The Bachelor
The Bachelor
TV-14 | 25 March 2002 (USA)

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Seasons & Episodes
  • 28
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    Waste of time


    An Exercise In Nonsense


    It's funny watching the elements come together in this complicated scam. On one hand, the set-up isn't quite as complex as it seems, but there's an easy sense of fun in every exchange.

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    Humaira Grant

    It’s not bad or unwatchable but despite the amplitude of the spectacle, the end result is underwhelming.

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    So disappointed, every season the crazy one, or the rude over aggressive on stays! First impression rose to the one that is being most aggressive, it really makes you wonder if it really is reality TV? I think it is a rating grab and the viewers are catching on!

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    Each major network has a reality TV juggernaut which, despite hit and miss ratings, can't be destroyed. CBS has three: "Survivor", "Big Brother" and "The Amazing Race". NBC has "The Apprentice". ABC has "The Bachelor/ette". Although nobody will consider ABC's show "Masterpiece Theater" material, it still boasts high entertainment.This, of course, is the only one of the bunch not involving a fat check or Trump job at the end of it. Instead, it's the Romance Card. 25 or more successful career women who want to "settle down" (biological clock ticking away) all vie for an eligible bachelor "of breeding". Ridiculous rose ceremonies aside, there's always high drama and hyper-active emotions (fueled by wine on occasion), catfights galore and some of the most colorful femme fatale in reality TV (like Trish in Jesse Palmer's season). Make whatever opinion you like, you can't say this show is boring: Jason's surprise "After The Rose" finale didn't top the Nielsen ratings for nothing.Some bachelors are more telegenic than others. Generally speaking, seasons are liked or disliked according to the star. Andrew Firestone was the most-liked, followed by Byron (one of two still with his Final 1, though not officially married). Others like Lorenzo and Dr. Travis did much better as salesmen and TV show hosts than as the focal center of a TV harem. (Astrological trivia: more Bachelors are Cancers than any other sign... which explains the heavy emphasis on "meeting the parents" in both the "hometown dates" and finale.) Host Chris Harrison is always there tapping the wine glass and announcing the rose ceremonies (the only boring part of the show). Fortunately, he isn't a robotic host. His interviews with both the lead and the competing ladies are quite heart-felt. His popularity, no doubt, influenced the more touchy-feely tribal councils that Jeff Probst has presided in more recent seasons of "Survivor".I, for one, prefer "The Bachelorette"... I guess because it hasn't lost its novelty value. So far, all of these were initially with "The Bachelor". (Apparently, Fleiss & Co. has been slow seeking an "unknown" woman, just as they've been slow to cast a non-Caucasian.) Their experience as part of a group of 25 gives them a better understanding of what their male suitors are going through when the tables turn.

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    Randy Coates

    Reality TV was probably invented by the communists, that's how evil reality TV is. Is there anything more FAKE on TV today than the bachelors who are "looking for real love" and the pathetic, desperate women who flock to the show, also pretending they're after true love and not just some fact time on TV? This show sucks. That's really all I have to say but I need ten lines. So, anyway, the bachelors and women they end up picking (they give them romantic red roses it's so sweet and real!) never ever stay together, obviously, but what gets me is this "news" is always in the tabloids as if someone in the world 1) cares about it and 2) is actually going to be surprised that these desperate TV star wannabes didn't actually stay together once the cameras stopped rolling.Who watches this crap? Idiots?

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    Network: ABC; Genre: Reality/Game; Content Rating: TV-PG (suggested sex); Classification: Classic (star range: 1 - 5) Season Reviewed: Series (4+ seasons)The precursor to the really ridiculous reality/dating shows from Fox and NBC, ABC's "The Bachelor" is the granddaddy of this deplorable new subgenera. Often imitated and duplicated. The show has the unmitigated gall to call itself a reality series – and people actually repeat it – all the while setting up and knocking down a premise so absurd that is, and could only be, contrived for TV. 25 beautiful women, vie for the attention of 1 guy with a marriage proposal up for grabs at the end. Yeah right, right? Because everybody knows that women don't care enough for men to make fools of themselves for one of them – even for the chance to be on national TV – the bachelors are elevated to superhuman status by the show. All applicants chosen are dream boyfriend-types that are model good looking, rich beyond their initially appeared intelligence (often owners of their own business) and can be frequently found wooing their dates by staring off into space or recycling greeting card clichés about what "love" means to them. Part of the "A-group" in high school these guys are the types that have no trouble getting dates back home. The show isn't about getting them dates or even getting them hitched, it is a self-indulgent parade for them to show off to the rest of the country how they have women falling all over them. It's about nourishing the egos of people who don't exactly need it (while those that do sit home and watch) and not any end resolution – which should be abundantly clear after years of this show resulting in no marriages. The recent multi-million dollar blow-out extravaganza for the snoozefest that was Ryan and Trista's Wedding showed just how desperate ABC is to prove that this concept isn't so fundamentally flawed that it's a waste of everybody's time. The girls get a chance to return to their high school days as well, with supposedly adult women reduced to crying, groveling and the much anticipated catty 'backstabbing' among their peers to win over the guy they just met and also conveniently for the show just fell in love with. Take a drink every time on of them says "I can really see myself with him" and you'll be in AA before the final rose. The whole pageant is more a nasty, pandering popularity contest than a game show. And it is the same thing season after season no matter who they put in the roles. The bottom line is that, sorry, it just isn't really that interesting watching beautiful people meeting each other. What's the challenge there? the achievement? It might all be sad if it was all real. The bachelors and his women are not average people but clearly aspiring models and actresses that can't otherwise get work. ABC pours through their headshots and videos searching for strictly outlined qualities to make an interesting show and – if only – start some real friction in the house so "the claws will come out". That, along with the phrase "the most dramatic rose ceremony ever", have become laughable staples of 'The Bachelor'. It is so dull that it doesn't work even work on a guilty pleasure and so pandering that it is insulting. This should be a living fantasy for men but it's handled with such melodramatic soap opera seriousness as to crush any of the potential ridiculous fun. I don't know why a woman would even watch it other than as a chance to gossip about people without it doing any damage. How should I put this gently? The show inadvertently creates a paradox for itself. The Bachelor is an open-palmed slap in the face to the institute of marriage and the romanticized notion that people meet someone they are supposed to be with in a mystical magical way. As I said, I think the show is designed and that these clearly aren't regular people, but the bigger and more dangerous question is if the emotions that come forth from them are real. Think about it. It's common for people to write both the men and the women off as acting or sad, pathetic basket cases. That's the easy way out. But, how are their emotions any less legitimate or real than that of people who didn't meet on TV, but met in real life in the more typically romanticized way? The show proves that it can be contrived and manipulated and people will believe it just the same. It expedites the process with group dates, contests and fantasy suites but what they go through is still pretty much the series of events that line up and lead anyone to find anyone. Whose being manipulated here? If we put the love lives of most people married or dating the 'natural way' it would look just as sad and pathetic. It's a question a lot of people don't want to think about – particularly those responsible for this show. If this show brings down the romanticism surrounding love and dating than there goes it's primary audience. The only person that comes out of this smelling, well, like a rose is host Chris Harrison. He's a likable personality and has got a pretty good gig, stepping into the middle of the drama and calmly laying out the guidelines. Harrison's biggest moment in the sun aside from announcing the "final rose this evening" is in the post-show interview specials. He's not bad. Then again, it's probably effortless to look that cool given every thing else that's around him. * / 5

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