is a popular Reality Show
franchise, on ABC
As a season begins, we meet the bachelor, a "smart, handsome, successful man" who has it all. Now he's supposedly looking for someone to share it with. He's introduced to some two dozen beautiful women. They go on group and one-on-one dates, and based on the "connections" they form. he narrows the field and chooses one to spend the rest of his life with (though that rarely happens).
Women are eliminated in a "rose ceremony", in which the bachelor gives a rose to the women who will continue in the romantic journeynote
. Most episodes are said to feature "the most dramatic rose ceremony ever!" Most other developments are hyped as "shocking!" but have usually been shown in their entirety in the previous episode's On the Next
, or even going-to-commercial previews.
As of this writing, eighteen seasons of The Bachelor
and nine of its Distaff Counterpart
, The Bachelorette
, have aired. The former show started in 2002, the latter in 2003. Out of twenty resulting couples (two seasons ended with no one chosen,) only one couple has gotten married, in a lavish televised ceremony, and they have since had two children. Of the other thirteen, twelve have broken up and one is engaged, though she's been arrested for assaulting him, but that's another story...note
Has also inspired countless copycats
- Bait-and-Switch Lesbians/Never Trust a Trailer - In reference to the "shocking secret" of one of the contestants in season 14, one trailer shows a brief shot of two girls "frolicking" in bed. Turns out she was just cheating on the Bachelor with one of the producers.
- Balanced Harem
- Beach Episode
- The Beautiful Elite: Everyone's attractive and successful and dress up for their cocktail parties, where they drink champagne and receive roses.
- Better as Friends: One of the very few breakups that didn't end in animosity was Matt and Shayne - although they called off their engagement, they are still reportedly close friends.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Common in every season.
- Cock Fight
- Confession Cam
- Devoted to You
- Genre Savvy: Nikki Ferrell, who scored the final rose on the season with Juan Pablo Galavis, clearly did her homework and thus averted a common aftereffect of the experience. Even he seemed to realize his chances of finding true love here.
- Harem Seeker: The bachelor(ette).
- Hopeless Suitor: It's like none of the women realize that he can only end up with one, and he won't necessarily stay with that one, but they all always really want him.
- I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Invariably, one contestant is hated by all the others. They proclaim that she is "not here for the right reasons." She replies, "I'm not here to make friends. I'm here to fall in love."
- Interrupted Declaration of Love: Tons of them. Frankly the show is built around them...
- Longing Look
- Love Before First Sight: With so many women around, its understandable that the guy can't spend time with everyone before the first round of eliminations. Doesn't keep these women from saying they've just lost a soulmate, though.
- Love Makes You Crazy
- Lover Tug-of-War: Done figuratively; it's the premise of the show in a nutshell.
- Lucky Charms Title: There is a wedding ring where the letter o would be in the title, with a wedding band for the guys, and a diamond for the girls.
- Monochrome Casting: The only people to even get a chance are usually white or light-skinned Hispanic. Asians are rare, and don't even ask about blacks.
- Finally dented at least, as far as Sean's season goes; African-American contestant Robyn Howard managed to get as far as episode five before going home.
- One True Love: Pretty much subverted every time.
- Operation Jealousy: A non-zany and very effective example. How do you make a woman fall in love with you? Date 20 other women at the same time!
- Our Love Is Different: Every woman thinks this ("we have such an amazing connection"). Then they get to the Rose Ceremony, fail to score a rose, and we get the Money Shot...
- Pool Scene
- Product Placement: The fashions, the date settings, the accessories...
- Reality Show Genre Blindness: It has its own section.
- Also, you'd think some of these men/women would have actually paid attention to who stays and who goes. When the partner takes you on a nice safe date, he/she actually cares about you. When the partner has you (ahem) swim with sharks or go bungee jumping, the TV station wants cheap ratings, and the partner isn't saying no. The risk does not make it worth it, and they usually get dumped after this. Also, the first to arrive always thinks they're the one the bachelor/bachelorette really loves, but in fact, they're the ones to get ditched (often for no good reason).
- Reality TV Show Mansion
- The Runner Up Takes It All: The season 13 Bachelor broke up with the winner to actually hook up with the runner up. They're the only successful couple from this show to date and are now Happily Married with children.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Andi Dorfman famously left during Juan Pablo's season after a heated argument. After Juan Pablo gained a reputation as one of the least liked Bachelors, she was seen as making the right decision. And then she became the next Bachelorette, with predictably crazy results.
- Sexy Discretion Shot
- Spinoff: Two (three if you count The Bachelorette).
- The first, Bachelor Pad, was a more traditional reality competition show where the former contestants where split by gender and competed against each other Series/Survivor-style for the first few weeks, then as pairs for the last leg of the competition. It also had a twist that at the end the winning couple had to vote separately on whether to keep the $250,000 prize for themselves or share it between the two of them. If they both voted share, they would both receive $125,000. If one voted share and the other voted keep, the one who voted keep would get the whole prize. If they both voted to keep, then neither would win, and the prize would be distributed amongst the eliminated houseguests. The series lasted three seasons.
- The second spinoff was Bachelor in Paradise, which was a lot closer to the traditional format, but with a mix of Bachelor Pad as well. Men and women from previous seasons spent the summer at a tropical resort, going on dates and making connections. At the end of each episode, the two people without roses had to leave the resort, but the next week would bring in two more previous contestants. There was no cash prize either - the goal was to spark new relationships, just in greater numbers than the standard show.
- Supporting Harem: Every woman sees the rest of the women this way.
- Testing the Love Interest: The bachelor does this on a lot of dates.
- Token Minority: The shows usually will have one or two non-white contestants per season, who never win and rarely even get close to winning. And when they do, it's often a case of But Not Too Black, with light-skinned black people or white Hispanics.
- Trailers Always Spoil