OPINION

OPINION | Watch The Bachelor and feel young again

I think those girls are talking about you. Photo: Channel Ten
I think those girls are talking about you. Photo: Channel Ten

I'm not a fan of a lot of reality TV.

Cooking shows leave me cold (and empty - I mean, you can't eat what they make so what's the point?), while the ones where people rush around the world performing meaningless tasks just confuse me.

I used to like some of the singing and dancing shows, but when they stopped showing the auditions of really terrible singers and dancers they lost some of their comedic appeal.

I would probably still enjoy them, but the only one left - The Voice - is ridiculously slanted to make it more about the annoying coaches, which is hardly interesting, is it?

The others (loosely) within that genre are about C-list celebrities trying to sing and dance, which I can do without. If I want to see a non-singer/dancer try to learn a new skill, I could just put some music on and groove in front of a mirror.

And Gogglebox - don't get me started. It's probably the apex of media culture - watching nobodies and has-beens watching their own televisions, on my television. It's like voyeurism just ate itself.

But there are two shows I just absolutely adore.

The first is Survivor, particularly Australian Survivor. I usually make a cup of tea during the challenges - they're not really the point for me - but I'm glued to all the political manoeuvring.

And the second is The Bachelor (and Bachelorette). Australian only. I'm much more ashamed of this latter confession, because the show is a starkly exploitative, revolting display of producer-manipulated fakeness.

But I love it.

So you can imagine my delight this year when the eponymous bachelor was revealed to be none other than ex-Survivor contestant, Locky.

My two favourite reality tv worlds have married, and produced a baby that needs all my attention.

Locky aside, though, The Bachelor is never really about the guy - it's about the lovely ladies competing for his hand (and the rest of his 196cm tall body). Ditto for The Bachelorette, but in reverse.

And this is the other overlap with Survivor - the politics are riveting.

Due to the all-female nature of the protagonists, it reminds me not of parliament (too many women for that), but of my school days, only with much more lip filler and cleavage.

The cliques, the squeals, the fake tan. The way they sit in little groups and giggle together. The fact that the meanest girls always find each other right at the start, and call themselves 'popular' when literally everyone else hates them. The lack of attention given to the kind, funny ones unless they're also outstandingly beautiful.

Aaah, doesn't it take you right back?

It seems that the copious amounts of free alcohol and lack of anything constructive to do has them channeling their 14 year-old selves. Who would have thought?

The producers always sprinkle the mansion with a few women who have the emotional intelligence of a hamster, and who set about creating drama and selling themselves as potential cast members of future spin-offs (Bachelor in Paradise, or even Gogglebox).

Some of them couple up as "best friends" after a few days, and give the cold shoulder to anyone who wants to sit at their table.

Attempting to fit in, the rest try to pretend they're also in love with the hot (and only) guy next-door (I believe the bachelor pad is in fact down the road), who they've only just met and barely know.

Year 9 all over again, baby.

Watching The Bachelor makes me feel young and carefree in a way no other experience can.

But then I have to get up off our low-slung couch without doing my back in or making a grunting noise and I'm right back in 2020.

What's more, I'm actually glad about it. These days, I can make friends with whoever I like, eat lunch wherever I like, and no one laughs at what I wear on mufti day. Except my children.