Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Venture Capitalist/Chickens
I named my Bachelorette Fantasy League Hakufrin Matata this year in honor of our latest ritualistic sacrifice/Bachelorette, Becca Kufrin. But the jury is still out on what kind of season this will be. I was hoping that after Arie Luyendyk-Hindenburg's epic fail, and Rachel's complicated season (Lee's fault, not Rachel's!), we could kick back and just enjoy the manipulated emotional voyeurism we'd grown accustomed to. But it appears that the Bachelorette gods have already spited me- for within minutes of the first episode airing, the internet has shown us that this season could be anything but “Hakkunah Matata”. (Guys, it means no worries for the rest of your days, in case you’ve forgotten...)
Lest we forget how we arrived at this moment, we begin with a flashback of Becca crying, tears streaming down her face, whisked away quickly by her fly-adorned hand. (Still really trying to understand that tattoo choice.) Saying the whole experience felt like “it was all a dream”, we watch Becca, an anatomically divine phoenix rise from the ashes of the snow covered plains of Minnesota. With the help of a spring-time montage underscored by Hans Zimmer, we watch her regain her strength, and rebuild her lost mojo.
Finally, our Becca is reborn- brought back once again to her former glory as an incredibly beautiful midwest gal- resplendent in ABC's new Ferrari. (I LOVE that they put her in a red Ferrari. Anything that feels like a subliminal f-u to Arie just feels so right.)
Becca is coached by the previous three Bachelorettes, all of whom are still engaged to the men they met on the show. And just to rub it in- they all ended up with their “first impression rose” recipients. No pressure! Netflix pitch alert- Captain Planet meets Minority Report, but it’s just women who accurately picked their life partners after a 15 minute conversation. They solve crimes by bursting into random rooms and accurately judging everyone!
OK, Rachel sages all of Becca (love you Rachel), as well as the greater Los Angeles region with a “giant doobie” full of sage. Hi Kaitlyn, love you, miss you. Also- Jojo still has the best hair in the game. Don't @ me.
Now we meet the men:
There’s Clay- the football playing, small-town nerd.
Garrett- the goofy jawline from Reno. UNFORTUNATELY MORE ON GARRETT LATER.
Jordan- the human embodiment of an Instagram algorithm and the symbol of American decline.
Lincoln- originally from Nigeria, very good at working out on rooftops.
Joe- a dreamboat who looks like the guy from Bring It On if he had been marinating in Eau de Chicago for 25 years.
Speaking of cologne, there's Jean Blanc- a self identified cologne obsessive who isn’t, as I presumed, a sommelier of cologne, but just someone who loves to smell great. Honestly- make fun of it if you want- but what actually matters more than smelling good? Nothing, that’s right. Nothing.
Lastly, we have Colton, a former football player who now runs a cystic fibrosis charity. What an opportunist- he’s only going on this show to raise money and awareness for a horrible disease. Sick!
Suited up and ready to appear entertained for 15 hours straight, Becca looks beautiful in her pearl encrusted evening gown. Chris welcomes Becca to “her mansion” (that she doesn’t live in), and we begin.
Colton brings confetti, Clay looks as nervous as I did when I met John Slattery. Just kidding, I've never met John Slattery, but I'm not opposed to it....
Jean Blanc might smell nice but seeing his shirt/bow-tie/jacket reminded me that something else in life does matter: tailoring.
Meanwhile, Jordan talks about his outfit and his shoes hitting the floor as being “the heartbeat of a gentlemen”. Garrett’s minivan entrance is the real-life embodiment of that joke about lesbians bringing a U-Haul to a first date. I'm guessing Garrett would probably hate that joke because — MORE ON GARRETT LATER.
Blake rides in on an ox, telling Becca that their relationship is as strong as an-- you get it. This further confirms his bountiful supply of livestock and clichés.
Then there’s a man named Kamil who has the distinction of making the worst entrance ever in the history of this show. He tells Becca to “come here”. She takes a suspicious step towards him and then he says something about wanting a “50/50 relationship”. Right. Except wrong show, Kamil. Not the dynamic here. Not even close. Then he says, “come closer so it’s 60/40”. YUGH. There’s only room for one Kamil/Camille on reality TV and that spot is taken:
Ok, the guys mill about and feel threatened by each other in a way that makes no sense. Christon the Harlem Globetrotter dunks on Becca (cool!) Becca remarks that with everyone suddenly playing basketball, there are “so many balls” (not as cool!). To everyone’s surprise- the guy in the chicken suit doesn’t get completely drunk and jump in the pool.
Becca sends her first contestant home before the rose ceremony and we have our Miss Vanjie of the season. But because this is The Bachelorette and not Drag Race, we are left with no iconic memes, just a guy who looks like the Kroger-brand of Tobias Menzies:
This genius tries to save himself from elimination by telling Becca that despite the fact that they’d met multiple times in Minnesota, he doesn’t remember meeting her. A regular Rico Suave.
About Becca- I like her, she seems sweet and smart and kind. She’s also, from what I gather from her Instagram feed, a liberal feminist who loves Joe Biden. #same! I like that she said she’s looking for “a husband, a partner, and a teammate”. Those are great nouns!
Now for the moment of truth: Becca gives her super, duper important “first impression rose” to Garrett. I thought that was a great choice before I read about how-- MORE ON GARRETT LATER.
17 hours later, the Rose Ceremony begins. Becca keeps 22 of the 28. (I'm making up that number but it feels right.) She sends people home that I’ve already forgotten- oh right, the guy with the text from the girl he wasn’t “really” dating (I don’t care!), as well as some other people I thought were cute, or at least cuter than the people she kept around.
Biggest, hugest, most regrettable mistake is that she sent Joe the Grocer aka Trader Joe home! WHYYYYYYY???? I took this one personally. My grandfather was a Russian immigrant who moved to Chicago. He became a hot dog salesman and then eventually had his own grocery store. He had a Russian-Chicago accent and a full head of white hair until the day he died. He outlived my grandmother, lost his short-term memory, and eventually had so many girlfriends at his retirement home that they would complain to my Dad whenever we visited about not getting enough attention. Problem was he wasn’t a player, he just literally didn’t remember if he missed a date, or took Sheila to the movie downstairs instead of Shirley etc. Anyway, Becca, you’ve made your first mistake. You’ve been warned.
Finally, we have arrived at Garrett-gate, the issue that has ruined my “Hakkunah Matata-ness".
(Click on the link so I don't have to go through it- but basically Garrett has apparently "liked" a lot of really offensive alt-rightish stuff on his Instagram account.) Why can’t we just have a nice time watching people fall in love and get rejected? Why don't the producers scour these people’s social media accounts for this stuff? Or do they??? We’ve been through this with Lee. I don’t like it one bit. AND to make it 1000% worse- Garrett got the first impression rose!
If she picks Garrett and all those "likes" are "real" then what do we say other than:
(Coincidentally, that's also my reaction to "running outside", or just "running" in general.)
Anyway- we’ll see how it pans out. But I’m already worried and it’s day one. I miss the days where all we had to talk about during the Bachelorette was slut-shaming and toxic masculinity.