On Feb. 14, when most of you will be sensually eatig chocolates with a saxophone playing in the background, I will be alone in my room feeding myself chocolates, not so sensually, and watching the premiere of Season Two of the web series Burning Love.
Burning Love, a parody of The Bachelor, was created by Erica Oyama and her husband Ken Marino (Children’s Hospital, Party Down) and streamed last summer on Yahoo.com. The show’s executive producer is Ben Stiller, who appears in one episode as a previous bachelor.
Season One stars Marino as Mark Orlando, a fireman who is just looking for love. Michael Ian Black (Wet Hot American Summer) hosts the show, and some of the lovely ladies seeking Orlando’s hand are played by famous actors and comedians such as Jennifer Aniston, Kristen Bell, Natasha Legger, June Diane Raphael, Malin Akerman, Ken Jeong and Oyama herself. In addition, Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott plays Orlando’s therapist.
Orlando’s search for love is hilarious. Even as someone who believes that The Bachelor could stand alone as a parody of itself (although a small part of me does genuinely hope Sean, this season’s bachelor, will find love), Burning Love does a wonderful job of making those reality television bimbos even more ridiculous. For example, it is not uncommon for people on these shows to do crazy things, like show up to the first episode in a wedding dress (that is a real thing that a current contestant on The Bachelor did). In this vein, Jennifer Aniston’s character on Burning Love showed up to the first episode in a panda costume because she wanted Mark to fall in love with her for her personality. She was immediately eliminated. Malin Akerman plays a homeless woman who only wants to be on the show because she gets to live in a house with food and running water. Kristen Bell plays an extremely religious woman who informs Orlando upon meeting him that she is “already married to God.”
If you are inspired to watch all 14 episodes of that season right now, I’m sorry, but you can’t. Although Season Two will be online, Season One has been removed from the web because it will be airing on E! starting Feb. 25 in seven half-hour episodes.
This is not the first time that a web series has transcended its Internet beginnings. One notable example of this is Web Therapy, which starred Lisa Kudrow as a therapist who believed that the only important part of therapy took place in the final minutes of a session, had four seasons online before it was picked up by Showtime in 2011. Though the TV show Web Therapy has been renewed for a second season, its reviews haven’t been as positive as those for the original web series. Some critics believe that the format suits the internet better than television, and I’m nervous that the same will hold true for Burning Love.
Regardless of the concern I have for any repackaging of Season One of Burning Love, I highly recommend that you ditch your hot dates this Valentine’s Day and watch Burning Love’s second season, which this time stars June Diane Raphael as the heartbroken reject of Mark Orlando named Julie Gristlewhite.
Her suitors will include a plethora of incredibly funny actors and comedians such as Raphael’s actual husband Paul Scheer, Adam Brody, Michael Cera, Jerry O’Connell, Adam Scott, Nick Kroll, Kumail Nanjiani, Colin Hanks, Martin Starr, Nick Thune and many more familiar funny faces.
The trailer for Julie’s season is on Yahoo’s website now, and I strongly suggest that you all check it out. It promises a season of “romance, bromance, chemistry, physical attraction, bro-ing out, wrestle fights, fist fights, word fights, cross dressing, fire-side chats, intrigue, surprise exits, surprise returns, impressions, communication, hurt feelings, insecurities, convertibles, tears, testosterone surges, bus throwing under-ing and feelings as the most romantic web series that will ever be continues.”
To those of you with social lives, have a happy Valentine’s Day, and to the rest of you, have a wonderful and cookie-dough filled Burning Love Season Two premiere.