New Criticals

The show follows a weekly elimination format. Men and women who were previously rejected by The Bachelor or Bachelorette trade off handing out roses to each other hoping to explore a relationship, while new contestants arrive simultaneously for their chance at love. Paradise this season was tangibly located at a resort in Sayulita, Mexico complete with hot tubs, scantily attired men and women, and a twenty-four hour, full-service bar and kitchen. For many fans the show is about finding love. For the ABC network however, BIP is about big ratings, and for the contestants the show is mainly a chance to suspend their inevitable descent back to obscurity and to grow the number of followers they have on social media.

There are countless studies backing up this claim and which demonstrate that this show and other reality shows like it, are more about perpetuating gross double standards through the exploitation of gendered and racist stereotypes than say, love (see Banet-Weiser & Portwood-Stacer, 2006; Gallagher & Pecot-Hebert, 2007; Bell-Jordan, 2008; Dubrofsky, 2009; Tyree, 2011). Findings on the social effects of reality television have been widely cited and shared with the public since the phenomenon became ubiquitous at the turn of the millennium. Yet this knowledge hardly deters viewers from watching.