Oh No, The Bachelor Is On Tonight

by Liz Colville

I have a sad, inescapable affinity for The Bachelor, but imagine the hysterics I descended into when I learned that the show is returning tonight, January 3, as if they knew I would be happy to give up reading Joyce Carol Oates for a different kind of human horror show as soon as they could manage it, which I hoped would not be so close to today. Looking at the mugshots of our latest group of women, I am once again, for the 15th or so time, marveling at the ladies’ listed ages and the ages that they might actually be; the way the photos originally looked and the way they may have been manipulated in Photoshop; the way their bodies should or might look without too much trouble or reason to complain, and the way they do, after what I would guess is some trouble or helpful assistance from another or multiple others. The show is such a lovely advertisement for going places and drinking wine in oversized glass goblets, as if the size of a glass corresponds to the number of stars in a hotel’s rating or the strength of a love. These wine-drinking moments are the moments I remember most, and they are why I will tune in again. But oh, this show is a gut-wrenching ruse, an insipid romp, a squandering of a stomach’s valuable digestion time, a gauntlet-like rite of passage from the bookish zeal of youth to the stubbornly unmoving eyeball activity of adulthood.

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