The Bachelor: a guilty pleasure

Jake Keeley

You know the times are changing when ‘The Bachelor’ now spans across genders. No longer do men have to hold on to the savory details relayed to them by their girlfriends. No, in fact, it is completely acceptable, even encouraged, for anyone to watch ‘The Bachelor’ and not list it as a guilty pleasure, because there is nothing to feel guilty about. Just downright riveting TV.

For those unaware, ‘The Bachelor’ revolves around a single male contestant who is surrounded by twenty-some beautiful female competitors who are fighting for his heart on remote islands. For clarity, ‘The Bachelorette’ also exists, but it is unimportant relative to ‘The Bachelor.’ Think of ‘The Bachelor’ like Sunday Night Football on NBC and ‘The Bachelorette’ as Thursday Night Football on NFL Network. Regardless, the show progresses with our handsome and fearless leader, the bachelor himself, eliminating contestants each week ruthlessly and without regard for feelings, until he is left with the girl he wants. Alright, that’s not what actually happens, he usually has several kind words for the departed who may, or may not, leave in tears.

What is so impressive about a mere dating show is the longstanding airtime despite the repetitive storyline. For starters, the bachelor should not be single. Whether he had a bad breakup in the past, or just never found the right girl, he has clearly slipped through the cracks and the girls are ready to take advantage. The contestants are the same every year. There is one girl who by any means necessary is always trying to get more face time with the bachelor, and frankly couldn’t care less if any of the girls in the house like her. There is another girl who shouldn’t be on the show, but gets some airtime out of the goodness of the bachelor’s heart. The normal girls always make it right to the middle of the show, where the girls who are playing to win weed them out. Everyone is always scared, because they’ve ‘never let someone get this close before.’

The highlight of the show comes during the hometown dates. The audience gets to travel to some podunk town and see the Dairy Queen that the contestant worked at when she was in high school. The mother wants to know the bachelor’s intentions for her daughter. Does he really love her, or does he have ulterior motives? ‘Because, her daughter really is a sweet girl.’ The dad ‘just wants what’s best for his daughter.’ This is when the real drama starts, because the bachelor has a tough decision to make. The most suspense comes when the host, Chris Harrison, the actual MVP of the show, consults with the bachelor before the rose ceremony. Chris and the bachelor always get along, therefore Chris always has a good read on him. So after sensing the bachelor’s apprehension, Chris halfway seriously asks ‘You do know how you’re going to pick…right?’ At which point the bachelor looks like he’s going to cry. Ultimately it was a tough decision, but the bachelor picks his soon-to-be girlfriend.

This might leave you with some serious questions, for instance, how can one guy date twenty girls at once? Don’t worry about it. What happens if the girls don’t like the bachelor? They always like him. How can somebody love more than one person at once? Again, don’t worry about it. When the bachelor says “we’ve had some tough times together,” weren’t they just vacationing for months? You wouldn’t understand. Why don’t they show more Chris Harrison? I. Don’t. Know