Monday, May 18, 2015

Reality TV: The Bachelorette Season 11 Thoughts and Cast Rundown

I was a kid when the first season of The Bachelor took reality TV by storm. Of course my family tuned in to see what all the fuss was about, but it didn't keep our attention long. Now, many seasons and spin-offs later, I'm watching it again. It started with a small dalliance with Bachelorette Desiree (season 9), and then I totally skipped the expectation-crushing Juan Pablo (The Bachelor season 18), and then I was head-over-heels for Georgia peach Andi (season 10) and Prince Farming Chris (season 19), and I even loved all the drama of Bachelor in Paradise.

For The Bachelorette Season 11, they've chosen two ladies: Kaitlyn and Britt. During season 19 of The Bachelor, I wasn't sure about Kaitlyn, until her down-to-earth humor and quirkiness won me over. You could also see the change in her as she fell for Chris, which was nice, and ultimately heartbreaking, to watch.


Britt, on the other hand, I liked immediately. She was beautiful, had an immediate connection with Chris, and seemed to be sweet. Over time and thanks no doubt to the producers, she became less appealing. What sealed the deal for me was on The Women Tell All episode when she didn't do herself any favors in the way she acted with Chris.

So now, two bachelorettes? When I heard this, my initial thought was that I didn't like Britt, so I didn't want to see her on the screen. However, I thought that if they kept both ladies for the whole process, it might be fun to watch them fight over the group of men and see the men struggle to decide who they liked better. But the fact that they are voting off one of the ladies on the first night pretty much makes the drama of two bachelorettes non-existent. Basically, it's a waste of a gimmick. My choice has always been Kaitlyn, even before the ladies' names were announced, and I've visited Reality Steve so I know who stays and who goes (don't click that link if you don't want spoilers!).

On to this season's dudes! I'm going to judge each guy based off of his picture (which is usually not great due to awkwardness/bad photo-shopping/yearbook-level backgrounds) and the bio information provided, but I won't be mentioning every bit of info. To see more of the contestants' bios, visit ABC or check out the hilarious breakdown on The Right Reasons.

Ben H.
Looks-wise, Ben H. has a nice Jesse Bradford vibe going. His answers on his bio are pretty good - decent movie selections (The Sandlot, Crash, 500 Days of Summer), an actual important human being to have lunch with (Nelson Mandela), and mentioned Batman as his aspirational superhero (a good if safe choice). His answer about marriage is unfortunately a little hardcore: "It is a total sacrifice. Marriage is about a commitment to another person and total sacrifice to fulfill that commitment." He's not wrong, but it's a little heavy on the serious nature of commitment - marriage can be fun too!

Ben Z.
Ben Z. could be the long-lost brother of Chris Evans. He looks nice, but his movie choices are a little dude-bro for me (Gladiator, Gone in 60 Seconds, Wedding Crashers). Nothing really stands out in his bio as super-interesting so he may be a little thin on personality, but I do like the last thing he says about marriage: "I want to find someone who I can share my life with and have a blast doing it."

On first glance, I get a frat boy vibe off of Bradley and his mention of university and being an All-American tennis player only make me lean more that way. His movie choices are a little puzzling but not terrible (Wolf of Wall Street, Will Ferrell movies, Rainman), but his choice of Tom Brady as who he'd want to be for a day -- and why -- are a little squick. But his biggest date fear ("Someone who can't handle or understand my sarcasm.") and his marriage answer ("...who will gladly handle my flaws for the rest of my life.") makes me think he has flaws that lead to him feeling "misunderstood" and for which a girl or two have dropped him.

Brady reminds me of Keith Urban (probably the chin, stubble, and clothes) which is funny because he lives in Nashville and is a musician. I like that he likes Coldplay, but I've never heard of the other two artists mentioned. His answers in general are thoughtful but safe in a way that makes him less interesting, which makes me think he just looks like a rocker while actually being a Christian Contemporary artist (for the record, I have no idea what he sings).

Chris looks a little too perfect, kind of like a dude version of a Stepford wife. His answers are a little like that as well - not too crazy and not too safe. He's already been on national TV and in his underwear no less, but he chose Superman as the superhero he would like to be, which is boring. Funny how he didn't pick a Superman movie for his all-time favorite movies.

Not a fan of Clint's hair, though his face is good. His movie answers are very bro (Gladiator, Good Will Hunting, Tommy Boy), as is choosing Chuck Norris "for obvious reasons" as who he would like to be for a day. His answer about his dad is sweet, but detailed in such a way as to seem almost calculated.

Corey (with an 'e') definitely feels older than thirty from his answers and photo (that t-shirt does not look natural on him), and he looks like the Wall Street type (he is an investment banker) which instantly makes me not want to trust him. From his movie selections I get that he likes violence and male drama (Last of the Mohicans, Good Will Hunting, The Departed), and his answer to what superpower he would want makes me think he's read Twilight and wants to be a vampire. Also, he called the Dali Lama "an enlightened cat." I would not be surprised if it is revealed that he is bisexual or gay (or actually a vampire).

Cory (without an 'e') looks like J.J. from Andi's season, and (though I never thought I'd say this) I think J.J. is cuter. Cory's personality seems really, really thin. It feels like he picked Along Came Polly because he thought it would be a movie chicks like and didn't want to seem too dude-bro (he also chose Rudy and The Goonies, making me think he should have just gone for a Sean Astin three-peat and picked Lord of the Rings as well). His answer are also super short and a touch odd, and not in a good way.

Well, hello there Wil Wheaton...erm, I mean Daniel. Daniel is from Nashville and a fashion designer which is...interesting. I really like his answer about his most outrageous act ("Biked across America from Virginia to Oregon.") and the most romantic present he has ever received ("Support and love. Buying stuff is easy."), but then he loses me when he uses the term "baller" to describe the life of the Prince of Monaco.

I think David is cute, and while his movie answers are predictable (300, Fight Club, Inception), they aren't awful. I like his answer about marriage and who he admires most ("My younger sister because she knows exactly what she wants to do with her life and she has such a great passion for it."). I also like that he has a plan for his business and likes to travel. But his answer for who he'd like to have lunch with ruins the whole thing: "Brad Pitt, so he can tell me some of his crazy stories and teach me a thing or two about charming women."

Ian looks nice but also like he could be tough (he did chose Taken as a favorite movie). His answers are short but mostly I like them, especially his biggest date fear ("Someone that can't hold a conversation"), though I wouldn't say Richard Branson is a guy to admire so much as envy.

Jared is definitely a werewolf in his spare time, and I'm basing that on his facial structure, teeth, eyebrows, and hair. I'm not crazy about his movie choices (The Social Network; Crazy, Stupid, Love; Superman [1978]), and his lack of fears about dating makes me think he's an outgoing, confident (maybe too confident?) guy. His greatest achievement feels a little thin and braggy, and you should only want to be the president if you want to age five times faster than normal. I do like his answer about who he admires most: "My father because he is the most genuine, kind, hardworking man I've ever met."

JJ looks kind of nice and also like he could be a Wilson brother. He's a former investment banker, which make me wonder what he's up to now. I dislike his movie choices as a group (A River Runs Through It, Dumb and Dumber, Rocky), and his answer about his biggest date fear ("Wasting my time and money on someone who was just using me for dinner"), favorite actor (Robert Downey Jr.), and the fact that he bets money on college football (oh, and that he was an investment banker) makes me believe he is all about the dough, which is great if he's generous, but I think he's probably more of a Scrooge.

Oh, Joe. Joe seems like a sweet guy (and I actually know someone that went to school with him), but his hair is not doing him any favors. I've seen other pictures of him where he's cute, so hopefully that will come across better on screen. Otherwise, I like most of his answers, especially about his greatest achievement (though I wouldn't call it an achievement so much as a good thing), and who he'd like to have lunch with ("It would be with my grandmother who just passed away this last December. Just because I miss her.").

Jonathan is a cutie but his answers make me think he can be a smooth talker and not all that genuine (his job is basically to be a glorified car salesman). He picks Superman as the superhero he'd want to be, which is totally boring and makes no sense to me. Then he picks Warren Buffet as who he'd want to have lunch with, to "have him mentor me and let me in on wealth secrets." Sounds like Jonathan's first priority is all green.

Josh is giving off heavy vibe of creepy John Travolta, and it does not work for me. His occupation is hilarious (law student/exotic dancer), and his movie choices, as a group, make no sense (Mystic River, Selma, Wolf of Wall Street). His other answers sound pretty lawyer-ly, but they are not interesting.

I think Joshua is cute and he reminds me of Prince Harry but if he were a farmer and not British royalty. His movie choices are dude-bro unfortunately (Dumb and Dumber, Tommy Boy, The Hangover), and his biggest date fear is just weird. I like his greatest achievement ("Summitting Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.") and who he'd like to have lunch with ("Tom Hanks"), but his answer about what superhero he would want to be is SO WRONG: "The Invisible Man -- what guy wouldn't want to be in a room full of women to listen to them talk to try to understand them better." First, The Invisible Man was not a superhero in any sense of the word (no, I'm not counting The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as superheroes). In fact, he was a terrible person! Second, there is no way that I believe that if Joshua were to be invisible, he'd want to be in a room full of women "to listen to them talk to try to understand them better." I'm calling SHENANIGANS on that one.

Justin has a nice if boyish face, and his movie selections (Limitless, Goodfellas, The Big Lebowski) are different from the most of the others though not too surprising. The rest of his answers, however, are not what I'd call articulate. When asked if he fancies himself a romantic, he says, "I do. I like to show someone how special they are to me. Romance has many vehicles to express how special someone is." They are all like that, slightly repetitive and stilted, which leads me to believe this fitness trainer is mostly brawn.

Kupah not only has a great name, but is attractive to boot (and looks like the offspring of LL Cool J and Pitbull). He also seems like a cool dude, but his answers look a lot like internet speak instead of written responses, which is fine, just odd. He'd like to lunch with Mark Wahlberg, which is great because he's a cool dude too, but his best answer is about who he admires most: "My mother. Single parent, lack of resources and education, and she raised two awesome, law-abiding citizens."

Ryan B.
Ryan B. definitely reminds me of Andrew Rannells, and he has a nice, if safe, look about him. He has an interesting set of favorite movies (Braveheart, Sliding Doors, Top Gun) that makes me think he may be older than thirty-two. His most outrageous act is pretty awesome ("Rode my bike from Florida to California for a dog rescue.") but I don't want to even touch his most embarrassing moment: "Meant to send a pic to my girlfriend and accidentally tweeted it."

Ryan M.
Ryan M. is good looking guy, but his answers are some of the best of the bunch. His movie selections are great and different (Shawshank Redemption, Michael Clayton, Raising Arizona), and his biggest date fear is pretty much what mine would be: "The person being terrible." His weakest answer is probably the one about if he considers himself a romantic, but his best ones are what superhero he'd want to be ("Wolverine. He is awesome-looking, ripped, has attitude, and doesn't take any crap.") and who he admires most: "My father and my brother. They are different from each other but they are the definition of what being a good man should be."

Shawn B.
If someone pieced together bits of Michael Phelps (nose), Chris Evans (eyes and smile), and Ryan Gosling (face shape and hair), you'd get Shawn B. I like his look but not his taste in music (I'm not a big country fan, though I do like some One Direction songs), and his biggest date fear is a little blah. Both his greatest achievement answer ("Owning an 1888 farm house and completely fixing/rehabbing it with my father.") and what superhero he'd want to be ("The Hulk. My two-year-old nephew is obsessed with the Hulk. I would love to surprise visit him and yell "HULK, SMASH!"") are pretty cute. I think he tried to continue the cuteness by saying he'd want to be his dog for a day, but it's more weird than anything.

Shawn E.
From the get-go, Shawn E. is just a No for me. He lists his job as Amateur Sex Coach. What even is that? Does he coach people on how to make porn? If not porn and for actual couples, how does that work without him being right there when the doing it goes down? His answers seem good on the surface, but they all tinge to the sappy and feel new age-y as well. At least he knows what he doesn't want to be when it comes to marriage: "I will not be a statistic!"

Tanner seems to be a fairly normal dude. He likes country, which is not my thing, and his answers are all short and kind of basic. The best thing he says is about his most outrageous act: "Besides trying out for The Bachelorette? Maybe skydiving?" I appreciate funny.

Tony is another whose hair is not doing him any favors. Otherwise he seems to have a nice face, but his job, healer, is just WTF. His movie choices are interesting (Into the Wild, Beetlejuice, A Christmas Story) except that I hate A Christmas Story. He sounds like the new age-y healer type with his answer about who he admires most ("My mother. She loves more easily and completely than anyone I've ever met. Her strength to balance and assist all established the foundation for my success.") but takes a left turn into dude-bro-ville with what superhero he'd want to be: "Tony Stark/Iron Man -- he is humble yet arrogant, fights crime, and is hella rich."

And there we have it! Tune in later this week to see my thoughts on the first episode and thanks for reading!

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