New season of The Bachelor delivers the expected — flashy dresses, staged drama and devoted lust


Parties were assembled in living rooms. Bets were carefully wagered. Brackets were painstakingly filled out. No, this isn’t March Madness or The Oscars. On Jan. 5, almost 8 million Americans tuned into the 19th season of The Bachelor, joining farmer Chris Soules on his journey to find love.
The three-hour premiere kicked off with a live red-carpet special allowing viewers to catch up with the legends of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette — because we all still care so much about Season 17’s bachelor Sean Lowe and his baby plans. By the time the first limo pulled up in front of the Bachelor mansion, there had already been enough tight, sequined cocktail dresses and forced high-pitched laughter to last any Kardashian a lifetime.
The producers had outdone themselves with their contestants for this season — the girls were crazier than ever. Entering one-by-one, each woman greeted Chris with a too-long-for-comfort hug and some “creative” routine or gift to hopefully make themselves memorable. One showed up with a cooler containing a fake human heart, while another zoomed up on a motorcycle, still decked out in jewels and a cocktail dress. It’s a mystery how her hair wasn’t the least bit tasseled.
The premier continued with the highly anticipated cocktail party, where each of the 30 women desperately competed to have a five minute conversation with seemingly underwhelmed Chris Soules. As the rose ceremony approached, the desperation grew and the etiquette weakened. The open bar proved to be too much for a few women, causing them to sloppily interrupt Chris’ conversations or threaten to get sick.
The contestants showed they would do anything to have a chance at love with the handsome Bachelor, but at the end of the night, only 22 women received a rose — which is still more than most men date in their entire life. The other eight had to say goodbye to their dreams of marrying the attractive stranger.
Overall, The Bachelor gave viewers exactly what they were expecting: a drama-filled “reality” show loaded with good looks, money, shallow conversation and sexual attraction. But that is all that it is. It provides little genuine emotion, intellectual stimulus, or (based on the statistics from previous seasons) lasting love. The women in the show should not be seen as role models for little girls, as they devote everything to chasing after some rich and handsome guy they hardly know.
While the show should not be taken seriously in any way, it is an addictive guilty pleasure. The forced drama and make-believe “love” does pay off when it comes to the entertainment value. The more you get to know The Bachelor and his harem of melodramatic women, the more you find yourself getting pulled in week-by-week to find out who Chris will pick to exclusively date, maybe even propose to and inevitably break up within a matter of months. If you are willing to be sucked into the chaos, tune in 7 p.m. Mondays to ABC.