Noob Musings on The Bachelor Franchise
This is honestly a little slice of media absurdity that I found myself lost in via the back-way.
It started with that damn XM Radio… I was given a free three-month trial with my new car, and after
completely binging on casually tuning into Entertainment News, I found a slew of TV recap shows that had me hooked mid-commute, whether I watched the shows or not. The Bachelor recaps were the best; full of snark, personality dissection, and off-the-cuff comments about the actual production of the show, i.e which contestant is receiving the best ‘edit.’ I had no idea it could go so deep.
So, of course I needed more back-story, which lead to watching clips of JoJo’s (JoJo?) season of The Bachelorette, which aired this summer, on hulu to catch up.
Herein, I’m introduced to a bunch of twenty-somethings who all, like, really want to find love, and have decided to embark on the Millennial equivalent of study-abroad: The glamour of cramped quarters, planned activities, weird roommates, and being watched all the time.
I also wasn’t sure this was the mansion I wanted to hang out in for the next few weeks…the scripted lines (“Will you accept this rose?”) are bizarre. I don’t understand what Chris Harrison does to earn the title ‘host,’ and dialogue is frequently marred by bad grammar and vocal fry.
But in my defense, it was summer and there’s not a lot to stare at in a semi-catatonic state in the warmer months. So, onward I plowed, along with some social-media-provided subtext on several cast members: Aaron Rodgers’ brother, an ex-swimmer and his ex-GF, a lovable DJ from Nashville, and a dead-in-the-eyes, horse-breakin’ Veteran from Texas to name a few.
And Chad. Chad was a big deal this summer, too.
Soon, I was on to watching it on plain-old ABC, and that turned into a weekly event with popcorn and beer. That party went bi-weekly once Bachelor in Paradise started.
By that point, I was completely ensconced in The Bachelor Universe. One or two shows (plus after-shows) in seven days wasn’t enough to feed the Bachelor Beast. So I started looking for recaps again, this time in the pod-verse.
I uncovered a trove of niche content to add to my podcast queue: the wryly analytical Here to Make Friends. The Bachelorette AfterBuzz TV After Show, featuring a slate of kindhearted hosts — including former Bachelorette contestant Brooks Forester. The Off-the-Rails Will You Accept This Rose, hosted by comedienne Arden Myrin and guest celebrities such as Paget Brewster, Steve Hytner (Kenny Banya of Seinfeld), and John Ross Bowie (Kripke of The Big Bang Theory). And The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise RHAP-up shows, hosted by two women I’d totally hang out with – if they’d have me.
Yes, that’s at least four podcast episodes in a week’s time devoted in subject to one TV show, in addition to following the show hosts and their hashtags on Twitter to glean the best comments from the millions streaming through.
Now that the franchise is in hibernation for a few months, I’ve been left with an embarrassing void that even Master Chef and Hell’s Kitchen can’t fill. But I imagine there will be a few special podcast episodes, Tweets, and recap articles between now and then to keep a slow drip of The Bachelor alive – I’ve learned recently that cast members really milk that post-show media blitz for as long as they can, and I love to hate that.
According to Chris Harrison’s Twitter Feed, The Bachelor alllllways starts on the first Monday in January, like some sort of vapid national holiday, so I’ll mark it on my calendar. Until then, may your cocktails be plentiful, your confessionals coherent, and your group dates well planned.
See you next year … you better be ready for love.