In the quest for love there is nothing more satisfying than
watching Bret Michaels court strippers on national television. Even
though it has been a couple years since Rock of Love ended, there
are still depths to be plumbed and episodes to be dissected. What
better candidate to unravel our protagonist's trials and tribulations
than Joseph Campbell? Using select ideas of the monomyth, Rock of Love's all-star cast can finally come full circle.
Bret Michaels embarks on his journey with twenty women in pursuit of his heart. His "Call to Adventure" comes from bikini-clad strippers and bottles of vodka in a recycled Hollywood mansion. It may not exactly be on the same schedule as, say, the Trojan War, but it's definitely a catalyst.
Campbell would argue that our middle-aged hero may even try to resist this tempting scenario in the "Refusal of the Call" stage, possibly for fear of inadequacy. We start off season one, episode one with some friendly competition between the women, but a Brazilian contestant named Marcia has adopted a newfound love with the abundance of alcohol in the house. How can we expect our hero to be comfortable with a woman who can drink him under the table with tequila shots? After only a couple episodes and a startling amount of slurring/vomiting, Marcia had to go.
The cattle is then narrowed down to a choice few and Bret must encounter his "Crossing of the First Threshold" in order to obtain that emotional substance this show was clearly intended for. Bret needed to let go of the world he once knew and see how the women fair in the realm of motherhood. The test? Why, stroller derby, of course. Bret takes his ladies to a roller rink where a doll of baby Bret is strapped to a stroller and taken for a joy ride. Now, this wouldn't be Rock of Love if all the women weren't wearing pink booty shorts with their fake boobs flopping around, but we have to remember that this exercise is solely for the women to showcase their motherly instincts. Campbell would equate this with Gilgamesh seeking out eternal life -- but with an excess of collagen.
The winning team gets the special treat of a group date at a burlesque club. Bret has succumbed to "The Belly of the Whale" stage
in his heroic journey because, let's face it, he has got his work cut
out for him. The women dance for him one by one and are rated on their
seductiveness, and when the infamous transvestite-looking Angelique
bears it all, things turn sour. Luckily, Bret reveals that
his metamorphosis into a sane human being is a success because
Angelique is promptly eliminated the same night. Not even Virgil himself could have made a better decision.
"Woman as Temptress" might as well be the subtitle of this series, but it does encapsulate Bret's struggle to weed through the women who aren't there for the "right reasons," -- whatever the hell that means. Bret takes the women on a little sports outing of football, which of course just leads to them aggressively sliding around in mud for a couple hours. Campbell suggests in his narrative that: "Generally we refuse to admit within ourselves, or within our friends, the fullness of that pushing, self-protective, malodorous, carnivorous, lecherous fever which is the very nature of the organic cell". But not our dear hero! Bret is fully immersed in the physical realm of being and he ain't afraid to show it.
The hoodrat chronicles are sadly coming to a close as our hero embarks on his final leg of the journey to accept "The Ultimate Boon." The victory? One of these disturbing women gets the title of girlfriend. After much deliberation, an obnoxious Taya, who cannot for the life of her stop talking about being a Playboy Playmate, is given the final rose. They both embrace in their blissful ignorance of what life after the show will really be like, and our hero achieves his mental transcendence of a completed journey through hell and back.
Written by Alta Swyers