Fuck. Yes. The Bachelor is back in its twentieth season and looks to be the most emotional emotional-roller-coaster ever. The fantasy-suite-shaped hole in my heart is finally jam-packed again with awful love puns and wasted kindergarten teachers.
We begin in delicate Ben’s hometown of Warsaw, Indiana. The show makes him play basketball at a barn at sunrise.
In his childhood summary, I thought there’d be some chubster photos to explain #unlovable but alas, it remains a mystery. Ben explains that his first kiss was in a shitty movie theater and that the girl dumped him the same night. He’s later the Grand Marshall at a homecoming parade. Really feel like delicate Ben shouldn’t be marshaling anything. There are several foreshadowing shots of deer that walk away from Ben to represent rejection and his fear of being unlovable.
Ben then sneaks up on his parents by saying “Knock, knock” to them while they’re sitting in their backyard being filmed. His parents say he takes rejection personally and bring up #unlovable again. They’ve been married 30 plus years and have wondered what’s wrong with Ben for 26. In one of Ben’s first confessionals, he’s already weeping while talking about his family and friends supporting him through this process. This is my favorite shot of the episode. Later, Ben is camouflaged behind a tree, probably trying to sneak up on the deer that won’t reciprocate.
Next, Ben is in a McDonald’s commercial trying to pick his meal with all these other previous Bachelors. Why would they put #unlovable in a #lovingit commercial?
Ben then meets with his Bachelor Family love squad: Sean Lowe, Chris Soules, and Jason Mesnick, to get advice on his season. Sean is the only one who should be there. Ben asks questions like a middle schooler sucking up in class. Soules nods along like an idiot to what Sean and Mesnick say until he proffers the same strategy he uses on his corn harvest, saying “kiss ‘em all!” This will probably cure all of delicate Ben’s emotional problems.
Ben concludes he doesn’t want his “fears to keep him from doing really cool things” like two chicks at the same time.
They all think they’re meant to be with Ben but Caila might be the craziest and that’s saying something. She was watching the Bachelor and broke up with her boyfriend because she was feeling butterflies for Ben. Him?
Jubilee, who used to fight in the war in Afghanistan, knows a lot of puns that combine love with war.
We meet the dentist, Mandi, who is into Ben because he seems like he flosses. She looks like the photo booth pinch setting. The dudes I’m watching the show with call her the Philadelphia 76’ers of The Bachelor. I’m told that’s a timely sports reference.
Ben re: Bachelor tradition of the first girl out of the limo being hot: “It’s a great start!” I’m hoping this speaks to things to come in that Ben has never watched the Bachelor show before. What’s a two-on-one? Who’s this Neil Lane fellow?
One of the Laurens tells Ben she stalked him on social media and he acts genuinely shocked. He is like Brendan Fraser in Blast from the Past. What do you mean you looked me up on the computer machine?
Leah, in a long sparkly dress, tries to do cute football shtick but ends up presenting herself like a bonobo.
Jojo comes out in a unicorn head mask.
A dude I watch with says his cute limo entrance would be coming out of the limo and punching the girl in the face and saying “have some self-respect”.
The Ginger’s friends call her Red Velvet. I can’t stop thinking all episode that that’s some sort of carpet/drapes reference.
I don’t think I would trust a dentist named Mandi with an I. Especially one who wears a flower headdress and asks someone to pollinate them on national television.
After the twins arrive, Ben pulls out another quotable moment “It’s good.” The twins go on and on about how all dudes love twins. This brings up the thing that bothered me the MOST about this episode. The twins do not get what the twin fantasy actually means. It’s not to date them at the same time. The twin fantasy is a THREESOME WITH IMPLIED INCEST.
Rachel is unemployed but enters on a hover-board.
Some girl re: the horse: “that’s amazing!” First “Amazing!” of this season.
I feel bad for the P.A. cleaning up all of gluten-free Breanne’s bread shards.
Lace: “I’m just sitting there, judging people.” She’s like a drunk Sarah Silverman and I love her. “I’m way prettier than everyone.” She reveals to the other girls that she heavily cyber-stalked Ben beforehand and they’re flabbergasted.
Tiara, the Chicken Enthusiast, entering: “Is this Disneyland?” No bitch.
Ben keeps saying the weirdest shit to the girls when they enter the house. “Welcome home.” “Thanks for coming to this” like it’s some obligatory family gathering.
Jackie looks genuinely surprised there are cameras.
Olivia tests Ben for dimples. Ben is like a child seeing women for the first time. Every other Bachelor has been more skeptical of the process. Ben calls his parents after all the limos have arrived. I wonder how often he is checking in.
Ben makes a lot of lame jokes about the horse. In my personal dating worst nightmare, flower dentist steals Ben in the middle of his speech and inspects his teeth.
Olivia, 23, left her “amazing” job for him. How she ended up here? She was living a zestless life and decided to pick a random spot on the map and that part of the map happened to be covered by an US Weekly magazine. Ben is the definition of zest so that’s lucky.
Jojo makes Ben guess basic facts about her by putting cards with caveman images on her head.
They make the “Return” ladies’ arrival later JUST so the others will be pissed at them. Perfection. Virginal Becca is wearing some sort of dominatrix dress. Amber feels she’s never really gotten a Bachelor opportunity? Other than Raccoon Claire and the creepy as fuck Chris Bukowski who kept trying to return, she’s up there in having done the most shows.
Someone wonders, “how many females does he give roses to?” Is there finally a closet trans twist??
Jubilee says she is more nervous at being on The Bachelor than she was at war.
Delicate Ben is “trying to not get sucked up into the physical part of the night.” Calling it now that he is trying to go super slowly with all the women to hide his virginity.
Lace tries to force Ben to kiss her again but the flower dentist steals Ben from her and Lace whispers, “That bitch.”
Ben pulls Lace aside later and we think he’s going to chastise her but Ben mistakes Lace being a crazy person for her being nervous and tries to assuage her anxiety. I really wish Lace was the new Courtney, the hot psycho winner from Ben Flajnik’s Season, but I’m not sure Lace can keep her shit together enough to pull it off. Caila REALLY misses the mark when she labels Lace, “Fifty Shades of Crazy”, instead of “Fifty Shades of Cray”.
Chris Harrison drops the first impression rose on the table in the middle of all the women like a hunk of meat in a group of hyenas. One girl says she’s going to cry as soon as the first rose is on the table. This show is magical. Jubilee says she had no girl stand out for her as the first impression rose. Not sure Jubilee understands how this works.
In the lead up to the rose ceremony, there is a trio of girls pretending to be having a conversation and not noticing Ben walking by with the first impression rose. This show doesn’t pass the Bechdel feminism test by a long shot. Olivia gets it as Ben rewards her insane life decision with his love totem. Jami is on the verge of tears. Maybe this is the first time she heard her name out loud.
Ben does the presumably international sign language symbol of his heart pounding. Hoping he escalates these throughout the season into a sign-language-pissing-his-pants, sign-language-noose, etc.
Confused why LB is Ben’s second pick. Interestingly, Ben hates both Red Velvet and gluten-intolerant-lady. My favorite Lauren is GONE probably due to Ben’s Lauren confusion. Everyone is pissed Becca gets a rose. Lace: “Let’s be honest, who wants a fucking virgin?” Mandi, the dentist flower, makes it through!!! Dude watching show for first time with me says, “This is a really bad way to pick a wife or husband.” After the ceremony, with a rose safely in her devil’s grasp,
Lady Macbeth Lace confronts Ben about not making eye contact with her once during the rose ceremony, which she knows because she watched him the whole time. Oh hotness, you are so blinding.
All of these women seem to be irrationally obsessed with delicate Ben. If Chris Harrison were to announce that there was a box in the mansion containing one of Ben’s filled condoms and one turkey baster, pretty sure 90% of these women are running for it.
Scenes from this upcoming season include: a makeout with Jubilee? Twins riding down an escalator and then fighting? Olivia is a liar?! Someone having a panic attack in a shiny red cape?! Caila seeming to make it far?! More Ben crying!!! Something that would absolutely change everything!!!!!
I choose to forgo my individual soul and am utterly invested in this season of the best reality show of all time.