thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

Hello Again, The Bachelorette

In Television, Uncategorized on May 18, 2012 at 7:00 am

The Bachelorette is back but sadly not better than ever. Last week, we were told that this season is making Bachelorette history by featuring its first single mom, Emily Maynard. And the production moved ALL the way to North Carolina for Emily and her daughter Ricki. Also, in a new twist, the men all knew the Bachelorette would be Emily. History in the making! Okay, maybe not. But Girls Likes Giants still wants to chime on the new Bachelorette season, Emily, and the season premiere.

Sarah T:

The Bachelorette is back! On a scale of negative 3 million to 1, how invested are you in this season? The woman looking for love is a beautiful robot with the mannerisms of a game show hostess, and the show expects us to believe that the words “luxury brand consultant,” strung together, can reasonably be understood as a “job.” That is not a job, show! That is a made-up thing that people put on their business cards so they can pretend like they’re doing something with their lives besides paying too much money for hair products and belts and macaroons. WHERE I COME FROM PEOPLE DON’T HAVE THE LUXURY OF BELTS. (Technically false, but true in spirit. I own four belts. 2/4 are inherited from my mom, one I bought in high school, and one I got at H&M three years ago.)

I don’t know, guys. I miss Ashley. Ashley was a mess sometimes, but her dorky-fun-loving-girl-next-door deal was relatable and entertaining. Emily only operates on polite Southern belle setting, and while her manners are commendable it is dullsville to watch. I’m sure she is a lovely person! But that doesn’t mean she makes for compelling television. This was really brought home for me when she had identical conversations with all 500 of the bachelors as she greeted them outside her house. Like, it didn’t matter if a dude was carrying a dinosaur egg or dressed like a grandma or chopping in on his own helicopter (all actual things that happened, because this is the reality we have created for ourselves, America), her response was exactly the same: a sweet smile, a “so nice to meet  you,” a “see you inside.” Anything could have happened — a dinosaur could have hatched out of that egg — and she would not have varied her boilerplate greeting.

Also, who was your favorite and least favorite bachelor? My favorite was any of the ones who left at the end of the episode, because that is what I am doing too this season. Also the dad who has six kids and doesn’t think he’ll find love at this point in his life made me sad. I hope very much that he is wrong and that he finds love tomorrow. My least favorite is the luxury brand consultant, who’s clearly being set up as this season’s Bentley/Courtney, but how many times we are expected to fall for this whole “here for the wrong reasons” scenario? Actually, I refuse to bow to the storyline construct that’s being set in motion. I take back everything I said earlier about luxury brand consulting. It is my new dream career because it’s so aspirational. Show me your yachting ways, young man.

Phoebe B.:

My thoughts are not quite as outraged as Sarah’s, although I did feel mildly bored by the extra long episode. I was intrigued to meet (televisually at least) Emily because she was talked about all the time last season. It seemed like, for Ashley, and for some of the more unsavory men (I’m looking at you Bentley) Emily was the paragon of Bachelorette-ness, beauty, and awesomeness. But, I must say that I liked Ashley WAY better because of her anxious, sort of nerdy, a little bit crazy and goofy, but sweet and caring quality. She just seemed more fun and personable. But maybe Emily was shy (or so she says in this People interview) or nervous or all of the above. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, at least until next week. Plus, the guys are totally crazy, as per usual, and that is where my most of my pleasure in watching comes from.

Let’s talk about some of the guys’ entrances: skateboards, grandma costumes (like the girl who brought her grandma to meet Ben in this season’s Bachelor), dinosaur eggs, adorable notes to quell nerves, the helicopter entrance by Sarah’s favorite luxury brand consultant, and then there was the glass slipper. Awesome. So many grand entrances, so little time. But, despite all these unique, albeit strange and sometimes off-putting Emily-greeting moments, what stood out to me was that all each of them could say was how gorgeous she was. That seemed to be the line of the night–all these dudes could not get past how pretty she was. And she is totally pretty and that dress (see above) was amazing. But the party seemed to lack the luster of Ashley’s first get-together last year (maybe they all weren’t as drunk) and there were few fun, intimate, or even hilarious moments in the premiere. Remember the masked guy from last year? Or the guy who got super drunk in episode one and had to go home? Ashley’s season was awesome!

I am hoping that Emily loosens up as the show goes on and that we get to see some of her self-proclaimed sass underneath that shiny exterior. She did loosen up a little as the greetings progressed, or so it seemed to me, so maybe we’ll get to see more of that. Also, while her story is certainly sad, I feel like the show would do well do not talk about it quite so much–like follow Emily’s lead, she’s not in the mood to chat about her past so much right now. She wants to move on with one of the handsome men who have come to court her. At least for now, I shall keep watching because seeing lots of men vie for one woman’s attention is kind of fun–plus, everyone on the show is drunk the whole time and so emotions always run hot and high and hilarious.

Favorite bachelors left in the game = Race car driver guy and chef from San Francisco guy (I don’t know their names yet!).

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