Confession: I often get sucked in to watching The Bachelor.
Before the judgement starts falling, let me say that I realize it is a total pageant of lies and drama, but there is something so impossibly fascinating about the falsehood of it all. And I also have to admit, after Ashley and JP, there is maybe a tiny part of me that roots for them to actually find love. Plus, it is as one blogger put it, “our version of the Hunger Games.” This season has been, in my opinion, a little slow. It’s not the producers’ fault that Sean is just too nice to be super entertaining ( I mean, did you see the episode where his idea of a date was volunteering to surprise children who suffer from chronic illness??). Given his lack of pizazz, they are resorting to having him take of his shirt with Jacob-like frequency.
But last week I got talking with one of my guy friends, who is experimenting with watching it this season. He’s letting me share his thoughts today, but only as long as I don’t give his name.(James wants you to all know that it’s not him… he hates The Bachelor so much that he says he’d be open about it.) Does this mean he’s ashamed of watching The Bachelor? Most likely.
“I fought competitively for six years, and even won an international tournament with 6,000 competitors. I’ve made a living working on cars. I shoot guns and go camping. I went to Bible college and I know where a chair is in every store of the Mall. I recently started watching The Bachelor on Monday nights.
For those, like me, who had or have not ever seen the show, it is about a couple finding marriage at the end of a 25 girl dating spree. At the end of episodes he gives roses to the girls he likes and those who don’t make the cut go home. Supposedly this show has been on TV for a long time.
The reason to watch the show is to see if the Bachelor will make the choices you think he should make. It is intriguing to evaluate the interactions and see if he is making the right choice. Remember this, because I’m about to explain everything that is wrong with the show, or as much as I have the stomach to type out without being redundant.
Where to start? . . .
This show goes against almost everything that I believe about love and romance. I caught myself thinking in terms of, “if she wins,” and that’s bull because it’s as though no one is questioning whether he is a prize or not. You may be thinking, “they both win if they get married!” Well, who wants a marriage forged in such a way?
Picture them, 20 years from now, laughing about that time she met him and he was so unsure about her that he dated 24 other girls. They will surely own their season on DVD and be able to see him fondling those other girls and throwing around the word love. “Look kids, that’s your dad picking your mom out.” “And that is Mommy making out with daddy even though he was a stranger because she wanted to leave a lasting impression.”
In this show, the women are vying for his attention and to gain his relationship. They see themselves as desirable and they are willing compete to prove it. If I do this or say this he will have to take notice. If she dresses correctly he will undoubtedly choose her. From the start what is desirable within that person is buried under make-up and her attempt to stand out. The potential finalists on the show say they want to “be themselves” but how can they? Who sets the world record for longest on-screen kiss on their first date? (See, I did watch, as awkward as that was.)
I have a friend who was engaged on the third date with a guy, and they’ve been married for seven years. I know that love can hit you like a ton of bricks, but how is this even close to the right way of going about a marriage?
My latest conclusion on The Bachelor is that it is the female version of MTV’s “Jackbutt” (sorry, I don’t say that word). We are watching women do things to hurt themselves, but we don’t have to feel it, so it’s entertaining. It is the wrong way to go about relationships, but is entertaining to watch a train wreck. I don’t know anyone involved, so it doesn’t hurt to watch. Will he choose who I think he should . . . Desiree or Leslie M.? Let’s see! I am honestly interested to see who he chooses, but my interest is confounded by how unsuccessful the “winners'” relationship will be. Perhaps this is cynical of me, but if they truly love each other at the end of this I’m sorry that their meeting is such a terrible story. His choosing her out of 25 contestants isn’t love, it’s just ratings.”
What are your thoughts? And Bachelor fans out there? Or Bachelor scoffers? All are welcome to comment below.