In a classic example of reality TV gimmickry, a few of those exchanges unfold after Underwood expresses concern about conservation, then end with cliffhangers, as they are, leading into the next episode.
As Underwood points out, his existence has been a mass of perceived contradictions that push him to keep who he is a secret. Concerns about how others would react made his decision to continue with ‘The Bachelor’ and his role as a footballer (“my second family,” he says) and devout Christian, even more difficult to come to terms with his true self .
Underwood, now 29, provides an obvious service by using his profile to raise awareness about these issues, addressing suicidal thoughts and the need to find help, as well as the homophobia he witnessed in football locker rooms, contributing his decision to stay in the closet. But the show also falls victim to the idiosyncrasies of reality TV, from the awkwardness of having discussions in front of cameras to the strikingly produced effort to build tension around these situations.
On the plus side, if Underwood’s story helps a child struggling with similar doubts and fears, there’s clearly an upside to that. And some really touching moments emerge, including Underwood’s interactions with his father, Scott, as a source of love and support. (Dad, among other things, is wise enough to advise him to stop looking at Twitter.)
“Coming Out Colton” makes it clear that Underwood’s story couldn’t fully come into its own in a morning show interview. Nevertheless, as is often the case in this genre, extending that to a six-episode run feels a bit far-fetched.
“Coming Out Colton” will premiere on Netflix on December 3.