A little on the late side this week, but just in time for tonight’s new episode!
We try to summarize the episode in 30 words: one word for each contestant the season started with.
Ariel: Hometowns! Vanessa’s is overwhelming. Corinne’s is great, and I’m rooting for her? Nick awkwardly tells Rachel’s family he’s been on dates with black women before. Raven’s dad is cancer free!
Matthew: Nick meets the families. Raven rolls in mud (seriously). Rachel’s hometown goes great even though we already know she doesn’t win. Corinne spends money. Vanessa’s parents hate Nick so much.
Hometown Dates! Discuss!
Matthew: For once there’s a really logical way to do this, since there were four separate hometown dates that pretty cleanly broke this episode. “Matthew, why don’t you just always do these posts in chronological order?” SHHHHHH THAT’S NOT MY VISION.
Before we dive into Raven’s hometown, any overall impressions? I genuinely love the hometown date episode, because once you bring in the families, shit goes off-script. And the contestants actually get fleshed out and get to be real people. Both good things! But mostly the families can fuck shit up because THEY aren’t there for the right reasons! THEY’RE NOT SURE WHY THEY’RE ON TV RIGHT NOW. How about you?
Ariel: Well, this is not an overall impression (rose), but I had this crazy thought earlier today. What if they announced Rachel is the next Bachelorette to throw us completely off the fact that the show ends with Nick choosing Rachel and her rejecting him? At this point, I think it’s just as likely Corinne/Vanessa/Raven could win, but WHAT IF?
Matthew: OH MY GOD I WANT THIS. AM I A BAD PERSON THOUGH?
Ariel: But are you having a good time is the question.
Matthew: What happens if the Bachelor(ette) gets rejected when they finally come down to the proposal? Do they have to work backwards until someone says yes? How binding are the rules, here?
On a more serious note, I think at this point I’m rooting for Raven, but I have to admit that her hometown date was maybe not super memorable. Which says a lot since one of the others was church.
On that note, should we discuss Raven’s date? I just said it wasn’t super memorable, but it was pretty chill and sweet? She played a prank on him, they rode around on ATVs, and then they met her parents and found out that her dad is now cancer free! Which probably wasn’t one of her planned activities but damn I got Actually Emotional during that reveal.
Ariel: I really enjoyed Raven’s date. This might be controversial, but I thought the swamp kissing was adorable. I kept turning to my husband and being like, “This is SO romantic and magical! Look at how bright the colors are around them as they kiss! It is like a magazine!” And he kept just repeating, “But they are in a swamp.”
Matthew: Haha, I was also team “but they are in a swamp”, but I’ve made out with people in questionably appropriate locations too so I’m not judging.
Ariel: I liked how Nick met Raven’s brother, it was very cute. And I think Nick felt super awkward to be around for such a huge family moment when they found out her dad was cancer free, but it was really sweet.
Matthew: Nick got a lot of shit on social media this week for looking awkward during all the family meetings, but I thought he did pretty well for himself? This was a crazy emotional moment for everyone! And I liked that he got a one-on-one conversation with the dad afterwards and immediately kicked it off with a rather touching sentiment about the news.
I don’t even have anything to make fun of here. Everyone was just very friendly and hit it off and HER DAD BEAT CANCER, YOU GUYS.
Ariel: I had a lot of feelings during this scene. I found out my husband was cancer free less than a year ago, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to have something like that televised. I was in awe of how normal and relaxed everyone seemed to be discussing it with the cameras around, which was cool.
I just kept being like I hope Raven is okay with this if she really had no warning this would happen beforehand! Obviously she is just happy to be hearing the wonderful news, but like does she also wish the cameras would fuck off??? I had so many questions!
I don’t think it’s fair Nick got a lot of shit. I was certainly joking about it, but more from the standpoint that he looked like how basically anyone would in that situation, and if he hadn’t I would have been suspicious that he was SUCH a good actor. I think it speaks to his authenticity!
Matthew: Good point… it kinda seems unlikely that they wouldn’t tell them beforehand? Especially Raven?
But regardless of whether it was the first time they were hearing the news, it’s not like it’s suddenly not a crazy intimate family moment hearing news like that. The whole thing was sweet.
And in a totally different area of Actually Emotional, Raven wanted to tell Nick she loved him and froze. Raven’s hometown was so real, y’all.
Ariel: It really was 😉
Matthew: Rachel’s hometown date was the big one this week. It seemed to go really well, which is strange because we already know that she’s the next Bachelorette and at SOME point she gets cut? I can’t really see this date being what does it.
Ariel: With Rachel, it’s more likely she’s top two but that Nick is like, “This was the hardest thing ever, but I see my future with so and so sobs hysterically”
Matthew: God, that’d be so anticlimactic if the final two is Rachel and somebody and we’re like “Seriously, why did they announce she was the next Bachelorette SO EARLY?”
Ariel: If that happens you’ll know my twist has to be right!
Matthew: So, for the date itself, this was some prime “Nick looks awkward” viewing, because they go to a southern mega church, and also he’s the only white person in there. I’ve never seen a person look like they were concentrating so hard to clap in time.
Matthew: But in all seriousness, this whole date was actually way more tactful than I expected a show like The Bachelor to handle “so, this is an interracial relationship” stuff. It struck me as a lot of smart, progressive conversations? I was DREADING that Nick was gonna do some “I don’t see color” shit and he didn’t at all. Nick and Rachel both just pointed out that it’s new for them and pretty comfortably navigated it and everybody just embraced who everybody else was.
Ariel: I appreciated so much that Nick was like, “I’m not colorblind.” Words I was not expecting to hear him say!
The part I found most awkward was when Nick tried to explain he’d been on dates with black women…again came across as very real without the polished answer, but I was cringing hard. I think it would have been better if he’d just said, “No I haven’t” when asked if he’d been in a relationship with a black woman before.
Matthew: OH MY GOD yeah that was a moment. My roommate and I talked about that when it happened because I immediately balked at the awkwardness of telling your girlfriend’s mom “Oh yeah, I’ve dated other women before your daughter. WINK.” But when we both thought a bit more about the context, it wasn’t as rough at it seemed at first? If I’m remembering this correctly, Rachel’s mom asked him if he’d dated a black woman before, not if he’d ever had a serious relationship. It was a personal question and an open answer.
Ariel: It’s good it was addressed, but I wish there had been more time to see the other conversations that happened without that being the only focus.
Matthew: I personally didn’t mind that they talked about race the whole time, the way the date was edited, although my friends I watched the show with (coincidentally this week, all women of color) said they got bored. I dunno, I’m weird and I like thinking about society a lot? My favorite moment was when Rachel told the camera that in her family “you don’t have to have black skin, but you have to have thick skin”, and then everyone was fucking ribbing each other the whole time and laughing a lot. YET ANOTHER GOOD FAMILY DATE THIS EPISODE.
Ariel: Yeah I don’t want to criticise this show for talking about it too much since normally I’d complain people don’t have these kinds of difficult conversations enough. But I also don’t want The Bachelor to suddenly pat itself on the back tooooo much and overdo it after all its years of missteps in this department.
At least they’re trying and doing something especially with all the scary shit in America, at least the fucking Bachelor is trying?
Matthew: Yeah, the moment where I raised my eyebrow the most was when they sat down with Rachel’s sister and brother-in-law, who are also an interracial couple. I chuckled when the brother-in-law joked to Nick that he noticed “you are a white”, but then I did think it was a little weird that HE, the other white dude, was the one (at least in the edit) who was kind of leading the “have you ever dated a black woman before” conversation.
Matthew: I think that was the only bit that I seemed off to me (though I’m white, so I could totally have missed something else), but overall, yeah, it’s fucking weird that The Bachelor is where we have productive conversations about race in America in 2017. This is the world we live in now.
Ariel: Alright so next up is CORINNE so I am pumped.
Matthew: Ugh, that makes one of us.
Ariel: I loved it! She has such a fun family! They weren’t what I was expecting. NICK SHOULD BE SO LUCKY!
I think my favourite bit was when Corinne was complaining about being teased about having a nanny, and then were basically like, “How the fuck did that come up?” Also Raquel is clearly not her nanny now…she has been in Corinne’s life for 17 years, and it’s probably just the easiest way to describe their relationship? I have friends who had a nanny growing up they’re still very close to, and they still would call her that even though she is clearly not still literally their nanny.
Or maybe my favourite bit was Corinne’s dad knowing full well Nick has not sold software in years and that he wants to be a professional reality contestant, which may not bring home real money long-term.
Matthew: It’s crazy how much we disagree on Corinne. I just felt bored throughout this entire hometown date.
I mean, it’s obviously Nick’s decision and he seems to be having a good time because he’s also kind of… not my favorite. But I thought these people were just so fucking boring. They have tons of money. Their leisure activity is shopping. Their biggest concerns were how Nick makes money. Watching this date was like trying to grab a bar of soap that you dropped in the sink.
Matthew: Now, sure, their wealth is circumstantial. I don’t begrudge them that. But I didn’t see anything in this date that told me anything about who they are.
I weirdly feel like I know LESS about Corinne after this hometown date. Her family loves each other, but that doesn’t tell me anything about who Corinne is? Her activity date was going shopping. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy shopping too, but this was such a missed opportunity to see who she is outside of the privileged person they’ve been presenting her as since day one. Does she have any hobbies outside from shopping? Does she give back to the community at all? This was such a sharp contrast from “Raven likes playing pranks and riding around outdoors!” “Rachel’s faith is important to her!” I learned nothing new about Corinne, who I’m realizing once you strip away the Bachelor Villain casting, she’s just pretty boring.
Ariel: I felt like this was her chance to show that she has a very carefree side (I don’t identify a lot of her actions on the show as carefree since she was always just so stressed about getting Nick’s attention), and she wants to be in the kind of relationship where you can make an every day activity like shopping something really fun and silly.
Ariel: I also thought it was cool that she was totally open to being the breadwinner in her family and that she comes from a family that was satisfied with that answer.
I wouldn’t say prank playing/riding around outdoors is more revealing than wanting to spoil the boy she loves and make something as dumb as shopping an adventure. I would be into seeing what else she likes, and maybe it was a missed opportunity/a weird decision by whoever makes these decisions, but I thought it was sweet!
Matthew: Ok, I see your point that Corinne buying clothes FOR Nick does reveal about as much as the other dates did. I’m not quite as on board that it demonstrates that she has a carefree side – she CONSTANTLY has Nick’s attention.
Ariel: She was so funny with him when he was trying on goofy clothes! And she just seemed so happy that she could take this guy she loves on a dumb shopping date with her! I totally get it. She went on that fucking farm date for Nick, she deserves this one, okay?
Matthew: Haha yeah, the farm date was bullshit (literally). But I’m not sure shoveling cow shit and someone taking you on a shopping spree are the same kind of dumb date to struggle through.
Ariel: No I mean she deserves to do the date she wants to do (or that the producers suggested? I have no idea)!
Matthew: I don’t know. I remain thoroughly uncharmed by Corinne, but I’m not the bachelor. Nick and Corinne do seem to have plenty of chemistry. What did you make of his reaction to her saying she loved him?
Ariel: I think Corinne is right and that he can’t say anything at that point (really letting us peak behind the curtain there), but he seemed to enjoy it. Knowing what we know of Nick, I think he 100% would have not gone to meet her family if he was sure he didn’t feel it back.
He might still be sussing out his feelings for everyone and determining who he feels strongest about, but I would say his response of seeming happy and to enjoy the rest of her hometown date was a positive sign.
Matthew: Ok, cool. Same. I wanted to try to find at least one Corinne-adjacent thing we could agree on.
Ariel: Hahahaha you just want this partnership to work! Should we move onto Vanessa or do you have anything else about the Corinne hometown you want to say?
Matthew: Just that I was super bummed out that Corinne’s dad watered down his scotch so much. THERE. I’M A SNOB TOO. I’M NOT PERFECT.
Ok, cool, I’m ready to move on to Vanessa now.
Ariel: I don’t think I really like Vanessa all that much…whereas I came away from the others really liking Rachel, Raven and Corinne. Vanessa’s hometown felt so unenjoyable and stressful to watch.
Matthew: If by “unenjoyable and stressful” you mean “I was laughing so fucking hard that no one in Vanessa’s family could fathom their beautiful, perfect angel being with Nick the human trash man made of trash”, then, yes, I totally agree.
I’m pretty sure we’re on the same page in spirit here.
God, THIS one was a train wreck. And her parents are divorced so it was TWO train wrecks. Vanessa: an overachiever to the end.
Ariel: That is exactly what I meant! Also just that there are no intimate scenes with the couple or her family…everything is like LOOK AT ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO LOVE ME AND HOW PERFECT I AM WITH THEM ALLLLL I AM AN ANGEL!
In all the other hometowns there were one-on-one moments, but I can’t recall any with Vanessa? First we witness the most disruptive school-day ever, and then the two family dates.
Matthew: Apparently I totally missed the detail about how she was a teacher for adults with special needs until this episode. And as much as I loved finally getting to see what one of these contestants DOES for a living, her students scrapbooking photos of their teacher’s beach date seemed just a little inappropes?
But that was nothing compared to how Vanessa’s parents HATED NICK.
Like her mom asked Nick what he liked about Vanessa, and he put on the charm all “I knew I liked her the moment she stepped out of the limo”, and her mom was like “aside from her body” and I was just cackling with glee as Nick desperately tried to recover from that.
Spoiler: he didn’t.
Ariel: Right?? It felt like such a strange choice. I was like, “Oh, it’s kind of cute Nick is meeting Vanessa’s students! Wait, what is this weird activity they have planned? Who is this FOR?”
And then it was all the uncomfortable family scenes…oh my. He definitely didn’t recover from it. Poor Nick.
I get they wanted him to have an idea of how he’d make the relationship work, but at the same time, who cares if he doesn’t have a ten-step plan to move to Canada when it’s not even the end of the show.
Also how dumb was it that Vanessa couldn’t BELIEVE Nick had the audacity to ask other dad’s for their blessing?
Matthew: So, once again, that was a point of discussion with my roommate when watching this episode. Honestly, I thought it was kind of bullshit for Nick to ask for their blessing to get married during the first time they ever met? I thought he framed it nicely, saying if “we” decide to take that step, but it was still so weird to even bring it up so early?
I was totally on Team Vanessa’s Dad during that one. That’s the kind of drama I love about the hometowns episode: if the family thinks the show is stupid, THE BACHELOR(ETTE) IS POWERLESS.
Ariel: Hahaha yeah that is always hilarious to watch.
Ariel: I just was surprised Vanessa acted all outraged that maybe Nick had brought this up to other people. This kind of happened when they had a one-on-one earlier this season, and his answer about their relationship didn’t satisfy her.
I can’t remember what exactly it was that happened…
Matthew: Right? I mean, I get being upset about it. By this point, the contestants are in a really emotionally vulnerable position being one of four women who are all only dating this one guy (who’s the only guy they’re contractually allowed to be in contact with). So I guess why it would sting when the reality of the situation hits, but it is super weird when we see them get angry about… exactly what they knew was going to happen? Because it’s not like this is a new show?
Ariel: It seems she has also given up on telling Nick that she will leave if Corinne stays on the show.
Matthew: “I will leave if Corinne is still here.” Emptiest threat ever.
Speaking of empty threats, do you wanna explain to cliffhanger to me? You’ve watched this show longer than I have, how’d it hit you?
Ariel: I feel like they have had to work really hard this season to make it seem like there is more drama than there really is. What exactly is the purpose of Andi being here? I am almost 100% certain she’s not going to try to get back together with Nick…is she going to remind him of their past issues? To what end?
I’m intrigued to see what happens, but my main thought is, “Why…?” What do you think?
Matthew: This is only my second year watching the show, so at first I honestly thought she was a contestant from this season that I totally forgot about. They did not really put any work into the context for that surprise.
Is she… the first or second Bachelorette who turned him down?
I refuse to google this myself. The fucking Bachelor shouldn’t require research to understand.
Ariel: She’s the first and the one who wrote about him (and Josh) in her tell-all book. I didn’t read it, but it caused a lot of drama on BIP last season and during Kaitlyn’s season when everyone was like EW NICK.
Matthew: I do remember this coming up for a hot second on BIP. Ok, interesting. So she’s the first Bachelorette who shot him down. High stakes drama! So should I assume that she picked Josh over him in her season? But since Nick and Josh were on BIP last summer, it probably didn’t work out so well?
Yo, I don’t care how boring their talk is gonna be, I’m pumped for this drama. Probably gonna be a standard airing of grievances convo between exes with nothing terribly interesting or productive?
Ariel: Yes, she did pick Josh! I think her book also talked about why things ended with him (I don’t remember the specifics, but I think he was verbally abusive), and Nick was yelling at Josh about that on BIP and how he presents this very controlled front but underneath is a bad guy or whatever.
Yeah, I’m definitely interested in seeing what their conversation is like, but I’m managing my expectations here because Bachelor conversations tend to be very circular with a lot of their boiler plate lines thrown in. I would not be surprised if at least 5 times Andi gives advice in the form of “Just make sure [you’re/she’s] here for the RIGHT REASONS.”
We Give Out Our Own Roses (For Acting The Most And The Least Like An Adult)
Matthew: It’s surprisingly slim pickings for giving out the Acting Least Like An Adult rose this week – I feel like this is going to become harder as the pool narrows this late in the season. I’m tempted to give it to Corinne again for her weirdly patronizing explanation of how to go shopping, but I feel like it’s gotta go to whoever was behind the decision to have Vanessa’s special needs students put together a scrapbook of their teacher and her boyfriend. Can we give roses to the producers? Fuck it, I’m doing it.
Ariel: I’ll certainly allow it. Mine goes to Vanessa for her shock and outrage that Nick might also still be interested in dating the other women who he is still currently dating.
So who gets your most adult rose? I would say mine goes to Raven, she just handled everything with her family so well. Actually GIVE THE ROSE TO HER WHOLE FAMILY??
Matthew: I’m gonna bend the rules again and give my Acting The Most Like An Adult roses to Raven and her family and Rachel and her family. The level-headedness of those conversations with those families were in such stark contrast to the second half of the episode’s.
Even if Vanessa’s family was a little more actually not acting like adults and Corinne’s family was more… lots of people talking in third-person for some reason.
Ariel: Hear hear!
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