Why Do I Watch The Bachelor(ette)? A Short Justification
Disclaimer: I Barely Watch TV
If you know me personally, you'd know that every time anyone talks about any TV show during some dinner party, I can be counted on to be #clueless. I don't really watch TV. Game of Thrones? Nope. The Office? Nope. Orange Is The New Black? Ha, nope. It's like I grew up in an Asian immigrant household where cable wasn't in the family vocabulary and my TV habits never quite caught up to those of other functioning adults.
So why is it that I watch the Bachelor(ette)?! What is it that would convince an educated, rational young woman to watch a show where >20 crazies fight it out to "win" the heart of someone who might turn out to be just an average white dude (*ahem* specifically Arie L. *ahem*), where people of her own racial background have never been part of any story (still giving some serious side-eye here), women are made to look crazy, and everyone seems so desperate to get hitched? Here are 5 reasons this show has reeled me in and kept me glued to the screen for countless seasons:
1. These people say the craziest shit. Some of the lines are really horrible, but when the speaker owns what he/she says, it really shows us the power of knowing who you are as a person, even if you are very dramatic and occasionally ridiculous.
My favorite line of all time came in Season 21 of The Bachelor, where a contestant named Corinne Olympios said,
"My heart is gold but my vagine is platinum."
The producers had cast her as the villain of the season, so the phrase was played up as evidence of why she was awful, but she took full ownership of it. Now she even sells muscle tanks with the very same phrase.
2. Watching (beautiful) people do/say stupid things in moments of insecurity scares me shitless because THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE when you haven't spent enough time building your confidence and self-love.
So then I haul ass to work on my self-confidence and everything in my life just becomes better! When anyone is put in direct competition with others who seem equally qualified in the departments that usually come first (in this case, let's be real, looks come first) it really creates tension in the room. Examining how people emotionally handle this tension has served me well. I know that the producers cut the videos in the most unflattering or funny way possible, but when I see one or two contestants handle this pressure with poise, grace, and the ability to clearly explain their complex emotions, it is so amazing to me.
I always ask myself: if I walked onto that show right now, what areas would I have to personally work on so that none of my insecurities would turn me into someone the producers could spin as a crazy?
3. The series is habit-forming and the producers know how to hook their audience. It's like knowing sugar is bad for you, but that doesn't stop you from eating chocolate.
I basically know what entertainment is in store for each episode. I've been trained to expect it. There will be some positive giddy moments, followed by deep disappointments and drama, and finally someone will have to go home. But they cycle through happiness again in the next episode (so I HAVE to watch the next one) and bonus! In the end, the Final Rose Ceremony, there will be a proposal! Who doesn't love a happy ending? Even though we know it's cheesy and a little fake, I can't help but fall for it, hook, line, and sinker.
If you haven't read Nir Eyal's book, Hooked, go read it now and you'll understand how cycles of addiction are created.
Love, or the promise of it, or even the veneer of it, is SO WONDERFUL AND MAGICAL even if it's not your own. Reality TV makes you feel like you can have the same thing too. Do I take it seriously? Of course not, ha!
But seriously, if you want to find romance, get off the couch.
5. It makes me laugh.
I can't tell you another show where I laugh as hard and as often as I do when I watch this show. They have the perfect cue: a certain, dorky tune comes on whenever there is an awkward or funny moment. I've come to expect it.
Every Monday <3
I really mean (usually) Thursday, because I don't have TV or Netflix or Hulu :)