This guest post comes from Nashville, TN resident Liz Riggs. We are proud to endorse her post on The Bachelor and we look forward to having her work with us more in the future!
If you haven’t seen The Bachelor yet, then allow the remainder of this piece to enlighten you. I think most half educated human beings with a pulse know the premise of the show: a douchey 20 something male lacking an overwhelming amount of self awareness and containing just enough desperation simultaneously “dates” anywhere between 2 and 25 women whilst being followed by cameras. It’s quite obviously the only recipe for true love.
Now, for those of you who haven’t watched much of this season, I would be absolutely delighted to fill you in. Ben F., a “wine maker” from Sonoma experienced a devastating loss on last season’s The Bachelorette (hopefully your middle school inference skills can help you surmise the premise of that show). He then became ABC’s new bachelor—God forbid they choose an actual person that applied for the position. He sorted through a variety of women ranging from boring to extremely boring, slutty to potentially-bisexual, PhD students to “VIP” Cocktail waitresses, and LA models to Southern Belles.
And what has he ended up with in the last episode? A self-proclaimed “model” from LA with an affinity for nudity, and a girl from (everyone forgets where because she’s so boring it’s not important) with a serious amount of foundation and a strange obsession with horses. This model, we’ll call her by her name, Courtney, is an overly aggressive girl dependent on her looks, her vagina, and the fact that Ben F. the winemaker is perpetually buzzed throughout the show and isn’t allowed to touch anyone’s boobs until the second to last episode.
To put it simply: this girl sucks. It’s almost as if she was planted there to piss off America and make Ben F. look dumber in each consecutive episode. Not only that, but she’s actually begun to insult the intelligence of the network, the producers, and, (God forbid) CHRIS HARRISON, the untouchable host with the most. She’s manipulative (she hosted a MOCK wedding for him where she stole lines from Sex and The City), she’s a rule breaker (visiting Ben’s room after hours and clearly boning him in the ocean in Puerto Rico), and she has convinced BEN and HERSELF that they’ve actually found true love. WHAT?!
And herein lies the problem with this show. For whatever reason, it seems to me that most participants in the show genuinely believe they are falling in love. Which leads me to my next questions. Why AND how is that remotely possible? The show is so completely meta; it’s almost self destructive. Nearly all of the conversations are about conversations. They fly to places to fly other places. They go on a reality show to experience very little reality. Still, the most ‘meta’ of all aspects of the show: everyone on this show loves love. They’re obsessed with it. They’re certain it’s the only true completion of self. They are confident it can only be found in astounding places, in absurd scenarios that even Chris Harrison can hardly dream up anymore. And these whole-hearted beliefs keep this ridiculous show in motion and send it propelling at full speed into primetime.
And how? Because the show heightens every sense that a person can have when introduced to a member of the opposite sex. Think about it: there’s an inordinate amount of alcohol present on the show. It’s like a frat party for self-indulgent grown ups sick of paying for e-harmony. The contestants all live in a mansion, are whisked from country to country, and are transported primarily by helicopter. Dates are accompanied by fireworks (obviously both literal and figurative), everyone is self-described as being unable to be ‘vulnerable’, and pretty much everyone is starved of attention from the opposite sex. Of course people feel inclined to fall in love: the show perpetuates loneliness, creates soon-fleeting feelings of excitement and wonder, and makes the opposite sex infinitely more attractive by placing you in a house with 25 members of the same sex. I guess in a lot of ways they’ve found the truth about something—but anyone with any sense of respect and intelligence can examine that they haven’t found true love. All the relationships face imminent failure (an almost certainty upon reentering the real world), but they all seem so authentic in the house (to the contestants, not the viewers). So, perhaps, what they’ve found is simply what we’ve all discovered once too many times: true lust. Except The Bachelor found the recipe to lust and made it accessible and acceptable to the masses, instead of facing the awkward truth of its frustrating nature. Still, the recipe remains. And you know what? Most colleges with a Greek System patented the same formula ages ago.