History was made today for The Bachelor nation.
After 18 years and 40 season, the franchise cast its first black male lead. Matt James will look for love on the upcoming 25th season of The Bachelor, which will premiere sometime in 2021 considering the coronavirus pandemic shut down every TV show and film.
But while it’s an exciting day as strides are being made in the right direction, we have to acknowledged that it took 18 years for the series to cast a black male lead.
One has to wonder if the outcome would have been the same if not for the criticism of the franchise’s lack of racial diversity from cast members and the Bachelor Nation. These criticisms only intensified recently due to the protests and riots following George Floyd’s murder as people across the world rallied for racial equality and against injustice, systematic racism, and police brutality.
— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) June 12, 2020
ABC promised to do better, and it’s a promise we know Bachelor Nation will hold them to.
“We acknowledge our responsibility for the lack of representation of people of color on our franchise and pledge to make significant changes to address this issue moving forward. We are taking positive steps to expand diversity in our cast, in our staff, and most importantly, in the relationships that we show on television. We can and will do better to reflect the world around us and show all of its beautiful love stories,” the statement on the ABC press website wrote.
But to even get to a point where ABC and The Bachelor felt compelled to do something, a fan-created petition calling for racial equality needed to gain more than 86,000 signatures on Change.org.
Rachel Lindsay, the only black female lead on The Bachelorette, penned an emotional blog post calling out the network for the lack of diversity.
“Recently, I have received many questions regarding the headlines stating that I will leave the Bachelor franchise if changes to address the lack of diversity in lead roles are not established,” she wrote. “Yes, more diverse contestants do appear on the show now, but is the lead truly interested and open to dating outside of their race? I think that is evident by how far their ‘journey’ takes them during each season.”
She suggested the series make some changes including casting leads who want to date those of other races, adding more diverse producers, and making contestants of color feel more welcome and “comfortable.”
ABC exec Rob Mills denied that Lindsay’s comments were the reason behind James’ casting and assured they were aware that a lot needed to be done.
“It wasn’t a response to that. We could have made this announcement earlier or later,” Rob told Variety. “Certainly no one is blind to what is happening in the world, so hopefully this announcement serves as a bit of optimism during a time that we can really use this, but I don’t want this to look like we’re patting ourselves on the back or taking a victory lap.”
After James was cast, Lindsay took to Twitter writing: “I am happy to see that a black man was cast after 18 years and 40 seasons. I believe it is a step in the right direction.”
Congrats to Matt James. I am happy to see that a black man was cast after 18 years and 40 seasons. I believe it is a step in the right direction.
— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) June 12, 2020
I would be remiss to not point out that based on the current climate, it feels like a knee-jerk reaction and a result of societal pressure. This announcement, without any further commitments regarding diversity, sweepingly brushes deeper issues under the rug .
— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) June 12, 2020
Until we see action to address the systemic racism within the franchise, the casting news today is equivalent to the trend of posting a black box on your social media account without other steps taken to dismantle the systems of injustice.
— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) June 12, 2020
She then went on to point out what many have been tiptoeing about: “I would be remiss to not point out that based on the current climate, it feels like a knee-jerk reaction and a result of societal pressure. This announcement, without any further commitments regarding diversity, sweepingly brushes deeper issues under the rug. Until we see action to address the systemic racism within the franchise, the casting news today is equivalent to the trend of posting a black box on your social media account without other steps taken to dismantle the systems of injustice. I look forward to hearing more about the additional efforts the franchise plans to make towards change.”
Former Bachelorette Hannah Brown, who is good friends with James, took to Instagram to express her excitement:
“Matt James is the Bachelor. I cannot contain my excitement for this amazing human making history as the first Black Bachelor — to God be the Glory! This man is as good as it gets y’all, and that’s coming from a previous skeptic (lolz). I am so blessed to now call you friend. You’ve supported and encouraged me in some of the hardest moments lately and I’m so freaking pumped to support and encourage you as you get ready to go on an adventure of a lifetime! #1 Matt James fan right here!”
Former Bachelor Peter Weber poked fun at his indecisiveness on season 24 writing: Congrats @mattjames919. Very happy for you and @bachelorabc. “Enjoy the ride, just get it right the first time. It’s easier that way.
Mike Johnson, who was previously in talks to be the first black Bachelor, congratulated James in an Instagram video stating, I just wanna give a huge shout-out to Matt James as the new Bachelor. Congratulations, bro! I definitely [texted] him earlier, but I wanna show him love and shout him out publicly as well.”
He also commended the network and franchise for implementing change: “I wanna give also a huge shout-out to ABC. They listened to us. … I’m giving you guys a shout-out — the fans. Love you guys so much. They listened to you guys. You guys marched and, like, sent all these emails, I’m sure, and tagged Chris [Harrison] and tagged [creator] Mike Fleiss and tagged everybody that be, and they listened to you guys. [I] wanna say give yourself a pat on the back, seriously. That’s amazing. Your guys’ voices are definitely being heard.”
Tyler Cameron posted a photo with James writing: “Congrats to my brother @mattjames919 on being named the Bachelor. This is all a testament of who you are as a person. Now the world gets to see the person you are and the heart you have. You can change the world. Proud of you and so excited for you. Not excited that somebody will be taking my spot as your snuggle buddy.”
James is 28, a current real estate broker, and a former football player.
Earlier this year, The Bachelorette announced Clare Crawley as the upcoming lead. She will be the oldest lead in franchise history. Her season was halted due to the pandemic, so it’s unclear when it will air. Host Chris Harrison said her season would address coronavirus.
6 Sexy Shows to Watch for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day can be celebrated in all sorts of different ways.
Some people bake cookies, others go out for a romantic date, while some do a fun activity with their significant other.
However, this is the first Valentine’s Day under COVID-19 restrictions, which means that you likely don’t have as many fun and romance-filled options as in years prior.
That’s where TV comes in! Regardless if you’re spending February 14 with a significant other or your besties, these are some of the sexiest and steamiest shows to watch on the day that’s all about celebrating L-O-V-E (for friends, family, significant others, and, most importantly, yourself!)
Romance, scandal, drama… Bridgerton has it all! Dubbed the Regency-era Gossip Girl, Netflix’s smash hit and most-watched series is a brilliant and entertaining period piece with enough sex scenes to make you blush. And Regé-Jean Page isn’t bad on the eyes.
Emily in Paris
Emily in Paris, which was just surprisingly nominated for a Golden Globe, hails from Sex and the City creator Darren Star. It’s an airy flick about a millennial named Emily who travels to Paris for a dream job and becomes enamored with the City of Love and the men that want to show her all that it has to offer.
Falling in love requires you to be open, honest, and vulnerable. The American rom-com anthology web series, based on a weekly column published by the New York Times, explores themes of love (romantic, platonic, friendly) with a star-studded cast. The 30-minute episodes are standalone and easily digestible, which makes them the perfect viewing on a night like Valentine’s Day.
What happens when Liza, a 40-year-old single mom, decides to be 26-years old in order to re-enter the working world and falls in love with not one but two very different men? An exciting journey through the world of publishing and heartbreak. As Liza tries to find herself, she does everything in her power to hide her true self from those she’s become most intimate with. It’s another whip-smart Darren Star creation!
Two sisters, Beth and Annie, along with best friend Ruby find themselves embroiled in a dangerous life of crime after robbing a grocery store. Beth, specifically, falls victim to a crime of passion with one sexy “gang friend” that pulls her further and further into his world.
If Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars had a baby, it would be this Spanish-language drama. A private school becomes the scene of a murder after a clash between the rich and poor students. There’s plenty of sexual tension and unexpected turns as detectives try to narrow down the list of suspects.
** Article originally published in February 2021**
Is Bruce Greenwood Leaving ‘The Resident’?
After The Resident Season 6 Episode 9, many fans have been wondering if Bruce Greenwood, who plays Dr. Randolph Bell, is exiting the FOX medical drama.
While there has been no official word about a potential exit, it’s a fair question to ask considering the nature of his most recent storyline.
In the latest episode—which aired on November 29—Bell, who found himself as the target of Governor Betz’s smear campaign, finally admitted to himself, and to his wife, Dr. Kitt Voss, that his MS is progressing.
After Bell exposed Betz’s corruption while trying to secure funding for Chastain, Betz decided that the only way to teach him a lesson and make an example out of him was through revenge. Betz ordered a hit piece on Bell that painted him as a dangerous doctor to Chastain, which, in turn, tainted the hospital’s image.
Of course, while some parts of it were true at one point in Bell’s career, it was largely exaggerated and sensationalized to paint him in a bad light, and it didn’t take into account all the work Bell has done to become a better man and doctor.
The stress of all the negative press caused Bell’s MS to flare up, triggering a variety of symptoms like a high-pitched ringing in his ears, seeing double, and dizziness, which made him realize that he was pushing off the inevitable.
This time around, instead of operating when he shouldn’t, he acknowledged that he no longer felt confident in his abilities, nor did he trust himself to perform any future surgeries. When he told Kit that he needed to go back to the clinical trial, it was a shock, but ultimately, she was supportive because she knew that’s what he needed.
But what now? How will The Resident keep incorporating Bell’s character into the storyline? Will we just see him communicating with Kit from the trial in the same way we did earlier this season? Or will he slowly get phased out and written off?
The trial could prove to be successful again, and all of Bell’s worries could have been for nothing. After he prioritizes his health and the whole thing with Betz blows over, it’s possible we could see Bell return to surgery for many more years—back to his previous glory.
Losing Greenwood would be a huge blow to the series, especially since he’s been part of the series since its inception, however, it remains unclear which direction The Resident will go with this storyline.
Hopefully, we’ll find out in the upcoming season 6 finale, which is set to air on December 6, but as of right now, there’s no indication that Greenwood is exiting the drama.
Madelaine Petsch’s ‘Hotel for the Holidays’ Is a Gem Among Cliché Films
There are a lot of Christmas movies out there, which is why it’s important to make the right choice this holiday season. After all, no one has the time to waste over two+ hours on a bad movie.
At the top of your list should be Hotel for the Holidays, a rom-com that offers a refreshing take on a festive genre that oftentimes lacks creativity simply because the forces behind the scenes know it will make money regardless as everyone longs for a slice of familiarity and comfort around the holidays.
There’s plenty of Christmas magic (it must’ve slipped through the cracks) in Hotel for the Holidays, and it sneaks up on you—and Madelaine Petsch’s character, Georgia—in the best possible way. It’s Amazon Freevee’s first original holiday flick, and hopefully, not the last.
The plot is rather simple on the surface, but it isn’t predictable as with other holiday rom-coms.
Here’s the gist: Georgia is a young and ambitious hotel manager at the historic Hotel Fontaine (it gives The Plaza Hotel vibes from Home Alone 2), which attracts an eclectic bunch of guests, including some heartbroken singles, an infamous popstar, a European ex-prince looking for a taste of the real world, and more. They all arrive in New York City for the holidays looking for an escape from the norm, and Georgia is determined to give it to them. However, she also has her own plans and goals that get her into a bit of a love triangle with the hotel’s chef, Luke (Mesa Massoud from the live-action Aladdin), and the ex-prince, Raymond (Max Lloyd Jones from Book of Boba Fett). It also stars Kayleigh Shikanai (American Gods) as Pandora, Jami Belushi (According to Jim) as Kiki, Neil Crone (It) as Milton, and Jayne Eastwood (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) as Florence.
Pretty early into the film, it’s obvious how Georgia’s romantic life will resolve itself, which allows the film to dig into other captivating subplots that are positively unexpected. Unlike other holiday films, Georgia values herself beyond a romantic partner, which, right off the bat, is a breath of fresh air.
The supporting cast plays an integral part in the film, right down to the chef’s best friend/fellow chef and the janitorial staff. They may not be the sole focus of the series, but the team behind the rom-com found a way to involve them in a way that’s natural and easy to keep up with. Pretty soon, you find yourself rooting for the happiness of everyone at Hotel Fontaine—the staff and the guests.
The acting is also great. It’s just the right amount of feel-good so it never feels forced, nor do the character’s choices seem questionable. It’s all believable within the world they’ve created, aside from the scene where they are dining on a rooftop in the dead of a New York City winter without jackets or even sweaters. How are they not cold? As for the few over-the-top performances and characters, well, they also work—the prince’s bodyguard (AJ Zoldy) is a delight.
If I’m being perfectly honest, the magical thing about the film is that it’s a love letter to the community of people you surround yourself with: your found family.
The film doesn’t just settle for telling a story about two people who finally admit that they love each other because that’s tired and expected. Instead, it recognizes that romance comes in all shapes and sizes—in romantic partners, in co-workers, in friends, and even in new acquaintances that pass through your life for a brief moment (or stay awhile).
The storylines come together seamlessly, and the themes of belonging and acceptance—in addition to staying true to yourself, finding the inspiration to pursue your goals and ambitions, and acknowledging that it’s ok to move and find happiness on your own terms, even if it doesn’t always please everyone—help the film stand out among the other cliche seasonal offerings.
Most importantly, Petsch shines… and it’s so deserved. The film allows her to show off her range of acting chops that, sadly, get stifled on Riverdale. The CW series may have been her mainstream big break, but it stopped working in her favor a long time ago, so it’s exciting to see her take on new projects and characters.
Of all the Christmas films that I’ve seen in 2022 thus far, Hotel for the Holidays is one of the best.
Check it out for yourself when it premieres on Dec. 2 on Amazon’s Freevee.
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