Episode 1: My Time, My Turn, My Decisions, My Choice

The premiere begins with a particularly cold open of weepy Becca gazing at Polaroids of her and Arie from days gone by. The network is jerking themselves off with this gratuitous footage of last season’s Bachelor finale when Arie dumped Becca only a few weeks after laying this fucking rich one liner and subsequent proposal on her:

I choose you today, but I chose you everyday from here on out. – Arie

Seeing the footage of his proposal played back, it’s all so clear that he was shitting his pants as he lovingly giggles (read: panic laughs) with Becca and barely suppresses all his torment and anxiety of having to choose his fiancé on a competition style dating show. A few weeks post proposal Arie realizes that he hastily made the wrong decision, and he actually is in love with the runner-up, Lauren.  Arie then breaks up with Becca on camera for the world to witness. FUN.

After the throwback breakup reel we see distraught Becca walking through her wintry home state of Minnesota while reflecting on the shit show that is her life alongside some frozen waterfalls. Later, her family gathers in the living room and her mom assures Becca that everything happens for a reason. I don’t know whether to be unnerved by Becca’s mother’s hopeful calm or inspired by it…Forlorn winter turns to hopeful spring, and Becca quietly examines flowers in a gorgeous glass greenhouse to gear up for her Bachelorette blossoming.

The highlight of this episode for me was Becca’s circle of trust with Kaitlyn Bristowe, Jojo Fletcher, and Rachel Lindsay, the previous three bachelorettes who are all still happily engaged to their chosen ones.

These three vets are positioned at the mansion with mimosas as Becca enters the living area for a meeting of the minds. After admiring the chunky rocks of the ones who came before her, Becca is ready to hear what these ladies have to say.Of course the girls have their two cents on how epically demonic Arie’s break-up with Becca was.

“Please don’t edit this out: Fuck him.” –Rachel

We are not worthy of Rachel’s candid remarks. This is exactly what Becca needs right now: sisterhood support from real ass bitches that are going to encourage Becca to feel empowered to run her show her way and to trust her heart. Rachel proceeds to give Becca some more inspirational quotes with this one:

“Pull yourself out of the fantasy and out of the clouds, and think about what will work for you in real life.” – Rachel

This is particularly raw and real because Rachel’s chosen man, Bryan, was not a fan favorite; but in the end, Rachel chose who was best for her. I love that Rachel calls out the contrived nature of the show from within the show and the importance of remaining grounded despite the theatrics.  Jojo shares how empty she was after Ben Higgins rejected her, but she promises Becca that night one of the Bachelorette is a night of hope and possibility. Rachel and Jojo agree that women do well in the driver’s seat.

“100% women are more intuitive, they know what they want, and they trust themselves.” – Jojo

Rachel then spearheads a necessary sage cleanse of the mansion, and Kaitlyn has no idea what the fuck is happening. She describes the bundle of sage as a doobie. Honey, let me tell you. If that massive hunk of greenery was made of weed, you’d be resting in peace. Thankfully, Rachel and Jojo know how to sage a space to get rid of all that bad juju. Rachel starts with the couches and then moves onto Becca’s left ring finger, and ends with Becca’s vagina. It had to be done.

Jojo reminds the audience that all three of the former Bachelorettes gathered at the mansion ended up with the men whom they gave their first impression roses to, and those men were also the first ones they kissed…

This is very important. I want you to listen to me. Do not. And I repeat. Do not let this seemingly subtle fear mongering tactic about nonsensical, coincidental patterns in Bachelorette history lead you to believe that Becca’s first impression rose recipient, Garrett, is undoubtedly the winner of this perverse game.

This MUST be a set up, and here’s why. The second that this asshole got his rose, the ladies of Here to Make Friends Podcast, Claire Fallon and Emma Gray, dropped an article on Huffington Post about Garrett’s right wing trash bag social media footprint. He might have gotten rid of his accounts, but the internet has receipts on his likes and it is NOT a good look. When I saw this article I was livid because we are shown yet again that ABC continues to give the green light on backwards, hateful behavior as a way to incite drama and ultimately create a “teaching moment” at the expense of the castmates who are hurt by these close-minded, uneducated people.

Garrett, the first impression rose recipient

If Becca ends up with Garrett, not only is her reputation going to be negatively impacted by him, it also makes the network and the show look like they validate bigotry. It’s disgusting to think that they’d put someone on the show who is liking transphobic and racist instagram posts just to make things interesting, but they do this time and time again. Remember when they brought Lee Garrett onto Rachel’s season? Lee had a similarly fucked social media history that the network claims they had no idea about. The thing is, these candidates undergo an inordinate amount of screening before being dubbed worthy cast mates. Ultimately Lee was a villain, which I guess is a good thing, but his words and actions during his time on the show hurt a lot of contestants along the way. I fear that this will happen again, and although it’s “nice” that the show’s liberal, albeit cringe-worthy, creator Mike Fleiss is anti-Trump (he’s vocal about it on twitter), he’s still putting Trumpy shit on his shows to gain viewership and stir the pot. The pot is gonna get stirred without hateful, right-wing politics. You have people completely siphoned off from reality and forced to interact with each other constantly as they compete for the one and only prize. Isn’t that enough? If Garrett wins this thing, it’s the network aligning themselves with his behavior, and they just won’t do it. Something’s gonna happen to get him kicked off the show. They’ll keep him on long enough to do or say something inappropriate and then he’ll be outta there.

A part of me is slightly concerned, but I am clinging to the kind, discerning Becca I saw on night one, and I’m hoping she won’t let me down. I hope that our “everyday girl” maintains her all business attitude and chooses a good, kind man.

Becca showed us right from the get go that she’s not afraid of making cuts when things are blatantly not jiving. Please, please, Becca, do not be sucked in by Garrett’s minivan entrance, his fly fishing in the mansion pool, and the rose red fishing lure that he gifted you.  Serve me more of this Rachel Lindsay realness and find yourself a good one out of this bunch, and do it quick because I will not be able to fully exhale until Garrett is a fucking goner.

Here’s the 21 men who are sticking around: Garrett, Lincoln, Blake, Rickey, Jean-Blanc, Christon, Clay, Wills, Connor, Jason, John, Ryan, Alex, Nick, Trent, Colton, David, Jordan, Leo, Mike, and Chris

Here’s who got the boot: Jake, Darius, Kamil, Chase, Joe, Grant, Christian

And so it begins…

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