Pop Culture

Ugh: I Finally Give in and Watch “The Bachelor”

So, I watched The Bachelor for the first time, and it annoyed me about as much as I thought it would.

I was rather proud of myself for making it so long without watching any of the million Bachelor or Bachelorette incarnations. For all the trashy reality series I’ve watched in my day, I can’t stand the dating ones. In fact, I think the last time I watched a dating show was Singled Out when I was 12. I don’t like desperation, and that often seems to be a requirement to get on one of these programs. 

The Bachelor is such a bizarre premise: date a ton of women at the same time and then after a whirlwind courtship with multiple partners, propose. I just can’t see myself falling for someone who is dating so many other women at the same time, so I have no desire to watch someone else try it. But, I decided to end the streak Monday night. I had no good reason for doing so; I was just bored and felt like getting my hate on.

I’ll start with the good. This season’s bachelor, Ben Flajnik, seems like a nice guy. He is in desperate need of a new haircut, but he doesn’t seem like a bad person. Some of the women vying for his love also appear to be decent, with many forging bonds with each other, which is nice to see. Of course, there are other contestants who irritated me the second they opened their mouths, including the girl everyone loves to hate on the show, model Courtney Robertson. She is “in it to win it,” with “it” being a proposal from Ben. She’ll do anything to get “it,” which is creepy because SHE DOES NOT KNOW THIS MAN. I am all for people going after their dreams, but whose dream is it to have some dude propose to you after knowing him for like, a month and sharing him with other women during the same time? (Note: if this is your dream and I just offended you, I apologize. Also, you might want to consider aiming higher.)

Anyway, I had good feelings towards Ben until he went skinny dipping with Courtney, at her suggestion. Nothing against skinny dipping if that’s what you want to do, especially if you are on a trip to Puerto Rico like they were; that’s not what bothered me. It’s the fact that it’s a very intimate gesture, and that right there elevated Courtney above the rest of the women. He should have politely declined in order to keep it a level playing field, but he didn’t. That was a bummer.

The biggest bummer of all was this Courtney character, who went out of her way to make people uncomfortable and acted manipulative to get precious alone time with Ben. Yes, this is a game, but I am one of those weirdos who is really serious about fairness. Why should someone get rewarded for going outside of the established boundaries? Of course, this is a “reality” show, so I’m sure there was a producer whispering in her ear that Ben was on his way back to his room and now was her opportunity to pounce. Still, I didn’t like it. Of course, I had to read about the incident the next day on Us Weekly, and I was not alone in my feelings. Those commenters were hardcore viewers, though, not fly-by-night watchers like myself. Many also have rather rigid views of what women can and cannot do, with one commenter even equating the situation with Courtney basically becoming a porn star. OK then.

I walked away from The Bachelor mostly just with a desire to visit Puerto Rico, and my opinion of the show being dumb reinforced. I will say that the contestants, for the most part, were not as bad as I expected. But that’s where my goodwill ends. I have a bad feeling that Ben will end up with Courtney, and I’ll let out an exasperated “ugh” when I read about it on the home page of People. Of course, it won’t work out, and Courtney will become the next Bachelorette. It’s a never ending cycle, but I refuse to get sucked in!

By Catherine

Catherine is a Southern California based freelance writer, whose work has appeared in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. The highlight of her life (so far) was being featured on MSNBC for a story she wrote on Hello Kitty wines...she knew one day her love of all things HK would come in handy.

4 replies on “Ugh: I Finally Give in and Watch “The Bachelor””

I’ve never seen the show either, though one of my best friends appears to love, for reasons I can’t fathom. I’m with you; I don’t think I could be interested in a guy who is essentially dating a ton of other women, and I certainly couldn’t marry him! The whole thing just skeeves me out.

I had to watch a season of The Bachelor for one of my women’s studies classes. We were doing a group project analyzing gender roles in dating-themed reality shows. It was awful. Some of the women were cool (one was a mortician), but everyone on the show was pretty…meh. There was of course the one woman who wanted to win and manipulated the bachelor into giving her solo dates and she came off as really desperate. I don’t think I’ll watch any more of it, but I know your curiosity and understand your pain.

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