Farewell, then, The Bachelorette. The dating programme, an x-ray of the New Zealand male heart between the ages of 20 and 40, matched Lexie, the show's eligible marketing executive, with Hamish, described as "a travel blogger", and the two of them looked pretty stoked, yeah, all good, no worries. Like the series, it was sweet but a little bit lacking in the pompatus of love and that.
No one in the 2021 season exactly lit up the screen. Everyone was super-nice. The small talk at the cocktail parties got smaller and smaller. There were only 12 contestants and the series was over and done with in four weeks. No one is likely to remember anything about it, including some of the contestants.
The trouble with reality TV is that sometimes it bears a very close resemblance to reality. Just as everyday life is a set of menial tasks that we try to perform with good humour, Lexie went on a series of mundane dates and looked for positive signs. Last night's episode opened with Lexie saying of Todd, "He's wearing the socks I gave him!" There was a close-up of the socks. Todd said to her, "I'm wearing the socks you gave me!"
They were the socks of doom. Todd made it to the final rose ceremony only for Lexie to tell him the worst word in the world: "But." She said liked him, liked him a lot, liked him more than just anyone she'd ever met – "but my heart is with someone else." Poor old Todd. He cried, and said goodbye. He sat down around the corner and cried. He cried again when he got in the getaway car that took him straight to heartbreak hotel.
All happy couples are alike but every unhappy ex is unhappy in his or her own way. Quite a few of the contestants only came alive and showed they had depths of feeling when they were told it was over. Vaz cried. Jack cried. Jake and Aiden and Joe were sick as parrots.
Hamish, as the winner, was over the moon. Why was he the chosen one? "We just have something I didn't find in anyone else," said Lexie.
Hamish put it this way: "What we have, we have." Language takes a dreadful hiding when we open up in a relationship. The heart has a reading age of about 4.
Good old Hamish. He'd hung in there. For quite some time it seemed Lexie preferred the company of other contestants and Hamish looked as though he might fall apart. Even when he was favoured with a date and kissed her, he behaved more like a friend than a boyfriend. But he got into a bath with her in last night's show and behaved a lot more like a boyfriend.
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"I want to spend summer on a boat with you," Lexie said to him. And then the three words that mean so much: "I want you." Happy couple. Happy ending.