The Bachelorette: 2017, Episode 1!
Welcome back everyone! I’m right now in the middle of a tour of the Pacific Northwest and I just ate some (legal) weed candy, which means I have between 30 minutes to 2 hours before this all stops making sense (we in the biz call this narrative tension). LET’S DO IT! Let’s find LOVE!
But first: let’s set the scene: I like Rachel, I enjoyed her presence on last season, she is way too good for Nick Viall, and I absolutely do not trust ABC’s producers to find anything better for her. So I’m cautiously pessimistic about this season.
Chris Harrison is back, FYI. He “couldn’t be more excited," and I’ll just have to take his word for it because he sounds like he freakin' always does, with not a trace of excitement in his voice. If they are going to go with this shtick they might as well get the master of monotone hosting and see if TJ Lavin can be released from his Real World Road Rules Challenge contract. Everything would be on a scale of "killin' it" to "not feelin' it, bro."
Five minutes in and Chris is already describing this show as "a process.” I love it when they do that because it really de-sexualizes romance on this show while also making it sound excruciating. So: they nailed it.
We get some establishing shots of Rachel “just being herself,” which involves dancing in the street, ballin’ at basketball, and civil litigating (which includes a totally fake courtroom scene wherein Rachel shouts “objection!” I could have watched an entire episode of her pretending to practice law, tbh).
This show, with it’s limitless tolerance for cruelty, then gives us scenes from last season: of Rachel declaring her love for Nick, of Nick smiling creepily, of Nick rejecting Rachel, and me vomiting over it all.
Quick! Let’s play a drinking game! Every time I say aloud “she’s too good for this,” take a shot. Twist ending! You’re dead already.
Omg! We’re treated to the first promising development of the season! Rachel has brought a dog with her: it’s cute, it’s got a poofy tail, and it’s name is Copper! No doubt this will be her sassy sidekick for the whole season. #godwilling
Soon enough, Copper (plus America) is about to meet all the guys! Let’s do a quick run through of their important stats, as well as what I have divined as their deepest secret.
Occupation: Professional Wrestler
Unspeakable Secret: Loves wrestling
Name: Jack Stone
Unspeakable Secret: Certainly gave himself the name "Jack Stone"
Occupation: Information Services System
Unspeakable Secret: Was the inspiration behind the hit 90s song "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong"
Occupation: Product Manager
Unspeakable Secret: Made me think he'd last longer than one episode
Unspeakable Secret: Multiple felonies, running afoul of California’s Good Samaritan Law
Name: Blake E.
Occupation: Nutritionist, Boning Expert (self-described)
Unspeakable Secret: has a penis (self-described)
Occupation: Senior Inventory Analyst
Unspeakable Secret: Absorbed his twin in the womb, zero regrets
Unspeakable Secret: Hardworking and driven
*(Josiah has a legitimately moving backstory which I HATE because it provides no opportunity for snark)
NO TIME TO TALK ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE I SEE ALEXIS AND CORINNE! Plus lots of the other better contestants from last season, like Raven, Astrid, and Kristina, who have gathered to hang out with Rachel and gab about her upcoming search for love.
Also it’s worth pointing out that Corinne and Rachel hug very sincerely AKA Corinne was never a villain.
“Don’t judge anyone if they come in a costume.” Alexis sagely recommends. Also don’t judge someone who can’t judge between a dolphin and a shark, I’d like to add.
This is a nice scene, honestly, where the women are just allowed to support each other and express excitement for their fellow friend/contestant. It’s a good amuse-bouche before the toxic male energy that I’m guessing is headed my way.
Soon enough! The men arrive by limo (and not by promo reel as they had previously been introduced). “Get ready to meet some low quality men!” My boyfriend pipes up. And here they are, with varying levels of likelihood of staying on the show past tonight.
Occupation: Business Owner
Unspeakable Secret: From Wisconsin, willing to admit it
Unspeakable Secret: Looks like an equally unattractive Adam Levine (who is not attractive, fight me)
Occupation: Law Student
Unspeakable Secret: Willing to spend thousands of dollars on an advanced degree. In THIS economy?!
Occupation: Consulting Firm CEO aka Unemployed
Unspeakable Secret: Wears two pairs of socks on each feet. It's weird but it makes him feel great.
Unspeakable Secret: Is a real life Disney prince, but one of those evil ones
Occupation: Sales Manager
Unspeakable Secret: Favorite actors are Harvey Kietel and Air Bud (tie)
Occupation: Marketing Consultant
Unspeakable Secret: Shares a name with my former roommate, current friend, and sometimes Bachelor-viewer, Kyle
Name: Blake K. (the other Blake)
Occupation: U.S. Marine Veteran
Unspeakable Secret: His own parents call him "the other Blake"
Occupation: Male Model
Unspeakable Secret: Currently lying about being a male model
Occupation: Startup Receruiter
Unspeakable Secret: Makes poor choices when he first meets people
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Unspeakable Past Secret: Not allowed within 25 feet of a pet store
Occupation: Executive Recruiter
Unspeakable Secret: If he had 3 wishes, openly admits that one of them would be for coupons for discount skydiving
Sidenote: I think Rachel needs new standards. At least half a dozen times she mentions how these men met, nay, exceeded her expectations, and how impressed she is with all their introductions. The guys seem equally impressed by her, so I guess......everything’s good?
My boyfriend asks me two questions: would I like to hang out and participate in icebreakers with these guys, and do I understand men? The answer to both the questions is “I don’t want to.”
The men won't stop arriving:
Occupation: Executive Assistant
Unspeakable Secret: Was in 3rd grade at the same school where Rachel was in 8th. Still has his 3rd grade yearbook
Occupation: “Tickle Monster”
Unspeakable Secret: Doesn’t respect women’s physical space, vis a vis, tickling. Does not recommend you leave himself alone with your possessions
Unspeakable Secret: Thinks his guitar is an adequate substitute for charm. Also thinks he’s this season’s Luke because he's southern. YOU SIR ARE NO THIS SEASON’S LUKE.
Occupation: Hotel Recreation Supervisor
Unspeakable Secret: From the famous Milton-Bradley duo, but eager to strike out on his own
Occupation: Real Estate Agent
Unspeakable Secret: Gave birth to a ventriloquist dummy, "Adam Jr. aka AJ"
Occupation: Construction Sales Rep
Unspeakable Secret: Arrived in a penguin costume. Wants to be this season’s Alexis. YOU SIR ARE NO THIS SEASON’S ALEXIS
Unspeakable Secret: Voted for Gary Johnson in 2008
Occupation: Education Software Manager
Unspeakable Secret: Once met Nancy Reagan, claims he DARE-d her to do something and that's where she got her big idea
Occupation: Sales Account Executive
Unspeakable Secret: Former holder of the title Mr. St. Paulie Girl
Occupation: ER Physician
Unspeakable Secret: Dishonorably discharged from United States Selective Services
Occupation: Former pro basketball player
Unspeakable Secret: Isn't wearing pants in the above picture.
Finally I cry uncle. Enough men! Please god enough men!
Luckily that’s the last of it.
The men are inside talking about Rachel’s eyes, her personality, their impending marriage, you know, locker room talk. They all seem to be drinking heavily, which is fun and just a great and safe idea. This show’s premise is that one woman is trapped in a house with many men, and that will never seem like a great idea to me. In any other format this would be a horror movie.
Josiah snags the first opportunity to talk to Rachel, which sends all the rest of the men into a veritable tizzy. “I did not see that coming.” One guy says. Really dude? You didn’t anticipate anyone talking to the Bachelorette? All night? All season? You could not have seen talking coming?
The rest of the men take their shot at getting time with Rachel, with varying results. Rachel announces that she’s “looking for a guy to make me feel things that I’ve never felt.” Hopefully not a UTI, though. Fingers crossed.
They try to make AJ, Adam's crappy doll, into the new L'il Poundcake. If you don’t immediately know that reference, lock yourself in a room for 96 hours and rectify that situation.
It actually does turn into one of the more amusing vignettes of the night, but that says less about the merits of Adam Jr. as a plot device and more about this show’s capacity for producing entertaining entertainment.
Rachel remarks that it’s weird to date someone you used to discipline, referring to how she and Fred went to the same elementary school. It’s absurd how often the show forces people to make these distinctions. Is this like last season’s Liz drama, but with a younger twist? I shudder at what these producers have in store next season.
We also learn that speaking Spanish REALLY does it for Rachel, because she’s way too into Bryan after he lays some on her. Other dudes - please download DuoLingo or something and cut off his early advantage. I am not personally attracted to Bryan and that’s all that matters on this show.
I actually gasp when Bryan FULL ON TONGUE KISSES Rachel! It’s profane and I remember that so is this entire show.
Who will get the first impression rose?!?!? Will it be the person who offended me, the one who made Rachel laugh, the one who has already swapped spit with her, the one who has called Rachel “my wife” already, or the one who has annoyed a million people at once (Lucas)?
DeMario takes his time with Rachel to ask her one of the more important philosophical questions of our time: “'NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?” Rachel does not hesitate and says “NSYNC,” which is quite an insult to her former castmates. I love this kind of dirt, keep bringing it!
We get a vignette of guys jumping in front of the line to talk to Rachel. One of the guys vying for her time says “everywhere I look is a guy,” which is both an accurate description of what's going on and an accurate description of my worst nightmare.
Things make a truly bizarre turn when Blake E. takes it upon himself to take Lucas’s presence on the show much more seriously than Lucas himself does. It’s the first accusation of “not being here for the right reasons” which, as you know, is the gravest charge one can levy against another on this show. Blake E. goes on:
“Lucas is like the guy at the family reunion who pinches your nipples.”
Oh sure that one guy who is always pinching your nipples at the family reunion. Absolutely. The one who is always doing that at family reunions. That extremely common trope of the guy at the family reunion who pinches your nipples. That one.
I dunno guys. I think we just got a dark glimpse inside Blake E’s past. WTF happened at these family reunions?! I’m sorry dude.
Blake E. corners Lucas to further investigate his intentions and possibly score himself a Whaaaaboooom Tank top. They have this nonsense exchange:
“I think everyone has a little Whaaboom in them.” - Lucas
“I don’t have any Whaaboom in me.” - Blake E.
The rest of the guys have an existential crisis about what they are going to do should Lucas get a rose. To summarize: they don’t know what they’d do in that instance, if god should see it to pass.
SUDDENLY! It’s our first impression of the first impression rose. Rachel collects it and then bestows it upon Bryan, he of the forward and borderline inappropriate first night kiss.
GROSSSSSSSSSSSS. Also what a boring choice.
I just got a pit in my stomach that tells me I’m not going to like Rachel’s choices in “this process.” Is there some fine print where the first impression rose is actually the “first LIP impression?”
Ugh. So Bryan gets credit for kissing her early, and then takes the opportunity to kiss her again. Mohit spies this smooch and shrieks “NOOOOOOOO!” It’s kind of hilarious and also I agree 100% with what he's saying.
Peter, who is this season’s guy I find marginally attractive, is worried about going home the first ep. I can't tell if he really is concerned or just playing a fun game in which he pretends not to know he's attractive.
THE FREAKING NEXT MORNING, the mixer is still ongoing! I’ve been thinking about how long this episode is, but it’s not over 12 hours long like this ceremony apparently is, and for that I thank the lord.
Rachel comes out to drop the fucking hammer, smash some skulls, and kick some dudes out of the house for good. It’s the first rose ceremony!
The following people get ROSES! Also I love that the guys get rose *pins* instead of rose stems, like the women do on The Bachelor. It's just too feminine for them to even hold a rose stem. Too much like a dick? I don’t know! How weird and utterly pointless.
- Peter (DUH I TOLD YOU PETER you beautiful idiot)
- Bryce (the pit in my stomach is getting heavier after these two picks)
- Kenny (ok you’ve got me again Rachel)
- Dean (ok back to feeling nauseous)
- Brady (wtf he looks like a contestant from the early 90s)
- Josiah (finally, according to Josiah)
- Fred (turns out Rachel has a short memory and can forget knowing him when he was in 3rd grade! But I’ll never forget)
- Adam (Rachel demands he leave his ventriloquist buddy and Adam immediately discards him! Talk about fame going to his head quickly! How long were they buddies for!?!)
- Blake K.
FINAL ROSE FINAL ROSE FINAL ROSE FINAL ROSE FINAL ROSE FINAL ROSE FINAL ROSE FINAL ROSE!
It’s quite clear from the way Rachel says his name that the subtext is “the producers find value in this obnoxious character and are forcing me to keep him.” I can’t get too worked up about it, but the guys clearly did not make the same promise.
The men all toast (keep in mind it’s probably like 6:30am) and we’re then invited to a preview of an “unbelievably romantic adventure,” which is to be this season. We see a few seconds of kissing and Rachel having fun, and then what feels like 27 minutes of the guys cat fighting. Apparently every season the guys have to play football and one must draw blood from their eyebrow. RIP James Taylor. I’m assuming you died of your injuries during last season.
“I’m putting logic aside and letting my emotions take over,” Rachel announces, which bodes just great for this season.
See you next week!