Fans dish on the reality and unreality of dating shows

In the 23rd season of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” viewers watch former NFL player Colton Underwood navigate through his final few episodes in his journey to find a wife.

Monday nights are sacred because fans get the chance to follow a man or woman in their journey to find love, which includes romantic getaways, adventurous dates and, of course, drama.

Sociology associate professor David Arditi teaches a course called Intro to Popular Culture where students are able to discuss topics relevant to them, whether it is film, television or music.

Arditi said the first reality show was MTV’s “The Real World,” which caught the interest of many viewers just like his sister.

“The idea is, we’re surrounded by pop culture, and we don’t need any particular education to consume it, so it’s a part of our everyday lives,” Arditi said.

After the success of “The Real World,” temporary reality shows such as “Survivor,” “Big Brother,” “American Idol,” and “The Bachelor” soon followed, Arditi said.

Reality shows are also cheaper to produce and cast, which makes networks more inclined to make them rather than a scripted show which takes more money and time, Arditi said.

Psychology junior Nia Pierce said that she started watching “The Bachelor” franchise after her friend recommended watching Becca Kufrin’s season of “The Bachelorette”.

Pierce said that she enjoys watching the dating show because of the hope that someone will find true love and because of the funny contestants.

Though Pierce is a fan of the show, she believes that it isn’t a realistic way to find true love because contestants aren’t given enough time with the bachelor or bachelorette.

Miracle Thomas, marketing and management freshman, said that she stopped watching “The Bachelor” franchise because of the lack of diversity and authenticity.

“They’re just not in it for the real thing, they’re just in it to get their little 15 minutes of fame,” Thomas said.

Thomas said in the future she hopes there is more diversity with who becomes the next bachelor or bachelorette as well as better casting when it comes to finding contestants who are there for the right reason.


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