While it is somewhat embarrassing to admit, one of my guilty pleasures is watching The Bachelorette (and the Bachelor). I’ve watched quite a few seasons of these shows over the last few years, and every time a season ends, I swear I will never watch it again………… but then I do. I’ve concluded that it is sort of like gawking at an accident scene. No matter how horrible it is, you just can’t make yourself look away.
I’m trying to understand what it is about these shows that attract me. My biggest complaint is how horribly artificial the romantic situations are, and yet, even knowing that, these people somehow think it is going to work for them. The stats are against them of course. Many couples who find each other on these shows don’t stay together for long once the shows end. There are notable and now famous exceptions, but most of these “hot romances” can’t make it very far beyond the airing of the season. There is no way someone can legitimately fall in love while simultaneously “dating” 10, or 6, or 4, or 2 people. Well, ok, maybe 2 people, but no more than that!
Another complaint I have regularly as I watch each season is the element of audience manipulation created by crafty editing and artful producing. Previews of next week’s episode seem to give away almost too much….. until you actually watch next week’s episode and find out that the preview scenes were not accurately reflecting what was really going on. And while I’m on the topic of producers, another big issue for me is not knowing how much of what happens is scripted or set-up by the producers for effect. How much control do the producers really have? Maybe the guy was PAID a bonus to keep the drama queen on for one more round of dates? That is something most normal audience members will probably never really know, so by watching we are setting ourselves up to be manipulated. Sadly, it works.
I think part of the attraction for me is the game/contest element of the show. I get to pick matches, and then see if the young lovers agree. What do I win if I guess right? The satisfaction of knowing that I really AM a good judge of character? (Yeah, right! Let’s go with that one.)
I feel bad for the families that have to get pulled along on the roller coaster ride with the contestant. Especially those families who actually get included in the home-town dates – they have to open up their homes and their lives to the scrutiny of millions, only to have their son or daughter not make the cut.
Well, all I can say is that as this current season of The Bachelorette winds down, I’M NEVER WATCHING THIS STUPID SHOW AGAIN! (And do you think Ryan might be the next Bachelor?)