So no-one likes the incredibly likeable Georgia Love.
It’s true. The figures are in and viewers are tuning off. Social media is sniping.
Apparently, this year’s Bachelorette is “too polished”.
She’s “robotic and rehearsed.” She has an “annoying newsreader voice”.
She is either betraying the sisterhood because she gave up her job to “find love”, or she’s using the show as a cynical career move.
Listen to Jessie Stephens and Laura Brodnik on The Binge podcast discuss why we’re not watching Georgia Love:
The criticism, really, is remarkable. This year’s Bachelor, the lovely but monosyllabic Richie was basically portrayed as a Ken Doll with voice activation and he wooed a bigger audience than this smart, funny journalist.
Look, no-one’s crying real tears for a reality TV heroine who seems to have it all. We all know there are larger problems in the world. But there’s something unsettling about Australia’s refusal to embrace the Love.
See which guys are still in the competition for Georgia’s heart. Post continues below.
It’s not news that we expect far more from women in the public eye than we do of men. The Bachelorette has to be beautiful, but not alienating. She has to be smart, but not intimidating. She has to be flirty, but not ‘slutty’. She has to be relatable, but not boring. She has to be witty, but not bitchy.
The Bachelor? He just has to be good-looking, and have a job.
It’s Ginger Rogers is heels all over again.
Maybe, the argument goes, this is because the audience watching these shows is overwhelmingly female, and women are notoriously tough on each other? Maybe, the snipers say, women are just too bitchy to support other women?
The world might love to set us up that way, but seriously, that’s not it.
Maybe the reason we're not all as engrossed in Georgia's story is because she is a woman who doesn't look like her life depends on some guy swiping right.
Right now, Georgia Love is living the dream. And we should be cheering.
Here's a person who is obviously loving having an army of handsome guys compete for her attention. She is weeding out the idiots, the try-hards, the ones who aren't listening, and dumping their arses at an alarming speed. She is taking no shit.
Georgia never misses an opportunity for an excellent kiss. She is testing out all of her favourites in the chemistry department. And why wouldn't she? Knee-trembling kisses are one of the world's most delicious experiences. You've got to collect as many of those as you can.
Georgia is smart and funny and knows how to have a conversation. We're never going to be discussing Trump vs Clinton on this TV franchise, but at least if you're sitting next to Ms Love you're guaranteed a little more stimulation than Richie and co's endless 'I like me, do you like me?'
She looks great in a frock and is milking the wardrobe department for every drop-dead dress that we would all LOVE to wear, even just a couple of times in our lives.
Best of all, Georgia is great to watch. She exudes a confidence and an enthusiasm for life that is infectious. She is having fun.
And look, who wouldn't be when, after four seasons of women being ritually humiliated on The Bachelor, Georgia can get a bunch of guys to do THIS:
So, come on, people. Stop pining for a gaggle of women hurling insults and increasingly nude selfies at each other.
Stop mistaking intelligence and empathy for blandness.
Stop blaming a woman for the fact she's not a bumbling bag of insecurities.
Because, as any woman who has felt she is always waiting to be chosen or swiped at knows, watching a smart woman like Georgia Love take her pick on national TV is good for the soul.
You can listen to the whole of The Binge episode, including a conversation with Jordan Raskopoulos about Transparent, here: