Why Do We Keep Giving The Bachelor a Rose?

by Jessica Brody

Okay, every body buckle up! We're getting in the time machine. Where are we going, you ask? To warn the Captain of the Titanic that there's an iceberg straight ahead? To assassinate Hitler before he reached adulthood? To convince our eighties counterparts that shoulder pads are a huge mistake?

No. Of course not. We're going back to January 8, 2003, when the first episode of The Bachelor aired on ABC. To the moment we all first tuned in to see the charming and handsome Alex Michel hand that first fateful rose to some poor, swooning woman.

Okay, so we're here. Now what? Well, now we're going to ask ourselves, do we think this concept is going to take off? Do we think it's going to still be around after six years, 13 bachelors and over 325 eligible bachelorettes? (yes, I did the math)? The answer I think is fairly unanimous:

Hell, no!

But alas, here we are. At the close of the fifth season of The Bachelor spin-off show, The Bachelorette and Jillian has just adeptly chosen Ed (just for the record, he was my first choice too) and ABC is still managing to pull viewers.

So what is the draw to this show? Why do we all keep watching. Or if you don't watch, then help me answer why in the hell I can't stop watching! At last count, only FOUR of the 18 couples are still together (and only ONE ended up actually getting married and conceiving children.) Is it the cattiness of the women? The drama in the house? The hope that maybe this time, this season, this couple will battle all the reality show odds and live happily ever after? Are we all so desperate for a happy ending that we're willing to look to a relative of Heidi Fleiss to get it?

And don't get me wrong, I'm no less guilty of falling for ABC's trap than anyone else. Maybe it's the romantic paradise setting or timely music swells that finally do me over but at the end of every season finale, like the eternal optimistic/romantic sap that I am, I find myself saying, "I think they're gonna make it this time. I really do." So you can imagine how embarrassed I was last season when not TEN minutes after these hopeful words left my mouth, I watched Jason swap out Melissa for Molly like they were Harry Potter wizard trading cards.

So I ask you, what is it? Why can we not get enough of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette despite their continual ability to let us down and prove that love does not in fact conquer all (although it might land you some pretty sweet TV gigs)?

And more important, I ask you this...do you think Jillian and Ed will survive the post-finale curse? Because I kinda do. I think they're going to make it this time...

Jessica Brody is the bestselling author of The Fidelity Files and the forthcoming, Love Under Cover (November, 2009) a novel about a woman who runs an agency that tests spouses for unfaithful tendencies. She also writes young adult fiction. Her debut YA novel, The Karma Club is scheduled to hit stores in Spring, 2010. She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA where she is working on her next book. Visit her at: www.jessicabrody.com


  1. Funny post Jessica! I watched the first ep of "More To Love" last night on Fox - which I believe is from the producers of "The Bachelor/Bachelorette" it's exactly the same in format but the bachelor is a heavy set guy and the bachelorettes are all plus size.

    In ep one there was a diff - in that the participants - including the Bachelor all had something to say about how their weight affected them and how they were perceived by others in the past. Some of the women were confident about their size and others were not.

    And while I applaud the fact that they're doing this kind of show - I'm wondering if it's going to have a real impact in a positive way.

  2. I've been hopelessly addicted to "The Bachelor/Bachelorette" since the British Bachelor Matt was on (I have a thing for accents, what can I say?). And while I was outraged -- OUTRAGED! -- that he chose to propose to the ridiculous Shayne, something about the whole format clicked with me.

    I can't honestly tell you why I love the franchise so much -- I guess I love watching the dynamics of the people in the house, and enjoy seeing how single folks do or don't shine when they get their "big moment alone" with the Bachelor/ette.

    It's fun, and I honestly think it's taught me a little bit more about myself -- and what I want in a potential life partner -- after watching how everyone interacts. As much as, say, having a real life boyfriend of my own... and I've had plenty of those that just didn't make the cut, let's be honest!

    Do I think Ed and Jillian will survive post-show? Honestly, yes. Watching "After The Rose" last night, they seemed so in love and happy... genuinely happy, giggly, can't-look-away-from-you happy. She didn't have that with Kiptyn and, though she had a similar spark with Reid, they weren't at the same place. Ed was perfect for her! So I'm happy that they're happy, but sad for me... because a fantastic guy like Ed is off the market. :( heh. Well, maybe we have Reid or Jake The Bachelor to look forward to?

  3. Quite the chuckle. I also laughs at the fact that I will re-watch a movie and continue to yell, "NO! Don't open the door!" as if this time the character will listen.

    Unfortunately, this is one time capsule I missed. Don't shoot me, but I haven't watched a single one of the Bachelor/ette shows. I think the frustration level would kill me off. NO! Don't Choose Him!! ARGH!!

    However, I will admit to a very youthful fascination with The Dating Game. *laughs*

    --Chiron O'Keefe
    The Write Soul: www.chironokeefe.blogspot.com

  4. Dear Author, we can keep all royalties & on one platform we can make a difference now - let's do it together - http://authorsforauthors.com


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