The Bachelor Is Incredibly Boring This Season

Image via ABC.
Image via ABC.

Some might find the manufactured drama on The Bachelor the most purely entertaining part of the show; I find it interesting only because it’s fun to figure how exactly it was manufactured. But this season of the show, the work being done to get the drama is so transparent, it’s hard to get particularly amped up about any of it.

I had high hopes for Nick, given his extensive experience with this franchise, but honestly, most everything this season has barely kept my attention. That’s probably because they’ve spent all their energy focusing on Corinne, the most carefully constructed villain seen in some time. Corinne’s drunken, entitled acting might be entertaining to some, but she’s boring to me: Everything she does is so clearly over-the-top and planned, it’s barely compelling as part of the reality oeuvre.

Monday night’s episode could have been split into three parts: Nick’s nice date with Rachel, what felt like hours of footage of a group date at a “haunted” house, and Corinne and Taylor’s multiple showdowns, the most notable of which was their two-on-one date which occurred in a “swamp,” where they met a voodoo priestess and got their tarot read. This provided an ample opportunity for the tarot reader to recite scripted predictions to both women that perfectly matched their issues with one other, and ample opportunity for both women to sit on a random log and complain to Nick about the other. The scene was so heavy-handed that Corinne asked the tarot reader “How do you make a voodoo doll specific to a person?” as if the premise of her making a voodoo doll of Taylor to punish was funny or mildly believable as anything other than a troll.

As with most two-on-one’s, the drama was supposed to come from the fact that the two women picked hate one another, a prime example being Chris Soules’s also very boring season, when Ashley I. and and Kelsey were both left alone in the desert after Chris realized everyone he was stuck in The Badlands with sucked. During last night’s episode, Nick ultimately picked Corinne and sent Taylor home, but even that choice didn’t have much oomph—he has barely seemed interested in either of their stories about the other (wonder why?), and you know a person who makes their whole relationship with the lead of the show about someone else in the house is ultimately doomed. As we’ve seen in the preview for next week, it’s likely Taylor will “come back” (i.e. the producers will bring her back) to confront Nick and whatever she tells Nick will result in Corinne leaving as well, her shelf life as a villain coming to a close right about the time the show usually stops being silly and starts getting real.


Who’s to say what makes a season interesting or not, though my preferred theory is that Nick is too much of a pro at this show to make any semi-fresh moves, and that his late casting meant that the women of the show were not picked for him, which has dampened the chemistry factor. (Ratings are also down from last year.)

Even if Corinne doesn’t go home in next week’s episode, we know she is not long for this world; she is in it for Corinne, not in it for Nick. He’s keeping her around for an opportunity to get it in and/or because he’s done this so many times he thinks she’s good TV; once either or both of those moments has passed, she will be gone. There’s a girl who is presented as hated in the house each season, but if that’s the game they’re going to play, my only wish is for it to be more believable or compelling than this. Or that the producers had realized that the truly good TV—worth more than the blooper reel she’s been dominating at the end of most episodes—is Alexis, the “aspiring dolphin trainer.”

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As a long-time Nick apologist, I had real hopes for this season but it’s been incredibly disappointing so far for a few reasons:

-As a seasoned contestant Nick seems to be a little too in on the production. A lot of his choices seem to be even more clearly producer driven than other seasons and I think that stems from him having closer relationships with the producers and the show so he’s more willing to go along with their suggestions.

-Above is also probably due to the fact that he’s clearly not interested in the vast majority of the girls. He has genuine feelings for Vanessa and Rachel but clearly that is it. The rest he will kiss because they’re pretty or because it’s what he’s supposed to do but every kiss feels forced and uneasy- like he mentally feels bad for “cheating” on Vanessa and Rachel. I mean, look how his entire relationship with Corinne completely changed after that conversation with V. No more make outs at all and he basically pulls away from her in all interactions. It seems that conversation cemented in him that if he doesn’t want the girls he actually has feelings for to leave him, he can’t be messing around with anyone else just for fun.

-I cannot handle Corinne and I tend to give “villains” a lot of benefit of the doubt (Olivia was clearly manipulated to appear bad, Nick was socially awkward but not intentionally horrible to anyone). Her gas lighting of Taylor was really difficult to watch. And I can see a circumstance in which Taylor (who did not initiate that fight with Corinne and seemed completely taken aback by it) came off as condescending partially because of how hard she was trying to stay calm and composed. I feel like I’ve been that person and it hurt watching her. Corinne is clearly playing by the Trump handbook and watching her on tv given our current political landscape is extra terrible. It completely takes away the joy and escape-ism this show typically provides.