Monday, 12 September 2016

I love 'The Bachelor' but it's not ready for awards

It's that time of the month when Bachelor in Paradise (long live Carly + Evan) finishes, the Emmy's follow, and The Bachelor producers complain once again that the show, after 20 years of being on TV deserves that Emmy nomination.

Reality TV obviously gets a lot of slack for being trash - nothing more than just manipulated and unrealistic situations. And for this reason the genre is widely overlooked when it comes to awards season. Sometimes I think unfairly so. You can say Made in Chelsea is trash all you like but it's filmed so beautifully you can't deny that. But The Bachelor is almost in its own league. Here is a show that has survived
TV for 20 years and still continues to pull in about 7/8 million viewers every single week - a feat few shows can say they've achieved. And because the Bachelor / Bachelorette is looking for their future spouse the stakes are a lot high which makes it a lot more realistic than your regular dating show. So my inner die-hard Bachelor fangirl self wants to Bachelor Nation in their campaign for the show to get an Emmy nod.

But at the same time giving the show this recognition would sort of be okaying everything that is grossly wrong with it. I think there's more to good TV than just being entertaining and the Emmy's have a responsibility to pick shows that aren't only entertaining but also have something important to say or at least shows that do TV in a responsible way. 

Conceptually flawed?
The show pits men/women against each other in the hopes of getting the attention of the Bachelor/ Bachelorette. This (especially) in the case of The Bachelor brings out the ugly in its contestants. Then ... we have the problem of social media ganging up on people who in all honesty have just been edited to look worse than they actually are, like Chad from JoJo's season (who is actually hilarious on Twitter I'm obsessed).

Not going to lie - I bloody love this concept of the show I mean its the only way it would work - the more choices the lead has, the more tension between contestants and the better the TV! But the show is still great even when not everyone is fighting all the time and I do find myself cringing when girls start crying over a guy she's known for a week going on a date with a contestant she barely knows. And its then awful to see said girl getting trolled on blogs.

Perhaps we can't escape the competitiveness of the show but how about producers trying not to intentionally breed competitiveness between women because it feeds the stereotype that women can't get along. Take Kaitlyn's season: The Bachelorette is essentially meant to give a woman the chance to be in charge of her own destiny and once again, that destiny was still in the hands of the male contestants.

Is love just for young white people?

Falling in love is the most universal and eternal and wonderful idea. It's the reason the show has longevity; people falling in love is something we can never get bored of. Yet the producers tend to just choose model-looking white women below the age of 28 to be contestants - as if to say that women with the average dress size, women of colour or women above the age of 28 are past their sell by date and can't find love. When a woman is in her 30's or has a child, it becomes an entire plot in itself.

It's also pretty embarrassing how little diversity there is on the show. Of course noone can coerce a lead into falling in love with a particular person but there's often only one or two people of colour anyway. That individual then has little to no chance of being the next lead because as we know, the leads are often picked from the top 4 contestants on the previous season. And when picking the contestants, the show producers have a fair idea who the top 4 could be. So why not just have a more diverse cast with more people of colour? It's almost as if the show thinks that interracial relationships won't be as interesting to watch or will put people of ....? I obviously hope that isn't the reason but I can't come up with another explanation as to why it hasn't happened.

I'm not asking for an all Black season or an all Asian season . Just a show that reflects relationships in the real world.

Snippetty snip snip
Given the fact that this isn't observational reality, the circumstances the contestants find themselves warrant for enough drama without producers having to severely edit the show. Its not so much as them fabricating storylines, it's more a case of vilifying and making fun of contestants  to make ratings - totally unnecessary. What even is the point We live in an age of Twitter and Reality Steve. You can't just paint Caila as a princess because what actually went down is being broadcasted to the world via Snapchat. The truth is out there which just makes the show look fictional at times.
Again on Bachelor in Paradise 3, producers coerced Ashley I into situations that would make her vulnerable, then shamed her for being sensitive while simultaneously making her virginity a plot line - all in the name of ratings.

You know in hindsight, women really get the worse end of the deal in this franchise?! Now now I know it looks like I just bashed the entire franchise ...because I did. But I do genuinely love this show. It's just not responsibly made and there's so much more that NEEDS to change before we see it collecting any sort of award.
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