This woman is suffering
Blink twice if you need us to come save you, Rachel Lindsay. The Bachelorette hasn’t even premiered yet, and already, it seems like the producers are hellbent on making Rachel suffer as much as possible.
While professional reality television contestant Nick Viall had a pretty decent crop of accomplished women to choose from, Lindsay is stuck with a bunch of fucking clowns. Professions include "Tickle Monster" and "Whaboom." Even an "aspiring drummer" is not in the same league as an "aspiring dolphin trainer." (Miss you every day, Alexis.)
Lindsay entered the Bachelor universe vying for the heart of Viall, a man with a mysteriously smooth forehead who continues to fail upwards. She won the First Impression Rose and was quickly a fan favorite who most viewers could agree deserved better some dude whose only job is having a beard. And yet, The Bachelorette has been treating her quest for love as particularly experimental since day one.
Lindsay is the first black Bachelorette in the show’s 13 seasons and there’s never been a black Bachelor in 21 seasons. The very late move towards diversity is already a seismic shift for a pathologically beige cultural institution. But instead of trying to do something they should of done a long time ago right, they’re flailing around with new and terrible ways to try and shake things up.
The first red flag came when the show announced Lindsay as The Bachelorette before we actually saw her elimination from The Bachelor. It’s pretty likely that the early reveal was a response to leaks and not a wacky new strategy of spoiling the show themselves, but the move put her in an uncomfortable position.
Next, they introduced Lindsay to some of the dudes on live television, where her reactions to the shit show couldn’t be edited out. She had no choice but to laugh politely when a corny white dude told her, "I’ve dated black and I’m never going back."
Just after another Bachelor "success story" bit the dust (but not before cashing in on their 15 minutes with their own Freeform spinoff), the full lineup of Rachel’s suitors was revealed in an awkward Facebook live. Host Chris Harrison had to pretend these jokers have redeeming qualities without ignoring the horrifying biographical details, the only thing that makes a couple dozen bros in v-necks interesting at all.
Grant, the pooper
Grant, for example, shares that he once pooped in a two-liter Coke bottle. Another dude can’t name any bands besides the Beatles and Coldplay. Not even the Chainsmokers!
Here for the wrong reasons
Dean, who has the word "righteous" tattooed inside his lip, calls marriage an "institutionalized sham." Clearly, he is on The Bachelorette, a show about getting married, for the wrong reasons. That’s not very righteous, man.
Dean is not the only contestant with an inner lip tattoo, as you probably already assumed. Milton also has a lip tattoo and ulterior motives. When asked why he decided to try out for the show, he replies, "Real answer? Discovered. Everyone tells me I’m made for TV/movies. Doesn’t mean I’m out here hoping for that, but I would like to break into writing or acting."
A lot of their answers are just deeply alarming.
Diggy is kinda cute, though, right? Well, sorry, he’s a total douchebag.
"I spent all day with this girl and she ended up coming home with me and we had sex," he recalls. "She then received a text saying her brother was missing, so I played asleep so I didn’t have to help!"
Bryce, a firefighter, is a transphobic asshole. He says his worst date fear is, "The chick is actually a dude."
The franchise traditionally includes a plenty of goofy weirdos that don’t have much of a chance to stick around for a few episodes to liven the mood. But usually there are at least a few bland but eligible bachelors that don’t come off like immediate left swipes the second they open their mouths. While online dating is how busy 20-somethings are trying to find love these days and filtering through plenty of garbage, The Bachelorette, with its helicopter dates, has even more reason to be aspirational.
The franchise should be in crisis mode after recent tragic events. Former Bachelor Chris Soules was behind the wheel in a fatal accident, and though the incident seems to be a freak accident, Soules’ certainly had warning signs in his past. Soules has string of alcohol and driving-related arrests on his record, and his criminal record calls into question the thoroughness of the background checks producers conduct. This is a dude they presented as the ultimate catch, a farmer with a heart of gold, but his past certainly isn’t as squeaky clean as Bachelor Nation had you believing.
And sure, the premise of the show, that you can know someone at all after a few short weeks being shuffled around the globe and bending at the will of a bunch of people in headsets looking for ratings, is flawed. But it really doesn’t have to be this bleak.
Again, "Whaboom." We’re so, so, sorry, Rachel.