The EW staff break down the latest season of the ABC reality series, and explore the very personal story behind Stephen King's latest book adaptation.

By Gerrad Hall
June 04, 2021 at 03:37 PM EDT

If there's one thing the new Bachelorette star Katie Thurston is know for, it's her "outspoken and frank behavior," which EW critic Kristen Baldwin says fans of the show will be looking for from her when the show's 17th season debuts Monday.

But will they get it, is the question. "People show personalities on the season that they're on, and then once they become the Bachelor or the Bachelorette they often can get produced into sort of personality oblivion," Baldwin says on the latest episode of EW's What to Watch video series (above). I think Katie will be somewhere in the middle. I think she'll definitely speak her mind and not put up with any garbage, but I also think that some of those edges that may have made her interesting slash human when she was on The Bachelor may be smoothed away when she's doing her 900th confessional of the day."

One bit of drama already looming over this season — before it already started — was the (temporary?) departure of longtime host Chris Harrison, following comments he made in an interview with Extra correspondent (and former Bachelorette) Rachel Lindsay, where he seemingly defended some racially insensitive past behavior from Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. (Harrison has apologized.) Stepping in for Harrison on both this season and season 18 are former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.

But Baldwin doesn't anticipate his absence — whether temporary or eventually permanent — having a detrimental effect on the series. "I think the show works for a variety of reasons the way it is, and whatever happens with the host, I don't see a tremendous overhaul of the other fundamental parts of this show," Baldwin says.

Watch the full episode of What to Watch: The Bachelorette & Lisey's Story now on, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

There's more drama on Apple TV+, where the latest Stephen King adaptation is coming to life. Lisey's Story stars Julianne Moore as Lisey Landon — widow of popular author Scott Landon (Clive Owen) — who, two years after her husband's death, is now dealing with repressed memories of Scott, while also dealing with a series of unsettling events involving her sister (Joan Allen). Complicating matters is Jim Dooley (Dane DeHaan), an obsessed fan of Scott who's harassing Lisey to get Scott's unpublished manuscripts.

For anyone worried the limited series may stray from King's book, EW writer Lauren Huff has some good news. "It's incredibly faithful," Huff assures. "They added a few things, mostly some creepy scenes with Dane actually, but sometimes it's to the letter faithful to the book, and whenever I talked to Stephen King, he told me about how much this story means to him... he loves it, so whenever it came time to adapt it, he really wanted to write it, he wanted nobody else to do that. Therefore, it's incredibly faithful."

Check out the full video above for more on The Bachelorette and Lisey's Story.

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