I’m currently incredibly disappointed in myself. Deep, deep levels of shame. Just really majorly questioning my choices, and wondering what my younger self would think of the woman I’ve become. This is even worse than the time I got halfway through a soda before realizing it was a Pepsi, and not a Coke, instead of realizing it after just the first sip. Mortified. Ashamed.
The cause of all this shame?
I just watched an entire season of The Bachelor.
Previous to this season, I’d never seen a single episode of any Bachelor entity – no Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, After the Final Rose, The Ladies Tell All, The Ladies Tell All 2: Electric Bugaloo, The Bachelor: Divorce Court, The Bachelor on Ice, nothing. (I’m just assuming these are all real shows.) What I have seen, however, is every episode of Burning Love, multiple times. I cannot recommend this show enough – it’s a spoof of reality dating shows and, after watching The Bachelor (I’m still shuddering that I can say that,) I can attest that it is moment-for-moment an exact recreation of The Bachelor, just with comedians. So it’s fantastic.
Anyway, yeah. I watched The Bachelor. Not just watched it, but got invested. Played Bachelor BINGO, read recaps online the day afterward, learned the girls’ names (well, at least the top 5 or so), read spoilers, the whole shindig. I know that Corrine has a nanny, that the best girl on the show confused a shark with a dolphin, that Raven seems like a pretty fun chick to hang out with, and that the women on this show drink more alcohol than the entire city of New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
What I don’t know is how any of these women could stomach being around Nick for more than 30 seconds.
I mean, I know fame is a big motivator, and being a girl on The Bachelor can lead to being asked back for one or multiple seasons of different shows, and maybe even make you the star of the next season of The Bachelorette, and then you can go on to being on Dancing with the Stars. And then you do the reality show circuit. You could ride that C-list fame train for years. Just ask Nick.
(I’m disappointed that I even knew to make that joke.)
It’s also been explained to me that sometimes (all the time?) the girls don’t know who the Bachelor is going to be when they apply to be on the show. I don’t know if that was the case this year, but man let’s hope so, because Nick is the ABSOLUTE WORST.
How this guy, who has the personality and intelligence of an empty paper bag, has somehow managed to wrangle his way into something like six fantasy suite dates baffles me. Or is it more? Point is, dude has had “fantasy suite” time with AT MINIMUM half a dozen women on national television, and he has cried more in the last three months on TV than I’ve cried in the last three decades in private.
What does he cry about? Why, how overwhelmed he is at the two dozen woman who want to fall in love with him.
Or maybe he’s crying because he just saw a picture of himself wearing this turtleneck and had a sudden, clear moment of self-realization and humility.
Oh, wait, nope, he’s still posting stuff like this on Instagram:
Like… What a…. dude, you don’t have 18 exes. If you can tell me their names, I’ll allow it, but please take a step back and think of how low a bar that is.
Also, please enjoy his new styling product line and the terribly-written introduction.
All of this is to say; The Bachelor is a weird show, and I think that y’all (as in every female in America) have been watching it for too long to remember how absolutely bonkers and bizarre it is. Let’s discuss a few of the very basic, widely-accepted normalities of this show
1. Unlimited girlfriends
So he “dates” all of these women, and calls them his “girlfriends” (see above). So…. The only thing I can think of to compare this to is Hugh Hefner referring to all the bunnies as his “girlfriends.” Does that give you a good feeling? Or does that make you feel “ewwww” inside and shudder a little bit? Also, please remember he makes out with all these women right after one another. So Danielle L may as well just be making out with Danielle M. since he doesn’t exactly pause to brush his teeth between his two very sincere dates with them both.
2. The efficiency of falling in love
Since there are roughly 43,764 women and one man on this show, he only gets a few minutes with each of them during their first few “dates.” I mean, it’s literally only a few minutes. Even if you met someone at a bar or a sporting event or the dog park or wherever people naturally bump into one another in real life, you’d at least have the timespan of a few drinks, a few innings, or at least until your dog is tired out, to decide if you’d like to see this person again. And after these first five minutes, it’s inevitable that at least half of the women are talking about how much they love him. They love Nick. The dude who buys engagement rings with the same frequency that I buy cheeseburgers. That guy. You love him? Does he even know your last name, honey, or just the initial? Stockholm Syndrome is a major player on this show.
3. Getting engaged
Speaking of engagement rings, let’s talk about the overall point of this show. (Besides ratings grabs and fame-hungry people who don’t want to get real jobs.) The end game here is to find Nick’s soulmate. The woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. The woman he can love forever. I know all of this because he stutteringly mentions it 71 times every single episode. The thing that blew my mind, by far, about this show was the complete casualness everyone has about getting engaged. The engagement is literally just an agreement to keep dating. You know what else is an agreement to keep dating? A hug. A kiss. A phone call. All of those are significantly cheaper than a diamond ring.
4. The whole saying “I love you” thing
So apparently on this show, as in the real world (no, the actual real world, not the reality show The Real World, although I understand the confusion,) saying “I love you” to the person you’re dating is a big deal. Good! It should be. Finally, something I agree wi- oh wait, what? I’m sorry, I’ve just been informed that it’s normal for the women to all say it to the Bachelor but he doesn’t say it until the finale to the one
poor soul he condemns lucky girl he chooses. My Bachelor-obsessed friends described this to me super casually, like it’s understood behavior. Normal habits we all accept as polite members of society. Don’t cough in someone’s face. Hold the door open for someone walking in right behind you. Let pregnant women take an empty seat on the subway before you take it. Send your mom flowers on Mother’s Day. Tell the guy you’ve seen a total of five times in real life that you love him while he’s still “dating” at least six other women and be totally fine with the fact that he won’t say it back. You know, normal stuff.
5. Failing the Bechdel Test
Listen, I know that editors cut out everything that’s not relevant to the “story” (and what the “story” is for this show is shudderingly depressing,) but you could at least leave one, JUST ONE conversation that these women have with one another that doesn’t involve obsessing over the dude. Or trash talking one another because someone disapproves of how someone else acts around the dude. If you try to tell me there isn’t hundreds of hours of footage of the girls sitting in a circle trying to explain to a drunken shark girl that she was wearing a shark costume and not a dolphin costume just sitting on the cutting room floor, I’ll know you’re lying. You could’ve turned that episode into the most riveting 2-hour special in this entire trainwreck of a season, and I would’ve hung onto every single word.
All of this is to say…. This show is bananas. But I think I just tuned in for a bad season, so obviously I’m going to have to watch The Bachelorette now. For research purposes, of course. Not because I enjoy it or anything.