We all know the drill; fourteen men, one woman and one Günsberg gather in a mansion. The men compete for the woman’s attention while the woman struggles with her potential dating pool being reduced from 3.5 billion (approx.) to fourteen.
The titular Bachelorette is one Samantha Frost, who really should be a bit of an ice queen for her name to make sense. Her warmth and good humour are making an absolutely shambles of her branding.
In last year’s series of The Bachelor, Sam was one of the bachelorettes (the contestants in The Bachelor are called ‘bachelorettes’, as is the object of the contest in The Bachelorette. The reverse is true regarding the ‘bachelors’ and The Bachelor. So Sam has been a bachelorette twice but only once had any kind of autonomy. Best not to think about it too much).
Sam won the heart of last year’s Bachelor, Blake Blakeface, but after the series concluded he promptly dropped her like a hot potato that was not only hot but very, very heavy. I don’t read many tabloid magazines, but I’ve walked past a few at the supermarket and if the covers are anything to go by, Blake dumped Sam, killed several puppies in front of her, threw her family into a ravine, and stepped on a cake that she had spent all afternoon making.
So now Sam has the power! I can’t wait to see whose heart she’s going to break when this series is over. It’s a beautiful cycle.
The first episode opens with Sam confessing that she found last year’s experience tough, and that she struggled with the media scrutiny. In order to avoid that media scrutiny, she has decided to throw herself into the centre of a nationally televised reality show/social experiment/anti-aphrodisiac.
Blake may have broken her heart, but Sam never lost faith in the old-fashioned, romantic notion of finding love by going on television and choosing from a limited number of men in a highly artificial environment. I think nearly everyone reading this has heard that beautiful story, or one like it, from their parents.
After an opening montage which takes great care to show us that Sam spends almost all of her time with her hands in her jean pockets and staring into the middle distance, she shows up to Osher’s mansion (oh yeah, he owns it now. Why not?).
One by one, we—and Sam—meet the parade of white guys from which she’ll be choosing. There’s Sasha, a builder who likes to play footy, and Michael, a professional soccer player who’s played in the Olympics so maybe Sasha should be quiet about “liking to play footy”.
We also meet David, the male model. He does a very good job at listening to whoever’s coached him to be awful and create drama, and I’m sure he's very happy to have this as a piece on his reel that’ll lead to him getting cast as a douchey guy in a bar on Offspring.
Another guy who makes a strong impression is Davey, who comes across like a bit of a ladies man. We see his dad say “you’re full of yourself” and, shockingly, Davey doesn’t respond with “yeah, and soon Sam’s gonna be full of me IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN WOOP WOOP”.
I’ll be honest, it’s what I would have said.
Probably the most unique entrance, though, comes from Drew, who strolls up to Sam then summons an owl to his outstretched forearm. Sam seems charmed, so I guess nobody has told her that the owls are not what they seem.
As the guys bond at the cocktail party, Davey champions a “bro code”, which will dictate that guys don’t interrupt other guys during their one-on-one time with Sam. He breaks this code mere moments later, so he has only himself to blame when someone else stabs him in the kitchen later. Hey mate, it’s prison rules.
A few other guys stand out—like Will, the musician who brought a guitar so that he could serenade Sam. He’s that guy who brings a guitar to a party and totally ruins it, except he’s brought a guitar to the entire nation. There’s also a few guys who are just there filling out numbers, so I didn’t bother writing down their names. Let’s be real here, you don’t care either.
The first episode ends with a rose ceremony, at which a couple of the white guys get booted. They were marked for doom from the beginning. If this were Star Trek they’d be wearing bright red shirts.
Also, note to self; The Bachelor meets Star Trek. I’ll have my millions of dollars in the form of gold bars, thanks TV producers.
The first episode, by the way, is two hours long, which is probably the best thing about it. On an unrelated note, I have a condition that causes me to mix up the words “best” and “worst”.
The second episode is shorter, and follows the standard formula of one single date plus one group date. The single date is with Dave (NOT Davey or David. There are seventeen Davids in the group. Given that there are only twelve men in total, that’s quite the achievement from the casting office). Sam and Dave go to the SCG where Dave faces Doug Bollinger on the pitch, because someone in the story team shouted “Um… uh… quick, what are some blooey dates?!” and someone else yelled “I dunno, cricket or some crap”.
The group date is just literally some dudes jumping off a cliff into a river, which is… “fun”? Anyway, most of the guys survive, so we’ll call that a win. One of the guys says “Neck up, you parrot” to psyche himself into jumping, so I have that phrase to keep myself going on lonely nights.
All of the guys jump except for Drew, so of course, he gets some one-on-one time with Sam. Make a note, guys; she’s attracted to cowardice.
The second episode also climaxes in a cocktail party, at which David the Model totally pisses all over the bro-code (not literally; at least, I don’t think so. We don’t know what they edit out). He gets rewarded for his trouble with Sam Frost’s epic verbal smackdown, a move that I have just decided to call The Frostbite.
Post-Frostbite, David gets sent home at the rose ceremony, a turn of events that surprises nobody.
So, what have we got? A house full of guys, ranging from nice to probably-nice-but-we-don’t-know-much-about-them-yet, and a bachelorette who probably deserves better than any of this. But if you want to understand twitter at all on Wednesday and Thursday nights, you should probably watch.
Daniel Hall is a screenwriter and pop-culture commentator who has written about a variety of shows for a variety of websites.
Twitter - @danieljohnhall