So here we are again. It feels like only yesterday I was having serious Bachelor franchise fatigue. Oh wait, it was yesterday.
But you will be happy to hear I am now in it to win it. I am not sure why. Maybe because I really do believe Emily when she says she wants a husband and a minivan full of babies. Maybe because she has a child and made the show move to Charlotte and can’t fack around. I have been waiting years for an actual romance on this show. So watch I will.
There is just a slight problem: it’s kind of strange group of men, no? Obviously there are like one or two standouts (who we already know progress far because we are treated to previews of them kissing Emily in different outfits, establishing they make it multiple dates) but that seems like a pretty low number considering: (a) we’re starting with 25 guys and (b) Emily is ridiculously hottish. (I said “ish” only because the veneers and fake blonde hair thing are kind of overplayed on the pageant circuit). I just feel like maybe she would have merited a better crop.
The show opens to a scene of Emily pushing her daughter Ricki on a swing. It’s cute and precious and tugs at the heartstrings. This season will be interesting because unlike past stars, Emily won’t be able to fake her way through everything. She is already exposed since her heart is already outside her body in the form of her mini-me. Should be interesting.
It’s crazy to me Emily is 26 and lives in such a big, suburban, sensible house and has such an older person’s life already. She definitely missed out on any young, carefree, reckless and exciting young adult years. I think that has to be hard, no matter who you are and no matter how many god-given assets you’ve got in your hand.
Seeing the past scenes of Emily and Brad I am reminded that I did really like them together. He brought out the least robot in him and she really did seem in love with him. Has anyone ever gotten the straight story on why they broke up?
Last few comments on Emily: She is so strikingly poised. It’s rare in someone that age. But interesting we all thought she looked much older than 26. For Emily’s sake, I hope she only has to be engaged one more time. That would be awkward to be 3+.
Oh hello, Chris Harrison. You are getting a dee-vorce. What Up With That?
Something about this episode felt a little, hmm, unfinished. I don’t know. Too many boring guys. Too many not-good-looking-enough guys. Too many guys who don’t seem inittowinit or mature enough or well-matched to Emily. I really feel like this season must get better as it goes along because this episode just landed with a giant thud on the floor. I think part of what I am going to have to get used to is that Emily is such a departure from Ashley/Ali/Jillian. She is not an exuberant type person and even her excited reactions are delivered in a steady voice, and even-keeled manner. As a hyper person by genetics and choice, I can appreciate calm. But does it make for good tv?
There’s no point in even dissecting the show in chronological order. It’s all a blur of weird hairdos (seriously. This is the season of weirdest guy hair ever) and varying Spanish accents (including Emily’s terrible one. I can sing La Bamba better than she speaks). So let’s just get right to
Kalon – From Houston, Texas. Mentions that he’s good looking and has a few dollars in his pocket. So immediately he is a major douchebag. But then all of a sudden he pulls another douchebag move of unnecessarily wearing hipster nerd eyeglasses and this unexplained scientific phenomenon occurs where his two douchebag moves cancel each other out and for one second I find him cute and endearing. He enters on a helicopter which I am not sure how I feel about. I can see why the guys feel threatened and decide to immediately make him Enemy No. 1. The move is a little OTT. On the other hand, hmm, last season Rachel entered on a horse and I mean, really, both are statuses of wealth and both get attention and both are a different way to come to a party. Also, it’s freaking me out how much Kalon looks like a young Christopher Reeve. In the Superman days. Finally, Luxury Brand Consultant is a douchebag job title, and I didn’t like the way he told Emily twice that she was so gorgeous. Terribly unoriginal. Ugh, sorry, I keep talking about Kalon. I did think it was right for him to first refuse Sean permission to interrupt his one-on-one with Emily. It’s refreshing to see someone be greedy for that time with the person they are vying for, and frankly more honest.
Ryan – 31 years-old and played 8 years of pro football. I am glad for that fact because it means he’s in Emily’s league in the sense that she does seem to sort of gravitate to famous people to date. Ryan now runs a sports training facility and seems to like kids, so that’s good. + for Ryan: he plays up Emily’s inner beauty. – for Ryan: he blow dries his hair to sweep in one direction. Major + though is he starts reading from handwritten notes with “I’m so nervous” scribbled on the back. And has a cute twang. Ryan is good stuff so far.
Tony – From Beaverton, OR. He sells plywood but has a “passion for fitness.” That makes me roll my eyes and start pushing pins in a lookalike voodoo doll until he pulls out his Ace: his 5 year-old son, Taylor, aka “the best thing that ever happened to him.” Tony, you had me at son. It put me into a temporarily frozen state of euphoria which allowed me to overlook the terrible satin pillow/glass slipper thing.
Lerone – Ugh, producers, really? Did you quickly hire Lerone at the last minute because of the pending discrimination lawsuit? I would love to see some jungle fever up in this franchise, but it’s not believable this way- to have one token person of color. It’s almost more insulting than just the normal 25-person cast selected from the Aryan Nation. Also, Lerone just seems boring and not into Emily. Also, I don’t think cast members should ever come from LA. Sorry, LA friends.
David – David has a lot of strikes against him. First, he’s a singer/songwriter from New York City. Then, he uses the word “disparate” in his opening intro piece. Then, he says “I don’t want to toot my own horn but writing songs comes naturally.” And finally, in his bio on the ABC show website, he uses the word “ineffably”. David’s going to have to not toot his own horn with a really different kind of girl than Emily.
Charlie – Charlie starts out by mentioning he has a perfect family and then lived normal life and went to college. It’s kind of a weird way to start a story because I assumed that something then happened to his perfect family. It turns out that all that happened was Charlie fell 15 feet from a friend’s collapsing balcony and the near-death experience and subsequent injuries changed his life and now he wants to find true love. Which is awesome, but what’s going on with Charlie’s perfect family? Guy is totally likeable though, even when he clowns around about the metal plate in his head.
Jef – Raise your hand if you wanted to immediately kick Jef in the balls when you realized his name has only one “f”? I will fess up. Which just goes to show you cannot judge a book by the missing consonants on its cover, since it turns out Jef is One To Watch. At first I thought there is no way there could be a love connect with him and Emily since he’s like a Boy-Child CEO who skateboards, has a retro hairdo, lives in Salt Lake City of all places, and pulled the also doucebaggy move of trying to have a company which gives back to communities in developing countries. Barf. But as the night wears on, Jef seems real and definitely interesting and Emily says a lot of vurry nice things about him! Such as: “Jef makes me feel like a nerd. He just kind of has a cool vibe. I really like Jef. He made a great first impression. He is super cool and I hope he thinks I’m cool too.” Wow! However, I don’t see them together in the end. Emily is a lot of great things, but she’s not hip.
Arie – It’s cool Arie is a race car driver and all (how much you wanna bet the producers were casting for that very professional?), and yes he is h-o-t (at least amongst this motley crew), but did he have to mention he “represented Netherlands in racing”?? It’s like getting your MD in Guam. It’s better to be more vague with certain credentials. But I like that Arie didn’t have an entrance schtick and Emily gets such a sparkle in her eye and that’s fun to see because normally she is just polite and unaffected. Also, from the previews for the rest of the season, Arie sticks around and gets plenty of smooches.
Sean – Blond guys just don’t usually do it for me (except my kids are blond and if you say a cross word about them I will turn you in to the IRS and Dog the Bounty Hunter) but Sean seems nice enough.
Doug – Doug is single dad #2 and takes it up a notch by having an 11 year-old and FULL custody! Doug has a good amount of forehead lines too. I like Doug. His son wrote Emily a very sweet note and it definitely made me want to cry too.
Jackson – Jackson oh Jackson. Oh Jackson. Jackson, oh. Not. Gonna. Happen. Jackson. You knelt down on one knee with a boring, prepared bit during your entrance that you so clearly thought was clever and romantic and the reason you thought that was because you are obsessed with yourself for being a fitness model and you assume that also makes you good with the ladeez. Ladies always ooh at good pecs, but they rarely assume said pecs will remember to take out the trash or invest well in a Roth IRA. Guys like Jackson think women think like men.
Joe – Joe is the class clown. He is like an amiable salesperson-type who is only a teeny bit smarmy, and probably a surprisingly lot of fun to be around. Jury is out on the hair (but jury is leading towards a conviction). Also he looks sometimes like a fatter Matthew McConaughey.
Kyle – All I can remember is he is a financial advisor maybe. And turquoise tie represents Emily’s favorite color. Me too, Emily!! I love that color too!!!!
Chris – What does corporate sales mean? Chris recites sweet advice his dad gave him before going on the show. I swoon. Later he gifts to Emily bobbleheads of each of them. Points for originality, and not the gross kind like an egg. I’m not sure Chris is Emily’s type but then she surprises me by saying: “Chris is super hot and so thoughtful.”
Aaron? – I can’t even find some of these guys on the ABC website for the show! They should have worn name tags. I think he is a biology teacher and made some comment about chemistry with Emily. It’s definitely cute when a guy wears glasses unironically.
Alessandro – He gives Emily two cheek kisses because he’s From Brasil. Longish hair. He is pumped to be here and was looking at Emily’s boobs when he said she looks gorgeous, so I will concur he is pumped.
Stevie – Stevie likes a certain hue of green. He wore a bright green shirt with his suit Night 1 and the same shade in his bio pic for the show website. Stevie is 26, is a “Party MC” and is from New Jersey. He wants to get married like I’m the Queen of England (what if I was, though? I would change the currency to Princess Diana’s face). He came in rocking out to a boom box which just felt more suited to wooing Snooki.
Randy – So I feel like I want to be the lone voice for why Randy should have made it past Night 1. He clearly worked hard on that Grandma From Ben’s Season parody and should have been at least a little rewarded for that. Okay it came off weird, but the concept was cute. He was playing off the fact that everyone knows that story and also that he gets to good-naturedly “introduce” himself by Grandma as a good guy. Also, that costume had to take some work to put together. He seems likeable the rest of the night and cutely nervous about not getting time with Emily. And on his Bio page he looks a little like Russell Crowe. His bio also says:
I hate it when my date:
Doesn’t get my jokes.
Brent – Brent comes off normal and cute and wants a hug. He wears a name tag, which I think is also cute. Brent is an early possibility in my mind until the moment when the producers manages to edit in a 10 millisecond clip at the cocktail party of Brent showing Emily photos of his SIX KIDS. I will give him credit for being honest at the outset, but maybe you should have let her get in to you a bit before such intimidating news. Ultimately, a minivan full of teenagers is not a great as one full of babies.
John “Wolf” – I can’t remember anything about him.
Travis – Travis has spiky blond hair and is carrying around a large egg as some kind of metaphor for how he will treat Emily and Ricki: as a gimmicky prop. Also, there is nothing less sexy to me than a man holding a huge animal egg. Also, he makes it worse when he says later: “[the egg is] a joke between the guys but it’s who I am.” What? Are you the egg, Travis, or are Emily and Ricky the egg? Or are you just saying you are the kind of guy that would use an egg as a prop? Either way, bad stuff.
Michael – He has gross, stringy long hair but then I am won over by his sexy rehab counselor career and that he’s a music lover from Austin. Michael gave Emily a guitar pick! She definitely hot a lady boner when that happened. (I wish I hadn’t read his on-line Bio though. Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake?! You’re better than that, music guy.)
Jean-Paul – I liked that Jean-Paul asked Emily how she was holding up.
Alejandro – The one is from Columbia (not Brazil) and also speaks in Spanish.
Emily walks up to the guys and say: “Golly, I’m nervous! Welcome to Charlotte. Y’all…” The cutest.
Let’s take a break to point out from earlier: They even wet down the driveway of the Charlotte mansion!!
Beck to Emily. I strongly dislike Emily’s dress. It’s actually a very surprising choice. Boring color, pageant-y and revealing sort of for a girl who prides herself on coming across more chaste. I get the whole gold-for-blondes thing but the dress just looked cheap, the flesh-colored back panel looked like an ice skating costume and it wasn’t fashion forward enough and beautiful enough to warrant a hot girl on Night 1. Boo.
When Chris quizzes Emily, I am glad she spared herself and us from a seriously overplayed topic of conversation. She said flat out she doesn’t want to talk about her dead race car driver fiance anymore. I don’t know if it’s her poise or her ability to make her point without histrionics, but her teeth aren’t bugging me as much as I thought they would.
Doug the single dad gets the first impression rose. Sweet.
Nothing of note except Emily’s hair looks flatter and she reads the names in a phone sex voice. And I don’t remember Nate.
Smooching, men crying and Emily uses the F-word.
Also, there are 1 million recaps on-line, but I agree with every word in the LA Times. And they have my back on the veneers, y’all!
As is typical for me after the first episode of a season, I’m still not sold on our newest protagonist. While Emily may be perfectly sweet and a great mother, she didn’t exactly dazzle me with her wit and charm. Still, I’m holding out hope that she isn’t actually as fake as her impeccable veneers.