The Bachelorette is back, and with it, lots of bad prop food

The Food That Didn't Get Eaten On The Bachelorette, week one: The opposite of drugstore crudité.

Tre and Katie Thurston in The Bachelorette
Tre and Katie Thurston in The Bachelorette
Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Welcome back to The Takeout’s weird column about the food or absence thereof in the many corners of the Bachelor cinematic universe! I’m your host, Allison Shoemaker, and like Tayshia and Kaitlyn I am also conspicuously Not Chris Harrison. When we last left the influencers hopeless romantics of this world, the dumpster was fully on fire and I wasn’t sure we’d be continuing with this ridiculous exercise. But I’ll be damned if Katie Thurston hasn’t managed to make me excited about this franchise for the first time since they made poor Brendan shop for engagement rings on a date specifically to wig him out. This person knows what she’s doing. Often the people who make the best TV don’t seem to be in control of the great TV they’re making (see: like three-quarters of reality TV “villains.”) But Katie Thurston is absolutely in control, or at minimum, she’s making it seem like she is. If she keeps making this all seem less fake by acknowledging the artifice she is going to put me out of work.

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So, let’s make hay while the sun still shines. If I could have your attention, please?

Gif: ABC

Let’s get to it.

Did The Bachelorette actually eat food this week?

Can we count cat makeup? No? Then nope, but she sucked a lot of face and drank not nearly enough whiskey!

What didn’t The Bachelorette eat this week?

Popcorn, drugstore crudité, iced tea, a pasta necklace, fake beef, a nice tall glass of milk, and champagne with fingernails in it.

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Popcorn

Hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe watch the arrivals out the window and eat popcorn
Popcorn!
Screenshot: ABC
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As I alluded to above, there’s no Chris Harrison this season, because this garbage happened. When it was announced that he’d be replaced this season by former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe, I sort of assumed it would be dumb at best (like when James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosted the Oscars) and boring at worst (like when No One hosted the Oscars). Delighted to say I was wrong! Kaitlyn and (especially) Tayshia’s enthusiasm, giddiness, and apparent camaraderie lend a totally different dynamic to the proceedings, one that’s actually far more centered on the experience of the lead. Tayshia and Kaitlyn are not above the fray, nor are they active participants. It’s like if Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? were hosted by the contestant’s Phone-A-Friend friend. They peek out at her through the window and eat popcorn. It’s cute.

Also, at the end of the episode they show a little scene where they all try to open a bottle of champagne without breaking a nail. It’s fun! That said, Katie’s so good at being “Genuine” without also being overly saccharine or unforgivably dull that I suspect they could have asked a box of Ritz Bits Cheese Sandwiches to host and the episode would still have been a breath of fresh air.

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Drugstore crudité and RV iced tea

Small snacky vegetables and a square of ranch
Really, dude?
Screenshot: ABC
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Premieres are always “here’s 30 dudes desperate for screentime and/or who are finding out in real time that they’re terrified of cameras,” so it’s neither possible nor worthwhile to name them all. Let’s just pick one dude to represent all the “thanks but no thanks” guys this season. How about, I don’t know, the Surgical Skin Salesman?

Guy named Jeff with text on screen that reads "Jeff, Surgical Skin Salesman"
Screenshot: ABC
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Jeff from Jersey rolled up in an RV, which could probably have been cute, except he didn’t clean it first. He takes her in there to make awkward jokes about date rape and loudly eat celery from the grab-n-go Walgreens crudité he presented her with. Dude! Get it together! You tarnish the good names of all Surgical Skin Salesman with this clownery! Jeff goes home, along with several other dudes whose names I’ve already forgotten because basically everyone make sex toy jokes and called it a day.

Pasta from a pasta necklace, fake beef, and a tall glass of milk

Illustration for article titled The Bachelorette is back, and with it, lots of bad prop food
Screenshot: ABC
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Katie’s first impression rose went to Greg, a member of the touring company of Dear Evan Hansen marketing dude, who charmed her by being nervous and giving her a pasta necklace made by his three-year-old niece. I assume her Target jewelry line is already in the works. They smooched a lot.

Katie managed to resist eating the pasta, and she also avoided some (heh) fake beef. Of all the contestants who didn’t eat celery loudly into their microphones thus sealing their own fates got a rose, it’s two big muscle-y ones who seem likeliest to take up a lot of oxygen next week, when they have a very public, totally definitely unprompted mystery spat in which neither actually explains what they’re puffing their pocket squares about in hopes that you’ll all want to find out NEXT TIME. It’s going to be insufferable.

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She also didn’t drink a tall glass of milk, though the math teacher dressed as a cat managed to win her over in spite of (because of?) that joke. Not only that, this season’s wacky costume guy absolutely triumphed.

Katie and man dressed as cat tenderly swap spit
Something something WAP joke something.
Screenshot: ABC
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Katie Thurston Is An Excellent Bachelorette! Other people who did reasonably well and/or were memorable: A charming guy who popped out of a ball pit and seems actually really lovely; a football player whose British accent is a) his whole personality and b) not nearly as good as he thinks it is; a dude who wrote a poem full of Q words that ended with a cunnulingus reference; a guy who showed up in a giant box (WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!?!?!?) with a bow on it and refused to come out until Katie opened it so the producers kept interviewing the box. This is your time to shine, weirdos!

RV outside fancy hotel with closed captions "[loudly chomping]" and "Wow."
“Loudly chomping.”
Screenshot: ABC
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Who most deserves a plate full of macaroni and cheese or a huge piece of cake or something?

Jeff the Surgical Skin Salesman’s mother. See you next week!

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Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

DISCUSSION

saritasara
saritasara

Katie is such a good Bachelorette!!

I gotta say, after all of the commercials with tears and “If you’re NOT HERE for the RIGHT REASONS!!!!1111!1!!!1" crap I was seriously not looking forward to the dumpster fire to come.

But after this first ep I am (cautiously) optimistic that it will actually be the fun/good kind of Trash for a change!