14 Mar 19
Is Alex Marks turn as The Bachelor turning the tide of the tired show? (Picture: Channel 5)
Hi, I’m Mel and I’m incredibly cynical when it comes to the actual merits of shows like The Bachelor.
Like, pass me the bucket.
In the past I’ve written stories about how we’re obsessed with watching people fall in love on TV, and waxed lyrical on how it makes us remember there is some good in the world amid a whole bunch of BS. Because it’s entertainment in its purest form.
But when I discovered the powers that be were going to revamp the UK Bachelor in all its sometimes-not-feminist glory this year, I audibly groaned at the thought of how we’re regressing. Why on earth does 2019 need another Bachelor back in our lives when…there’s…just so many already?
Three women just weren’t feeling Alex (Picture: Charlie Sperring/Simon Jones)
The show has been around since the mid-90s and then it was a cute novelty and a laugh. But then it just became tired, predictable and a little offensive.
The UK did away with the Bachelor in 2012 after a second twirl at the rose ceremony (after the first round lasted from 2003-05). And I would have survived had it never returned.
How many times can we watch desperate people (not saying women, anyone who’s watched the Bachelorette will know the men get just as clingy when there’s a prize, I mean, wife at the end of it) compete, backstab and just go back a few steps in the evolutionary chain all in the quest for a mate?
However, then Alex Marks as the latest bachelor hit our screens earlier this month and, well, it kind of exceeded all expectations I had.
Mainly because the women – who are often treated as a passive passenger in a show so over-produced with one guy having his pick of the litter – have been rejecting the guy this time around. And also because my expectations were as low as how far some of them go to impress the person handing out the thorny blooms.
The US version just has something…missing. Like equality (Picture: ABC via Getty Images)
I may now be swayed to the B-side after years away. And it’s all because three (I repeat, three ) women threw Alex’s roses back in his face (not literally, I’m letting the drama get the better of me).
Gabriella, Natasha and Reanne have all showed they’re not about to sacrifice their very being just to be the last one standing and land a lucrative career as an Instagram influencer. They weren’t feeling the guy and they moved on. Producers sod off, they were not going to be talked to stay for the dramz.
I’m not lying when I say that perhaps the Bachelor UK is the most realistic of love shows out there because of this. Women in the US have walked sure – but three? Out of less than 20?
You see, my main gripe with these sorts of love shows now that I’m a totally mature ~adult~ is that there is just no way each and every female lined up is into the man in question. Again, anyone calling misandry on this, know that I also believe not all of the men on the various Bachelorettes are into the lass, either, but this is about the Bachelor so put a cork in it for now.
The Bachelor girls are turning on Alex Marks, which we haven’t seen yet (Picture: Channel 5)
We watch the US version, with its disgustingly rose-tinted glasses, tears, drunken catfights, sequins and more grass cutting than a John Deer commercial and wonder – does EVERY woman on that show want to marry the sleek guy and have his 2.5 babies yesterday, or is it just fine editing and some pushy showrunners?
I have strong feelings the Bachelor is just one big competition that isn’t about finding a mate. It’s about not being left behind, rejected.
Dating statistics and plain common sense will tell you that only a handful of those on the show are attracted to the person handing out roses. Like, legitimately attracted. Not because he’s the only guy there.
I feel they’re blinded by their want to ‘win’, because at the very core of it the Bachelor taps into our primal urge as homo sapiens to ‘compete’ for love. To not lose in the game of life.
It’s simply in our genes to puff out our chest and fight for something just because we don’t want anyone else to have it, and to believe that being alone is akin to death.
Because back when you needed a mate to be included in the village, to keep the bloodline going, to hunt with, to keep you warm, to fend off, I don’t know, prehistoric walruses or something, you may very well kick the bucket it if you were alone in your cave.
Luckily, today, that is not the case and by golly gosh, it seems the women of this year’s Bachelor are finally picking up on that.
Sorry to shatter that fourth wall, but the producers place each of those women in front of Alex because they will create flames and fire and, wait for it, ratings. Not because they see them making a future with the fella.
Okay, I may be taking my cynicism too far here.
Sure, in some cases it works out and they truly live happily ever after (looking at Catherine and Sean in the US, Trista and Ryan, too. Over in Australia they’ve also got many a success story that I’ve stuck in my pipe to smoke), but on the whole, it’s trivial and it’s TV and I’m sick of it.
I used to roll my eyes whenever someone would cut in with a ‘can I just steal him for a minute?’ then proceed to pour out the heart out to a complete stranger they’ve spent the collective time of 45 minutes with.
Then something happened.
A woman on the UK Bachelor rejected the current suitor Alex Marks.
Then another woman did the same. Then another.
My God – are the women on this show finally taking control and being an active member in their love life? Not letting producers or, ahem, evolution dictate a passive nature to come out on top with the last, final rose just because they can?
I want more of this. The UK has a chance to turn the Bachelor conversation and create a show that throws the ‘man in control’ schtick right back ’em. Because it takes two to tango, as they say.
With the finale of The Bachelor happening tonight, I’m thrilled to think that perhaps the last women standing, Charlotte, Charlotte and Alicia (yes, no mistake, that’s two Charlottes) are there because they truly want to be.
But, you know, I wouldn’t sneeze at another walk out.
The Bachelor finale airs 10pm tonight on Channel 5.
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[metro-link url=”https://metro.co.uk/2019/03/13/bachelors-robyn-tollady-storms-intense-rose-ceremony-alex-marks-sends-home-8899286/” title=”The Bachelor’s Robyn Tollady storms out of intense rose ceremony as Alex Marks sends her home”]
[metro-link url=”https://metro.co.uk/2019/03/13/bachelor-uk-wait-girls-see-alex-marks-gets-charlotte-t-meets-fam-8898587/” title=”The Bachelor UK: Wait until the girls see what Alex Marks gets up to with Charlotte T when he meets the fam”]