The Phenomenon and Success of The Bachelor: Who's Really Watching This Show?Joanna Mazewski
Being an entertainment writer, I keep up with everything that is going on in the celebrity circle — whether it’s award shows, Hollywood A-list stars, reality television drama, and so on. It doesn’t mean though that I necessarily take the time to sit down and watch the endless reality shows that are on television these days. Not everyone has time for that, although I do make a few exceptions.
Some shows such as The Bachelor have been around for almost a decade now, and I simply just can’t keep up with the current season — the current bachelor and all those women vying to get “that rose” and a proposal by the end of the show. Although I have many friends who talk about it on my Facebook feed, I’ve never watched a single episode. And quite frankly, I don’t understand why people watch it either.
The concept of The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette) seems pretty simple: take a random, athletic, and handsome-enough guy with deep pockets (Juan Pablo Galavis, if you’ve been keeping up here) and put him on a show with a dozen or so single ladies who will do anything for his attention and at the end of the day, a spot beside him. Call it what you will, but if this is what modern chivalry is all about, all I can say is thank goodness I haven’t been single in a decade. If I had to “compete” for someone’s love with a handful of women on a television show in front of millions of people, I think I’d rather stick with the lonely cat lady label and eat my bowl of popcorn instead.
To me, the notion of marrying somebody who you dated a few weeks under reality television show circumstances is not very realistic. However, there must be those out there who religiously watch The Bachelor and truly believe it’s about romance. Otherwise, how else do you justify the show being on for 18 seasons now with ratings that hit the roof each and every time?
A show like The Bachelor simply isn’t for me, but mostly because I’m married and true love is a subject I talked about almost a decade ago while I was still single and childfree. The Bachelor and The Bachelorette both seem like the equivalent of online dating but in a controlled and orchestrated environment. But still, who would want to be subjected to such national embarrassment for a few, short minutes of fame along with a couple of magazine covers? If these Bachelors such as Juan Pablo go on these shows not to look for a wife, they certainly are looking for the fame, which makes me ask: Who in the world is still watching this show? Television producers have tapped in to a demographic goldmine with The Bachelor and even though the formula of the show has become tired and repetitive, the viewers are still wanting more.
So, does this mean The Bachelor might still go on for several more seasons? Perhaps, but what puzzles me the most is that there are still men and women out there who will put on a fancy shirt and tie or dress along with a smile waiting for that televised proposal (whether it’s genuine or not) to happen. Call it the Prince Charming Complex, but these Bachelors and Bachelorettes are nothing more than televised versions of Disney Princesses and Princes looking for their true love, despite the hurdles they have to jump through to win someone’s heart. And a paycheck. It’s a scripted fantasy behind a reality concept.
Still, that’s not enough for me to tune in.
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