The Bachelorette Canada is starting next week, people, and it’s time to get ready! In case you aren’t familiar with this delightful program, The Bachelorette is a spinoff of The Bachelor, a reality dating show that made its debut on ABC back in 2002. You probably know it as that show where a bevy of traditionally attractive women with long hair vie for the affections of a self-proclaimed nice guy who likes to work out a lot, is likely named Brad or Ben, and probably has a job selling insurance in a mid-size city like Denver.
The Bachelor’s spinoff was born when Alex Michel, the first ever man to be the titular Bachelor, rejected fan favourite Trista Rehn, a professional cheerleader with a master’s degree. Super Producer Mike Fleiss saw the opportunity to make boatloads of money by flipping the show’s fairytale script, making it about a reality TV princess who got to choose her prince, rather than sit around and hope he would choose her out of a group of twenty-five women with perfect pedicures.
While Canada has had two seasons of its own moderately successful version of The Bachelor, for the first time, The W Network (my personal favourite TV channel) will be producing a homegrown version of The Bachelorette starring Jasmine Lorimer, a stunningly beautiful hairstylist. She is twenty-seven years old and currently resides in Pemberton, BC.
Because the gods are kind, you can watch twenty eligible men compete for Jasmine’s affections starting Tuesday September 13th at 9 PM. If this Canadian iteration of the franchise is anything like the American one, our leading lady can expect to go on a series of over-the-top romantic dates, like helicopter rides across canyons, trips to Caribbean islands, and a lot of random situations producers concoct to get the men to take their shirts off. In short, it’s great fun, and of course you should watch!
The whole series will culminate in hometown dates to meet the families of Jasmine’s favourite gentlemen callers. If these go well, our lucky lady gets lucky, taking her final few picks to what are called “fantasy suites,” but are really just hotel rooms without cameras where she and the dudes are finally free to fool around. This episode may be full of euphemisms, but loyal fans know it is the long-awaited opportunity for our girl to find out which prospective relationship would be most…fulfilling.
After she makes her final choice (yes, she is in the driver’s seat the whole time), the lucky fellow will likely propose, and this may or may not result in marriage. To be fair, while these engagements sometimes collapse within weeks, the American franchise has also resulted in multiple storybook endings complete with weddings. So tune in if you love love.
While the show is, at its heart, meant to be about romance, it includes something for everyone. My friends and I watch the American version religiously in part because it dissects dating norms and puts them on full display. The show has featured debates about whether a man should ask his prospective wife’s father’s permission for her hand in marriage, and of course, there are the cringe-worthy moments when guys come to possessive blows over our bachelorette, illustrating how dating norms can bring out toxic forms of masculinity. Take it from a feminist who went to grad school for Women’s Studies: this show is a veritable treasure trove for any student of gender issues.
I have been a diehard member of what fans refer to as “Bachelor Nation” for the past three years, and so I am ecstatic to see our country’s spin on my favourite reality show. While many dismiss this series as idle escapism, I swear to you from personal experience that watching The Bachelorette has sparked some of my best ever Twitter rants and some truly memorable conversations with friends. It makes me question some dating norms, while giving me a new perspective on others. Watching The Bachelorette has actually helped me grow as a person. I’m not even joking!
So, if you’re looking for a nice treat to take your mind off the impending end of summer, tune into The W Network on September 13th at 9 PM for a rollicking good time. Oh, and check this space, because I will be post weekly recaps of each episode, dissecting every last romantic make out session.
Let’s get this Bachelorette party started!