But I have a confession that would warrant Gloria Steinem herself appearing before me to take away my F Card: I love “The Bachelor.” Yes, the show where 25 women — portrayed as helpless and lonely — throw themselves at the feet of one man to vie for his attention and affection. If he doesn’t like you, you get the boot.
The contestants are primarily skinny, blonde, white women whose apparent sole mission in life is to find a man. And it seems they think competing on national TV to take home the coveted “final rose” is the best way to do that. And heading into its 19th season, it’s obvious America has eaten this concept up.
So as the latest season of “The Bachelor” gets underway, I put together a list of reasons I watch the show despite my better judgment and the assured disappointment of my fellow feminists across the space-time continuum.
1. It’s fun to be horrified
People watch kitschy, cliche horror movies because being scared and horrified is pretty fun. And while “The Bachelor” is more of an, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe she would quit her job as a prosecuting attorney in order to throw herself at the feet of an attractive-but-not-that-nice man” kind of horror, the fact remains. It’s fun to be shocked and let me tell you … there are plenty of shocking things that happen on “The Bachelor.” (Like when one of the women showed up at the “first impression” cocktail party in shorts and a plaid shirt — what is that even?)
2. It makes you feel better about your life
It’s awful but true. It’s the same reason people watch “Desperate Housewives,” “Teen Mom” or “Jersey Shore.” It’s hard to feel bad about your life when reality television lets us sit back, sip our wine, laugh at the bad decisions other people make and feel better about the bad decisions we make (because they aren’t as bad as those people).
3. You can practice being a psychologist
This might only be me. But analyzing the personalities and idiosyncrasies of the people on this show is fun. “The Bachelor wouldn’t really go for a girl like her, she’s way too flighty for his more steadfast personality,” or “Why the heck would she even do that? Does she have some deep-seated childhood trauma that only manifests itself on reality television?” As if I am qualified to speak about these people at all. But seriously. If you spend an hour of your time each week watching this show, you know.
4. It’s an excuse to drink cheap wine
You really can’t break out the $25 bottles for this, oh no. Save that stuff for the Oscars or the “Project Runway” premiere. You can only go with the less-than-$4 bottles here. Really, “The Bachelor” deserves nothing less. Bonus: Take a drink every time someone says one of these phrases or a variation thereof: “for the right reasons,” “dream come true,” “I feel a connection,” or “quest for love.”
5. Chris Harrison is awesome
As any fan of “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” knows, host Chris Harrison is the one who really makes it worth watching. The overeager way he says, “This is the most dramatic rose ceremony yet” during every single rose ceremony. The way he comes in and says, “Ladies, gentleman — the final rose of the evening” as if we can’t count for ourselves. But most of all, it’s how he genuinely seems to care for every one of the women on the show while also being diplomatic in his subtle hatred of some of the douchier bachelors who’ve been in the running.
6. The “Next week on ‘The Bachelor’ ” segment at the end of every show
This right here is the real reason any of us tune in every week. Whoever produces this segment needs a raise, because they make (what turns out to be) the most mundane things seem like life or death. Cut to: Ambulance sirens, erratic sobbing coming from a darkened corner, shocked gasps from the other contestants and an, “Oh my God, what happened?” — viewers think someone literally died. So we tune in next week only to find out the hullabaloo was because one of the women ate some bad shrimp at last night’s cocktail party but was convinced she was coming down with some sort of foreign jungle virus. Regular viewers come to expect this anti-climatic letdown. And yet, we still tune in week after week after week.