Have you been stumbling through the endless monotony of quarantine life and feel unready for the NON-STOP THRILL RIDE that will be Clare’s season of The Bachelorette? Well, too fucking bad, you rosé-swilling bitch. Or was THIS UNPRECEDENTED SEASON the only thing you’ve been living for as you try to survive these UNPRECEDENTED TIMES?!? Either way, you better get your shit together and stop crying and Googling “Become Canadian Citizen and get a job there despite having no marketable skills” while watching the Supreme Court confirmation hearings because Clare has been waiting THIRTY-NINE YEARS for this!!! We’ve got 31 men, one COVID bubble, and an undisclosed number of Bachelorettes. Clare needs this. You need this. America needs this.
Before we go any further, let’s just get a couple things out of the way. One: I can and will entertain any and all conspiracy theories and I want them all in the comments below. Our society has been overrun with conspiracy theories but my god, reality TV conspiracy theories FEED ME. Who has a cousin who has a cousin who has an ex-girlfriend that does food styling for the show? We need the GOSS.
The other thing is — my sweet Good Place Janet, was this a completely standard issue episode of The Bachelorette. But maybe getting a completely standard issue episode of The Bachelorette is actually fine? Can we just have one television program, or moment in our lives, that feels normal and decent and infuriating for all the reasons that existed before the… whole thing we’re dealing with out there? We’ve been talking about Clare being the Bachelorette since MARCH 2. In the beginning of March, Pete Buttegieg was still running for president. We’ve lived a life.
Let’s get to it.
The show is getting us ready for some shit because Chris Harrison is appearing in this hotel service entrance to guide us through the process. He’s reassuring us that everyone has been tested and even though there’s a global pandemic outside, Clare is going to find love, damnit.
So it’s off to meet Clare approximately 12 years ago in February when we see Chris Harrison ask her to be the Bachelorette. Then she’s off having a great time greeting the world and going on talk shows. Remember live studio audiences? We get to know Clare in her past seasons and they pretend like Bachelor: Winter Games doesn’t exist. She just can’t wait for her journey to begi—
Whoa-oh! Oh no. George Stephanopoulos is on our screen telling us that the entire state of California is now sheltering in place. Do you remember when our elected officials cared enough about this pandemic that they made everyone stay home? Production is shut down and Clare is still 39. Things are bleak in Bachelor Nation. Fast-forward to June 2020 and production is back on! Is it because cases are slowing? Not really! Is it because the average citizen has access to reliable and fast testing? Definitely not! Is there any reason? We need programming!
So everyone is heading to Palm Springs’ La Quinta Resort, which apparently is different than a LaQuinta Inn. I wish they were doing this whole thing in a LaQuinta Inn and had to do every rose ceremony around the indoor pool. One of the things we’re robbed of because of the pandemic is the Meet the Guys video packages. We don’t get to see some guy named, oh, I don’t know, Braxtin running along the beach with his pet goat while he tells us that the airplane repossession business he inherited from his grandfather is the most important thing to him and the reason why he’s never fallen in love. Instead, there’s way too much footage of the guys in their hotel rooms desperately trying to get their brand across. It only took Bennett 42 seconds to say that he went to Harvard. Harvard men are nothing but consistent and they are consistent in their awfulness.
It’s time for the first night and Clare is wearing an amazing dress. It’s basically a disco ball crossed with a figure skating outfit and I’m here for it. Chris Harrison takes her to have a quick tete-a-tete before the men arrive to talk about everything that’s happened in her 39 years on this earth to get her to this moment. This show really needs you to have watched all the previous material. Clare also reveals what is going to be her catchphrase this season: “Show up.” What makes her ready for this season? She shows up. What does she want her ideal man to do? She’s just looking for someone to show up. What is she going to do before she shows out? Show up!
It’s time for the arrivals! The first guy out of the limo asks her to take a deep breath with him. I know they’ve all been tested, but it’s in the air, my guy. I mean we could talk about all the introductions but there’s only one that matters: Dale. Dale. Oh, Dale. They lingered on that limo door when that cute lil’ dude stepped out, and Clare’s body is ready. He hugs her so tight that he completely lifts her off the ground. After he heads inside, Clare has a full-body, shuddering romantic orgasm and starts muttering to herself that she’s just met her husband. Chris Harrison has to run onto the scene to stop her from falling over and/or running after Dale to burrow into his chest cavity. Clare says her entire world went dark and the only thing left was Dale. There is no sun, no moon, no stars. The only light in the sky is Dale. Chris Harrison is like “uh…okay?” and the rest of the guys have to arrive. Aside from Dale, the show doesn’t do much to differentiate these guys from one another, so I guess if you’re not Dale, you’re not a real person.
Once we’re inside for the cocktail party, Clare is just biding her time by almost breaking into tears until she can GET MORE DALE. She says she knows her husband is in that room as she makes direct and prolonged eye contact with Dale. She finally sits down with Dale and they talk about her mom being in an assisted living facility and Dale says his sister also has underlying health issues, y’know, like a human man would. They also both say that they’re empaths. Does anyone feel any chemistry between them? I know that people feel things differently and show that feeling differently, but… is there any chemistry here? No one is matching anyone’s energy here, even as empaths, but Clare knows what she wants. SHE’S 39!
The only real drama that unfolds during the cocktail party is this incredibly convoluted drama that the lesser Tyler C. is bringing about Yosef. Yoself has strong Gaston energy and has been sliding into girls’ DMs on Instagram. If you’re hot enough to be cast on The Bachelorette and you’re single, I assume you’re contractually obligated to hit on girls via Instagram. Tyler C. doesn’t really say when this DMing was taking place. He gets around to it late but it seems like Yosef was messaging women while he was in quarantine. At the resort or just anytime in the last seven months? Tyler pulls Yosef to the side to let him know that he’s got his card up his sleeve and he will tell Clare if forced. Yosef decides that he’d rather go to Clare and confess to Tyler C. being a lil’ bitch who won’t stay out of his business. Clare says she’d rather just have the two of them figure it out, so she grabs Tyler C. The faceless horde of contesticles watches from afar and complains about not getting enough time with Clare.
Yosef’s main defense is, “How reckless would I have looked,” which is not a denial. The best part of this confrontation is Clare asking Yosef if he has a girlfriend and then asking the follow-up, “Do you have a girl who thinks she’s your girlfriend?” BEAUTIFUL. AMAZING. This Sharon Stone lookin’ woman is really going to take these men down, isn’t she?
She also decides she doesn’t really want to deal with this, so she heads off with Blake Moynes. We have to say the full last name of each Blake because they’re both Blake M’s. For some reason, this is untenable. This is too goddamn much and this must be made right. One of them has to go by his middle name. Fuck. Both of their middle names are “Jaxon”? Damn it. Anyway, Blake sits down with her and she reveals that he was the only guy who contacted her during the production shutdown. Even though it was against the rules. She says it’s always good to break the rules if you care about what you’re doing. A risk isn’t a risk if you’re sure that the woman likes you and is going through a hard time. It’s the Lloyd Dobbler rule. He takes another risk and gives her a kiss.
Chris Harrison drops off the first impression rose and it goes to Dale. It just goes to Dale, okay? We all know where this is going. This is like watching a romantic comedy about your friend and her boyfriend, Dale.
It’s time for the Rose Ceremony. Blake Moynes, Eazy, Ben, Riley, Zac J, Tyler S, Joe, Jason, Demar, Chasen, Jordan C, Blake Monar, Kenny, Brendan, Garin, Ed, Bennett, Zac C, Jay, Brandon, Ivan, and Yosef all get roses. I can’t wait for all of them to be dejected when Clare falls madly in love with Dale and they have to start the season over.
Here’s to the next, inevitable Bachelorette and THE MOST DRAMATIC SEASON EVER!