I know, how can I be a feminist and enjoy one of the most rampently sexist shows of the 21st century? I don't have much of an explaination; mainly I was weak and the pandemic was bleak. There is something very interesting about watching the show in 2022 (2020 when I first watched it, shout out to this youtube channel for having all seasons!). I will be musing on this through memes and contextual media from the time. I do not own the images on this site. Most were collected from Fuck Yeah Rock of Love Tumblr
The show was an offshoot of Flavour of Love, another dumpsterfire dating show. The show is losely based on The Bachelor, but itchier.
The "star" of the show is Bret Michaels, lead singer of the hair metal band Poison. The show started in 2007, 20 years since the hair metal peak of the 80s. To say the show was a vanity project of Mr. Michaels may be a stretch, but it is set in LA, so everyone probably does yoga.
Bret was totally still a rock/sex god, and all these young women wanted him bad. The reality was a house full of vunurable young woman, many of who were involved in the adult entertainment industry, being given alcohol and exploited on TV for millions.
Oh yeah, there was 3 seasons of this shit.
Where to start? In the first episode, 4 women are kicked off before even meeting Brett. Brutal. One of these queens was Tiffany. But she was not going to take no for an answer, so when the other women were let into the McMansion, she banged on the door until Big John let her in.
Big John is Bret's bodyguard and his right hand man on the show. He is kinda sen as a teddy bear in the show and considered more wholesome then Bret. (The bar is in hell here.) But more on him later.
Once everyone is in the house, they proceed to start drinking until Bret arrives. This goes about as well as a large group of women given access to unlimited alcohol could go. Not well.
Bret arrives and proceeds to take "headshots" of the girls in a normal and not at all gross way. Tiffany then gets absolutly tanked and throws a racial slur at one of the only black women on the show. It is recognised in the fandom that Bret was not "interested" in black women for whatever reason (racism). The fact Tiffany was not thrown out at this point is wild, and def influenced by producers to increase drama.
By "fandom" I mean the only otherplace I have seen RoL discussions in the 2020s, the Reddit group. Dallas, the black woman in question has made her discomfort with the show known and I won't be commenting on her more. Let her have her piece. "Enjoying" the show while knowing the show did not treat its black cast members well may be too difficult. It acts as a time capsule for an era of TV where this stuff was "acceptable". I don't know, I am not equipted to talk about this stuff. With all the other mess this show did, dont forget it was also pretty racist.
Some of my favourite girls from this season would be;
To help Bret decide which of these beautiful women he would pretend to date until the next season, the producers had set up a range of "challenges" for the women. Some involved writing and preforming rock ballads for Bret. This was always a mess because almost none of the women had any music or sining exsperience. Feels mildly humiliating, but maybe thats what gets him off. It made "good tv".
From the pictures you have seen so far, you must now understand the red hot style being exibited. All the girls that bullied me in high school looked like this, or wanted to look like this. It's kinda hot in an unresolved trauma kind of way.
This shit was huge way back then. And the media landscape at the time generally seemed to be enthralled by the diaster. Unfourtunatly a lot of the "fun" to be had at the shows expense, was had at the girl's expense. This is the issue with reality TV though. To a certain extent, the woman's consent cannot be fully given. They are being exploited. The premise of the show was a lie. Bret has a fiance throughout all 3 seasons. We should be pointing and laughing at the deluded man. I dunno, I just like laughing at men.
This song makes a lot of refrences to late 2000s culture. The bandana cowboy hat, thats RoL. The throne, and the rose scene, yep, that too! Trisha Paytas also features in the video. The casting called for a "fat Jessica Simpson". The 2000s were hell.
RIP Norm, here playing a more charismatic Bret (but I think that is just Norm)