Why Is ‘The Bachelor’ So Popular?

Matt Candler | Contributor

The anticipation is over, ladies and gentlemen (and everyone else in between).

ABC announced the next “Bachelor” will air for its 23rd season starting in January. Arie Luyendyk Jr. is his name – a professional race car driver, and previous contestant of “The Bachelorette” in 2012. CNN called the choice “shocking.” The Cable News Network might not always be a reliable source, but I figured I could take their word for it in this instance, since the new “Bachelor” is of Dutch descent, and not Russian (no “collusion” here).

Now, I can’t call myself an expert of the popular TV series. But, I do have a sister that considers it must-see appointment programming. Since the first season of “The Bachelor” in 2003, only 2 of the 22 couples are still together. That makes America’s divorce rate (around 50%) seem noble. So, why in the hell is “The Bachelor” and all of its spin-offs so popular after all of these years?

For one, it almost has a “Game of Thrones” or primetime NFL game feel to it, because if you don’t tune in when it originally airs, you better not log in to social media, or you’re surely going to find out what happened.

Secondly, it’s low hanging fruit. Sex sells. Drunk drama sells. It’s comparable to watching a car drive into a ditch not long after the driver cut you off. You hope the driver is OK, and their life isn’t ruined, but it is somewhat enjoyable to watch self-centered people learn a lesson the hard way.

The men and women who sign-up for these shows don’t seem to be the ones that are necessarily pushing the human-race to new, better levels. Sure, a handful of contestants may be school teachers, but many more are personal trainers who can bench press the state of Rhode Island but can’t point out where it’s located on a map.

Thirdly, producers of “The Bachelor” (and its spin-offs), seem to be keen on who they cast as the next “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette.”  I’ll give them credit here. It’s smart of them in elevating a former contestant of a previous season to become the star of upcoming seasons. The loyal viewers of the TV series are familiar with the personality and already have an opinion of them, which only draws more interest. People like continuity.

Obviously, I’m not a strong advocate of “The Bachelor,” but if it equates to taking away ANY viewership from “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” I’m all for it. So, pour yourself a glass of wine, take a seat on the couch, and watch those roses get handed out like samples at CostCo.

Matt Candler



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