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The Bachelor franchise is controversial, to say the least. It seems like half of the world has been watching it since its first season in 2002, and the other half of the world wouldn’t be caught dead watching it. Of the former, half of that is appalled by the racism and cruelty of the show, and the rest are just as toxic as the producers themselves.

I exist somewhere in between. While I watched most of the last Bachelorette season with Gabby and Rachel, there was no part of me that wanted to start Bachelor in Paradise. I was sick of a show that was not only straight, and white, but one that pledged to change and then didn’t. After they publicly addressed ring winner Eric Schwer’s cheating scandal and not the fact that he did blackface in high school, any last affection that I held for the franchise runners after the way they treated Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia that season disappeared.

While I’ve come to hate what the franchise represents, there’s enough nostalgia that I can’t give it up completely, and that’s where the Game of Roses podcast comes in. Run by The Bachelor experts Bachelor Clues and Pace Case (as they have nicknamed themselves), the dynamic duo treat The Bachelor like it’s a professional sport. They give full in-depth recaps of the episodes, speculate on the producer manipulation, and make additional episodes purely dedicated to the “parasocial game”, which is what the players (the bachelor / bachelorette / contestants) post on their social media. At the risk of sounding like sponcon, it truly has changed the way I watch the Bachelor. Or, in my case, the way I ~don’t~ watch.

Part of the fear of giving up watching the Bachelor is that I love gossip. I live for knowing all of the tea, whether that be among my friends or celebrities. It’s not necessarily that I care, or even that I like to share, it is just that I feel happiest when I know all of the possible information. The Bachelor is one of those shows that feels like pure gossip, especially because many of the stars end up being famous influencers in real life as well.

Now, every Tuesday, rather than waking up exhausted from a long night of watching an emotionally draining episode of the Bachelor the night before, I wake up well rested and excited to listen to my new favorite podcast. Not only do I get all of the gossip that I was craving, enabling me to keep up on conversations with my Bachelor-watching friends and family, but I love the insights into the game. It used to drive my mother insane when I would point out the fact that the villain edit was most certainly scripted, but now the podcast affirms my feelings. Nobody in my life wants to talk to me about the Bachelor on the level which they do, so it’s excellent.

While I will potentially never watch a full season of the Bachelor again (because, do better!!) I will listen to Game of Roses every time they release an episode, and I urge you all to do the same.