Things that Fascinate Me – The Bachelor

I gotta be honest with you: I almost always have a guilty pleasure when it comes to television, a train wreck that I almost can’t stomach but can’t look away, either. It started when I was in college and VH1 ran the first season of Flavor of Love. Yeeeaaahhh, Boooiiieee! That show was terrible, but for some reason I could not bring myself to miss an episode.

Right now my guilty-pleasure-train-wreck is The Bachelor. I’ve watched bits and pieces of The Bachelor and the Bachelorette over the years, but it never really grabbed my interest. This season seems to be a little different, though. For the most part, the bits of The Bachelor(ette) that I’ve seen before this year seemed to be a much classier type of dating reality show than Flavor of Love. And by “classier” I mean “less crazy in every imaginable respect.” Again, though, this season of The Bachelor seems to be different. Let’s start with this guy…

Brad Womack. The Bachelor… Again… That’s right, this is the guy who was already The Bachelor three and a half years ago. His first time around, he made major waves in the history of the show because he didn’t choose any of the women. Yep, he started the season single and ended it the same way by not choosing either one of the two finalists. And now he’s back for another turn. Crazy.

But the real crazy on this season of The Bachelor comes courtesy of this chick…

Michelle Money. Seriously. At least that’s what imdb.com says her name is. She has garnered roles in such cinematic masterpieces as ‘Blank Slate’, ‘The Eleventh Hour’, ‘The Legend of Awesomest Maximus’, and ‘Justin Time.’ Which is funny, because I’m pretty sure she told Brad that she was a school teacher. Which is funny, because every time they show her name, age, city of residence, and occupation on the show it says she is a hair stylist.

Regardless of what her occupation actually is, the woman is crazy. Like, Fatal Attraction crazy. She keeps wishing injury on the other women in the house. She constantly interrupts Brad’s conversations with other girls, sometimes just by standing a short distance away and staring. Which brings me to what I really wanted to say today…

I honestly am completely fascinated by this show, and how much people seem to love it. I want to understand it, because I just don’t. Do people just love watching crazy people on tv? Does The Bachelor’s viewing audience just love contrived relationship drama? Is it some subconscious response to a classic literary scenario, i.e. the “house full of suitors” Odysseus finds upon his return to Ithaca? (That’s right, I went there. I just pulled out a classical Greek literary reference while talking about The Bachelor. What of it?)

If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that America’s fascination with The Bachelor(ette) springs out of our soul-deep longing to love and to be loved. And, in typical fashion, we look for that love and belonging in all the wrong places. Our culture has taught us to believe that we will find true love, ultimate happiness, and fulfillment in the arms of Prince or Princess Charming. (Jesus Juke warning!) Believers know that we will only find ultimate love in God himself, because God is love (1 John 4:8).

Well, whatever it is that gets people hooked on The Bachelor(ette), it’s got its claws in me, because I think I’m emotionally invested two episodes in to see this season through.

What about you? Do you watch shows like The Bachelor(ette)? Why or why not?

Peace.

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Posted on January 18, 2011, in Culture and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Flava Flav! “You’ve got some jealous ways, New York!” I loved that show…also Celebrity Fit Club with Screech. It was like a car wreck.

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  2. I love the Bachelor franchise. Other than the fact that they stretch an hour long show into a 2-hour block, it really does make for compelling TV near the end. It’s awful, but so hard to turn away. Because as contrived as it is, you really are seeing people’s hearts being broken and their dreams being crushed. The season finale is unreal because you have a girl/guy walking up to the altar preparing to be proposed to or dumped. i mean, really, how insane is that? dumb, yes? would i ever advise a friend to do it? no way. but it makes for great (awful) tv.

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    • So I guess the follow up question is, what does it say about us that we can’t tear ourselves away from watching someone have their heart broken? Or, conversely, what is wrong with our culture that so many people are willing to invest so much of themselves into a relationship of less than 3-4 weeks?

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  3. I realize how potentially embarrassing this is going to be, but sometimes I get sucked into those marathons of America’s Next Top Model. There’s just something completely fascinating about a house full of women clawing crazy at each other in order to have the best picture taken of themselves. To me, it all seems like a really vain hobby, but it makes for super compelling television. It also doesn’t help that they show the program for several hours at a time, so you end up realizing that a significant portion of your life has been wasted on Tyra Banks’ antics.

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    • We’re going to have a moment of silence for the death of your membership in the Man Club, Jeremy. Just kidding…

      I won’t admit to getting ‘sucked in’ by America’s Next Top Model, but I’ve watched my share of it. It was my wife’s favorite show for awhile, particularly when we were dating. I’ve spent many hours of my own life cringing at Tyra’s attempts to get everyone to be ‘fierce!’

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      • Funny enough, I carry around an old UNO card that has been transformed into a Man Card in my wallet. Do I have to turn that in to someone or something now that it’s been revoked?

        Also, Tyra’s crazy.

        Third, you watch The Bachelor, so shouldn’t that also deplete your Man Club membership as well? Haha…

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      • It has, actually. A friend of mine from my childhood got in touch with me on Facebook and told me to mail him my man card, and he would decide when I had earned it back…

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