Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Bachelor Episode 1: Look Me In The Eyes

If I have one thing to say about this season of The Bachelor, it is this: finally we have a man who knows how to appropriately wear a suit. For two years, I have watched bachelors like Chris Soules and contestants like Josh Murray wear suits like they were Under Armor. Just as a PSA to anyone who didn’t know, a suit isn’t supposed to be so tight that exhaling causes it to rip down the back like the Incredible Hulk. If I say nothing else nice about Ben for the rest of the season, I will say this: he wears a suit well.

"I flexed and my tie flew off."

With that bit of pent up men’s fashion out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the season premier of The Bachelor.

This season of The Bachelor begins with a video package exploring the life of our very own Ben Higgins. He treats us to a tour through his past, including his shitty high school and a shitty movie theatre. Throughout the clip, Ben repeatedly mentions his home of Warsaw (Indiana not Poland) as if it is a city we should all be familiar with. He then takes producers on a tour of his beloved town that includes Warsaw High School, a basketball hoop on the side of a barn, and the ravine where Ben first learned about bovine sexuality. That last part isn’t true, but it gives you a sense of the town. Warsaw is truly small town America.

Before leaving his beloved Warsaw, Ben sits down to discuss his new adventure with his parents. He reiterates to them that he is afraid of “being unlovable” and expresses his disappointment at not yet having met the perfect woman. His mother points out that Ben has succeeded in every other aspect of his life, and that maybe he should calm down a bit because he’s only 26 years old. Ignoring her completely, Ben then leaves Indiana to get advice on how to Bachelor from three previous Bachelors.

Because this show has such a great track record of love.

At the mansion, Ben sits down with Chris Soules, Sean Lowe, and Jason Mesnick for some advice on Bachelor-ing. Listening to Sean and Jason is understandable, but Chris Soules? He and Whitney broke up less than three months after the finale. There is no possible advice he could give about maintaining a successful relationship outside of, “Here’s a list of things you shouldn’t do.”

As if he realized his own inadequacy, Chris immediately offered Ben some terrible advice. “Kiss em all!” he declared as Jason and Sean frantically interrupt him before Chris can say, “and if they stay around long enough you can finger them in the fantasy suite!” All in all, it was a pretty interesting segment.

After another video package and a brief preamble from Chris Harrison, the women begin to arrive. The parade of glitter and ball gowns was what any Bachelor fan would come to expect, but there were a few entrances worth noting.

 Caila (pronounced “Kayla” because fuck phonics) took a running leap into Ben’s arms. As we learned earlier, Caila broke up with her most recent boyfriend because she had stronger feelings for Ben than her ex. Keep in mind she has never met Ben before tonight, and everything she had seen on the show had been heavily edited. In that sense, her leap of faith was an apt metaphor for her decision to come on the show.

"I may have not thought this decision through."

Mandi arrived wearing a giant rose on her head because she is from Portland and if she’s not actively trying to be weird at all times she might have to think about her life and the series of bad decisions that have led her to this point. Mandi also told Ben, “You can pollinate it later.” Did she just offer to let Ben cum on her hat? Bad decisions, indeed.

Lauren R walks straight up to Ben and announces that she has been stalking him, then walks away without giving her name. While many people may mock her for this, it actually makes a lot of sense. Telling a stalkee your name is a surefire way to get arrested.

Shushanna speaks only Russian to Ben and everyone else in the house. To this point, she is my favorite if only because she has said nothing annoying yet.

JoJo steps out of the limo wearing a unicorn mask and announces, “Unicorns are real!” She should have yelled, “I’m dressed like your nightmare!” because that mask was terrifying.

The line between sexy and terrifying is narrow, but well defined.

Maegan arrived wearing boots accompanied by a mini horse. For some reason, the horse was allowed to spend the rest of the episode in the house, which is more than I can say for Maegan.

Breanne far and away had the entrance of the night. After arriving with a picnic basket full of bread, she invites Ben to smash it with her because “Gluten is basically Satan.” If Breanne is a nutritional therapist and she thinks gluten is “basically Satan,” then she is a shitty nutritional therapist.

Once inside the house, Ben had a chance to spend more individual time with the women. He may have regretted this, however, as each woman appeared creepier than the last. Olivia, who would later go on to receive the first impression rose, said that she loved travel as well as, “going to high school and talking to girls.” I didn’t fully hear the context this was said in, but it’s the kind of statement that would get most people placed on a watch list. The twins, Hayley and Emily, talked about how dating twins was every man’s fantasy, which is weird for a guy to say, never mind the actual twins in question.

Every man's fantasy.

Lace, who was deep into her third bottle of white wine at this point, spies on Ben’s conversation with other women and then drunkenly tries to convince him to kiss her. It was an odd, reverse Cosby situation, which Ben rightfully declined.

Amid all these women making a case to be included in the sex offender registry, the final two contestants arrived: Becca and Amber. Ben was shocked to see both of them, but must have ultimately enjoyed their company because he kept them around for another week.

In the end, a total of seven women went home including “mini horse” Maegan, “chicken enthusiast” Tiara, “gluten activist” Breanne, “redheads never go far” Laura, “adult child in a onesie” Izzy, “stalking enthusiast” Lauren R, and “person for whom I have no notes” Jessica. Do not go gentle into that good night, ladies.

The episode ends with Lace doing her best “Girl from a party you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with” impression. From what I can gather, Lace is upset that Ben didn’t look her in the eye at some point in the night. At least I think that’s what she said. Translating, “Eww dinm nyuk meenth eye wans,” is a tricky proposition, especially when you’re constantly distracted by Ben’s panicked/confused reaction. Thankfully, Ben did not kick Lace off the show for her slurred concerns. I find her stupidly entertaining.

"These are bottomless, right?"

All in all, this was a pretty standard premiere for The Bachelor. Nothing too crazy happened, but at no point was I overly bored either. Ben seems like he will be a quality bachelor and this season’s women seem to run the gamut from “pretty” to “pretty and insane,” which is all you can hope for from a show like this. With any luck, things will pick up in the coming weeks and we can all get back to the good ol’ Bachelor we know and love.


Gossip Squirrel

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