The show opens (unsurprisingly) with a recap. We see a short history of the Roman Reigns/Kane/Randy Orton feud, complete with HHH telling Orton that if he wants a title shot he must "take care" of Reigns. I gotta say, this was way more interesting than I expected. The recap ends and all of "The Authority" walks out to address the situation. HHH opens by talking to the crowd and telling them about the upcoming Summerslam Pay-Per-View which is... wait a second... there isn't a crowd during Bachelor in Paradise... Oh shit. I've been watching WWE's Monday Night Raw. My bad. Let me just switch over to ABC...
To be fair, this actually held my interest...
By the time I get back to ABC, they are just about to introduce the contestants. I assume this is after a lengthy and unnecessary recap/preview of things to come? Seriously ABC. We are already watching your show, you don't need to convince us to watch in the process. Come on.
First on set is Claire, who I remember seeing hump Juan Pablo in the ocean. Good thing she's close to water again, should the urge arise. Next is Marcus, who is still very good looking and still very in love with Andi. I don't know what these shooting schedules are like, but I have to imagine he's had enough time to get over his fake/polyamorous girlfriend of two months. Sarah shows up too. She has one arm, which I was sure would lead to some terrible remarks within the first few minutes. Not because the situation warrants it, but because the barely functional humans on this show seem exactly like the kind of people to comment on it. Luckily I was wrong, and Sarah proved to be one of only a few people on this show that I actually like. Also Marquel was there, and he is still just fuck-off good looking.
So it was around this time that the Peoria ABC affiliate decided to interrupt the show to let everyone know that there was a severe storm in the area, but it wouldn't affect anything. In fact, the 7:09 interruption told us that the storm would be over by 7:15. Are you shitting me? This is why everyone makes fun of the local news for being useless.
In local news, Corn still dominates our economy and lives. Back to you Steve.
The "it's-raining-somewhere-but-not-here" alert ends, and I definitely missed a few people arriving. Someone named Michelle K is staring wildly into the camera in a way that makes me think this isn't a TV show, but rather a closed-circut feed coming from inside my house. This freaked me out more than I can say, and comes from someone who actively enjoys horror as a genre. Seriously. That trollish woman will haunt my dreams.
Some other ding-dongs show up, blah blah blah, and then we get Elise and Ashley. Respectively the Abbott and Costello of the show. Elise is wearing shoes that apparently don't work on stairs, to the point where she has to physically sit down to make her way down, toddler style. Host Chris tries not to laugh directly into her face and sends her on her way, where she informs the camera that she is already in love with Dylan even if she won't say it out loud because "that would be weird."Setting aside the fact that she did just say "that out loud" and it was "weird," this is why we need a strong public school system. People like this are the intellectual equivalent to the "faces of meth" posters, only with more teeth.
I wish they were this non-depressing.
This is where the show really went off the rails for me, mostly because I don't know who about half of these people are. Michelle K says that she "may be" single, which is weird and intentionally obstinate. To that point, Graham gets up and moves away from her on the couch. Because if she has a boyfriend, why bother even sitting next to her?
Host Chris lets us know that one lady is going home this week, a fact that is proven untrue within the hour. Again my feed cut out for another weather update. I don't know what it was this time because the local ABC station couldn't get its sound feed working. There was a lot of time spent here trying to figure out if this was a blessing or a curse. Still not sure which it is...
Literally the moment I get back from the weather update, I see Marquel and the girls standing on a balcony screaming "Hola Mexico!" in their best bachelorette party voices. If you do this, have done this, have ever thought about doing this, or have even seen someone doing this without at least cringing a little, you are a bad person. You're not creating memories, you're being loud for the sake of being loud. I may be going full grandpa on this, but shut the fuck up.
"I get to act insane because my friend is going to be a trophy wife!"
There is so much to get to in this show, that I actually started making a diagram. I got through about three names until I realized that this was getting dangerously close to "A Beautiful Mind" territory, and burned it on the stove. I just don't want to tempt fate with schizophrenia like that.
From what I can understand, Marcus and Graham both love Lacey. Marcus also may like Sarah, but she definitely likes him. She also "doesn't understand how Lacey could be in the ocean with two guys in the same night," which is something I never thought I would hear. Claire also may like Marcus or Robert, we don't know. Marquel likes Michelle M (she shows up later) and Dylan and Elise like each other too. This is so high school I should be listening to Good Riddance and chatting on AIM. Seriously, I thought this was the whole point of growing up, so we didn't have to listen to this bullshit again.
The black shirt lets you know he feels, while the spiked hair lets you know he has an edge to him.
Claire gets the first date card, and initially tries to take Graham on a date. Ashley wants none of this and throws a hissy fit, complete with talking to herself and wild accusations. Not to be outdone, Claire sits alone outside and complains about fire ants, says drama seven times, and generally bears her soul to a raccoon. Yeah, you read that right. A raccoon.
After her conversation with the four legged bandit, Claire decides not to take Graham on her date. She tells him, using Ashley's impending insanity as a totally valid excuse. Graham reacts to this by saying his experience is moving from "Paradise" to "Paradise Lost." Don't even Graham... Don't you dare make a Milton reference I know you can't back up. I don't come into your world and talk about hair gel and "pussy," so don't come into mine making literary references and pretending you can read.
"Paradise Lost. That's about a forgetful craps player right?"
Claire eventually takes Robert on a date to some Mayan ruins, where they both claim to be bitten by fire ants. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the whole point of calling them fire ants is that they burn like fire right? There is no way those painless bugs were fire ants, no matter how much I may wish them to be. Otherwise the two just sit around and talk about ants for most of the date. Seems dumb.
Back at the... I guess you'd call it a cabana? Sarah asks Marcus on a date. I actually really like Sarah. She seems more measured and intelligent than a lot of the women here, and actually lets us see her insecurities as opposed to mounting guys in the ocean. The two have a cute little date where they jump into a cavern and play around. It was cute enough to keep me interested, but that's about it.
After that, Michelle M arrives at the house and immediately talks to Graham. Apparently the two had a history that may have been somewhat romantic. They seem to be ok, so she immediately goes after Marquel. Can't blame her there. She uses her date card on him, and the two ride horses. More specifically she rides a horse while Marquel struggles.
It's not difficult. JUST SIT STILL.
The final date of the night is Lacey, who now has to pick between Marcus and Robert. She taps into her inner stalker and picks Robert, leaving Marcus to mope around and contemplate his eventual lonesome death. Seriously, he reacts to this stranger not talking to him as if the last woman on earth just said she'd rather fuck the dog. Chill out guy.
Of course, Dylan and Marquel were there to comfort Marcus. I've got to say, their somewhat weird bromance is adorable. Hopefully all of them stay on the show so we can see more of this. It's gold.
Eventually it is time for the roses. Michelle K emerges from the bridge she was hiding under and volunteers to eliminate herself because "she didn't connect with anyone." This had to be moot, because there was no way a guy was planning to pick her. At least she got some attention for it though. Daniella also got eliminated, but I was too busy yawning to notice.
Michelle K. Pack your bag and go home.
Ultimately, what struck me was the strange competitive nature of the show. The immediate point isn't necessarily to find love, it is to find a date. The date determines your worth to the show, via your ability to stay. God forbid you just decide that none of these guys are right for you, or that you don't want to rush a relationship. Those are grounds to be immediately sent home. No, the point is to always have someone interested in you, because that is what gives you self worth. There is a lesson to learn here about the value of being alone. Not forever mind you, but long enough to know who you are and what you want, as opposed to lurching from one person to another. Instead of looking for validation within others, I really wish each contestant would realize that they are pretty awesome individuals who intrinsically have respect.
Everyone but Ashley that is. I won't miss her when this is over.