Hamm (right) and John Slattery in the final series of Mad Men
tv
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
  • Get to the point
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.

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor