Welcome to Week 1 of the Bachelor. We are recapping the show because The Bachelor is sports. Here is our preview and here is a thing about the fantasy league you might be in. Here. We. Go.
The day has come, my fellow Americans. It is finally time to pour ourselves oversize glasses of cheap rosé*, tuck our sweatpant-sheathed legs underneath us on the couch, tell our roommates, “sorry, I need the television — it’s for work,” and settle in for a night of our country’s finest product. And that product is a reality television show that isn’t all that real, where everyone knows people are not there to find love but to gain more Instagram followers for whatever they decide to do once the show is over even if they don’t end up with the dude du jour.
*“But Charlotte,” you might be thinking, “everyone knows drinking rosé in the winter is like wearing white after Labor Day: It simply isn’t done!” To which I reply: Fuck the rules, this is America. It’s 2017. We’re out here in the wild, wild west of the days of decency, so if you want rosé in January, drink it.
Because, let’s be honest — how can there be any Right Reasons to vie for the Bachelor when dating apps exist? You can order a boyfriend the way you order Seamless — with your thumbs and some witty banter when he shows up at the door. This, my friends, is about exposure. It’s like an athlete who’s totally cool playing a skill position because it builds up their brand.
Anyway, speaking of dudes du jour, Nick “handsome software salesman” Viall is our current lead. When I previewed the contestants, I called Nick the cockroach of The Bachelor. I stand by that. When China inevitably nukes us all in a few months, Keith Richards, Nick Viall and RG III’s injury reports will be all that’s left on this godforsaken planet.
He is also the epitome of where we are right now as a nation: a white dude famous for being on reality television who failed his way up to the highest position that he sought.
Open your eyes, folks. This is not a drill.
Let’s do this.
I am sitting on my couch with one of my roommates. Jeopardy is ending and we both get the last question wrong. We wait for The Bachelor to start.
“So, will they all look alike this season?” she asks me.
“Yes, I think so,” I tell her.
“God, it was so confusing last season when all the guys looked exactly the same,” she says.
AND THEN NICK COMES ON THE SCREEN!
Nick is not wearing a shirt. He’s working out in a city like one of those dudes doing burpees on the sidewalk when you’re just trying to go get yourself a Sunday morning bagel so you don’t die. In other words: I hate Nick right now.
The only reason this is happening is because we’re supposed to notice that Nick has abs. Yes, I know, I took biology — we all have abs. But Nick has the kind you can see. (Nick and I also happen to own the same sneakers. I used to think they were very cool, but now I’m questioning everything I know about footwear.)
Nick tells us that he has a track record of ending this show in tears, and it’s honestly a little pathetic watching the scenes from old seasons where he’s crying all the time.
“What do Nicks’ parents think about all this?” I wonder.
AND THE PRODUCERS HEAR ME! BECAUSE ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY SHOW US NICK WITH HIS FAMILY!
“They couldn’t be more excited about the possibility of me finding love,” says Nick, and I actually gag.
How old is Nick?
Thirty-six seems too old to still be going on The Bachelor. Most elite athletes have retired at this age. Nick is no Tom Brady, I’ll tell ya that much.
HANGIN’ WITH THE GUYS, DOIN’ GUY STUFF
A thing that the producers like to do is show us all of the old Bachelors talking to the new Bachelor so they can give the new Bachelor old-Bachelor tips about typical guy stuff. Stuff like dating 30 women at once, all of whom are probably too good for you.
“A lot of people see him as a giant tool bag,” says one of the old Bachelors, but I can’t remember which one, because all of them look like cones of vanilla ice cream with muscle definition and are about as interesting.
“That’s how he came across,” a different (I think) guy says. “But on Bachelor in Paradise, he became a likable guy.”
The camera cuts to a different, different guy who looks exactly the same as one of the other different guys and is named Ben Higgins. He’s pretending to enjoy drinking whiskey neat, and seems like he’s about to give Nick some hard-earned, sage advice. I am on the edge of my couch. Ben looks at Nick. I stop breathing. And then Ben says:
Groundbreaking shit from Vanilla Ben and the Custard Boys.
My key takeaway from this segment of the show is that I should start calling people tool bags again.
THE WOMEN’S INTRO VIDEOS
It’s time to meet some of the (extremely Hamilton Schuyler sisters voice) LADIEEEESSS! Rachel lives in Dallas. She’s a lawyer. She’s also black, and this show is so stupid and predictable that normally only white people get past, like, Week 6. I am heartened by the fact that she has her own intro video, because that almost always bodes well. We see her at her job, talking to people, going to court. She says she’s 31 and wants a man in her life. She is charming and seems way too smart for this show.
She also dances with a vacuum cleaner, which is a relatable, goofy, cool girl thing to do. Did you know that every girl does this? It’s a fact. I am actually doing this right now. It’s astonishing that I can still manage to type as I dance and vacuum to Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady” while wearing my grandmother’s clothes and a wig.
I’m starting to get a bit depressed. These women are all super accomplished. Danielle L. opened up her nail salon when she was 23. She is now 27 and seems to have a nail salon empire. Vanessa is a special needs teacher who speaks three languages. Three! I only speak one (well, two, if you count Pig Latin)! Many of these women are nurses or went to law school.
My roommate comes through in the clutch though, because just as I’m about to be like, “Man, what do I have to show for myself?” she shows me an Instagram post of a walrus howling on a beach in California, and I feel much better.
I can’t find the one she showed me, but here’s a different walrus:
A woman named Raven says in her video that if she had to describe her small southern town in three words she would use “family, faith, and football.” Sports! America!
Now Raven is walking on a railroad track. The producers keep making these people walk on railroad tracks and on bridges in their hometowns. They all push their hair back behind their ears and stare wistfully into the distance as they don’t look where they’re going. This seems very dangerous.
Didn’t anyone’s parents teach them not to play on the train tracks? Jesus.
MEETING THE VILLAIN
Guys. We did it. We found our villain. Every season has one — the contestant no one can stand, who causes all sorts of problems for everybody. Our Cruella de Vil this time around is named Corinne.
"I know what I need to do and nobody is going to be in my way." - Corrine#TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/gRP6f5aIJE— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) January 3, 2017
Corrine is 24. She still has a nanny that brings her sliced cucumbers, her dad is super rich, she’s really obnoxious so far, and — wait, is she one of the women who wants to be a dolphin?
No, that’s Alexis. We meet Alexis next. She lives in New Jersey and is dressed up in a sumo wrestler suit as she falls off of the hammock in her backyard, which is also a normal, relatable cool girl thing to do. In fact, I am wearing a sumo wrestler suit right now. I changed into it right after I finished vacuuming.
Oh boy, now we meet Danielle M. I feel good about Danielle M! She is a neonatal intensive care nurse who is soft spoken. She has a delightful bedside manner as she saves a baby’s life on camera (I’m exaggerating, but you get my drift). She’s gonna be a ringer. I expect consistent levels of play from Danielle M. She could be our Aaron Rodgers.
Here’s the first twist in our carefully-plotted narrative: Liz -- the one who said she picks her nose in the car in her cast bio — hooked up with Nick at a wedding nine months ago and refused to give him her number. Seeing how well men typically deal with rejection, this should be fun.
GETTING OUT OF THE LIMO
The women are letting out hoots and hollers as they pull into the mansion. They all sound pretty drunk.
“I expect them to be skeptical,” says Nick. He hopes the women go in with a “clean slate and an open mind.”
First, he meets Rachel, the vacuuming lawyer. He likes her. She gives him a bad line about her fantasy football team for some reason, even though Nick isn’t particularly football-y, but whatever. It’s sports, The Bachelor is sports, who cares.
"I finished setting up my fantasy teams, but the only plays I want to make this season is for your heart." - Rachel ❤️ pic.twitter.com/oLW7lDupos— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) January 3, 2017
Some of these women are saying things like “I feel like I’m meeting a celebrity,” and “I watched you on TV for three years,” and “Have you seen my breasts? They’re real,” and “Fourth time’s a charm!” and it’s all very bizarre and everybody looks slightly uncomfortable. Nick seems exhausted, and I am getting exhausted watching him get exhausted. I’m also getting bored, so let’s skip the other meet-and-greets.
Oh wait, we can’t. Because Lacey just rode in on a camel. She says she likes a good hump. That is a terrible joke and now I am worried about the camel. Where the fuck did the producers of The Bachelor get a camel? Is someone watching the camel now that Lacey is no longer on it? Can someone please get me an update on this camel? Is the camel OK? Whose camel is it?
Now Alexis shows up wearing what she calls a dolphin suit but what is actually — I’m pretty sure — the Left Shark costume from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance a few years ago.
There she is: Alexis with her best friend Katy Perry. She takes the shtick the whole nine yards and wades into the mansion’s pool to perform a dolphin call for Nick. One of the other girls calls it “the cutest thing ever.”
Now we’re meeting Jasmine G., who is a dancer for the Warriors, so she’ll probably make it to the final four and then blow a 3-1 lead.
Side note: A lot of these women are young. Like, 23 or 24. If my 23 year-old daughter were trying to land a 36-year-old professional bachelor on national TV, I'd send a text that says “PLEASE CALL ME IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS YOUR MOTHER. DO NOT KEEP IGNORING MY CALLS, SWEETIE. I DID NOT RAISE YOU TO MAKE DECISIONS LIKE THIS.”
Now Liz gets out of the limo, and she’s all like, “Ahh, will he remember me?” and Nick’s all like “Wait, do I remember you?” after she goes into the house. We don’t know yet if Nick remembers her.
AT THE PARTY
"Can I steal you for a sec?"#TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/7eTxzDB04X— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) January 3, 2017
Nick gives a speech to all the women about how even though he’s a man telling women which of them are worthy of dating him (I’m paraphrasing, here), he wants them to feel empowered. I think this is Nick trying to do feminism, and while I applaud the effort he doesn’t totally stick the landing.
Everyone’s hammered and they’re all talking about how hot Nick is. I think Nick looks like a chia pet, but to each her own.
Nick and Rachel are hanging out now. They’re vibing; they both have big families, he likes the Packers, she likes the Cowboys, she is wrong, he is right. Nick seems genuinely fun with her, and now I feel more fondly towards him than I did when he was making a big deal about his abs on the sidewalk.
All I can think about while I watch these women mill about in this huge-ass mansion, bored while they wait to talk to Nick, is how I would die without my phone for the three months while the show was filming if I were a contestant. Did you know that they’re not allowed to have their phones?! It’s like the Siberian Steppe.
FIRST IMPRESSION ROSE
RACHEL GETS IT! GO, RACHEL!
A FEW KEY MOMENTS FROM THE PARTY
Vanessa and Nick are hitting it off. She says her friend submitted her to be on the show and Nick is like, “My friend submitted me the first time!” And I’m like cool, guys, while we’re BLATANTLY LYING: My uncle is the Easter Bunny, I can do 12,000 pull-ups in a row, and, no, I didn’t just eat an entire bar of chocolate watching these people smile-talk at each other.
Corinne, our villain, steals Nick away. Vanessa is pissed. A few minutes ago, Corrine gave Nick a bag of tokens that will allow him to do whatever he wants to her. Which is a totally normal and fine thing to do (?!!!?!). She doesn’t have the tokens this time, but she makes out with him anyway, and I’m struck by how gross it is to watch two people kiss each other close up.
#TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/cAfDWaGf0v— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) January 3, 2017
All the other women are like, “OH, NO SHE DIDN’T!” And she’s like, “Yeah. I 100 percent did.”
OMG — THERE IS CURRENTLY CRAZY STUFF HAPPENING IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL AT THE ROSE BOWL. THE SECOND HALF SEEMS WILD.
OK, COOL, BACK TO THE BACHELOR.
Women are starting to freak out that they won’t get time with Nick. Jasmine G. is crying. “Just tell him you can get him Warriors tickets and he won’t cut you!” I yell at my television, but then I take that back, because it feels gross and transactional. As opposed to the show, which is pure, good, and a shining beacon of true love in America.
THE BEST PART OF THE SHOW...
...is when the women bond with each other. These women get such a kick out of Alexis in the
dolphin shark suit. One is throwing berries into her mouth. She keeps making people laugh. I love it. She will not make it very far, I can tell, but I am HERE FOR IT. She is also very, very, very drunk.
Shark Twirl !— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) January 3, 2017
No...wait... #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/Yjl3JoSXrA
NICK TELLS LIZ HE REMEMBERS HAVING SEX WITH HER
"We had such a wild and crazy night," says Nick, as he talks to Liz on the steps outside the mansion, while women inside are taking bags of wine and turning them into IV drips.
As far as I can tell this is essentially Nick turning to the camera and telling America, "I am good at the sex. Please clap.”
He’s clearly pissed that Liz didn’t give him her number, and she doesn’t really have a good explanation for A) why she didn’t, and B) why she’s now on the show ostensibly trying to marry this dude if she didn’t even want to give him her number. I’m by no means a relationship expert, but I feel like you should want to give someone your number if you’re planning on marrying them — if only so you can text them to pick up more toilet paper on the way home from work.
A BUNCH OF PEOPLE GET SENT HOME AT THE ROSE CEREMONY, BUT DON’T WORRY, IT’S NONE THAT WE’VE COME TO CARE ABOUT BECAUSE THAT’S HOW THE FIRST ROSE CEREMONY WORKS
You have to think this is going to be the most dramatic rose ceremony yet of 2017.@BachelorABC #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/MgQr8wiokL— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 3, 2017
I do, however, hate how the women who get sent home start to question their self-worth. That’s a mean part of this show. They’re all worthy of love and the fact that getting sent home by one silly dude after one stupid night can make them question that bums me out.
Rejection, no matter how big or small, is not a measure of anyone’s self worth. It has much more to do with the person doing the rejecting than it does the person being rejected. I will embroider that on a pillow and send it to anyone who needs this reminder. Etsy shop to come.
The previews for the rest of the season seem wild. Nick appears to propose to whoever it is he chooses while they’re at the North Pole.
DANIELLE M. IS GOING TO WIN THE WHOLE THING
- There’s a lot of chemistry between Nick and Danielle.
- They’re both from Wisconsin.
- She literally saves babies as a job. SHE SAVES BABIES.
- There is, however, the matter of her dead fiancé, according to the cast bios. This will undoubtedly cause sad drama and lead to her being very vulnerable down the road. I do believe, however, that it would fit Nick’s redemption narrative to be the one who not only emerges from this whole thing engaged to the nurse who saves babies lives, but who also helps her get over a great loss.
RACHEL WILL BE THE RUNNER-UP, CALLING IT NOW
That would be amazing, because then we’d finally have a black Bachelorette (22 seasons later). Please make this happen, ABC television gods.
VANESSA WILL GET PRETTY FAR
And that’s all she wrote, folks. See you next week, when the producers pull us even deeper into their edited, constructed, and packaged version of true love. I can only hope that Alexis still has the
dolphin shark suit on.