The Trauma Bearing (and boring) Episode

Between Katie’s “no consent” story to Michael’s tragic story of losing his wife and young son’s mother to cancer, tonight was really heavy. Our reality shows aren’t supposed to be this real. I’m not sure how I feel about this in what used to be a reliable couple of hours of mindless and predictably campy entertainment. I like Katie and am feeling invested in her journey – by the way, it took a full 25 minutes for the first appearance of that word which left me quite thirsty – but these detours are brutal.

I’ll leave the cultural commentary to others far more qualified than me although I am amused by the reality that this one-time campy show has something to say about culture. But I can speak briefly to the psychology of tonight. There was a lot of vulnerability. Vulnerability leads to trust. Trust leads to intimacy. And intimacy is full of FEELINGS!!!! Some real and lasting. Some false and temporary. Some are evanescent[1]. So I’ll be looking out for how all this realness plays a role in Katie’s journey – yes, I need another sip. I think it did tonight.

Alright, on to the hijinks.

They wasted no time in getting their promotional considerations in. After the opening previews, the show opened with this.

Karl stepped up his villainhood enough to make Katie cancel the cocktail party, something we’re getting used to this after Tayshia’s season. However, while she’s in a room alone in her feelings, Greg leaves the guys to go console her without any apparent concern from any of the guys and somehow returns to the guys without any apparent concern from any of the guys.

Karl is so sure that Katie’s into him that it will take a military squadron to get him to leave.

Military squadron preparing for Karl’s exit.

And so Karl gets canceled after only a two-week stint as the villain which means there is another villain coming.

Enter Everybody’s Doubting Thomas, he of the circular reasoning about Love and Fear being the same thing although he couldn’t explain why. My Daughter Diandra (MDD)[2] says he the perfect Bachelor villain: manipulative, narcissistic, good-looking, and the Bachelorette is into him. And every good villain also has a foil who cannot avoid being dragged down into the villainy – in this case, Aaron.

This brings me to the big thing about this episode other than the other real really big things. Everybody’s Doubting Thomas and Aaron were two of the early favorites. But that whole vulnerability-trust-intimacy-FEELINGS things really showed up with Math Teacher and ex-problem drinker Connor, and especially with single dad Michael. He got the 1-on-1 date which ended with splendiferous stars in the sky [cue Sylvester Stars]. Along with Greg, they form MDD’s current Top Three and that’s hard to argue against right now.

I’ve been getting texts that suggested the episode was boring. I prefer “heavy” in describing it which also made it rather ponderous, so I won’t argue with boring. The Soul-Baring Group Date was laborious and uncomfortable. Hopefully, the Evil Genius Producers (EGPs) have gotten it out of their system and we can get back to being able to lovingly mock the show for all the right reasons.

See you next week.

P.S. Tonight’s viewing wine was one of my go-to Quality-to-Price Ratio faves: San Gregorio Single Vineyard Loma Gorda Old Vine Garnacha.

[1] I originally wrote “ephemeral” but I was listening to Evanescence in the car today and I have lots of strong and lasting FEELINGS for Amy Lee’s voice.

[2] Who also gets credit for inspiring this post’s title.

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