Friday August 23, 2019

Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why is now streaming on Netflix. Picking up some 8 months after Clay succeeded in stopping Tyler from bringing a gun into the Spring Fling dance, Bryce Walker has turned up dead. Are these events related? What happened during those 8 months? Both those questions will be answered and I am already lukewarm on this season going in.

Season 5 of The Affair premieres on Sunday night on Showtime.

As does season 1 of On Becoming a God in Central Florida. More below.

HBO’s Ballers returns on Sunday night for a 5th (and final) season. “Dwayne Johnson has announced that season 5 of Ballers, which premieres Sunday, will be the final installment of the hit HBO comedy. ‘Cheers to our FINAL SEASON of @HBO’s BALLERS 🥃,’ Johnson wrote on Instagram, alongside a video message to fans. ‘My heart 🖤 is full of gratitude to all of you for rockin’ with us every season.’ The news isn’t a surprise considering Johnson’s busy schedule and the growing profile of costar John David Washington, whom Johnson previously said an emotional goodbye to.

The series finale of Instinct airs on Sunday night on CBS.

Amazon continues its comedy push. Alonzo Bodden’s new stand up special is now available.

Artwork for the 14th season of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which premieres on September 25.

Goliath returns to Amazon on October 22. Here is a first look at season 3.

A fitting end to Baskets last night. More below.

FX has acquired The Bridgewater Triangle, a short story by Brian Miller, for television series development, with Noah Hawley and his 26 Keys executive producing. Miller is attached to write the pilot. The project falls under Hawley’s overall deal with FX and FX Productions. The premise: Everyone’s heard of the Bermuda Triangle, but there’s a far more terrifying place known as The Bridgewater Triangle in southeastern Massachusetts. It’s an actual area of well-documented supernatural activity that covers 17 small towns and 200 square miles of New England. The Bridgewater Triangle is an apocalyptic horror thriller set in these small towns. When a massive paranormal event strikes these 17 communities simultaneously, it turns these idyllic towns upside down and affects thousands of lives. Three estranged siblings must somehow survive and come together in the chaos as the only ones who can stop it.”

Toymaker Hasbro is acquiring studio Entertainment One in an all-cash transaction valued at $4 billion, bringing My Little Pony and Nerf under the same umbrella as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks and furthering Hasbro’s growth goals in the infant and preschool categories. Hasbro aims to expand its operations in film and TV. Entertainment One’s production infrastructure in multiple markets and its children’s programming IP made it an attractive target for Hasbro. Sources say the news came as a surprise to most people at Entertainment One.”

Good news for those of you who can’t get enough Paul Rudd on your TV. Netflix has a new comedy series in which the Ant-Man star plays dual leading roles. Living With Yourself features Rudd as Miles, a man who is struggling in his marriage and work life. When a colleague tips him off about a mysterious spa treatment that will turn him into a better person, he agrees to undergo the procedure and… well, suddenly he discovers that a new and decidedly improved version of himself has been unleashed into the world. . . . All eight episodes of Living With Yourself premiere on Oct. 18.”

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As a fan of Baskets, I thought this was a great piece from The Hollywood Reporter: “Fans of Friends or Game of Thrones don't have to look far to find compatriots. That's the simple, tempered pleasure of embracing something popular.

“I prefer the pleasure of finding that other person who loves the thing you thought you loved alone. It's the sensation that Emily Dickinson captures so well in that poem so short everybody has it memorized: ‘I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there's a pair of us — don't tell! They'd banish us, you know.’

“But it's my job to tell, banishment be damned. Let's all be nobody together.

“Netflix's shift in ethos from ‘That service that doesn't even know how to cancel anything’ to ‘That service that orders strange shows and then cancels them after three or even two seasons’ has marked a key crisis of faith in the world of Peak TV. The best case scenario of narrowcasting replacing broadcasting has been that services demonstrated themselves capable of attempting the oddest imaginable programming and then building a portfolio around shows that were 270 people's favorites.

“In axing things like Everything Sucks!The OA and even One Day at a Time, Netflix has proven a lack of interest, or evinced a lack of business advantage in becoming a safari of oddities — a place to squint and find the unique frog blending into the foliage, the shadow in the trees that's actually a camouflaged sloth. Netflix isn't alone. The proliferation of streaming services is being driven by brand recognition, and while there may be room for a few obscurities, it can feel like TV is, overall, moving back to being a lions-or-bust safari.

“That's why it's maybe a critic's most important job to point out the absurdly niche curios given temporary berth on TV, that they might continue, whether it's something like the cosmically bizarre Lodge 49 on AMC or, on behalf of my partner-in-criticism Tim Goodman, Epix's Perpetual Grace Ltd (RIP, Patriot).

“It's one thing to recline at the end of the day and go, ‘Well, at least Criminal Minds aired over 320 episodes. Way to go, America!’ and another to say, ‘As spiritual and poetic as it was, at least Rectify got 30 episodes.’ I know which one made more money for the people involved, but I also know which one makes me feel better about the state of the medium I cover. I also know the spirit of camaraderie I instantly feel whenever anybody else mentions loving Rectify and the feeling of flee-the-room-immediately whenever somebody leads a conversation by announcing their affection for Criminal Minds. Sorry, Criminal Minds fans. There are plenty of you.

“Thursday night marks the end of one of my favorite TV acquired tastes, FX's Baskets. There's the part of me that feels like Baskets is ending far too soon, but it's just a small vein of bitterness. The more enthusiastic part of me is astounded that a show this weird managed to last four seasons, that it got 40 episodes, that it won an Emmy for Louie Anderson. A show I thought nobody would watch at all ended up being a show that… well… very few people watched! But not nobody. You can go out in the world and find fans of Baskets, and that's a small and not meaningless miracle.

“Co-created by star Zach Galifianakis, series director Jonathan Krisel and Louis C.K., whose involvement we don't discuss anymore, Baskets was always a show that existed outside of its current moment, a fact that the series fittingly didn't show signs of recognizing until this season. How do you do a show about a sympathetic, failed clown (Galifianakis' Chip Baskets) in a world in which fearing clowns is a cliche as oversaturated as detesting the word "moist" or hating cilantro? At least the latter is a legitimate genetic condition.

“There's no room for a baleful Bozo when our most sane clown may be the dancing one killing children in Derry and our most insane clowns have formed a posse. One of this season's most poignant episodes saw Chip realizing the indifference expressed by kids to his clowning — or ‘clooning,’ as the show so often preferred, when spoken in a thick French accent — guise turned to joy when he did the same things dressed as a superhero. But aren't we all just clowns in an age of superheroes? No? Just me?

Baskets was always hard to explain or quantify. Having Galifianakis playing two roles, as both melancholic Chip and his self-obsessed twin brother Dale, wasn't a hard sell on its own. Galifianakis was still in his brief movie-star window, an ill-fitting and ill-utilized designation that never matched with the actor's tendency toward Andy Kaufman-esque anti-humor.

“There's no way an audience that thought of Galifianakis primarily from The Hangover was possibly ready to tolerate how sad and confused Chip Baskets was, arriving in Bakersfield, California, with a wife who didn't love him and moving back in with a mother (Anderson) still concealing secrets surrounding his father's death. There was no way to explain how willfully and aggressively annoying Dale Baskets was, operating a scam of an online college and biding time in a loveless marriage on the brink of collapse. The tension between the brothers was so great that the second season contained an extended fight sequence that destroyed their mother's house, but also helped Galifianakis to his lone Emmy nomination for the show. If you came to a show about an aspiring clown hoping for easy humor, you were frequently disappointed.

“But you wouldn't always have been disappointed. For all of its pervasive sadness and dysfunction, a mood of washed-out absurdity that was more Lynchian than light, Baskets was an extremely funny show. In bursts. Whether it was Martha Kelly's astonishing deadpan as a cast-wearing Costco employee and Chip's only real friend, or Garry and Jason Clemmons as Chip and Dale's globetrotting DJ twin brothers, or the Arby's-working Juggalo Jody who represented both the show's most positive depiction of clowning and perhaps TV's best piece of product integration, Baskets was full of characters who could be counted on to deliver punchlines.

“The show was masterful at making laughs come from the darkest of situations, be it a wake held in a condominium's crowded common room or, well, Arby's. Baskets found humor in places as disparate as opera night at a rodeo, the Ronald Reagan Library and Denver, but even when building a plotline at a ridiculous RV park, it never resorted to facile or condescending mockery, all nestled in an amazingly empathetic treatment of Bakersfield.

“That empathy was everything to the show and was best represented in Anderson's performance. I've said and written this a thousand times, but it remains true: Casting Anderson as Galifianakis' mother was a choice that stunk of stunt-casting, except the show never for even a second treated it as a joke. Christine was occasionally the butt of jokes, but only in the same way as every other character in the show, getting laughs out of her naiveté and lack of irony, rather than her being played by a famous '80s comic in drag. As it progressed, the hopes and aspirations of the show shifted focus from Chip to Christine, from a one-man show to a series about a family struggling to come together and the matriarch struggling to keep it together.

“Anderson may have been submitted as ‘supporting’ actor for awards purposes, but Christine had the show's central personal growth arc, as she found her gumption and her independence after the death of her mother. And Christine had the show's most effective love story, as Christine and Denver-based Mattress King Ken (Alex Morris) were treated to a hopeful, compassionate and complicated second-chance romance that was in all ways more carefully and convincingly rendered than whatever pretty CW couplings the kids are rooting for. The series' closing episodes — especially the one-two of Grandma's Day and Mrs. Baskets Goes to Sacramento — have reaffirmed Anderson's nuance and commitment and should line him up for one last Emmy nomination next year. This performance was an all-timer.

“The second half of the season has been so strong that the finale feels perhaps too consciously resolution-driven in comparison. This may not have been announced as a final season until a few weeks ago, but you can tell that Krisel, who emerged as the show's dominant voice and deserves more credit than one essay could provide, knew that a conclusion was on the horizon. The finale is the show at its most satisfying, if not its best. And perhaps that's ideal in the frustrating world of niche TV, where fandom is simultaneously at its most passionate and the most likely to suffer ratings-based truncation and disappointment.

“So if you watch Lodge 49 or Perpetual Grace Ltd or even something seemingly niche-but-mainstream like The Good Place or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, don't assume nobody else is watching or that nobody else would like the precious treasure you like. TV is all about communal experiences, especially when that means making a community of nobodies.”

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From TheWrap: “Good Eats makes its long-awaited return to Food Network on Sunday with the premiere of “Good Eats: The Return,” the on-the-nose title of Season 15 of Alton Brown’s beloved science-meets-cooking show.

“Both the cable channel and Brown have been promoting the stuffing out of the show’s new episodes, with Food Network launching the premiere early online and the celebrity cook hosting a Reddit AMA this week, plus fielding many, many fan questions on Twitter.

“And with this level of enthusiasm for the return of Good Eats, we had to ask Brown why he stopped making the show, which ran from 1999 to 2012, in the first place — and why he finally decided to bring it back.

“‘It’s a complicated question,’ Brown told TheWrap. ‘I stopped not because the network wanted me to stop or anybody else wanted me to stop; I kind of wanted to take a break for a few years. I really wanted to concentrate on doing some live-touring and I did a couple of big live tour shows and that was a great thing.’

“Brown, who is the host and main commentator on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen, says he ‘was also waiting on technology.’

“‘I had a feeling when we stopped making Good Eats that the way people were going to consume content was going to change radically and it was just really starting. And I kind of wanted to sit back and see where that was going to go,’ he said. ‘And these new shows are not necessarily made for television. I’ve made these new shows to watch on a phone as much as I have a television set. So I kind of wanted to wait out the changes and see where the writing on the wall was going to end up. And I’m glad I did because the technological evolutions — not only in media consumption, which changed a lot — but the technology that would allow me to do some of the things visually that we’re doing in these shows — we’re using a lot of stuff that just didn’t exist even six years ago. I kind of was waiting, in a way, for technology to catch up with where I wanted to go. And then I was also waiting to see where media wanted me to go.’

“OK, so what does AB mean here when he’s talking about all these technological advances that are going to make Good Eats even better after its seven-year hiatus?

“‘One is, most of what I’m talking about doesn’t have to do with food at all, some of it does,’ Brown said. ‘On one level, we’re strictly talking about filmmaking technology. That’s my background and I have a passion for putting cameras where they don’t belong, for designing extremely complicated shots and sequences. So there were things I wanted to do visually that I just had to wait for the technology to come along that would let me do what I wanted to do.’

“But don’t worry, because Brown promised us this: ‘If you are a Good Eats fan, you will continue to be a ‘Good Eats’ fan. If you’ve never seen Good Eats before in your life, you’ll hopefully become a Good Eats fan.’

“As TheWrap exclusively reported last week, Brown’s Good Eats: Reloaded series — which premiered last October and saw the cook ‘remix’ some episodes from his old catalog — has been renewed for a second season.

“See below for more from our interview with Brown:

How did you decide what recipes you wanted to include in The Return?

I will admit that some of them were simply things that people had requested so much. Our very first episode, I’m finally getting chicken parm out of the way. People have been asking me to do a chicken parm show for 10 years and, frankly, I didn’t think I had anything to say about it. And then I figured out, “Oh, I actually do have something to say about it.” Because to me the recipes aren’t worth anything if — number one, the food has to be great, but there also has to be a story of significance behind it, and for me it was the understanding and finally coming to grips with the fact that Italian food was actually invented in America, not in Italy. And that kind of changed my whole viewpoint on the subject.

So some of these shows were things that I knew people really, really wanted. Some of them were things that I’ve just been really interested in. But, for instance, our season finale is a post-apocalyptic episode about wild sourdoughs. And six years ago, people didn’t care. But there’s kind of this whole millennial-hipster thing now about sourdoughs. So there is finally an interest. I was always interested, but Food Network was kinda like, “Yeah, no, nobody is gonna watch that.” So there are a few shows where simply popular interest has moved into realms we didn’t have before.

Some of the shows are kind of more historically minded. We do a show about icebox cakes, which I think people should be making left and right. We’ve got a very current-themed holiday special about low-alcohol cocktails, so that’s a very current thing people are interested in. A lot of people are sober-curious. Me, I’m just interested in drinking all day without falling down, so that’s where I kind of came up with it.

Certainly because of social media, because of Instagram, we have a whole different level of awareness about food that we didn’t have five or six years ago and that has opened up an entire world of possibilities for me as a culinary storyteller. So I’m not making it sound like I was sitting on the sidelines waiting for the world to catch up with me — but in a way I was sitting on the sidelines waiting for the world to catch up with me. And by the way, there was no way I was going to start making “Good Eats” again if I couldn’t make it be a lot better than the last time it was on.

What is it that you hope people take away from the new episodes and the particular recipes you selected?

There is always power in understanding. Understanding what’s going on with the food, understanding what the food wants, understanding what the techniques are and what they do is more important than any recipe. And that’s what actually makes you a cook. Understanding makes you a cook, recipes don’t make you a cook. And so we try, and have always tried in all the episodes, to give people an understanding so that when they’re done at the end of the day and they’ve cooked the food and the recipes, whatever the recipe is gonna be, they’ve actually got something in their brain that they didn’t have before. And I can’t take it beyond that, it’s that general.

Are you finally done with your turkey recipe and will we get a turkey episode this season?

Not a Thanksgiving show, but it’s about cutting up the bird and doing different things with different parts. And I’m done roasting the turkey. I’m finished. I have nothing more to say. By the way, I can’t count the number of people who have come up to me– we did our first roast turkey show in 1999… and still last week I had some folks who could not have been more than 10 years old when that show came out and came up to me and thanked me for that gosh-darn turkey recipe. I don’t know what it is about that turkey recipe. I’m grateful for it! I guess it would be the recipe on my tombstone, if they put recipes on tombstones.

Was it hard getting back into “character” as the Alton Brown you play on Good Eats vs. your everyday self?

I won’t say that it’s hard, it’s an automatic thing for me when I get in front of the camera. I either become the Iron Chef version of me, the Cutthroat Kitchen version of me or the Good Eats version of me. And the Good Eats version of me is the closest to actual me, the way that I am in my head. But you’re right, I don’t act that way in the airport. But it’s real close, so it’s not a problem at all. In fact, it’s a very comfortable place for me to go. It’s like an actor who has played a certain Shakespeare role enough to where they own it, I think I finally kind of own me. And frankly, one of the things about doing this job… I’ve watched myself age 20 years on television. I just turned 57 a couple of weeks ago and I cut off all my hair a couple of years ago because I got tired of it looking like crap. I’m not the guy I was then. So you have to be willing to let go of being worried about that kind of stuff because watching yourself age 20 years on TV, that can freak some people out. Me, I’m kinda like really myself. I think I was always meant to be a 57-year-old guy, so I think I’m better now than I used to be because I’m more comfortable with myself.”

This article has been condensed.

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From Decider: “Kirsten Dunst is returning to television, and she’s doing it with a role that’s going to rule us all. Ahead of On Becoming a God in Central Florida‘s premiere on Showtime star Kirsten Dunst and executive producer Esta Spalding spoke exclusively to Decider at the Television Critics Association’s 2019 summer tour about what went into creating their show about multilevel marketing cults, aquatic Jazzercise, and gator attacks.

“When asked what she looks for in roles, Dunst emphasized the importance of a project’s characters. ‘With Fargo I just knew that this girl was going to go on such a crazy trajectory based on one episode and the quality of the show is pretty good too. I could see from the first season,’ Dunst explained. ‘But when it’s something like this you’re starting off a TV show. You’re really risking so much more. This pilot was one of the best things I’ve read between movies and TV shows.’

“Typically Dunst chooses her films based on their directors, and her shows based on writers. But as much as she loves her new Showtime series, there’s something about television the actress doesn’t enjoy. ‘The only part of television I don’t love is sometimes you have to explain things too much. But that’s just TV, I think,’ Dunst said. ‘I was like, “Ugh. God I feel like I’m explaining all this crap right now and I don’t want to do that.”’

“Dunst portrays Krystal Stubbs, a young mother living near Orlando, Florida who seems to have a pretty decent life. She has a job at a local waterpark, a now-sober husband who loves her, and a daughter she adores. But that all changes once her husband Travis (Alexander Skarsgård) decides to abandon everything stable in his life to pursue a full-time career in the ‘not a pyramid scheme’ FAM.

“‘It’s so funny, I was trying to explain to someone what it’s like today, and I was like, “Well it’s kind of like Instagram followers because you’re getting people to follow you. The more followers you get, the more advertisements you get, the more money you make. But meanwhile no one’s making money. Everyone is just following you and then buying the products they’re seeing you use. Even though it says it’s an ad,' Dunst explained. ‘Man, if you can make money off of Instagram, good for you. I guess? I mean… I don’t know.’

“Though modern MLM companies tend to target women, the fictional FAM drew its inspiration from similar companies that were popular in the ’90s. ‘It was in the ether, the idea of the scheme that could be a sale of products into the family,’ Spalding said. ‘We were just fascinated by the way in which it could infiltrate families so as opposed to making it a female-centered thing. We wanted to see it enter the whole family dynamic, men and women.’

“‘FAM is family,’ Dunst added.

“Spalding also noted that she wanted Krystal to specifically butt heads against a male CEO. ‘It was so gratifying to me the thought of Crystal going after the man at the top of the thing as opposed to another woman,’ Spalding said.

“Dunst agreed before adding, ‘It’s totally a cult.’

“Even though Krystal begins the series immediately skeptical of FAM, it takes a while before she can confront the man in charge of the whole operation — Obie (Ted Levine). ‘There’s a little bit she doesn’t know that gets unveiled and charges up the backend,’ Spalding said.

“When they were shootingOn Becoming a God, Spalding was acutely aware of how often people are swindled by MLM companies to this day. While the crew was in New Orleans, the executive producer started talking to a local painter who asked what her show was about. Depressingly he knew too much about MLMs. ‘He said “Our wife just mortgaged our house to escape,”’ Spalding said. ‘I literally ended up sending him links to a bunch of research I’ve done because he just found out’

“‘It’s crazy,’ Spalding added. ‘It’s still happening for sure.’

“But from her first moments on screen Dunst’s Krystal is skeptical of this company even as the men around her believe in it wholeheartedly. Krystal’s difference in this world and her simultaneous need to fit in and stand out is even baked into her clothing choices. Dunst made sure that in the first few episodes of the series Krystal wears the same few outfits over and over, both to show Krystal’s poverty and her discomfort with her post-pregnancy body. 

“‘We’re always showing that she’s trying her best but doesn’t quite fit it but also doesn’t really care a lot,’ Dunst said. ‘I think when you have a daughter and you’re losing a house you’ll do anything for her. So really it comes out of the survival. She has to survive.’”

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“Demi Burnett says she overcame her ‘fear of judgment’ when coming out as sexually fluid on ABC's Bachelor in Paradise.

"‘I had been suppressing the whole coming out thing for a while,’ the 24-year-old reality TV contestant, when speaking to The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, says about this week's historic episode of the long-running dating franchise. ‘It’s the same concerns that any person in the LGBTQ community goes through: Fear of judgment, people not understanding or, just because you don’t like the same thing they like, people seeing you differently because of that. That’s the concern.’

“Viewers first met Burnett when she competed for the rose of Bachelor star Colton Underwood earlier this year. She also made several appearances on Hannah Brown's subsequent cycle of The Bachelorette. But when summer spinoff Bachelor in Paradise premiered in August, Burnett came out as a ‘queer queen’ on social media and identified as fluid when speaking to producers, the audience and her friend Brown on early episodes.

“As the season progressed, Burnett embarked in a heterosexual relationship with fellow contestant Derek Peth, but gradually opened up to Peth and select co-stars about her sexual identity and conflicted feelings for a woman she dated before coming on the show. On Tuesday's episode, after a candid conversation with host Chris Harrison, Paradise surprised Burnett by inviting the woman, Kristian Haggerty, to join the show so she and Burnett could explore their romance.

“Burnett says she had ‘no idea’ the show would bend its rules and invite a franchise outsider to join the show so Burnett could stay. ‘I thought that I was leaving that day,’ Burnett recalls of a surprise visit from Harrison. ‘I thought Chris was taking me to the top of the stairs so I could go walk my butt to an SUV and leave to go find her. I was so shocked. I could have never expected that.’

“The move to bring Haggerty, who has never competed on a franchise show, to come aboard ushered in the groundbreaking moment for the veteran ABC franchise. Burnett is the second openly fluid contestant but the first to embark on a same-sex romance on any of the franchise's shows. The pair kissed when they embraced, which Burnett admits is something she will continue to get more comfortable with as the show progresses.

"‘In that moment, nothing else mattered to me,’ she says. ‘But that’s not to say that I was comfortable from there on out being physical. There are cameras, people I don’t know watching me. Whenever you get hyper-aware of that ... it’s just something I had to work through.’

“Ultimately, the star says it was how she felt during their reunion that gave her the clarity she had been looking for when she first came to Paradise: ‘I have never felt that happy to see someone and feel the amount of love that was between us that we had never discussed before. And the clarity of knowing that this is my person that I want to pursue.’

“Both Burnett and the show were praised by GLAAD for portraying an honest and open journey of someone coming to terms with their sexuality. Burnett says she's open to whatever comes her way in terms of continuing to represent the LGBTQ community and is focusing on the positive response, which is currently outweighing any negativity she anticipated. The fan reaction to the show's treatment of Burnett's journey and Haggerty's entrance, as well as Peth's ‘woke’ reaction, has been praised on social media.

"‘It’s a monumental moment for me because I am loud and proud about it now, whereas I was so in the dark about it before,’ says Burnett. Though she came out to her family in private, the decision to go public with her sexuality on such a national TV stage — and on a franchise that is not known for its inclusivity — was a decision that the spitfire contestant made so she could speak her truth in a big way. ‘I know that I have this one big platform to show everyone who I really am and so I took that opportunity so I wouldn’t have to have one million other different conversations with everyone. Hopefully I could set a good example that it’s OK to just be who you are.’

Echoing Harrison's words to THR about how the moment marks a more ‘modern, evolved’ version of the show, Burnett says she leaned on the Paradise crew, including producers and staff who are queer, to tell an authentic story. ‘The crew was absolutely there for me whenever I needed them. It was very emotional a lot of the time and they’d be crying right there with me,’ she says. ‘I was always open with everyone in production about how I like men and women and about my previous relationships. What attracted me to Derek was that he’s such a good guy. We have the same sense of humor, we don’t really take anything too seriously, so what’s not to be attracted to such a woke guy?’

“Peth's reaction to Burnett picking Haggerty already has the audience pushing for the 31-year-old from New York City to be in the running for the 2020 Bachelor season. ‘He would absolutely be an amazing Bachelor,’ says Burnett of her ex, who remains on the show along with Burnett and Haggerty as it finishes out the currently airing sixth cycle. ‘I hope people can take Derek’s way of communicating and really learn from it. He was so respectful in every way. I need more people like Derek out there in the world. We all do.’

“Though Burnett says she and Haggerty will still go through ‘real’ relationship ups and downs on the show — ‘We’re going to go through some struggles and lots of tears,’ she warns — she is currently finding herself overwhelmed in the best way from the added spotlight.

"‘I didn’t know that I would have lots of people reaching out to me saying, “You’re making me feel more comfortable with coming out with who I am.’ That is such an honor, just to read these messages that I’m getting from people,’ she says. ‘I hope that we continue to see reality TV encouraging people to be themselves and to not be ashamed and to be proud of who they are.’"