Where to Watch: ABC

Release Date: Winter 2021

Genre: Dating Reality TV

Starring: Michelle Young


this post contains spoilers for season 18 of the bachelorette

Review

Wow, where do I start. I went back and forth on writing a review of this season, but in the end I decided why not. I watched every single episode of the season, and every single season of the Bachelor and Bachelorette before that, going back to as soon as I was old enough to stay up past 8pm, which is when the show airs. If anyone is qualified to write a review of the show, it would be me. Ratings are down, and despite all of the controversies I would be pretty disappointed it it got cancelled for good, so here I am writing a review.

Michelle’s season was in a bit of a weird position. It aired immediately after Katie Thurston’s season finished airing, which didn’t exactly give viewers a break to regroup and get ready to watch the show. Katie’s season was sort of shoved in to the summer schedule in a way that made no sense. Supposedly, Michelle had to start her season later because she wanted to continue teaching, but the more likely reason for having an interlude Katie season was that ABC was scared to have another black bachelorette so soon. Michelle was the clear choice, but they were afraid to commit to it. So we had a very mediocre white girl season, and then we could get to the real content.

Michelle’s season was one of the best bachelorette seasons in recent memory. Tayshia had the potential for a great season, but she had to share it with Clare so it was decidedly not good. Michelle had a great cast of men, and enough maturity to send the bad ones home before they could completely ruin her season. I loved the dresses she wore, the dates she went on, and her choices week to week.

One thing that made this season better for me than in weeks past is that I can only remember 1-2 guys that she kept around clearly on producer’s choice. Normally when guys start causing drama they stay for wayyyyy too long because it makes the producer’s job easier. I hate this. I watch the show to genuinely watch someone fall in love, and the drama is just an added bonus. The focus of this season seemed to be primarily around Michelle finding the man of her dreams, and I appreciated that.

That brings us down to the final four: Rodney, Joe, Nayte, and Brandon. This was a SOLID final four. Yes, some people have questions around each of them, but overall they’re four very nice men who seem to care for Michelle. It was also the very first time in Bachelor nation history where the final four (notably, the final four contestants get to bring Michelle home to meet their families) were people of color. The fact that four black men made it to the final on a season with a black lead is really exciting for the direction the franchise is going in. The same white blonde girls and quarterback football boys every season (**cough cough** Clayton) honestly gets boring after a while, so hopefully this will be a step in the right direction that can be perpetuated moving forward.

Michelle ended up sending Rodney home first, and then Joe the next week. The Joe send out left a lot of people outraged. “Justice for Joe” was trending on my curated Twitter page. Personally I was a fan of this choice. I had a gut feeling that Nayte was going to win, and Brandon was the guy I wanted to win. I think that Rodney was a little too low energy for Michelle, and Joe had slightly less of a connection. He wasn’t as open with his emotions and that hurt his chances.

When it was down to the final two, Michelle let Brandon nearly propose before she finally told him that he wasn’t the one. It was hard to hear what was happening because the producers put the waves background noise way too loud, but it was devastating all the same. Brandon clearly had Michelle’s best intentions in mind and his love for her was pure, so it hurt to see him go. Not to mention, Michelle’s family was OBSESSED with Brandon. The final episode was honestly pretty awkward because the family was veryyyy biased in their conversations with each of the men. It was clear that Brandon (who got to meet her parents twice before Nayte even met them once) had an upper hand and that made it hard for Nayte to win their respect.

In the end, I was pretty happy that Nayte won and just hope that they can make it. At After the Final Rose, it seemed like the families are getting along well and the past two months were relatively smooth. They’re a very attractive couple and seem very giggly and in love, so I feel like they will work out.

Part of what made this season so good was that there were interesting people. Michelle was one of the most composed, sophisticated bachelorettes we’ve ever had, and so she chose similarly mature guys. I’m worried that Clayton’s season will not be very good, because it’ll be right back to the boring characters that we’ve already had. It’s a show of ABC’s fear about actually having a diverse show that the final four men could all be black and we have a white bachelor for next season. I will also say that it is good that Chris Harrison was fired both because his behavior is appalling, and because having former bachelorettes host has been great for the show. The little conversations that Kaitlyn and Tayshia have had with Michelle over the course of this season bring so much light.

Overall, if you’re going to watch a season of the bachelorette, I think this would be a good one to watch. Michelle is beautiful and makes overall good choices, and there’s still some drama for those of you that are watching for the tea.

What do you think? How do you feel about the bachelor franchise?