Watch out “Monday Night Pav’s,” UofSC students are making other plans to start their week.
"The Bachelor" watch parties are the new fad on campus and now, not a Monday goes by where you can’t smell fresh charcuterie boards in the air. It seems that pretty much every type of gamecock is tuning in: sorority girls, athletes, Honors students—you name it. If you need some filling in, "The Bachelor" is a reality dating show that runs on ABC and rotates with it's gender-swapped counterpart "The Bachelorette". On "The Bachelor," a group of women compete for the affection of a single man, currently Matt James, with the expectation that the final episode will feature an engagement. Typically, a weekly rose ceremony determines which women will advance in their process and who will be sent home. Another spin-off, "Bachelor in Paradise", has also garnered a lot of attention from the college demographic. Regardless, any show from "The Bachelor" franchise premiering at any given time can spark this new campus cultural phenomena of “Bach Monday’s.”
As a UofSC student who does not partake in the ceremonious "The Bachelor" nights, I became curious as to how a show like this gained so much favor in the college setting. After all, on a campus with a pervasive hookup culture, what appeal does a show based entirely on commitment have? To get my answers, I infiltrated a “Bach Talk” group chat with 33 women in an act of serious investigative journalism.
When asked why they thought "The Bachelor"watch parties were so popular many of the women described the sense of bonding it can create in friend groups. Junior Alexa Jensen considers it a “tradition” and an “unwritten rule” for college students. "The Bachelor" does not seem to be a solo sport. It's a show for friends and is best served with wine and cheese. Plus, with a consistent time of Mondays at 8, "The Bachelor" makes it easy to plan regular group hangouts. Another reason students watch the show is to add to their arsenal of conversation starters. Sophomore Isabella DeFilippo recounts conversations starting with “‘Omg, did you watch "The Bachelor"? What do you think about so and so?”
"The Bachelor" can also help make Mondays a little brighter for fans, giving them something to look forward to at the start of the week. But it’s not just about escaping the impending academic doom— many students remember watching the show in their youth with their parents. Senior Alyssa Bowman recalls, "My mom watched it when I was a kid, so I’ve grown up on it.”
Still, potentially one of the most popular reasons to watch "The Bachelor" doesn’t involve the show at all. Some students seem to have come down with a case of FOMO: the fear of missing out. When I contemplated the possibility of a subgroup of "The Bachelor" viewers who keep up just to ensure references don’t fly over their heads when talking with their friends, the “Bach Talk” group chat chimed in with agreement that those students certainly exist. For many students who just don't find the appeal behind "The Bachelor", the comfort of weekly friend hangouts far outweighs the downside of having to actually watch the show. Perhaps, others simply show for some free food courtesy of the hosting apartment. Whatever their reason is, students who watch "The Bachelor" are marking their place in a tradition that may have the campus in its grasp for many years to come.