Thoughts on the 2020 Bachelorette Season

ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchises have been a weekly part of my sister’s and my lives since Nick Viall’s season in 2016. My mother strongly opposes the Monday (or Tuesday in this case) tradition, so my sister and I have ritualized 8 to 10 pm watch parties at my dad’s house to avoid my mother’s adversity. I think she disapproves of the reality television show because she has higher aspirations for her daughters’ romantic lives. I want to make it clear. I—as well as the majority of the show’s audience—do not intend to find my husband through a thirty-woman competition. I certainly do not idealize the strategized relationships created on the show for entertainment. All that said, The Bachelorette is a dramatic and fun program that I will continue to watch as long as Chris Harrison reigns. 

 

The sixteenth season of The Bachelorette was met with controversy from the very beginning. Usually, the seasons feature contestants or runners up from the previous season. Clare Crawley competed on the show six years ago, but she was selected for the 2020 season hopefully to bring a sense of maturity and normalcy after some tumult in prior seasons. When Clare was announced, I was indifferent. The very first episode changed my opinion drastically. Almost immediately, Clare appeared to have her sights set on Dale. I have a hard time believing that anyone could fall in love as deeply as the two claim they did after only a few weeks. However, I am not going to judge—after all, I’m amazed that the franchise has produced any long-term couples with the normal seven-to-eight-week timeline. With her whirlwind romance with Dale, Clare departed the show and was replaced by Tayshia. Clare was definitely not my favorite bachelorette, but Tayshia looks promising. 

 

I loved Tayshia when she was first introduced to the bachelor franchise in Colton Underwood’s season. I did not think she and Colton were a good match, and I felt the same when she began her relationship with John Paul Jones in Paradise. I hope that she can find someone among the group of men on the show (my personal favorite: Ben Smith). The decision to cast Tayshia as the 2020 Bachelorette was a necessary move for the franchise. Previously there had only been one Black bachelorette, and the upcoming twenty-fifth season of The Bachelor will feature the first Black bachelor, Matt James. I am disgusted by the lack of diversity among the show’s casts in the twenty-four previous seasons, but the new ones show some optimistic first steps. At the end of the day, I am very excited about Tayshia’s and Matt’s future seasons. My sister and I love the show and the drama that the men bring to our otherwise bland Tuesday evenings. My money is on Zac Clark as this season’s winner, but we’ll just have to wait and see where Tayshia leads us.