“The Bachelor” Season 16, Episode 1: “I don’t want to be drama”

Hour 1: Sarah

Oooooh, it feels so good to have the violins of “The Bachelor” back in my ears! We begin, as we always begin, with footage of Ben being rejected by Ashley, and in a rare “Bachelor(ette)” twist, shutting her the fuck down in return. “Good things don’t end unless they end badly,” he spits, and then bounces. Ice cold! Now that we remember how traumatic that was, Ben’s redemption arc can start. I’m really glad to be taking the first shift tonight because if I know “The Bachelor” format, and I think I do, 25% of this first hour is going to be a shower scene.

There are no regrets. There are hopeful guitars! There are pensive gazes from the deck of a boat while wearing a sherbert-orange tank top. “I’ve never juggled 25 women before, but I’m going to dive into this experience.” I bet you are, Ben. I’m reminded that Ben is actually a pretty regular-looking dude, which is refreshing, but also that he has not done a thing to improve his terrible hair. He did watch Ashley’s season, right?

Gentlemen. Let's do this!

Ugh, Harrison! So glad to have you on my TV screen again. What do you think he was doing during the hiatus? Hanging out with former contestants? Starting a clothing line? Playing an elaborate “Saw”-type murder game with a bunch of Eastern European immigrants that he lured to the States with the promise of telemarketing jobs?

It’s an unanswerable question, but we have to move on because it’s time to meet the ladies who the producers have deemed the most interesting out of the 25 that will grace our screen tonight. Lindzi is 27 (I’m so sure), and her last boyfriend broke up with her via a text that read “Welcome to Dumpsville, population you.” Amber likes to shoot guns, wear camo pants, have the scariest eyebrows, and eat cow testicles. Kasie (SP? But seriously there are five K/A/s(i)e(y)s on this season and they all are spelled differently!!!) has a southern accent and thinks Ben is super hot. That wasn’t interesting at all! Courtney loves having pictures taken of herself. “Girls are competitive with me but I can’t be bothered,” she tells us in an interview. She’s probably a really good person. Jamie is a nurse with the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen who raised her younger siblings because their parents couldn’t take care of them. That is interesting. And…who is doing that now?

It's like looking into a MIRROR! That turns you into a CRAZY PERSON!

Lyndsie is a British nightmare who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona (shout out!!!). Jenna is a BLOGGER who lives in NEW YORK CITY, and writes about love in Word docs at outdoor cafés accompanied by a glass of wine. Oh man, I loathe and love Jenna so much right now. I hope she sticks around all season so I can over-identify with her and hate her stupid guts. Her blog is called “The Overanalyst,” like, of course she name-drops it on the show, which is exactly what I would do with our blog if I were on the show, and of course she has fine lines on her forehead from frowning anxiously all the time despite her young age, just like I do! And of course she’s an unrepentant psychopath, which I hope is where the similarities end. ❤ u Jenna! Shawn lives in Phoenix, AZ (another shout out!) with her ungrateful son (“Do you want peanut butter and jelly?” “NO.” That’s really the best clip they had?)

Nicki is 26 and from Texas and think she and Ben will relate to each other “because we’ve both been through things in our past.” She’s right, that does sound like a very unique experience. She got married at 21 and then divorced, so the next time she gets married she’s determined to really think it through.

By now we have met all the most interesting girls, and Ben is about to meet the rest, and we haven’t had a single shower scene. What show is this??? I had forgotten until this premiere that he was a wine maker, which to be honest would be enough to get me to agree to marry him on sight. Actually, I don’t think I would need to see him first. Harrison and Ben sit down for a heart to heart. God, Ben’s hair is so bad. They’re sitting in front of a ROARING fire and avoiding eye contact and laughing awkwardly and I feel pretty comfortable declaring this the first official date of the night. Harrison reels off a list of some of the ladies like he’s running through the hors d’oeuvres at a Superbowl party. “We got a personal trainer, we got an accountant, we got an epidemiologist – and an avid game hunter!” “Game hunter” sounds a bit like “gay hunter,” which is an offensive mishearing on my part, but also sort of a spoiler if the promos are to be believed. YOU’LL SEE WHAT I MEAN IN A SEC.

Boringgggg! Where's Jenna?

The first crop of girls are unremarkable so far, although Erika the law student is wearing the skimpiest cocktail dress I’ve ever seen. I sort of love it? I’d get married wearing something like that. To a wine maker. As a symbol of me not taking anything seriously ever again. And being drunk always. Jenna the blogger can’t talk to Ben for three seconds without lapsing into uncomfortable silence and then misquoting him. She’s such a Carrieeeeee! I hate/love her so much! Courtney loves Ben’s hair, making her both obnoxious and a fucking liar. Ben’s totally into her, which is the point when I start to hate Ben (as is customary for every likable former contestant who becomes the Bachelor(ette)) as well as the first sign of Ben’s 15-minutes-of-fame-induced douchiness that I was reading about a while back. He was putting it to Jennifer Love Hewitt for a hot minute! Who does he think he is, Rich Cronin (R.I.P.)?

Jamie the nurse goes for an awkward handshake that she converts into a hug, which is cute.  “I am luh-huving the brunettes,” Ben says to no one and then whistles! Ben. Then the limo driver, who is incidentally the only black person that we’ll ever see on this show (REAL TALK), gets out of the car holding a pair of crutches, which he gives to the old ass lady who steps out of the car. I say “old ass lady” because Ben openly laughs when he sees her, and I am sure that was the phraseology that was running through his head. Turns out she’s the grandmother of Brittney, another contestant, and she gets invited in for a drink so all the girls can react like Brittney brought a poisonous snake into the mansion.

Lyndsie the Brit reads Ben a poem that barely even rhymes, and her accent is so affected and strange that I actually can’t handle it. Then one girl gets out of the limo and breezes past Ben without saying a word to him. Rude? But obviously Ben is like “Uuuuuuuhhhhh I love youuuuuu”” becaue the men on this show are nothing if not predictable. Kasey from Tennessee looks really cute in a sparkly sequined dress and Ben seems to really like her — I am pegging her as an early frontrunner. Lindzi rides a horse to the front door of the mansion, and that’s all 25 ladies. Time for everyone to start saying really mean stuff about each other!

Hour 2: Carly

Happy 2012, everyone! Doesn’t it just feel so right to be ringing in the New Year with Chris Harrison and this season’s batch of emotionally unstable trainwrecks?

Just look at that hair. This is not sexy. Call me, though.

Harrison and Ben have their moment up hyper masculine bonding (‘Go get em, champ! Herpes on three!’), but not before reminding him that he has to give out a first impression rose. Lots of interviews about how beautiful Ben is, which… I love a winemaker as much as the next gal, and like Sarah, I would probably be willing to forgive just about everything else based on the promise of free wine foreva, but let’s not go crazy here with the ‘Ben is SOOO sexy!’ talk. There’s a reason we haven’t seen him in the shower yet. I’M JUST SAYING.

Rachel discloses that she bravely left her job as a “fashion sales rep” in NYC to come to the show. Nicki dances around the fact that she has been divorced but doesn’t actually tell him just yet. Lindzi brags about how awesome her horse entrance was and waits for him to congratulate her on being the coolest, before admitting that she once tried to make wine from grapes from the grocery store. Oh, Lindzi.

Fun fact: When you type "The Bachelor Ben and..." it suggests old lady.

Brittney and grandma talk odds. “I think they’re all really beautiful, but I’m partial to you,” gram says. Adorbz. Gram talks to Ben for a hot minute and then leaves because it is way past her bedtime. Brittney LURVES Ben already, but not as much as gram loves Brittney, which she discusses at length on her drive out, before TOTALLY CRYING IN THE LIMO! They definitely put something in the water at the mansion.

Montage of pretty ladies hitting on Ben. Dance party! Someone feeding a blindfolded Ben candy! A soccer game that comes dangerously close to a parade of wardrobe malfunctions!

Someone is rapping. I won’t learn her name.

Stupid Courtney only wants to talk about herself.  She’s 28, so she’s really LIVED life, man. “You know, I’m at that point in my life where I’m a model.” Oooooh, right. THAT point.

Single White Female alert.

Monica, who just moments ago admitted that she’s not sure if she has feelings for Ben yet (after 45 minutes? HOW DARE SHE?!), is instead falling hard for Blakely. Blakely, for her part, mainly just lies on the couch while Monica climbs all over her and tells her how beautiful and amazing and real she is: “You’re in my life forever. I know this. … You know I need your number right?” And while Monica is very forthcoming in her inverviews, we hear virtually nothing from Blakely, which makes me think that she may have been riding the blackout train during this entire encounter.  Jenna is slowly coming unhinged while watching this unfold, and after a semi hysterical interview from her (first “she’s not here for the right reasons” of the night! DRINK!), Monica sings us into commercials with a super creepy ‘nobody knows but us!’ God I love this show.

Rachel, the unemployed retail girl from NYC tries to mediate the conflict between Jenna and Monica. What happened to Blakely? Has anyone checked to make sure she’s not unconscious in a closet? Jenna and Monica sort of have a conversation, but they are both so drunk that neither of them are making any sense. Lots of ‘Why don’t you liiiiike me??’s followed by a “You’re a girl. You’re a girl. Maybe we can share a tampon some time.” Which… no. False. Time to go.

Cross cut footage of Jenna crying while Monica hilariously talks about how she’s going to rip off her face. LOLz. Monica 2012! Ben finds Jenna crying to Rachel, and to her credit, she does seem a little embarrassed to be getting teary already. She tries to recover by brushing off the emotions and asking Ben how he’s feeling. After a quick answer from him, she opens her mouth and unleashes the following masterpiece:

“I just feel like, no, but like that makes us, like, if we could be more nervous, but you, but we could be more nervous, but the way that you’re calm, we’re so nervous but it calms us a little bit. So it helps us […] but then everything goes black. Its like, where am I? What am I doing now?”

Whatever.

Ben responds to that load of nonsense as nicely as he can, and then she leaves to go sob in a bathroom. Ben grabs the first impression rose and grabs the horse riding girl and insists that he’s not giving her a rose because of her AMAZING entrance, but instead because he  likes the conversation they had. I thought their convo was actually pretty boring but compared to others (“You’ve got great hair.” “Thanks, I like your hair too”), it might have actually been a standout. Allegedly she’s funny. Whatever. PROVE IT.

First rose ceremony! Jenna is still hiding out in the bathroom and crying (and maybe vomiting given the toilet flushing sound effects?) as all the other girls are lining up. From the bathroom: “I preach no looking back all the time. That’s what I say in my blog!” LOL. She finally joins the other ladies, and we’re off!

Jamie ‘I’m not a hero’ gets the first rose. Rachel the mediator is in. Blakely is apparently still conscious, as she accepts the next rose, to the applause of Monica. Then there’s a string of women who I feel like we’re seeing for the first time. Brittney is in, because Gram cried for her. Jenna’s lip is already quivering, and there are still like 10 roses left to give. Ugh. Stupid Courtney is in. Hate her. Monica gets the second to last rose! YES. Final rose. I think Jenna is going to have an aneurism. And she’s in!!!!!!! Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Producers, I love you. This is going to be a freaking nightmare and I love you for it.

I feel like this could be a scene from "The Wicker Man."

This season on the bachelor: everyone cries, people get naked, Jenna continues to be an effing maniac, more crying, Ben is in love, BUT DOES SHE LOVE HIM BACK?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?! Whatever. I’ve seen all I need to see. I’m in, and so are you. BACHELOR FOREVER.

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One Response to “The Bachelor” Season 16, Episode 1: “I don’t want to be drama”

  1. Kristie says:

    “Someone is rapping. I won’t learn her name.”

    “The first crop of girls are unremarkable so far, although Erika the law student is wearing the skimpiest cocktail dress I’ve ever seen. I sort of love it? I’d get married wearing something like that. To a wine maker. As a symbol of me not taking anything seriously ever again. And being drunk always.”

    These two excerpts could feasibly sum up the best approach to life in 2012.

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