NBC’s newest reality dating show, The Courtship has premiered, and we sat down to talk over whether the level of cringe worked for us or not. And there was, undoubtedly, a level of cringe, with even more promised to come. Let’s get into it, shall we?
All right, let’s jump right in. The premise of this entire show is a little ridiculous. But are you sold on its absurdity already, or is it just a bit Too Much?
Jade: Oh, it’s definitely too much. And I love it. I straight up cackled when people started saying they’ve never done anything like this before. NOBODY has done anything like this before. Because this is ridiculous and absurd. So much so, I can’t BELIEVE nobody’s done anything like this before. It’s The Bachelorette meets Austenland. And the addition of having her parents help in the bachelor vetting process is the cherry on the absurdity cake. I need 16 more seasons, please and thank you.
Lizzie: It’s not a little much, it’s a LOT much. I mean, it was supposed to be ridiculous, and part of me was here for that, but it was also borderline too much, and I didn’t even think that was possible. And it’s the FIRST episode. How is it going to get better? Oh wait, it’s not. It’s going to get worse. But I’m kinda excited for that. This is like The Bachelorette meets not Jane Austen, no, but a romance novel. It’s hard to take your eyes off it, even if it makes no sense.
Lyra: It’s too much and so cheesy I found myself side-eyeing myself like, “What are you doing and why are you watching this?” I also found myself thinking about the pitch meeting for this show. “Now picture this: Jane Austen meets The Bachelorette. I know, I know. Who’s going to watch this? Anyone who loves romance novels and Bridgerton is the answer!” And they’re right. I don’t know how we haven’t had this show before this time.
I don’t know if dating was a lot easier in Jane Austen’s time, but I can’t imagine it was quite as cringy, either. What was the cringiest moment for you? Was “friendship with sexual tension” the mood killer Miss Remy thought it was?
Jade: I cannot BELIEVE she tracked down the guy with the cologne like a hunting dog at the ball. Please tell me a producer pointed her out to him. I refuse to believe she went around sniffing all her prospective mates to find The One Scent To Rule Them All. And after all that, she didn’t even choose him for the first date! If I spent an entire party literally sniffing out a particular partner, I’d at least ask him for some one-on-one conversation after! It’s only polite!
But, outside of that, the doctor’s apple joke – and her absolutely blank expression in return – was pretty cringe. I ALMOST felt bad for him at the end when she was clearly about to hand him his walking papers, but his descent into straight up begging and then the classic “you’re making a mistake” took any sympathy I might have had for Doctor Awkward and tossed it out the window.
Lizzie: Friendship with sexual tension was literally the guy giving her his AO3 tag to start with, and I appreciate that! The whole follow the scent of my cologne thing, though? And he actually doing it? Nah, count me out. And then Fabio wannabe with his bareback joke? No, no Fabio wannabe.
Lyra: I think the cringiest moment for me was when she was talking to the doctor while dancing. It was already clear that she was only going for looks and not actual connections. But he didn’t have to act like that when she rejected him and sent him home. I don’t know what he was going for, but he ended up looking like a douche. She made a decision and that’s it. Suck it up and move along. Also, every single gentleman introduction when they arrived at the estate was cringe central, especially the singing and bowing.
The parents being involved in a reality dating show from the start. Yay or nay?
Jade: It is terrible. I mean, it was bad enough this week, when she was just being introduced to her prospective partners. I can’t imagine how cringe it’s going to be in a couple weeks when she’s on her fourth or fifth makeout of the season and then has to do the walk of shame back to her dad. (Don’t get me wrong. I’m not shaming anyone. Sometimes you gotta make out with a few frogs in a hot tub to find your prince. I just personally wouldn’t want to do it in front of my mother and father, is all.) So it’s of course a yay for me because honestly, with as awful as so many of these reality shows often are, why not? Next season, bring in the grandma, too! I want a level of secondhand cringe that can be seen from space!
Lizzie: Nay, nay nay. Not only because it’s awkward, but also because she’s not really listening to them, is she? And why should she? This isn’t really the Regency era.
Lyra: Honestly I’m there for the family being all up in the business. I’m especially there for it because Miss Remy is absolutely not listening to them and just hunting men down by their cologne because she wants to. And it’s within her right to do whatever she wants but what’s the point of having her family there so far? I don’t see it. Also, I kind of want to see more of her sister. She seems way more interesting than the female lead in the couple of minutes I saw her. Sorry, not sorry. But again this is the first episode so who knows.
Did any of the suitors make a good first impression on you? Which was the worst? And did the guy she chose for the first date make any impression on you at all?
Jade: When she picked the guy for the first date, my reaction was, “Who?” Which, honestly, on a show like this, is probably a good sign. Because I NEVER find the guy I like first. It seems these shows start off by identifying the guy you’re going to be asking, “Why is HE still here?” all season. And I got that with the Fabio wannabe.
Lizzie: He was nice! I mean, not like omg he’s the best ever, but he seemed genuine, and relatively charming. She seemed to like him too, so it all worked out well for the guy. Not sure I can say anyone else made a particular impression — though Fabio wannabe and his bareback joke will stay with me. Not for good reasons, either.
Lyra: I have no idea what their names are besides Captain Kim. So forgive me for that. The one who made a really big impression on me was the Latino. He seemed really sincere and like he was there for the right reasons. But she said that she didn’t have time, ignored her court and how much they liked him, before turning around and telling someone else that she basically doesn’t know him but wants to. Seems like classic behavior of rebellion, which I know plenty about.
As for the guy that she went on a date with, it was completely unrealistic. You’re telling me that they are doing a Bachelorette style show but Jane Austen and there are no chaperones? I demand that the parents be told and that they be married instantly. If not the gossipmongers will crucify them like they do on Bridgerton when hot gossip is around the ton. People have gotten married on that show for less. I demand the rules of Jane Austen times!
Cast your vote now: Who are you rooting for?
Jade: I can’t say I’m rooting for anyone yet, but there are a few guys I didn’t immediately hate, so probably one of them.
Lizzie: The guy who said he’d been in love with cake! First date dude was okay, too. I don’t remember any names, but I don’t think I can say I’m “rooting” for anyone in particular yet. We barely got time to know them, I’m not even sure how she already got rid of 3! But I assume as we continue on I will have feelings for some of them?
Lyra: I’m honestly not cheering for any of them. The people who edited this episode did this really odd thing where they focused on every single guy that she wasn’t feeling a connection with in a way to trick us to think that these were the main guys. I find that to be really disingenuous and like they meant to trick us. How am I supposed to invest in any of them if they might pull the same trick on me in the next episode? Am I going to watch more? Of course. Will I be cheering on for drama and trouble? Absolutely.
The Courtship airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Are you enjoying out The Courtship? Let us know in the comments below!