Last night, Amy Schumer stopped by “The Bachelorette” to help the male contestants develop stand-up routines for a comedy-themed group date with Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe. Much like last season’s Jimmy Kimmel cameo, this was easily the most fun segment of the season so far; Schumer’s wry wit helped pierce the show’s earnest facade, reminding us that dating a dozen guys should be more about having a laugh than about brawling, sobbing and slut-shaming -- well, for half an episode, at least! In fact, last night's episode was refreshingly girl power-fueled, almost enough to make us forget the sexist disaster that was last week's premiere.
The reality dating franchise is in its 30th season, and its age is showing. In order to shake things up, the producers have resorted to scraping the bottom of the misogynist barrel, angering viewers with last episode's ridiculous "two Bachelorettes" stunt. But what about shifting things the other way? "The Bachelorette" is badly in need of a reinvention, and replacing the soppy Chris Harrison with a badass female host like, oh, I don’t know, Amy Schumer, could be just the shakeup the show needs. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but we’re pretty convinced the thing could work.
1. Real talk
A lot of the time it can feel like "The Bachelorette" is playing tricks on us -- like when Kaitlyn says she "can’t believe how lucky she is" to be in a room full of such "amazing guys," while all we see is a bunch of listless Ken dolls with fake jobs ("amateur sex coach," “former investment banker," "healer") and a guy who rode in on a motorized cupcake. Schumer, however, tells it like it is, and it’s a relief to have our suspicions confirmed by someone at close range. She is a proxy for the show's savvy, snarky viewership; As she said about contestant J.J, a “former investment banker” and early contender for this season’s villain: "JJ's a sweetheart. He's just missing charisma and humility and a sense of humor. Maybe when he sees the show he'll reflect on himself a little bit and not be such a turd.” Amen, Amy!
2. A sense of humor
Thirty seasons in, the franchise has become a parody of itself, to the point that even the contestants are able to offer a running commentary on the show’s familiar tropes and signifiers. To have someone like Schumer at the helm could help the series stop taking itself so seriously, and remind us that the "The Bachelorette" and Schumer's sketch "Love Tub" are different more in degree than in kind. So far this season, it's been refreshing to see a Bachelorette with a sense of humor, especially compared to last season's painfully earnest Chris Soules. Having a funny-woman at the helm could help further tilt the balance, so viewers are laughing with the show as well as at it. (Well, at least with the women. The men are sort of a helpless cause.)
3. Girl power
Much of the show’s attitude about dating comes from host Chris Harrison, who -- if his recent romance novel is proof of anything -- has ridiculously old-fashioned standards of what courtship should look like. If "The Bachelorette" is meant to be the feminist corollary to the sexist spectacle of the "Bachelor," why not go all in on that idea by getting a real feminist to lead the charge? And indeed, who better to shake things up than Schumer, whose bread and butter is taking stereotypical ideas about dating and gender and turning them on their head. (Frankly, it's alarming how much the the men's deliberation over Britt and Kaitlyn sounded like Schumer's "12 Angry Men" parody.) We'd love to see Schumer tweak the show's bizarro approach to sex and relationships -- or at the very least, provide a smart running commentary on how absurd it is.
4. Schumer is a fan
That said, in order to host a show like “The Bachelorette,” you have to buy into its mythos -- which we know Amy does. Just last week, she had a former "Bachelor" contestant on the "Amy Goes Deep" segment of her own show. She's spoken publicly of how much she loves the two series in addition to spoofing them with her "Love Tub" sketch. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I think Schumer might jump at the opportunity to be a part of ABC's grand experiment in televised romance.
5. A much-needed rebranding
The previous seasons of the "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" both had record low finale ratings. A new host could be the reinvention the show needs, as well as an excuse to lure in savvy “Inside Amy Schumer” viewers -- who may reasonably hold the franchise in disdain -- by reimagining it as a fresher, funnier and more feminist show. It’s a win win!
And it seems like the viewers agree: