The Bachelor's New Batch of Crazies: Who Are Your Early Favorites?

The Bachelor S017E01: "Week 1"

I can't remember the last time I was more excited about a Bachelor as I am for Sean "Sexual Vanilla" Lowe. After suffering through Jason Mesnick and Ben Flajnik, Sean is taking us back to a more classic Bachelor set-up (despite his unprecedented and not-thought-out decision to hand out roses like tic-tacs during the first cocktail party). It's because, to put it frankly, he's classically good looking. Sorray! I am so damn sorry that the eyes in my head are wired to a brain that millions of years of evolution have taught to appreciate broad shoulders and big muscles. Yes, his face is a little like a snickerdoodle, but he could defend the shit out of my young.

I don't know if it’s a nod to the class-action suit against the producers for being overtly racist or if Sean just checked the "no" box on the "Whites only?" question on the Bachelor Dream Wife Profile, but for the first time in Bachelor history we have several African-American contestants. This brings us ever closer to a season centered on an African-American Bachelor or Bachelorette which, really, it's kind of embarrassing that hasn’t happened yet.

This series puts gender relations, economic taboos, and religious mores under a microscope in a way no other show on TV can claim to do. Because it tries to be so mainstream conventional, it lays our conventions bare for examination in a way other reality shows don't. Most reality shows deal in the exceptional, the removal from society: We're all on an island! We're young people on a house for a summer! We're in a finite bubble! But The Bachelor/ette is all about looking forward, presenting yourself for long-term judgement: Prove you're a good life partner. Failing that, win the audience over by proving you're a sincere/good person and ABC will shower you with Dancing With the stars and Bachelor Pad seasons and perhaps your own harem of beaux as the next Bachelor/Bachelorette.

It’s an exercise in converting a complex human identity into a brand that one person and an audience will get behind, yet at the same time it's a format engineered to strip away contestants' facades with cold, hard rejection—personal, physical, sexual rejection—in the most public arena. Honestly, why there aren't college courses on this series blows my mind, it’s the most Orwellian shit going.

Last night's premiere hit a lot of high notes and contained all the classic elements of a good first cocktail party. Let's start with The Drunken Mess, a personal favorite of mine:

Did your teeth grind when she started talking about her mom? Everyone, male and female, never talk about your mom on a date in a good or bad context. For that first date, just let the other person imagine you were chiseled from a piece of marble by the gods and then someone breathed the breath of life on you. Once you're two weeks in, you can regale them with your impression of your mom fretting about her brood of shar pei lap dogs, but right out the gate it’s a bit much.

There was also The Audition:

I blame the handlers who tell these girls to lead with a gimmick for all the corny dumbass jokes, "My name's Lacey so here is a lace heart." But someone who leads with any kind of performance, be it rap, dance, song, or oboe (yes, oboe has happened) needs to be checked. The X Factor is a different soundstage, bitch! Take your headshots when you go!

The Heartbreaking Backstory:

I just about teared up when she was talking about her struggle before she was adopted. I guess when she was six and being shuttled from foster home to foster home no one realized she was going to grow up to look like a freaking supermodel and love to clean. Their loss, baby girl!

The Sporty Tomboy:

Ugh. Because every man dreams of playing football with someone half his size. Nothing like tip-toeing around the possibility of manslaughter to bring edge to a scrimmage.

The Secret Mom:

Guys, when did Audrina Patridge have kids?!

There were also some girls who brought their own damn flavor to the mix. Like...

The Lip-Jockey:

This tenacious bitch did not know how to take a hint and she got very weird about making Sean kiss her. If you ever find yourself promising someone you don't have a disease during a first date, you are doing it wrong.

The JumboTron Operator:

Who left the door open to the kennel where they keep the Bachelor Pad contestants? Now everyone's been exposed to Parvo!

And of course, The Weeper Creeper:

Sack up, ho!

One contestant who I don't even know how the producers are going to handle her is Sarah, yes, the one-armed woman. First of all I think it's genuinely amazing that she's going about her life doing everything you and I do single-handedly, and let's be real she is effing gorgeous.

Like if she had lived her whole life with both arms she'd probably be a hateful beautiful evil cheerleader type, but because of some fluke birth defect she's not just outrageously gorgeous but also probably full of empathy for other people and not at all superficial. But I worry that ABC's intentions are not exactly pure; I'm just saying, I'm keeping an eye on them with how they edit and handle her. I mean, is the network really that interested in championing disability? Because it's never featured a contestant in a wheelchair as far as I know.

Anyway, Sean certainly has his work cut out for him and he clearly does not appreciate that the format of the show has been engineered to give him maximum comfort. Once he started doling out roses at the cocktail party, it became really awkward when conversations didn't end with a rose. The rose system is here to help you, Sean. It's like all the other constructs of patriarchy: there to make your power seem pre-determined, safe from questioning, and full of dignity.

It's hard to get all worked up about the ladies sent home this week, because frankly we don't know them yet. Throwing sofa pillows at the TV will come many episodes and bottles of wine later. Still, I want to hear all your snap judgements on these ladies, including...

– Love ‘em or hate ‘em, which girls do you think will make Sean’s top three?

– Best dress of the evening?

– Did Tierra really inspire Sean to start handing out roses or had he planned to do that anyway?

– Is Sean a “big f-cking improvement” over the last couple Bachelors?

– Who’s your favorite lady and when did she win your heart?

– Does that bitch Kacie B. need to stop and have she and Sean already knocked them boots?

Comments (9)
Sort: Latest | Popular
"Because it tries to be so mainstream conventional, it lays our conventions bare for examination in a way other reality shows don't"
I agree and seeing as how it's all staging and no one falls in love so fast while competing for dates and he's kissing all the other women.. I mean come on. The whole Bachelor franchise is gross.
Was I the only one dying to hear the jumbotron operator talk about her job? If she'd mentioned it she might have had a rose at the end of the night.

Your recap is hilarious - I'll definitely be back each week to read!

Let's see...
- it's too early to guess the top three for me, and I don't remember everyone's names anyway. Although judging by the preview, I think Ms. Heartbreaking Backstory makes it pretty far.

- I really loved Leslie's dress - the sporty tomboy.

- I wonder if the producers were like, "Pick a girl fresh from the limo to give a rose to. It will seem so spontaneous." I'm pretty cynical about this show - I'm not sure any of these people have original ideas the producers don't actually come up with first. Except maybe that girl who "won" Ben's season - she was just diabolical enough to maybe have been playing the players.

- H3LL to the YES. Best looking Bachelor they've ever had, for sure. And the bit with Ari (though totally staged) made it seem like he might actually be fun and funny, too.

- Too early for a favorite for me... although I did like the blonde "graduate student" who - when everyone was speculating about the roses, I don't even remember the exact theory that was being tossed around - was like, "Um, no. That's not what's happening." She may have gone home, I don't remember. But that line made me laugh.

- OMG, did you think she could seem MORE desperate after she cried in the hotel hallway over that dishrag douchebag (Ben)? I didn't. I sat corrected last night. Get it together, girl.
I no longer watch this show (I pick my seasons depending on Bachelor/Bachelorette) but I do love reading these recaps.
The racist thing bugs me. We're all a little racist . Deal! You can bet there won't be a black bachelorette darker than a mocha cappachino in a room full caucasions. No. Just a few token whites.
And did they bring up the physically handicapped in that lawsuit, or is it just a coincidence.
I'm not sure about this, but I bet you can look back at the first bachelor and you'll see clone women. Not many distinguishable ethnicities and everybody's got their arms.
It cracks me up that these attention, eh-hem, "seekers" still claim to come on the show to find their husband/wife. 17 seasons and none of the relationships even lasted 6 months (with the exception of Jason Mesnick who re-chose the runner-up). They are all idiots and/or liars.
I will preface this with the fact that I loathe The Bachelor. I'm sorry, lots of people like it and that is just fine, but I can't watch it without screaming feminist arguments at my TV.

BUT, I might have to tune in this season or at least read Lily's write ups, because I went to high school with Sarah. Weirder, she's not even the first person from my HS to appear on a dating show. So anyways, social obligation and mild interest in my former classmates and all that, I might tune in. Might.

But at least this season looks like a fascinating sociological study. It could be funny to watch this Sean guy and the producers struggle with trying not to look racist when kicking off a lady of color in the second round, or how they dance around the topic of Sarah's arm. So much potential for controversy!
I don't know if I am more excited The Bachelor has begun because I want to watch the show or just read your commentary about it!

First off, can we say "holla!" to the "sexual vanilla" bachelor who gave the women of color a chance in their first season! Part of me thinks he was contractually obligated to give roses to the women, but either way I am glad 3 chocolate ladies made it past the first night.

1. I have to reserve my top 3 guesses to another week, because I can't remember anyones name yet....I do know that it won't be Kacie...way to look desperate.

2. None of the dresses really knocked my socks off...maybe one of the reds, but then I read another blog where Sean was really into them and it made me loose interest.

3. I don't know...but call me crazy b/c I don't think the line "I'm looking for someone to complete my heart" is magical enough to warrant a rose on the spot. Clearly Sean is easily wooed.

4. Anything is a big improvement over Ben. My golden retriever for instance.

5. See answer to #1

6. They tots knocked boots....and see answer to #1 again.
I don't remember any of the girls' names. I just want him to end up single so there's still a chance ha! He's the best looking bachelor they've ever had, and your snickerdoodle comment had me cracking up. I sense pure evil in that Tierra character, evil that Sean will not be able to see. eeeevvviillllll.

Like on Facebook