With Clare Crawley's stint The Bachelorette The big question that is almost over is whether or not she was a good bachelorette. It's a complicated question with a complicated answer. She has been treated with unusually strict standards, but there has also been so much drama in such a short period of time that it's hard to believe that at least part of it came from the tone she set. Was it good TV at all? I am honestly not sure.
On the one hand, there seems to be some kind of double standard behind Clare's criticism – as is all too often during Bachelorette Seasons. The "sexy dodgeball" date of the second week received a lot of criticism, which is described as objectifying and overly sexualized. On the other hand, I don't remember any similar loud complaints against the pillow fight and lingerie fashion show episode from Peter Weber's season of The bachelorwho played into just as many stereotypes. It is absolutely fair criticism of the show to say that it often forces participants into compromising situations just to create excitement and scandal, but if we have this conversation, it can't be directed to just a single bachelorette – it has to its about the franchise as a whole.
Some of Clare's actions on the show were refreshing; Similar to her predecessor Hannah Brown, she doesn't take crap from loud candidates who feel they can shame them. She dismisses Josef when he yells at her about a date he hasn't even been (the dodgeball incident discussed earlier). She rejects Blake when he tries to break the rules to get one on one with her and kiss her. She sends Zach J. home after violating her boundaries. It's nice to see a bachelor who doesn't waver and can clearly see who the "bad guy" is instead of being charmed.
Unfortunately, that dignity doesn't extend to Clare's entire season, which makes it so frustrating to watch at times. From the moment Dale arrives on the first episode, it's clear that Clare has no interest in anyone but him. Whether this is a product of editors putting episodes together knowing we'd all watch with the knowledge that she was leaving early to be with Dale or if it's an accurate depiction of Clare's behavior, it's not a very good television. When you separate Clare, the person, from Clare, the TV lead actress, it's clear that treating it like the competition was over on the first night results in a very, very boring lead actor.
Plus, it's groaning to see a grown woman (the "oldest bachelorette" as the show ceaselessly advertised and as Josef nastily reminded everyone) behave like a teenager with a crush on a man she barely knows . To tell the truth, I almost would have preferred to show that they talked in secret during the break because then it would at least make more sense!
None of us have any illusions about it The Bachelorette This is a guaranteed path to a long and successful relationship, but most times of the year we can usually at least understand how and why the last couple falls in love, even if it doesn't last. Here it seems like Clare and Dale's connection is essentially "love at first sight" – a combination of physical attraction and gut instinct. It's hard to get invested – or to believe they go way beyond filming – when that's all the "story" we're getting. Ultimately, the start of this season only served to highlight some of the show's worst aspects: its flat renderings of its famous "journeys", its obsession with a certain type of physical beauty, and its insistence on pretending to love it forever can be grown on television in the laboratory several times a year.