The Bachelorette 2018: Two Reasons This Season Is Fast Becoming My Fave
Ali's search for love has brought with it a bucketload of unpredictability, and with her unwavering desire for love, I've fast become a major, major fan.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to my TED talk. Also, this is absolutely going to out me as someone who watches The Bachelor franchise as though somewhere in my house is a wall decorated with the photos of past contestants connected with various strings and Daily Mail print-outs.
Strap in, this is a lot.
See, it took me a while to click with what's been happening this season, but if you go back through the mythology of the franchise, this one is doing its best to turn a lot of the well-known character tropes on their heads.
Cast your mind back a few weeks to the first episode; all those handsome gents getting out of the limo. Harsh as it might seem, you can always break these guys down into three categories: frontrunners, fillers and f**kwits -- but I don't want to get sued or fired, so I'll just call that last category 'the villains'.
Obviously, when I give dudes these titles, they aren't reflective of their actual personalities, just the edits they receive.
From episode one, you could easily pin both Nathan and Paddy as the villains of the season. Like the Cats and Romys before them, their entrances were heralded by a sharp music change, always something that a royalty-free website would mark under keywords like "saucy" or "jazzy".
Immediately we're introduced to the worst parts of these people, and that lingers around them until they're given the boot around halfway through the competition.
Similarly, the winner edit is equally as noticeable with folks like Charlie, Robert and Bill stepping out of the limo and straight into our hearts. Dashing, handsome, the music flourished -- we know who we're backing from the very start. Or at least, we should, right?
READ MORE: Osher Gunsburg Wants An "Equality Version" Of The Bachelor
This season has quietly decided to abandon the standard edits and the usual character tropes, and instead has given us something that is so, so intriguing. No one's exactly what they seem.
Let's take a step back.
Ali's "journey" has been thrilling because we know so much about where she's come from -- not only because it's been making headlines since she and Grant walked out of paradise, but also because it's part of the show's core. It's referred to by Ali, by the bachelors, even Osher.
Ali continues to talk about how she's been burned in the past, falling for a guy whose intentions may not be totally rock-solid. So here we're presented with a series of men who all fit very neat character descriptions -- only to have the show flip them on their heads.
Sure, Nath didn't get the best go-around, but in before his unceremonial booting from the house, he wasn't really cast in a villainous light, he just seemed... young. His nefarious spreading of rumours wasn't even caught on camera, he was just there and then... wasn't. You probably forgot he was even in the show.
More interestingly, though, was Paddy's arc in the show. Arguably the most visible "villain" with his loud, brash comments, his catchphrase of "FIT" and misguided compliments of Ali's "booty a-popping", Paddy never truly showed much of a malicious side, save for a bout of fisticuffs during the apocalypse group date.
Here's where it gets good -- the true villains of the show have been exactly what Ali has warned us about all along. Bill, Robert and Charlie were all given the frontrunner treatment, up until they weren't. Charlie went from the dashing monolith of muscle who can't wait to settle down, to a stage five clinger -- if not stage seven or eight.
Robert was easily one of Ali's favourites from the get-go, but after a stumble, he continued to trip over his own actions until ultimately being shown the door.
READ MORE: Robert Thinks Charlie Needs To Back Off
Finally, Bill's edit has been the most intriguing because we've never really seen it before. His constant clashes with Charlie put him in an ugly light, though you could argue he's been put in a tough position, going up against someone as intense and passionate as Charlie-boy. So where does that leave him?
Meanwhile, we're now seeing the rise of Taite and Todd, both incredibly handsome, charming dudes who have mostly kept their heads out of the fray between the other gents.
And that brings us to our second reason why this season has been so interesting to watch -- Ali herself.
Ali has been one of the more thrilling bachelorettes because we don't really know where this is all heading. Every time I chat to people there are different theories as to where this season will go. Could she be falling for one of the late-comers, Taite and Todd, or will she end up repeating her past mistakes with someone like Charlie?
One thing's certain, Ali has not suffered fools. Throughout the series she's shown that she's there to find her Mr Right, she's unapologetically ready to kiss who she wants, she'll pash at cocktail parties and she'll even make dudes go to the gym with her.
The edits this year might be unpredictable, but Ali is the biggest question mark in the season. She's sure of herself and stands by her decisions, but those decisions can be unpredictable, and it's so much fun to watch.
With just a few weeks left in the season, it'll be interesting to see where this all leads. Could we be looking at another Honey Badger-esque wig-pull where neither finalist gets the last rose? Is there a proposal in the works?
I have no clue, and I'm obsessed.