Like so many love stories, this one starts the same, once a year. A handsome, inoffensive man chosen as The Bachelor is matched with a couple of dozen beautiful ladies who are all on journey to find love. They compete through each episode for his affection -- demonstrated with a rose at a dramatic ceremony.

Or, as University of Melbourne social and political sciences senior lecturer Lauren Rosewarne puts it: "Women catfighting their way to the affections of a generally underwhelming man."