“The Bachelor” returns for expected drama amid COVID-19 restrictions

Matt James searches for love and marriage in the classic reality TV series.

Joshua Flores, Staff Writer

Addictive television phenomenon “The Bachelorpromises audiences weekly drama, absurd group dates and a questionable, yet entertaining means of finding love. Matt James, the latest star of the show, strives to make the most of the pandemic by inviting a diverse cast of women to the Nemacolin hotel in hopes to find a love connection. 

While each season follows a similar series of events, mixed in with updated group dates and adventures along the way, the current season implements a number of creative ways for the cast to go on dates following the pandemic restrictions as well as more drama than Bachelor nation has ever seen. 

COVID COURTING

The show attempts to keep the series fresh and entertaining while contestants are being forced to isolate. The usual luxury and global travel that the series prides itself in is currently impossible. Although not as glamorous as the previous season, ABC has made the most of the current global situation, improving on the lackluster dates featured in Tayshia Adam’s season. 

The latest episode features boxing matches and hot air balloon rides to mix things up. As James begins to date and explore his relationships with these women, he focuses on spending quality time and exploring Pennsylvania from the comfort and luxury of the resort. 

DIVERSE CASTING 

One of the most notable features of this season is the diversity that has been long awaited from the “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” franchise. Though the series has often neglected to feature diversity in its casting, the last two seasons have included African American and Asian stars. This much needed move toward progress and diversity represents a more inclusive, welcoming franchise.  

Not only is Matt James the first African American bachelor, but he is also a Christian. Faith has been an integral part of his bachelor journey, which is certain to surprise loyal fans who know all too well the morally-questionable nature of this reality series. While previous contestants on the show have aimed to exploit the contestants on the show with cheap and sexist dates, James focuses on levity and adventure amid the pandemic. Expect odd scavenger hunts, pumpkin kayak races and plenty of romantic and exciting dates. 

FROM DRAMA TO BULLYING 

The fourth episode of the season caused a media uproar on the behavior of the female contestants who controversially crossed the line from expected dramatic behavior to bullying. Previously, Sarah left the show due to the horrors within the house alongside her father’s illness, though her motivation was sparked specifically by the cruel and profane actions and words of “Queen Victoria.” 

With manipulation and unfiltered hate on the rise, this season puts into question how far producers should allow this type of behavior to progress. Audiences should keep their eyes on Victoria and Anna, who have both pushed allegations of prostitution among the girls, as they are certain to face the backfire of their unfounded cruelty. 

WHERE IS THE ROSE CEREMONY? 

As the fourth episode concludes, yet another rose ceremony was pushed off to capture the increasing drama that has consumed the 25th season. In the second rose ceremony delay, fans are certain to grow tired with the push toward drama and the growing pile of questions after nearly two hours of waiting to see what will happen next with the most controversial contestants. As the series progresses, ABC promises one of the most unique seasons of “The Bachelor,” one that not only pushes the limits, but also begs for deep, thoughtful contemplation of morality. 

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