What is The Bachelor franchise actually good for?

Tyler gets 90% of the credit for this post. He said something after we watched ATFR that really made me think and is actually a brilliant analysis of the show.

The Bachelor franchise claims to be committed to helping people find love. They've set up the perfect scenario so that people can find their perfect match and live happily ever after. Well we all know the statistics and have heard a thousand times the numbers on 'bachelor couples' that actually stay together. It's disheartening to say the least. There are very few couples that found someone they wanted to be with and even fewer who have stayed with that person since they stopped filming their season. I'm not talking about that.

The ones who made it to the end, picked someone, and have found happiness and stayed with that someone are great. I think they're the rare lucky ones. Good for them, for basically gypping a system that is built to make you fail. I'm sure they're very grateful for what they have and work hard to maintain it, but like I said they gypped the system.

The Bachelor is not good at helping people find love. It has had a few flukes where people end up happy and in love, yes. But what the Bachelor is actually extremely skilled in is breakups. Heartbreak, heartache, getting dumped, being abandoned, that is the franchise's real talent.

At the end of the show on the final day when the lead is supposed to break up with one person and propose to the other, they always say the same thing. Some form of:

"Well I know it's going to be really hard to break up with (other person I'm dating), but I also know I have to do it to get to my happy ending (being engaged to other person I'm dating)."

And then in the After show and the months that follow that's basically what the show and the media is focused on. One person's broken heart/breakup and the subsequent joy of the other two people's happy engagement. They treat it like there was really only one difficult or true breakup on the season.

But let's take a look at the course of a season. Supposedly 25+ relationships/courtships begin on day one of the show. The women/men who are dating the lead are produced and then believe that they are the one dating the lead.

So then the show goes on and people leave/get broken up with. And then we see people cry. People cry on night one of leaving. And we laugh because we think that's silly that someone would cry for being broken up with after what appears to be 6 hours of 'dating.' And it is silly. In real life that would be silly to cry over someone you met 6 hours ago. But in Bachelor world it is not silly, it is serious and sad and dare I say, dramatic?

The show constructs this environment where you're enchanted and enamored on night one. You're already convinced that [insert location] is the perfect place to fall in love. You're (a little) convinced that the lead is probably the person for you and that you could see the potential possibility of wanting to fall in love with them.

So then when you get sent home, all of that environmental hype is crushed. You feel sad and hurt and embarrassed. And then the producers ask you questions like, "do you even want to find love?," "do you consider yourself a lovable person?," "do you ever think you'll find anyone who will love you?" So you cry, and talk about how all you really want in life is happiness and you thought sharing a house with 25 other people all trying to date the person you're dating would make you happy.

That is what the show is best at. They are professionals at creating an environment that makes you anticipate and want and desire things and then they take it away from you. They dangle some dreams in front of you, even let you smell the roses and then offer them to other people.


Going back to numbers it's almost laughable that they claim to help people find love. They've helped hundreds more people get broken up with than they could ever help find love.

This is not a diss by any means. It's actually an atta boy for the show. Well done for breaking hearts for the last 16 years and fine tuning your craft. Of course they're not going to advertise that they're in the business of breaking hearts, that's just bad taste. Who wants to watch a show where people get broken up with all the time?

ALL OF AMERICA! ME! YOU! We literally relish in seeing people get broken up with on television for 12 weeks. We feed the beast year after year. We don't like the happy endings. I mean those are great, yay for two people falling in love. But what we really want to see are all the tears and the rage and the swearing off of love for good (until the next season starts casting).

So we can't be upset at them for creating the pinnacle of what they are good at. The first unedited, raw, uncooked breakup ever shown on tv, ever?! They're just doing what they do best: heartbreak! So you go, Bachelor franchise. You own your craft, take credit where credit is due. You are the master of the breakup. How you'll top what you did this season, I'm not quite sure, but I'm sure you'll find a way even if it takes several more years. We'll all be here, watching and waiting. Do your worst, or I guess best.