Each week, after watching The Bachelor with my wonderful wife, I'll share my perspective on the drama that unfolds as Arie Luyendyk embarks on the unrealistic quest for Mrs. Right.
I'm doing this for the guys out there who sacrifice their Monday nights during Bachelor season. I'm doing it for people who want to laugh with me at the show. And, most importantly, I'm doing it for love.
Here's what we saw in the Season 22 premiere. (This post contains spoilers. If you didn't know that until this parenthetical, you should work on your context clues.) Don't see photos, GIFS or tweets below? Go here.
Ah, darkness, old friend. Bachelor season is back.
That's right, we've said goodbye to 2017 and are ringing in 2018 the only way ABC will let us: With
some garbage reality television one man's journey for true love. Arie Luyendyk, a race car driver and real estate agent, returns to your TV screens a lot grayer in the hair but no less dweeby than when he was first on the show six years ago.
Night one saw about 19 girls who work in real estate and 14 named Lauren, and countless racing puns. Oh, and we already have a villain.
Here we go!
This season begins with a racing montage to remind us that Arie is, in fact, a washed up race car driver. Then we recap his demise with Emily five seasons ago, the annual reminder that this person already failed once on national TV.
Sean Lowe makes a cameo with his family because ABC wants the viewers to know there is at least one likable person from the Bachelor franchise.
A love of taxidermy
It's time to meet the girls. If you just want to read up on the contestants, go here. If you want a rundown of all the weirdness from the intros, forge onward below.
The first intro video shows us Chelsea, who says being a single mom “is a love-hate relationship...but you love it.” Well, yes, but you also apparently hate it at times, too.
The next girl brags about being great at her real estate job. The next girl is named Maquel, and all I want to do is talk to her parents about how they came up with that name.
Tia is from a small town in Arkansas called Weiner. If you weren't watching Monday and need the customary few seconds to chuckle about that, I invite you to do so now … Are we good? Okay. So Tia is a carbon copy of Raven Gates, the small-town Arkansas girl who competed on the last Bachelor season and then went on to strike up a relationship with Dallas' own Adam Gottschalk on Bachelor in Paradise. ABC knows this, so they put the two together casually hanging out in Weiner.
Next we meet Kendall, who is weirdly into taxidermy and sings a song about dead animals and love while strumming on the ukulele.
She also says she's “done a lot of research” on Arie, but goes on to state the two things most marketed by ABC about their newest Bachelor: He races cars and he's nicknamed “the kissing bandit.”
Krystal does her best to make up for a dreadfully irritating voice by talking about her efforts to help the homeless. She's also a health and fitness coach who, if we are to trust the show, shoots her own workout videos alone on the beach with no equipment other than a camera and a tripod. One camera angle. No microphone. No music. How boring is that?
Host Chris Harrison has a chat with Arie and reminds him that all his relationships have stunk because if the Bachelor isn't made out to be a pathetic loser, then what's the point of the show?
Limo intros and a little wiener
A quick rundown of the highlights from the limo introductions:
The first two girls out of the limo forget to say their name, which is a perfectly uncomfortable start to this whole thing. Kendall's dress looks like an 8-year-old's Elsa costume, but Arie digs it. Tia gives him a little wiener, because genitalia jokes are a must.
Another girl owns a spray tan studio and tells him she's “seen a lot of d--ks and hopes he isn't one,” because again, genitalia jokes. The next girl makes him smell her armpit. One girl shows up in a mask. Becca K. makes him get on one knee. Bekah M. drives up in a '65 cherry red Mustang and thinks she's awesome. Maquel drives up in an actual Formula-1-looking race car -- the ultimate trump card.
In the house, like eight different girls make comments about how more girls “just keep on coming” and how they're all beautiful, as if these people didn't know there would be other attractive women competing on the show. Maybe they'll catch on in Season 23…
Chelsea, establishing herself as the villain early on, says “the hair is down but the boobs are out,” which is both nonsensical and totally accurate at the same time. She says there are no threats in the bunch.
Just over an hour into the premiere, we have the first “can I steal him” of the season. For the uninitiated, this is vintage Bachelor. Every week -- but especially during the premiere when there's 29 girls -- they compete for one-on-one time to chat with the Bachelor. It's like the Hunger Games, but instead of a cornucopia it's pretty much just a lot of wine, shamelessness and “oh no she didn't” quips from the onlookers.
Chelsea, the hair-down-boobs-out girl, gets a little bit of time early on. Brittany challenges Arie to a race in tiny plastic cars, saying if she wins she gets a kiss. She loses, but still gets the kiss. Naturally, as mature adults do, she runs and tells all the girls that are also about to start dating this guy that she kissed him. She concludes after just a peck that he's a great kisser because preconceived notions are a big part of true love.
Chelsea won't be outdone, so she interrupts a conversation to grab a few extra minutes with Arie and disgustingly make out with him.
She gets the first impression rose even though Caroline brought a pizza and clearly deserved it.
A bunch of girls that didn't get any screen time predictably get sent home. He keeps Bibiana because her name is Bibiana and she's gonna annoy people for a few more weeks probably.
I'm taking another run at ESPN's Bachelor Fantasy, looking to redeem myself after a mediocre performance during Rachel Lindsay's season on The Bachelorette.
I kicked off this season getting four questions right because I didn't know a gratitude rock was a thing and incorrectly guessing the sports reporter -- who didn't even survive episode 1 -- would get the first impression rose.
Editor's note: I also had the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl playing on a second screen while watching The Bachelor.