Entertainment: I Survived the Bachelorette: Week 1

Photo Credit: ABC

Emily Maynard, season 8 Bachelorette, prepares herself for the long journey ahead.

As first time viewers of ‘The Bachelorette’, we can certainly see the appeal of the tried and true concept of the matchmaking series; however, we’re still uncertain whether or not we’ll fully enjoy the show.

The first episode seemed overwhelming. With 25 men invited to court this season’s starlet, Emily, and only 90 minutes, time was limited. There simply was not enough woman to go around. The contestants were jockeying constantly for valuble one on one time, which was confusing and even tiresome.

Viewers were left with very brief profiles of many of the men, and marginally more detailed profiles of the few who made outrageous first impressions. For example: Kalon, who earned the ire of his fellow contestants by arriving to the Bachelorette Mansion in a helicopter. Maybe the show is stacked towards certain guys who will inevitably advance to the later rounds, but the surplus of men left us as viewers feeling very little connection to all but a couple of candidates (more on those guys later).

Furthermore, we are not particularly enamored with this season’s mistress. Based on early promotion of the season, the producers chose Emily for the show because she had “won” ‘The Bachelor’ once before, earning what she thought was the true love of Brad, a contestant on that show.

Lost love and motherhood seem to be Emily’s only major character traits. She repeats for every man that she is a single mother. Her first husband, a racecar driver, died en route to a race, and then Brad left her shortly after their stint on ‘The Bachelor’ (bad press for the series as a whole, no?). Character development may speed up as the episodes continue, but thus far we still have the impression that Emily has little appeal beyond her looks.

Gripes aside, a few of the guys still caught our eye as good contestants, and people to watch out for in tonight’s second episode and in the future:

JEF: While many guys attempted to act cool, Jef, the founder and CEO of a bottled water company, seems to have been most effective, even earning the approval of Emily herself. He arrived on a skateboard, and wowed many with his interesting clothing and hairstyle, seemingly a throwback to the 80s. We predict Jef’s genuine character will make him a formidable contestant as the season wears on.

ARIE: Though he is a racecar driver, a profession that may arouse bad memories for Emily, Arie also struck us as a potential suitor. He addressed his profession very early on, and Emily appeared okay, despite her ex-husband’s past. He also struck us as one of the few guys who didn’t attempt to over-promote himself, and we think his modesty could pay dividends down the line.

DOUG: We were most impressed with Doug, to whom Emily gave the ‘Best First Impression’ rose. Doug took an interesting approach, trying to connect with Emily as a single parent, offering her a hand-written letter from his son about how great a dad he is. This left us feeling that, based on the glimpses of each guy we’ve seen, he connects the most with Emily, as she made it clear that motherhood was a big, if not the biggest, part of her life.

Overall, while we were underwhelmed by the season’s first episode, we are interested to see if the show can redeem itself as the cast thins by offering more thorough insight into both the contestants and Emily herself.