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The Perfect Formula for ‘Bachelorette Weekend’

There’s no good way to squeeze all the action of Bachelorette Weekend into one measly blogpost.  It’s a deceptively simple concept: a small company in Nashville plans and executes a bachelorette weekends for a rotating cast of guests. But it generates a series of stories that’s anything but.  With last week’s premiere barreling the gate, I knew the show had found something special.  And upon further reflection, I’ve managed to dissect what makes this wacky mess so delectably watchable.  Weekend, while unquestionably unique, contains elements of shows I’ve loved for a long time.  Layer by layer, it weaves together an hour of television that’s well worth a watch.

Jersey Shore

This comparison’s pretty much a gimme, since SallyAnn Salsano is the brain behind both shows.  Granted, I can’t say that the (actual) work of Weekend party planners Nicole and Liz merits any comparison to the (barely meets the definition of the word) “work” of Snooki and co. at Danny’s t-shirt shop.  But the renthusiasm with which the group – guests, planners, and all – hit each club has a distinctly Jersey energy.

And yes, while said ‘hitting’ may lead to some unintended consequences (just ask the pile o’ vomit of bride-to-be Pepper), it’s just as entertaining in Weekend‘s Nashville location as it was in Jersey‘s Seaside Heights.

Below Deck

Below Deck’s genius is in its multiple layers of story telling.  The constant buildup of tension (sexual and otherwise) between the chef, captain, deckhands and stew inevitably lead to a steady stream of workplace-centered blowouts.  But to keep things fresh, each new set of guests brings their own special problems to the mix.

Same goes for Bachelorette Weekend.  While the dynamics of the Bach Weekend team are enough to keep a reality show afloat for weeks (COO Rachal and Liz seem to have some issues; Nicole isn’t shy about her general annoyance with all things JJ-related), it doesn’t stop there.  Each new week brings a new set of guests, complete with a full range of hangups, quirks, and levels of sobriety.  It’s the highest level of perfection that one can achieve in the creation of the perfect storm.

The Bachelor

No, the comparison isn’t about what you think.  Sure, the scent of wine and romance hovers heavily over every Bachelorette Weekend minute.  And yes, the over-the-top level of the Weekend‘s events (full-on pamper sessions, paintballing – in 80s dresses!, etc.) has a Bachelor-on-a-budget flavor.  But when bossman Robbie (who, at 29, boldly encourages his guests’ wild behavior in all the ways one might expect) introduces a new “bonus structure,” his employees’ Bachelor claws come out.

The concept?  One standout employee per party wins a cash prize.  And like episode 3 Bachelor back-runners competing for a single group date rose, his employees are immediately playing offense. It’s impossible to tell, for example, whether that gleam in planner Nicole’s eyes is fueled by a love of money or a deep disdain for the hot-but-utterly useless “creative director”JJ.  Still, you can bet that the element of competition will bring out the worst (and by that, I do mean the best TV) in everyone this season.

Princesses: Long Island

Admittedly, this reference is a bit of a throwback.  But whose heart isn’t instantly set a-flutter at the thought of this mildly-controversial-yet-oh-so-precious 2013 gem?  Indeed, the series’ most iconic sequence of events – that time that Ashlee wandered off in a vineyard and her castmates were pretty much certain she had died – has a very clear Weekend parallel.  In the premiere, one of the guests got so drunk that she refused to join her group’s vanride home. Instead, she opted to step straight into ongoing traffic before wandering aimlessly off into the distance.  Fear not – they managed to track her down.  Eventually.  But all the while, all I could hear were echos of Ashlee’s strangled screams of ‘maaaaaammmmmmm’ off in the distance.


New episodes of Bachelorette Weekend air at 11:00pm ET Thursdays on CMT and are available the next day on demand.