So excited for this show.
Bachelor in Paradise is, without a doubt, one of my favorite things on TV right now. It’s a perfect turducken of beautiful people in an intentionally provocative situation wrapped up in a wonderfully self-aware shell. I could not be happier to see the show back on the air, so without further ado, lets get into it.
Chris Harrison opens the show with a rapid-fire video recap of what this season’s contestants have been up to since we last saw them. I don’t have the time or mental fortitude to delve into these clips with any significant insights, but my compulsive nature prevents me from skipping them entirely. So here’s a spark notes version of what everyone has been up to.
Ashley I – Still a perpetual crier, who has decided to bring her sister (Lauren) on the show with her for some reason.
Lauren – “Slut version” of Ashley I. Inexplicably existing on this show.
Jared – Possibly still in love with Kaitlyn. Definitely not shaving his terrible beard regularly.
Ashley S – Wants to show that she’s not “that weird girl.” Does so by chasing animals on a farm.
Tanner – Still making fun of Kaitlyn for only talking about Shawn while on The Bachelorette. Still wonderful.
Jade – Still pretty.
Jillian – New boobs. Excited for a “Man-Buffet.” Slightly horrifying.
Dan – Enjoys walking around shirtless to blues music.
Juelia – Still has an adorable daughter who will probably be very confused as to why mom keeps leaving for months at a time.
Tenley – Recently single. Ex-boyfriend has a new baby on the way. Definitely not emotionally stable enough for a show like this.
One by one the contestants begin arriving at the beach, including several not shown in the video package. My favorite person on the show, Carly, arrives with a fancy new pair of eyebrows. Other arrivals include JJ, last season’s part time villain, Jonathan, the John Legend doppelganger, Mikey T, the self-described “alpha male”, and some guy named Kirk.
I was gonna ship their names, but it's just "Jonathan Legend."
In true Bachelor in Paradise fashion, the show gones off the rails within minutes. Specifically, things fall apart the moment Ashley and Lauren Iaconetti show up. Tenley is concerned that two sisters being on this show is “cheating,” although I think the word she’s looking for is “incestuous.” Actually, she definitely meant “incestuous.” When asked how both of the Iaconetti sisters being on the show at once would work, Lauren said “She (Ashley) makes out with them and I finish them off.” So. Yeah. It’s definitely “incestuous.”
Jonathan takes the opportunity to become the biggest creep on the show by wondering out loud about what it would be like to have sex with two sisters at once. Spoiler: he is very interested in the idea. Upon finding out that Ashley I is a virgin, Jonathan says “I’ve been with a few virgins before, they’re a little more work but a lot of fun.” Ironically, if Jonathan had put in a little more work in self-restraint, I would be having a lot more fun watching this show.
Then there’s Mikey T, who immediately takes his shirt off upon seeing the incestuous sisters, presumably to distract from his terrible personality. He takes Lauren by the hand and both literally and figuratively manhandles her in the ocean. Lauren clearly hates every moment of her time with Mikey, which meant I enjoyed every moment of watching her squirm.
If only Lauren had a collar to tug.
Before the show can get too weird, Chris Harrison steps in to explain the rules to our would-be-lovebirds. This season’s Bachelor in Paradise is exactly like last season’s, with only one minor change. The Iaconetti sisters are a package deal. If one gets a rose, both stay on the show. Great. As if this wasn’t already incestuous enough. At least the writers of the Bachelor in Paradise porn won’t have to look far to find a plot.
Chris Harrison then leads our group of bumbling love seekers to a series of benches on the beach. Everyone is confused by the setup and why they are there, despite the fact that this is clearly set up for a wedding. Jade is the first to figure out what is going on, though only after she sees Marcus from last season’s Bachelor in Paradise approaching in a suit. Rhodes Scholars, they are not.
Marcus was, of course, marrying Lacey in a ceremony officiated by Chris Harrison. Good lord I hope that this was not their actual wedding. I understand that the couple met on Bachelor in Paradise and owe a portion of their happiness to the show, but that doesn’t mean they have to get married on it. If they had met in a grocery store, no one would expect them to get married in the frozen foods aisle.
Although it does happen.
Both families looked thoroughly annoyed to be sitting through this charade, and rightly so. Watching Marcus and Lacey (each still as beautiful as they are dumb) read their vows in the oppressive Mexican heat while sitting across from 15 drunk and horny strangers is my own personal idea of Hell.
After the ceremony, the group retreats to their own beach. Immediately, Lauren begins crying. In her own words “Nothing happened, I just started freaking out.” In case there was any question, the baseless crying should definitively prove that Lauren is definitely related to Ashley.
Speaking of Ashley I, she now has her sights fully set on Jared. Ashley is so enamored with Jared that she has already decided the two are a couple, despite the fact that she is too nervous to speak to him. Jared, unaware of Ashley I’s unspoken love, spends a few minutes talking to Jade on the first night. Ashley takes this as a major blow to her non-existent relationship and begins bawling, saying “I didn’t even think about another girl stealing my guy away.” How the possibility of another woman being interested in your crush eluded Ashley I is beyond me. Love triangles are the main export of Bachelor in Paradise, closely followed by tears and STIs.
I have seen enough of this for a lifetime.
I have to talk about something other than Ashley I before I defenestrate my computer. Lets see, what else is going on? Kirk and Carly have paired off and seem to be doing well. They kiss and snuggle all night and seem to be generally adorable. Good for those two, it’s nice to see someone happy on this show for a change.
A date card arrives too! Good, that will be a great distraction from the weepy antics that have dominated this program so far. The date goes to… Ashley I.
Of course Ashley I gets the first date, and of course Jared is too polite to say no, although he certainly does seem less than thrilled. The two go off roading, and Jared actually seems to have a pretty good time. Granted, that could have been because he was off roading, which is fun as hell. Ashley I also has a good time, as she spend the date talking about her obsession with Princess Jasmine and discussing the statistical likelihood of horoscopes. Essentially, each person had a good date in spite of the other.
Back at the house, Ashley S is spending more time with the local bird population than the actual human population. Not that this is a surprise, of course. I’m just reporting what happened.
Jade got the second date card and chose Tanner. I’m legitimately happy to see these two paired off. They’re the closest to “real people” Bachelor in Paradise will likely see all season. I will hold on to their relationship to keep the show grounded in some semblance of reality or die trying. Don’t fail me “Janner.”
Post-“Janner” date; we see Ashley S being stretchered into an ambulance. No explanation of any kind is given as to why she is being taken away either. Was she dehydrated? Did a coconut fall from a tree and knock her unconscious? Is this some sort of bird related injury? These are questions we cannot answer. Regardless, Dan accompanies her to the hospital. Again, why? She’s a total stranger. Again, no answers.
Could have also been a case of the bird flu?
The episode ends with the arrival of this week’s final female contestant. Claire Crawley, the Kevin Bacon of The Bachelor, has arrived and is looking for love. In her words “I just want to find love and feel urgent about it.” An urgent desire for love and affection is how people end up in cults, so Claire’s presence on the show should be pretty God damned entertaining.
I’ll have Monday’s wrap up posted tomorrow. Looking forward to sharing a full season of snotty Bachelor in Paradise antics with you all.