When it comes to The Bachelorette, one thing we will never get used to is the high school-style attempts at romance that the show constantly tries to pass off as real, adult courtship. Do any women over the age of twenty really fall for sob stories/references to Mommy/random outbursts in the French language? Well, actually Bradley Cooper will tell you that last one still works, but we digress. All this doesn’t even touch on the one-on-one dates, which either takes the form of faux spontaneity or overtly cutesy childishness.

The most recent episodes of the new season, the show’s seventh, feature both of these pet peeves. First, the twenty-five men got out of their limos and each had their “adorable” way of being remembered by Ashley, the lady of the hour. Unfortunately, their charms didn’t really register with us at home at all, since we forgot most of them. Ashley really must have a spectacular memory, or at least a very efficient intern holding the cue cards! It doesn’t help that all the fellas are blandly handsome white guys, and that most of them have Alpha male personalities. Are they in it to find love or just to win?

As events have spun on, some of the guys have become more memorable. Ryan P. is a sweet hunk that seems to be all sunshine, with perhaps even a streak of genuine kindness. Bentley is the resident jerk, who was hoping last season’s winner Emily Maynard (who had recently broken up with Brad Womack) would be the Bachelorette. He departed of his own freewill yesterday, breaking Ashley’s heart even though he did nothing but put her down. But can she really miss a guy who named his daughter Cozy?

William is a dope who is too eager to please, but, alas, one that isn’t charming enough to make us root for him. Jeff was also a character; he was the one who wore a Phantom of the Opera mask and wanted to be known for personality. Given his frankly average looks this rather blunts the gesture somewhat. Really, he just came off as a serial killer and he was sent home. Mostly everyone else is pretty forgettable. With the departure of both Jeff and Bentley, the season is in need of a villain/drama-instigator. For now, we are hoping that Ashley picks Ryan P. as her mate – he and Ashley seem to like each other.

Ashley Hebert herself is a Bachelorette who is both fascinating and irritating in equal measure. A lot of people were surprised when ABC chose her as the Bachelorette instead of last season’s runner-up Chantal O’Brien. Ashley many times makes mention of being afraid that both her suitors and the viewers would be disappointed that she’s the girl and not Chantal. This makes us wonder if choosing her was ABC’s decision or if Chantal simply said said ‘no.’ Ashley also has a rather annoying habit of gushing over these lame gentleman callers as if they were Cary Grant himself.

We can’t be too surprised though given how plastic the show has gradually become. Trista and Ryan from the first season are the only couple to actually make it. Everyone else split up after a while. But like the worst kind of abusive relationship we continue to return to the show, only to be mistreated one more time. For sure we will be back next week, cheering on our boy Ryan P. and hoping someone’s inner jerk rises to the surface.

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