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Redemptive qualities of The Bachelor

| Tuesday, March 21, 2017

“The Bachelor” is a dating game show that began airing 15 years ago on ABC. It now has 21 seasons and its partner show, “The Bachelorette”, has 12 seasons, which span from 2003 to the present. I began watching these two shows with Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette in the summer of 2012.

Since then, I have relied on these shows — and let’s not forget Bachelor in Paradise — to provide me with both enjoyment and an escape from reality on Monday evenings. By watching a two-hour drama-filled reality show once per week, I allow myself a small amount of time to not stress about exams, papers and deadlines.

The episodes, regardless of the common belief that they lack truth, allow individuals to experience a multitude of feelings. For example, while getting to know contestants on the show, you learn about difficult circumstances in their lives, including: past heartbreaks, the passing of a parent or fiancé or the struggle of being a single parent. These tearjerker moments allow people to feel empathy, even towards a person they’ve never met.

The gossiping and cattiness that occurs in the show allows a person to feel grateful that they are not a contestant on the show — or anywhere close to it. An average individual would never experience, or allow, this much drama in their daily lives. Therefore, these shows grant us the opportunity to watch entertaining, funny, even ridiculous drama, without having to deal with it in the real world.

Furthermore, we, as viewers, get to watch love unfold in a way that is foreign to us. Who else, besides the Bachelor or Bachelorette, gets to have more than 25 eligible, attractive people fighting for their attention?

This viewing platform allows for outright, harsh criticisms and lashing out at certain contestants without any consequences or backlash. For example, after a rough Monday, you can blame your horrible day on how terrible Corinne’s hair looks.

Watching this show allows you to join in on your friends’ pool and make your bracket deciding on who will get eliminated each week. You can have viewing parties with other Bachelor fans, filled with smack talking, laughing at Nick’s awkwardness and wondering why these questionable individuals get to travel the world and you don’t.

Although it is ludicrous that 25 individuals show up to the mansion in Hollywood believing that they are going to “find love,” viewers do end up connecting with certain contestants. Additionally, it is hard to not pick favorites and hope that the girl or guy you can relate most with gets chosen. There are also real elements to the show, including getting rejected, crying after a rough night, and being nervous around the person you like — situations we all know firsthand.

While this season of The Bachelor was — personally, not up to par — I would still recommend you give this television series a chance. It provides you an escape from reality and it grants you the opportunity to laugh, cry and yell all in one two-hour episode. So grab a friend, grab some pizza and join the party.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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