Two years ago, for one of my first Her Campus articles, I expressed how incredulous I was that American television audiences were expected to find Arie Ludendyk Jr.’s love story compelling. Last year, I took a break and let Colton Underwood have his fun(derwood).
Oh Pilot Pete. SO likable on Hannah Brown’s season of the Bachelorette. I found it especially endearing when Hannah was digging through his car and found the picture of Jesus, then a condom. It made Pete look like a complex, nuanced human being. It made me feel sad when he were sent home, then excited when he became the Bachelor.
Then, it got to his head. His women rolled in. They fawned over his pilot’s wings and his boyish charm. They stole each other’s champagne and feigned anxiety attacks on group dates, so Peter could hold them while they cried. They pretended they had no experience modeling lingerie and bikinis. They giggled at the… course of action he took in a windmill four times.
The show is trying SO hard to make me despise these women. And, to some extent, it’s working.
But wait a shrek: why does the Bachelor franchise HATE women so much? It makes them compete with each other for an okay man. It feeds them booze and sets them up to look sloppy and immature. It makes them pretend to be excited about Cleveland, the “birthplace of Superman.” It makes them slow-dance with their new kinda-boyfriend while a country singer they’ve canoodled with is singing in the background. (Plus, women are kinda the Bachelor’s whole audience, sooo…. What gives?)
But you know what? The women competing for Peter’s heart may be dramatic, but Peter is the KING of the drama. On other seasons, the Bachelor or Bachelorette (BachelorX?) gets angry and eliminates the contestants who start drama. But Pete. No, he LIVES for the drama. He keeps them until the producers can no longer milk them for any sweet, sweet drama. He keeps them until they’re bone dry.
ABC, stop trying so hard to convince me Peter likes country music. Every date ends up being a tiny CMT video with fangirls recording Peter and his flavor-of-the-week. He even took Victoria P. (awh, remember her?) to a boot scootin’ club. In NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.
Maybe he does like country music, and that’s fine. But you know who DEFINITELY likes country music? The Bachelor’s audience. So last week we saw Peter GRATUITOUSLY lip-syncing to Hunter Hayes, which was definitely calculated so a bunch of thirtysomething women would look at it and go…
And EVERY. SINGLE. EPISODE. You say “my wife is here.” Sometimes more than once. We get it. We’re not stupid. Please, I beg of you, make it interesting every once in a while. Say it in a Borat voice. “Mah waife!”
And don’t even get me STARTED on the uncanny valley brought on by Chris Harrison’s attempts at interacting with other human beings. He doesn’t usually try this sort of thing. I’m laughing. I’m cringing. I’m rocking on the floor. My head is throbbing. My heart is palpitating. My mouth dries up. My eyes are bleeding. I’m peeing a little bit, but I can’t tell until later.
In conclusion, the Bachelor (ESPECIALLY this season) is bad for women and features almost exclusively terrible people and tries to make us believe completely dumb things are true and cool and normal. And yet I still watch it. Why? For the same reason I drink alcohol: it’s not good for me, but it’s popular and makes me fun in a group.
And honestly, it’s fun. Let yourself make good decisions and have meaningful conversations during the day and pretend that one man is having full-scale relationships with twenty women that could result in a happy, successful marriage at night. It can’t hurt too bad. Listen to extra NPR and donate extra money to fundraisers tomorrow. Be a human being.
(This is an actual gif of me pretending I have good reasons for watching the Bachelor when I’m actually contributing to it being popular by watching it and writing this article.)