Okay. You can stop laughing now.
It’s true. I have a problem. But before we delve into the roots of my psychosis, let us first evaluate the definition of “reality show.”
A “reality show” is a television program that is basically edited, unscripted, live TV. Perhaps reactions are forced, clever editing can make a situation far more dramatic than it actually is, but for the most part, the viewer believes it is real because it generally is. Reality shows became popular through the game show–Survivor, Big Brother, The Mole, The Amazing Race, etc. They expanded to be live soaps. Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, Toddlers & Tiaras, Dance Moms, 16 and Pregnant, just to name a recent few. Overall, I think that reality show executives and producers are marketing GENIUSES. They know the system and I believe I have figured out their aim. Reality shows are so popular because it is the common man that watches them. We, the common man, like to be entertained. So while taking in hilarity and week to week drama, we also like to feel better about ourselves. We like to feel smarter, kinder, and more genuine than many of the personalities we find on these shows. And that is exactly the marketing goal–appealing to the people through entertainment and making the common man feel better about themselves, since this artificial “reality” is in no way the “reality” of the viewer. Now, I’m not insinuating the this “common man” theory makes viewers look like insecure couch potatoes, I simply call it human nature. And it’s not like I’m above anyone else….in fact, I might be the worst offender.
And so, we finally reach the point of this blog…The Bachelor(ette), and the marketing genius behind it. The Bachelor first premiered in 2002. Now with 17 seasons of The Bachelor, 9 seasons of The Bachelorette and still going strong after 11 years and an average of 7 million viewers a week, The Bachelor(ette) has some mighty stats to contend with. But WHY. WHY does this show create such a buzz? Yes, it’s very romantic with fantasy dates and a fairytale love, but it all comes crashing down in a fiery ball of hell at the “After the Rose Ceremony,” or in the tabloids a month after the finale! Truth is, with a total of 26 couples supposedly “brought together” by this experience, only THREE AND A HALF have actually stayed together!!!! Two Bachelorettes, the most recent Bachelor and his current fiancee, and the half is the dude who broke it off with the woman he chose on the show to marry the RUNNER UP. THREE AND A HALF!!!!
So, easily, one could say, “This is stupid. The relationships are forced obviously, since it seems like as soon as the cameras get packed up and they see who they really have just proposed to, it doesn’t work.” And over the years, I’m sure that some HAVE said this and stopped watching. In fact, I’m sure EVERY viewer has considered this at some point, yet the show still has 7 million viewers. WHYYYYYY???!!? Well, I can speak because now I am one of 7 million.
I got hooked on Emily’s season of The Bachelorette. I came in to the middle of the season, who knows why–mindless channel surfing, I lost a bet, I can’t remember. I enjoyed initially riffing the show. I thought it was incredibly creepy…a couple dozen guys sharing saliva and pining over the same woman who shares affections for all of them? CREEPY. But as the shows proceeds and tears continue to shed, I get hooked. “Aw…he’s so nice…” Then she sends home Sean. SHOCKER! Then it’s announced Sean is to be the next Bachelor. Then, of course, you HAVE to watch his season because he was your favorite! Will he get his happy ending? You think you know “the one.” A sweet girl named Desiree. He sends her home mercilessly. WHAT???? Season finale…Dez is the new Bachelorette! YES!!! Gotta watch this! Who will she choose?
Do you see what happened? THEY CHOOSE THE AUDIENCE FAVORITE AND THAT’S WHY THEY ARE STILL GOING STRONG. Once you watch a single episode, you are hypnotized. And you HAVE TO KEEP WATCHING. MARKETING. GENIUS!!!! I am so spineless that I cannot leave the TV screen Monday nights. You know why? Because everyone loves Drew, so obviously she’s not going to pick Drew. Therefore Drew will be the new Bachelor, he’ll break some poor dear’s heart and THE PROCESS SHALL NEVER END!!!!!!!!!! And you can find me at home, watching this brainwash of a show! Does it have good intentions? Probably. Does it work? Obviously not. Is it entertainment? Holy god yes. And I LOVE IT.