Meet The Bachelorette's New Freaks and Geeks: Was the Season 9 Premiere the Show's Creepiest One Ever?

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The Bachelorette S09E01

No one will blame you if you are not particularly excited about the new season of The Bachelorette or its titular heroine/victim, Desiree Hartsock. Don’t get me wrong, Desiree seems great and she's undeniably stunning, and certainly the series couldn’t find a more grateful recipient of a rent-free month indoors, but her season hardly has the built-in fandom or monstrous budget afforded to predecessor Emily Maynard (the series hastened to remind us that Desiree grew up so incredibly poor that the Malibu rental was a palace and rollerblading around Venice Beach boardwalk was a day along the Riviera, but did anyone else laugh when Desiree was touring the new Bachelorette house and came across a desk with 2 tiny pads of paper from the drugstore, with no pencils or pens to be seen? Stay busy, ho!).

Still, as I repeatedly reminded myself during the premiere to keep myself from flipping my laptop closed, the miracle of Bachelor/ette franchise is not that an aging catalog model will certainly fall in love with Desiree or that someone who volunteers to break up with 24 guys on camera will certainly fall in love in return, it’s that we, the viewers, will fall in love with our favorite couple and sincerely root for them and be devastated by their feelings and interactions despite starting the season with an almost sociopathic level of schadenfreude. Or at least, that’s how I start watching… every single time.

That having been said, for the first time I feel slightly uncertain that I will make the journey from sneering snarky series completionist to rapt adoring fan, because if Season 9's premiere is any indication, the casting director seriously fell asleep at the wheel assembling this latest man harem. Maybe it’s a new casting director? Guys, what is going on? Even Desiree, by the fourth limo or so, was glaring at Chris Harrison as though waiting for him to say “JUST KIDDING! We’d never let a date rapist slip through our vetting process. The real guys will be here in twenty minutes.”

Because how else do you explain some of the duds at the old Stud Ranch this go-round? Let’s take a closer look together at the season’s crop of fame-chasers, Bacheloretties!


***Note: I omitted a few guys as I simply didn't think they were memorable enough to comment on. Others I included even if they were voted off because they sufficiently earned their 15 minutes of fame by being nice/horrible/memorable. If I forgot one of your faves, feel free to comment on why he stuck out in your mind!***

ASPIRING DATE-RAPER GUY

ABC really put themselves in firing range of a lawsuit with this creepster, who met Desiree with an invitation to a fantasy suite. At first I felt bad for him, like Aww, he was going to try some cheesy move where the “fantasy suite” would be him wanting to tell her about his fantasies of starting a family who would Love the Lord or something. Nope. He straight-up found a dark corner and threw together a makeshift palette, like an epic creepster. Desiree drew the line and refused to follow him to his DIY rape room, and all of the himbos stood around unsure of what to do except for Eric, the Chicago guy who loves Greek mythology, who was the only guy who bothered standing up to Dahmer Jr. Desiree gave him the old heave-ho not a moment too soon, and Chris Harrison ran out demanding that a rose ceremony take place before one of the guys with legal training could advise her she should just sue ABC and make off with those millions.


'50s DAD

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the guy who won what used to be called the “first impression rose.” Guy had his son get out of the limo and hand Desiree a flower, putting it all on the table that he was a daddy first and a dude DTF second. When Desiree asked what had happened with the mom (“Divorced? Widowed?”) he presented a puzzle I’m still trying to figure out: “We were friends who had a baby. We’re still best friends.” Does this happen outside of Jennifer Aniston movies? Someone please explain.


SIGN MAN

One of the most charismatic guys in the bunch, although that’s not saying much, Edison over here claims to have invented the concept of holding up a sign. He also threw his tie in the bushes moments after meeting Desiree, evoking Jef Holm’s epic skateboard litter from the last Bachelorette season. Predicting it now: He’s headed for top five if not top three!


BACK TO THAT CHICAGO GUY WHO CARED ABOUT GREEK MYTHOLOGY A LOT

Maybe my antipathy toward strangers high-fiving me in public initially soured me on this dude, who spent his introduction video high-fiving everybody who crossed his path on a busy Chicago street, but he won me back by being the only guy with enough testosterone to read Desiree’s distress and rescue her from the attempted date rapist. Well done, sir.


G.I. JOE

This guy seems way too genuine for this process. Top three? Top three. If not, NEXT SEASON’S FUTURE BACHELOR?! Fingers crossed.


CHIPPENDALES HOUSE CALL

Guy. There is a huge social privilege given to the observers over the observed when first impressions are being made, so wearing less clothing to an event like this puts you at a unique and demeaning social disadvantage. My heart went out to this orange man, who not only showed up without a shirt on but jumped in a pool and literally got hung out to dry and then later lay brokenly on the ground. Leading with his abs was a good-enough instinct, but he should have brought a hoody to put on once he’d finished his gimmicky hello. Poor guy. Also maybe a touch manic?


#NOPE

Hashtags  are our generation’s “groovy.”


ER CREEPER

Usually just being a doctor is itself a panty-dropper, and this guy was fairly symmetrical enough about the face, so why did he put out such heavy low self-esteem vibes? He spent the night fretting over the fact that he’d torn Desiree’s dress and taking his glasses on and off. Dude, you work at an ER, don’t even worry about it.


“McDREAMY”

See, ER guy could have lead with his profession, but he was too classy/self-deprecating. But McDreamy rolled in with a labcoat and might as well have just held a sign with his tax bracket above his head.



NATHAN DETROIT

Apart from being every community theater director’s wet dream fantasy cast for Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, this guy had tons of confidence. And designs suits? Unfortunately he also does magic (-3000 points), yet still I kind of dug him. Will Desiree be into it enough to offer to bear his young? As  '50s Dad could tell you, this whole game boils down to gene-shoppin’.


FUNNY SUIT

This guy wore a wacky mismatched suit on TV. Bet his frat is pretty proud.


ENGAGEMENT FAKE-OUT

At first I was like, who could possibly connect to a guy who makes the first moment you meet him a fake-out prank? Then I remembered how Desiree had her acting-class friend show up at her door during Hometowns and act out a whole skit with her in front of Sean, so maybe these two are soulmates.


“I DON’T REALLY KNOW HER YET BUT SHE IS MY WIFE”

I like a guy who can commit to a stranger. Also did you see how Desiree's face lit up like a Christmas tree when she caught sight of that motorcycle?


JUAN PABLO


I could not forget a name like Juan Pablo. I guess being a professional athlete does things for your confidence that make you not behave like an ass, because this guy was just straightforward classy and charismatic and attractive and Desiree wanted to eat it up with a spoon.


POOR DIOGO

Oh, poor Diogo. That suit of armor had to weight at least fifty pounds and it looked so painful. Something tells me this is not going to be Diogo’s season. Sorry Diogo.


PENNIES FROM HELL

This guy looked pretty red in the face when he climbed up into the fountain to to find Desiree’s penny and there were no coins to be found whatsoever. OBVIOUSLY the production assistants got to keep all the change from the fountains they cleaned out at the end of The Bachelor’s introductory cocktail party. How else are they supposed to buy their 99 Cent Store toilet paper? I worked as a PA for years and we scrapped like street urchins over any freebie we could get our hands on, from bagels in the Craft Services area to strips of masking tape.


POEMZ

Rhyming is greatly overrated in our society.


THAT ONE GUY WITH THE HAIR


His hair both challenged and confused me. But he was no attempted-date rapist, and for that he can be proud.


So who made the biggest impression on you? Who are your picks for final three? Will you continue slogging through this season or will you just hit up the finale?


QUESTIONS:

... Did the show encourage Desiree to give out roses willy-nilly because it caused so much drama with Sean? Were the producers hoping for a fistfight or what?

... Which of these guys would you be most/least likely to yoke yourself to for life?

... Could ABC be sued for sexual harassment for letting that Date Rape-y guy through its doors?

... Best friends, both heterosexual, and you decide to have a baby together. Why aren't you a couple?