Courtney Cox | Sunday, March 3, 2013
When “The Bachelor” first premiered in 2002, the whole world was on the edge of their couches, watching what they thought to be a “real-life” fairy tale unfolding on television. It was a fantasy to watch some of the most elaborate “dates” ever imagined and see beautiful people fall in love right before our eyes.
After 17 seasons of the hit show, however, we’ve all become a little (read: completely) suspicious about how authentic the show truly is. We’ve begun to see the formulas play over and over again in the most stereotypical fashion as Chris Harrison dramatically announces “the final rose,” as if everyone in the entire room didn’t already know that.
An enterprising group of comedians took this familiar formula and turned it into an offbeat web series that mocks the conventions of the romance-reality genre.
“Burning Love” is produced for Yahoo! by Ben Stiller, among others.
The series’ short-form is perfect for people who choose to be entertained on their computers. Each episode is between eight to 13 minutes but packed with absurd sketch comedy antics.
The first season starred Ken Marino (of “Party Down” and “Children’s Hospital”) as Mark Orlando, the hunky fireman bachelor. Instead of the expected rose ceremony, episodes of “Burning Love” culminate in a hose ceremony, paying homage to Mark’s career.
Michael Ian Black stars as the ultra serious host, asking Mark pressing questions about the bizarre situations he finds himself in with the bachelorettes.
The list of actresses who make appearances as bachelorettes is unparalleled. Because the format of the show is so short it gives the actresses an opportunity to do something funny in a short span of time that doesn’t interfere with their other numerous commitments.
Perhaps the biggest coup for the show was getting Jennifer Aniston to make an appearance in the first season as Dana, a contestant who didn’t want her physical appearance to affect Mark’s perception of her personality so she chooses to arrive to the mansion wearing a penguin suit. She is not rewarded for her risk and does not receive a hose.
Kristen Bell (of “House of Lies” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) makes an appearance on the show as an ultra-conservative Christian.
Malin Akerman (of “27 Dresses” and “Children’s Hospital”) appears as a contestant who was homeless before she arrived to the mansion so she is constantly amazed by the privileges she is given, like her own bathroom and clothing.
Ken Jeong (of “The Hangover” and “Community”) cross-dresses as exotic dancer Ballerina who rocks the boat among the other ladies.
June Diane Raphael (who you’ve definitely seen but never remember what she’s from, like her cameo appearances in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “New Girl”) makes an appearance as a contestant with major emotional instability.
When Season one ended and Mark made his final decision, the series didn’t end. Raphael stars in her own season as a Bachelorette with plenty of men vying for her attention.
Season two of “Burning Love” features another impressive lineup of bachelors.
Paul Scheer (“The League”) appears as Robby Z, a “party motivator.”
Adam Scott (of “Party Down” and “Parks and Recreation”) stars as Damien, Mark’s former psychologist turned contestant.
Adam Brody (“The OC”) stars as a handsome contestant searching for a Jewish girl. Rob Huebel (of “Children’s Hospital” and “Best Week Ever”) stars as a prince in a plastic crown.
Nick Kroll (“The League”) also makes a brief appearance on the show as a trashed babysitter who becomes belligerent and gets kicked out of the mansion.
Other bachelors include Jerry O’Connell, Michael Cera and Colin Hanks.
Season one of “Burning Love” is currently airing on E!, and Season two is airing on Yahoo!.
The show almost seems like something the actors just threw together for fun and one of the best parts is that you get the sense that they all signed on to this project just to work together.
In making a mockery of reality television, they’ve hit on something really incredible themselves.
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