Episodes 1 & 2

For multiple reasons, I don't plan on doing full Panda-style recaps for this season of the Bachelorette. Those reasons are:

  1. Time. Plain and simple. It takes too many hours of my personal time to write and assemble a recap. I can't help but feel there are bigger and more rewarding things I could be doing with my time.
  2. It's gotten to the point where I dread writing them. This only applies to this blog because the posts have gotten so lengthy. Even watching the show isn't as fun because I know I'll have to watch the two-hour episode all over again. Watching four hours of The Bachelor/ette per week is too much, even for me.
  3. I pride myself on being honest, but since I personally know some of the folks involved in this particular season, I predict (and fear) it will be hard to remain objective.

I will continue to post my most pressing thoughts the very next morning in my Flare column and plan on doing brief recaps here. What I write here may or may not spiral out of control and become long-winded tirades. (I know myself well enough to know that may very well happen.) However, because of the above reasons, I don't want to promise a full season of full-length recaps. I've gotten many requests to continue the Best Dressed/Worst Dressed section and will continue to do those.

Thank you to everyone who has followed along to me, and especially to those who commented. I will continue to be involved in the discussion as long as you'll have me!

FLARE RECAPS

NIGHT ONE

The one thing that stuck out to me (other than the awkwardness I mentioned in Flare) was the lack of warmth between the women. I understand it's a direct competition and I don't blame them for not behaving like besties. However, considering Kaitlyn and Britt were made to hold hands at the big Double-Bachelorette announcement, I suppose I was expecting more girly camaraderie than...

But enough about them! Let's get to...

 

(SOME OF) THE GUYS

Ben H, 26: Very cute. Further research must be done on the rest of him. 

Jonathan, 33: Seems nice enough, but I spy a possible over-emoter...

 Shhh.

Shhh.

Clint, 27: THE CHRIS HARRISON TRICERATOPS DRAWING. Beyond being an effective (and hilarious) ice-breaker, it was actually a phenomenal drawing...

Ryan B, 32: The "Hey, Disney Princess" opener aside, I like Ryan B. I'm a diehard Seth MacFarlane fan, so anyone who feels the same way is a kindred spirit.

Jared, 26: "I'm still single because I'm the type of person that knows what they want." No, Jared. You're still single because you're 26 years old. It's okay!

Brady, 33: I have a TON of respect for Brady. He comes off so mature and genteel (yes, genteel), and obviously didn't care about being on television. There was no guarantee of a chance with Britt in the real world but he took that chance anyway. I haven't been so moved since Ames ditched Bachelor Pad 2 to be with Jackie... 

Ian, 28 - HOT. I think Ian might be my #1 in terms of eye candy. However, in his hometown package he actually said: "I've always wanted a wife, I've always wanted a family, and this is the opportunity to really find that." ReallyIanReally? He seems bright so I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was coaxed by a producer into saying that.

Joe, 28 - I like Joe well enough, but THAT HAIR. After what I did to Josh last year, you knew this was coming...

Sean B, 28: I really liked his limo exit. He brought the girls together for a sort of group hug. Even though he later expressed a clear preference for Kaitlyn, he first gave Britt a big, friendly hug to offset all the awkwardness. I was impressed. Kaitlyn said, "Sean gives me the feeling that I was looking for tonight." FRONTRUNNER ALERT.

Tony, 35: I get that Tony is potentially great television from a drama standpoint but as a person he rubs me the wrong way. He seems to take himself SO seriously. Britt calls him "a really sincere guy" and I don't disagree. I just feel like if you're on The Bachelorette, you have to see the humor in everything around you. I don't see him grasping that. Maybe he'll prove me wrong.

Chris, 28: If you don't want to be this person's friend, you're crazy:

 Yummy in all the ways.

Yummy in all the ways.

Ben Z, 26: "I think Britt and Kaitlyn would both be a great match for me." I cannot even begin to discuss how wrong this statement is. However, it seems he has already perfected the art of the broody B-roll*...

 "Hey girl."

"Hey girl."

* B-roll: Dialogue-free shots to be later paired with voiceovers from ITMs. These can include but are not limited to walking, showering, free hug-giving, leaning against barns, stone-throwing, looking pensive, looking reflective, looking forlorn, looking lonely... (you get the idea)

 

THE DRESSES

I have to wonder if it was a strategic powers-that-be move to have Britt looking ethereal and pure in flowing white, with Kaitlyn, our potty-mouthed, skinny-dipping wild child in slinky sequins. Nothing about this show is coincidental, after all.

I liked everything about Britt OTHER than her dress. I loved her pared-down makeup (she really is beautiful and even more so with less eye makeup) and her pinned-back waves. I especially liked how she carried herself with such grace all night, especially when receiving the pretty awful news that she didn't win the vote. She was the epitome of class. 

As for her dress, I imagine it's stunning in person (when Shawn B twirl-hugged her it flowed gorgeously) but through my television the vibe was a tad too bridal...

If you're going to do white, you need to really think twice about the length, the neckline, the material, the silhouette... If we photoshopped a veil and bouquet onto her they wouldn't be entirely out of place. Objectively I can appreciate the hard-soft dichotomy of the heavy waist embellishment on that soft dress, but sadly I've never been a fan of any embellishments at a waistline (I've never owned a single item that had it) as they always strike me as prom-y.  Luckily this girl could wear a paper bag and look hot. Yes, she looks gorgeous, but I don't credit that dress.

Kaitlyn's dress was a home run for me...

There wasn't a single angle where this dress didn't steal the show. I love the unexpected navy (you would expect black), the subtle racerback, and the sheer detailing along the arm holes. Her exact dress still sells here—on sale!—and there's a nude/gold version (which I may possibly love even more) on sale here!

My one wish might have been for an up-do (you know you'll be hearing about this a lot this season as Kaitlyn seems to rarely wear her hair up) or maybe a side bun, but on the whole I have no complaints. She brought it.

Both ladies nailed it in the accessories department...

Britt made excellent accessories choices. She chose a bold statement ring to go with the hard aspect of her dress, as opposed to the soft, bridal side. Very good move. Her teardrop earrings are simple but feminine. (I also dig her simple studs for her secondary piercings and they're making me consider secondary hole piercings for the 18,300th time in my life.) I also LOVE that she didn't wear a necklace. I think too many women wear too many pieces of jewelry. She let the dress (and her bare neck and shoulders) speak for themselves, and accented—as opposed to overpowering—them with her accessories.

I WANT KAITLYN'S RING. Badly. Every time it came into view I was trying to get a better look at it and lusting hard. Her earrings were lovely, too. Great choices all around! 

As with Andi's Night One jewelry, both girls' items are by Cezua (meaning they're fine, not costume) and hard to obtain. I scoured around for some similar pieces, though...

  • Britt's gold statement ring: Similar here, here, here, and here.
  • Britt's teardrop earrings: Similar here and here
  • Kaitlyn's floral pavé ring: Similar here, here, here, and here.
  • Kaitlyn's leaf pavé earrings: Similar here. (There's also a teardrop pair I love that sort of marry both girls' earrings here)

 

BEST DRESSED

I had a couple of standouts. I loved Chris' simple but impeccable suit...

It's not original in any way, but DAMN it fits him well. I also liked his watch. He just looks crisp and dapper and GOOD. 

I was into Clint's ensemble...

I like both his mix of colors and patterns. The pattern-mixing in particular is harder to pull off than it looks. It's subtle (I totally overlooked it until I saw some up-close shots of the prints) and elegant. And you know by now I like a nice tie clip. :)

My winner for Best Dressed was none other than genteel Brady...

If a male friend ran these items by me beforehand, I would have said NO. But somehow on Brady they all just work. I never thought I'd be one to like a collarless shirt, but I love his. Even his celery-green, cartoon flower-print pocket scarf seems like it shouldn't work, yet it totally does. The whole thing has a Brooklyn hipster edge to it WITHOUT BEING IRRITATING, something that boggles my mind. I'm beyond impressed. 

 

WORST DRESSED

Poor Shawn E. I loved his Car Pool. And he's Canadian. But this look was not good...

Fat, shiny ties are terrible. No exceptions. This one looks like something you'd see at senior prom. It's possible it could be passable on a groomsman at a wedding. (At best) Then there's the fat stripes and the wilted-looking handkerchief... No. :(

My Worst Dressed, however, was Justin...

Again, a fat, shiny tie, except the color is even more offensive. I get that he was going for a statement, but I doubt that statement was meant to emulate a Las Vegas Magician. (Sorry, Justin)

Men, if you are going to attempt anything in the realm of Patriarch Purple (yes, I researched the name of that shade of purple... Don't judge me), remember it's a bold color that speaks for itself. Don't make it the focal point or emphasize it with shine. Ian wore it much better with his (matte!) shirt, paired with classic basics:

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!