I can’t believe it took me over a month to find this piece on love, sex, and The Bachelor by America’s foremost relationship expert, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It’s good (please read it) and makes me kind of hate The Bachelor, but not as much as Nick Viall is making me hate The Bachelor.
These girls are acting like this is the effing Hunger Games or like their unpredictable and cruel Lord might banish them to the Outer Rim Territories at any point, but The Bearded One brings four roses home, all of which are accepted. To hometowns we go!
PART ONE: RAVEN IN HOXIE, ARKANSAS
Raven explains the fun things to do in her town, like “mudding” and having important conversations atop grain bins, where they are conveniently caught by a cop who is Raven’s big brother! Haw haw haw.
Raven and Nick go ATV-ing and end up wrestling/kissing in the mud like it’s the first act of a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel about two young Southern lovers having a summer fling before they are pulled apart by war/class struggles/an act of God.
Raven brings Nick to her family’s house, mentioning that she’s only ever brought one other guy home. Raven, was it the guy you tried to murder with a stiletto? The family is celebrating because Raven’s dad is cancer free (yay!), which prompts Nick to slow clap. It does not build to a normal clap.
Raven’s waterproof mascara is the real hero here, holding up through a heart-to-heart with Wes, her dad, about how she would rather walk down the aisle alone than with a family member other than him. Raven’s mother, Tracy, though, is more concerned about Raven putting herself out there after being so guarded. It seems like a genuine conversation and therefore very boring television.
Nick is trying to ask Wes for his permission to marry Raven without seeming like the kind of patriarchal schmuck who thinks a daughter is a father’s property to sell or not; both parents have basically come to the conclusion that he is not a total jerk like they thought he would be.
Raven and Nick (couple name “Rick”) hem and haw and don’t say “I love you,” which is probably smart.
PART TWO: RACHEL IN DALLAS, TX
Nick describes his chemistry with Rachel as “explosive,” and says that she has what he’s looking for in a wife, but it’s already been announced that she’s the next Bachelorette so…I guess it doesn’t work out! Rachel is wearing a supremely off-duty Olivia Pope white sleeveless coat kind of thing and brings him to a predominantly Black church which looks like an absolute blast. Nick is of good cheer, even when the pastor points him out to the entire congregation and tells him to take good care of Rachel. He says that he could see him and Rachel going to church on a regular basis as a couple because his parents were church-goers when he was growing up.
They visit the Lindseys, but not Rachel’s dad because he’s away for work. I can only assume that if he were there, the night would unfold exactly like the 2005 Ashton Kutcher/Zoe Saldana/Bernie Mac flick Guess Who.
There is in fact another white man at the house, but everyone still grills Nick on the race question (and other questions!). He handles himself pretty well—but again, we know she’s the Bachelorette, so…
Rachel and her mother, Kathy, have a deeply logical conversation about check lists and timelines and comfort levels. Kathy seems like she could kill a man, bury the body, dispose of the murder weapon without ever smudging her lip liner. Do not cross her.
PART THREE: CORINNE IN MIAMI, FL
Corinne’s mirror says, “Who is the most beautiful.”
Corinne takes Nick to her Cheers, a safe space where everybody knows her name: a high-end shopping mall. But it’s not all about Corinne. She finds stuff for Nick, too! Nick models an ombre sweat suit, among other LOOKS, all of which are pretty meh. Their grand total is over three thousand dollars. Love to see a sugar mama treating her boy toy. Feminism! Mission accomplished, y’all. NEVERTHELESS. SHE. PERSISTED. We did it.
Corinne’s family appears to live in a pink hotel. Her father (Jim) refers to himself in the third person as “Daddy,” (now we know where Corinne gets her penchant for referring to Corinne in third person) and we also meet her blonde mom and her choker’d sister, but the star here, of course, is Corinne’s nanny, Raquel.
(Because the family is Greek, they eat olives. Nick likes his olive. Raquel gets an olive, too!)
Nick and Raquel talk VERY SERIOUSLY about Nick’s intentions with Corinne, which Nick “appreciates,” of course. Raquel seems dope.
Corinne tells her dad that she’s OK being the breadwinner in a family with Nick which, again, the gender reversal, so feminist, isn’t it great when wealthy white heiresses are able to marry whoever they want despite, uh, I dunno…despite!
Nick gets along with Jim; Corinne tells her mother she’s serious about Nick; Nick and Jim drink scotch.
Not going to lie, I was hoping that Corinne’s family would be crazier and more entertaining. But props to the camera department for that shot of Raquel clearing the plates while the Olympios’ look out the window. Corinne tells Nick she loves him.
Chris Harrison isn’t in this episode. I hope he’s enjoying having Bachelor Mansion all to himself. That’s where he lives, right?
PART FOUR: VANESSA IN MONTREAL, CANADA, A COUNTRY TO WHICH I WOULD HAPPILY MOVE IF THINGS FALL TO PIECES IN AMERICA, AHEM, CANADIAN BOYS, IF YOU’RE READING THIS.
Vanessa is a multi-lingual special needs teacher for adults, which is a truly generous job. Everyone is crying, I am crying, Nick is crying, and you are crying. The students are delighted by their relationship and happily make a scrapbook of their dates, which seems like an activity Leslie Knope would put together.
Her parents are divorced, so first stop is her mom’s side of the family—the Italian (“ee-talian”) side. Everyone is named after a saint and has perfect hair and there are babies and children everywhere. It’s a pasta-filled dream!
The famiglia is concerned that Nick isn’t serious enough about Vanessa and might not move to Montreal to be with her. Everyone has a slightly different accent. Nick is crying again.
They keep referencing some bad breakup Vanessa went through, but they won’t say what that breakup was or what happened. It seems much more interesting and intense than whatever’s happening with Nick, and I want to know what it is but they just won’t talk about it. I am annoyed.
At Vanessa’s dad’s place, things are more subdued. Very subdued. So subdued. Vanessa’s dad (Pat) won’t give Nick his blessing, but then he does. Aren’t blessings like a huge problem in like the Bible and stuff? Where brothers steal blessings from one another and murder each other over them? Should we be playing so fast and loose with blessings?
As Vanessa watches Nick leave, it’s dark and raining, which is something of a pathetic fallacy, but then again I’m given to believe that it is often dark and raining in Canada. A weather that I love! A country I will happily relocate to! I could learn French, and I can already skate but I can’t brake I just have to slowly skate into the wall but, like, I could learn to brake.
PART FIVE: BROOKLYN, NY, FOR SOME REASON
Motherfucking twist alert: Andi Dorfman is here.
Sorry if this recap isn’t as fun and goofy and joke-filled as previous recaps. But here’s a groundbreaking observation for you: JAMIE DORNAN LOOKS LIKE RYAN PHILLIPPE AND NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT.
Parting Thoughts: Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss is currently married to the 2012 Miss America winner, Laura Kaeppeler. I’m sure she’s a perfectly nice and intelligent person, but I’m also sure that Mr. Fleiss lives in a world where women competing for a man’s approval is just another Monday.