Day Twenty-Four: Guilty Pleasure
I missed the entire first season of The Bachelor by choice. The promos didn't interest me. Then, near the end of the second season, my sister mentioned that the latest bachelor was from our hometown in Missouri, so I tuned in to check him out. From then until now (the 17th season) I've seen every episode. And also every episode of The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, and (so far) three special wedding events.
I know. I can't believe it myself.
I can't think of a single redeeming quality of this show, yet there I am again, every Monday night, sitting on the sofa in front of the TV, dinner plate balanced on my lap and diet soda handy on the table right beside me. And I'm happy that the show is coming on. And happy that it's two hours long.
So why do I watch? I used to tell myself that the fun thing about the show was trying to predict who'd be the last bachelorette standing. These days I go online and read spoilers, so I know who the "winner" is almost from the beginning. And still I watch. So, no, that part's fun if you have more self-discipline than I do, but that's not what has me hooked.
Here's what I think it is:
I enjoy people watching. As an introvert, I've spent plenty of time lurking near the periphery of parties and other social gatherings, just listening, watching the other people there, paying attention to their facial expressions, body language, behavior in general, trying to detect their true natures. And I think that's what appeals to me about The Bachelor: It's a great opportunity to observe total strangers and make judgments about them. Those judgments might change from week to week, depending on how the show is edited, but it's affirming to know by the end of the season that I picked out the "good people" early on. What makes it better than real life is that my judgments, right or wrong, have no consequences--for those strangers or for me.
One part of the show I especially like--and maybe the part that generates the most guilt--comes at the end of each episode, when the bachelor passes out roses to the bachelorettes he wants to keep around for a while. I love watching the women's faces while they're all lined up, waiting to see whether they'll get a rose or get dumped on national television. How wicked is it to get such a kick out of watching them squirm?
I am not proud of this, but I'll keep watching anyway. It could be worse. At least it isn't Honey Boo Boo.