Season 15, Episode 1
Date of airing: May 13, 2019 (ABC)
Nielsen ratings information: TBA
I don’t know what it is about reality television with a bunch of ridiculously hot people enclosed in a tight space and having to interact with each other, but it’s the reality TV I am watching. Maybe it’s the notion that those people make for ensemble-type reality television drama, or maybe it’s a more interesting form of a competition, when you always happen to be around your opponent, always looking them in the eye and following their moves step-by-step. Or maybe it’s the fact that between the competition plays, there is always time for normal human behavior and connection, which is something THE BACHELOR and its spin-off show THE BACHELORETTE certainly has. Not everything about the game should be a competition — sometimes there simply needs to be room for something that is anything but a competition. Although in reality it’s always a competition. In this reality television soap opera, you aren’t just in the game when you’re talking to the eponymous Bachelorette, you’re also in the game when trying to find out things about the other guys, so you can device a way to always be a step ahead of them. The only season of THE BACHELORETTE I watched was the one with Andi Dorfman in the summer of 2014, and in that season, Nick always knew how to be a step ahead of the other guys, making him an immediate favorite of mine (which is probably why he must have been a general favorite, hence is multiple seasons on THE BACHELOR?). Nick knew that THE BACHELORETTE is not a dating show, but a gaming competition. This isn’t just about winning the heart of the girl, even if it’s the main goal, but it’s also about winning a season of television, after which you get the prize of having a girlfriend, a fiancée, and maybe a wife and a mother for your future children. All of this is a game, and I can only hope the guys in this season come to recognize this.
An 85-minute episode, in which you get introduced to 31 personalities… Yeah, it’s not a great way to fire up a season of television, but it’s not like this has never been the problem of any reality competition show with more than 15 characters on it. It’s always hard to remember everything about all of them, and it’s even harder to remember anything about the people who will be the first to exit the competition, because they happened to lose in all of the games. Eight men were shown the door by the end of this episode, and I can barely remember stuff of half of these guys, simply due to the fact that there isn’t enough airtime for them to be more memorable than their boringly hot faces. I mean, seriously, if you get a less attractive human into the show, he or she might be more memorable by the end.
Two of the guys having exited the season already have become memorable for me though. The first guy’s exit is quite obviously one of the highlights of the season already, as Scott was swiftly kicked out by Hannah for having had a girlfriend the week before production of the season started. It made me realize (and remember) that the show is still run by its titular character, and that the producers behind the scenes might not even have a say in certain events that might concur over the course of the show’s run. There could be a guy deciding to crash the season and win Hannah’s heart and she might allow it, forcing the producers to add another competitor to the game. Hannah might be bored with a few guys and decides to get rid of them before the rose ceremony, which is totally her right (I believe), and all the producers could do is trying to talk her out of making that move. Some of the competitors could decide to just quit and move out the door for whatever reason, and all the producers can do is wink bye-bye. Okay, the latter isn’t a choice being made by the Bachelorette, but in a way, this could be a reality television franchise, in which the producers don’t have all the decision-making cards in the hands. Even though they can certainly direct certain events to happen. Like driving in Hannah’s two best friends to the mansion, in a white van, ready to play detectives, to find out which one of the guys already has a girlfriend laying at home. You might have made me believe for a second that Hannah’s friends really had a weird social media interaction with the girlfriend, but the producers might have just figured that secret out right before the season’s production was beginning, so they decided to hire out Scott’s ultimate demise to two guest stars rooting for the titular character.
The second guy who was memorable happened to be 26-year-old Matt Donald, who in his introduction video was communicating with his family in sign language. I found that impressive for a hot second, and because I made a note of that, and at the end added to that note whether the guys got a rose or not, consider me surprised that he did not. Besides that, why are seven of the guys (Tyler C., Peter, Mike, Joe, Matt, Connor J., and Luke P.) given introduction videos like this is the most proper thing to do in a reality television show, but the remaining 23 guys had to be introduced via their entrance to the mansion, and their five-second talk’n’hug with Hannah at the front door? I get that having 30 introduction videos would take at least 30 minutes of airtime, and there is simply no time for that, but why these seven guys — five who got a rose and two who didn’t — and not some of the other? Did someone in production draw straws? Was Tyler C. guaranteed his introduction video, because he happened to show his ridiculously awesome hot bod while standing on a boat and dancing like Kevin Bacon?
When it comes to the competition side of the game of THE BACHELORETTE, Luke P. pulled out all the tricks, and pretty much deserved that impression rose before the ceremony. First of all, the guy is the all-around perfect American man. It sounded like he had a solid job, he of course looks like he could be a model, and during his introduction video he was recapping an encounter he had with God while in the shower. Nothing is more perfect than the perfect American white boy who is also a Christian, but that’s not even what made him a winner in this episode. It’s the way he approached Hannah on two different occasions that quickly had him at the front of the line, making him an early frontrunner for Hannah’s heart at the end of the season. Luke P. Was the first of the contestants to “kidnap” Hannah for a quick chat after the introductions at the front door were finished, and Luke P. was the first one to check on and talk with Hannah, right after she kicked Scott the hell out of the mansion. There Luke P. was, among 28 other horny males, and he was the only one who figured this was the perfect opportunity to check in on Hannah and get some bonus points, so that he will at least be remembered when she was thinking about whom to give a rose during the ceremony (and talking to her a second time during the first evening was pretty much a guarantee for a rose during the ceremony). It turns out that talking to the Bachelorette more than once during the first night is a better guarantee of getting to the next round than exploding out of a box (“The Box King” did not get a rose), or rolling into the mansion on a tractor (Matt Donald did not get a rose). In case future contestants are reading this blog, your battle plan might start with individual one-on-ones, instead of making the biggest impression at the front door.
Naturally, there is one weird guy among the bunch, and I wondered how he came to be in possession of a rose during the ceremony: John Paul Jones will be seen in the following episode, making me a little speechless, which is probably something the producers wanted from the viewers of the show. John Paul Jones already got introduced in a weird fashion (“I’m John Paul Jones, my friends call me John Paul Jones…”), his candid camera moments are being made fun of by the producers, because John Paul Jones’ job is apparently being John Paul Jones, and the kid does look like he is not taking the whole thing serious. Yes, that’s what he looks like after the editing process of the show, and that makes me wonder how he must have been in real-time, considering the rose he ended up with at the end. The writers in the editing bay apparently were asking themselves whether John Paul Jones can be made the villain of the show, as every reality television show seems to be needing a villain.
Best part of the episode: A few more of those “during-credit” sequences with Chris Hansen, and he can be a comedian. The host of the show was working hard to clean up Joe’s mess, which was slightly amusing, and definitely needed, considering most of tHE BACHELORETTE can be annoying as hell sometimes.
Worst part of the episode: Never introduce yourself by your nickname, because as it turns out you don’t advance when you introduce yourself with your nickname. Just ask “The Box King.” The fool who couldn’t stop talking about packaging, and showcasing his talents. Way to make anyone get annoyed by your presence. It’s probably a good thing “The Box King” got kicked early, because I was already imagining his date with Hannah ending up in a packaging factory.
Weirdest part of the episode: Tyler C. sounded like he was drunk when he introduced himself to Hannah at the front door. Consider me surprised that he still got a rose at the end, as I was believing the entire time that he would be going home.
Kisses of the episode: Three of them during these 85 minutes. Cam, the pre-impression rose winner (did I miss an episode in which he was given that rose?), was the first to lock lips with the Bachelorette, followed by Connor S. and Luke P., the latter one getting that kiss after being given the impression rose. Now I am thinking about editing all the kissing scenes of the season into one video, because why the heck not?
Competitor of the episode: Luke P. without a doubt, who has come to realize early on that this is still a competition.