If you guys think I’m gonna recap all 5 ghoulish hours of emotionally reckless, manipulative, sadomasochistic treachery we were subjected to this week-
Except it’s gonna be real short. Because I think this show has finally broken me. At least until May 28th. (When Becca Kufrin premieres as The Bachelorette and we all collectively ignore her new fly-tattoo.)
The finale episode begins with the Luyendyk family. The Luyendyk’s are like the White Elephant present that no one wants to receive at a holiday gift party. They look like a nice enough family- but really they are a winter hat filled with ketchup packets. Pass it on to someone unsuspecting as quickly as possible!
Last week I surmised that Arie was a psychopath. As we all know, now more than ever- I was right. What I didn’t know until the finale, is that Arie comes from a family of psychopaths. His parents are as unaware of other people’s feelings as Arie is. The family constantly mentioned Lauren to Becca and actively compared the two- only to suggest that Arie pick Becca (advice he temporarily heeded). This is exactly the kind of garbage insensitivity and thoughtlessness that led their son to making a gigantic ass of himself. A billboard inspiring, Minnesota law-creating ASS.
Anyway- we know how this part goes- Arie breaks up with Lauren only after making her recite her weird little pre-proposal monologue. But hey, at least Lauren increased her word-count on the show by about 400%. Arie proposes to Becca and it’s happily ever after.
Or so we thought….
Arie breaks up with Becca weeks later ON-CAMERA and subjects America to an especially awkward, painful breakup wherein Arie whines, attempts to gaslight Becca, and won’t leave. Becca may be “Minnesota Nice” (look it up, it’s a thing), but she’s also got some frontier spirit in her- she handled that whole situation with grace and a shocking amount of dignity. It’s been a long time since I went through a break-up, but from what I remember, there was a lot more yelling involved.
To say Arie is a 36 year old man-child is insulting to children. He is a psychopath who takes no responsibility for his own actions. Sure, dude, you can have whatever FEELINGS, you want, but your ACTIONS have consequences. I care so little about Arie that I won’t detail all the horrible ways he handled every aspect of this unfortunate situation that he alone created. And I don’t care what happens to those two non-verbal ding-dongs. I do, however, wish Becca every happiness.
The only thing left to be upset about is Chris Harrison’s obvious delight in his trafficking of human misery. Now I haven't read/watched the 50 Shades of Grey franchise (I mean.. I may have seen clips here and there.....), but I imagine a substantial portion of Bachelor Nation has. I wonder if Chris’ bizarre combination of being both the instigator of misery and the shoulder to cry on is not somehow a BDSM turn-on for people. I personally just find it really confusing, manipulative, and gross.
(Apparently these two didn't have great "chemistry"???)
I’ve read so many "think pieces" on the show since it aired and let me just say this: this show is fake and phony and edited within a syllable of it’s life. It’s contrived and heteronormative and has a major diversity problem. It reinforces totally old-fashioned gender-roles, relishes in exploiting young people's romantic desires, and at an unbelievably low point, even used racism as a plot-device.
And....... I will continue to watch this show. Probably for a very long time. What does that say about me, about us, about America? As Arie would say, "I don't know...ya know?" I promise I'll take some time to reflect on it during these long two and a half months without Bachelor programming. I think it has something to do with the fact that these people signed up willingly for this show and that my powers of empathy have a limit. But like my 8th grade hero, Mulan, I will reflect...
In conclusion: When Arie was announced I thought the only real joy of his season would be the blissful detachment that came along with watching such an obvious dope “find love”. We got our wish. And now the only real collateral damage in all of this - Becca- will have her turn in the network-televised sun. And she deserves it. Becca is sweet, smart, a liberal/feminist(!), already knows Rachel Zoe, and works in PR. She is a dream contestant for the franchise. Let's just hope that ABC provides her with better men than Arie. Kind of like finding a better White Elephant present than a hat full of ketchup.