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Have We Out Grown ‘The Bachelor’?

On Monday and Tuesday night, in an epic five-hour finale, 36-year-old real estate agent Arie Luyendyk Jr. will choose between 27-year-old publicist Becca Kufrin and 25-year-old technology salesperson Lauren Burnham in what has been promised to be the most drama-filled episode in Bachelor history to date. Now, Chris Harrison is the king of overpromising and not delivering, but the latest rumors about the finale have us thinking he might not be exaggerating this time. SPOILER: Apparently, like season 13 bachelor, Jason Mesnick, Arie ends up proposing to one of the ladies, only to have second thoughts and beg for the runner up to take him back. If that is indeed the case, we can only expect that this season’s Melissa Rycroft will end up getting the coveted position of being the next bachelorette – good luck with that, girl!

A lot of Bachelor fans are eager to see the 22nd season come to an end because – let’s be real –Arie is kind of boring. I’ll be the first one to say that I fell off the wagon this season and missed my fair share of group dates and one-on-ones. I also have a hard time justifying dedicating five hours of my life just to find out who the winner is. So, was Arie just a bad choice for the franchise, or is there a greater underlying issue? That question got me wondering: why do we keep watching after 22 seasons and countless spin-offs? Have we out grown The Bachelor?

My bachelor history is a long one. As a kid, I’d watch a few episodes here and there with my mom, but for me it all really began with Jake Pavelka and season 14 of The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love – man was that one a disaster! Between Bachelor Nation’s sweetheart and front runner, Ali Fedotowsky, leaving due to a family emergency only to be rejected by Jake when she tried to come back and the season’s villain, Vienna, capturing the final rose, I was hooked. Soon after, I was watching The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad (oh my gosh, remember that one), and, of course, the drunken Mexican stupor that is Bachelor in Paradise. Over the years, I’ve been less inclined to watch every episode through until the last and, at least for me, The Bachelor has lost some of its usual magic.

Okay, I know this isn’t a shocker, but can we talk about how the bachelor or bachelorette is always serial dating up to 30 people at a time? Like why did I ever think that was okay? Obviously, it’s entertaining and, sure, you could argue that there is a handful of Bachelor couples who have gone the distance, but not everyone is so lucky. Most people are fortunate enough to make it through the process unscathed with a few extra thousand Instagram followers. However, the show often takes an emotional and professional toll on contestants’ lives.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t watch The Bachelor for the happy ending. Let’s face it: most of us don’t. I watch it for the drama and comedy, but the whole process has become very predictable. It’s really just one big license to print money and the producers and contestants are well aware of that. Despite switching out the leading man or lady, we can always count on having the same cast. They like to recycle certain archetypes such as the single mom, the villain, the virgin, the southern belle, and then there’s always the one with a made-up occupation.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love reality shows and I need bad TV in my life, but I think it may be time to breakup with The Bachelor.

Alexandra Geitz

Wilfrid Laurier '20

Alex is a third-year English and Communication Studies major and writer for HCWLU. You can usually find her avoiding a large TBR pile of academic journals wishing she was at the beach reading fiction instead!
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