All's Fair: The Power of Romantic Cliche on 'The Bachelorette'

Call them what you will: cycles, tropes, cliches, platitudes, proverbs, stereotypes, old familiar tunes. Whatever your word for "that same old s**t"... this season of The Bachelorette has held true to form for the series.

Despite the (hollow) promises in promos for any new and exciting drama about girlfriends at home, foot fetishes, and one man's anatomical "failure to launch," looking back on the season, these "twists" have been all but straightened out by the predictable cycles that make up our Bachelor(ette) bread and butter: jealousy, extreme sports, tears, competitive masculine posturing, helicopter rides, and, of course, laughter and (the unrealistic expectation of) love.

Even the words and phrases that come up each season are cyclical. This season on The Bachelorette, when I kept hearing the same words coming out of so many mouths on my TV screen, "here for the right reasons," I wondered what that phrase could actually mean on a reality show where every reason to do anything was suspiciously silly at best, and blatantly self-serving at worst. The phrase "here for the right reasons" is thrown around each season, but is rarely directly addressed, because doing so would destroy its ambiguous utility. Cliches need to retain a little mystery to work universally.

A few weeks ago, another well-known reality TV adage came to my attention, thanks to the genius editing of Rich of the hilarious blog Fourfour, whose compilation video of people proclaiming "I'm not here to make friends" included Tanner P. from this season of The Bachelorette. Rich's similar supercut from last year's reality shows includes at least one shot from Brad Womack's season of The Bachelor. Any compilations from seasons past (or future) would surely include contestants from The Bachelor(ette) as well, proudly proclaiming "I have enough friends. I didn't come here to make friends. I came here for [insert name of Bachelor]." That's just how it works.

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