Brad Womack. Bernie Lomax.
Beyond their eerily similar names, at first glance you might not see the similarities in their stories. But as a professional Bachelor blogger who just can’t help taking my work home with me, a casual weekend viewing of Weekend at Bernie’s 2 turned into a true revelation: They’re exactly the same.
Well, maybe not exactly. But read these 10 connections between the 1993 goofy comedy sequel and the romantic reality show coming to your TV in January of 2011, and you’ll discover: My theory’s got legs. (Rigor mortised legs.)
1. You’ll watch it because you have two hours to kill and nothing else is on.
As I discovered this weekend, Weekend at Bernie’s 2 is available on Instant Netflix. This is a morsel of knowledge which, when discovered, is impossible to resist. Similarly, each and every episode of The Bachelor, at an inexplicable two hours per week, will be available on ABC.com and Hulu this winter. What are you going to do instead, read a book?
Related: Weekend at Bernie’s 2 is downright boring until at least halfway through.
2. They both star human puppets with dead eyes and great poker faces.
That might be a little harsh on Brad, who really is a living, breathing human being (I … think?) and not an impossibly slowly decomposing carcass. But there’s no denying that ABC has as much control over Brad’s living body and soul as those greedy jerks Larry and Richard have over Bernie’s dead body and soul. And Brad’s about as likely as Bernie is to pipe up and say he’s being used for other people’s gains and amusement. The comparison brings to mind a troubling mental debate: Would you rather be an alive corporate puppet or a dead human one?
3. Both puppets are very rich and are plagued by excessively dramatic “white people problems.”
The entire conflict of Weekend at Bernie’s 2 revolves around whether young executives Larry and Richard (liars, jerks and corpse mutilators) can get to Bernie’s “secret safe deposit box” in order to recover $2 million that Bernie embezzled. And, as we all know, the entire conflict of The Bachelor revolves around whether a rich, handsome man (who’s been widely called a liar, jerk and worse) will find the love of his life from a limited pool of desperate, beautiful women. These plots are not at all alike, except they both involve lots of bikinis, and that they almost always succeed in causing us to ask, “Who cares?”
4. For people with little to no free will or cognitive ability, those puppets sure can get into a lot of unbelievable trouble. Crazy puppets!
Bernie’s dead, voodoo-possessed body gets voodooed into everything from leading a conga line, to para-sailing, to scuba diving (without oxygen tank!) to leading a carnival parade full of people who got voodooed into goats. Despite his earnest efforts to cause as little drama or excitement as possible, Brad will inevitably do the opposite thanks to his unavoidable circumstances and insane supporting cast of ingratiating ladies.
And he’ll probably end up para-sailing.
5. Both puppets are still the most desirable part of their respective movies/shows.
There is FAR too much of Weekend at Bernie’s 2 that does not include Bernie’s dead corpse dancing around in a track jacket and fishing cap. For a dead guy, he’s still somehow a lot more entertaining than his thinking, talking co-stars. The film’s attention revolves around him, and yet he does nothing. Do I need to explain how that is comparable to The Bachelor? I think you get it.
One (drunk) woman also falls in love with Bernie when he’s in this upright, mobile but comatose state, despite his having not said a word, not to mention his CLEARLY BEING DEAD. Falling in love with a stranger who has given you no reason whatsoever to think he’s the one true, shining star in your sky: It doesn’t get more Bachelor than that.
To punctuate this point, I bring you an actual quote from Weekend at Bernie’s 2: “You have to believe in the magic in order for it to work.” Uhhh. By “magic,” do you mean “LOVE”?
“Rent me from ABC?” That could just as easily be Brad Womack’s mantra. And jeep.
7. “Intensive therapy” is involved.
Brad has gone on record saying that part of his preparation for this second try at The Bachelor was a “radical personal transformation” brought on by “intensive therapy.” Bernie is partially revived by a haphazard voodoo ceremony in a public restroom and made to dance toward money whenever he hears music. Now that’s “intensive therapy.”
8. Tropical destination!
Weekend at Bernie’s 2 takes place in St. Thomas. The Bachelor is going to Costa Rica this year. Despite their vast geographical distance and cultural distinctions, since I’ve been to neither place, and both the film and the show [will] treat their respective locations as superficial tourist destinations, they look about the same to me.
9. They both pick up exactly where the last one left off. And will (probably) end exactly where the last one left off, too.
In Weekend at Bernie’s, Bernie was murdered, and Larry and Richard got away with playing with his corpse. At the end of Weekend at Bernie’s 2, Bernie is still dead, and Larry and Richard are still getting away with playing with his corpse.
On The Bachelor season 11, Brad Womack’s reputation was murdered. We don’t yet know what will happen to Brad Womack at the end of The Bachelor. But if previous seasons are any indication, it’s unlikely he’ll come out smelling like roses.
10. It’s not so much a “sequel” as a “reimagining” of the original.
This is just a stupid thing people say to get you to believe that their sequel/reboot/remake/spinoff isn’t a totally redundant and unnecessary ripoff of an original that didn’t need another chapter. So: Did it work? Do you want to watch now?
Well, just as I didn’t learn my lesson with Bernie the first time, I’ll still be back for The Bachelor in January, if only for the amazing recap possibilities — and to keep adding on to my theory that this 1993 film and a 2011 reality show that hasn’t even been made yet are exactly alike. Will you join me?
(Image courtesy of ABC/TriStar)