The Bachelor



Reality "fairy tale" with questionable values.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series sends questionable messages about love, romance, and what it takes to build a relationship. The women often question their self-worth when they are rejected.

Positive role models

Many of the young women are portrayed as catty, desperate, and insecure. Most of them are educated career women, but they appear to have no goals other than to snag a husband. Few contestants of color or over the age of 35. All are very slim and attractive.


The women sometimes engage in some semi-playful pushing and punching with their date when they get upset.


Lots of skimpy outfits and bathing suits; many close-up shots of passionate kissing. In some episodes the bachelor goes on overnight dates with individual women; on other nights women try to find ways to meet him in his room. Frank sex talk.


Words like "bitch" and "pissed" are common. Occasional curses ("s--t," "f--k") are bleeped with mouths blurred. The women sometimes call each other names.


The camera zooms in on sponsors' products frequently, and there are always mentions of specific hotel chains, such as the W.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine, champagne, and fancy cocktails are frequently consumed on dates. The women also drink at the house.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dating competition show features multiple women competing for the affections of a single man. They constantly make catty comments, backstab each other, wear revealing clothing and bathing suits, and sometimes drink too much. The Bachelor kisses many of them, and a few go on overnight "fantasy" dates with him. There is some frank sex talk and occasional profanity ("bitch,” “pissed," and stronger words are bleeped with mouths blurred).

What's the story?

Each installment of THE BACHELOR features 25 women competing to win the heart of a single man who will hopefully become her husband. Each season’s “prize”, which have included a winery heir, an actor's brother, a football player, and a real-life prince, spend time with the women going on outdoor adventures, helicopter rides, and of course, wining and dining, during individual and group dates. Each week the women who continue to impress him receive roses and are invited to continue living in a luxurious house, accompany him to exotic destinations, go on overnight fantasy dates, and even meet his parents. The woman lucky enough to be chosen at the end of the competition must then wait and see if she will become his soul mate.

Is it any good?


The reality dating competition relies on stretch limos, high-end hotels, and candle-lit dinners to create a romantic fantasy that is popular among teen viewers. But beneath the show’s shiny veneers are problematic messages about gender roles, dating, relationships, and marriage. These become even more problematic when previously featured bachelors return to try their hand at it again, despite the obvious failure of the process the first time.

The women on the show often connect their self-worth to their ability to “snag” the bachelor, and usually engage in insecure behavior in order to get his attention. Meanwhile, each bachelor, who is always polite and respectful, is more than willing to kiss and profess their affection for different women (sometimes during a single night). Teens may find it entertaining, but this kind of fantasy isn't without its problems.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the show’s messages, like the idea that a young woman is a failure if she's single and that marriage should be the ultimate goal. What do dating competition shows like this suggest about relationships? Marriage? Can you really find true love in six weeks?

  • Parents and teens may want to discuss the kind of messages the show’s exotic locales, steamy hot tub scenes, and overnight dates send about sex and sexual activity. How appropriate is some of the behavior being featured here?

TV details

Cast:Brad Womack, Chris Harrison
Networks:ABC, VH1
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Bachelor was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byForknose April 9, 2008


This is pointless reality tv.
Parent Written byLauraBear January 14, 2014

Show is not good for anyone. Waste of time.

This show is awful enough for adults to watch, although I do understand the entertainment appeal as far as mocking the show. However, my time is a little more valuable to spend wasting on something like that. But the fact that I have friends and relatives letting their young girls watch this, makes me sick. Why would you show your children a show about young women competing for a "man?" I'm sorry. No man is worth that. A man should be vying for a lady's attention, not the other way around. Why would you want to show your girls that you have to win a man and that you can fall in love in a few weeks? I don't understand why mothers would want their girls to see these fake women dressing provocatively and engaging in petty fights and gossip. And then the kissing of multiple partners. It is a sad, sad world we live in when not only is this show still popular, but that parents don't see the harm in letting their children view it.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old March 17, 2011
I like this show I emjoy watching it but this is NO way for people to actually meet people only out of what like 7 or 8 series only one couple are still (happily?) married.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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