'Bachelor' parody: Ben Stiller, Kristen Bell in 'Burning Love'
Given the line-up for the upcoming dating show parody Burning Love, I’m pretty sure it’s mathematically impossible that the web series won’t leave you clutching your sides from laughter. Along with star Ken Marino — of Wanderlust, Wet Hot American Summer, and “I wanna dip my balls in it!” fame — and producer/star Ben Stiller, the show features Michael Ian Black, Adam Scott, Ken Jeong, Kerri Kenney, Party Down‘s Ryan Hansen, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, and even a former Bachelor himself: Jake Pavelka.
All that’s without mentioning Burning Love‘s unabashed skewering of all the tropes that make shows like The Bachelor a guilty pleasure. Well, PopWatchers, abandon your guilt as Marino offers EW an exclusive preview and explains the origins of Love.
Though Burning Love is inspired by reality shows from American Idol to Sweet Genius (a personal favorite of Marino’s), one can’t help but notice parallels to a certain ABC rose dangler. Marino admitted that The Bachelor is a “very guilty pleasure” for him and his wife Erica Oyama Marino, who wrote Love. “I want to say we watch it ironically, but I don’t know at this point,” he laughed. The Marinos even had a very special gathering in 2010 for the finale of Pavelka’s season, On the Wings of Love. “We had Adam Scott and his wife Naomi over for the finale. They brought roses for us and presented us with a key, should we choose to accept it,” he said. “We did not.” Admit it, PopWatchers. This is the perfect Monday night.
Suffice it to say, Marino had done plenty of “research” before Love started filming in February. He plays Mark Orlando, “a guy who can’t help but be honest about his feelings. He thinks that’s the best approach to life, but he’s completely inappropriate at times and oblivious to other people’s feelings — basically to the point of insult.” If that rings any bells, Marino admitted that Pavelka and Brad Womack were particular inspirations. Luckily, Pavelka was a good enough sport to accept a role in Love. Marino wouldn’t spoil any surprises, but he did say that Pavelka “is not playing himself” and that “his character is a little disapproving of the show and the whole set-up.”
Stiller, on the other hand, is not. In addition to producing through his production company, Red Hour Films, he plays the previous year’s leading man. “He might show up and give some tips to Mark,” said Marino. And he won’t be the only one. On top of the aforementioned cast of comedy all-stars, Marino teased, “There are some surprise guests and some interesting reveals. It is a show riddled with people looking for love in all the wrong places. If we know one thing about The Bachelor and shows of that ilk, we know that you can definitely find long-lasting love in six weeks.” And that there will be lots of making out. Laughed Marino, “My wife wrote it, so I only did what was in the script!”
Burning Love premieres on Yahoo! Screen’s Comedy Channel June 4.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Who are you rooting for — the homeless ingenue, the aged-like-fine-wine super-cougar, or the sassy comedian, or someone else entirely?