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The first definitive, unauthorized, behind-the-scenes cultural history of the Bachelor franchise, America's favorite guilty pleasure.
For 15 years and 35 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. Best-selling 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ashton T. on 03-15-18
As a fan from the beginning (quite literally every season and spinoff) I was so excited to dive into this juicy book. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything juicy about it. Everything she talked about is common knowledge within bachelor nation. She had no inside scoop, no specific examples of anything salacious or manipulative (for example she would say “someone who used to work for the show once told me that producers would edit sound bytes to make the conversation different than it really was.” Well, DUH. I just had such high hopes for this book, but I might as well have just watched any interview with any ex-contestant, because those were the only direct quotes she gave. She had nothing exclusive.
Also, she is a terrible narrator.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
By NMwritergal on 03-08-18
The book, like the show, was a guilty pleasure!
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are shameful, guilty pleasures for me. Anyone who knows me in real life would probably faint dead away if they knew I watched these shows. But I do. As introspective as I am, I’ve never been sure why. I thought this might answer the question of how a feminist can watch this tripe and enjoy it—though I fast forward through all the ridiculous fights the contestants have.
At any rate, Kaufman’s book was a fun, fast read. Though I must say HER reading of the audio book was sometimes a tad too much. Yeah, sarcastic Jews—I’m one too, but she was just a little over the top. Also to read most women with (I’m going to show my age here) valley girl voices was grating. Still, she has a very distinctive voice on the page and I would rather hear her on audio than someone else.
Although not as deep as I was hoping, she does touch on the reasons people watch. Beyond that, it’s definitely an adequate “behind the scenes” look. I say adequate because Kaufman mentions a whole slew of people she wanted to talk to but almost anyone of note declines her interview requests. She’s somewhat on the outside (having been banished from the cadre of inside media folk because her recaps of the show were not nice enough) so the people she does manage to talk to are not always the ones we might want to hear from. But it sounds as if anyone related to the show is threatened within an inch of their lives if they spill any secrets. We learn enough to make this a fun listen that never drags.
I never say, “This is a must read for anyone who…” (in this case, “watches The Bachelor or The Bachelorette”) but it is! I’m a harsh critic. Anyone in the target audience for this book will probably give it 4 or 5 stars. In fact, I should give it 4 stars because I didn’t want to stop listening. Yep, gonna change my rating to 4 stars.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful