The Bachelorette: A Narrative Analysis

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Reality TV is meant to make its audience believe what occurs on screen actually depicts what happened in real life during filming. It also wants its viewers to relate to the cast because they are seen as ordinary people just like them. ABC’s The Bachelor has been around for twenty seasons, and its counterpart, The Bachelorette, is coming up on its twelfth season; this clearly marks the success of the franchise. The Bachelor/Bachelorette has been around at length because of the formula it hides from its audience. This essay will explore how this reality TV series uses Jonathan Bignell’s television realities theories of realism and on documentaries as well as Julie A. Wilson’s theories on reality television celebrities to illustrate the cast…show more content…
The Bachelor/Bachelorette provides a sense of reality with how the Bachelor or Bachelorette and groups of women or men adjust to the dating “game show” type format, as there is only one winner. It also tries to realistically represent each relationship since the remaining aspects of the show are highly unrealistic. This leads to the idea Bignell makes about television realism, in that dramatic entertainment shows “claim to be realistic but are constructed for television” (191). While the small details above in The Bachelor/Bachelorette are realistic, as cameras are rolling twenty-four-seven, the rest of the show is for entertainment only. With the evident fictional game show narrative, fans can engage in an exchange with the producers. Bignell calls this the “language of realism,” where “it is the interaction between what is on television and the ways in which an audience understands a programme that is at the heart of television realism. Television has a ‘language of realism’ which programmemakers and audiences share” (191). Although the premise of The Bachelor/Bachelorette could never happen in real life (and the audience understands this), avid fans still crave the fantasy of meeting twenty or so potential partners in exotic places with the hopes of falling in love with one in under three months. ABC runs with this fantasy and makes the…show more content…
She references Sue Collins’ “dispensable celebrity” idea, which says producers favor reality TV celebrities because they can mold them into who they want them to be and then dispose of them later instead of paying to maintain a traditional celebrity’s persona (426). However, Wilson also says, “The world of reality television and its dispensable celebrity system may reward obnoxious or detestable performances and bad behaviors with future roles and other forms of expanded media exposure and publicity…” (427). There are many Bachelors and Bachelorettes, as well as contestants, that no one really cares about anymore or just simply forgets their existence as a reality TV celebrity. On the other hand, there are others that continue the reality TV persona by participating either in ABC’s spinoff Bachelor in Paradise or as the next Bachelor or Bachelorette. To put it in context, Jared, a fan favorite from Bristowe’s season due to his compassionate nature, participated in the most recent Bachelor in Paradise. And Lace, a fan favorite from Higgins’ season due to her dramatic outbursts, will participate in the upcoming Bachelor in Paradise. This illustrates how ordinary people cannot possibly participate in this show because there is the possibility to continue a career in reality TV and because previous contestants are constantly given more

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