It’s my first time ever watching the Bachelorette or looking for someone looking for love, and like JoJo, I can’t wait! With me every week will be my two trusty companions: cat Lola, who is both politically and socially conservative, and a bottle of red wine (any will do).
My boyfriend was supposed to join but he watched part of the first episode and has not been seen since.
JoJo’s season simply could not begin without a humiliating trip down memory lane as her love from the previous season declares his love in return, but also a stronger, better love for another contestant. He looks like a human plaster cast of a boring man, so I’m hoping JoJo was over the heartbreak once the limo deposited her at the nearest bar.
But then she’s back, wearing a denim tuxedo and walking straight towards the camera with purpose. She looks off into the distance at nothing, although the camera pans back to reveal she’s looking at some flowers! The tension never breaks in this episode.
She’s looking for a man with the same values as her, and based solely on the 4 seconds I viewed of last season’s bachelor, I’ll assume that’s a pulse and sentience. JoJo is a romantic.
The rest of the opening is JoJo posing and looking off into various distances, followed by JoJo’s extreme descent into her natural state of total horndogedness. I’m already worried that many of these people are here for the wrong reasons, myself most of all. I’m here to find love, and I’ve found it with JoJo.
Before jumping into things, JoJo has a girl talk with 3 former bachelorettes (I think? They are never formally introduced). They seem nice and bubbly and can’t hold a candle to my girl JoJo. The one who is pregnant seems to offer the best advice and has the ultimate prizes of both a husband and baby. It would be hard for me to imagine this scenario with former bachelors, discussing how to let their contestants down easy and be kind to everyone while hashing out the finer points of passions of the flesh vs passions of the heart.
JoJo looks great, incidentally. She has the hair of a mermaid and a dress with no less than 3 trillion sparkles aka she’s ready to find love!
The contestants are introduced via vignette, then arrive in the most agonizingly slow and pointless way possible. I wouldn’t dream of tallying how many times I held back my vomit as each of them tried to find creative ways to out-douche each other, but I’m left with a few thoughts:
Chris is introduced first and is dressed in a spiffy tux. He seems to love exposition and has a disturbingly thorough knowledge of all his fellow contestants. I expect him to go far.
Grant is a firefighter in a henley who lives in San Francisco aka that old cliche. He also has the chin of a milk carton and says things like “lights my fire” with a straight face while wearing a firefighter costume.
Jordan is a former pro quarterback and current sparse beard possessor who lives in the abyss of the past, the Miss Havisham of the season. He has an older brother who is a professional player (never heard of him), and I can’t wait to suffer through his unrestrained envy and regret all season! Pun alert: he wants to be JoJo’s first draft pick.
Alex is a Marine from California and I’m instantly smitten (for my girl JoJo). He’s cute and looks kind of dumb, which falls squarely within my taste in men. He’s a Marine, don’t care, but I think JoJo will appreciate a man in uniform. On his contestant biography, he responds to the question of “what’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done?” with this answer: “Ripped the door off a totaled, burning car and pulled the unconscious driver out to safety.” Hmm...ok Alex. I would say that’s not really the true definition of the word outrageous but glad to know that our girl JoJo is safe in his presence. The most outrageous thing I’ve ever done is gone dancing in the rain! Alex also has a twin brother and I eagerly anticipate the Parent Trap situations we’ll enjoy all season. (no puns)
James S. is a self-described “Bachelor Superfan” which is a cute way of saying that I’m sure one of the contestants will die at his hand this season. I knew this as soon as I saw him practicing accepting a rose while gazing at himself in a mirror, in the same manner as sociopaths who must practice human emotions. He’s too self aware and while I’m sure the producers think it’s cute, it’s mostly irritating and I’m sure he’s not here for the right reasons, which is to not kill everyone and to have a normal face. He practices talking to his best friend, Chris, and sets off with the singular conceit of getting him, again Chris, to fall in love with him.
Evan is a former pastor and former younger man, currently into middle age and working as an Erectile Dysfunction Specialist. That’s not a joke, it’s not even an innuendo. The other skeleton in his closet is his official Bachelorette biography, where he professes to hate “girls with chipped nail polish, girls who talk too much, narcissists, clingers, girls who have serious food allergies,” so here’s hoping he’ll get sent home early to find the girl of his dreams with lavish nails who never talks and never thinks of herself yet stays emotionally distant and can biologically process any food, cause you ain't getting any of my girl JoJo. PUN ALERT: “Lift” people’s spirits, “hard business,” “draining job.” More boring penis puns.
Ali’s first introduction to the audience is playing the piano soulfully while sporting eyelashes normally reserved for a beautiful woman, then reading a thick tome while a fluffy dog gazes longingly at him. His hair is perfect and he seems intelligent and well-adjusted, apart from his love of surfing. The last shot is of him gazing off into the distance, so he and JoJo already have lots in common.
Christian gets to the gym by 4:30 am and also works in IT, so I fell asleep during most of his introduction. I wake up in time to hear some interesting discussion of racial identity, but this is reality tv so I’m sure this won’t be explored any more thoughtfully this season. Christian also takes care of his younger brothers, and I’m increasingly finding it hard to be critical. Luckily Luke is next.
Luke is from Texas, as evidenced by the opening shots of chickens and cattle, found nowhere in the world but the Lone Star state. He looks like a Disney villain with an unwavering gaze, and I’m honestly considering calling the cops and requesting a tail for him. I don’t want him around my girl JoJo, is what I’m saying. There’s a serious moment about his service in the military, then some “casual” shots of him resting against a barn and other structures, again looking off into the distance! He makes up for his disconcerting face with some nonsense about small town values, like presumably having fewer cars on the road and less elected officials in the House of Representatives.
The rest of the men aren’t worthy of a filmed introduction, though they did put contestant Chris to work immediately. Early favoritism? He looks thrilled to see JoJo and find love potentially, but first he must interview her and “host” the introduction, so to speak.
“Bring on the men,” JoJo hungrily intones.
Jordan is first to arrive, and JoJo purrs like a cat when she sees him. He brings up his parents immediately, a super sexual thing everyone enjoys on first dates, and JoJo ignores what he’s saying and just says “you look amazing!”
I’ll stop this right here to say that hands down my favorite quality about JoJo is her incredible libidinal response to nearly every man she is presented with. I’m a proponent of enthusiastic consent and the men are totally into it as well, but this is all about the female gaze, JoJo’s in particular. “You look so good, thank you for coming!” she calls after the men as they are done parading in front of her. She remains unabashed in her lust during the whole episode and, god willing, the whole season.
Derek is next, which JoJo announces with a “you look niiiiice.” Derek seems nervous and calls her grounded, which he says is very sexy, but JoJo just shouts after him “you look good!” and sends him on his way.
Grant comes in and helpfully brings up JoJo’s humiliating loss last season, and JoJo regards him with a quick, though noncommittal, “he’s cute.”
James F. is next. They hug, and JoJo ominously says nothing about his looks. Sorry James F.
She returns full force with Robby, whom she greets with a lusty “hey handsome!” which is both amusing but also incorrect. He does bring her a bottle of wine, which seems to delight her and was a good call, Robby. Our girl JoJo is a bon vivant. “That tastes great!” JoJo exclaims. Indeed.
Alex is next and he’s only 25, but JoJo correctly points out that he looks good and then helpfully tells him not to be nervous, then an additional “you look very good!” for the road.
Will is next with a dumb, er hilarious gag about dropping and mixing up his note cards. JoJo is lenient and allows this joke to go on too long, which is too long even at just 5 seconds. Again ominously, no mention of him looking gooooood.
Chad is next and JoJo is on fire again. “You smell good! You look great! I look forward to talking to you!” JoJo hilariously ticks off as Chad mumbles through nonsense words, but you can tell that our girl JoJo has lust in her heart and no restraint on her wandering hands.
Daniel is next, and it’s all sort of awkward and can’t even be saved with JoJo’s masterful use of small talk and empty compliments. When she says “you look good!” you can tell she doesn’t really mean it. I certainly wouldn’t.
Luckily Ali is next and adorably waves at JoJo as he exits the limo. I’m beginning to see a pattern with these entrances: 3 douchebags followed by a seemingly normal man. I just hope Ali doesn’t break my heart. JoJo has her hands all over him and promises that she’s “so normal,” but forgets to comment on Ali’s handsomeness. I consider getting “So Normal” printed on my business cards.
James Taylor is next, and JoJo laughs and swings her arms at his stupid guitar song, and for a brief moment I wish I could enjoy things uncomplicatedly as she can. Yet I can’t, because this is stupid and embarrassing for James Taylor and for me. This also goes on too long, but the audience is rewarded with JoJo’s adorable pronunciation of James’s name, which stretches it out into about 5 more syllables than it should be.
Jonathan is wearing a kilt, which is “whacky,” and he makes a gross joke about being Irish on bottom and Asian on top, but he forgot to disclose the section of his body that is also a douchbag and makes gross sexual jokes when he first meets a woman.
The other contestants react with utter confusion and fear at Jonathan’s kilt. Daniel in particular is perplexed, though all the men seem fascinated with what Jonathan has on under his kilt, to the point that I’m starting to get jealous for JoJo.
“Santa” is next, and I’m a little offended that they’d let someone who is famously married onto this show. While I’m disgusted, JoJo seems thrilled and I become a little concerned about her belief in both love on this show and a man who delivers presents around the world in one night.
James Taylor is serenading the men, while WIll still attempts to process how a man could wear anything other than pants and, on rare occasions, shorts at a more casual event and location. Honestly I’d watch a spin off where Will goes around the world and is confounded. The other contests seem to accept Santa more readily than a man with a kilt, so what war on Christmas?
Chase shows up in a “hilarious” fake mustache, and JoJo says “you look good!” before he even takes it off. Robby seems to take all of this tomfoolery to heart, as in it is breaking his heart that people aren’t taking this as seriously as he is.
Coley introduces himself with an insanely creepy licking of his lips, and my skin crawls for JoJo and the women of America.
Brandon’s profession is listed as “hipster,” which sounds about as reasonable as anything that’s been in this episode yet.
JoJo keeps complaining about how tense and uptight all the guys are. Unfortunately she then talks to Jordan, who looks like a contestant from “Guess Who” come to life, albeit with less personality. He strokes her hair, which I’m guessing JoJo appreciates because she’s an unrepentant horndog, but I don’t approve. JoJo says “tell me about yourself!” and he fumbles, then says “I do media,” and I begin to deeply regret my decision to watch this season. He keeps talking, but JoJo is just drinking him in, and I finally begin to question my girl JoJo’s tastes.
Interestingly, JoJo takes on most of the grunt work of flirting. The men sort of hem and haw while talking and look at her with stars in their eyes, leaving JoJo to make small talk and make them comfortable. No snarky thing to say, just an interesting dynamic. Is it always thus on these shows?
JoJo kisses Will and it’s awkward, and JoJo knows it, and worse, Will knows it. Then Jordan returns because he forgot something - a slow dance! I don’t even hear music, apart from the beautiful lilt of JoJo’s accent and the fountain in the background. He says “I’m goofy, I’m goofy” with the intonation of a robot. Then they kiss, and finally there’s music! Unsurprisingly, JoJo is INTO this kiss and as he walks away all she can say: “His butt! His butt.”
I won’t insult All 4 One by revealing their part of Wells’s stupid plot and their presence on his stupid date.
Contestant Chris surprises the other contestants with a rose, which is a tender touch, but seems to send the men into a tailspin of self loathing and loathing on my part for Chad.
Chad’s face looks as if a bag of foul-smelling garbage is constantly positioned underneath his nose. He attempts to charm with a total lack of humility and grace but JoJo mistakes it for vulnerability, displays of which I’m guessing were left on the editing room floor. He then dazzles her with a neg on half the globe (and most of the Bachelorette’s audience), by saying that “most girls aren’t very confident.”
“Most girls are too worried about themselves” Chad goes on to say, and I have literally no idea what he means. JoJo calls him mysterious, but the word she’s actually searching for is narcissist.
Next comes the drunk Canadian and all he can talk about is a youtube video he saw once. Shockingly, JoJo is not charmed.
Next is a montage of drinking too much! Ali is seen chatting with Santa, holding back the urge to sit on his lap. It’s confirmed at one point that Fireball is being consumed on the premises.
Daniel then commits the ultimate sin of poking the bellybutton of another man, for “no reason.” The men then detail all the scenarios in which it is ok to poke another man’s bellybutton, which it turns out is none.
This happens, incidentally:
Daniel then removes his clothing, but stops short of removing himself from the house, unfortunately.
Later another drunk contestant who was born without a name (allegedly) enters the room during one of JoJo’s private confessionals to bring her a glass of water and a glass of his unwanted presence in her space. This is following by a drunker man with the name of Vinny who comes to quote Shaggy, but not in an amusing way as it is customarily done.
This is all done for drama and “laughs,” but it feels unsafe for JoJo and I am uncomfortable watching it. I hope the female producer knows how to disarm a hammered dude in one motion.
They cut to lots of other contestants who are neither introduced nor named, so I’m assuming it’ll be a greater surprise when one of them wins!
Cut to wistful piano playing by Ali. I’ll overlook that it’s Fur Elise and he looks so proud of himself for knowing how to play the song that you learn during your third piano lesson.
Then JoJo is sitting on Santa’s lap, and her patience for this gag is as gross and sweaty as the guy underneath. She asks him to keep on the beard, and a first peek inside JoJo’s kinks is revealed.
James is next, a “total gentleman” according to JoJo, but I believe the medical term for it iswhatever disease Robin Williams had in the movie “Jack.” I’m pretty sure he’s 8 years old, where is CPS?
Then Luke who is “so attractive” arrives with a gift of cowboy boots and an actually not attractive face, and says he wants to pursue her “heart and soul” and brain and autonomy (unconfirmed).
First Impression Rose(TM) goes to some white dude (JoJo apparently can tell the guys apart because she identifies him as Jordan), and the rest of the men are left bereft on their fainting couches.
Interesting fact: Jordan’s hair is taller than the rest of his body.
Contestant Chris, who has up to now been MIA, tells JoJo “it is time.” For what? Her decision making skills to be called into question?
The men all fall into 3 categories : nervous as shit, arrogant as shit, and hammered as shit.
Suddenly! Tension mounts as yet another nondescript white guy arrives. He walks in like he’s got a secret, if you know what I mean. All the contestants narrow their eyes in shock and horror as he escorts JoJo away, and that’s it! The season is over! What a wild ride.
Just kidding. He’s a former bachelor, “Jake,” here to torture JoJo with a protracted gag about making her think he’s confessing his love, causing her and the audience discomfort before finally telling her that he wants her to find love....with one of the yahoos inside. He says: “From what I understand there are some really great guys in there.”
This is hilarious because he had zero interaction with any of them, and probably couldn’t pick himself out of a lineup of all of them. “Your job is to be here and fall in love” he solemnly informs her. God I wish that were my profession. I’m great at staying places and opening my heart.
Speaking of hearts, Erectile Evan is really taking this to his. I bet one of his dislikes is “girls who are too emotional,” FYI.
JoJo thanks Jake for literally nothing, surely not the garbage advice he just spewed at her, but I’m just mesmerized by how good JoJo’s hair and makeup looks even after her night in this heterosexual hellscape.
Then the rose ceremony happens! The men are offered roses as follows:
Christian (great smile!)
Chad (there is no way he’s 28)
Alex (GOOD JOB JOJO)
Brandon/Hipster (ok sure)
Ali (THANK GOD DON’T EVER DO THAT TO ME AGAIN JOJO)
St. Nick aka Santa aka MR. CLAUSE
LOL WHUT. Girl.
Vinny says he’s a “good judgement of character,” and I honestly could not agree more.
They all accept their roses, incidentally. Contestant Chris does not receive a rose but seems committed to staying, and you know, I’m going to allow it.
The gentleman say their goodbyes to JoJo, but more importantly to each other. The man in the kilt is booted, much to the relief of all the other men, and as he exits the house it’s revealed that it is DAYTIME!!!!!!
How long has this night of horrors gone on???? I can’t believe this scenario stretched out over an entire night. And they are still toasting with champagne! It’s about 5:30 am and these doofuesses are already and yet still at it!
That’s it for episode 1! I’m exhausted, but I’m here for love, and I’ve found it with myself, with you, with JoJo, and with myself. But not Chad.