Welcome to Bachelor Nation

It’s easier than you think.

By Isabella Waldron, Scripps College

I have been watching “The Bachelor” since I was in sixth grade, when against my mother’s wishes, I would crawl into the TV room to watch the spectacle unfold, and then sneak back into my bed to dream of the rose ceremony.

I wasn’t alone in my obsession, either. In my seventh-grade summer camp, one of my best friends received weekly letters from her mother solely to update her on “The Bachelor,” and we would pour over them in the middle of a Vermont forest in lieu of a TV screen.

How to Watch “The Bachelor” Without Feeling like Trash
Image via ABC

Admittedly, even though I now have a thousand things to do, and a two-hour dating spectacular seems to be especially superfluous, I still watch religiously. The only thing that has changed is that I am no longer under the impression that the show is a flawless, accurate portrayal of true love.

I will be the first to admit that “The Bachelor” (and “The Bachelorette,” “Bachelor in Paradise” and the long-lost “Bachelor Pad”) is not without its flaws. I also reject the idea, despite what my friends claim, that watching the show will lower my IQ.

In order to help the viewers who can’t take their eyes away from the awkward interruptions on group dates, yet still long to be a full-functioning participant in reality, I’ve created a handy guide on how to be the best “Bachelor Nation”/Real-Life member you can be!

1. Don’t Hate Too Much on the Villain

If you’ve tuned in to the current season of “The Bachelor,” you’ll know the resident villain of this season is Corrine Olympos. Corrine’s constant naps, references to her nanny (for the record, Corrine is 24-years-old) and flirtatious antics leave most of the women in the house frustrated.

In every season of “The Bachelor,” the villain goes through a similar series of events, known as the villain timeline, before meeting her well-deserved elimination.

In the villain timeline, the villain claims that 1) She’s not there to make friends, and 2) Her only purpose is to win the heart of (insert Bachelor). The other women then whisper about the villain of the house, while one woman tells (insert Bachelor) about how the villain is causing problems (said woman will be sent home, most likely).

The villain eventually hears about the backstabber and confronts her, but viewers must endure a few more episodes of drama because the rest of the relationships with (insert Bachelor) aren’t exciting yet. Finally, though, the villain is sent home, proving (insert Bachelor) is truly ready for a wife!

Appreciating the villain for as long as you can is critical, as her only purpose is to serve a brief, but important role in the characterization of the more important figures. For too long, I hated on Courtney from Ben F.’s season, or Olivia from Ben C.’s season, without keeping in mind that the poor women are probably encouraged by the producers.

The contestants are real people, with real feelings, so in season 21, appreciate Corrine (my favorite part of Mondays now), but don’t go all crazy and tweet at her about your hatred. She’s just being Corrine.

(P.S. You can hate Chad from Kaitlyn’s season of “The Bachelorette.” He was way too much.)

2. STOP Calling Them Girls, Chris Harrison!

“The Bachelor” is not what I would call a source of feminist media. It’s frustrating watching scenes where the women are forced to literally shovel cow poop to show how much they are invested in a man that they have just met (see last week’s episode).

The worst part, besides the fact that nobody actually eats the food in front of them on DINNER DATES, is when the Bachelor and/or Chris Harrison refer to the women on the show as “girls.” Ugh.

Yes, some of them are remarkably young, but calling them girls just bums me out. I think one of the most important parts of watching the show is remembering that the contestants are real people who may actually be trying to find some connection (or at least a nice trip around the world with some new friends). Therefore, please respect the women of the house.

3. It’s Okay to Hate on Some Aspects

For instance, the entrances. Regard with caution, because the entrances are objectively the worst, and every moment is uncomfortable.

It’s okay to laugh and mock the contestants who ride in on fake unicorns. Additionally, the Fantasy Suite dates are undeniably a little bit slimy.

4. Watch with Other People

While watching “The Bachelor” in bed in your PJs is decadent and amazing, watching with friends is one of the best parts of the show.

The key is to cultivate a group of people who will both make fun of the show during the last-rose announcements (everyone in the room can count to one, I am positive), and also “aww” along with you when something actually cute happens.

Your friends don’t watch “The Bachelor?” Train them in the ways of balancing your love and confusion over the franchise.

5. Don’t Let It Impact Your Dating Life

After consistently watching “The Bachelor,” you might become annoyed when you go on a date and there is no helicopter to take you to Tahiti.

Remember, the dates are made for good TV viewing. Not all dates can end with a good heart-to-heart with Chris Harrison, unfortunately.

6. Never Give Up

You might think you’re done with “The Bachelor” after Nick sends home your favorite contestant, or you simply realize that you don’t like Nick at all. When this happens, sit down, close your eyes and imagine the final episode.

Think of the inevitable walk (or elephant ride, kayak trip, etc.) into the sunset. Despite however ridiculous the season has been, and however much time you think you have wasted, surely some part of you must know that you will love the last two hours of imaginary bliss.

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