Kit Steinkellner
January 13, 2015 12:41 pm

As any self-respecting Bachelor fan knows, the next best thing to watching every Monday night with all your best friends and so many bottles of wine, is carving out time on Tuesdays to read the recaps.

And there ARE a lot of top-notch Bachelor recaps. Kristen Baldwin (the once and future queen of Bachelor recaps) used to dish on Entertainment Weekly, but now recaps at her new home Yahoo TV. EW’s new recapper, Samantha Highfill, is a completely worthy successor to the throne. Still, if we’re going to pick one recapper to reign high above all other Bachelor recappers, we’re handing the crown, scepter, and throne over to Sharleen Joynt, of Juan Pablo’s season, who is now recapping this season of the show over on Flare, as well as on her website, All The Pretty Pandas.

Let’s do a quick refresher course on Joynt, whom Jezebel once dubbed “The Bachelor Contestant Who No One Could Hate Watch.” When we were first introduced to Joynt, we learned that her favorite author is Murakami (“But that’s MY favorite author,” all us girls who work in bookstores chorus together) and she’s an opera singer (isn’t that like an architect or a video game tester, like a really cool job people have all the time fictionally that no one ever actually has in real life?). Girl’s fashion was always on point, but mostly, she called out the whole process in a way no contestant ever has. Case in point, she questioned how someone was supposed “fall in love” after only a few weeks and bailed on Juan Pablo because she didn’t feel a “cerebral connection.” On show that tries to make women and love seem one-dimensional, she broke the fourth wall with her dimensions and it was majorly refreshing.

Now that she’s gone from contestant to recapper, the realness keeps getting realer. Here’s what she had to say over on Flare about last night’s group date:

At another point she calls out the series more directly: “This show famously preys on and exploits women,” she explains, “[by building on the trope of] the painfully desperate single woman.”

Preach! Basically, if you’re not watching the show with a critical eye, you can end up buying into negative, outdated stereotypes about gender roles, which the series reinforces. Not that we can’t watch in rapt amazement at the awkwardness of date cards and rose ceremonies, and we will. But it’s all about perspective and Sharleen’s got it. Plus she isn’t afraid to call BS on production, which is pretty awesome (considering all the contracts contestants probably have to sign).

Did we mention she also serves up insider insights, like the fact that the girls are sent by the producers to interrupt one-on-ones, and that the first episode takes a whopping 10 hours to film? This is the kind of information we need to accompany our 2-hour weekly voyage to the depths of romantic cliché.

Thank you, Sharleen for “sharing this journey” with us. We’re in.

(Image via ABC)

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