Crosstalk: 15 years ago, The Bachelor wrote the reality TV script, and little has changed

Caity PenzeyMoog: The Bachelor turns 15 this week. Alex McLevy and I—along with a glut of other A.V. Clubbers—recap the modern iteration of the show every season around the office’s proverbial watercooler (a LaCroix minifridge). So when we realized that the show has been on for 15 years this week, we wondered how much it has changed over the 21 seasons ABC has crammed into that time. These days, the franchise is a media empire unto itself, with spin-offs galore (The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor In Paradise, Bachelor In Paradise: After Paradise, and the new Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? show on Freeform). And while The Dating Game primed viewers for televised matchmaking, The Bachelor took the premise to new and absurd heights.

Season one of The Bachelor is still available to watch on ABC, so Alex and I watched the first and last episode …

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