I want to date Ben Higgins.
There. It’s out. Woah, do I feel better.
Even after watching a man kiss girl after girl and then horrendously break up with them the next day, I can still imagine and dream about falling in love with him myself. Because that’s what this show does to you.
Now, for those who haven’t caught on, I’m talking about “The Bachelor” and this year’s bachelor, Ben Higgins. The hit ABC reality show, currently in its 20th season has continued to capture millions of viewers who accompany one person on their quest for love.
That might sound corny, and that’s because it is. But for me that’s the point. People go on the show looking for love and truly believing that it is worth quitting their jobs. The contestants have to go on dates that include everything from jumping off of buildings to chasing around aggressive pigs, hoping it will lead them to that 1/25 chance of love, which, in their defense, is much smaller that it feels for most people out in the real world. Or they go on looking to get famous, which leaves questions about people’s real intentions for being on the show or if they are there for “the right reasons” (please watch the music video from Desiree’s season that was made on a group date, it’s a classic).
When I tell people that I absolutely love “The Bachelor,” — and “The Bachelorette” of course — some excitedly agree and we immediately discuss our hatred toward this season’s villain, Olivia, or displeasure at a beloved contestant not getting a rose.
If you count seasons of “The Bachelorette,” this is my ninth season (not including Bachelor in Paradise; that’s a conversation for another day.) I have converted my sister and mother into watching the show, and I even filled out a bracket before the season began, just as I will for the real March Madness tournament next month.
As I was catching up on the most recent episode last night so I would be prepared for this column my roommate commented, “God, I hate that show, it’s so fake.”
And I must admit, I struggled to come up with a defense. How do you find the realness in a show when you’re watching 25 girls with more makeup on their faces than the total amount that I own, sitting, preparing for a man to decide whether they are worthy of his love.
Despite being a reality show, I know it’s not all real. In fact, most of it probably isn’t.
People can question the infamous lack of success rate that the show has and point out that most people go on just to be famous. And it’s not that I don’t see the issues. There were “Twins” on the show this year. As in, that was their occupation. There was also a “Chicken Enthusiast” on the first episode. Yikes, that’s 100 percent not a job.
And when one contestant feels the need to separate herself by saying she likes to to talk “smart things” and that “deep intellectual things are my jam,” it seems like it’s time to raise some questions.
The very structure of a show that allows many women to seriously date one man at once is a horrendous concept to contemplate in real life. People would say it’s cheating, it’s wrong and any man or woman who did so would largely be chastised by the morals that we have erected in this country.
But in this one place, in this Bachelor world filled with pretty, “perfect” people of our dreams, anything goes. They are living the dream. Despite this, we all make fun of them. How many people, when the Bachelor is brought up, simply say “people don’t find love on there!” And it’s true. They don’t always.
But watch Sean Lowe’s proposal to Catherine Lowe. I dare you. Makes me tear up everytime. And tell me there is no love there.
For as long as this show is on the air, I will be watching. No, not for the moral lessons. Yes, somewhat so I can see men that I would love to date. But mostly because this show is an opportunity to see people truly believing in love and god damnit, it’s fucking entertaining.
So when you break up with the girl that gets the final rose at the end of the season, give me a call.
“Cutting Room Floor” columns are one-off, arts-oriented pieces written by Daily Cal staff members.