I have my "guilty pleasures", beginning over twenty years ago with the Jerry Springer Show!
I think reality TV will continue to grow because it's so much cheaper to produce, although audience demands for "bigger" productions will also grow. In addition, as technology allows us to be more solitary, people will increasingly crave these kinds of episodic shows about finding love. Also, I don't think this is not such a preposterous premise. Just compare it to online dating, or the horrors of randomly meeting a mate in a bar, and the odds of that happening, and moreover, it being more successful than an arranged coupling based on exhaustive compatibility testing.
I think it was such a lucky break that the first season produced two winners. I don't necessarily think the audience will always root for every couple to stay together, and that one couple who are at bitter odds is perfect, since it offers the conflict audiences have proven to like.
If the show had NOT produced at least ONE happy couple, I don't see how there could have been a second season, which brings up the question, if there could be some kind of incentive for couples to stay together? The cast on "The Bachelor" and the "Bachelorette" are paid, but their salaries are negotiated and not made public. Hmmmm?
It must be a lot of work for the professionals, and producers to find participants, do the psychological testing, THEN, pair couples who have the best chances of making it, but who also offer the most audience appeal, namely, looks.
I am fairly sure Doug was paired with Jamie not just for the compatibility stated, but more importantly, BECAUSE he was not extremely handsome. A young woman like Jamie, who had also been on "The Bachelor", and who has obviously turned heads most of her life, would likely not find him attractive at all.
They needed a guy who would be so knocked out by her beauty, and find Jamie SUCH a prize, that he would be be willing to be patient enough to take continued rejection, and probably her likely eternal need to be reassured
Since the whole premise of the show looks for people who have not succeeded in previous relationships, it would be interesting to know how much her deep insecurity contributed to her failures, instead of the guys ending up being liars, etc.as she implied.
Her behavior with Doug WAS extreme, but I bet she has gotten away with a form of it initially in other relationships. But, no big stud would have put up with her for long, as you saw with Vaughn and Jason's reactions. I will also venture to say, the experts predicted if the choice for her had JUST enough going for him, AND she was FORCED to get to know him, that kind of loyalty in the face of her deep insecurities, would ultimately be irresistible for her.