Confession time: I’m a a fully fledged member of “Bachelor Nation”. I watch ’em all- The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and where the hell did Bachelor Pad go? I really liked that one most of all. They all screwed each other- literally and figuratively- for money, and it was reality T.V. gold. Anyway, it’s safe to say I’m a big fan of the Bachelor franchise.
I’m not proud of it, but I’m not necessarily un-proud of it either. It is what it is. I love those shows and I’m not sure I can even reliably explain why, to be honest. I can’t really put my finger on what it is that makes me obsessively tune into this veritable shit-show of unrealistic nonsense every single season. But there I am, every premiere, excitedly ready to dive back in for another “journey to find love”. I even watch the cheesy, overly produced live weddings they throw for the couples that actually manage to make it to the alter. (There aren’t too many couples that do- turns out getting engaged on a reality show when you’ve only known each other for a matter of weeks doesn’t work out so well. Go figure).
Now, I haven’t watched the franchise since the very beginning. Much like many of you probably, I thought the premise was totally ridiculous when the first season was announced. It sounded to me like the point of the show was to basically auction off some hot rich guy to a big group of gold diggers who wanted to get married. “Like that would ever be cool to watch,” I scoffed to myself. Well, it must be cool on some level, because the show has been an absolute reality television juggernaut ever since it’s inception. Who knew? So I came late to the game but got sucked in just as surely as those early fans. My first foray was with Ali Fedotowsky’s season of The Bachelorette, (aww, memories…) and it’s all been downhill from there.
Before you even start in on me- yes, I know it’s about as real as the boobs on a Victoria’s Secret model, ok? Of course I know it’s heavily produced, and most of the people on the show are just looking to get famous. Most likely no one on the show is actually there to find love. But to enjoy the show the way it’s intended, I just have to suspend reality a little bit. Every season I make myself believe that this bachelor is really wanting to find a wife, and that the chick who is confessing- through teary eyes, of course- how much she is falling in love with him isn’t just trying to win a competition. This couple is going to make it this time, damn it! Every. Single. Season.
C’mon, don’t look at me like that! It’s fun! You figure out which contestants you are going to root for, and yell profanity at the T.V. when they don’t get a rose. (Hey, Nick Viall- I’m still pissed at you for sending Raven home. Bad move, asshole- you’re on my shit list for life). And the villains! Holy Hell, do I love to hate the villains! That is the best part. Some poor girl (or guy) gets picked by the producers to be the one everyone is going to hate, and they get set-up to look like absolute demons the whole season. I literally get so worked up over the villains (again, suspend reality for a minute; I really want to believe they suck so badly!) that I am truly livid if they get a rose, and I celebrate uproariously when they get the boot. (In your face, Olivia- bye, bitch!). Believe it or not, this is the stuff that makes me love the show. The drama! The fighting! Is this poor bastard gonna get played by the conniving bitch, or will he kick her ass to the curb and choose the sweet girl that we all love? So I guess maybe I do know why I like it after all; the show obviously feeds some deep, shameful, dark part of my soul.
All that being said, there are things about the show that make me want to pull my hair out and burn my television to the ground. First of all, there are quite a few words and phrases this show has got to stop using or I’m going lose my damned mind. All of you who watch know what I’m talking about. Let’s run the list of some of the shit The Bachelor writers and contestants need to ditch, shall we?
- Calling these shenanigans a “Journey”- Are you kidding me? What big “journey” are any of you on? Climbing Mount Everest is a journey. Backpacking through Europe is a journey. Making with out with an entire house full of people is not a journey. The word “journey” gets tossed around at least 800 times an episode, like it’s some sort of spiritual quest to date 20 different people. Journey to find love….give me a damned break, Chris Harrison.
- “Inorganic”- Every season there is some pseudo intellectual chick who insists on whining to the bachelor about how “inorganic” the situation is for her. Inorganic? Like dating this guy is a vegetable sprayed with pesticides? What the dumb cow is actually trying to say is that the current dating situation is weird for her. First of all, gee, ya think? Of course it’s weird, dumb ass- your boyfriend has 13 other girlfriends. Second of all, that’s the weirdest way to describe anything outside of produce or dairy products. Just say, “This situation seems kind of fucked up to me!” and call it a day.
- “The Right Reasons”- This is the thing that everyone accuses each other of not being there for. At least once per season, a contestant tattles on another contestant to the bachelor or bachelorette, as they have decided that said person is *gasp!* not there for the right reasons! And what are “the right reasons” you might ask? Well, it’s never really clear, nor is it very clear why Aaron thinks John’s reason aren’t the right ones. It’s just a way to try to get rid of your biggest rival in the house, and it gets the Bachelorette all riled up so that she starts crying and cancels the cocktail party before the rose ceremony because she is just so confused now. Granted, some dudes have obviously been there to promote their, ahem, wrestling careers (That’s right, weird Justin/Rated X, I’m lookin’ at you!) but most of the time the dude who gets tattled on doesn’t have any different reasons for being there than anyone else. (It’s for fame, right? I know it’s for fame….ugh, suspend reality!!)
- “My Name Is In Your Mouth”- This is a relatively new concept on the show, but boy, is it being used on repeat lately. This is the new way to accuse someone else of tattling on you, i.e. you were talking about me to the bachelor/bachelorette, so my name was in your mouth! WHY is my name IN YOUR MOUTH? Ooh, burn! So dramatic! So damned stupid! And them, a bunch of grown ass men, using this lame, middle school sounding phrase to come at some dude for talking shit. It makes me cringe every time I hear it. It’s just so dumb that I get embarrassed myself, at home, watching some dude thinking he’s badass by using that statement. Just me? It’s probably just me, but seriously, too much- stop. STOP.
- “Amazing!”- Overwhelming usage of this word to describe literally everything is so out of control the show started making fun of themselves by providing a ticker at the bottom of the screen, tallying the number of times the word is uttered. The dates are amazing. The view on the beach is amazing. The guy or girl they are all dating is amazing. All of their spray tans are just amazing! Is it too much to ask that the producers give these tools a freakin’ thesaurus before their interviews? The English language is plentiful; learn a new adjective, why don’t you?
Next, can we talk about all the strange dates for a minute? I mean, the dates these people go on in these shows; can we please, for the love, stop with the “scaling tall buildings” dates? Every damned season some unlucky bastard finally gets the one-on-one date that they have dying for, only to find out that they have to scale the world’s highest bridge, or some bat filled cave, or whatever. Nothing says romance like shitting your pants as you are dangling by some bungee cords, high above the Earth, praying for dear life. I know there is some psychology behind it; that life-or-death situations are supposed to be bonding for people that survive them together. But c’mon, it’s the worst date on the planet. Making some dude wet his pants in fear and cry in front of the woman he is trying to woo is just awkward to watch. I have a terrible fear of heights. I can’t watch those scenes without my hands and feet sweating profusely, my face burning with second hand embarrassment for the person who is bawling and terrified, but still climbs over the ledge to climb down a fucking building, because if they don’t they will get dumped on national T.V.
At least watching the death defying dates do make me feel a little better about the boring old dinner dates that aggravate me. These dates are super annoying, too, because no one eats the dinner. Ever. They just drink booze and ignore the lovely steaks in front of them, and I’m not sure why that makes me so mad, but it does. Why aren’t you eating dinner on your dinner date? Freaks.
The craziest part about all of this? Despite the complete unreality and sheer predictability of the show, I still can’t stop watching it. I know the format by heart; I know I’m going to hear the same mind-numbing catch phrases, and watch the same weird dates every season. The only thing that changes is the cast of characters- there will be the sweethearts, and the villains, and the out-and-out freak shows. (Current season gave us the Wha-Boom Guy; I still don’t know what the hell that man was….?) The next Bachelor will be an abnormally hot man who despite being a “total catch” just can’t seem to find a woman to love him. There will be the contestant with the tragic backstory (usually a dead fiancee) who makes the Bachelor feel too badly to not give her a rose, so she will get to stay until the Final Four. There will be the man who insists on performing over-the-top, cringe-worthy romantic gestures that the Bachelorette will have to pretend is sweet, (even though you can see she wants to sink through the floor) sitting there with that tortured smile frozen on her face. And let’s not forget the contestant who has kids- kids who are like, totally their whole lives, you guys- that they felt totally cool to leave with some random grandparent while they come and party at Bachelor Mansion for six weeks, but then jump anyone’s shit who questions their parenting choices. (Hate them- hate, hate, hate!) Yes, every season they are all there, only the names will change (they even all look practically identical- so many hombre hairstyles!). And I will get mad, and annoyed, and get pissed about who wins. (At this point I’m convinced these people pick the shitty ones over the good ones because they don’t actually want to get married at all- it’s the only explanation). But I won’t stop watching it, because I just can’t. I’m compelled to keep viewing it like the train wreck that it is.
I feel like Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain: “I wish I could quit you, The Bachelor!” (Ok, fine- I don’t really want to quit. You can spot a true addict when you see one, and it’s me).
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to make my next week’s picks for the Bachelorette Fantasy League.
“Amazingly” and “Inorganically” Yours,