I love The Bachelor. And The Bachelorette. And Bachelor Pad. I love the drama, the relationships, the hijinks, the exotic locations, the romance…but really: the drama. I’ve said before that my dream job would be as a member of the production staff of that show. So I’d like to start an installment of reviews of my favorite reality show of all time. (I’ve signed up for a painting class every Monday night from 6-10pm from now until May, so, I’ll do my best to watch the episode on Tuesday and to blog about it right after. I’ll also do my best to avoid any spoilers in the 24 hours that lapses between the original air time and my personal viewing.)
I should note that these reviews should come with a disclaimer: I don’t always like the way that women are portrayed on the show, and watching it can sometimes even bring out cattiness in me. I don’t like the stereotypes, the tearing-each0ther-apart-to-look-good-for-a-guy, or the harsh criticism that all the contestants are exposed to. I tend to admire women who are strong, smart, and respectable. That said, I do like that this show has been a divergence from the norm for me for many, many years. It’s the one reality show I watch religiously, and it’s my guilty pleasure.
The first night is always one of the best nights of the season, and this episode didn’t disappoint. It was great to watch Sean ‘hang out’ with Arie, although it was never clear that they were close friends on Emily’s season. I also always had the impression that Arie was a major goofball who came across as kind of a doofus on screen, so it was nice to see him crack some legitimately funny jokes and to offer up some advice.
In all honesty, I watched the episode last week and don’t remember all the details. I do remember thinking right from her interview footage that Desiree was super cute–I love that she works in a bridal shop, and I weirdly think that her tiny little teeth are adorable. The 50 Shades of Grey girl was a psycho, and he was right to send her home. It made me uncomfortable to watch their one-on-one time, but it was hilarious to watch her drunken “booty dancin'” (as it was dubbed by Kacie B) all around the house.
Speaking of Kacie B, her role on the season is played out. I really liked her on Ben’s season, but now I just find her annoying. Really, ABC, again with the ‘girl from a previous season saw he was the Bachelor and couldn’t resist throwing her name into the ring’ plotline? It didn’t work with Shawntel on Ben’s season, and it doesn’t work now. Get her out of there.
The things I most remember from the first week are that the two girls I liked best were Lesley M, the pretty blonde political something-or-other from DC, and Taryn, who disappointed me by leaving the party to go cry on the stairs. Girl, please.
I also think that Selma’s face looks just like Alice from Twilight. (I guess technically she looks just like Ashley Greene.)
Lots of girls got sent home; notably, Paige from Bachelor Pad was one of the ones to go. Maybe next season. (But hopefully not.)
Sara got the first one-on-one date of the season, which I guess is pretty much based on the formula of “helicopter + tall L.A. building + some form of descent” at this point in the show’s history. They free-fell (free-falled?) from the top of the building, and just like her predecessors, Sara was able to say things like “I was so scared, but I can really tell that Sean is here to protect me.” Sean, in return, got to chip in with the standard “I could tell she was really scared, so it meant a lot that she was able to face her fears and go through with it with me.” Vom. Then they went to dinner, and I don’t really see them as a couple. She got a rose. I was expecting fireworks in the background as they kissed on the rooftop, but I guess it’s still to early in the season for that.
Next up was the group date. 13 girls and a harlequin novel cover photoshoot is basically a recipe for drama. Tierra immediately established herself as this season’s bitch, with her “I’m not here to make friends” comment. Kristy the model got cocky as soon as the challenge was unveiled, talking herself up all during the hair and makeup session, but ultimately won the 3-cover deal. However, she didn’t get the accompanying rose. I liked that Lesley wasn’t afraid to kiss him in front of 12 other women during her shoot, and I’m glad that there wasn’t a lot of ensuing whiplash. I would have liked to have seen more of the other womens’ photoshoots and costumes, but I understand that mine might be a minority opinion.
After the photoshoot ended, they headed to a “pool party,” where, strangely, there was no pool and nary a bikini to be seen. Lesley grabbed Sean for more one-on-one time, which was awkward in an endearing way. Every time it seemed like they might kiss, she changed the subject. She gets points from me for later recovering by tracking him back down for a makeout sesh. (Many contestants on past seasons have instead chosen to dwell on their botched opportunity for days afterward, so I applaud her for going for what she wanted.)
Other observations on the group date:
-It was creepy when Selma (?) told him “I love how you say ‘my wife’.” Not exactly the line I would have used, but it seemed to work on him.
-Katie had had enough of the pressure by week two. When she told him that she wanted to go home, Sean said “okay, then let me walk you out.” He must not have been too sad to see her go. Oops.
-Kacie got the rose on the date and you could see how jipped everyone else felt. Again, she shouldn’t be there. She’s also earning her place as ‘house mom,’ as girls are starting to go to her for advice about “how the show usually works.” Um, get that stuff out of here, please!
The second one-on-one date went to Desiree. He took her to an art gallery, which all turned out to be an elaborate practical joke–he left her in a room alone, a “priceless” glass sculpture broke, and she was supposed to think it was her fault. I didn’t think it was very nice. I understand that he’s looking for someone with a sense of humor, but this situation wasn’t a natural way to feel hers out. Fortunately, she wasn’t too upset by it–she responded to the shattered statue by laughing, and laughed the entire time she tried to convince people that she hadn’t done it. Thankfully, the prank only lasted about 2 minutes, because it was altogether a waste of time.
After their fake date, they went back to Sean’s house for dinner, conversation, and hot tub time. They seem to have a lot in common and probably have the best connection of any he’s made so far. (I realize now that I’ve typed this that they have the only connection he’s really made so far.)
At the rose ceremony, someone commented that “I feel like tonight is a tornado. Of negativity. Waiting to happen.” Then we cut to Amanda sitting there on the couch, flat-out ignoring everyone who spoke to her? Bizarre. I felt like that was somehow manipulated by some skillful editing, but lots of the girls continued to talk about her strange behavior all night, and she was even completely deadpan/disinterested-looking during the rose ceremony, so maybe she really is that rude.
I thought that in light of the (several?) lawsuits that have been brought against the Bachelor franchise due to race, it has been nice to see a little diversity so far this season. It was cool to see Robyn, a black contestant, directly address the race issue with Sean, and I thought he handled it well. He seemed genuine in his assertion that race is secondary for him to things like personality, sense of humor, family values, etc. I liked that, even if it was a ploy by ABC to address the haters.
Anyway, Diana, the single mom of 2, and Brooke ended up going home. It wasn’t surprising, since I don’t think either of them had any on-camera time for the preceding 115 minutes of the show.
Next week it looks like the Tierra drama will really start to unfold, climaxing with her falling down the stairs and being carried out of the mansion on a stretcher, wearing a neck brace, and accusing the other women of being at fault. I can hardly wait!