The continuing journey that is The Bachelorette can be explained thusly: 25 men enter, one man leaves. The circle of life continues. This season’s lucky bachelorette, Atlanta assistant district attorney Andi Dorfman, is only part of this circle of life, but her part is excellent. It’s the rest of the crowd that is slightly meh.
Of course, Andi came to prominence in the Juan Pablo season of The Bachelor, telling off the Latin lothario after her night in the Fantasy Suite. Neither of those words should be capitalized, but that’s The Bachelor. It is just enough dumb mixed with just enough stupid with a dash of drama to make the show compulsively watchable. For the most part.
The problem is always the daters. That bears repeating, bcause the Bachelorette is a known quantity. Everyone liked Andi going in, if everyone means People magazine and People magazine is to be judged as the magazine of record for people who watch The Bachelor/-ette. The problem with her season is the dudes. And in this week’s two night event, that problem came out in spades.
They are boring. The one major source of drama is not even coming from the show itself. While this season of The Bachelorette was still filming, dater Eric Hill was killed in a para-gliding accident. The show ran a tribute at the beginning of the season, but Eric was still seen on camera for the first three episodes of the season before being kicked out by Andi on Monday night’s episode. Andi asked Eric to leave before a rose ceremony after being accused of faking things for the cameras. Eric felt that Andi was acting, not being all loosey goosey or something. It was a weird way to exit the program, made only weirder when real world events intruded on the reality TV show that a soon-to-be dead person was filming.
The truth is, because Eric has not died yet, his departure was not exactly sad. In hindsight, sure, but not at the time. No, the saddest portion of these two episodes came from Dylan, a blandly likeable (?) guy who saved the story of his own eight year old dead brother for when it was most useful for the producers. It is as if he sat at home, wondering, ‘When should I talk about my dead brother? Not too soon, but a few weeks in should work.” And, bam. Here he is, emptying his soul about his dead baby brother, and getting a rose in the process. Not a pity rose, Andi wanted to make sure the cameras knew, but it was totally a pity rose. The rest of the episode was normal Bachelorette. The Journey Continues! A basketball game with men versus women! A rappel down a building infused with metaphor! A little bit of making out! No subtlety whatsoever!
Dylan got a rose, Brian got a rose at the basketball game, and Marcus got a rose on his one-on-one rappelling date. After that, though, there was no rose ceremony. Since Eric was told to take a hike during the cocktail party, the producers of the show felt it was inappropriate to show the rose ceremony. This seems very tactful of them, until they made the ensuing interview about Eric all about Andi, and Andi’s feelings. Which makes a kind of sense, because it is Andi’s season, and people may want to know what she thinks of the whole thing. It’s not like the guy left on great terms, though. The Bachelorette producers had a fine line to walk this season. It is a line they can mostly avoid until the Hometown Dates, when the cast will receive the news that Eric Hill has died. Until then, though, the journey continues.
Commentary by Bryan Levy