The Way ‘The Bachelorette’ Has Changed Over the Years

Chris Harrison Instagram Bachelorette
Credit: Instagram

Times have certainly changed since the 2002 Premiere season of The Bachelor starring Harvard grad/businessman Alex Michel. In the past 17 years, The Bachelor has transformed from the ultimate catch with handsome good looks, pedigree schooling and impressive job, to those seeking fame, fortune and lucrative social media deals after their gig.

This season with Hannah B

Bachelor Nation will agree to disagree about Hannah Brown as The Bachelorette. She has so many fans who applaud her for being authentic, a bit awkward at times, and someone with a strong sense of values and conviction. On the other side, others find her annoying, immature, and sometimes hypocritical.

Something all viewers can agree on is that she did things her own way, shook up what previously had been a somewhat formulative season, was mostly unapologetic for who she is and is trying to grow and become a better person every day.

Yesterday, E! News ran a piece, What the Bachelor Franchise Can and Should Learn from Hannah Brown.

“While we were all rooting for Hannah to find her happy ending, it was almost the happiest ending of all that she ended up single, grinning even after grilling her ex-fiance about his questionable definition of the word ‘relationship,’ and asking her (incredibly deserving) runner-up out for a drink on live TV. There was absolutely no doubt that Hannah was in charge of the season, no question of whether she’d be OK in the end, and no guilty pleasure feeling about watching a woman get manipulated by multiple men and a production team, because she’d figured it out and handled it on her own.”

With the previous Bachelorettes (Kaitlyn, Rachel, JoJo and even the Arie-scorned Becca) if felt as if they had participated in something they had no control over, and that they probably wanted to explain certain circumstances or would have liked to changes aspects of their season. But they were never given an opportunity to apologize or defend anything shown during the season.

The E! News piece reminds us that Hannah, “claimed on stage that the end of her relationship with Jed was not something to clap for, and in a way she’s right, but in a lot of ways she’s wrong, because on a franchise so obsessed with its men proposing to its women after just a few weeks of ‘dating,’ it’s something to applaud when we see a woman hold a man accountable for things he never even realized were something to be held accountable for.

The fairy tale of the Prince and Princess falling in love despite obstacles, getting engaged and living “happily ever after” is outdated and very unrealistic. While Hannah’s parents were concerned how musician Jed would provide for their daughter, this is not what worried Hannah. (Probably because she’ll be raking in the dough in endorsement deals post-season.) Of course, the hopeless romantics in us want to see one couple making it to the end, tying the know with matching Neil Lane wedding bands and popping out babies. “…but it’s the best thing for the franchise that that’s not the case anymore. It’s more fun and more realistic to watch regular people balance the prospect of Instagram fame and fortune with the prospect of maybe also finding true love in the process, and navigating the reality of what all the contestants on a reality show are actually there for.”

Do you want to see future seasons less predictable, like Colton jumping over a fence for Cassie and dating off the show without being engaged or Arie breaking up with the girl he knew everyone wanted him to choose and creating a life with his #2, runner-up Lauren, or do you prefer Trista and Ryan’s forever romance?