Last week I did my best to explain what makes Brody Jenner’s new reality show, Bromance, so complicated and fascinating. Even on its own, this new trend in reality television in which half-famous pseudo-fames try to find “friendship” is incredible, without Bromance’s intense homoeroticism, which then makes it double incredible. Like, why is it that finding a friend via a reality show seems so much more hilarious and ridiculous than finding a WIFE? If anything, it’s more plausible that this type of project would have a successful outcome, and yet it is just so hilarious. Maybe it’s because when people go on TV to find a spouse you know that they’re just going to fuck all the contestants and try to capitalize on the 15 minutes. But in this situation there is no secret fucking (I don’t think) or unspoken-but-obvious motivation. And where “I’m just here to find love” is trite and stupid, it’s not as LOLable as “I just really want to find someone to hang out with,” even though both genuine sentiments are equally and totally fair enough.
So, OK, we have established that this show is amazing. But what we haven’t figured out yet is who is this show supposed to be for?
It’s not exactly for fans of The Hills, at least not the core Hills audience. 12-year-old girls are not interested in the complicated and highly-charged ways in which men attempt to prove their platonic worth to each other, nor are they interested in reality shows that are intensely self-aware and whose entertainment value is constructed primarily out of playing upon the socially frought interplay between modern hetero- and homo-sexuality. But if you don’t watch The Hills, then you don’t really know who Brody Jenner is. So is Bromance aiming at the ironic Hills fan? These are the overeducated people who secretly enjoyed the show for a year or two, but didn’t feel comfortable admitting it to their friends until it started getting reviewed in The New Yorker. That seems like a small audience, but this show was obviously so cheap to produce (the house the contestants live in is seriously a piece of shit, and was probably bought for a dollar at some foreclosure auction) that it doesn’t need to pull in a huge audience to be a minor financial success.
Except, something happened on last night’s episode that was insane, and bear in mind that we’ve already seen a hot tub elimination ceremony and Bachelor-style one-on-one firepit confessions. But this takes the gay cake.
Wait, WHAT? We can talk all we want about the supposedly fine line that modern guys have to walk if they want to show that they’re comfortable enough in their sexuality to joke about their feminine traits/impulses without actually crossing that line into genuine homosexual behavior, but all of that talk is useless when you have a scene where two dudes walk in on another dude taking a shower while softcore erotica music plays in the background. What is this? Who wants this? Do gay dudes even want this? What is happening?
I need an adult.