Refined Reads is a monthly bookclub from KOMO News' lifestyle website and television show, Seattle Refined. Want to be part of it? Sign up here (don't worry, we won't spam you with emails - just alerts to discussion dates, special events and books of the month)!
If you watch or read Seattle Refined, you know we're obsessed with The Bachelor franchise. And that's not something we're necessarily proud of, it's just a fact. We love to hate the shows, we love to talk about the shows, we love to b*tch about the shows.
Us and the rest of America.
So it was a no-brainer for us to choose Amy Kaufman's new book, "Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure" as our April book club pick.
The first definitive, unauthorized, behind-the-scenes cultural history of the Bachelor franchise, America's favorite guilty pleasure.
For fifteen years and thirty-five seasons, the Bachelor franchise has been a mainstay in American TV viewers' lives. Since it premiered in 2002, the show's popularity and relevance has only grown--more than eight million viewers tuned in to see the conclusion of the most recent season of The Bachelor.
The iconic reality television show's reach and influence into the cultural zeitgeist is undeniable. Bestselling writers and famous actors live tweet about it. Die-hard fans--dubbed "Bachelor Nation"--come together every week during each season to participate in fantasy leagues and viewing parties.
Bachelor Nation is the first behind-the-scenes, unauthorized look into the reality television phenomenon. Los Angeles Times journalist Amy Kaufman is a proud member of Bachelor Nation and has a long history with the franchise--ABC even banned her from attending show events after her coverage of the program got a little too real for its liking. She has interviewed dozens of producers, contestants, and celebrity fans to give readers never-before-told details of the show's inner workings: what it's like to be trapped in the mansion "bubble"; dark, juicy tales of producer manipulation; and revelations about the alcohol-fueled debauchery that occurs long before the fantasy suite.
Kaufman also explores what our fascination means, culturally: what the show says about the way we view so-called ideal suitors, our subconscious yearning for fairy-tale romance, and how this enduring television show has shaped society's feelings about love, marriage, and feminism by appealing to a marriage plot that's as old as Jane Austen.
This month, we're tasking our own Bachelor Roundtable (producers Brandon and Jenna, writer Gena and myself) with reading the book and discussing it at the end of the month. It seems right up our alley - afterall, this is the group we bring together to dissect every episode during the season!
Read along with us - we have a feeling this one is going to be juicy....