There’s just no relaxing when you’re a TV critic. You’re supposed to pull apart plot twists and underlying idiosyncrasies from “Mad Men” with ease, analyze every inch of “Breaking Bad” before the final minute and refuse to admit you’re not quite sure of every fifth reference on “Community.”

Every look, every joke, every word has to mean something. Which means you’re constantly on your toes, with your face plastered as close to the screen as you can get, shushing your friends if they even dare to open their mouths and disrupt your concentration. Not exactly conducive to what should be called entertainment.

There are times when you need something ridiculous. Something utterly meaningless. Banal. Silly. Just plain fun.

Enter my secret obsession: “The Bachelorette.”

I know, believe me, I know. The situations are contrived. The men are all too pretty to be real. (Except for that one guy. There’s always that one guy). The “dates” overwhelming in their outlandishness. And the idea that a woman can find love and marriage by taking her pick of 25 fame-grubbing, money-hungry, over-zealous guys (most of whom are full-blown douches) is totally crazy.

But seriously. “The Bachelorette” is hilarious. There are no annoying tropes hanging around, no over-arching themes, no deeper meaning. “The Bachelorette” isn’t pretending to be high-quality TV. And that’s what makes it the most relaxing show I’ve ever seen. Not even “America’s Next Top Model” is as devoid of substance.

Not to say I’m bashing “The Bachelorette” here. Frankly, I love it. Sure, it’s not going to win any Emmys any time soon, but there’s no shame in loving the outrageous show. (Or “The Bachelor,” which is equally both fantastic and ludicrous.) Sometimes, that’s what TV is for. Mindless entertainment.

And sure, the importance of good-quality, mind-stimulating, full-of-meaning TV can’t be stressed enough. Shows like “Community” are constantly re-drawing and re-ordering the TV landscape for the better. But where would shows like “Community” be without shows like “The Bachelorette”? There has to be that hierarchy; it’s what makes us appreciate the “Community” ’s in the first place.

I refuse to be ashamed of “The Bachelorette.” While the weather is beautiful, classes are out and responsibility is low, what’s better than hunkering down for another hour-and-a-half of Kalon’s high-handedness? Or Ryan’s over-inflated ego? Or Jef’s (with one f) ridiculous, but oddly appealing hair? Not to mention Chris Harrison and his intermittent pop-ups. (“It’s the last rose tonight. Whenever you’re ready.” Every. Single. Time.)

Nobody ever said it was quality. But why should that stop you?

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