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Full disclosure: I’ve never seen a single episode of The Bachelor or any of the other shows in the franchise. But I’ve always been fascinated by the show and how obsessed everyone is with it.
So when I saw Bachelor Nation was available to borrow from my local library, I knew I had to pick it up and give it a read. And much like the devoted “Bachelor Nation,” I tore through this book like I was running out of time.
*insert Hamilton reference here*
The book’s written by Amy Kaufman, a reporter for the Washington Post who recaps episodes of The Bachelor and the various spin offs. She inserts herself in the narrative of the story, but not in a way that’s self-serving or intrusive. Rather, she explores the world of The Bachelor through the lens of a fan learning about how the sausage is made.
It’s an incredibly fun read that goes through the show’s history and process, and as someone who had never watched the show, I couldn’t tear my eyes away.
The lengths the producers will go in order to get what they need for good TV are both horrifying and brilliant—Kaufman even includes a section comparing law enforcement interrogation techniques to what the producers do in their interviews (spoiler alert: they’re scarily similar). We all know reality TV is manufactured to some degree but based on what happens behind the scenes on The Bachelor, I feel like you might as well be watching regular scripted programming.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is the exploration of why we even watch the show—especially in 2018. Each chapter is spaced out with a little anecdote from celebrity fans about why they watch the show. To me, it seems like a combination of cynicism and romanticism—we love to hate watch the ridiculous antics on the show, but deep down we want to believe in true love. We just don’t think The Bachelor is the way it’s gonna happen.
Overall, this book is a frothy, interesting character study on America’s favourite reality show and the people who watch it. If you love the show—or even if you don’t—I highly suggest picking it up and giving it a read—the book is just as addicting as the show.