Okay, I admit it, I watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure of mine, although this season has been a lot less enjoyable. All the seasons are dramatic, over the top, and ridiculous. But season 24 has just taken that winning formula to such an extreme that it’s become quite awkward and cringey to watch.
- Producer Meddling Is Out of Control
Look, reality TV is almost never reflective of reality, and this is especially true of The Bachelor franchise. Every memorable moment you see is forced, coerced, planned, and manipulated. The producers have a hand in everything that happens, and have almost complete say in who gets a rose and who doesn’t. The Bachelor is just one small step away from being fully scripted thanks to the free-rein producers have. They tell participants what to wear, where to sit, what to say. Hannah Ann didn’t just happen to stumble across Kelsey’s champagne. Hannah Brown didn’t just wander onto set without permission. Kelsey didn’t just decide to hang out with Peter in his hotel room. In every single case the producers came up with the idea and made sure it happened. And this season their meddling has been painfully obvious.
- The Plants Are Obvious
This goes back to point number one, but this show is not reality. A lot of people are hired to appear on this show specifically to stir up drama. No – not cast. Hired. This isn’t just the case of identifying that a girl has a dramatic personality so she gets a spot on the show. People are literally hired to get crazy and pick fights, and there are contracts floating around the internet proving as much. It happens every single season without fail, and many of the plants appear on Bachelor In Paradise to keep things interesting there too. Now, I won’t stake my life on who the plants are this season, but judging by some of the women’s antics I am willing to bet it could Tammy, Sydney, Kelsey, Alayah, or Victoria P, or any combo of them. Possibly Mykenna too, but I am not as confident about that. In the past the plants have tried to keep things looking somewhat natural, but this season they are completely off the rails. It’s totally lost the element of surprise because you already know who is going to have a meltdown or pick a fight.
- Peter’s Edit Is Ridiculous
Look – I don’t know Peter, so I can’t speak to him as a person. What I can speak to is how poorly he is being produced and what a cruddy edit he is getting. It really makes me think he is being set up to look like a villain, or at the very least an idiot. Spending an entire afternoon trying to soothe one hysterical girl and then cancelling the cocktail party and sending girls home that never even had a chance to talk to him…again, and again, and again? This has been the season of cancelled cocktail parties, and the fact producers suggested or allowed it is pretty telling. Sending Tammy home and giving Mykenna a sense of assurance, only to deny her a rose a couple hours later? Also very telling. Arranging a second 1:1 with Victoria F. while some girls haven’t even spent five minutes with the guy? I hope you see the trend here. This is either a case of failed producing, or the show is trying to paint Peter in a bad light in order to set up situations down the line. And given the fact that Pilot Pete is a known serial cheater, it’s not farfetched to think that.
Those three fails together have created a season that is devoid of likeable characters, painfully predictable, and not even remotely realistic. Now, like I already said, I know reality TV shows are not real – but the point is they are supposed to make me believe they are real for the hour or two I am watching. Obviously, many people (myself included) are going to keep watching because drama and intrigue is irresistible, regardless of how poorly executed it is. But I sincerely hope the next season is toned down so it can feel at least a tiny bit believable again.