With the criticism that McMansions receive, are there any contexts where they are appropriate? I submit that The Bachelor/Bachelorette shows are one such setting:
- The home needs to be big. The latest version of The Bachelorette started with 31 suitors. Not only is space needed to house all of them, a McMansion has big spaces like the living room or pool area where lots of people can congregate.
- The home needs to be garish and over the top. For a show that knows it can’t take itself too seriously (are the contestants here for “the right reasons”?), the loud house works just fine.
- Having a big, well-appointed house fits with the show’s fantasy theme. Everyone knows that most relationships don’t start and/or occur in huge houses, on adventurous and/or fancy dates, and on trips around the globe. But, watching everyone interact in a 1950s ranch home simply wouldn’t fit with the dream-like aspect of the show. (Indeed, it is an interesting contrast to juxtapose the parts of the show that take place in the McMansion versus the home visit weeks where the families of contestants live in more normal settings.) Big features that are clearly visible on TV? Large pool and hot tub? Vaguely Mediterranean style? Check, check, and check.
For the average American household – less than five people – the home used on the show doesn’t make much sense. But, as a key setting for a fanciful TV dating show, it may be perfect.