On our vacation last month, Jaimie and I binge watched the entire season of The Bachelorette. This was my first time watching it, so I was not familiar with the oeuvre of The Bachelor Nation. I wasn’t even aware there was a Bachelor Nation, but here we are.
It all started innocently enough. We haven’t had cable in years, and our first night at the hotel we flipped through channels like, “Ooooooh…look at all these crazy shows….”
We looked at the guide and saw that The Bachelorette was about to start. I confided to Jaimie that I have never watched it, and that I was a little bit curious. She was like, “That’s it. Get out of my life.” And I was like, “But I just bought you cheese.” To which she replied, “Fine, you can stay.”
It was the Guys Tell All episode, and some bro-han named Luke P was catching all sorts of shade. After two hours Jaimie and I were so hooked that we pulled out my laptop and binge watched the whole season to see what all the fuss was about.
As soon as the dust settled from all the Hannah B dram, lo and behold another enterprise of the Bachelor Nation was being thrust upon us- Bachelor in Paradise.
Now I had no intention of watching. And I’m not just saying that to make myself look cool. Like some intellectual floating above it all. I just found the show SUPER FREAKING STRESSFUL! People were falling in love. Families were being met. Windmills were being fucked in. And then right as a guy is like, “I’m so in love with you,” she has to dump him! I was having to take Ativans just to make it through those final rose ceremonies!
But my friend Tabitha sent me an email. “Are you caught up on Paradise yet?” And that’s all it took. It was like when you’re trying to quit drinking for a while and you’re doing so good until a buddy is like, “You want a beer,” and all your self control goes out the window and you dive head first into a two year bender?
It was exactly like that.
So for the past two nights Jaimie and I have been our couch like a couple of junkies. At the end of every episode we’re like, “There’s not another one? WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE’S NOT ANOTHER ONE????? THIS SHOW IS MY REASON TO LIVE!!!!!"
Turns out Bachelor in Paradise is even more ridiculous than The Bachelorette. The premise of the show is that all these people are coming to paradise to find love and get engaged. That’s what they’re asking the audience to believe. Yet they’re all in their 20s and super attractive. Exactly the type of people who are looking to “settle down.” And yet some of them seem genuinely confused as to why they can’t find love. On this beach in Mexico filled with models where all the drinks are free. One guy’s like, “I can totally see a future with you.” “But you just saw a future with that other girl last night. “Wanna make out? “Sure."
And I cannot imagine what this must be like for the families of the people on the show. I fancy myself a pretty accepting person. If I had a kid and that kid was gay or straight or trans I would love them no matter what. But if they told me they were going on Bachelor in Paradise? I’d disown their ass immediately.
I’d be like, "How could you do this to your grandfather!” “But this show is on ABC and grandpa only watches Fox News!” “Don’t talk back to me ever again!”
This is all to say that ABC/Disney has won. I’m completely and totally hooked. And the sad thing is, it's made me betray one the fundamental beliefs of my life. I try as hard as I can it be where my feet are, to live one day at a time, yet here I am, sitting at my desk, aware that the next episode of Paradise is out on Monday. And I'm thinking how Monday can't get here fast enough!
Bachelor Nation-1. David Lee Nelson-0