Published by Dutton Books on March 6th 2018
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For fifteen years and thirty-five seasons, the Bachelor franchise has been a mainstay in American TV viewers’ lives. Since it premiered in 2002, the show’s popularity and relevance has only grown–more than eight million viewers tuned in to see the conclusion of the most recent season of The Bachelor.
The iconic reality television show’s reach and influence into the cultural zeitgeist is undeniable. Bestselling writers and famous actors live tweet about it. Die-hard fans–dubbed “Bachelor Nation”–come together every week during each season to participate in fantasy leagues and viewing parties.
Bachelor Nation is the first behind-the-scenes, unauthorized look into the reality television phenomenon. Los Angeles Times journalist Amy Kaufman is a proud member of Bachelor Nation and has a long history with the franchise–ABC even banned her from attending show events after her coverage of the program got a little too real for its liking. She has interviewed dozens of producers, contestants, and celebrity fans to give readers never-before-told details of the show’s inner workings: what it’s like to be trapped in the mansion “bubble”; dark, juicy tales of producer manipulation; and revelations about the alcohol-fueled debauchery that occurs long before the fantasy suite.
Kaufman also explores what our fascination means, culturally: what the show says about the way we view so-called ideal suitors, our subconscious yearning for fairy-tale romance, and how this enduring television show has shaped society’s feelings about love, marriage, and feminism by appealing to a marriage plot that’s as old as Jane Austen.
As much as I hate to admit this I am part of the Bachelor Nation. I’m not always proud of it but these shows are beyond addicting. I am one of those fans who watch it partly because I love it and partly because I love making fun of it. I have been recapping the past few seasons here on the blog and while they are definitely the most time consuming posts once I am done I am pretty proud of them. Because I love to make fun of the show (and LOVE the show Unreal) I was so excited to read this book. Unfortunately I was a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong it was a great guilty pleasure book and there were some secrets revealed but it just didn’t go deep enough for me. I wanted some real dirt and I didn’t get it, at least not enough of it. If you love the Bachelor shows you will enjoy this book but if you don’t love the shows don’t bother reading it. You will probably be bored. Rating it down the middle because it was entertaining enough for me.