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Reality Bites

Yeah, hi. Sorry this is late. I've been busy/disgusted. I’m not recapping this whole 3 hour not-eleganza depression-extravaganza. Category is: Obfuscating reality.

Monday’s episode was exactly what I feared from the beginning. And it managed to be even worse than I thought it would be. Becca picked Garrett despite the fact that she acknowledged that her relationship with Blake felt easy from the beginning. Becca said that they understood each other, that they could be themselves, that they made each other laugh, and that Blake would challenge her. Becca is so right in understanding how important those characteristics are in a longterm relationship, and so tragically wrong in disregarding them for a man who shares the same leisure activities as her dead father. Fly fishing is a HOBBY, not a reason to share your life with someone.

If I may armchair psychoanalyze for a moment here- I think Becca didn’t choose Blake because their relationship was so good that on some deep, subconscious level she was afraid to be with Blake because being with Blake could mean losing him like she lost her father when she was 17. That’s my guess. My other guess is that Becca is the kind of person who repeats over and over the things that she “wants” not because she actually wants them, but because she wants to want them. She talked about a “50/50” partnership the entire season and then chose a man who is obviously not her equal. What does that tell you? Anecdotally, anytime I work with a director who makes a point of saying that “the actor’s safety is most important to me” I freak out because it typically means that they have been responsible for hurting actors in the past. It's like people who describe themselves as “chill”…. they’re all red flags. You get my drift…

I'm also really pissed at Becca for intimating that one of the reasons she didn’t choose Blake is because he was so bold as to express his emotions during this psychotic process. Becca said essentially that she experienced Blake’s emotional honesty as being destabilizing. That is so deeply unfair. Everyone has “feelings”. EVERYONE. Everyone poops, everyone has feelings. It’s what we do with them, and how we process them that helps us navigate through life. (You could say the same for poop, honestly.) Garrett might not show his anxiety/concern, but Garrett’s previous marriage fell apart in TWO MONTHS. And he’s your idea of long-term stability? GIRL, PLEASE.

Now let’s get to the really awful part. Garrett takes a moment during the “After The Final Rose” hour to address his “Instagram likes”. This segment made me so mad I wanted to throw my shoes at the TV or just turn it off altogether. If you need a quick reminder of what Garrett “liked” on Instagram please click here and be horrified all over again. He covered so many bases - endorsing images that called the Parkland kids "crisis actors", an image of a soldier throwing an immigrant child “back over the wall”, he “liked” an image suggesting that all liberal women are obese and unattractive, while conservative women are “Fox babes”, that Colin Kaepernick is not a patriot… the list goes on and on…. not that you would have gathered ANY OF THAT from the show since NOTHING was talked about with ANY SPECIFICITY. Instead the issue was turned into some generic “obstacle” that “brought them closer” as a couple.

If we’re gonna talk about it, which we need to, then let’s TALK ABOUT IT. If being racist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, alternative-reality-victim-shaming-wackjobs is what it means to have “conservative values” then that’s good to know. Does Garrett have “conservative values”? There used to be such a thing as principled conservatism. It had to do with TAXES. Not destroying other people’s humanity in a pathetic attempt to combat the fear and ignorance eating yourself up from the inside. Garrett apologized saying that he never meant to hurt anyone. How is that possible? Logically, how? It's more important what Garrett didn't say. He didn't say, “I don’t believe in what those images stand for”, he simply said that he was sorry because it wasn’t what “Becca stands for”.

I feel sick over this. I don’t want this show to be political, I want it to be emotional voyeurism/escapism. But in 2018, we watched a woman pick a man who believes that the Parkland students are crisis actors over a man who is a survivor of a school shooting. With Rachel’s season, we watched as they inserted a racist man to compete for the love of the first ever African-American Bachelorette. Whether purposefully or not-- that is debatable-- this show keeps bumping into super relevant, important, sensitive political and cultural issues affecting our country and they either pretend it isn’t happening (Garrett), or they use it as an opportunity for added “drama” (Lee). It’s disgusting and disgraceful and I'm once again seriously questioning how I keep watching this show. People rushing to Garrett’s defense say that he has every right to “like” whatever images he wants. And they’re right, he does. Similarly, I too have every right to be disgusted.

Now let’s go find that Tommy Lee Jones lookalike…

PS I really love both of these articles about the finale, if you want further reading/insight:

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