Every Monday night I need both of my boys asleep by 8pm. I eat my dinner on my lap, and I have a pint of coke with ice in it. After a day of targets and sales pressures, this is my escape. I tell my wife that whatever she has to say, regardless of its importance, it should be said before 8pm. Because Monday night at 8pm is ABC’s The Bachelor; a show I have not missed an episode of for the last 5 years.
“Only girls watch that,” the guys at work tell me, as I enthusiastically shoot the shit with my female coworkers the next day. It’s their loss, I tell myself. Some of the girls in the office shriek with disbelief and awkward laughter as they hear me regale tales of past seasons and exploits of former contestants. “Sexist,” I mutter.
This season’s Bachelor has been one of the very best. Last night we saw Sean Lowe give a very moving proposal to Catherine Giudice, a 26 year-old graphic designer from Seattle. Lowe’s season has had increased ratings after being on the decline since Jason Mesnick dumped Melissa and ran off with previously jilted Molly. Sean Lowe’s clear judgment, his compassion for soon to be jilted lovers, along with his bulging biceps has left us in awe. Or perhaps that’s just me.
The chosen Bachelor is generally a fairly well-rounded character in every season. Always handsome and immaculately built, the Bachelor is able to work the room and hold his own conversationally, and rarely loses his cool. Sean Lowe exemplifies these traits more than those before him. But what about the ladies?
This year we had one-armed Sarah Herron on roller skates and canoeing; two events you’d be hard pressed to find more unsuitable for someone with that disability. Despite her best efforts, the insecurity and fear was always lurking, and it wasn’t long before she was given her exit interview in a flood of tears and cursing the inevitability of it all.
Ashlee Frazier made it a little further. Her good looks, sweet Southern personality coupled with a magnificently crafted set of breasts made Sean fall for her quickly and hard. After being brought up in and out of several foster homes and abused, Ashlee cried tears of joy as Sean told her on the beach, “You’re not a broken person.” How things have changed as they now battle it out in the tabloids about supposed broken promises Sean made, and how he cites ‘being unable to share laughter’ with her as his reason for letting her go.
The star of the show though was undoubtedly Tiarra Licausi. This season’s pantomime villain, Tiarra had a level of delusion that was often laughable and slightly sad. Completely out of her element, Tiarra was unable to hold a conversation with any of her peers without descending into juvenile squabbling and bitching. It took Sean a few weeks longer than expected to realize, but once he did he swiftly sent her home.
The reason this season had such a satisfying conclusion for me was that it brought two well-adjusted people together into what looks like a genuine love for each other. Even though, this is not the reason I watch the show (I love the drama, arguments and general ridiculousness of it all), it does make for a feeling of contentment. Perhaps I am the eternal optimist, but Catherine Giudici and Sean Lowe will last. Even when she was telling Sean about the time she witnessed a tree falling down and killing her friend, she took positives from the situation saying that, “Every day counts.”
The narrative of this season and what Sean Lowe ultimately wanted has many parallels to what I feel men want in real life. If men experience drama, insecurity and mind games, they will want out. And in this year’s season, where other women cried, moaned and elicited sympathy, Catherine remained positive and stable throughout. Isn’t this what we all look for in a woman?