Is “The Bachelor” Taking a Dystopian Approach to the Environment?

Reality television meets "Mad Max"

"The Bachelor"
Host of "The Bachelor" Chris Harrison (L) and Star of "The Bachelor" season 24 Peter Weber attend ABC's Winter TCA 2020 Press Tour in Pasadena, California, on January 8, 2020.
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Contemporary television offers viewers a host of programs featuring a borderline-apocalyptic take on the environment. Most of them are science fictional in nature — think Sweet Tooth or Westworld. But there’s also at least one segment of reality television that also fits the bill pretty neatly. Could The Bachelor and its franchise be the next dystopian program in your life?

In a new article for Earther, Molly Taft makes a convincing argument that The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are doing just that — and dubs the latter “a show that has traditionally portrayed environmental excesses as the height of romance.”

Some of this has to do with the franchise nominal carbon footprint. Taft notes that the franchise sends its contestants on a lot of flights compared with its peers. It’s when the article begins ticking off the ways the show has simulated weather — including faking a rainstorm in the middle of a state suffering from a severe drought — that things turn surreal.

Think of it this way: if a Philip K. Dick novel or Black Mirror episode featured such over-the-top feats, it would seem perfectly in keeping with a vein of satirical science fiction. In this case, though, it’s presented in a wholly different context, without any kind of critique — all of which makes it that much more disconcerting.

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