Hello, I’m Leah G. Alfonso. I write so that I may speak.
Okay, let me make something crystal clear before the people who know me outside of cyberspace have a heart attack. Yes, I do watch The Bachelor from time to time. HOWEVER, I do not take the show seriously. There’s always been the truth vs. fiction debate when it comes to reality TV, and after the subtle commentary brought to us by Hunger Games, I’m sure there always will be. And The Bachelor is no exception to this.
But whether you watch it or not, you have to admit that it’s still there. It pops up in Celebrity news, Facebook newsfeeds (thanks to the new feature that decided to tell me Andi made a choice), and the tellie. I’m not sure if The Bachelor has gotten cast members from every state in the US of A, but even if it hasn’t, it’s getting there. Heck, it got cast members from countries outside the states.
So yeah, you can’t deny that The Bachelor is well known. But why is it so popular? It claims that it’s a show where the bachelor/ette finds his/her ideal soul mate. So far, we’ve had 18 seasons of the Bachelor and ten seasons of the Bachelorette. And yet, out of all the couples that got engaged on those two shows, less than ten of them are at least still together. On top of that, the editing is messed up, the cheesy metaphors are too many, and the logic is on par with the existence of a rapping dog wearing a jersey in a Titanic rip-off. So why do so many people give this show the time of day?
Well, after a little deliberation, I came up with three reasons for its popularity.
1: The sheer stupidity of it all
The Bachelor has two types of fans: the people who love it and the people who love to make fun of it. This reason explains why we love to make fun of it. Like The Room and almost every movie Nicolas Cage decides to partake in, The Bachelor is so entertaining that even past contestants on the show can’t resist making jabs at it.
I should clarify that it does have serious moments as well. Some of the contestants have a few skeletons in their closets, and of course, over twenty people are sent home before everything is all said and done. Aside from that, this is the crowning achievement of hilarity.
2: Its TV host, Chris Harrison
First of all, any man who can stick with The Bachelor franchise for so long and keep a straight face deserves a round of applause for it. Second, he’s one of the few logical people that got any screen time on the show. If you read his blog, he’s a lot more outspoken on what everyone does than most people would think. And third, he’s never boring. His take on everything is always insightful and sometimes even hilarious. Seriously, this guy needs his own talk show.
Chris Harrison, I salute you for being the best part of the franchise.
3: It appeals to the lowest common denominator
For any book, film, or TV series, the easiest way to become popular is to give people what they want. For example, the Twilight series isn’t any good, but it’s still a financial success. A lot of people are into teenage romance, vampires, werewolves, and eye candy. That’s exactly what Twilight promised, and that’s exactly what it gave. Michael Bay is not a good film director. But again, he gets every inner-manchild to watch his movies because he appeals to the lowest common denominator. He promises action sequences and millions of explosions, and that’s what he delivers. The Bachelor franchise promises romance, drama, and a lot of alcohol, and that’s what it gives us (also, the people who appear on the show aren’t bad looking either). Does that mean these modes of storytelling are any good? Heck, no. But they know what people want, and as a result, they become popular.
So yeah, that’s my take on The Bachelor’s inordinate popularity. It’s stupid, and on occasion I need a big dose of logic and reality check to rebalance my brain. Even so, we have to admit that it knows what to give its audience.
Until next time, this is Leah G. Alfonso saying “So long.”
Photo source: http://www.chicagonow.com/dave-tv/2012/04/the-bachelor-lawsuit-needs-to-go-away/