So, it finally happened: ABC chose Rachel Lindsay as the next Bachelorette, who will also be the first black Bachelorette and the first black lead in the franchise's history. It's not necessarily the cultural win I was hoping for, but in a year already characterized by galling pop culture upsets, I'll take what I can get. And if I can address the series directly, I just have one request — nay, one plea — for the upcoming season: Don't overthink it. All fans have been hoping for is a normal season of The Bachelorette that deigns to acknowledge that black women are desirable romantic partners. And hey, maybe even cast a group of dudes that are not all chunks of nearly-identical Balsa wood wearing checkered button-downs. It's possible to find many different shades of wooden hunks.
It doesn't have to be a super serious, reverent, or act any different because Rachel is technically making history for the franchise. Already, she's set you up perfectly, with a fantastic debut season where she managed to seem almost totally reasonable and normal, despite being willing to date Nick Viall. Don't you dare screw this up by turning this into The Very Important BLACK Bachelorette Season. You know there will be trolls commenting on Twitter; ignore them. And yes, there will be differences in what a black woman goes through while dating, but just... represent those things, rather than make them seem new or strange. Again, don't overthink it. You got this, Bachelorette producers.
For years, the show's interlocking casting method has been scapegoated for the lack of diversity, since new stars are almost always plucked from previous seasons. This is a particularly great chance to right that wrong, and recommit to a Bachelor franchise that exposes lovesick semi-professional 23-year-olds of every color. Nothing will ruin that faster than running Rachel's season into the ground, not casting a group of entertaining trainwrecks, and in any way pulling a single punch on what makes The Bachelor and Bachelorette so amazing. I want there to be Daniels, Corinnes, the guy who ate all of that deli meat in the last premiere, heck, throw in a Chris Bukowski cameo. I would very much enjoy seeing Rachel politely decline his offer to crash her season.
I mean, let Rachel put her hair in a swim cap before going in the ocean if she so pleases, but otherwise, this is still just a dating show hosted by Chris Harrison where adults hand one another roses to indicate that they are still attracted to one another.
Basically, Bachelorette powers that be, learn from the mistakes of Season 2 of UnReal: yes, dating as a black person is different than being the typical white Midwesterner, but the best way to deal with the historic choice of a black Bachelorette is to just produce a more melanin-rich version of the same entertaining guilty pleasure series that the show has been for the past thirty-three seasons. And please, please don't let there be a Black Lives Matter-themed episode.