Why “The Bachelor” is worth our time

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By Alex Gurski, Multimedia Editor

I get it. The fighting, screaming, immature grown women seem ridiculous. The sole bachelor sits back and observes the drama, and we’re all expected to pretend like he’s doing everything “to find love.”

All the signs point to this show being a flop, a disgrace to ABC and setback for women. But I am here to tell you that “The Bachelor” is, in fact, a nationwide phenomenon that is most certainly worth our time. 

For those of you who live under a rock and are not familiar with “The Bachelor”, here’s a run-down. The show has been thriving for 18 years, with 24 seasons and around 5.37 million viewers. (Obviously with this many viewers there has to be something worth our time). For each cookie-cutter season, a seemingly flawless man—single and longing for love—dates 30 women at one time. He takes them on one-on-one dates, group dates and has cocktails parties they all attend. Each episode, airing every Monday in the fall and winter, a few women are eliminated. The number of women dwindles down, with the lucky ones receiving roses to stay and the unlucky ones leaving empty-handed. For weeks the show goes on, until one woman remains, to whom the bachelor is supposed to have chosen to be his wife.

It might seem medieval, but this show is a prime source of entertainment, and is that not why we watch television in the first place? I’m sure we can all agree that watching 30 grown women fight with one another is somewhat amusing, whether it be about who kissed their collective boyfriend first, or talking about each other behind their backs. That’s the reason we all have cable anyway. 

Myself, and the other millions who watch the show, wait patiently for every Monday to come around, when we can finally see the relationships form between the bachelor and his girlfriends, but more importantly, the relationships between the women. Not just the strained relationships, where the women talk badly about each other to make themselves look better, but the friendships that form as the women spend weeks together under the same roof, in the same hotels and behind the same camera. At the end of the show, the man finds his soulmate, and the women leave with lifelong friends who can all bond together over one common cause of being dumped on national television. The female connection that brings the women together when one of their good friends does not receive a rose gives viewers a reminder of how powerful we are when we can support one another.

For many people, watching “The Bachelor” is a way to connect with others. Referring to themselves as “Bachelor Nation,” the avid-viewers communicate through social media accounts dedicated to the show. On a more face-to-face level, many people across the country engage in viewing parties or gather together to watch each episode. People bond over how they feel about a certain dispute or about how a specific date went. The show itself even goes so far as to send host Chris Harrison and that season’s bachelor to surprise viewing parties during the end of the season.  

You can think it’s stupid or immature or anti-feminist, but the point is not to break barriers or set examples. The purpose is to entertain the American public, and they have surely succeeded. The underlying yet powerful bond between the women as they all live life on public television exemplifies the strength of others.

Melinda Xu/The SPOKE

Alex Gurski can be reached at [email protected].