The Debate Over "The Bachelor" - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/20/02 - East Texas

The Debate Over "The Bachelor"

ABC's latest bachelor picked his brideWednesday night. Millions watched as Aaron Buerge, a banker from Missouri, chose Helene for his bride.

The show has quickly become one of the most watched on television with more than 16 million viewers last week, and an estimated 20 million this week.

"The Bachelor" is not just wooing women on screen--he's capturing the attention of many females in East Texas. Four young women sat down with Channel 7 to tell us why.

Reporter: What are women getting out of this show? Why are they flocking to watch this every week?

Holly (18): "There's a lot of women in this world, and there's a lot of them that are single, divorced, separated. They look at him and they see what he's doing--all these romantic things. They're envisioning themselves as that lady. And they're like, 'Oh, I want that.'"

Ashley (17): "It's entertainment, but you also see what guys look for, instead of what they're known to look for."

Reporter: Do you think the show is at all degrading toward women?

Robin (18): "No, I don't feel that it's degrading. It's just like everyday life, but with cameras."

Lacey (18): I don't think it's degrading, but I think it's kind of playing with their emotions. It's interesting to see how he's going to pick his bride or bride-to-be.

As much as some women love "The Bachelor," the show has it's fair share of critics. Marriage and Family therapist Gayle Burress calls it a Hollywood fantasy that gives women an inaccurate and unhealthy look at relationships.

Gayle: "It's fantasy, and it's their version of Cinderella. This isn't about dirty dishes and laundry and paying bills and changing dirty diapers."

"The Bachelor's" run on network television began earlier this year, and the show's success was apparent immediately. More than 18 million viewers tuned in last Spring to see if the first bachelor would propose. The latest bachelor is considered more popular and is expected to draw higher ratings.

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