Why Are People so Obsessed With ‘The Bachelor’?

To many, The Bachelor is a cheesy reality show filled with catfights, drama, and staged romance. But to others, the hit ABC show is their weekly obsession. The show continues to bring in audiences and has no signs of slowing down. But what is it about the show that keeps viewers wanting more?

The first episode of ‘The Bachelor’ nearly two decades ago

It may be hard to believe, but the first episode of The Bachelor premiered almost 17 years ago on March 25, 2002. Alex Michel courted 23 women during the shows one month long inaugural season. Ultimately, Michel chose event planner Amanda Marsh as his partner. Michel did not propose but instead chose to enter into a relationship with Marsh. The pair broke up a few months after the show ended.

The show has resulted in multiple spin-offs

The Bachelor has created its own sort of franchise. Outside of the original Bachelor, the show has created five spin-offs. The first spin-off, The Bachelorette, premiered in 2004 and was followed by Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise, and The Bachelor Winter Games.

Each spin-off featured the same basic concept as The Bachelor. The ultimate goal was to find love by the end of the show. This was done by dating multiple people throughout the course of the show and keeping the ones you like by giving them a rose during the shows infamous rose ceremony.

And endless drama

The Bachelor has seen its share of drama, both on and off screen. The show has long been regarded as sexist and outdated. There have also been issues with the show’s casting. The Bachelor has frequently been criticized for its lack of diversity. In 2017, the franchise cast its first African American lead, choosing 31-year-old Rachel Lindsay to be the first African American Bachelorette. The Bachelor has yet to have an African American lead.

In 2018, the show faced backlash for bringing on contestant Lincoln Adim. Adim had been convicted of sexual assault in 2016. This discovery caused the show to change its vetting practices.

Each season ends with a ring, but not necessarily marriage

The Bachelor
THE BACHELOR | John Fleenor via Getty Images

At the end of each season, there are two women remaining. One will go home, while the other has the potential to end up with a ring on her finger. Though the bachelor has the option not to propose, most seasons end with a ring.

But just because the bachelor pops the question, doesn’t mean there are wedding bells in the future. In fact, history has shown us that more often than not, the couple never even make it close to the aisle.

During the shows 23 seasons there have been 14 proposals. Of those proposals, only one couple ended up tying the knot. In 2013, bachelor Sean Lowe asked graphic designer Catherine Giudici to be his wife. The couple was married on January 26, 2014, and have two children.

Why do so many people love ‘The Bachelor’?

With its poor track record and penchant for drama, why is it that some people just can’t get enough of The Bachelor? According to Psychology Today, it’s not the idea of love that draws us in each week, it’s the pain.

As humans, we are driven to drama, no matter how much we want to deny it. It’s the same element that draws us to Grey’s Anatomy or This is Us. We like to get invested in the personal lives of the people on screen and watch every bit of the romance and ultimate heartbreak play out in front of us. Psychology Today says that the on screen drama allows us to empathize and compare our drama to their drama and realize that maybe our drama is not so bad after all.

But no matter what anyone else says, at the end of the day, we’re still hoping for a happily ever after.