The Bachelor: “It’s A Constant Battle In My Head.”

When last we saw Bachelor Ben on his televised quest for TV Love, he was telling stupid Ashley to shut her stupid Ashley mouth with the words that he will be remembered for longer than anything else about him (including his resemblance to Ryan Smith): “Good things don’t end, unless they end badly.”

Is this true, what Ben said all those months ago? I can’t honestly see why it wouldn’t be*, but someone will have you know that Ben’s come a long way since last season. He says his experience last season with Ashley opened him up and he’s now completely ready to date 25 women at once, with the cameras rolling.

I think I’ve come a long way since then as well. I know now that my long-held belief, that the search for love via TV is bullshit, is bullshit. I mean, looking at this show’s track record, I know Ben’s not likely to find somebody to spend the rest of his life with – or even someone to ring in 2013 with – but then, wouldn’t it be a sort of not bad, i.e. good, way of drawing a paycheque to party your way around the world with a TV crew and a gaggle of strangers who have convinced themselves that they love you in tow? Probably the only way to know for sure is to wait and see how badly it ends. That’s my plan, what’s yours?

Oh but man, these season opener cocktail parties are hard on the nerves, eh? The games begin just as soon as the limos pull up and disgorge their freight – twenty-five bachelorettes who have watched this guy on TV enough to imagine that he’s quite a catch. You know that old line about how you’ve only got one chance to make a first impression? Well, it’s true, and there’s added pressure that comes from the prospect of seven of these women being sent right back out to the limos at the end of the evening. It’s interesting and fun to watch as they introduce themselves, some with a basic hug and a “My name is…,” others with gimmicks like big hats, having their grandmothers make the introduction, riding in on horseback.

Of course, they’re not all complete strangers to the viewing audience. The show’s already given nine of the women the benefit of extra little biographical featurettes. This is how we already know that Jenna, for example, is a freelance writer from New York City** who blogs about relationships, and also that she is an early favourite in the Craziest Person On The Set sweepstakes***. We know it because she tells us straight out – this whole business of men and women, relating to one another? “It’s a constant battle in my head.” She tries to quote Ben’s big line back to him and muffs it, but is that why she acts like such a goddamn freak for the rest of the night? More likely it’s because she’s a goddamn freak because all by itself, blowing your intro should not lead to bizarre confrontations with other contestants and half the evening spent hidden away in a bathroom, crying and berating yourself at levels loud enough to be heard outside the door. Just sayin’.

But on the other hand, it seems that nailing your entrance the way Lindzi**** did, clopping up the driveway on horseback, then introducing the horse as First Impression Rose, will do wonders for your confidence in the other direction. Every woman in the room hated her for that little scene-stealer, but Lindzi didn’t ever appear to care about that because every woman in the room isn’t the one who hands out the First Impression Rose, Ben is, and her trick had the exact effect she was hoping for.

The cocktail party itself was a pretty tame affair. Okay, yes, Monica, a dental consultant who thinks she only seems aggressive to other people, spent some time spooning with and coming onto Blakely, a VIP Cocktail Waitress who decorates her hair with feathers, and there were two poems read, one from Lyndsie J., an internet entrepreneur and self-described nerd***** and the other from Emily, a Ph.D student in epidemiology with a little gangsta in her soul, but if some of these women ever even managed to have a conversation with the Ben of their affections, the contents of these discussions were apparently not enough to warrant their inclusion in the televised account of the evening’s affairs. Which is sad, kind of. Not really sad, mind you, but sad enough for an oblique mention here.

And practically as soon as it began, the evening ended with seven women getting sent packing: Ambers B. & T. (B for Bitchy, T for Teary?); Lyndsie J. (who now feels like a failure); Anna, a student whose schtick was to walk right past Ben into the party without introducing herself******, Dianna, Shira and Holly. And then there were eighteen. Eighteen and Ben. All in all, the ending of this episode didn’t seem all that bad. Is that because the episode wasn’t all that good?

*We’re downplaying the possibility of an ending that bad coming as a result of something being not as good as it initially seemed.

**NEW YORK CITY?!?

***And probably also a frontrunner in the same contest on the next Bachelor Pad series.

****This is no way to spell a name.

*****More like ‘spaz’ but hey…

****** “That’s a very bold move,” he called after her when she did it. The problem at the end of the evening might have been that he never learned her name (though it’s not any sort of problem that Cinderella ever had to confront).

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  1. Nicely summarized. Bravo and thank you.

    It seemed like an especially gimmicky intro episode. As someone or other (quite wittily, I thought) said, “don’t forget, next time: sash, hat, grandma.” And most of the attention-grabbing gimmicks come off as ridiculous or desperate or dorky. Is it better to risk being one of those things than not be noticed at all in this game? I suppose so. It’s mortifying to watch, though. The rapping! The terrible poetry!!

    Also surprised at the high number of dental hygienists/assistants/consultants they crammed into this season. What is it about stacked, statuesque women in their 20s and tooth-related professions these days? Is that what they’re all doing now? Or are the ones who are doing it just drawn in unusually large numbers towards The Bachelor franchise?

    Have you read Jenna’s blog? It’s really weird. It’s like an imitation of a blog assembled by someone who’s never actually read a blog. There’s virtually nothing on it. Definitely no analysis, let alone over-analysis. She’s a fake blogger. Seems quite genuinely loony, though.

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