These past few months since the last airing of some Bachelor-related monstrosity (read: best thing that ever happened to me) I had an epiphany. Stay with me here for a sec. I realized that I was finally disgusted and that maybe this show was a huge waste of my time. I mean, I am pretty busy with other more noble things. Like, um, ah, you know, like other shows on tv and stuff.
If you really want to see a romantic and beautiful love story play out on reality tv – love for all time – you have to tune in to shows like The Biggest Loser, Survivor and Amazing Race. These are shows where people find out they are compatible and want to spend their whole lives together because they have endured things like difficult and extreme weight loss, or ate a tarantula. It got me thinking: why don’t the dull and cowardly producers of The Bachelor throw in some bigger life challenges and try to eke out some actual meaningful connections?
But this first episode debuting Ben Fla(j)nik to the world as The Bachelor reminds me that one should never mess with a winning formula. Hello, BAT SHIT CRAZY! I have missed you so.
The show, natch, starts off with a recap of when we last saw Ben. He is down on one knee, about to propose to Ashley. And she waits a painful and slow-mo beat before pulling him up. WHORE.
Then we are reminded that Ben immediately gets snippy and critical of Ashley – also a first in this franchise. MY HERO.
Transition time to the “present”. Ben is in SF and there is, oh my god I can’t believe it… a CABLE CAR. (And do we think he actually lives in one of those classic San Francisco town houses? It smells a little Jason-Mesnick-lives-on-a-Seattle-houseboat-not-really-he-lives-in-tract-housing-in-Kirkland to me.)
Here are other things the montage teaches us about Ben:
- he spends his days working his picturesque winery
- he looks hot on a sailboat except for his G-A-Y salmon-colored muscle shirt
- his father’s death made him a better person (I always wonder about these comments. If a tragic death/adultery/firing makes someone a better person, are they glad it happened? So confused…)
- he drives some kind of JEEPy convertible I have never seen before
- he can haul logs over his shoulder
- he plays the piano (swoon!)
- he looks hot kayaking
- he has a lot of plaid shirts and looks hot in all of them
- he looks hot pontificating while a David Gray song plays
I guess the overwhelming takeaway is that Ben is hot. He is, right?
My fantasy is ruined when we are subjected to previews for what will take place 3 minutes later (why, ABC, WHY OH WHY). These include, probably in order of distastefulness: an elderly woman on crutches, a “big lesbian cream puff”, drama and lots of long hair.
Chris Harrison says a bunch of boring stuff in front of the mansion fountain and finally the fun can begin. Let’s meet the ladies!!! Or at least let’s meet the few ladies who get to have little bio video packages aired.
Lindzi C: SERIOUSLY? SERIOUSLY? You spell your name L i n d z i for reals?? Oh man. Sometimes things happen on this show and my brain and my mouth are rendered unable to even process and respond. Also, she is in sales, lives in Washington, rides horses to achieve Zen, recites hackneyed sayings about falling off a horse and getting back up again AND was broken up with by a text that said:
Welcome to Dumpsville… population YOU.
(I need more context on that one and am dubious it happened in a vacuum. But then again, she is the type to go on a reality show.)
Amber T: Nebraska nurse who is outdoorsy, wears camo and likes shooting and hunting. She also eats cow balls with her dad. She’s a critical care nurse, which is cool. (Being judgy about these people’s professions makes the whole thing slightly more tolerable.)
Kacie B: (I love this season because it wins in the whole franchise for having the most phonetically-same first names with wildly different spellings. It’s really keeping me on my toes!) I want to like Kacie. I think I like her. But her little intro bio is her watching Ben on tv from last season. Creeptown. And then she makes that heart with her hands a la Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. Hmmm. Finally, and worst of all, she is an Administrative Assistant. You know how I feel about that nonsense.
Courtney: Wow, okay. Wow. I can’t even type as fast as my brain here. Soooooo, I basically despise her before she says a word because her little tv caption says she is a “Model” from “Santa Monica”. The caption might as well have read: Totally Not Even Close to Wanting to Get Married but Want to Stir Some Shite up on National TV to Get My 15 Minutes, Yo. This persona is so played out on this franchise that I would start to yawn, except each devilwoman brings a new evil. Courtney’s is that she is the Black Widow (their words, not mine). But I am jumping ahead. All we know at this point is that Courtney says girls are jealous of her and she deserves a 2 carat diamond engagement ring. I wish she was my BFF! (Bonus bit from her online bio: “Love is my religion.”)
Jamie: Jamie is so far my fave. She is a Labor & Delivery nurse (she studied for something, yay!) and although I wanted to dismiss her for her uber-tan and really-white teeth, it turns out she has been through some hard knocks in life (ugh, I am so shallow). Her single mom had dependency issues and she had to raise all her brothers and siblings in a trailer. Also, she just seems nice.
Lyndsie J: HOLY CRAP, ANOTHER AWESOME SPELLING OF LINDSAY. Where do they find these finds?! Lyndsie is one of the more interesting contestants to ever grace this long-running crapfest. I mean, I am actually impressed that she seems like a different breed of man-chaser. She is British, has lived all over the world, has a diplomat for a parent, speaks multiple languages (I think), seems to have a silly sense of humo(u)r , has a butt chin, is an internet entrepreneur (tell me more!) and I will totally therefore forgive her blinged-0ut convertible.
Jenna: So Jenna. Jenna a professional blogger. See: http://theoveranalyst.net/. I can’t work out whether she gets good page views or how she makes money off of it. Frankly, I don’t feel like sleuthing around. But yes, I am intrigued when someone says they are a Blogger in New York by profession. And one who writes about Love. Really? Reeeeeeeally?
Shawn: I like Shawn well enough. She is a single mom in Phoenix with actually-decent two-tone hair. She seems calm and cool enough. I can’t handle though this little ditty courtesy of the production team:
Voiceover: I work in Finance.
Shawn pretending to be on the phone at her pretend desk: The market closed pretty flat.
Nicki: is our resident Regretful Divorcee. Also, she got married when she was 21.
Now the time has finally come to get this bad party started. Ben pulls up on his limo to the water-soaked mansion courtyard and as soon as he opens his mouth, we are all reminded why we’ve always liked him so much. He just seems genuine, like himself, someone that would be fun to be around and not awful. I can’t help but feel he is the anti-Brad. Brad. Ugh. Anyway- Ben then yammers on about getting dissed by Ashley, how it was hard to watch on tv and how his dead dad sends the family messages through hummingbird sightings. Chris Harrison at this point wears some weird stone-cold expression on his face. He is like, f*ck the hummingbird shit, let’s meet the hos!
Rachel: Rachel will always be the girl who got to go first. I think this has worked in her favor. It suits her seemingly laid-back personality, hater of conflict, good time getalong girl with a major score on wearing a pretty, long red dress. Also, I so dig her bangs. SO dig them. Minus points for inexplicably emphasizing that her middle name is Rose. Wha?
Erika: So Erika is a law student, which is obviously a humongous bonus in my book. Although I am not sure why because it is such a bad profession to go into for about 80% of the people who do. And yet, I am a simple-minded and people like me are awesome to me. I guess. Not really. Whatever. Okay, back to Erika. Erika has three major strikes against her:
- awful dress
- she makes a terrible law student joke and tells Ben he is “guilty of the crime of being sexy”
- on her on-line profile it says she has a lip tattoo. I search to see it and then realize she might actually mean PERMANENT LIP LINER. It can’t be, right?? Right???
Amber B: is young it turns out and so we shouldn’t hold it too much against her that she has this weird schtick where she asks Ben if he likes bacon and then eats some of her skin or something and then she says it’s Canadian Bacon, a play on her nationality and her last name. I wonder if she has used this line on people before. But, she is a labor and delivery nurse and you know how I feel about that: she had to study for something! (Also did anyone notice Ben’s weird response “I love Canada.”?)
Elyse: She’s a personal trainer and I have no idea what else to say.
Jenna: We learned about Jenna the Blogger in the beginning but when she shows up live to meet Ben her true, crazy, destructive, humiliating self-loathing rears its Krazy head. She tries to quote him and fails, which subsequently sends her into a self-shame spiral of alarming destruction. It’s all so weird to me because I think she is really pretty. And you know, pretty people have perfect lives. So it’s such a mystery!
Courtney Who I already Hate: She says “Hey cutie pie, you come here often?” and manages to blurt out that she’s a model. When to play to Horrible Human Being type, ugly Courtney. Ben, meanwhile, because he will drive us crazy and do everything we don’t want him to, exclaims “That is a pretty girl!” as Hosebeast walks away.
Emily: Emily is doomed to fail because she is a PhDed Epidemiologist. Why someone like that even has time or self-hatred enough to do this show, I will never know. But it’s fairly common knowledge that you cannot be smart and successful and pretty ambitious and actually snag The Bachelor. Also, sorry to say, that antibacterial gel and breath spray kissing bit was probably a Fail. She seems like a nice girl though.
Samantha: Wears her Miss Pacific Palisades beauty pageant sash. Enough said. Oh, also apparently she was outraged by that Mom-Injecting-Daughter-With-Botox story.
Casey S: She is a Trading Clerk (whatever that means) and delivers no corny lines or schtick. Ding ding ding!
Amber T: The camo-shooting cow ball-eating cam nurse does a bit where she walks back to Ben and says “just in case you don’t believe in love at first sight, here is a second chance.” No. No, Amber T, no.
Also, it’s weird how no one names their daughters Amber and Lindsay anymore, right?
Holly: Holly is 34, so kudos to her for still doing the show. Also she is a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep, which can sometimes be misconstrued with Vegas Cocktail Waitress. Nonetheless, she brings her cleavage and her big, floppy Kentucky hat B-game. She seems nice and I won’t be a hater this time.
Jamie Who I Already Loved from her Video Intro: says “I have nothing corny to say. I’m Jamie.” JAMIE, YOU WIN!
Ben says when she walks away that he is loving all the brunettes or something. Good man!
Shira: is an “Actress” who won’t give her age. Hello there, Alarm Bell One and Red Flag Two. Shira gets out of the limo, is way too skinny, lives in LA and pretends she knows about wine and then says “I’m joking.” I laughed at her joke so hard I peed myself. And then I realize I didn’t actually laugh at all but rather peed myself because during The Bachelor I hate to do pesky side things like get up to use the bathroom.
Blakeley: I hate the name Blakeley so much that it is going to be an uphill battle for me on this chick. And then, she pulls a triple whammy. One: her name is Blakeley (just a reminder). Two: she is a “VIP Cocktail Waitress”. (Oh they always settle down.) Three: I SWEAR SHE IS WEARING FLIPPERS ON HER TEETH. If not, it’s a terrible veneers job. Oh my god, I hate her veneers so much. Her terrible flipper veneers. They will haunt me.
Sheryl the Grandma brings her granddaughter, Brittney: Brittney is a Medical Sales Rep, so One Strike. I am not as much as a hater as the other haters about her little stunt bringing her Grandma. Honestly, it’s something different and it does seem like she is family oriented. That is not a bad thing.
Nicki the dental hygienest gets out of the limo and I don’t remember if anything important transpires.
Dianna: is a Nonprofit Director which basically wins the award this season for most refreshingly impressive occupation of one of the fame/love-seekers. She admits she can’t think or talk because she is nervous and she is wearing a long, white dress with a fabulous strappy back. So many positive things about Dianna that it will be no time before Ben has the terrible sense to let her go.
Jennifer: is an Accountant and so brings a numbers routine with her. She has traveled 1,190 miles, been arrested 0 times, tried on 54 dresses before she picked her ugly, boring one (but it was a cute thing to say) and has been in love once and wants to make it two. Hmm, dunno about this one.
Lyndsie J the International Gal recites a poem and says repeatedly that she’s a dork. So, that’s not a turn on. It used to work for Ashley last season but somehow she finessed her self-deprecation better. Cute, bubbly, interesting Butt Chin probably is made for a different kind of guy than Ben.
Anna: Anna is a “student”. Very mysterious. Also, she never speaks but just walks right by Ben. I don’t get it and am offended by it. Ben on the other hand exclaims “That’s awesome!” Ben, Ben, Ben. Sigh, Ben, sigh.
Monica: I have no idea what a Dental Consultant is but I’m intrigued. Monica’s big confession is that she misses her dog. Um, question mark.
Jaclyn: So I read her on-line bio and I just get really stressed out when these girls are asked what their favorite all-time book is. I know I should just be grateful they once read a book but I always know the answer will deflate me as a human. So Jaclyn’s fave was a Jodi Picoult novel. I just heaved a big, heavy sigh but I don’t know how to type it out. Jaclyn has some kind of boring job, tells Ben he looks dapper (cute, I think) and is wearing Laboutins. Way to bring it!
Shawn: wears a very shiny green dress and “slugs” Ben on the arm. But I do like her I think and want to hear more about “The market closed pretty flat.”
Kacie B: She says “Hi, Benjamin.” which I find pretty bold and adorable.
Lyndzi C: I bet Lyndzi is so ashamed of the spelling of her name that she begged producers to let her enter last and on a horse.
This stunt starts an all-out catfest in the house of judgy haters. More so than the usual Bachelor hating it seems.
Wow, I have been typing for a long time. Let’s try and speed this business up, shall we?
Cocktail Party and Things Happen…Like:
- Rachel left her job for this show.
- Someone (I forget who) says “everything happens for a reason.” A bunch of baby hummingbirds immediately die in one of those inexplicable mass bird suicide things that are really hot right now.
- Even though the cute grandma is crying and effusively lathering praise upon her granddaughter, Brittney is being rather boring.
- Someone (I forget who) has scary collagen lips.
- Shawn plays soccer with Ben.
- Someone (please remind me who!) reads aloud her tattoo mistake: Love is Patient, Love is Kind.
- Dianna does a cute thing with a blindfold and candy guessing. Although maybe I just loved this little routine because I so badly wanted a Sour Patch Kid too (World’s Greatest Candy maybe??). Either way, I still love the white back-strappy dress.
- Ben does push ups.
- Emily the Epedimiologist “raps” a terrible rap she penned and the whole world covers its eyes and screams, MAKE IT STOP. Which is too bag because she is a PhD for crissakes and her favorite book is East of Eden. One season they need a smart girl cast.
- Courtney does two awful things. Actually, she does 100 million awful things. But here are two: 1. she says “I’m at a point in my life where I’m a model…” What? That makes no sense. 2. Ben is trying to explain his ethnic heritage and she cuts him off to compliment his hair. Oh Beelzebub do I hate her.
At this point Jenna brings out her Batshit Krazytown. It seems that she is set off by the fact that Monica is not in love with Ben. Then she is further wounded by the fact that Monica begins lesbionically hitting on Blakeley with the Flipper Veneers. This is where I get all confused. Maybe you can help me. Let’s just make sure we understand the facts, okay?
Jenna, who is on a show where she is competing for the affections of a man with 25 other women is outraged that one of those competitors is not into Ben so far and actually appears to prefer women. Which means Monica is not very stiff competition. Again, just want to make sure I understand all this. Jenna is so angry that one of the girls might not be that big a threat. Jenna, how are you living off blogging and I can’t? THE WORLD IS SO UNFAIR. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON, THOUGH.
Also, Jenna does the following:
- accuses Monica of “attacking her emotionally”
- fights this battle on the inside
- feels sick
- is made to feel inferior
- refuses to cry
- lies about crying
- rebuffs Monica’s attempt to suss out why exactly she is upset
- asks the heavens why a human being could hate her out of nowhere
- is so hammered drunk that she makes supremely bizarre motions with her mouth when talking to Ben
- doesn’t want to “be like this”
- refuses to come to the rose ceremony but then decides to heed her blog advice, since she’s the only one that reads it, to “not look back” and shows up all dramatically late
First Impression Rose (although actually it’s the Second Impression Rose since Ben gives it to her after they have had some good, easy conversating) goes to whichever “LIndsay” rode in on a horse. Right? I lose track during these interminable episodes. But if it was her, she had cute dimples so fine, whatever.
The girls that make it one more day or two are
Jamie who raised her siblings and I like.
Rachel who wore a red dress and is a peacemaker and cool.
Blakeley with the awful personality and fake teeth.
Emily, oh holy crap the rapping epedimiologist made it??
Brittney the granddaughter.
Erika the law student.
Shawn with the shiny, green dress and flat market close.
Nicki who Ben says is a Good Hugger!
Jennifer the Accountant.
Samantha the Pageant Girl.
Courtney the Spawn of Satan.
Monica who Jenna is scared of and may or may not prefer to date women.
Jenna, who I knew would dramatically be last because the show producers hate me.
These girls got the boot and this is how I feel about it
Amber Bacon needed to go. She was full of herself and a shit talker and young. I am sure she is nice though.
Amber T was a goner as soon as Ben needed confirmation that she hunts game.
Anna sealed her fate when she refused to talk to Ben after getting out the limo. Even though he proclaimed it awesome. It so was not.
Dianna totally deserved to stay because she has a noble job and a cute dress and tried really hard with the blindfold/candy. But all those reasons meant it was inevitable that Ben would choose a demon like Courtney over a girl like this. So I say, Dianna, run! Never look back!
Lyndsie, poor Lyndsie. So international and so cute and so energetic and so chin-dimpled. I actually have no idea why she was cute but maybe Ben was intimidated by her worldliness.
Holly was mever a good match what with all the Kentucky big-hat cleavage thing.
Shira, oh my goodness it’s good she is gone. Because she is an Actress and won’t reveal her age. IJS.
Previews from the season ahead
Beach Zipline Rock Climbing Fireworks Helicopter Dancing Skiing Machu Picchu…
we get it, Producers.
An ex-girlfriend possibly surprises Ben and the Ladiez, everyone hates The Black Widow, there is crying and fainting and possibly someone changes her mind on Proposal Day.
I am so excited for this Journey!