Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Season 15, Episode 1: It Begins.
Episode 1. This one's gonna be a doozy. Anyone who has ever watched the Bachelor before knows that lots of crazy shit goes down in Episode 1. Women singing, women catfighting, women doing cheerleading routines, or, God help us, the worm. That's why the drink of choice for this episode is a Long Island Iced Tea - only that boozerific wonder could numb me to all this ridiculousness.
Without further ado...
First up, an ad for ABC's "Modern Family", which looks about 42 times more realistic than the so-called "reality" we are about to watch. Then Chris Harrison welcomes us to "what is already ONE OF THE MOST SHOCKING SEASONS IN BACHELOR HISTORY". All I've seen in four seconds was some stock footage of L.A., but I have to admit that was pretty damn shocking. No, what Chris is presumably referring to is the fact that the Bachelor franchise had the audacity to foist upon us, once again, Mr. "I Pick Me" himself, Brad Womack. Which is actually...not shocking at all. The Bachelor hasn't featured a totally new guy since Season 12 (we're on season 15, if anyone's counting), because if the Bachelor is someone who has previously cluttered up our televisions on some other show, we're supposed to be like, more invested. Pretty much all I remember about Brad is that he 1) declined to pick either of the final 2 women, and 2) was kinda hot but boring. 1) was kinda awesome. It gave the finger to ABC's whole bullshit train about how one guy just HAS to find his soulmate (or lifemate for the next three months, whatever) from a crowd of 25 hand-picked wanna-be television personalities.
2) was disappointing, but not unexpected. It's pretty rare to find a Bachelor with actual personality. (Bob, maybe? And that british guy was pretty allright, but then he picked Shane, and they were gross together.) Brad, you're still hot. Is it too much to hope that you have become less boring?
We're treated to a little summary of the *heartbreaking* ending of Brad's previous season, rife with stock Bachelor vocab like "journey", "in love", "most _____ season/finale EVER", and "left in tears". If you're playing some sort of Bachelor drinking game, you have already taken about 17 shots. We're also treated to Brad telling Deanna, a little retardedly, "I can't....look you...in your eye...and tell you...that I love you." This is acting worthy of Star Wars: Episode 2, people. Deanna has some serious, serious bitchface. Ahh, memories.
According to the new narrative currently being constructed by ABC, once Brad said goodbye to Deanna he was TOTALLY DESTROYED and realized he was ALL ALONE. This moment CHANGED BRAD'S LIFE FOREVER. Upon returning to Austin, Brad watched the finale countless times in his stock apartment, surrounded by Pier 1 urns, and felt like a total asshole. "How...could I not...find somebody...when I was given...the chance of a lifetime?" he asked himself. His entire life fell apart. He hit rock bottom. He was BROKEN.
Finally, he went to see a therapist. Because if you cannot find lasting love on a TV show, there is definitely something wrong with you. Something something daddy issues. Lest all this talk of emotions bore you, soon there is a shot of Brad, shirtless, leaning over a railing morosely. Yum? Brad is a comittmentphobe. He pushes people away. It is so, so sad. (Wait, doesn't that describe...all men? Must not allow personal bitterness to enter into this.) Brad wants to move forward. By finding love on national television, again, presumably. He wants to have NO REGRETS. I have been watching this show for about five minutes and I have already finished my drink. This does not bode well.
Brad plays with his nieces and nephews and feels BROKEN. His family (and his therapist...jeez, abc) agree that he is a CHANGED MAN. Brad is the new Bachelor. He is ready to fall in love. He wants to take a leap of faith. He is shirtless, again. Drink. Drink. Drink.
After the commercial break, we are reminded again that Brad spent three years in SOUL SEARCHING AND THERAPY and is a CHANGED MAN. ("Soul searching" and "changed man" are the new "connection", people. Count on it.) We get bios of all the women Brad is about to meet. The first woman (Ashley, from Philadelphia) is a dentist. She says, and I quote, "I'm an artist, and the mouth is my canvas". She proceeds to ask a patient, "so, do you have any love in your life"? The response is unintelligible, presumably because Ashley's patient just threw up in her mouth. The next chick embalms dead people. No kidding. I wonder how that goes over at parties. The next girl's father died, so I feel bad snarking her. She (Ashely S., from New York) looks morosely out a window, so we know she and Brad already have the looking-morosely in common. She will probably be around for a while.
Chantal is divorced. She doesn't like dating and hates games, so she should be awesome on this show, which is a GIANT STUPID GAME. Michelle is hot, but she has a kid. She's not here to make friends. Drink. (Has a kid and is NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS? This is Bachelor GOLD.) Rachel waxes dudes' body hair. Um...gross. Megan works in fashion and makes all the requisite Carrie Bradshaw shoe/man metaphors. Yawn. Madison is a model and thinks she's a vampire. There are no words. Emily has a sweet southern accent and is the requisite Dead Husband Girl. Her husband was a race-car driver and died in a plane crash. And she has a kid. Man, these producers are good. I'm so touched by the footage of this sweet southern woman and her daughter that I'm a little horrified by all the bullshit that will surely ensue.
But not horrified enough to stop watching. Sigh.
In commercials: that professional-hooker chick from Firefly unleashes some serious havoc upon the human race. I always knew she was bad news.
Brad arrives at the Mansion of Doom. He and Chris have a Chat. He is capable of falling in love because he was in therapy and now he is a CHANGED MAN. But Jenni and Deanna, the girls he rejected before, are baaaack!! O.M.G. They both look great. Deanna is still rocking the bitchface. Commercial, naturally.
They talk about The Past. Deanna talks about how being rejected by him was So Hard. The girls cannot believe that Brad is doing this again. Brad says he is doing it because he is, wait for it...a CHANGED MAN. Brad says he is grateful for how the experience with Jenni and Deanna CHANGED him, because the producers at ABC think this is a nice storyline. I think it is an excruciating storyline.
They hug and say goodbye. Commercial. Chris and Brad talk about how Brad has CHANGED, SOME MORE, and then the bachelorettes arrive. Freaking finally. But, sez Chris, they have no idea it's Brad and they're gonna be PISSED.
Sho nuff, the first girl out of the limo, Miss Chantal "I don't play games", slaps Brad. It is, she says, from "every woman in America". I.E., "the producers thought this would make a great sound clip to air ad nauseum in radio and TV teasers". Brad says that "it's a nice hit" and he "loves the fire". I'm gonna need another drink. I've read (on other Bachelor blogs (thanks guys!)) that you can tell if the Bachelor is into a girl by whether he checks out her ass as she walks away. If this is true, slap-happy Chantal has made quite an impression.
Is this the first season where the bachelorettes have actually admitted to having watched the show before? Because suddenly they all know about Brad, and they want Answers. This is getting meta, y'all.
Ashley, sad southern nanny from New York, meets Brad and calls him a "tall drink of water". This is probably producer-inspired, but it's still kind of cute. They bond over their shared affinity for looking sadly off into the distance. No, that's later. But she does grab his ass a little. Attagirl. The next girl, the Carrie Bradshaw fashion chick, has some seriously, seriously, heinous shoes. I don't remember anything she said because omg the SHOES.
Inside, the girls talk about whether or not Brad is scared of comittment. We will hear this conversation another 50,000 times. Count on it.
Lindsay's from Dallas. Texas represent! I think there was an ass check on this one. Ashley's the dentist. Everything she says is so cheesy it kind of kills me. Brad must be diggin it because she gets the ass check, too.
The manscaper (seriously, that's how they describe her profession) is next and it turns out she spells her name "Raichel". The...crap? She tells Brad he's "the perfect guy for her" and he looks immediately uncomfortable. Which is sort of like a normal dude. Score one for Brad.
Madison the wanna-be vampire gets some creepy music right out of the limo. She says to Brad - "I don't know a single thing about you." Which might be the most honest opening line ever uttered on this show. To make up for it, she then says, "you look delicious". Fangs bared. Which might be the creepiest thing ever said on this show. He says he likes her "mysterious demeanor" which is TV-nice-guy for BATSHIT CRAZY. She tells him she'll see him inside and he looks completely terrified. Score yet another one for Brad.
Brad heaves a sigh. The next girl (Melissa) and her fake blond hair immediately jump into his arms, which is weird, but he's just relieved she isn't a vampire. And she didn't watch his last season, so she isn't out for blood. (Look, it works both ways!) They hug. He checks out her ass.
Wait, there's another nanny? This one's named Renee, and she's from "Outside Chicago", like everyone from Chicago. Cristy wants to know what's the first thing she should know about Brad and it's...
Holy crap, I don't even need to tell you any more. He wants her to know that's he's a CHANGED MAN. Jackie has a cute yellow dress, a face with a little personality (as opposed to being totally, blandly gorgeous), and I kind of like her. Sara gets Brad to fake-propose to her and it's totally dumb. Chris reminds us that there are 15 women still to come. My cat is asleep. I wish I were, too.
Lauren has a pretty gold dress and I kind of like her, too, which probably means she's out on the first episode. Brad's advice to Lisa is "be yourself". My advice to Lisa is "bubble hems are so over". Brad tells Chantel the embalmer she smells good but what he probably doesn't know is that she smells like DEAD PEOPLE.
The next girl beckons Brad to the limo. (Nobody has ever thought of this before, so points for originality, I guess.) Some creepy music plays, and I was sort of hoping she was going to EAT HIS FACE, but instead he just opens the door and they small talk it up. Her name is Britnee (oh, please) and the top of her dress is totally, totally gorg but the bottom is suffering from bubble hem. Read what I wrote to Lisa. Brad tries to sneak a look at her booty, even though you totally can't see it in that dress.
Lisa is from Kansas and is wearing ruby slippers but I refuse to screenshot them because that is cheesy with a capital cheese. Please. Rebecca kisses Brad, because her grandma told her you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. My grandma would say: you're a hussy. It is "J"'s birthday. For her birthday, I wish she would get a name with more than one freaking letter. Keltie gets some crazy music, jumps out of the limo, does a high kick so high some camera guy is probably nourishing memories of her underwear, and then proclaims "this is so bananas!!". Keltie is outrageous and against my better judgment I kind of love her.
Britt writes about food. (Read my blog, Britt!) She gives Brad some food or something. This is smart. I hope she saved some herself to combat the 42,000 gallons of champagne that will shortly be shoved at her. Michelle has a serious dress and some serious legs and she's the last and I'm so glad.
Second half: let the insanity begin!!! I need another drink. I settle upon a beer, because seriously, it's 2 AM. Don't tell my parents. (Xingu, for the record. Mmm, Xingu. You are so much better than this show.)
Brad appears in the room full o' ladies (which is painted a gorgeous royal blue...props, set designers) and talks about his Past. Lauren looks bored and I like her even more and she is for sure gone. Brad offers to let anyone leave who is offended by said Past. No one leaves and the girls all look at each other for a while and it is Awkward. Some girls say boring things about how honest Brad is and the blue room is totally still the star here.
The girls worry about whether Brad had commitment issues. I told you this would come up again. Some drunk chick says "I get a really nervous vibe from him. Like, he's like, the villain", and I love her for it. Brad assures the girls that he was in THERAPY and he is a CHANGED MAN and I have finished half my beer in about .75 seconds because I'm not sure I can take this, y'all.
Brad bullshits some more people. Lauren says, and I quote: "I feel like he's going to have the same conversation like, over, and over, and over." Producers, please. Pleeease don't let her leave, because right now she is tied with the blue room and Chris Harrison's freakishly white teeth for this show's only saving grace.
Brad assures the ladies he is here TO FIND A WIFE. He is trying LIKE SO HARD. I am finishing my beer at an alarming rate.
Commercial break. Brad is feeling beat up. Cute southern Ashley S. says that everybody like, makes mistakes and she is just going to judge him for who he is right nay-uw. Aww. And that she will always be a friend to him and if he needs somebody to talk to on the show, she's there. Double aww. Damn you, show. I am not supposed to be taken in by stuff like this.
Raichel the manscaper says she knows she's getting the first impression rose, which means she's for sure not getting it. She has some weird shit planned with a hot wax melter and some gloves. Honey, I'm not claiming to know everything, but anything with rubber gloves on the first date? Just no. And lest you missed it the first time: no. She waxes his arm, and he's so not into it, and she keeps talking about weird dude-places she's waxed, and the word "undercarriage" gets thrown around, and...gross.
Personality face Jackie is drunk and she sings. Oh honey, no. And it's a song about Brad, which at first I anticipate will be totally, cringe-inducingly awful, but then it's sort of cute and hammy, a la Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding.
Alli tells Brad that she was once broken up with because her boyfriend was looking for someone with a smaller behind. (Um...couldn't he tell that from the get-go? Man, guys are dumb. (Unless she was wearing a bubble hem.)) She then awesomely asks Brad if he can handle her bootyliciousness. Obviously he can, because he was all into Deanna. Score three for Brad. The other girls look horrified. Whatever. Alli is also drunk, but she has the right idea: either he's an ass man or he's not. Best to identify them at the starting gate.
Renee the second nanny steals Brad away and in the 2.5 seconds before Alli steals him back (see, this show is real dumb) she says: "I have a great sense of humor. As you can see, I have no shoes on". Whatcha whaaa?
Then Renee tries to steal Brad back back, but some chick in a black dress steals him from Alli before she can steal him from Alli and I'm tired from even trying to care. Ughh. Drama drama and it's 3 AM and I'm using up all my beer. Mike Fleiss, I am sending you the bill for my next 6-pack. Renee complains about it and some chick says, somewhat sarcastically, "oh, your poor thing." Yeah, my thoughts exactly.
After commercial, Brad talks to Dead Husband Emily. She and her unbeatable storyline get some good screentime. She is Ready for Love.
Ruh-roh. Now it's time for Madison and the CRAZY. He finally asks her if she is wearing freaking FANGS. Brad is not too quick. He is worried that the presence of the fangs mean she thinks the whole thing is a joke and is (gasp) HERE FOR THE WRONG REASONS. I think it might be a bigger deal that this chick thinks she is a freaking vampire, which probably means she is seriously unhinged. Michelle of the serious legs is worried that Madison carved her teeth out to be all sharp and fangy and that's weird. Those are her real teeth? Daang.
Michelle pulls Brad away. She is a Woman, not a little girl, and her intense spray-tan proves that. Also the fact that she has a daughter. They bond over how kids are so great. The first impression rose, which everyone has been obsessing over until now, goes to someone who Opened Up (drink!) and that is...Ashley S. Aww. I knew it would be her. The other girls look on, bitchily.
Immediately afterward, Chris steals Brad away and Brad gets ready to make the Toughest Decision of His Life. Consensus of the voiceovers is: Brad's a nice guy and needs to stop apologizing for the Past. (Will this happen? Nothing would make me happier than if the Past were never brought up ever again. But hey, I've seen this show before.) One of the girls hilariously declares that Brad is Here for the Right Reasons. Aaand, we drink.
We return from commercial and Chris explains to us simpletons that there are 19 roses still be to be handed out and like, a million women. Brad gives a dumb speech about how he is a CHANGED MAN and I tear my hair out and scream at the top of my lungs in a display of primal rage.
The roses go to:
Michelle of the intense legs and Not Here to Make Friends, Kimberly, Madison of the CRAZY (although he sounds a little scared as he accepts her thanks. She pretends to bite him and this is a funny joke, I guess?), Emily of the Dead Husband, Raichel the manscaper (whaa?), Keltie, Ashley H of cheesydentist fame, Meghan of the freaking SHOES, Lisa M. of the other freaking shoes (aka ruby slipper girl), Lindsay of TEXAS (represent), Alli the bootylicious (Alli, will you and your ass accept this rose? They will), Sarah P., Marissa, Britt the food critic, Stacey, Chantel who smells like dead people, Jackie with the personality, Melissa (who damn near cries when he says her name),
aaaand Chris comes to tell us it's the last rose tonight. I'm actually glad, because with 19 you can kinda lose count. Way to earn that paycheck, Chris.
The final rose goes to...the other Chantel. There were two Chantels? (Edited to add: I think this is the slapping girl. Violence is not the answer. Violence is the question: the answer is yes.)
So awesome Lauren goes home. I'm sorry I jinxed you by liking you, Lauren. Also, you are way too good for this show. Britnee of the bubble hem also goes home. Top of dress good, bottom of dress bad. Lisa's also headed out. These bubble hems are kryptonite, man.
Back at the manse, Brad is certain that his wife IS IN THIS ROOM. Um...sure, dude.
Next up on the bachelor: dream dates! Cars! Jumping rope! Hot tubs! Dramaz! Twooo luuuv. And...Seal? Wtf?? Seal, get yourself out of this mess.
And...I'm gonna need a lot more drinks.
You don't want to miss this.