Ok, so at first I did not get Dean Unglert from Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette.
After the whole ‘once you go black’ comment (YIKES) at their initial televised meeting, I was skeptical. Yes, Dean was cute, but that’s a bit of an overplayed, tired microaggression and it showed a bit of his age. As the youngest guy on Rachel’s season, it didn’t seem that Dean was much more than boyish charm, naive sweetness and a cute smile.
When Rachel surprised me by being less than offended by Dean’s opener, I was suspicious. I didn’t think he’d last very long and I made assumptions that maybe Rachel was just making excuses for him or not acting according to my own haughty (and frankly misguided… it’s not my choice what offends or bothers Rachel!) reaction.
I was wrong.
On the fourth episode, Dean opened up and showed a whole new side of himself beyond good looks. He was the first to point out Lee’s complicated relationship with race (and did it in a way that felt absolutely genuine and meaningful, in a way that felt like an ally and not exploitive, despite production’s attempts) and he opened up emotionally about his mother’s passing. He hit all of the right notes and acted in a way that was beyond his age.
Luckily, I wasn’t the only one feeling Dean in episode four.
Dean may actually be the dark horse of this season. He doesn’t have Peter’s romantic Romeo-esque bravado or Bryan’s sauve and obvious sexuality, but what he does have is heart, and that’s what this competition is actually all about.