We've finally reached the point of no return on The Bachelorette, but unfortunately for ABC, we're not talking about Andi's "journey" to find love. Nope. We're talking about the way in which ABC and The Bachelorette used Eric Hill's death to tease next week's dramatic hometown visits episode at the end of Monday's episode. And it's got us feeling rather ill just thinking about it.
It's never been easy for shows like The Bachelor and Bachelorette to deal with the deaths of contestants. Both series are so campy and full of goofy, reality moments, that it's difficult to switch gears and find the ability to display sincerity and sensitivity towards the people being exploited by the cameras. So far this season, The Bachelorette has done a fairly decent job of paying tribute to Eric in light of his tragic passing, but now they've crossed the line and there's no turning back.
Next week, we're going to watch Andi visit her top four guys' families at home and that should be drama enough, what with Nick getting all teary with his mom and Chris and Marcus worrying about "the right reasons" instead of how to win Andi's heart. That in and of itself should be enough drama to draw us into the penultimate episode (before The Men Tell All and the Final Rose). But nope, ABC has to up the ante and use the moment in which Andi and the guys hear of Eric's death to entice viewers to tune in. It was incredibly, unbearably uncomfortable.
Now, this is a reality show, so it seems pretty unlikely that the series would cut out footage of Andi and the guys crying over their deceased cast mate. That happened, they cared about Eric, and those emotions are a part of "reality" piece of this show. However, using this tragic turn of events to essentially ensure that viewers come out in droves feels cheap and insensitive. It's bad enough that we had to watch Eric and wrestle with the emotions and moral implications of commenting on and judging his behavior on the show. Now, we have to see his friends' and family's pain become a draw to get asses in the metaphorical seats? It just feels terrible to be a part of this.
Sure, ABC is doing what it has to do with a difficult season, but if you ask me, this simply wasn't the right judgement call.