“The Bachelor” brings students humor and horror
The reality TV show’s fascination pokes through the Biola Bubble. | Photo Courtesy of play.google.com
“Welcome to this brand new season of ‘The Bachelor,’” the host Chris Harrison exclaims, while walking amid rose bushes. Groups of students huddle together on their dorm floor couches, ready for an episode of romance, drama and decadence.
The Bachelor season has begun, and students across campus look forward to the dating show that has become an American phenomenon. Though it portrays an unrealistic style of dating, students can still take lessons from the contestant’s behaviors and enjoy the show for its mindless entertainment.
“The Bachelor,” a reality TV dating show, first aired on ABC in 2002 and has now held over 20 seasons. It begins with a bachelor, usually in his early 30s, in pursuit of a relationship. Around 25 women enter the show, and he dates each of them simultaneously, finally choosing a winner after a few weeks of elimination.
The bachelor treats the girls to the ultimate getaway dates, meets some of their families and hands a rose to those he wishes to remain on the show. At the end of the show, he chooses between the final two women, and often proposes to the winner, although only one couple has ever stayed together after the show.
This dating drama has sparked spin-offs, such as “The Bachelorette,” “The Bachelor Pad” and a fantasy league similar to that of fantasy football, capturing a wide number of audiences, including Biola students.
Appeal of human behavior
One of the show’s main appeals lies in the fact that people enjoy watching human behavior and learning from it, according to Chris Grace, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Marriage and Relationships.
“If you believe that you are watching entertainment, I think then you will properly understand the concept of what they’re trying to do,” Grace said. “So could it be healthy? Well, watching ‘Bugs Bunny’ could be healthy. Watching ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ could be healthy if you learn somethings from it. The unhealthy is if you aren’t careful in recognizing that this is more entertainment than it is real life.”
In an article for Huffington Post, Emma Gray wrote that the reasons people love watching “The Bachelor” stem from a love of drama, the need to find an outlet for frustrations and the realization of the healthy relationships in one’s life.
Many dorm floors, mostly female, enjoy the spectacle together and sometimes use their floor ritual time to watch. Some Resident Advisers try to discuss the good and the bad parts and encourage their residents not to emulate this kind of dating atmosphere.
“Our floor just enjoyed watching it because it’s really funny. It’s [a] show that you can just point [out] things about dating that are hilarious,” said Peyton Corrigan, senior elementary education major and previous RA in Horton Hall. “Just watching it and feeding into the drama of it is pretty funny, but at the same time being able to be like, ‘This is so unhealthy, like this type of dating is just not anything that is like actually healthy.’”
While the show can portray unrealistic representations of dating and unhealthy patterns, it can also provide a light-hearted time of community, an escape from real life situations, a funny look at odd relationships and a study break for dorm floors to experience together.