'Bachelor' Proves Drunk People Make Great Television

Monday night's premiere of Ben Flajnik's season of Bachelor was, in the (amended) words of host Chris Harrison, the craziest season premiere in Bachelor history. There was lesbian action, cat fights, hysteria in the bathroom and more. All of it, naturally, was fueled by the socially lubricating drug of choice we have all come to know: Alcohol. It's the stuff reality dreams are made of.

It is likely 90 percent of the reason Bachelor loves fail so miserably. After all, would Jenna have been so highly emotional if she had not been drinking? Would Monica have been so willing to be so mean had she not been drinking? We have all been there and luckily, for most of us, there was no lasting recording.

Of course, without alcohol, the shows would not be nearly as entertaining. And since ABC knows this, they supply plenty. This fact was recently explored by the New York Times in an article on reality show drinking.


The producers will readily deny it (and do so to the Times), but anyone who watches these shows knows otherwise. The Bachelor has a cocktail party before every rose ceremony and, naturally, these young women and men want to drink a lot. They are in their 20's, after all.

It is the truth about the 20's and 30's and dating. Without alcohol, the shows would hardly be authentic. But the Times article says drinks were easier to obtain than feminine hygiene products for contestants. The producers may not hook a needle to the veins of their contestants, but they also sure provide plenty of sauce.

This has been a problem on shows like The Real World (does anyone remember the Hawaii season with Ruthie?) and Joe Millionaire and just about every reality show in history. Drunk people make bad decisions and those decisions make great TV.

All those highly memorable reality moments -- Stacey Elza's underwear Grant's pocket during the first rose ceremony several seasons ago, Ruthie drunkenly getting behind the wheel, Snookie sharing her cookie with the world on Jersey Shore -- were all brought to us courtesy of alcohol. And let's face it, anyone who went to college likely has a few moments of their past that they would NOT want on television and lucky for us, there were not cameras. 

The fact is, reality show contestants sign up for it. They drink on their own and make the choices on their own. But the producers like it a whole hell of a lot. And we viewers do, too. There is some schadenfreude to watching people make all these bad decisions. It is humiliating for some, but it does make for some great TV.

Do you think reality TV stars drink too much?

Image via ABC

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