Week 1, Part 2
We’re pretty much instantly told that Kaitlyn will be this season’s bachelorette, and THANK GOD. I was not ready for three months of Britt tossing her Pantene hair and trying to look earnest as one of the guys talks about his dead mother.
It is a bit sad, however, when Chris Harrison breaks the news to her. It’s as if you can see the dream of her lifestyle brand, True Britt, fade from her eyes frame by frame. That dream is over. But I’m sure her following on Twitter and Instagram is through the roof! Woohoo!
We’ll all die someday. Chris Harrison informs Kaitlyn that she will be the bachelorette. She cries tears of joy and excitement, but True Britt isn’t far from her mind. Kaitlyn feels bad for celebrating and asks how her competitor took the news. Chris Harrison reassures her and they share a tender embrace, while he softly says, “Sweet girl.” Woah, Chris Harrison! So suave, so sensitive, and oh so mysterious… what do we really know about him? I, for one, am intrigued! And a little hot and bothered, tbh (sorry). Chris Harrison says, “The rest of this journey is about you hopefully finding love, and I promise I will do everything in my power to help you do that.”
The men are informed that Kaitlyn will be the bachelorette and they are “pumped, dude!” Blah. Just run off with my main man C.H. while you still can, Kaitlyn! Anyway, it’s clear from the way the camera lingers on him and the spots he gets with slightly more exciting canned music that Doofy Ryan Gosling (a.k.a. Shawn B.) will be among the final contenders for Kaitlyn’s affections this season. Side note: Not to bring down the mood, but I I have to address that Kaitlyn seems like she’s on pills. She is endlessly chill, her eyes are perpetually sleepy, and she sort of growls out all her sentences. She’s here to “find true love,” but I think Percocet might already be it. I’ve watched enough Intervention to know the signs. I hope this is not the case, but if so, it’s good TV. It’s time for Klonopin Kaitlyn to dole out her First Impression Rose. Kupah, an “entrepreneur,” gets in there to make that crucial first impression. I don’t trust him because before this, he was fully team Britt. Now he’s just trying save face. Same thing goes for JJ, former investment banker (doesn’t that just mean unemployed?), who says “1,000 percent” twice in the span of 40 seconds. Now the gentlemen who voted for Britt are feeling the pressure of forging a connection with a different bachelorette. Some, like EntrepreKupah and JJ, are willing to make a quick switch in exchange for screen time, but others, like our friend Tony the Healer, are struggling to accept Kaitlyn as their Rose Master. Tony says that his heart “truly resonated with Britt” and that now “there’s only one drinking fountain, and we all must stand in the same line. But I’m almost ready to go home and just dig my own well…”
Turns out Chris, the dentist who arrived in a cupcake car, actually has game! He flashes those pearly whites at Kaitlyn and is the first of the evening to get a smooch.
Though all the guys are putting in their A game, the one who predictably gets the First Impression Rose is Ryan Gosling’s broken-nosed cousin, Shawn B. Kaitlyn gushes that “kissing Shawn is like having a first kiss in elementary.” I recall laying one on my first grade crush with zeal, only for him to flatly respond with, “You can’t kiss in school.” I’m pretty sure that moment, at 7 years old, was the start of all my self doubt, relationship anxiety, and general hostility towards the opposite sex. So I guess that’s what kissing Shawn B. was like.
During the First Official Rose Dole, Kaitlyn makes some grim choices, like Gay Dad Jonathan, Moonshine Joe, self-employed EntrepreKupah and 1,000 percent unemployed JJ.
Brady, who we learned last episode has “melodies inside him” (and should probably go get that checked out), halts the proceedings and takes Kaitlyn aside to inform her that his “heart is with Britt.” He dismisses himself from the competition, ostensibly to find Britt and woo her with one of his melodies entitled “Our Love is the Final Rose” or some shit. Kaitlyn returns to the Rose Ceremony and miraculously makes some good calls, like eliminating hot-tub-driving sex therapist Shawn E. and ol’ American Psycho Eyes, Josh. Tony the Healer is safe. Blessed be. Light and love.
The bachelorette and her remaining hopefuls toast to her journey. I, for one, am toasting to seeing her in an outfit other than that sequined dress. Bring on the muted infinity scarves and seasonally inappropriate knee-high boots!
Week 2 Many exciting things are in store for us as Week 2 commences, namely that Chris is now officially known as “Chris ‘Cupcake.'” One thing that is not exciting is that we’re still seeing this face for some godforsaken reason. Britt is preparing to head home and is moping around her hotel room with her shoes on the bed, because apparently she was raised in a fucking barn. She is visited by none other than melody-infested Brady, who comes to comfort her a with a hug (and possibly the D).
Back at the mansion, Chris Harrison wastes no time and ushers a handful of bachelors into the limo for the first official group date. Notable parties involved include 1,000 Percent JJ, Jared the Love Man, and EntrepreKupah himself. The date is a boxing lesson from Laila Ali followed by a match. Ms. Ali announces, “I’m gonna put you guys through a workout like you’ve never seen before!”
The guys all smile and laugh, up to the challenge and eager to impress Kaitlyn. Only Daniel has a reaction to this news that I feel is realistic. In the split second that the camera pans over to him, he somehow manages to force his expression of pure panic/discomfort into a wince. The Bachelorette would have you believe the ideal date for young people involves a grueling workout followed by physical humiliation. But honestly, young people would rather just sit in a mid-grade restaurant for two hours and then awkwardly figure out the check. Daniel is a reflection of this. He is a teller of truths. He is also a fashion designer.
The boxing match begins and what is meant to be a sappy romp through the dating lives of young, attractive people for housewives and wine-drunk 20-year-olds quickly becomes an gritty HBO produced exposé on the pressures of masculinity and male aggression. Seriously, these men beat the shit out of each other, all in the name of impressing Kaitlyn, who mostly just seems uncomfortable and concerned throughout the fight, as does the rest of the entirely female audience. Even Laila Ali looks pretty over it the whole time.
When will men learn that demonstrating physical prowess is nothing compared to telling a good joke? Yes, I’m sure Kupah could deadlift three Britts and Moonshine Joe could balance a cinderblock in his forehead dent, but do they know the one about the man with the wooden leg named Smith? Anyway, Ben Z., a giant among men, scores a rose on this group date.
Wearing one of the most punchable faces I’ve ever seen, it seemed that 1,000 Percent JJ had the cards unjustly stacked against him from the beginning. But with each passing week, he proves that his insides are just as punchable, and maybe, after all, we should judge a book by its cover. JJ has a 3-year-old daughter, who he never fails to mention when he’s onscreen. He obviously feels superior about being a father (I guess enough to cancel out any shame about being unemployed). He talks incessantly about his confidence in himself, how he’ll definitely get a rose, and how he’s smarter than 90 percent of humanity. You sure you’re 1,000 percent on that, JJ?
Kaitlyn takes Clint, an architectural engineer, on a one-on-one date. The only reason Clint stuck in my mind is because he looks like a 35-year-old playing an 18-year-old dbag in an 80s movie. He just has that generic handsome mug and helmet of golden hair that I was under the impression went out of circulation in 1994. But here we are. With this date, I learned there’s more to Clint than meets the eye. For instance, he drew Kaitlyn a picture of Chris Harrison riding a triceratops. And you know what? That’s really all I needed. And all I’ll ever need. You draw that picture, you’re good in my book. Clint earns a rose. Kaitlyn and Clint’s date is an underwater photoshoot, which to me is at least 1 star above a boxing match. Back at the mansion, Tony the Healer agrees with me. He is appalled that the group date involved violence. He lectures his fellow bachelors about what is at the heart of the competition—love—and it should never result in violence. That is until Helter Skelter comes down, man. The camera steadily zooms in on Tony as he delivers the following speech: “Love is about being present. Love is about connection. Love is about discussion. Love is about possibilities and ideas and dreams. Love is as perennial as the grass.” (All engaged couples, please take note and replace 1 Corinthians 13 with Tony’s Love Speech in your wedding ceremonies).
On the next group date, the fellas perform some stand-up comedy with the help of Amy Schumer. I don’t even need to say that this is already one of my favorite pop culture moments. Amy’s there kind of shitting on the whole thing but also really into it, which I personally can relate to. She describes 1,000 Percent JJ better than I ever could: “JJ’s a sweetheart. He’s just missing, like, charisma and humility and a sense of humor. But other than that, basically, you should hire him as the next Bachelor… maybe when he sees the show, he’ll reflect on himself a little bit and not be such a turd.”
Most of the guys have moderate success on the stage. But the world isn’t ready for Tony the Healer’s brand of comedy.
1,000 Percent JJ played the “I’m a dad” card and swindled a rose out of Kaitlyn for the group date. So we have to suppress the urge to punch him for at least one more episode.
Tensions start to rise in the house. Now that he has a rose, JJ is bein’ a real b-hole and rubbing his victory in everyone’s faces. They’re all irked, but our man Tony is especially not thrilled. He has dedicated his whole life to searching for
a fifth wife love and his journey will be respected, dammit!
EntrepreKupah is not happy, either. He pulls Kaitlyn aside to ask why they haven’t formed a connection yet. I don’t know, Kupah, probably because you came here for Britt and didn’t speak to Kaitlyn at all on your group date? I’m not invested in this show or anything.
Anyway, Kaitlyn decides to let Kupah go before the Rose Ceremony and he goes through Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief within a span of 3 minutes. There is a very awkward exchange that begins with Kupah simply refusing to leave. Then he tries to convince Kaitlyn why he should stay with the following argument:
Kupah: I don’t want to go home. I think you’re hot, I think you’re sexy, I think you’re pretty-
Kaitlyn: Ok, well there’s more to me than that.
Kupah: I know, but I like all that other stuff! Like, you said you like movies and movie quotes. Yes or no?
When all is said and done, Kupah mercifully hits the bricks. But of course, the Rose Ceremony is still ahead of us, and we’ll have to wait until next week to find out who stays and who goes. On the next episode, I think we unfortunately see more Britt and Brady. Y’know, just holding hands at a cafe, standing near a mountain, looking at a sunset. Brady wears a stupid beanie that makes him look like Jacques Cousteau’s reject musician son. And I’m sure they live happily ever after. Brady gets to open for John Mayer once and Britt stars in a few of those makeup/hair tutorials that you have to sit through before your Youtube video plays.