Hello there! Today’s post isn’t as much about film as much as it’s about filming and fiction. This is mostly because I haven’t watched a film to review this week. As you can assume from the title, this post has to do with The Bachelorette. After watching and being extremely disappointed with this week’s finale, I’ve been thinking a lot about the show in terms of its fictional qualities.
Before I get too much into how I looked at the show as if it were a film, I have to talk about what happened. For one, I am TEAM PETER all the way. I think he was a far better choice. In my opinion, Brian was the safe choice. I found it so hard to believe anything Brian said, and I think that’s what got me thinking about the show in terms of storytelling. Let me know what you thought about the finale in the comments below!
I also want to say that I am not naive. I know the show isn’t 100% reality. No reality show ever is. But, when watching we also can’t forget that it is people’s real lives. Half of them end up marrying these people and living happy lives (of course I’m thinking of Carly Wadell and Evan Bass). The show makes a big deal of events and creates some to then blow them out of proportion to make good TV. Many who’ve been on the show have talked about this, so it isn’t really a shocker. So I’m going to look at the show in terms of the three aspects I find most important in terms of looking at the show through the lens of filmmaking: filming, storytelling, and acting.
I only started watching The Bachelor recently. I am not a die-hard fan whose been there from the beginning. One of my best friend’s has been obsessed with the show for years and we started with watching Nick Vial‘s season together. I fell in love, so we began going back and watching old season’s so I could begin to get a sense of Bachelor Nation and the Bachelor Family (sounds a little like the Manson Family, but much more attractive). Being a film student, I automatically began focusing on how the show itself was filmed. The show mostly utilizes the talking head form that’s very common of documentary. You never see or hear the questions asked by the producers, except for the certain occasions when they think the viewer would want to hear the question. This creates a kind of drama in itself because the viewer is lead to believe that all the ridiculous things the contestants say come from their own psyche (i.e. Corinne). It’s hard to remember that everything they say is provoked in some way, simply by the way it’s filmed.
Something that I also found interesting about the filming of the show is its poor quality at times. The show has to be worth millions of dollars, as can be seen by all the traveling and extravagant dates that these lucky contestants do. I noticed this a lot in Nick’s season as well as a couple times in the season that just passed. In Nick’s season, I found the lighting during the dates to be very unflattering. For some reason, everyone on camera always looked disgustingly sweaty and they ways in which the lights were positioned did nothing in terms of hiding this. It just made the sweat all the more noticeable, and even though it’s a reminder that they aren’t these famous movie stars, it breaks from the illusion of the show.
Another thing that kind of bothers me is the poor sound quality at times. This is most noticeable during the proposal sequences. Hearing the proposals is one of the best parts of the show. The last thing I want is to not be able to understand what they are saying because I can’t hear anything but the rustling of wind. For such a popular show with what seems to be a large budget, I would expect these issues to be fixed. They may not be able to eliminate all the wind, but they should be able to reduce it more. In a way, this element reminds the viewer that it is reality and also that it is being filmed, but it’s distracting and takes away from the quality of the show.
The storytelling in the show is very effective, I can’t even deny that. Most episodes, especially of Bachelor in Paradise, make you want more all the time. They know how to tell a good story and present it in a way that twists words in the most delicious way possible. However, as much as we want to devour all the drama, a lot of it is fabricated and or a result of the twisting of words. Most of the comments that contestants make are completely taken out of context and it’s very obvious. Half of what the contestants say wouldn’t be so rude or crazy if we heard the context in which they were speaking.
With all this said, I don’t think they fabricate all the situations. Living in a house with 20 girls or guys is asking for trouble. In university, I could barely stand having 3 roommates. I could not imagine everything that goes on in that mansion. The problems that do come up or are fabricated are told in a way that creates a villain (or two) and the heroes that we are meant to love. The show makes this clear by what is shows from each contestant, even though this often contradicts their personal lives and real life friendships with the people in the house. Once it gets down to the last few contestants is when the focus becomes more on the drama within the relationships themselves.
Lastly, I think one of the most important parts of the show is acting. Now the contestants are not professional actors by any means, and not everything they say is a load of crap. There is sincerity in their words. Sometimes its hard to tell what is motivated by the show and what is motivated from something within them. Looking at the villains of the show, it’s clear that, for the most part, they are fulfilling a role. A very popular example of this is Corinne. There is no way someone is actually that crazy, and her friendship with Rachel attests to that. She played a role that created fascinating TV and that attributed to her place as the “villain”. However, there are others on the show that act for their own personal gain. Honestly, that’s how I felt about Brian this season. Even Rachel’s family thought his words lack sincerity which I believe to be true. There is nothing to him. When he talks he seems so rehearsed. He says “I love you” like it’s a boring fact, not with the passion he claims to have.
The feud’s on the show are also a big part of the acting. As seen on the trailer for BIP that appeared at the end of the finale, there is a lot of drama, as usual. The drama it shows in the trailer is between contestants who are actually friends in real life. Same thing happens on the regular seasons. Contestants that hate each other or talk shit about each other actually turn out to be great friends in real life as seen by their social media accounts.
All of these things goes to show how fictional the show is, but it also can’t be forgotten that the outcomes are very real. Although its been interesting looking at the show through the lens of fiction, there is no way that these people marry for the fame and not for some kind of love. The show produces some of the cutest couples I’ve ever seen.
I hope you enjoyed reading this analysis of The Bachelor. Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on the show and where or not you believe its fact or fiction!