Bachelor in Paradise

After a few appearances on the Bachelor franchise, Ashley and Jared finally found true love.

Because the news is so exhausting and likely to bum me out, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time this summer watching television.

In addition to total and complete immersion into the HBO series “Big Little Lies,” “Divorce,” and the utterly terrifying “Years and Years” a diabolically disturbing dystopian story set in Britain only a few years into the future where political, environmental, and economic crises will make your brain explode, I’ve spent weeks, many weeks, this summer chilling out to Season 15 of “The Bachelorette.”

Initially I said I wouldn’t watch because of my strongly dislike of the star, Hannah Brown, a former Miss Alabama I already knew from her turn on Colton Underwood’s Bachelor season. Hannah struck me as dumb as a box of rocks, and programmed, due to some old former boyfriend trauma, to always go for the wrong guy. I wasn’t wrong.

Reader, I couldn’t not watch. Hannah grew on me. By the third episode I was hooked by her sad, crooked smile and squinty eyed expressions that so dramatically telegraphed her confusion, as well as anger. I was drawn in by her vulnerability and her fraught emotional state. Hannah Brown is the only Bachelorette I can think of to cancel a date because her tummy hurt too much from crying. Twice, from emotional fatigue, she took to her bed. Predictably, she fell hard and fast for the very worst guy, Luke, a creepy, misogynistic, blond bearded character from Gainesville, GA who quickly earned the animosity of every other male in the house.

This should have been a warning to Hannah, who instead decided to champion him.

Very late in the season, Hannah gave Luke the boot, but only after he got all stroppy on her over the Fantasy Suites. The Fantasy Suites, if you don’t know, happen in the final days of the season and give Hannah and her final three picks (one at a time) the opportunity to be alone, really alone, away from microphones and cameras. You’ve got to expect sex happens.

Unsurprisingly, Luke, objected, and they had a tiff. Hannah told Luke she’d had sex with another guy in a windmill and Jesus still loves her. Did I mention a big thing she and Luke shared in common is their faith?

I was certain even though she had the guts to dump Luke, Hannah would go on to choose the second worst guy left. She did not disappoint. Over her parents’ objections and his own family’s open warning, she chose the singer/songwriter, Jed. It was only after he slipped the ring on her finger did it come out Jed came on the show for all the wrong reasons, which is to say, not because he was seeking a love that would lead to engagement, but for the exposure it afforded him as a singer. And he has a girlfriend back in Nashville, even though he said she wasn’t really his girlfriend.

Hannah broke the engagement.

I predicted all along the best guy for Hannah was Tyler Cameron, a movie star gorgeous aspiring model/actor from Florida who, on the show, was described as working in construction. Tyler currently has 1.8 million followers on Instagram. The two met again on stage during the “After the Rose” episode only two months after Hannah dismissed him at the altar just as Tyler was about to get down on one knee. In front of a large studio audience and all of Bachelor Nation (if you watch, you’re automatically a member), they agreed to meet for a drink.

Next up on my TV watch list is “Bachelor in Paradise.” They never get out of their bathing suits.

Stay tuned.

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