The Bachelor Season 21 Ep. 1 Recap: “In A World Full Of Red Dresses, Be A Shark.” Or Dolphin. Or Don’t. Actually, Just BE YOURSELF
In the world of reality TV dating shows, it’s really important to stand out, be memorable. Ideally, you don’t want to be memorable as being the mumbly, annoying guy who came in second place three times.
As I told my boyfriend last night while he watched the show with me (yeah, I don’t have a TV, so I watch it on Hulu, and this week’s been busy, but this way, I’m probably not spoiling anything because I’m the last person alive to see it):
“There’s something weirdly dystopian about Nick as The Bachelor, like, We The Producers have deemed you worthy of receiving this harem!”
In fact, I believe the bulk of last night’s episode was spent trying to convince us that Nick is “worthy” of “being The Bachelor.”
…That painful intro with his family…
…The not-forced beers with the previous Bachelors….
Even CHRIS HARRISON, Master of Tact, brings up the fact that Nick is…well…just not likable. Gosh, ABC, if only there was some way you could have selected someone else to be The Bachelor? But alas, it’s out of your hands. The Bachelor is like The Pope, he is chosen by God and not by the Producers #YoungPopeMeme.
Then the tributes don the ceremonial red robes and meet Nick in the Driveway of Love for the compulsory hug with 10″ of space maintained between their crotches, AKA, “Leave Room For Chris Harrison Between You.” No matter how limp, unenthused, and awkward the hug is, YOU MUST HUG THE BACHELOR. This part of the episode has, as I like to say, “So much touching, so little feeling.”
Oh, and I wasn’t kidding about the “red robes” thing. The first major panic of this season happened when the
Everyone seems to have decided they’d “stand out” in red…irony? Everyone…except…
*cue Jaws theme*
MEET SHARK GIRL.
With a shark in their waters, the girls begin to panic.
Corinne tells the cameras that wearing a shark costume is “suspicious” — “It could go, ‘I have a great body and I’m saving it,’ or ‘I have a really bad body and I just want you to get to know my personality first.'” EXACTLY, Corinne. Alexis aka “Shark Girl” aka “Dolphin Girl”s costume is covering up the expiration date stamped on her body which determines whether or not it is “good” or past its “sell by” date, and therefore, BAD. After this body-snarking comment, I gave myself permission to loathe Corinne. What a relief.
And someone needs to counsel Hailey, because during the rose ceremony, her ire at Alexis aka Shark Girl mounts to uncomfortable levels. She, coincidentally, wore a red dress. No doubt she is foisting her anxiety about not being noticed onto the nearest girl dressed as a shark.
As her temper tantrum reaches fever pitch, Hailey is almost at her breaking point, and just seconds before she confesses “If Shark Girl gets a rose and I don’t, I’m shaving these beachy waves off my head and wearing muumuus for the rest of my life!” But luckily, we don’t get to that point, because Nick hands her a rose and all is right with the world.
Which brings us to the moral lesson for this episode of The Bachelor.
See, the thing about Shark Girl —— “Alexis” —— she stands out not because she wore a shark suit instead of a red dress. Not entirely. She also stands out because she is completely comfortable with who she is and is willing to laugh at herself. Remember “St. Nick” on Jojo’s season? Or Jojo herself, coming out of the limo in a horse mask?
These gimmicks have been done before, it’s nothing new, and yet each time, it sends the rest of the house into a tizzy: “Who DOES that?” they wonder. And then the gimmick WORKS, and they’re pissed off. You know why it works? Because everyone wants a partner with a sense of humor, and showing up to a reality TV show in a shark costume instead of the customary gown shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously. And that’s attractive!
Also, by wearing her love of marine life on her sleeve (and all over the rest of her tbh), Alexis set herself apart by being memorable. It’s almost as if she sends a message of “I don’t care what you think I look like, this is what I care about and it’s important to me!” While all the other girls try to tailor themselves to Nick’s tastes, Shark Girl is just livin’ her best life, wading drunkenly in a pool. Which — be honest — if you had the chance to, you probably would.
Remember those cringe-worthy scenes with Nick’s family and the former Bachelors? How they all advised him to “just be himself”? Yeah, that actually works both ways. I love that Shark Girl is approaching this season by just being herself! Which is, a human-sized shark. Or dolphin. Or, sha-dolphin. Whatever.
Don’t be mad, red dress brigade. Just BE YOURSELF!
Moral Lesson: Don’t compare yourself to other