The Bachelor: yea or nay?

The Journal unwraps the pros, the cons, and the maybes of the filming of the popular and long-running American dating reality television show in Malta.

Have you heard of The Bachelor? Well, you could have seen The Bachelor himself! His name is Joey Graziadei, he’s 28 years old, he’s a teaching tennis pro from Pennsylvania, and he had a good time here in Malta.

That’s because some of this season’s much talked about television show was shot right here.

Whether it’s to your liking or not, The Bachelor is a popular and influential part of reality TV culture, with a dedicated fan base and significant impact on popular media. The twenty-eighth season of The Bachelor premiered on 22nd January and collected no less than 6.02 million viewers after seven days of viewing across linear and streaming channels.

The concept

The Bachelor is an American reality TV dating game show that debuted on ABC in March 2002. Created by Mike Fleiss, it’s part of a franchise including several spin-offs.

The show features a single bachelor who dates multiple women over the season, gradually eliminating candidates through rose ceremonies to select one with whom he may potentially get engaged. Dates range from group activities to intimate one-on-ones, including hometown visits and overnight “fantasy suite” stays.

The show concludes with the bachelor possibly proposing to his final choice.

Let’s unwrap the pros, the cons, and the maybes.

It’s good for Malta

The Bachelor showcased our country’s landscapes, landmarks, and culture to a wide international audience. By featuring tourist attractions, our natural beauty, and Malta’s unique activities, the show is acting as a promotional tool that can boost interest in visiting the country among viewers.

Of course, the production of The Bachelor involved significant spending here in Malta, including accommodation for the cast and crew, location fees, and local services and goods. This influx of spending benefits the local economy directly.

Hosting part of the show has provided Malta with a platform to reach a global audience, enhancing its international profile. Many other countries have jumped at this occasion, including Canada, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, Korea, Vietnam, France, Italy, and Thailand.

Is it good for love?

Whilst The Bachelor is good for our economy, some will argue that it’s not good at all for our heartstrings and our intelligence.

Critics argue that The Bachelor presents an unrealistic and often unhealthy portrayal of relationships. The accelerated timeline for engagements and declarations of love does not mirror real-life relationship development, potentially setting unrealistic expectations for viewers.

For many years, the show was also criticised for its lack of diversity among contestants and leads. Critics pointed out that the cast predominantly featured white participants, with very few people of colour. Although there have been efforts to address this issue in recent seasons, the criticism has had a long-standing impact on the show’s reputation.

The Bachelor has also been criticised for reinforcing traditional gender roles and stereotypes. The show’s format, focusing on a single man dating multiple women, has been said to promote outdated views on women competing for a man’s affection. There have also been concerns about the emotional exploitation and manipulation of contestants. Critics claim that producers manipulate scenarios and edit footage to create drama and tension, which can have a negative impact on the mental health and well-being of participants.

The environment of constant surveillance and the presence of alcohol at all times have raised questions about the ability of contestants to give full consent, especially in situations leading to intimate encounters. The show has also been accused of promoting and rewarding toxic behavior, such as jealousy and manipulation, by giving such contestants more screen time, thereby glamorising negativity in romantic pursuits.

Finally, the heavy commercial aspect of The Bachelor, including sponsorships and the promotion of a fairy-tale romance ending, has led to criticisms that the show commodifies love and relationships.

People still love The Bachelor

It’s not all dark hues. In fact, the show’s incredible popularity says otherwise.

For the hopeless romantics, the show promotes the idea of finding true love and soulmates, offering viewers a sense of hope and belief in romantic love, despite the unconventional setting.

The Bachelor also has a significant cultural impact, generating widespread discussion and commentary in media, online forums, and among viewers. It sparks debates on relationship dynamics, love, and personal values, contributing to broader cultural conversations. This very article is proof of just that.

Many contestants end up gaining public exposure and opportunities for career advancement in entertainment, modelling, or social media influencing as a result of their participation in the show. Occasionally, the show also addresses or highlights important social issues, such as mental health, bullying, or diversity. This can raise awareness and prompt discussions among the viewing audience.

It’s up to you

What we know for certain is that there’s a sense of pride that comes with watching your country being portrayed in the most gorgeous, romantic way on worldwide television and streaming channels – even if you don’t necessarily agree with the love antics.

Would you willingly compete with other contestants for the love of your life in front of millions of watchers? Or will you watch as somebody else does all that? It’s really up to you.

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