Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps The Bachelorette Premiere, Season 17, Episode 1, with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two) …
Well Rose-Lovers, I went into this premiere of Katie’s season of The Bachelorette arms folded … I’m not gonna watch without Chris Harrison … and after I ditched my principles out the window because this is my job and my kid’s gotta eat, I found myself pleasantly surprised.
I thought I would be inundated with “sex-positive” “girl power” vibes and while that’s all well and good – I need that in doses. But there actually wasn’t that.
Tayshia and Kaitlyn came in as co-hosts and took their back seat, even observing Katie from afar (eating popcorn and giving her thumbs up from the window during limo entrances) … their support appeared genuinely supportive of our lead, and Katie’s imperfections and honest spirit came through as imperfectly perfect.
She was visibly nervous but happy to be there, and on top of that, she remained confident in her own skin (even when talking to gorgeous alums Tayshia and Kaitlyn about how to go into this season).
We learned Katie went to five different elementary schools, and I’m thinking this is why she stood up for the underdog during Matt’s season. She also adorably admitted that posing next to brick walls for promo pics is unnatural (probably why most of her promo pics looked like she was being held against her will). But these are the things that instantly drew me in to her and the reason I hung on to watching, against MY own will.
But enough of that – let’s get to what makes this show truly great and talk about the man in the box and the guy who dressed in a full-on cat suit.
Greg, Connor the Cat, and Box Boy James are Katie’s standouts!
Of course, this wouldn’t be The Bachelorette without punny entrances and we did have our share – the best being the guy in the box. And, no joke, this guy stayed in the box throughout Katie’s toast… throughout Katie’s initial one-on-one meetings by the fireplaces … until finally – poof! He comes out of the box.
And he’s handsome. In fact, the guys call him Jay Gatsby and tell him to go back in his box. But Katie finds a little mystique to James, the Box Boy, and so do I.
Sure Greg was cute and all, but it was the way Katie visibly lit up when she met him that got me. Equally as cute, Greg became a bit of a blubbering mess when he got alone time with her on the couch.
In fact, all of Twitter tonight was taken with him.
Not to be outdone, Connor B. committed to wearing a full-on cat suit the whole night, impressing Katie (a cat lover) with such thoughtful shenanigans. In fact, after Tayshia and Kaitlyn asked her the obligatory “do you see your husband in this room” question, Katie –the relatable gal that she is– answered, “I’m not going to say that but there’s potential.”
Then she added, “I can’t get Connor the cat out of my head.” (And I loved that entire answer.)
Katie and Connor then got their alone time and played the piano with their feet (Big-style), and you could genuinely see Katie’s inner nerd coming out around Connor in the best way possible. (Much like Tayshia’s inner nerd came out with Zac!)
Lo and behold, Greg got the first impression rose, and I surprised myself when I realized I was actually bummed for our furry little friend, Connor.
The other MEN-tionables
Our other frontrunners of the night were Justin, the guy who Katie gave her first kiss, and though he made a cringy sex pun during his limo entrance, he does draw really cool roses.
Fun-loving Tre knew how to keep it light – jumping out of a truck full of balls (and of course there were ball puns a’plenty), but Tre was truly a likable dude (if he just remembers to calm down a bit and breathe).
We also had creepy surgical skin salesman, Jeff, who even took her inside his dirty RV – and this entire scene would have been a loss but for Katie unabashadely telling us, “I just wasn’t feeling the vibes with the RV.”
Yes, Katie! Keep that honest energy. We need more of that.
Of course, Fairy Godmothers Tayshia and Kaitlyn are a dynamic duo you can’t be mad at, but I do know I’ll miss Chris having his one-on-ones with the men as he sort of guides them through their own experiences (something that was also noted by the producers this season).
And speaking of Tayshia and Kaitlyn, they didn’t appear before the men until the very end at the rose ceremony when they recited Chris’s lines verbatim “Gentlemen there’s one more rose,” and I couldn’t help but wonder, did the guys not know these two were there until this moment? Are they awe-struck? Don’t forget about our girl Katie! I find myself thinking.
But I don’t think the men will lose sight of their Katie. There was something simplistically sweet about our lead and the genuineness she brings, and it would seem the guys are noticing and appreciating this about her as well.
So what did you guys think of the premiere? What did you think of Katie? Was there the right balance of “sex-positive” humor (“no dry bushes here!”) like there was for me, or were you just not feeling it?
And because I’m trying to be such a faithful little recapper for you guys, here is the list of the men who made it through: It’s such early stages, so please reference this cheatsheet if need be. For now, the two names of the night are Greg and Connor and we will see if anyone can penetrate this first impression power.
Roses went to Tre, Michael A., tall cutie Thomas, Garrett, cat boy favorite Connor B., football player Andrew S., James Gatsby from the box, rose artist Justin, Quartney, Carl, virgin Mike P., John, Kyle, Andrew, Josh, Conner C., Brendan, Aaron, Cody, Judge Reinhold look-a-like Christian, and if Perez Hilton and Blake Moynes had a baby Hunter. Sending home skin salesman, the guy with a bad haircut, and the dude with the 90s boyband earring.
Til’ next week, Rose-Lovers! (Gah, I feel like a traitor even saying that.) Just keep on coming with it, Katie.
The Bachelorette airs Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.