Everyone’s favorite documentary/piece of science fiction/comedy/drama, The Bachelor, is back. (The genre is up to the discretion of the viewer)
Note: This season is going to be difficult. It goes against my most basic instincts to mock and ridicule women. In contrast, mocking and ridiculing men is as second nature to me as breathing. But with a field of candidate complete with its own cowgirl and chicken enthusiast (real professions of the contestants this season), I have no intention of going easy on these girls.
Here goes nothing.
Ben’s intro voiceover starts with him describing himself as a “small town guy from Indiana.” For visual evidence of this, the producers cut to a shot of him playing basketball in front of an old red barn. What’s more American than that?
Ben drives around to see his elementary school and the movie theater where he had his first kiss. This movie theater is the scene of his first “big heartbreak” as his first kiss dumped him immediately afterward. Unsurprisingly, Ben played football and basketball in high school. Hello? He’s the all-American boy after all.
Ben launches into stories of the times he’s been rejected in the past (a callback to the movie theater), and he talks about his “fear of being unlovable.” But really, who don’t love this guy? He’s gorgeous. I’m in love with him and I’ve never even met him before.
Unrelated thought: In the middle of ABC’s commercial break they cut to Ben advertising for McDonald’s all-day breakfast menu. I’m sorry? Ben and an egg-mcmuffin? I’m weak in the knees.
But back to the show: Ben arrives at the Bachelor mansion in an old mustang convertible as his voiceover says, “I’m scared I am not going to be the one that they want.” *Olivia Newton John’s You’re the One that I Want plays in the head of every girl watching this show*
But never fear. Ben is not alone in this. This year, the producers bring out some of the previous bachelors in order to give Ben some advice before he starts his “journey.” But, ABC? Two of these bachelors picked the wrong girls at their finales. What advice are they supposed to give? I’m pretty sure Chris Soules is the last person I would go to for relationship advice. These days he’s living alone as a farmer in Iowa.
The four boys sit and game plan how Ben is going to handle this season. Huddle up, boys. The boys give him some advice, telling him to “be direct,” “to kiss all the girls,” “to kiss none of the girls,” and to not “lead any of them on.” Honestly, the entire conversation is just a slew of mixed messages, so I don’t know what Ben is getting from this.
And then it’s time for the best part of the show: It’s time for the crazy and sometimes tear-jerking montages about the girls. The producers show clip after clip of this season’s contestants: Lauren plays with a beach volleyball, Caila can paint a sunflower, and Jubilee (the coolest?) served in the military. Mandi the dentist definitely has crazy eyes. Like real, Taylor Swift in the Blank Space music video, crazy eyes. Also she spells her name with an “i” at the end. (Make of that what you will.)
And then they bring out the two 22 year-old twins. I’ve forgotten their names, so for the time being we can call them Amy and Susan. Amy and Susan are quick to admit that they bring a “whole lot of double trouble.” I won’t say much more about them because, let’s be real, twins are the worst.
Next, ABC cuts to the contractually-required single mom that they put on every season. This year’s single mom, Amanda, has two daughters and actually seems pretty cool.
During this part of the show we also get to see a great intro video to the chicken enthusiast, who looks lovingly at five pictures lined up on a windowsill (four photos of her chickens and one of Ben). In an expert move of editing, ABC next decides to pan to Sam, a girl who tells the story of her father who died of ALS when she was a teenager. Killing it with the transitions, ABC.
After the commercial break the girls finally get to meet Ben. For those of you who don’t watch the show, this is by far the most uncomfortable part of the whole show. I almost can’t watch as girl after girl exits the limo and puts pick up line after pick up line on Ben. I’m physically squirming in my seat. None of the pick up lines are worse than Lace, however, who just walks up and plants a kiss on Ben. Maybe the contestant who just passed the bar exam can tell Ben whether or not that counts as assault. I’m guessing it does.
To be honest, in my mind the girls all blend into a montage of embarrassing moments. One girl wears a unicorn head; one of them hikes a football; one of them has a giant rose on her head; one of the girl speaks the whole thing in another language; and one of them forgets to tell him her name. *Squirming still*
Finally Ben meets the identical twins, Amy and Susan. I’m going to be real with you guys about this. If my dad can’t always remember which twin I am, there is no way in hell Ben is going to be able to tell these poor girls apart. But once again, twins are the worst so I don’t want to talk about them that much.
Lastly, my favorite contestant this season enters: Li’l Sebastian. Yes, Maegan the cowgirl brings a mini-horse with her because… why not?
Pretty quickly after all the girls arrive, Lace lets her crazy out and starts shittalking all of the girls on the show. Okay, Lace, I don’t want to tell you how to make friends on this show, but maybe not calling all of the other girls ugly would be a good start.
Ben welcomes all the girls to the show, says his one ABC-mandated line of “I really believe my wife could be in this room,” and is cut off in the middle of his sentence by a girl who wants to pull him away and chat. No surprises, it’s the dentist, aka Crazy Mandi. Mandi lures Ben away and pulls one of those classic girl moves of giving a quick dental checkup to the guy you like. But like, Mandi!? You didn’t even give him the opportunity to see if you take his health insurance. Like, do you expect him to pay out of pocket for this? I don’t think so.
The next ten minutes are clips of the girls talking to Ben one-on-one. He plays football with one, he plays Pictionary with one, he plays guess-my-name with all of them.
Chris Harrison (the Queen of England, total figure head of this show) arrives and brings out Becca and Amber, two girls that were on the last season of The Bachelor. You know, because, why not? I really don’t care much about these two coming back for Round 2, but if ABC keeps recycling contestants there is no chance I’m ever gonna make it on the show.
Back in the mansion, Lace slowly gets wasted and Ben tries to make her feel comfortable with the fact that he doesn’t want to kiss her again. You know? BECAUSE HE JUST MET HER!
Chris Harrison brings out the first impression rose and just sets it on the table which causes all of the girls to freak out and run around like the rats in Ratatouille when all the people arrive in the kitchen. Ben ends up giving the first impression rose to Olivia, the news anchor, who was pretty charming in their first conversation (she’s used to being on TV after all).
There’s a few more minutes of awkward conversations and then Ben begins the rose ceremony. This week’s rose ceremony went on forever, and instead of giving you a moment-by-moment run through, I’ll just sum it up below:
In summary: all of the normal ones stay, both Amy and Susan make the cut, LACE and Crazy Mandi stick around, and Becca and Amber stay as well.
Fallen soldiers and casualties in the war for love: the Emma Stone look-alike Laura, Izzy the girl in the onesie, and Maegan and her mini-horse.
I’m sure there’s more to come next week, so until then.
Bye, Bye Li’l Sebastian.
My favorites so far: Lauren B. (the flight attendant), Jubilee, Jennifer and Amanda the single mom.