“The Bachelor,” in its most recent season, came to an end Monday night. The show, which turns love into a competition and targets audiences in the 18-49 age range, has unfortunately regained some of its lost popularity.
Embodying every single dramatic and shallow aspect of romance it can find, “The Bachelor” is one of the worst reality television shows out there. It is absolutely unrealistic, and it aims to manipulate audience members into believing that true love can come out of shallow connections based on speed dates surrounded by cameras.
There is no entertainment value to the show. It is difficult to even truly make fun of “The Bachelor” because of how painful it is to sit through. People who think they are being ironic by watching the show must enjoy it at least a little to even be able to stomach the near constant objectification of women and the very presence of the glorified player the bachelor is.
Not saying that “The Bachelorette” is any better. The same ideas apply. Although somehow, that show actually produced two real marriages as opposed to “The Bachelor’s” zero.
According to the New York Times, “The Bachelor’s” ratings improved by three percent to 8.8 million viewers as a result of the recently-ended season. The show’s formula is always the same, with generically attractive men and women filling their respective roles in the show and engaging in overly emotional bickering. So why are people entertained by this type of behavior?
Media influences how we think and behave, ourselves, as a culture. If people truly buy into the principle of “The Bachelor” and the behavior the show’s cast displays week after week, then how is it affecting how they behave in their own love lives? They probably won’t be staging any competitions of their own for marriage, but maybe they begin to think that aggressive behavior is acceptable when they feel threatened. Maybe they begin to think that attention-seeking behavior is the best way to strengthen a relationship and get what they want. Who knows?
The point is, “The Bachelor” operates on manipulative evil, and it has apparently been doing it really well for the past 10 years.