It has been 12 years and 18 seasons since “The Bachelor” aired, and nine seasons of the equally popular spinoff, “The Bachelorette”, and yet the shows are still creating a buzz around the globe.
Since the franchise began in 2002, the show has prompted controversies and appraisals, nonetheless becoming many individuals’ guiltiest obsession. “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” both reveal a lot about how American viewers think of love. After all, the show has only continued because of the number of people tuning in. As progressive as our country’s views are, this reality show incorporates the enticing and somewhat outdated framework of a fairy tale, slut shaming, and drama.
One may wonder what the prize possession is that makes it worthwhile at the very end: marriage. The entire industry is focused on a man getting down on one knee and proposing, leaving the contestants hoping for true love at the end of all the challenges and roadblocks in the 12-week frame. One of the greatest reasons why many have a love/hate relationship with “The Bachelor”, is the portrayal of love. It makes love seem so simple, and it feels as though there is nothing better than watching someone fall in love, even if it’s in the most unrealistic way possible.
What if finding your next relationship was as easy as flying through numerous countries and staying at lavish hotels? What if we could control such circumstances surrounding the idea of love? Love unfortunately isn’t a 12-week competition such as this, but there is no doubt, at least, that there is such a satisfactory feeling that it could be that way for someone.
It is 12 years after the show started, and yet it continues because it manifests the idea of true love for many, despite the sarcastic way it can easily be referenced. If having one guy date 25 girls doesn’t scream happy life and happy marriage, I don’t know what does.
The show and fairy tale continues to be gossiped about, recapped, reenacted, mocked, and parodied. “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” became counterfeit, barely resembling the world in which people actually date. No one talks about same-sex partnerships, casual hookups, and- most shockingly- no one is gripping their cell phones. How very unrealistic! This is an industry supposedly built around true love, and, while millions of viewers tune in to watch, it is certainly not realistic love. It says a lot about how America prioritizes affection and the idea of loving and being loved. As bogus and eccentric as it may seem, it creates a present-day romance that is unrealistic for many, but remains what people fantasize love to be.