Among the many minor holidays that dot the annual television calendar, few bring us a more schadenfreude-y burst of joy than The Running Of The Dopes, a.k.a., the point when ABC is forced to try to make the latest crop of personal trainers and “bartender hopefuls” it’s sending to its next Bachelorette seem like appealing people to get engaged to on a television show Even if you can separate out the franchise’s many problems with race, racists, and representation over the past few years, this parade of “skin salesmen” and nutritional entrepreneurs still tends to be a horror show, as traits that probably seemed charming in interviews are rendered into absurdist marketing speak for Instagram promos. Which leads us to a question we weren’t expecting to ask ourselves today: Exactly how many of these Bachelorette candidates are secretly 9-year-old boys, hoping to Little Rascals themselves into a national TV appearance?
(FYI, all of these are multi-image posts you can swipe through to get to what, for lack of a better word, we’ll term the “good” stuff.)
No, seriously: Are supposed to believe that Brendan, a “firefighter trainee” who proudly asserts that he “really does not like vegetables,” is 26, and not a fourth grader stacked on top of another fourth grader? What about Landon, “25,” whose nickname is “Sunshine,” and who wants America to know that he really loves Christmas lights? Aaron, who’s afraid of sabertooth tigers? Christian, who aspires to drive the Batmobile and loves parades? What, dear reader, are we to make of Connor B., a “29-year-old man” who proudly asserts that he can “eat cereal faster than anyone”? How are we not to conclude that this is a child, performing a massive con on the show’s producers, Bachelorette Katie Thurston, and the American public as a whole? (Also, what kind of cereal? Because god knows Shredded Wheat is going to move a whole lot slower than Captain Crunch.)
Admittedly, there are some candidates in this year’s crop that appear to simply be extremely weird human men, and not small children trying to pull a Vincent Adultman. We especially can’t stop thinking about Marty, a 26-year-old dancer who loves horseback riding, cologne, and—and we need you to meditate on this one for a moment—“watching movies indoors.” Like, hell yeah, Marty: We think walls and ceilings kick ass, too. There’s also Jeff, the aforementioned “skin salesman” who “wishes he could be a CIA agent,” and, no, fuck, that one’s another 10-year-old, isn’t it? God, these kids are good.
The Bachelorette’s latest season premieres on Monday, June 7, at 8 p.m.—or, as many of its contestants know it, “Beddy-bye time.”