Let me posit a deceptively simple question to you: if The Bachelor/Bachelorette is garbage, how can a ‘Bachelor/Bachelorette’ podcast be any good?
Let’s break down point-by-point the central question in order to truly reach a satisfactory answer.
1) The Bachelor/Bachelorette Is Garbage TV
I made it through 14 seconds of that clip. Because it is unbearable. And it might be unbearable by design. The show takes twenty-one non-actors and puts cameras on them for eight weeks without any scripts or directions. Or, you know, the things that make TV shows good. What they do include is a ridiculously unbelievable premise (that a person can on the reg, in the midst of dating twenty people, find one person they truly love and decide they want to commit himself to for life after only two months), and a lot of heavily edited (aka falsified) drama. Who would want to watch that show?
A shitton of people, which I can’t understand. Don’t the viewers know how unrealistic the plot of the show is? To the point that almost none of the couples actually get married? And that the acting is painful to watch? Or given that a major plotline of this week’s three hour (yeah, you fucking read that right, three hours) finale was the fact that one of the suitors didn’t ask the bachelorette’s father’s permission to propose marriage? I mean, I’m not sure where to even begin addressing what’s wrong with that statement.
How could anybody watch and enjoy a show so steeped in patriarchal bullshit that there is an actual date constructed so you and the person you’re dating can bone it out in an acceptable manner? The answer is:
2) “Rose Buddies” Makes TV Garbage Entertaining As Fuck
I’ve mentioned before my undying love of “My Brother, My Brother And Me,” an advice show for the modern era. Youngest McElroy brother Griffin and his wife Rachel take on the impossible (making The Bachelor franchise bearable), and succeed wildly. They’ve taken the unbearable turd that is most dating shows and polished it into a diamond fit to be worn in the soon-to-be-returned engagement ring given at the end of each season. But how does one accomplish such a feat?
First off, get yourself a giant bottle of wine. You’re not making it out of this thing sober. Two, if possible, get yourself a group of friends with whom you can start a Bachelor fantasy league. But anyone could tell you that alcohol and competition will make anything better. So what makes “Rose Buddies” enjoyable to listen to?
You buy in. You gotta lean in hard on this show if you’re going to make it out alive. Everyone knows the show is as fake as Donald Trump’s tan/hair/presidency, so you just don’t think about it. Are any of these contestants really in love? Probably not. Are there some genuinely terrible trash people? Absolutely. Does this contestant look surprisingly like Gary Oldman’s character from The Fifth Element?
Yes. Yes he does.
But while watching this garbage show, you can’t think about that (except for the Gary Oldman contestant. Think about that all the time). You’ve got to submerge yourself into the narrative of the trash heap show. This isn’t a good movie, it’s a terrible slasher film. You know all of the beats before the show hits them. You know there’s a villain, a wifey, and a lot of dramatic crying. But you’re going to shout at the screen anyway, because sometimes watching things play out exactly the way you thought they would is comforting. Because the fun is becoming excessively involved in the low stakes, garbage-world of online dating. The ridiculousness of the show and your devotion to it is the appeal. Or as the ‘Rose Buddies’ website itself says, “The Bachelor is too dangerous a television series to try to watch alone.”
There’s no way in hell I’d actually even be able to sit through a whole episode of The Bachelor, but I’ll continue letting Rachel and Griffin do the heavy lifting for me.