Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why Do People Keep Watching?

Why do people watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette?  More importantly, why do people continue to watch these shows?

I watch them so that I can make fun of them, but I don't count in this conversation.  

Each season, The Bachelor or The Bachelorette promos claim that the main character is on a search to find his or her true love. Yet, there have only been two marriages from the 22 seasons. Everyone knows that the chances of two people finding the person they are going to marry on this show is practically zero. No one is surprised by the inevitable breakup two months after the final episode airs. We all know the premise of the show is a lie. 

So why do people keep tuning in?

Is it so they can watch all of the crazies and ridiculousness of 20 guys or girls fighting over one girl or guy?  I don't think so. The craziness usually disappears about halfway through the season when it gets down to the contestants that the bachelor/bachelorette really like. Trust me, it gets much harder to make fun of at that point.

Is it because they like the Bachelor or Bachelorette?  Maybe, but I'll say no. There have been plenty of unlikeable Bachelors/Bachelorettes. In fact, they brought back their most hated Bachelor of all time for a second season and people still watched.

Is it because they want to see all of the exotic places they get to go on their dates?  Nope. They all blend together. Each season looks almost exactly alike, date-wise.  Sure, the locales change slightly but they are always touted as "the most romantic place ever."  There can truly only be one of those, but The Bachelor/ette manage to go there every season.

If everyone knows this show is selling a lie and it's not the crazy, the Bachelor or Bachelorette themselves, or the exotic locales, then what is it?  People want to see a love story.  They want to watch two (or more) people fall in love.  They don't care how it ends.  They don't even care that they already know how it's going to end.  They just want to see the love story.  It's a chick flick set to repeat.  No one wants to see that maintaining a relationship takes work.  They just want to see the happy, giddy times that lead up to a real relationship.  They think that's what love is because that's what movies and TV tell us love is.  To most people love is falling in love not staying in love.  Staying in love is the hard part -- but it's also the most rewarding.  Unfortunately, our TVs never tell us that.  

And people still think it's the gays that are destroying marriage.


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