'Cinderella In The Flesh'
The long-awaited ninth (NINTH!) season of The Bachelorette is finally here, and we're all eager to see scrunch-faced Desiree Hartsock embark on her "journey" to find "love." And we're all even more eager to see Des's straight-talkin', white-trash brother Nate ruin it for her, again.
But do we really have to suffer through these two-hour slogs of people consistently misusing basic personal pronouns to get the full Bachelorette experience? Of course not. Here's what to watch and what to fast-forward over.
ABC teases us for two minutes with all of the upcoming dramz on the season, including the obligatory guy who has a girlfriend back home, and another guy who says about Desiree, and I quote, "All of the air gets sucked out of the room when she walks in." Flattering! Other things you don't need to see right now: Desiree crying, men crying, people using the word "erupt," and lots of sweaty, hot-tubby making out. There will be plenty of time for all of that later.
Desiree Reflects On Her Journey, Tours Bachelor Manse
Desiree arrives at the Bachelor Manse, high atop Bachelor Mountain, and is greeted by Chris Harrison, who may or may not live in the poolhouse out back. Skip if for no other reason than to avoid hearing Des use the terms "soul-mate," "Prince Charming," "man of my dreams," "put a ring on it," and, most creepily, "Cinderella in the flesh." Only interesting thing is when Desiree reflects on her hardscrabble childhood, although this time around she fails to mention how she and her family lived in a tent. Like we're just gonna forget about that.
She also reflects on her romance with Sean and says, through abundant tears, "I still have a positive outlook and know that love is out there, no matter what." Ugh. Other things that happen: Chris Harrison gives Des a car, she talks to herself while driving, and ABC tries to make us fall in love with her by showing her rollerblading in a bikini and striped knee socks, trying on cowboy hats by herself, and chasing seagulls off the beach, even though they live there and were just minding their own business.
Chris Harrison Interviews Des
Des uses the word "fairy tale," "Cinderella," "Prince Charming" and "blessing" multiple times, each, in rapid succession, within the first thirty seconds of this conversation. Chris Harrison nods while making a face like he is passing a kidney stone, quietly. Later, we see Desiree put on a sparkly dress while compulsively repeating the phrases "Prince Charming" and "fairy tale." She also speculates about designing her own wedding dress, and cries. This is going to be a long season, you guys.
Here are some of the hotter messes, as well as some assured frontrunners, to look out for this season:
Bryden. He's an Iraq war veteran, and he joined the military because a lady broke his heart. As if that weren't enough, he also has a German Shepherd who wears a pink bow. This one will go far.
Will. Awk, yell-y banker with receding hairline who practices Bikram yoga. This is funny because he's black. This one will not go far.
Drew. Has a major case of the douche-face; however, he had a rough childhood and has an intellectually disabled sister, so...points.
Zak W. That's one K, no C. The fact that he is identified as "Zak W" makes me think there might be ANOTHER person named Zak with no C in the house. I don't feel good about this. All you need to know about Zak is that he's a reformed hedge-fund guy with crazy eyes who lives in Texas and enjoys gratuitous nudity.
Robert. He has a company in which people spin signs. This company has "gone global," he tells us. Which I think means they hired a guy to spin a sign in front of a taco shop in Tijuana. Robert, in a fruitless bid to charm us, tells his one-eyed dog he's bringing home a mom for him. The dog looks skeptical. He's heard this before, obviously.
Brandon. "Adrenaline junkie." Dad walked out on the family. Mom's an addict. But he has grandparents who are SO IN LOVE YOU GUYS AND HE WANTS EXACTLY WHAT THEY HAVE. This guy will be catnip to Desiree.
Parade Of Suitors
This is one of the highlights of every season, when the fame-whoring gimmicky bullshit gets turned up to eleven. Since we're in Season 9 (NINE!!) of The Bachelorette, the stakes are high. Needless to say, Kalon, his helicopter, and his blinding veneers are at the top of everyone's mind. Here are the entrances worth noting:
Brad. Accountant. Would you trust an accountant named Brad? I wouldn't. Brad brought a wishbone. Like, an actual bone. From a chicken. Or a turkey, I guess.
Michael G. Federal prosecutor. His gimmick is digging through the fountain to find Des's penny so she can have a "do-over." Then he gives her a new penny, and, you know what, it doesn't matter.
Kasey. Ad exec. Second Kasey with a K in recent Bachelor memory. Do we think they're changing their names to fit the Bachelor crappy-name style guide, or were all their parents all just bad spellers? He rattles off a bunch of hashtags. Kasey is now this season's equivalent of Travis, the man who carried around the ostrich egg long past the point where it was cute.
Jonathan. Lawyer. Sleazy. Absolutely oozing sleaze, this one. He hands her a letter that's an invite to the fantasy suite. Des is not impressed.
Zak W. Shirtless guy. Patents the phrase "Will you accept these abs?" (TM)
Larry. ER doctor. Attempts to teach her a dance move and then dips her and her dress rips. Welp, there goes Larry.
Nick R. Tailor-slash-magician (actual job title). He brings her a paper rose, which he burns up, and hands her a real rose. Actually kind of impressive! This is what Michael Scott would do if he were a contestant on The Bachelorette.
Diogo. Ski-resort manager. Steps out of limo dressed as a knight, in full armor. "You look like a princess," he says. It was worth the excruciating armor-related discomfort to make that line work, wasn't it, Diogo?
Mike R. Dental student. He wears a white coat and refers to himself as "McDreamy." Which seems a bit of a stretch for a dental student. But at least now we know who in this country is still watching Grey's Anatomy, amirite?
Brian. Financial advisor. Tall and handsome but I could see him totally being a serial killer. But a sexy serial killer.
Nick M. Investment advisor. He reads Des a poem that incorporates both "here for the right reason" and "journey." It's not a funny poem.
AND FINALLY. A tiny child gets out of the limo carrying a flower, followed by his dad, who whispers, "Hey, buddy, you ready?" because this isn't horrible at all. Ben, this child's exploitative monster of a father, is an "entrepreneur," whatever that means. He describes his tiny son as his "best friend." Cripes. Grandma is in the limo, apparently supporting this charade, and you should be ashamed of yourself, madam.
The opening toast is generic. The men comment on how beautiful she is. At the beginning, as expected, the men are all scheming about how they can each get to talk to Des -- the usz -- and the very low-level machinations among the men of how they will get "one-on-one" time with Des are boring and dumb. Yadda.
But there are some highlights! These include Brandon handing Des his mom's seven-year sobriety coin, which is nice but highly, highly inappropriate, right? Does Mom know Brandon took her sobriety coin? Also, there goes the whole "anonymous" part of that whole deal. Some other highlights: Ben, a man who pimped out his child moments earlier, establishes himself as a front-runner. He gushes about his parents' perfect marriage and camping. Des loves to camp, turns out. She just feels really at home in a tent. Des refers to Ben as "husband material" and then gives him a rose. Ruh-roh.
The other men, sensing danger, try hard to impress Desiree with dancing, boring conversation, shirtlessness (in the case of Zak W.), pantlessness (also Zak W.), and skinny-dipping (Zak W. again). Only thing you need to know is that Des gives Zak W. a pity rose at the end of everything.
We're all rooting for Bryden, despite his stupid name and stupid haircut. Because he's a veteran. And his dog's his best friend. After Bryden busts out a story about how he touched a child's life in Iraq, Des gives him a rose. I mean, duh.
But you can skip the impromptu soccer match with Juan Pablo. Just picture Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots, add in a soccer ball and some show-offy facial hair, and you get the idea. The situation quickly devolves into a maniacal game of soccer where the men are playing FOR THEIR LIVES and taking dives. You can also skip her conversations with Drew and Larry; just take my word for it, they're both awful. Drew seems like the type who would bust out a Zach Braff-esque baby voice in a pinch. Nonetheless, Des gives him a rose. Larry is smarmy as hell, but has no luck with Des, who stares at him with unadulterated grossed-out-ed-ness.
But one convo is getting its own section…
Creepy Jonathan Gets The Heave-Ho
Drunk Jonathan is really pushing for this fantasy-suite thing. He borrows Vicky Gunvalson's "love tank" reference, and we're all just waiting for the "woo hoo" to follow. But the "woo hoo" never comes. After Jonathan tries to frog-march Des into the fantasy suite, Des tells him off and -- gasp! -- asks him to leave because he's making her uncomfortable. This is UNPRECEDENTED. (Well, the "asking him to leave" part.)
It's pretty much never worth it to watch the rose ceremony, especially early on in the season, since who are these people, anyway? People who get roses, in order: Brandon, Zach K, Will, Brooks, Juan Pablo, Brad (who?), Kasey, James (who?), Robert, Bryan, Dan, Chris, and, FINALLY, Mikey.
The remaining "gentlemen," who include Diogo (knight), Larry (dipper), and Nick R. (the magician-slash-tailor), are sent packing. Diogo seems a little too devastated after being sent home. He's really regretting that knight suit, you guys.
"Coming Up, On This Season Of The Bachelorette"
Tears, fights, helicopters, tongue kissing, secret girlfriends, people who are here for the wrong reasons, villainy, stern lectures from Chris Harrison, comparisons of people to "cancer," mountains, deep v-neck tee shirts, making out in the water, fireworks, and more tears. We know.
The profiles of the guys and their limo intros should cover it, plus a few deliciously painful conversations among Des and her suitors.