During each episode, the bachelor or bachelorette takes various suitors – at times one, at other times a group – on dates that often consist of breathtaking scenery of white-sand beaches, snowy mountain chiaroscuros, or variegated landscapes, often sprinkled with new cultural experiences like wine-making, fabric dying, or any other activity found in foreign countries. However, variations on these adventures pose the first concern within the scheme of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette: a perfectly constructed setting that offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, raising one’s level of adrenaline and blinding each contestant with wonder and intrigue.
This is not a terrible way to draw in viewers – inasmuch as they experience the thrill by proxy – or contestants, but often it seems that the serene, beatific setting might cloud, or at least alter, one’s judgment. In other words, subsequent dates and interactions with Mr. or Mrs. Might-Be-Right are tinted with the sublime and serene sceneries, potentially occluding any character flaws, allowing them to slip under the radar. Moreover, this risk exists for both the Bachelor and the suitors. Of course, beautiful surroundings can’t repair the holes in a relationship or moor two people who have drifted leagues apart, and The Bachelor exacerbates this illusory perception by also obviating any of the real-life scenarios that would hinder a burgeoning relationship: family, friends, jobs, and perhaps most of all, money.
If the premise behind these shows is to find someone for whom you can declare your love, it would be emotionally responsible – or at least realistic – for those elements to be entered into the equation, as opposed to simply being mentioned during a conversation had on a white sand beach or in front of a roaring fire while eating strawberries and lounging on a llama-skin rug. Sweeping someone off their feet is the easy part – providing there are no distractions; if the room with the roaring fire is not being carried on your dime – or your suitor’s dime – then why not live it up? However, in the real world, a credit card limit and monthly bills might make one of you balk at that second bottle of champagne, maybe the chateaubriand would take the form of New York strip, and that beautiful Tahitian hut on a pier extending over a sapphire-tinted ocean would be one of 300 conjoined hotel rooms, two blocks from the shore with an adjacent parking lot.