Hello, friends! Did you miss “The Bachelorette” last night? It was a landmark American television event, starring, among other things, Joelle “Jojo” Fletcher’s bodacious, sparkling bosom! If you did miss it, do not fear: I can fill you in, along with the various important life lessons that can be learned from this epic Tinseltown morality play. I even dragged my husband, who thinks reality TV signals the end of Western civilization, into the task. Here’s how it played out.
Me: “I have to review The Bachelorette tonight. It’s a two-hour, spectacular, incredibly earnest and magical journey into a veritable carnival of love. I really can’t watch it alone.”
Husband: [Stares, dumbfounded]
Me: “No, seriously, please? It’s THE BACHELORETTE!”
Husband, suddenly cheerful: “Oh! Is that the show that’s hosted by Mark Harmon? He’s indefatigable!”
Me: “Mark Harmon? Who’s Mark Harmon? No, it’s Chris Harrison, the nationally beloved king of Bachelor Nation, who somehow never sleeps and also never ages! He can slip into your room like a vampire when you’ve had your heart broken by a stranger you’ve known for maybe two weeks, then spin a quick, perfect line that means absolutely nothing, but also offers the perfect amount of pause before a commercial break!”
Husband, strangely enthusiastic about this whole thing: “Yeah! Mark Harmon! Don’t you remember? He was the guy who hosted ‘Double Dare!’”
Me, nodding solemnly, even though I suspect Mark Harmon did not host ‘Double Dare,’ a show from the last century on the Nickelodeon channel that featured buckets of slime randomly dumped on cheerful kids, and even though I actually secretly confirmed this by surreptitiously looking it up on Google: “Yes. Yes! Mark Harmon. He’s totally the host.”
What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to rope people into co-watching questionable reality TV. I’m not going to lie to you: “The Bachelorette” started out slow. It was slower than a lonely drip of Axe Body Spray trying to weave its way through a maze of flailing testosterone, a forest of fauxhawks, and a bevy of bad suits, heartbreak, and regret.
I Think Half These People Are Unemployed
There was various heehawing over JoJo’s broken heart—she was on the previous season of “The Bachelor,” you see, and betrayed by a rather confused Bachelor Ben, a seemingly normal person from Indiana with seemingly normal parents who also on national TV told two women he had literally just met that he loved them.
There were a few video profiles of the more memorable front-running contestants, including Jordan Rodgers, who is the brother of Aaron Rodgers, who is the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. We were informed that there is a wide-eyed “Bachelor Superfan,” who may or may not be unemployed, competing on the show. We were introduced to many guys who were busy “doing their own thing,” which also likely means they are unemployed. There were long shots of various youngish men struggling to look wistful, yet casting deep, long, searching glances into the distance, against the gentle howl of coyotes—
“WHAT IS IT WITH THE HAIR ON THESE GUYS?” my husband bellowed, crabby after about 22 minutes in, realizing he had been duped. He was right, alas; at least 60 percent of “The Bachelorette” contestants have the exact same haircut. It is hard to describe, but you know it once you see it, kind of like pornography. It is shaved tight at the sides with a massive dash of unabashed doo-wop at the top. Imagine Elvis, in all his magnificent thick-haired glory; next, imagine Elvis after you took an over-enthusiastic Flowbee to the sides of his head. That, in short, is “The Bachelorette” front-runner haircut.
The star of the show was not, as many will likely assume, Jordan Rodgers, who instantly connected with JoJo, and who was almost instantly flamed by his wounded competitors as a “failed quarterback.” It was not the man who listed his career as “hipster”—and who, amazingly, made the cut into the second round—nor was it the “erectile dysfunction specialist” with the troublesome and questionable facial hair, who called JoJo, at least if I was hearing properly, “Girlie.”
The Star of the Show? Drunk Daniel
Oh, no. No, no, no. The star of the show, by a long shot, was Drunk Daniel, the Canadian. Drunk Daniel, you see, is a male model who refers to his body as a “lambo.” Drunk Daniel was dumbfounded by a man who decided to arrive in a kilt—“Keep it cool for the first night,” he told the camera, twitching in a subtle way—and then later got completely hammered, stripping down to his very tight Canadian underwear to take a drunken swan dive into the pool.
Drunk Daniel then proceeded to skitter in a two-legged crab-walk around the house in his undies, appearing to attempt not to laugh, his hands constantly perched over you-know-where. You know, the “lambo.”
In the end, along with the professional hipster, a guy who dressed like Santa and chortled “JO JO JO!” throughout the night, a grumpy dude named Chad who will quite clearly be the villain of the season, and the moody erectile dysfunction specialist, the ever-entertaining Drunk Daniel got a rose from JoJo, meaning he will go on to the next round. After all, love may be love, but the show must go on. God bless you, Chris Harrison. You and your producers are genius.
That said, I’ll never convince my husband to watch another episode of “The Bachelorette” again. Alas, I cannot tell a lie: I’ll likely be back.