The Bachelorette, now it its eleventh season, is the requisite consort to its sister (brother?) show, The Bachelor, which has been running significantly longer. If you’ve never had the pleasure of viewing it, it’s a very long-winded (extremely, as in each episode now runs around two hours) pageant of sorts that has a gaggle of monochromatic men vying for the opportunity to propose to a woman who usually claps a lot when she’s excited about something.
Isa and I decided watch the first three episodes and then chat about it, dissect it, riff on it, etc. We both find it somewhat morbidly fascinating/entertaining. Hopefully we’ll be doing more of these on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, so stay tuned.
This conversation took place in a Google Chat and has been condensed and edited.
Isa Montagnese: LET’S DO THIS.
Claire Ward-Beveridge: Alright, here we go. So, we’re assuming people know the format and set-up of this show which is, like, massively popular and the first in this particular genre of reality television, right?
IM: Yeah! This is the first season I’ve ever watched and even I know the entire premise. The whole two bachelorettes biz threw me right for a loop, though. What is with that?
CWB: Yeah, it’s kind of an awful idea, mostly in that it was just so shitty and gross of the producers to put those two women through that.
Okay, so for those who don’t know, Kaitlyn and Britt were on the most recent season of The Bachelor, as per the sequence of how these shows work. They were runners-up to a fertility nurse with a weird baby voice.
IM: Ha, baby voice!
CWB: And they honestly dodged a bullet not ending up with Chris [Soules]. So “the men of America,” or whatever, chose them as the two best choices for Bachelorette and no one could decide which one to pick. Aww! I mean this coming from the tanned, gleaming mouth of Chris Harrison, so….
IM: I want to know everything about Chris [Harrison’s] life, but that’s for another day.
Well, that’s super disgusting. The only redeeming quality about The Bachelorette (in my mind) was that it was a sweet role reversal and they ruined it immediately! I’m happy with their choice, though! Kaitlyn is fun times.
CWB: Kaitlyn rules, like, in contrast with literally every other contestant I’ve seen so far. She’s a fun gal who you’d wanna like, chug beers and blaze and goof around with. She’s from Vancouver and seems actually like a real person. I mean, comparatively speaking.
IM: I didn’t realize it was so easy to get invested in the people on this show. I always thought it would seem too staged to truly get into it, but now I want her to find her husband.
CWB: Yeah, dude, she deserves a decent feller. But of course most of the bros she has at her disposal are fairly gross. There’s the odd like, “Okay, yeah maaaaybe,” but on the whole, they’re all meatheads with insane rage issues.
IM: I can’t get over how much they all look alike.
CWB: They’re all Ken dolls with vacant eyes.
IM: Yes! So! The meeting-both-gals-at-once-when-they-got-out-of-the-car thing was very odd. I was so into that guy who said the same exact thing to both of them, though. Classy, dude.
CWB: Was that The Healer??
IM: Oh, maybe! I would watch a whole show about him, too.
CWB: Tony the Healer! “Healer” means he works at a store that sells incense and salt rocks and sarongs.
IM: And knows super basic buzz words like “spiritual” and “connected” and “non-violence.”
CWB: Yep. And probably uses all of that stuff to try and placate women into touching his knob. He’s like, a proponent of The Game, but wears drop-crotch Indian cotton pants.
CWB: Okay. Let’s touch on Kaitlyn getting picked?
IM: You watched The Bachelor, so were you pulling for one over the other?
CWB: Yes. I was 100 per cent pulling for Kaitlyn. She was one of three, four favourites I had in Chris Soule’s season. She liked to goof around and held her own comedically around Jimmy Kimmel when he was guest-starring on a couple of episodes.
IM: She definitely seemed like she’d be able to handle a whole season by herself compared to Britt.
CWB: Britt just seemed very phony to me. And not in a malicious way. More like, she learned how to be appealing and agreeable and sweet early on in her life as a survival method or something.
And yes, I agree. Britt was so “into” the whole concept for the first episode it was a little unsettling, like she would just unravel at some point if she was the Bachelorette, whereas Kaitlyn was understandably weirded out.
IM: But she was gifted a boyfriend in the end anyway! Everyone wins! The super-serious Brady. But yeah, no hot girl left behind.
CWB: Exactly. I wonder if that was more fabricated than we might have assumed. Like, did they intend for either girl to get tossed a bone no matter who was picked for Bachelorette?
IM: No, Claire! It’s real, true love!
CWB: Ha ha, you’re goddamned right. Chris Harrison is a bonafide, benevolent cupid.
IM: Okay, so that was one dude who left on his own already! Straight outta the gate.
CWB: And several have left, or been kicked off since.
IM: Let’s talk Episode 2. Big, fun episode.
CWB: This opened with the BIG REVEAL of who got picked. Ol’ Chris Harrison approached Britt quietly in some fancy room with a fireplace and ornate wainscoting and, in very reality TV fashion, did an almost fake-out of delivering the bad news. Like, “Britt, I’m very excited to inform you that….” And then she cried again. A lot.
IM: Poor Britt.
CWB: Then he told Kaitlyn (who reacted rather sanely, I thought, being overwhelmed, nauseous) and then she immediately had to go back into the room of drunken, hooting apes and mingle for a bit.
IM: I say this every time we watch it, but nothing bothers me more than the applause and hooting when she walks in. Gives me the creeps.
CWB: Ha, ha. Oh my god, it’s so true, though. Like, they might as well be licking their lips.
IM: So, then it was time for the first group dates.
CWB: Yep. Not sure if there was a rose ceremony that same night of the REVEAL, but some dudes went home, including the hammered dude who was booted out for groping and yelling and slurring “Why am I not raping you right now?” to another dude which actually scared me a bit.
IM: Oh, I forgot about that guy! This show encourages a certain level of drunkenness and anyone getting a little too drunk isn’t there for “the right reasons.” So, drunky is out.
CWB: Then there was a group date, which are also weird, but I suppose they must be implemented for time purposes and stirring up shit.
IM: Must be. They’re so odd and uncomfortable. This first one was a boxing date, where they learned some boxing skills in a gym with Laila Ali. Then they fought each other, which was kinda primitive and gross.
CWB: There are a lot of fighting challenges.
IM: I mean, I get it. They want to emphasize manliness, etc. But at the same time, be more creative, producers!
CWB: It’s also just an excuse for viewers to ogle the men’s bodies. More creativity would be great. Like, make them act out a scene from a sitcom or something, or make their favourite snack for Kaitlyn.
So, Kaitlyn was having a grand time, but noticed one dude, Kupah [one of the very few non-white contestants] wasn’t paying her much attention and she was not having it. But that’s shelved until after a second group date, which was a prove-how-funny-you-are date because Kaitlyn loooooves a man who can make her laugh.
CWB: She’s such a silly-billy.
Side note: I noticed every time she laughs hard, especially in interviews, she covers up her teeth, which are a bit fang-y, but they’re cute! I can relate as a large-toothed gal.
IM: God forbid you see some teeth. Not lady-like. The highlight of that group date was Amy Schumer as the guest!
CWB: YES. I almost forgot.
IM: She should be the next Bachelorette.
CWB: Oh my god, if she produced her own version of The Bachelorette, it would be a cultural event.
IM: It would be gold. So, some dudes got kicked off, but the best part of the night was Kupah getting real with Kaitlyn about why he’s there.
CWB: Yeah, man. At first I was kind of on his side? He basically said that he felt she had kept him on the show in order to maintain very tacky, forced racial diversity.
IM: He’s definitely my hero on the show so far–he’s not wrong about this! And since he exposed a tiny bit of a truth about the show, he’s out!
CWB: True. BUT my issue with him is when she was like, “Okay, so leave then,” he was like, “Nonono, but you’re HOT though. I wanna stay!” and then proceeded to throw a tantrum.
IM: Oh yeah, I forgot about that! “You’re so hot, tho.” Good back-peddle, man.
So he got kicked off and then they had a rose ceremony anyway and kicked off a few more dudes. Then the next episode was the sumo challenge.
CWB: Oh god. This was interesting though in terms of bringing a few character traits to light.
IM: True! I kinda loved that everyone was obsessed with how nice or not nice each other’s butts were.
CWB: I liked that as well. And the worst ass of all went fittingly (somehow) to Tony the Healer. Which means it was non-existent. Not that we’re here to body-snark or anything.
IM: So perfect. He’s horrible–his hair-line is horrible, and his butt is horrible. He’s a gross person!
CWB: He’s such a creep. I’m always suspicious when men go out of their way like that to emphasize how open-minded they are.
IM: Yes! For sure. Nothing says super-stunted, emotional idiot like repeating you’re “so open minded.”
CWB: And then when he got flung around like a patchouli-scented rag doll by the professional sumo wrestler, he crumbled like a wet, whiny biscuit and stomped away. It was kind of perfect.
IM: Sigh. So perfect. A tiny bit of embarrassment and he was done for the day.
CWB: He quite literally left that day. After going on to Kaitlyn about how all of the competitions so far had been centred on violence. Dude, do you know where you are? You’re on an American reality television show on a major network.
IM: And you were invited to compete against other dudes (who look identical) for attention. There will likely be some kind of physical competition, duh!
CWB: Yeah, c’maaaahn, dude. I was a bit sad to see him leave because he would have contributed so many WONDERFUL sound bites. What was the line about having the mind of a child? “I view the world through the eyes of a child! I have the heart of a warrior and the spirit of a gypsy”? You revolting dummy!
IM: YES. He needs his own show. And lastly, we have a bromance on our hands.
CWB: Okay, so two of the fellers–Clint and JJ–were exhibiting some drunken cuddling and then to me it seemed like suddenly every dude was suspicious of the two. Like, we were supposed to suspect them of being in some sort of malicious cahoots.
IM: Yes! The consensus all of the sudden was that they both wanted to stay in the race to hang out with each other and didn’t give a care about Kaitlyn!
CWB: If that’s indeed true, then God bless I say. Truly. Let ‘em be in love.
IM: I need them to make out. But if they’re doing it just to win the game, I’m not into it.
CWB: Yeah, agreed. That’s boring.
Okay! So we did it. We talked about this weird-ass, fairly offensive, extremely popular television show. But man, it’s entertaining. Do we have any final thoughts?
IM: I’ve been avoiding this show/shows like this the whole time they’ve been on TV because I thought they represented the peak of the collective, cultural misogyny and I feel the same now, but I’m also fascinated and can’t not watch now. I want to know everything that happens.
CWB: I feel similarly. It’s just such a weird universe. And it’s not to be watched alone, I wouldn’t think. I never have–I absolutely require a pal there to riff on things with. It feels safer, somehow?
IM: Agreed. I’d feel sad and wouldn’t find any of it funny. And safer, yes!
Photos via ABC.