Whether it’s down the freedom to explore niche interests, or because of how easy they are to set up compared to shows in traditional media, one thing podcasts do incredibly well is establishing dedicated and passionate fan bases. You’ve only got to take a look at shows like Welcome To Night Vale to see that. But it’s hard to find a podcast community more involved and heartwarming that the following behind Rose Buddies.

Rose Buddies, hosted by married couple and all round incredible people Rachel and Griffin McElroy, is a show about ABC’s The Bachelor. When we talked about niche interests in the last paragraph we meant it, but stay with us- especially if you’ve never see the TV show.

Every week, Rachel and Griffin watch, and then talk about, the events of an episode of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette or Bachelor in Paradise. Fancasts of TV shows are nothing new, chances are you’ll be able to find a podcast where someone talks about your favourite show if you look hard enough. But what sets Rose Buddies apart isn’t just the always funny and insightful commentary by the hosts- it’s the dedicated community that’s grown around the podcast.

Through Facebook and Twitter, fans of Rose Buddies have rallied around the podcast, creating an endearing and passionate group to support the show.

And it’s not just Rose Buddies. All the podcasts produced by the McElroy family embody the exact same qualities. They’re shows that are so genuinely funny and special that they attract such kind and dedicated fanbases. We chose an episode of My Brother, My Brother and Me as our Podcast Episode of The Year for this exact reason.

As well as being incredibly creative (you’ll see Rose Buddies fan art scattered throughout this article), one thing that Griffin, Rachel and the Rose Buddies themselves do so well is acknowledge the less than rosy aspects of the show.

Despite the fact they’re kinda about love, shows in The Bachelor Extended Universe often come with an unhealthy or problematic attitude towards gender roles, relationships and sex. And this isn’t something that Rose Buddies shy away from talking about.

While talking about the worst qualities of something we love is often difficult, it’s necessary sometimes. And the Rose Buddies have taken this one step further, often donating towards and raising money for charitable organisations that work to help people who have been affected by some of the traits exhibited by more infamous cast members on The Bachelor and Bachelorette.

And sure, Rose Buddies is an entertaining and funny podcast about The Bachelor, but it’s a little bit more than that.

Whether it’s the live reaction threads on the Rose Buddies Facebook page, discussion about the latest episode as the week goes on, or the actual podcast, the Rose Buddies themselves are an endearing look into the best of modern pop culture communities.

If you want to get into Rose Buddies, you can either go from the beginning, or hop into the start of any season of one of the TV shows featured on the podcast. Rose Buddies is available from Maximum Fun, iTunes, or wherever you download podcasts. New episodes every week.

Photo credit for all the images and fan art on this page:

STORMYMADE / @becpng / @marinscos / @liein3