Ladies and gentleman of the jury, the facts are these:
Fact: I am 100% here for Rachel Lindsay. Prior to the premiere, she revealed that, spoiler alert, she is “very much engaged” to a guy from the season. I’m so excited for her, though I admit it’s a bit anticlimactic. It’s like Trump tweeting “I am very much impeached.” But whatever, suspense is so 2016.
Fact: I am 100% here for The Bachelorette. It’s totally unrealistic, sadistic, not woke in the least and totally addictive. Do I get nervous at the rose ceremony? Every time.
Fact: I am super psyched, to use a reality show staple phrase, “to go on this journey of a lifetime” with you.
Here’s what’s in my pockets:
- I believe in love. Like Nora Ephron love, Fitz and Olivia making jam love, Wall-E roaming the universe love.
- I believe in reality TV love. I mean, do people actually fall in love on television? Probably not. But I’ll buy it anyway. Sometimes you want a real Coach bag and sometimes you want to buy a cheap knockoff that fell off a truck. Sometimes I am a trash panda.
- I’m not about using race as a gimmick. Rachel is the first black Bachelorette and the producers have made much ballyhoo about it. Personally, I think it’s too little too late, but I can’t change that. I can’t change anything, actually, because I’m sitting here on my bed drinking prosecco, but I will yell at the TV if they start to treat her race as a problem she needs to deal with.
- I think most of these dudes are going to be sociopaths.
When we meet Rachel, a lawyer, she has to pretend to be doing law stuff in some sort of Judge Joe Brown community theater set and it’s hilarious. It looks like a commercial for someone who “collects no fee unless we win.” I want more for her. Later, Josiah, a prosecutor, will have to give a fake closing argument in front of a jury box filled with Central Casting extras. Why is this show like this?
I was LIVING for the scene where they brought back other women from last season’s Bachelor. You know, the women who are not Rachel Lindsay? All of these women who didn’t end up being the Bachelorette are SO HAPPY for Rachel and SO HAPPY to be back at the ranch even though it’s SO WEIRD and they are DEFINITELY NOT seething with envy or DAY DRUNK AND FURIOUS.
Jack Stone has the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen. He’s a lawyer in Dallas who likes to wander through planned communities soulfully.
Mohit loves his family and does Bollywood dance and I’m immediately smitten. He also knows how to wear the hell out of a blue suit. Unfortunately, he gets unreasonably drunk and starts stumbling around like a sophomore at last call. I have a secret theory that the ones who get accidentally drunk on these shows are actually the nice ones. Maybe it’s because I am still an RA feeling too much compassion for nerds who don’t understand how Long Island iced teas work. But there’s a certain guilelessness to getting schwasted on the first night. Just me?
Lucas is a disaster and I cannot believe I have to talk about him. His montage is weird mix of “Things The Miz Would Do” and “Jokes an 11-Year-Old Would Tell You.” It’s highly disturbing. He has a… catchphrase? That is basically him screaming “Whaboom” for no real reason. He’s a mess. He tried it.
Blake E.’s body is RIGHT but he’s a sex maniac. He immediately tells us how high his testosterone is, how great his penis is and how much he had sex in his last relationship. He also mentions that sex isn’t the only thing he’s interested in. “You have to spend the other 23 and a half hours of a day with someone,” he says, indicating that sex with Blake E. takes a half hour. So pencil that in or whatever. Also, he brings an entire marching band to make his first (actually second) impression, which is definitely not compensating for the size of any of his appendages or anything.
Josiah makes a “reasonable doubt” pun and says “see you later litigator,” so I’m both giddy and miserable.
Bryan is swarthy and selling his Colombianness hard. He’s also 37-years-old (though he could easily pass for 27) and ready to LOCK IT DOWN. He literally attacks her face in a one of those kisses, which sounds like a scene from Alien: Covenant. This earns him the first impression rose. They seal it with a kiss and Mohit, who is drinking water (thankfully) and watching, screams like a kid who walked in on his parents having sex.
Dean told Rachel “I want to go black and never go back.” And who doesn’t want to be reminded that a person sees you solely as a racial experience that they can tour at their leisure? I think he doesn’t mean any harm, but I think we’re past the point where that’s okay. Agree/disagree?
- Jonathan, 31, who tickles her. TICKLES HER. Call Homeland Security.
- Alex. Just trust me. Read his interview questions on the ABC site. His three worst traits are that he’s “Selfish, unemotional, unapologetic.” He once ate a live salamander. He’s a MONSTER. In his video package, he’s seen working out and also reading a book and also solving a Rubik’s Cube, all of which are things Patrick Bateman would do. Also, he brings a vacuum of some sort because he’s on the “clean-up crew.” Also, he is a sociopath. Trust me.
- Adam, who brings “Adam Jr.” a creepy doll who looks like Mike Myers with a Richard Spencer haircut. The producers, after a lot of party drugs, set AJ up with his own confessional (IN FRENCH) and a plotline. Honey, this show is already off the rails.
- Lucas. OBVIOUSLY. But Rachel is surprisingly game for Lucas’ shenanigans. She actually seems to humor him. Enjoy him? What am I missing?
First of all, I’m not totally convinced that the experience of walking into a room with 27 semi-drunk dudes who are trying to get your attention is actually pleasant.
Also, can you imagine the awkwardness of having to hug every dude you turn down goodbye one-by-one?
Secondly, there is something about Rachel that is so grounded and yet so completely sells the wild, unreasonable hope of this whole endeavor.
Lastly, the only reason to keep Lucas around is to set up more tense-jawed conflicts with Blake E. Lucas is a perfect foil for the tightly wound sex maniac.
Deserved Their Roses: Peter, Will, Jack, Jamey (hot but unexceptional), Iggy, Eric, DeMario, Kenny, Dean, Matt, Anthony (hot but unexceptional), Brady, Josiah, Diggy, Fred, Adam, Blake E.
Should Not Have Gotten Roses: Jonathan (NOPE), Bryce (he gave transphobic answers in his interview and his head is shaped like a square and it’s disturbing), Alex (I’m telling you, he’s dangerous), Lee, Lucas (Wha-BOY BYE)
Should Have Gotten Roses But Didn’t: Grant, Kyle (he brought her baked goods and he is a tasty snack himself)
Who I’m Rooting For: Kenny, Bryan, Fred
Let’s deliberate in the comments!
Photographs by Paul Hebert via Disney ABC Press.