The Long Reign of the Bachelor Franchise


Anthony Citrano

Matt Grant was an English financier and business development manager from London and worked at Lombard Asset Finance (RBS) in Cambridge for three years before moving to London.

A man joins the show looking for love. He is greeted by 32 gorgeous and talented women from across the country among whom he hopes to find “the one.” In that journey you can expect drama, tears, stolen kisses, and a few trips here and there. Predictable, yes, but after 25 seasons people are still watching. 

The Bachelor franchise began its longstanding reign over the reality tv show genre in 2002. 19 years later, the franchise has produced 263 episodes of The Bachelor alone. Through The Bachelor, and spin offs The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and others etc., the plot and expectations of looking for love that everyone can relate to stay somewhat the same. Over the years, the dedicated fan base that calls themselves Bachelor Nation has blown the reality franchise into a phenomenon.

At Mayfield Senior School, there is a substantial following of Bachelor fans who are admittedly obsessed with the reality dating show. 

“I watch [the Bachelor] every week with a  group of friends,” said Chloe Leong ’24. 

Fans who started watching the show as young as 13 have stayed loyal through the show’s rocky running. 

“I stopped religiously watching the Bachelor after Hannah Brown’s season of the Bachelorette,” Grace Gannon ’22 said. Gannon’s loyalty to the show diminished after 19-year host, Chris Harrison’s sudden departure due to a controversy that erupted February 2021 after he excused racist behavior of a cast member. Harrison had also fronted The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise.

Although feeling his departure was for the best, Gannon said the show doesn’t feel the same without him. . 

Despite the racism scandal with the host, contestants, and participating members, the show continues with its 26th season this month. 

While younger generations of viewers remain entertained, are these shows safe, or do they leave negative impressions? Parents on commonsense media, a watchgroup to promote safe technology and media for children, give it the okay, within reason.  Parents concerned about “frank sex talk and occasional profanity” recommend children no younger than 15 watch the Bachelor due to the show’s mature and problematic messages. 

Said one posting: “This dating competition show features multiple women competing for the affections of a single man. [The women] constantly make catty comments, backstab each other, wear revealing clothing and bathing suits, and sometimes drink too much. The Bachelor kisses many of them, and a few go on overnight “fantasy” dates with him.” Parent reviewers concluded the Bachelor’s long-running franchise could potentially harm their children’s view of romantic relationships and of themselves after viewing the show.  

While others are not so intrigued at the idea of more seasons, viewers like Leong plan to continue watching the show with friends and family.

“I think people love the show because they are intrigued to see how far people will go in the name of love,” Gannon said. “I also think that people keep watching it because — although it’s the same show and the same process, it’s new people and it keeps it fresh.”