Confession: I have never watched a single episode of The Bachelor or its spin-off, The Bachelorette.
Until last night, my Bachelor franchise “knowledge” began and ended with some vague concept called “a rose ceremony.” So how did we end up here? Enter Rachel Lindsay, a 31-year old black trial attorney, who looks curiously like Robin Givens. Lindsay’s the very first and long overdue black lead in The Bachelor franchise.
Real talk: dating reality shows can be a mixed bag of shenanigans, and on the scale of civilized to Flavor of Love, we’re not sure yet how this Bachelorette thing is going to play out. I mean, we’re hopeless romantics, but we’re also skeptical of folks who fall in love on a TV show. Fun fact: Rachel says she was skeptical of the whole process too when she appeared on The Bachelor until she actually found love there. But then the bachelor didn’t love her back, which is how she ended up here with 31 flavors… or er, suitors to choose from.
Anyway. We’re going to cover a couple episodes to support Rachel, and check out the guys who barely know her, but keep saying she is their future wife. Weird, right? Stranger things have happened. And some of them happened on the season premiere of The Bachelorette last night. Let’s get into last night’s husband hunt.
Rachel, isn’t just the first black Bachelorette, she also holds the distinction of being the oldest Bachelorette, at the tender age of 31. She says she’s prioritized her career over love so far, a common enough affliction, but now, she vows, “I’m letting love lead the way”. Good for her.
It’s episode one, so true to form, Rachel – and the millions of people that make up the viewing audience—is going to meet the harem of men vying for her heart. Rachel stands outside a rented mansion to greet her men. They arrive in a succession of limos and are packed inside like clowns in the little car at the circus.
Speaking of clowns, most of these guys are an unequivocal “no” at “hello”. There’s Blake the Nutritionist who’s bragging about his high libido. Ew. There’s Matt who arrives in a penguin costume. It squeaks. Some other guy, Adam, shows up with a ventriloquist dummy that creeps me—and Rachel—out. There’s another guy, Lee, who thinks he knows how to play a guitar and sing, but my ears have determined that is a lie. Oh, and there’s Dean who upon first meeting Rachel, quipped something like, “once you try black, you never go back”. My micro-aggression meter went haywire.
It got worse.
Some guy, Lucas, had a megaphone and yelled “Wahboom” while shaking like he’s having what old folks call a “fit”. He reminds me of the “jazz man” Carrie dated in Season Four of Sex and the City. Blake, 31 is trying too hard to make a good impression and arrives with a marching band in tow. His occupation is listed as “aspiring drummer”. Wait. Is that a job? Does it pay? Speaking of questionable jobs, there’s a guy, Diggy from Chicago, who talked about his “swag” and showed off his 500+ sneaker collection. He describes his job as a "senior inventory specialist". Is that fancy talk for “I work overnight in the Foot Locker stock room”? Look, I respect all honest work. I just want a thing to be called a thing.
This collection of awful men makes me sad. A team of producers have scoured the American earth to find husband-material for Rachel, and at best we’re looking at five and a possible. Great for a hand of Spades; less impressive when you’re standing in a room full of men and realize most of them don’t even deserve your real number.
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