Discover more from Box 148
Aaron Sorkin's The Bachelorette
America's two favorite recurring cliches, together at last.
INT. ABC PRODUCTION OFFICES — DAY
KATIE, the Bachelorette, power walks down a hallway. She’s in a casual hoodie, yet her hair and makeup are done to perfection. Katie snaps her fingers at a PRODUCER standing by a mountain of clipboards.
KATIE: You, walk with me.
The producer snaps to attention and follows Katie like a dog.
KATIE: Give me the lowdown for tonight.
PRODUCER: You’ll meet thirty men, one of whom will be the love of your life —
KATIE: Cut the shit.
PRODUCER: Fine, you’ll get engaged but not married.
KATIE: Not that part. Cut the shit where there’s only thirty men. We both know you’ll eventually trot out another buffet of five o’clock shadows, just to gin up drama.
PRODUCER: Yes, and your ex’s best friend will be one of them.
A production assistant presents the Bachelorette with an array of high heels. She dismisses him with a wave.
KATIE: Give me the lowdown on tonight’s boys.
PRODUCER: They’re all your age, save for one that’s far too young and one that’s far too old.
KATIE: Well, that’s predictable.
PRODUCER: Death, taxes, and predictable Bachelorette casting.
KATIE: Let me guess, they’re all real estate agents and failed pro athletes?
PRODUCER: Almost. Carl sells frozen bananas on the Santa Monica pier.
KATIE: Ugh. Just go ahead and cut banana boy.
PRODUCER: Don’t you want to meet him first?
KATIE: This isn’t summer camp, not everyone gets to play.
Katie arrives at her dressing room. She twists the handle and flings open the door.
KATIE: Someone find me a goddamned ball gown!
EXT. BACHELOR MANSION CUL-DE-SAC — NIGHT
Katie, wearing a sequined ball gown, stands in front of an impossibly large New Mexico resort. The door of a limousine opens to reveal JOHN, a six-foot-four white man that you’d swear you’ve seen before.
JOHN: You look incredible.
KATIE: Thank you, so do you.
JOHN: I’m John, I’m a pro athlete —
KATIE: What sport?
JOHN: Is that important?
JOHN: I think it's too early to reveal that information.
KATIE: This is only gonna get worse before it gets better.
JOHN: Fine. I play semi-pro lacrosse in Belarus.
KATIE: (disappointed) Belarus?
JOHN: The US isn't the whole world, Katie. There are countless countries outside of America. For instance, Belarus.
KATIE: Are you here to be pedantic, or —
JOHN: I’m here to fall in love.
KATIE: Aw, that’s sweet. But I’m still gonna be thinking about the Belarus thing.
INT. BACHELORETTE MANSION PARLOR — NIGHT
Thirty Bachelorette contestants are milling about, each with a drink in his hand. The camera focuses on JAKE, a six-foot-five man, and AARON, a six-foot-three man. Both of them have a generically handsome face that makes them feel entitled to attention.
AARON: I just don’t think you’ve got Katie’s best interests at heart.
JAKE: I’m not that guy.
AARON: I think you are that guy. I think you’re just here to get famous so you can stop selling condos in Reno and start selling houses in LA.
JAKE: That’s absurd. I think you’re projecting your own motivations onto me.
AARON: Look at my face. Look in my eyes. I’m falling in love with Katie.
JAKE: I hate you and everything you stand for.
AARON: You don’t even know me. It usually takes people the better part of an hour to hate me.
JAKE: I’m on the Bachelorette, I don’t have that kind of time.
Katie appears in the room. Sensing her presence, the contestants quiet down.
KATIE: Jake? Aaron? Is there something I should know about?
AARON: No, everything’s fine.
KATIE: I have brains, I have eyes, and I have legs that go all the way down to the floor. I know when there’s drama in the mansion.
AARON: You’re a strong woman.
KATIE: Shut up. Jake, what happened?
JAKE: Aaron was just accusing me of being here for the wrong reasons.
KATIE: Is that true?
AARON: It is.
KATIE: Amazing. It’s only the first night and already you're bickering like junior senators at the Capital Grille.
Katie turns to address the entire room. The contestants shift nervously in their loafers.
KATIE: We live in a civilization, gentlemen. Therefore, I expect you to be civil. I'm disappointed, but maybe that’s on me. Maybe I should have set the bar even lower.
Aaron stares through the bottom of his empty rocks glass.
KATIE: It seems that more and more we've come to expect less and less of each other. What happened to sweeping a girl off her feet? Aaron, all you did was try to sweep this under the rug.
AARON: I love you, Katie.
KATIE: And I appreciate that. You've been honest with me, Aaron, and I owe the same honesty to you. The truth is, my relationship with some of the other men in the house has progressed further along than ours has.
Aaron sighs heavily, twisting his face into his best attempt at sincerity.
AARON: At the end of the day, your happiness is all that matters.
KATIE: It would make me happy if I never saw you again.
EXT. DIMLY LIT GARDEN — NIGHT
Katie cries into TAYSHIA’s shoulder. Tayshia is a former Bachelorette serving as part host, part mentor, part corporate olive branch in response to Chris Harrison’s defense of racism. Katie sits up and dabs her tears with a napkin.
KATIE: I just don’t know if I made the right decision.
TAYSHIA: It's tough, I know. But your person is definitely out there.
KATIE: This is you and me talking, Tayshia. Give it to me straight.
TAYSHIA: When I was the Bachelorette, I found a mediocre white man to love. So will you.
KATIE: That’s what I needed to hear.
TAYSHIA: I know.
KATIE: Cancel tonight’s cocktail party anyway. I need to solemnly walk the grounds and think about Aaron, a man I barely knew.
Katie slowly makes her way back to her room as the cameras follow. We hear her voiceover while she cries in the dark.
KATIE (VO): There was once a monk who dedicated his life to the service of God. When he faced adversity, he would pray to the heavens: “I don't always know what the right thing to do is, my Lord, but I think the fact that I want to please you... Pleases you.” That's exactly my situation: I don’t know how to be the Bachelorette, but I think the fact that I want to find love… Will help me find love. That, and my contractual obligation to fake it if I don’t.
FADE TO BLACK