The Adventures of Cat Man and Box Man: Bachelorette Season 17, Episode 1

Well, Bachelor Nation, our beloved show is finally back on our television screens and I am psyched! But the first episode left me with some questions: Were these guys really excited Katie was the Bachelorette, or is that just a line? What is the obsession these men have with capri slacks? Is Katie sex positive, or is she just a grown ass woman that knows how to communicate effectively about sex? And why were all the men sweating!?

Before we met the men, we had to be reminded that Katie is the quirky girl next door, that likes to talk about (and presumably have) sex. It feels like the producers really want us to believe that Katie is an all American girl that is totally normal and relatable. And I’m sure for the mostly white women who watch this show, she is. I don’t think we need her awkwardly looking at the camera when she shouldn’t be to prove that.

But I digress, we also learn that her parents weren’t together growing up and she felt like she never saw examples of a real relationship/marriage, which I imagine will be a theme that comes out as she eliminates more men.

I enjoyed this premiere, I’d go as far to say it’s my favorite since I began watching this show (Rachel’s season). The men seemed genuine, Katie made me believe that she’s in this “for the right reasons,” and Kaitlyn and Tayshia were a nice surprise.

Intro Packages

After two COVID seasons, I was so glad to see an improvement in the self-shot content. We got Connor struggling through a ukulele song, Karl and Greg playing with their nieces and nephews, Brendan playing hockey…on a tennis court, Spencer S. giving off Bridgerton vibes, Tre playing the harmonica, Justin painting roses, and another virgin, Mike. I’m sure the producers thought it was cute to cast a virgin on Katie’s season, the girl who brought a vibrator on night one of her season, but really it just drives home that they are casting to create tension and drama, they could not care less about compatibility.

Regardless, the men seem solid, much cuter than their ABC bios, which is usually the case. As always, only a few are highlighted in the intro packages, but this time around, all the men we were introduced to in these packages made it through night one.

Limo Entrances

Photo by Tayshia Adams

One thing I didn’t expect to love as much as I did were Katie and Tayshia as the hosts/fairy godmothers. I loved watching them chat with Katie before she met her guys. Although I’m sure it was a little staged, I liked that we got to see this initial conversation between the three of them and their commentary as the guys stepped out of the limo. I have no qualms about Chris Harrison being gone, play stupid games, win stupid prizes. If former leads become a mainstay to give advice throughout the season, I wouldn’t be mad about it.

Thomas is the first out of the limo and my god he is so damn fine. ABC did him hella dirty with his bio page. I’ve got a good feeling about Thomas, we saw the camera cut to him a lot, a few ITMs (in the moments) and it seemed like him and Katie connected a bit. He gives me Brian Abasolo vibes.

Then we get a few more guys with lackluster entrances. At one point it felt like they were all saying the same thing: “I’m so glad it’s you,” “I’m here for you,” “I can’t wait to tell you more inside.” If everyone is saying the same thing, they might as well be saying nothing. While the jokes and gimmicks can be over the top, it’s a great way to be remembered. The first few guys were really leaning on their good looks.

Then we get David, one of my top three. Y’all, David had on a suit jacket with capri pants and I’m upset about it. Why is this a trend? I blame H&M.

We also get harmonica player Tre, a Black man who producers let have some budget for his entrance. He pulled up in a pickup truck with a ball pit in the back. I have to admit, in COVID times, all I was thinking about was how unsanitary ball pits probably are going forward. Like, we probably gotta get rid of those at the play palaces, right?

The next guy I remember is Greg, who is the first man we see Katie touch in a way that isn’t just a hug or hand hold. She reaches for his face to calm him down. This type of touch is simple, yet intimate and can be a great way to connect early on, especially if touch is your love language.

Then, we get a quick montage of men, most oh whom went home by the end of the episode.

Next we get a big ass box named James that wouldn’t reveal himself until later, which was annoying in my opinion. I was not into the box. After the box, is another montage of guys who introduce themselves with jokes. Cody has a blow up doll, Justin makes a masturbation joke, Quartney uses a bunch of words with qu in them, and Connor B. is in a cat costume and chock full of puns.

Of all the limo entrances, Greg and John had entrances that stuck out to me, not because of what they did, but because of how Katie reacted. Her facial expressions, body language and they way she touched them were all telling. She even said John looked like her ex, which could be a good or bad thing, time will tell.

Cocktail Party

Photo by ABC Bachelorette

We’ve met the men and so it’s time to party! But first a toast. I peeped that Cody handed her a drink, always a great way to stand out, especially on night one. Also, the ice cubes in the cup were so loud on Katie’s mic, which O just found funny.

We see a bit of banter between the men, Thomas and Mike talk about their nerves, Karl talks to anyone who will listen (presumably for screen time) and all the men are sweating, a lot. I know they were in the desert, but how hot can New Mexico be in the spring? I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been.

Katie begins meeting with the men one-on-one and can you believe it? We make it through the night without anyone interrupting or stealing time (at least that we see)! My sense is this is a really shy bunch of guys, which could be why everyone seemed to be on their best behavior.

Our bachelorette gets some time with Andrew S, another favorite of mine, and a few others before sitting down with Greg who gifts her a penne pasta necklace his niece made. I know this is going to make me sound like an asshole, but I honestly hate kid made things. I really hope that changes when I have my own, but I just don’t have a poker face and so getting some painted macaroni mess to hang around my neck would not be my thing, but it seemed like Katie was touched by the gesture. It might have even been what solidified her decision to give Greg the First Impression Rose. Well played, Greg.

But I’m going a bit out of order, before Greg gets the rose, Katie and Justin chat about his painting and he moves in to get the first kiss of the night! While I do feel like Katie is interested in Justin, if he hadn’t have made the move, I don’t think she would have kissed him. She’s a confident girl and strikes me as someone who goes for what she wants, Justin’s story about filling in his heart of roses with a final rose from Katie was cute, but not enough for Katie to lean in for a kiss on her own.

See, Katie don’t even look impressed here. Photo by ABC

Next we see Karl explaining some sort of map to Katie. I don’t know, I tuned out often when Karl was on my screen. He’s a motivational speaker and I just don’t fuck with that. Nothing against someone working to give people a confidence boost, but he just doesn’t seem genuine to me. It’s also not lost on me that producers are making it look like he’s saying he’s on the show for followers in the trailer (note: I watch this show with the understanding that if I do not see words come out of a contestants mouth, they didn’t say it in the order we the audience hears it). I just don’t trust Karl, it seems like he likes the camera and also, he’s 34 years old calling a grown woman a princess. Please stop calling grown women princesses (outside of the bedroom 😉).

Now, onto Jeff, who thought it was a good idea to bring a woman he’s trying to date into his very old, very lived in, very creepy Breaking Bad-esque RV. He also lowkey made a joke about getting her liquored up and taking her to the bedroom and that was, well, not cute. I could see the cringe on Katie’s face the entire time. Gross.

Then we’re dropped into a very odd conversation between Aaron and Cody. We cut from a group of guys talking about getting time with Katie to Aaron saying “I don’t like you bro, I’ve never liked you.” It was so random and out of pocket and Cody seemed just as confused as I did. Both Cody and Aaron are from San Diego, so my guess is they know of each other. Hopefully we get a better explanation of that in the upcoming weeks.

To me, the steamiest part of the night was Katie’s one-on-one time with math teacher Conor B. First, they’re unsuccessfully trying to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on a floor keyboard, holding hands the entire time. Then, as they begin to talk and get to know one another, Katie says she couldn’t stop thinking about him, as if that were not a good sign already, they begin making out and it gets pretty hot, love that for them! To me, this should’ve landed Conor the first impression rose. Imagine dressing like a cat, preparing a slew of puns, playing the piano and leaning in to a hot makeout sesh only to lose to a macaroni salad necklace. But congrats to Greg, I guess.

Rose Ceremony

The Rose Ceremony always feels so drawn out, but I appreciated Katie’s speech at the beginning, thanking them for their time and reminding them why she’s there and what she hopes for at the end. I think that’s important because if you watch enough seasons of this franchise it can be easy to assume that leads and contestants are in it for fame, clout, Instagram followers, etc. And honestly, most probably are, but right now I’m choosing to believe that Katie is in it for love and more TikTok virality.

Tre gets the first ceremony rose, which may not mean anything on the first night, but I’m still making note of it. Michael A, the dad, got the second rose (assuming it was shown in order) and that surprised me. When he mentioned his four-year-old son and asked Katie if she’d like kids, her answer didn’t convince me that she’d be down with having kids, even if they weren’t her own.

More roses are handed out and of course we get the voice over from various men questioning if they did enough to standout on night one. The men worrying the most, Quartney and Hunter were pretty forgettable to me, but obviously Katie saw something in them.

With one rose left, there are four men and the final rose goes to…Cody which we should have seen coming because we wouldn’t have gotten a random confrontation between Aaron and him only for him to leave night one. Cody kind of gives me sleezy used car salesmen vibes.

Jeff, Marty, Brandon, Landon, Gabriel, and Austin all went home, but unfortunately no ITMs of men crying of exhaustion with the sun rising behind them. Bummer.

But we did get a trailer for the rest of the season and there seems like a surprising amount of tears, a surprise entrance from Blake Moynes (who I actually love for Katie) and potentially an unexpected exit from someone Katie is really interested in. It also looks like Katie spends quite a bit of one-on-one time with men of color, which gives me hope that maybe we’ll have another man of color as the Bachelor this year if a few make it close to the end, fingers crossed 🤞🏾.

Overall, a solid first episode and an attractive group of guys. I’m looking forward to see who gets the first one-on-one and I’m praying the dates are a little more creative this season, or normal, normal is good too. Only time will tell, friends.

See you next Tuesday. ✌🏾

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