So you all know The Bachelor. Many of you think it’s trash, stupid and not worth your time, I’m sure. But I’m here to tell you that not only is The Bachelor great TV, it is also very educational. In fact, it is relevant and worth being studied in each and every one of your classes at Barrack (except Hebrew. Sorry, but they have never spoken a word of Hebrew on the show). So without further ado, here is how to use The Bachelor in all of your classes.
1. The show is very carefully constructed, edited to create certain archetypal characters and controlled narratives.
2. Sometimes the wording and plots even mirror classic literature. For instance, on Rachel’s season of the Bachelorette, there was a plot that scarily mirrored the race relations and language of Othello. Seriously. Watch it because it is crazy how closely these real people reflected not only the characters, but also specific metaphors of that Shakespeare play.
3. They speak a very specific dialect of English, worthy of being studied
4. The Bachelor’s dialect has influenced American English at large, changing the way Americans talk about love by introducing phrases like “I can see myself falling in love with you” and the difference between “falling in love” and “being in love” with someone and the overuse of the phrase “She’s not ready for an engagement.
5. On Arie’s season, Kendall was a taxidermist and they had a taxidermy date where they played with dead mice. Dead mice= biology.
6. The contestants are always emphasizing the difference in maturity between 23-year-olds and 31-year-olds. While, in fact, no one on the Bachelor is that mature and it often doesn’t correlate to age, they must have learned that your brain doesn’t fully mature until age 25 in biology and the fact has stuck with them!
7. They often visit important historical sites. For instance, during Becca’s season of The Bachelorette, they visited historical Richmond, Virginia! This season they visited Vietnam.
8. Over the last 23 seasons, The Bachelor has changed and progressed adapting to the times. As a media source that puts real people in a closed, unnatural environment, it is an excellent primary source for 21st century history. From controversy over Bachelor’s lack of diversity and their response, to the influence of social media on Bachelor nation, to Caelynn’s #metoo moment this season, The Bachelor is a mirror held up to American society over the past 20 years.
9. The Bachelor is very interested in its own historic documentation. Every season, Chris Harrison begins the show by saying that this season will be, “The most dramatic in Bachelor history!”
10. Over the years, there have been many Jewish contestants. It is important for us as Jews to study depictions of Jews in the American media.
11. The Bachelor once had a very public intermarriage, when Season 7 Bachelorette Ashley married her first pick, JP Rosenbaum. As a primary example of intermarriage in the American public eye, it raises issues of how to treat it from different Jewish perspectives.
12. Particularly relevant for the 12th grade sex and sexuality course, The Bachelor’s heteronormative picture of American sexuality is an interesting case study in American societal attitudes towards sex. Additionally, it is relevant the way they treat virgins on the show, often with a subtext that virginity is undesirable and with special pronouncement by said virgins that it is, “Not for religious reasons,” that they haven’t had sex.
13. While rarely discussed on the show, the Bible is very important to many of the contestants (ok, they’re Christians, but it’s the same book). It is sometimes the only book they bring with them to the mansion. Colton even has a quote from Jeremiah tattooed on his arm!
14. They are always jumping and falling. Just a few weeks ago Colton and Taysha went on a bungee jumping date. Contestants are constantly jumping to conclusions!Calculate their accelerations and velocities when they reach the ground, why don’t you!
15 .Every season they go to several foreign countries and pretend to learn about “local culture!” For all you French students, in Arie’s season they went to Paris and had a date at the Moulin Rouge!
16. During last year’s Bachelor Winter Games, former American contestants were introduced to international Bachelor contestants, including a French Canadian, Benoit, and Yuki, a Japanese girl who barely spoke English.
17. A crazy number of contestants on the Bachelor/Bachelorette are software salesmen. Like, you have never met so many people who sold software in your life. Additionally, John from Becca’s season was one of the programmers who designed Venmo. So, pretty cool representation of STEAM-related careers.
18. The contestants are always talking about what kind of chemistry they have with the Bachelor. I’ve never heard more about Chemistry than on the Bachelor. Also, at the end of the season they choose either a Silver (Ag-47) or Gold (Au-79) engagement ring. Chemistry!
19. Every viewer has their own complicated calculations for how many weeks each girl will last, based on originally very limited and mostly superficial given information. You can compare calculations and see whose estimates based on the probabilities got them closer to the truth.
20. Every week the Bachelor hands out several roses. On a polar graph, if you graph y=sin(6x) then you can have a 12-petal rose of your own!
So there you have it. Go off, study the Bachelor in every class but Hebrew, and watch the next episode Monday at 8 PM!