Since we’re witnessing the ‘The Golden Era of Television’ (well, the third one), it’s pretty easy to sing the praises of such shows like ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Modern Family,’ and basically everything on HBO. But, let’s face it: we like the bad stuff too. Whether it’s teary-eyed confessionals, stupid pranks or staged catfights, we all have a TV guilty pleasure (or two) that we simply cannot quit.
So that’s why I’m rounding up my favorite television vices each week, so that we can all find solace in knowing that someone else is watching – and enjoying – the same vast wasteland.
Because the first step in healing is admitting that you have a problem.
This week’s Guilty Pleasure: ‘The Bachelor.’
OK, this past week’s controversy notwithstanding, I adore ‘The Bachelor.’ I consider myself an educated, strong, independent woman – the kind of woman who Beyonce would want to write songs about – so I do struggle with my addiction to a show that basically tells women that we are living unfulfilled lives if we’re not married off in our 20s and which also reiterates the whole “women are bats**t crazy” stereotype by consistently featuring bonafide nut jobs as bachelorettes. And then there are the featured Bachelors who share the major “ick” factor of being both creepy and charming and who, for the most part, look like they’re terrible kissers.
So, why do I keep coming back for more?
Mondays suck, right? But watching ‘The Bachelor’ means never having to feel guilty about drinking a glass (OK, a bottle) of wine on a Monday night. Not only do I feel the need to catch up to the booze-swilling ladies on the show (idle hands in the Bachelorette pad means a martini is not too far away), but after watching helicopter date after helicopter date, baby needs to keep herself inebriated enough to enjoy the ride.
Host Chris Harrison easily has the best gig on TV. He basically only has one job to do on the show, which is to present the final rose of the evening (like we can’t count the roses ourselves, Chris!), but dude does it well. I mean, a monkey could do his job, sure, but there is something about his soothing voice and no-blinking demeanor that makes bachelors and bachelorettes alike want to pour out their heart and soul to him (sometimes literally through their tears), so there must be something special about him.
That One Crazy Train Wreck
I’m all for “girl power,” “lean in” etc., etc., but there’s something so addictive about watching a “hot mess” burst into sobs, fall down a flight of stairs, start cat fights and get unabashedly drunk, and do it all so dramatically on national television. It’s for the same reason why we must watch the aftermath of an accident on the highway: we know it’s really awful to look, but we must because we need to see how it will play out! We need to! I mean, we’re all hoping everyone makes it out alive, right?
It Makes Us Feel Better About Ourselves
Single and feeling bad about yourself? Well, just a few minutes of watching the show, and you’ll be pleased as punch that you’re not crying over a guy you’ve only met and wondering, “why doesn’t he like me?” When you observe other ladies going to such great lengths to get the attention of a single dude, you’re glad for those quiet Saturday nights inside. You’re also grateful for that dinner-and-a-movie date rather than a grandiose fireworks display with a crappy indie rocker playing in the background because, well, all that bravado can be a little uncomfortable at times, and let’s face it: a good date doesn’t always guarantee a rose. On the flip side, if you’re already coupled up, watching the show will make you so very grateful that you don’t have to apply to a network TV show to find “true love.”
It’s a Bonding Experience
Whether it’s live-tweeting the show (which I do, by the way, and I’m very thankful to my Bachleor-hating followers who don’t unfollow me because of it) or having a ‘Bachelor’ pool at work (I’ve never won, by the way) or just texting friends during the show and gossiping about who we think is going home that night (I’m pretty good at guessing the first impression rose, by the way), watching ‘The Bachelor’ is totally a bonding experience with your (girl)friends. Basically it’s tearing the women and the Bachelor apart, but by being on national TV, they’re fair game. All fair’s in love and war, right?
Wow, some chick writer supporting the BACHELOR. Nothing but the objectification of women. Face it they are competing for a man. Why not wrestle for him, or box. Jesus, having a woman support a show such as this is staggeringly horrific. No ugly chicks, no fat chicks, just women, and a man, who are UNREALISTIC plastic examples of humanity. I can envision a generation of young girls purging so they may fit the Bachelors Barbie mold.