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Let's Ban this Menace to Society, Quick!

By John Clarke

As you may remem­ber from my Bach­el­or­ette Drink­ing Game post, we acci­dent­ally got addicted to The Bach­el­or­ette while on hon­ey­moon and we since watched the rest of the series all the way to the final.

More dan­ger­ous than can­nabis.

What promp­ted this post is the fact that Ali, the “bach­el­or­ette”, blatantly picked the wrong guy to marry. Basic­ally, she fancied this guy and got rid of the guy who she was better friends with, as being friends is appar­ently not the best way to start a mar­riage. Instead, she picked this steam­ing pile of cliché who con­tinu­ously struggles to think up the perfect “smooth” response to everything she says. That kind of atti­tude isn’t exactly main­tain­able for a life­time of mar­riage, so we both felt that this man­u­fac­tured engage­ment was bound to end in failure sooner or later.

So I did a bit of research and here’s what I found:

The Bachelor

SeasonOutcomeTime to Failure
1No pro­posal, then broke upSeveral months
2Pro­posed, then broke upSeveral months
3Pro­posed, then broke upSeveral months
4No pro­posal, then broke upSeveral months
5No pro­posal, then broke upSeveral months
6Engaged, not sure if they got married, then broke upFive years!
7No pro­posal, then on again off again rela­tion­shipTwo stints of two years
8No pro­posal, then broke upShortly after
9No pro­posal, then broke upSeveral months
10Engaged, called off the engage­ment but con­tin­ued rela­tion­ship then broke upOne month to call off engage­ment, several months to break up
11No pro­posal, both women rejec­ted-
12Pro­posed, then broke upSeveral months
13Pro­posed, then changed mind and married the runner upInstantly, but him and runner up still together
14Pro­posed, then broke upSeveral months

The Bachelorette

SeasonOutcomeTime to Failure
1Pro­posed, marriedStill together!
2Pro­posed, then broke upSeveral months
3No pro­posal, both blokes rejec­ted-
4Pro­posed, then broke upSeveral months
5Pro­posed, then broke upSeveral months
6Engaged …for nowIn all like­li­hood, “several months”

For The Bach­elor, that’s 11 out of 14 seasons that ended in what I’d con­sider a com­plete failure. I’d say season 6 was the most suc­cess­ful, leading to a 5 year mar­riage. Not amazing by a long shot, but def­in­itely the fur­thest from an abysmal failure. Season 7 was slightly worse, with the couple man­aging two stints of two years. Worse still, but perhaps not quite in the same league of failure as the rest was season 13, where the bloke ended up mar­ry­ing the runner up. Yes, they’re still together, but that season was in 2009 — hardly worth getting excited about, right? If you’re won­der­ing why I clas­sify season 11 (every­one rejec­ted) as a failure, well, I’d con­sider any­thing other than a long happy mar­riage a failure for the reasons I’ll set out shortly.

The pre­vi­ous five seasons of The Bach­el­or­ette have only given us one success, and based on what we saw from the latest season, I’m not holding out much hope.

How These Programs Wreck Lives

I can’t claim that some­thing is a menace to society without giving some reasons, so let’s have a quick think over some of the ways people can end up hurt…

First off, the mar­riages this program churns out are far more likely to end in divorce com­pared with the real world. And that’s a down­side that only affects the winners. One half of the winning couple also has to be con­stantly aware of the fact that their new husband or wife was not only seeing mul­tiple part­ners right up to their engage­ment, but also will likely see their new spouse with all these dif­fer­ent people when they inev­it­ably end up rewatch­ing clips from their series, or having to talk about it for magazines, catch-up shows, etc. This also applies to both sets of parents — one of which will be think­ing their child is some kind of whore and the other having to watch their child be sys­tem­at­ic­ally cheated on until their engage­ment.

If that’s how shit it must be for the winners, what’s it like for the losers then? Other than the imme­di­ate misery/​humiliation res­ult­ing from rejec­tion, the whole exper­i­ence then becomes a massive skel­eton-in-the-closet for any future rela­tion­ships. If you got kicked off the program toward the begin­ning, you might have come across as an arse or some­thing, but the later you stay on, the more serious your rela­tion­ship becomes — all of which is metic­u­lously doc­u­mented for any future girl/​boyfriend to watch, if they haven’t seen it already. One guy in this latest series we watched even got a tattoo to com­mem­or­ate the experience/​show any pro­spect­ive girl­friends just how com­pletely mental he was.

The winners who then get divorced are for­tu­nate enough to receive both sets of crip­pling dis­ad­vant­ages, as well as then having to actu­ally get a divorce! That’s not like an ex that gets less and less sig­ni­fic­ant the longer you’ve been apart — it’s a legal pro­ced­ure that you’ll con­stantly have to declare and explain away to future part­ners.

To top it all off, this program is being pumped out by a country where around half of its pop­u­la­tion of over 310 million people oppose gay mar­riage; one of their reas­on­ing being that it threatens the sanc­tity of mar­riage. Funnily enough, it’s this same chunk of the pop­u­la­tion that claims can­nabis will send you mental and wreck your family.

When you compare The Bach­elor with the odd joint, sud­denly it doesn’t seem so bad….

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