I love “The Bachelor.” I love the drama, the catty girls, the sequined dresses, the too much chardonnay. I love that things like “chicken enthusiast,” “former Miss Illinois” and “twin” can actually be your job when you’re on “The Bachelor.” Sign me up! Who needs this bachelor’s degree?
I love that, in “Bachelor” universe, you can fall in love after three weeks and one group date. I love that you can feel “things you’ve never felt before” for someone you call Jessica B. I love that you get a grace period of, like, three serious meltdowns before the bachelor can even see anything past your boobs.
What I really love about “The Bachelor” is that it’s not real life — it is so far from real life, it exists in a different universe. “Bachelor” contestants are basically space aliens.
“The Bachelor” universe is exempt from the laws of our own. There’s no politics, no religion and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone talk about where they went to college (No, seriously, can we please figure this out? Where do I need to transfer to make “dog lover” a career?). It’s a universe where contestants are actually rewarded for their crazy behavior, because it’s a universe designed to entertain. For two hours every Monday night, we can escape to this universe where nothing matters except a hot guy and his 20 girlfriends.
As college students at the University, our lives can be pretty stressful. Between classes, extracurriculars, volunteering and working, life is full of academically rigorous, intellectually challenging things. I feel lucky if I have 40 minutes at the end of my day to listen to “Serial.” So with all of the craziness in our lives, who is anyone to tell us what to do with a single minute of our free time?
Reality TV is entertainment in its purest form. It’s mindless. It’s manipulated, sure, probably scripted to some degree, but who’s watching this for an accurate representation of the human condition? Whether they’re watching for the time-lapse romance or to diagnose whatever clinical psychological disorders some of the contestants probably have, “Bachelor” fans simply come seeking entertainment, and there shouldn’t be any shame in that.
Once you’ve spent the better part of your day pursuing higher education and contributing your share to society, you should be free to do whatever gives your brain a well-deserved break. If calculus relaxes you or running 10 miles clears your mind, I’m unreasonably jealous and I’d like to know your secret. But if bad reality TV or those Xbox games where you run around killing people are your thing, that is just as okay. Do whatever makes you happy, do whatever you don’t have to think about.
The bottom line: I won’t tell you what to do with your “you time” as long as you don’t expect me to contribute anything to society from 8 to 10 p.m. on Monday nights. And I won’t tell you to watch “The Bachelor,” but if you do, you might find its mindlessness surprisingly compelling.