Hello best friends!
It’s Bachelorette Season, and what a wonderful season ‘tis! Season 10, to be exact, and the franchise continues with the lovely Andi, a predictably tiny lawyer from Atlanta who is best known for excoriating Juan Pablo on last season’s The Bachelor for his overuse of the phrase “that’s ok!”, thereby winning the hearts of the entire #bachelornation. Andi seems like a good choice, and I feel pretty smug about having predicted she’d be the next Bachelorette as soon as she covered up her disgust at Juan Pablo with a hastily delivered speech about coming on the show for the “right reasons,” as opposed to Juan Pablo, who was clearly there for the “wrong reasons,” i.e. talking about himself and hooking up in the ocean with Claire. She also has the A+, #1 best job to reproduce the show’s favorite gender narrative: love conquers all women’s professional lives. She’s a real toughie, bringing bad guys to justice as a successful young prosecutor, but don’t worry—she lets us know right from the start that “at the end of the day, finding true love blows it all out of the water, and that means leaving a good profession and leaving my family.” Yup, this definitely seems like it’s worth leaving it ALL behind!
I have a theory that the show does its best when it finds a Bachelorette that balances the right…I don’t want to say intelligence, because that would be mean, but let’s say incredulity of the situation with earnestness about the possibility of finding a boyfriend. Emily Maynard was the perfect Bachelorette for this reason—she played enthusiastic, but she also played the game. And she seemed pretty smart. Andi might tip the scales too far toward genuine human reaction, BUT she is legitimately trying to play nice by issuing the right number of rehearsed platitudes about “putting yourself out there,” “being open to this experience,” “taking the chance of a lifetime,” and “believing in the process.”
All of which leads me to believe this will be a Juan Pablo Recovery Season, in which we are all re-inducted into the magic potential of The Bachelorette “journey” formerly ruined by Juan Pablo’s refusal to fake sincerity for his lady loves (or perhaps his inability to fake it well enough). Did you clock how he wouldn’t say “I love you” to Nikki at the ATFR episode and must I go on?
[BTW, is anyone else watching on ABC.go.com, and if so, did you see Desiree (Season 9) in the Suave Professionals Hair Care cross-marketing commercial for her upcoming wedding to Chris? Too much, girl. No.]
The bachelorette’s backstory is usually a pretty unmemorable element of the show, but I did appreciate the back and forth with her sister whose name I’ve already forgotten. Siblings are often invited on to give advice in the role of “real person who lives in the world,” which plays nicely against the Stockholm Syndrome that has clearly taken place with the show’s main participants. Andi and her sister had a fun back and forth about “kissing” and what “kissing” on national television might mean for your reputation DON’T MAKE ME SAY IT:
“I’m gonna kiss guys on national television!”
“How many guys are you going to kiss?”
“I don’t know. I’m here to find love, and, like, part of that love is kissing…”
“..and that’s like an important thing to know about somebody. If they are a bad kisser you might just want to…" [gestures to "cut him loose" and they both laugh]
I’m just going to let everyone else take over from here because there will be many more opportunities, let me repeat many, to discuss how thinly the show veils the raw, frenzied lust of 25 overserved strangers cut off from all their friends and family and shipped to a lesser European country.
Many of my friends find this show boring until they can start to distinguish the bachelors from one another (so, until there are, like, 4 left), but I really do enjoy the parade of goobers coming out of the limo and their terrible, sweaty first lines.
Here, in roughly chronological order, are my impressions:
-First up, Chris Harrison being a baller, check.
-One thing I always think about the first episode is just that there is too, too much hugging right off the bat. First of all, it’s insincere. Second of all, it’s too much body, all at once.
-THERE’S A “PANTSAPRENEUR” AND OF COURSE HE’S FROM SAN FRANCISCO JUST STOP. Also, does anyone else think he’s styling himself dangerously close to Bill Nye the Science Guy?
-Mike, 29, a bartender with long blonde hair who looks a bit like Thor, tried to recreate a “real” meeting by staging a rehearsed, wooden performance of what it might be like to have a “real” meeting with a serial killer in a bar.
-Jason, 35, a doctor who also has chin length blond hair—let’s call him Lesser Thor—let loose a poorly played “you must have a fever…because you look pretty hot. No but seriously!” He seems isolated.
-Emil, 33, immediately told her his name was pronounced “AMAL, like ANAL with an m.” Just to get it out of the way, to clear the air. Good for you, Emil. Also, he’s a helicopter pilot, so that’ll work great for all of the requisite picnics in desolate and remote locations.
-Craig, 29, a tax accountant from Denver, shook a champagne bottle near his crotch and shot it all over the driveway.
-The second I saw that there was an opera singer I got tense. All over my body. Because I knew what was coming.
-Extra points if you don’t gesture at her crotch while saying you are bowled away by her fantastic beauty, Telecommunications Marketer in a Gingham Shirt #4.
-Ron, 28, a Beverage Sales Manager from Israel and Barbados, told her he’s “traveled all over the world and somehow, some way, ended up here with you.” Do I sense a little regret, Ron?
-Just once I want her to say, “not really” when one of the dudes says “want to see what I have here for you?” and gestures to what is either a cheap throwaway keepsake or, like, some tragic, too-personal family heirloom.
HAVE A DRINK—OR SIX!
The cocktail party was fairly unremarkable except for a few moments. While a small group of bachelors was discussing the evening, a cute guy in a polka dot tie mumbled a kind-of funny throwaway line about how nervous he was (“I blacked out, I have no idea what I said”)—a sign of more good things to come, Polka Dot Tie? Also, Marquel set up a “cookie tasting” that was too much, too cute, too wonderful. And he even made a joke about interracial dating with the black and white cookie! It’s so rare that a gambit like that doesn’t come off cheesy and awful to watch.
Andrew, 30, a social media marketer from Culver City, dismissively referenced “the gamut of dudes” that comprised the cocktail party. Interestingly, he was forming his own “gamut” with Patrick, 29, an Ad Exec, (“he’s suave…I feel like we have a lot in common”), who similarly expressed that he and Andrew were “a little bit on a different level than some of the other guys…he’s definitely more my caliber kind of guy.” Which suggests the idea of an Andrew/Patrick spinoff show where they just talk about F1 racing and drink overfull beverages in a room full of people who have lost interest in them. Now THERE’S a romance I would invest time in watching! Incidentally, Patrick felt he “didn’t get to connect with [Andi] the way he wanted to” when the night ended. Huh.
There were several impressive forays into foreign languages, for instance, when Tasos told Andi he spoke French. I guess I just thought “I would like a juice with ice cubes” was not the sentence he would use to impress her right off the bat. Marcus, who has “Texas values” (let’s see if she takes the bait), explained he was “raised European” and then said, in German, “I speak only a little German,” which, incidentally, is also the only thing I say in German when asked, too! I’ve got my eye on you, Marcus.
Do I have to cover the part where the creepy lurker from Emily’s season shows up? Fine. When they teased the story of the creepy lurker in the previews, they blurred his face and altered his voice and I was like, “oh cool, maybe this IS a real lurker!” but as soon as it occurred in the episode I realized it’s only Chris B. from Emily’s season (and I guess Bachelor Pad, which I don’t watch). Right, right, now I remember—he threw a tantrum over other guys in her season and then was an accusatory little punk when she sent him home. So anyways, this Frankenstein of the Bachelor-franchise showed up at the mansion because he feels, in his soul, a connection with Andi and then used the fact that he camped out for seven days there to wait for the episode to be shot as why they should let him see her.
If this is all staged, then it’s a terrific excuse for some super sexy close talking with Chris Harrison when Andi finds out there’s a party crasher and needs advice about what to do. It also allows Andi to rehearse the catechism of The Bachelorette in front of Chris: I am here to find true love and might that true love be a scary lurker waiting in the driveway? No. Am I disrespecting the guys who are here “for all the right reasons” by taking the lurker seriously? Yes. Good news: she says she won’t see him and Chris gets to tell her in an authoritative voice he’ll take care of it because “this is what I do.” I die.
The first impression rose was given to the cute guy in the polka dot tie that said the funny thing about blacking out! Huzzah! I could tell she was trying to impress him because she dropped a reference to understanding the difference between North and South Korea, so…well played, Andi. Well played.
Happy to say a few of my guys made it through round one:
CODY, 28, the personal trainer who pushed the limo to the mansion. When the opera singing began, as I knew it would, I watched the faces of all the guys, because you know that’s the thing about being a captive audience to an unwanted musical performance: how do you hold your face? The dude in front of him on the couch did a mocking gesture with his hand and you know what, I can’t say I blame him too much, he was in a tough spot. But Cody, the trainer, was instantly like, “that’s legit, dude!” totally, totally earnest. He also sincerely thanked one of the guys who snarkily fake-complimented his t-shirt/blazer combo. I hope Cody sticks around a few more weeks, at least.
MARQUEL: you had me at the cookies, Marquel.
POLKA DOT TIE GUY: Nick V., 33, you are the software sales rep…of my heart
GENTLEMEN, IT’S TIME TO SAY YOUR GOODBYES
Here’s who she sent home!
RUDIE/DRUNK DONNIE OSMOND who said, without any hesitation, that people actually close to him in his life told him that he and Andi would probably get married and have kids and that he was super surprised it didn’t work out.
EMIL/AMAL: You know what? Fair enough.
THOR: Once he did the serial killer cold open it was over.
LESSER THOR who painfully let us know he’s “not going back to a whole lot."
THE SNOWBOARDER GUY who has hair like a medieval page.
GINGHAM SHIRT #5: I can’t quite do justice to the drunk rant this gentleman delivered before getting in the limo, so I’ve transcribed it in its entirety here, which I believe is necessary for the full effect:
“I mean you come here looking for a wife and then all of a sudden you hear these guys choosing in here and I don’t, whatever, it’s embarrassing is what it is. Yeah, it’s just something that a friend put me up to and I showed up and said, “oh this is great yeah sure let’s give it a try let’s embarrass the f*ck out of myself for one night to do absolutely NOTHING to accomplish NOTHING.” And then I’m going to call my parents tomorrow and be like, “yeah that SUCKED, I’m coming home” and I’m going to face reality and be embarrassed as sh*t. Cool! It is what it is! I’m going to go home and enjoy myself, take some vacations…[trailing off]. This is stupid.”
See you next week for what’s COMING UP, ON THE BACHELORETTE (Tears! Fights! Yachts! More gingham!)