Finally, a Watchable Episode of ‘The Bachelor’

The Bachelor sucks.

It’s my first season watching the show, but I could’ve told you that before seeing a single segment. The show trivializes love, manufactures drama and edits personality into dumb storylines. It’s the epitome of reality TV garbage and every viewing is like bathing in filth.

Still, the Women Tell All episode was pretty good.

Last night’s episode cut right to the most compelling characters and arguments, no matter how dumb or petty. Bekah M. called her mom, Bibiana ate a burger and Arie’s lack of butt was finally exposed.

I’m no television guru, but here’s a hot take: trashy reality TV shows were made for live studio settings. There’s nothing quite like reuniting scorned cast-offs and letting sparks fly. Tempers flare more quickly and comments sting more. The live audience adds an extra variable regular episodes can’t touch. The crowd is there to be won or lost.

So that’s why when the show started with Marikh’s idiotic claim that Chelsea “glam shamed” her, I took pleasure in the audience mocking her. Or when the women finally witnessed the full scope of Krystal’s crazy and called her out to mass applause. Or when Arie, aka the Most Boring Reality Star on Earth, actually showed a little sauce while attempting to win the audience over.

The tell all format exposes how formulaic the show usually is. Without it, we wouldn’t know anything about Krystal’s attempts to make friends off-camera, Arie’s suddenly existent personality or Caroline ever being on the show. And we wouldn’t know that Chris Harrison is capable of sitting through the most cringeworthy arguments without bursting out in laughter (maybe he saves it for when he hits the bank).

So it doesn’t matter that the bloopers weren’t actually funny or the arguments were shouted across 30 feet of studio. The Bachelor is successful because of its formula. It’s been perfected over more than 15 years to ensure chaos, cattiness and crocodile tears. And Season 22 has been so boring that breaking it was the best thing they could’ve possibly done.