Arts / Lifestyle

An ode to retro entertainment: 28th season of The Bachelor 

From early January to late March this year, a new episode of The Bachelor streamed every Monday at 8pm on ABC, luring in viewers from across the country. This week-to-week television style has brought people together, whether online or at in-person watch parties. The drama between the contestants on the season, the bachelor himself, and the lighthearted nature of the show has bonded viewers in a manner that streaming services do not replicate.

The success of the original The Bachelor franchise, debuting in 2002, resulted in several spin-offs including The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and most recently The Golden Bachelor, premiering on September 28, 2023. The contestants of these shows are intertwined, as a contestant from The Bachelor becomes the lead of The Bachelorette, and so on. The term “Bachelor Nation” refers to the collection of these shows and their contestants.

This style of week-by-week television mirrors retro entertainment, according to Upper School math teacher Kristin Walton, a longtime fan of the show. “That’s how we used to watch Friends, that’s how we would watch Seinfeld. Actually, I would physically meet up with friends to watch, and everyone would talk about it all week.” 

Unlike when Ms. Walton watched Friends, the latest episode of The Bachelor goes on Hulu the day after it airs. Since social media allows for interactions either while the show is airing or right afterwards, people who watched the show later on Hulu were not as involved in the conversation online as those who watched it live.

The presence of the show online influenced many to tune in every Monday just to keep up with the conversations happening on Instagram and TikTok. This heavily contributed to the season’s success and high viewership statistics.

Producers must carefully select the lead as their charisma heavily affects the popularity of the season. Joey Graziadei was clearly a good choice as he was praised online for being the best bachelor yet. Ms. Walton says that  “He just seemed like a genuinely really nice guy, and I still believe that after watching the entire season.” Gabi Aunun ‘24, who grew up watching parts of The Bachelor with her mom, said that “Joey was the first one I really got into.” 

Joey wasn’t the only one who contributed to the season’s success, of course. The women’s personalities and relationships with each other kept viewers engaged. Maria, Kelsey A, Daisy, Jenn, Rachel, and Kelsey T were not only the final six contestants, but also favorites among Bachelor Nation fans. “I’m a Maria fan,” mentioned Gabi. Ms. Walton said that she “Loved the sisterhood in it and how loyal the women were to each other, which is different from seasons I’ve seen before; and quite frankly, in Joey’s season I felt like the women he picked at the end were the kindest women there.”

Gabi noted how the women on the season have gained a massive social media following. “This is the first time The Bachelor has really been on social media constantly. Like, even the girls now that they’re done with the season watching them continue.”

If you haven’t seen on social media already, Joey proposed to Kelsey A, and Jenn was announced to be the next Bachelorette. Gabi said that she “definitely wanted it to be Kelsey, I could feel like it was Kelsey, I could feel it coming the whole episode, even the episode before.” Ms. Walton said she “thought it was great, I thought it was a good outcome.”

However, fans aren’t as thrilled about Jenn being the bachelorette for next season. “I was surprised about Maria not being Bachelorette, everyone loved her.” Said Isla Burke ‘26. Not many people plan to keep up with Jenn’s story.  “I’ll consider,” mentioned Gabi, “I think it will depend on what else is going on at that time.” Even Ms. Walton said that “Jenn- I’m not hooked on her. So I’m not convinced it’s worth watching for me.”

This season may be unique in its popularity since most fans don’t plan on watching Jenn’s season. Nonetheless, fans can’t wait to watch Kelsey A and Joey continue their relationship. “Watching Kelsey and Joey be actually together and watching their interviews has been really fun,” mentioned Gabi. The two plan to live in New York for a couple of years before getting married.

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