Posted by: Nathan | February 9, 2006

A Better “Bachelor”

I don’t make a habit of watching ABC’s The Bachelor, but the other night, with nothing else on, I watched it with my wife. Thankfully, the number of women had already been whiddled down to four or it probably would’ve been too much for me to stomach. This episode featured the bachelor going to the four remaining contestants’ parents’ houses. I only saw the final two, but that was enough.
The Bachelor and shows of its ilk are designed around monogamy: that wonderful idea of finding the right person to settle down with and marry. However, just about everything in show until the end functions to undermine the idea of monogamous love. For instance, on the two dates that I saw, both girls energetically kissed this fellow. Now, in normal dating situations, kissing two different girls within a week would be called “cheating,” but on this show, our intrepid youth is just testing the waters with his toe. If I’m going to marry this girl, I need to know that she knows how to French kiss. Yuck.
At the end of the show, the preview for next week showed the Bachelor going on three overnight dates with the remaining contestants for his affection. Overnight dates? There was even a mention of a “fantasy suite.” So, this man will attempt to sleep with all three women on these dates to further test his partners for compatibility. What is perhaps most revolting is the expectations thrust upon each of these women accompanied by the knowledge that, yes, the other two are also going on overnight excursions.
Since monogamy is what the The Bachelor functions on, if I were to redesign the show, I’d make a few adjustments to highlight it. First change: no kissing. Maybe there’d be a stolen peck here or there, but open your mouth, chica, and you’re gone. Second change: no overnight dates in the same room (no sex). However, I would leave in the invitation to spend the night with the Bachelor in order to test each woman’s character. If she’s willing, she’d be gone. The girl for my bachelor would tear the invitation, rise from the dinner table, say, “Who do you think you are?”, and smack him. On her way out, she’d be told it was only a test.
Of course, all of this would require a major shift in cultural values. How any of the women thinks that they love this guy who snogs all the other girls when she’s not around is beyond me. How the bachelor can really love ONE woman while snogging the others is also perplexing. Let’s cut out the sex and make it a show about finding one person to love for a lifetime. That’d be a better Bachelor.

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