The Bachelor is my go to guilty pleasure TV – it’s romantic, funny, and dramatic. Plus, I’ve been able to set up a viewing party with my friends, so it’s now become a social habit for me. Naturally, I wanted to find a way to dive deeper into the series and find out how this bizarre TV show is made. Plenty of previous contestants have written tell-all books in the past, but most of them felt like quick cash grabs and a way to hang onto fame. While Bachelor Nation goes a little deeper than the individual contestant books, it still lacks the depth and juicy details that most Bachelor fans would hope for.
For sixteen years and thirty-six seasons, the Bachelor franchise has been a mainstay in American TV viewers’ lives. Since it premiered in 2002, the show’s popularity and relevance have only grown—more than eight million viewers tuned in to see the conclusion of the most recent season of The Bachelor.
Los Angeles Times journalist Amy Kaufman is a proud member of Bachelor Nation and has a long history with the franchise—ABC even banned her from attending show events after her coverage of the program got a little too real for its liking. She has interviewed dozens of producers, contestants, and celebrity fans to give readers never-before-told details of the show’s inner workings: what it’s like to be trapped in the mansion “bubble”; dark, juicy tales of producer manipulation; and revelations about the alcohol-fueled debauchery that occurs long before the Fantasy Suite.
Kaufman also explores what our fascination means, culturally: what the show says about the way we view so-called ideal suitors; our subconscious yearning for fairy-tale romance; and how this enduring television show has shaped society’s feelings about love, marriage, and feminism by appealing to a marriage plot that’s as old as the best of Jane Austen.