*Warning: Minor spoilers ahead*
Tonight, The Bachelorette returned to ABC with a brand-new lead: Katie Thurston. I’m no stranger to the obsession surrounding the popular dating series, but no one ever talks about the huge time commitment involved. (As in, I dedicate 26 hours to every season in the hopes that it will live up to expectations.)
Since it’s pretty easy to determine whether a given season is worth the watch based on the premiere episode, that’s exactly what I did. From the quirky contestants to the new lead, here’s my honest review of The Bachelorette season 17.
So, what happens in the premiere? All the usual stuff we’ve seen in the past 16 seasons of The Bachelorette, including a quick introduction to Katie, a steamy video montage and a visit from past Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe, who are serving as co-hosts.
Of course, the limo arrivals are even cheesier than last year, featuring everything from a rogue jock strap to a cat costume (drawn-on whiskers included). Oh, and how could I forget about Andrew S., who faked a British accent?
After meeting the contestants, Katie heads inside to mingle with the men, who pull out all the stops. Not only does Justin give her an incomplete painting of his heart (seriously), but Tre turns the bed of his truck into a ball pit.
At the end of the night, Katie gives the First Impression Rose to—drumroll, please—Connor B. (the guy in the cat costume) before diving into the first rose ceremony.
So, is The Bachelorette season 17 worth the watch? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. I know, I know—you’re probably rolling your eyes at the thought of wasting the next few weeks on another love story that might end in heartbreak.
The difference? Katie isn’t like past Bachelorettes. We’ve seen some different personalities—like Hannah Brown, who could barely string a sentence together—but we’ve never seen anything like Katie. She’s real, she’s honest, and she’s not afraid to make fun of her awkwardness. Regardless of whether Katie finds love, I want to know what happens next, which isn’t always the case.
Not to mention, Bristowe and Adams offer a comedic element I didn’t know was missing. Not only did I LOL at their popcorn-munching cameo during the limo arrivals, but I also appreciate their relatable commentary and firsthand advice.
The only aspect that worries me is the contestants, who clearly haven’t been out much since the lockdown. While the drama is aplenty (based on the trailer for what’s to come), there’s a fine line between entertaining and annoying. Right now, the men are entertaining. But they’re only one quarantine joke away from crossing the line, and for that reason, I’m going to give it a few more episodes until I decide whether or not to fully commit to this (probably) rocky relationship with The Bachelorette season 17.
PureWow rating: 3.5 stars
My rating is solely based on the first episode of The Bachelorette season 17, so don’t come after me if it takes a turn for the better (or worse). Although the show is as staged as ever, I’m genuinely intrigued by the realness Katie Thurston showed on night one. And for that reason, I’m sticking around…at least for now.
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