Maybe you’ve seen March of the Penguins, in which Morgan Freeman narrates the story of the emperor penguin’s miraculous annual journey to sustain life in the bleakest place on earth and the risks it encounters during this tremendous voyage in hopes of sustaining the species.
Something reminded me of the movie during the season premiere of The Bachelorette on Monday, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Dozens of men choose to participate in this miraculous annual journey, crossing the country to appear on a show in pursuit of a woman, but also in pursuit of several minutes of television fame. They risk their dignity on this tremendous voyage in hopes of creating a new stream of Instagram followers and appearance fees.
In the season premiere, they parade in front of their potential spouse — Rachel, a 32-year-old attorney and the first black person to appear as the central figure in 21 seasons of The Bachelor and 13 seasons of The Bachelorette. These men — most of whom seem, at first glance, to be dumber, less successful, less charismatic, and/or less attractive than Rachel — attempt to woo her with trash pickup lines and over-the-top gimmicks in hopes of doing something memorable enough that she’ll remember them over the other 30 dudes. Sometimes they wear penguin suits, hoping they will be remembered as fondly as Alexis, the woman who wore a shark suit on the most recent Bachelor season.
I call it March of the Fuccbois.
The Worst Thing Ever: the Whaboom Guy
This season we meet Lucas, who sucks.
He seemed like a reasonably funny guy, conversationally. I did enjoy him walking around the Bachelorette mansion with a megaphone, calling attention to the fact that different testicles are different sizes. But nothing will redeem the fact that he repeatedly stirs his entire body into a screaming, quivering douche paroxysm and yells WHAAAAABOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, a phrase he has written on his tank top.
His job is also listed as “Whaboom,” which leads us to wonder what his job actually is. He won several rugby national titles while playing at Cal, and is now attempting to make it as a comedian. Here he is in a Doritos commercial, covered in Doritos:
Lucas is going to yell WHAAABOOOOM, a phrase he trademarked before appearing on the show, and “let the big dogg eat,” a phrase he lists as one of his hashtags on his website. And he is going to hope people buy his shirt, which he wore on the show, for $15.
I don’t have a problem with people trying to turn their brief appearances on television into money. I just wish Lucas’s method of gaining money wasn’t “be so annoying that people Google your catchphrase and then hopefully buy stuff.” I am going to fight Lucas by selling WHAAABOOOM shirts to penalize him for not copyrighting the spelling with three A’s and three O’s.
If Lucas were a character on a sitcom, we’d beg the writers to kick him off after the first few whabooms. Unfortunately, Rachel is intrigued enough to keep him around for another week of screeching catchphrases. Which brings us to my next thought …
Saddest Moment: People Realizing They Got Eliminated Before the Whaboom Guy
Monday’s episode saw the end of the Bachelorette road for somewhere between four and seven people whose names I forgot. Some were obvious axes, like Rob, the law student, who freestyles like this:
Rob, let’s be real: You knew your time was limited when you set foot in the mansion. You should’ve spent that time focused less on convincing Rachel to date you and more on getting your foot in the door for an internship at her firm when you graduate. Networking is really important!
There was also Milton, who took a Polaroid of himself with Rachel — you know the saying, “Take a picture, it’ll last longer than your appearance on The Bachelorette.” He likes purring at Rachel.
Unfortunately he didn’t know that women who enjoy being purred at are pretty reeeeeeeeeyrrrr. Ask most women whether they like your cat noises, and they’ll be like, “No, that really freaked meowt.” [Editor’s note: Rodger has been fired.]
At the end of the night, most of these guys take being eliminated with grace, except for Milton, who weeps about being dumped by somebody he met earlier that night.
Oh, you can call it “Whabam.” (One of the two Blakes, also eliminated, calls it “Kabam.”) But you know the guy you lost to was whaboom. You will never forget that horrible noise for the rest of your life.
Most Stunning Revelation: Rachel’s Distaste for the Backstreet Boys
DeMario is arguably the most confident character on the show, and leads off his interaction with Rachel by asking whether she prefers the Backstreet Boys or ’N Sync. She quickly picks the latter.
What in the fresh hell is this? Just a few months after the Backstreet Boys were the entire premise of an episode of The Bachelor we’re slandering the Boys on air? Are they gonna systematically trash every past-their-prime musical act to appear for a few minutes on this show? Next week, Rachel will call Big & Rich “Bad & Trash” and say the Cranberries are “a bottom-10 Irish rock band.”
Best Lawyering: Josiah
Rachel is a lawyer, so of course the show opened with a snippet of her doing law:
You can tell she is a good lawyer because the objection is sustained. The test for law school is whether you can say “objection” well, and if you can’t, a judge hits you with his little judgehammer. (I know it has a name, but I never found out because I wasn’t good enough at saying “objection” to get into law school.)
However, she is one-upped by Josiah, a prosecutor who loves giving back to his community by being so good at law that people get punished for crimes. He says, “See ya later, litigator,” to her the first time they meet, because he is a dork. We also get to see Josiah doing law:
At first you’re probably like, “Hey, Rachel seems like the better lawyer — she had an objection,” and I’d have to agree with you. But later, when discussing Mr. Whaboom, Josiah reveals his true lawyer credentials by asking the off-camera producer whether Mr. Whaboom had been drug tested. Even when on The Bachelorette, Josiah is looking to prosecute.
Worst Attempted Story Line: Fred
As we learn, Fred is from Dallas and knew Rachel before the show. It’s just like last season, when the show’s producers surprised Nick by presenting him with Liz, a girl he had a one-night stand with.
Except Fred and Rachel did not have a one-night stand. She was his camp counselor when he was in third grade. She remembers him as a nuisance.
This is our reminder that Rachel is take-a-dude-to-church-on-a-date-level wholesome. I can just picture the production meeting.
“Great news, boss — we found somebody from Rachel’s past!”
“Well, this guy and Rachel, they go wayyyyyyyy back. And he was a real bad boy. Rachel could never keep him in line.”
“Yes! Time for some scandal!”
“Like, when they were going from arts-and-crafts to the basketball court, Rachel really just couldn’t get him to stay behind the kid in front of him.”
“Oh, like, she literally couldn’t keep him in line?”
“Yeah. She even tried making him hold hands with a buddy and had the whole group sing songs about walking in a line. Nothing worked. Real troublemaker.”
Rachel speculates that she won’t be able to get over her memories of him as a child. For a second I thought this was a weird qualm. Then I tried imagining what I would do if a girl who I was a camp counselor for turned out to be really hot and then I realized that was a really weird thing to think about so I stopped thinking about it. Fred should be gone soon.
Biggest Poser: Blake E.
We first meet Blake — an “aspiring drummer” — in a snippet where he works out and tells us he doesn’t want to talk about his penis, but for the record, it is very huge and good.
Blake enters as part of an elaborate marching band, playing a snare drum for Rachel. Doesn’t that make him an actual drummer, and not just an aspiring one? Even if his profession isn’t drum playing? I don’t get how Bachelorette jobs work.
He later gets upset at Lucas, the Whaboom guy, for tainting the competition by talking about his dick and yelling “Whaboom!”
Worst Background Information Moment: Alex
Alex says people tend to stereotype him as a meathead. Here he is working out in a zip-up hoodie, like a meathead.
He also says that he has an IQ of 180, according to his mom. My mom tells me I’m smart, too, but here I am, writing reality TV show recaps.
Worst Greeting: Jonathan
Jonathan tells Rachel to close her eyes and put out her hands, and then tickles her sides. No! Please do not surprise women by touching them in places they are not expecting to be touched! You don’t own Rachel’s sides, buddy!
Anyway, here is Jonathan complaining that the show is becoming a circus while the words “Tickle Monster” appear on his lower third.
Worst Game: Peter
Peter is the first out of the limo, and basically just tells Rachel that he’s from Wisconsin, like Nick was. Given the opportunity to talk to her again, he once again repeats that he is from Wisconsin, which is relevant because Rachel went to law school at Marquette. There is nothing else going on in this dude’s life, I guess. Stop milking the Wisconsin thing — it’s getting cheesy. Man, I can’t believe there are 31 of these people.
Guy Who Might Actually Matter for the Show’s Story Line: Bryan, I Guess
Rachel likes Bryan, the 37-year-old who woos her by speaking Spanish and telling her that he’ll get her into some trouble and then later backtracking because he’s actually an upstanding citizen. Maybe this will matter in the long run of the show, but I still haven’t written about the dude with a marionette, and that’s more important, to be honest.
Creepiest Thing: Adam
Adam comes with a marionette. He is not a ventriloquist — he is a real estate agent, and at no point does he demonstrate the ability to speak through the marionette. The marionette merely accompanies him, and at one point, the marionette is imagined unsuccessfully yearning for Rachel in French via voice-over.
But, no, he doesn’t actually know how to do anything with the marionette. Which raises this question: Why would you try to woo somebody via faux-ventriloquism on national television? We all agree marionettes are creepy, and this isn’t even your skill? What the hell are you doing?
Second-Creepiest Thing: Mohit
He got eliminated, but not before watching Rachel make out with somebody else and yelling NOOOOOO while trying to separate their mouths via telekinesis.
I forget Mohit’s job, but I’m sure there are plenty of gigs for him as a villain from a teen movie at the end when the hero gets with the girl.
Best Dog: RACHEL’S DOG HI COPPER YOU’RE SUCH A GOOD BOY
Rachel brought this dog on the plane from Dallas to L.A. with her, and it appears to be living with her. It is very good. A few of the guys also have dogs, as shown in their snippets. Rachel should have her dog meet their dogs to see which dogs will get along, and heavily factor that in as she searches for her match.