There was a time in our lives when we did not admit this to many people, but we eventually grew to embrace our two hours a week of hot chocolate, prediction-making, and mild boredom.
Why did we watch it? This is a question we sometimes asked one another. The show isn’t innovative; it isn’t even especially entertaining.
Another helicopter ride? Wow, we didn’t see that one coming.
A heart-to-heart with Chris Harrison? Yes, Chris. We’re bored, too.
Shopping for two engagement rings because you have no idea which woman you want to marry? We see it season after season, but it’s still pretty weird.
So why do we watch this very uncomfortable and occasionally nauseating show?
Because we like nice people and we like love, and we really, really like it when nice people fall in love with each other.
So we liked Tenley and we liked Gia. They were pretty and friendly and harmless which is what we have come to expect from the show. We liked Ali, too, most of the time, when she wasn’t reminding us of the bossy girl we were scared of in high school. (When she apologized for saying those mean things, we forgave her, and we’re super excited that she’s next season’s Bachelorette.)
We rooted for Tenley because she was honest and sweet and she knew what she wanted and she had been hurt by that awful ex-husband; we rooted for Gia because she was sexy and kitten-like and insecure which came off as incredibly charming—plus, we were afraid that if Jake didn’t choose her, she might go back and make more bad dating choices (Gia, you deserve better!); and we rooted for Ali because she seemed like someone we could know, like she could be a friend of a friend who we sometimes saw at parties. We were so happy! We said, “Any of those three could win and we would be content, so let’s root for all of them!”
Then, of course, came the spoilers. We read them. We didn’t believe it. Vienna? No way. We watched with building horror every week, and now no longer were we rooting for our favorite three; instead, we were shouting at the screen, saying things like, “Jake, how could you!”
“But Gia’s so sweet!”
“But Tenley is perfect for you!”
“But you and Ali were falling in love!”
We watched the season wind down the way we were told (but didn’t want to believe) that it would, and the closer we got to the finale, the more we lost that good feeling about how nice finding love is and instead found ourselves filled with dread.
And then it ended, and we were bummed.
Jake, you told us during “After the Final Rose” that you and Vienna were happy and in love and that we would just have to deal with that. So, okay. We’re dealing. But the thing is that we didn’t really watch The Bachelor because we wanted you to be happy. We watched it because we wanted us to be happy.
So while we wish you and Vienna the best—Jake, we would like the 17 hours we spent watching you back.