'The Bachelorette': Des navigates the "James situation"

The point of The Bachelorette is for the title lady to find love (or, you know, "love") with one of her 16 suitors, some of whom she'll feel an immediate disinclination toward and others she'll only gradually grow to despise. It's a war of attrition, but it's also a simple one in which -- most of the time, anyway -- the correct feelings are felt or not felt and the right decision isn't hard to make. Rarely do you leave an episode thinking "I can't believe she kept THAT one!" Most Rose Ceremonies are a confirmation of what we already knew, even with editors' propensity toward last-minute, artifical drama.

After all, they've got to fill time, right? This is a two hour show bookended most of the time by at most two dates, which leaves…I don't know, an hour in-between from which to try and extract pointless drama. What's so great about The Bachelorette -- and so upsetting about contemporary American men but hey, recaps -- is the way that pointless drama is also authentic drama. These men vying for Des' heart really are losing sleep over another contestants' "motivations" or "intentions," really do believe that 1) confronting them and 2) tattling on them to their mutual conquest is the "right" thing to do, a valuable use of their time and energy.

All of which is really just a long-winded build-up to HOLY COW EVERY GUY ON THIS SHOW, BUT ESPECIALLY KASEY, DREW, AND MICHAEL IS SUCH A BABY MAN AND WHAT WOMAN IN AMERICA WOULD WANT TO DATE ANY ONE OF THESE BABY MEN. Can I get a "hell yeah!" ladies? I really need to know you agree, or I'm just stumped.

None of which changes the fact (I feel like I'm repeating my Ben disclaimer from last week) that James' agro meathead demeanor is pretty unappealing, and Des was wise to get rid of him. But, like, get a sense of humor every single person on this show. And not about James, really, or the "James situation" as an overheard conversation from 2-3 weeks ago has come to be known. About…life, and your reactions to it? Some sample assessment of James, from our remaining contestants:

  • "We all want to protect [Des] from someone as toxic…and frankly evil as James." - Michael
  • "I'm doing the best I can to stay calm right now" - Chris
  • "If James gets a rose tonight the rest of us guys in the house will probably BLEEP ourselves" - Michael (praying that word starts with an "f" and not an "s")
  • "Desiree may have a mutiny on her hands tonight if she doesn't make the right decision." -Drew

Listen -- reality TV is often less fun when its participants spend much time reflecting on the fact that they're reality show contestants but GUYS, YOU'RE ON A REALITY DATING COMPETITION. Spare us the morality plays, the high-horsery, the "I'm just looking out for my future wife"ery. Just chill the eff out, bros! Especially when, as we saw in at least one case tonight, that complete lack of self-awareness actually sent you home.

Juan Pablo, despite producers' desperate attempts to win him a rose with this latest soccer challenge, was never destined for a long stay. But the remaining contestants should be much more frightened by Kasey's dismissal, which throws all of their obsession with "honesty" into question. Maybe you guys should be less concerned with all of your guy-on-guy slap-fighting than winning Des' affection, i.e. what you proclaim to be your purpose on the show (or, more dramatically, "in life")? Michael can even corroborate, having nearly blown his whole game the week before pulling exactly the same shit. Man, oh man. If there were an option to just straight-up replace all the guys on the show, I can't imagine a better way to start the next episode.

Image: DigitalSpy