Bachelorette
When the drama starts heating up, audience members can't help but to tune in. (Illustration by Natashna Anderson, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

On May 13, 2019, ABC launched yet another season of “The Bachelorette” — Season 15. With 14 prior seasons of the show, many viewers might be wondering, “Why should I watch this season? Aren’t they all the same?” I admit, I had the exact reaction and had no plans to watch this season as I had with the last few. However, after a lot of coaxing from some friends and dramatic reactions from the media, I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised.

The current bachelorette is Hannah Brown, a 24-year-old beauty queen from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Brown met the world on Season 23 of “The Bachelor,” during which Colton Underwood, the season’s bachelor, broke her heart. Although she failed to win Colton’s heart, she did win the heart of America, which led to Chris Harrison announcing Brown as the next bachelorette.

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This beauty is ready for beast mode. #TheBachelorette

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My favorite aspect of this season is Brown’s refreshing presence as the bachelorette. Not only is she kind, bubbly and charismatic, but she is also strong-willed and determined to get what she wants — true and lasting love. Not only is Brown’s “no-nonsense” mindset a nice change of pace from previous seasons, but it also sets a good example for women watching the show because she is taking complete control of her own life, knows exactly what she wants and refuses to take any BS men throw her way (except for one situation I’ll get into later).

For instance, in the very first episode, Brown is very aggressive with a man named Scott when questions arise of his bachelor status and sends him packing almost immediately.

Despite Brown’s portrayal of herself as a strong, independent woman, viewers do see her (seemingly) fall for someone who has shown too many red flags to count — Luke P. To be frank, Luke is the WOAT and should have been booted off the show many weeks ago. He has physically and verbally assaulted other men in the house, lied about these instances and created unnecessary drama and stress to pile on Brown’s plate. Yet, she has continuously kept him on the show with claims that she might be falling in love with him.

But I know Brown is not stupid based off her previous decisions and the way she has handled certain men, driving me to believe this “Luke P.” situation might be fabricated by the producers of the show. Viewers will never know the truth behind my speculations. Either way, Brown keeping a man as problematic as Luke around for girls and women around the world to see sets a poor example. By publicly ignoring red flags, this contestant is encouraging other women to do the same when entering potentially abusive relationships.

Although the Luke P. situation has its problems, it does carry this season’s dramatic appeal. Since Luke began stirring things up, I have not been able to stop watching. I might hate him, but I also cannot wait to see what he does next and if Brown will give him another rose. Let’s face it: Without Luke, the season would be boring.

Not only would the show (pretty much) only consist of “nice guys,” but viewers would never get to see Brown’s claws come out without a troublemaker present. Without Luke, viewers would be left with a bunch of nice people being nice and boring all the time, and that just does not make good TV. Or maybe I just love trashy, reality TV too much.

Other than Luke, Brown does have a good group of guys from which to choose, and each of the relationships left seem promising. However, these relationships do not come without drama. This week, Brown sent home two heartbroken men: Mike and Garret.

Mike is a fan-favorite, and many viewers took to social media to express their sorrows. Some fans even photoshopped photos of Mike to make them look like ads for the next season of “The Bachelor,” and others claimed they would no longer watch the show. Clearly, Mike is well loved among fans of “The Bachelorette,” and his departure created quite the reaction among viewers. I admit, I was pretty upset too.

Garrett also had his heart broken, and it is difficult to decide what’s worse: Brown choosing Luke over Garrett, or her doing so right after Garrett professed his love for her. Either way, Garrett’s departure was sad and drew strong reactions from fans as well. Although this time, fans were more upset that Luke is continuing on to the hometown episodes than the fact that Brown broke Garrett’s heart.

So, Luke seems to be the star of the drama once again, but I’m not surprised. Many viewers like myself are angry and frustrated with Brown, and others pity her situation. But again, at the end of the day, it’s still good TV. Otherwise, fans would not be so invested.

I can’t write a review of “The Bachelorette” without discussing my biggest issue with the show — the previews. Previews of all shows are generally annoying and leave viewers more confused and anxious than anything else. Most tease what is going to happen on the next episode without actually giving anything away and often make it seem like something entirely different or more dramatic happens. Well, I hate ABC’s previews of “The Bachelorette” for the opposite reason.

Time and time again, the previews have shown clips of weeks far beyond the current one, including ones with America’s most hated, Luke. This week was no different, and I was pretty upset about it. Sure, I always want to know what happens next, but I also love a good surprise to build suspense and keep things more interesting.

Instead, as of this week’s episode (July 8), other viewers and I already know that Luke will advance to another week, shame Brown for her sexuality, get into a dramatic argument with her and then (finally) go home. I might not know what will happen between the other guys and Brown, but I do know the details surrounding Mr. Drama (aka Luke).

Hopefully, the rest of the show holds more drama than what producers of “The Bachelorette” have chosen to reveal in previews. Otherwise, my claims of this season being “good TV” might become invalid.

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