If you’re reading this it means you survived the bloated 3 hour premiere of The Bachelor. It felt to me like the TV version of the human centipede, or one of those infinity mirrors where you see nothing but your own face projected behind you for time eternal. Seeing the different contestants and “winners”, “hosting” in different “cities”- (LANSING???) was too much for me to handle. But why? Isn't this the logical continuation for a show that no longer attempts to marry people off into the banality of wedded heteronormative bliss, but is really just one gigantic influencer farm?
The difference between what life was like for contestants after the show when it first aired in 2002 and today could not be more different. AND YET… last night’s episode also felt like one giant attempt to go back in time.
As the completely unnecessary Chris Harrison tribute video so awkwardly reminded us, this show has been on the air since 2002. It was a simpler time. A more patriarchal time. A so-weird-you-kind-of-can’t-believe-you-didn’t-realize-how-f*ing-weird-it-was time, back when popular culture felt it utterly appropriate to treat the virginity of a famous person like a group sport.
While most of the contestants on The Bachelor (including Colton) don’t remember the year 2002, we surely do. It was the height of Britney Spears’ fame, where speculation surrounding her virginity was considered a national pastime and Jessica Simpson famously “saved herself” for her marriage to Nick Lachey. Well, thankfully for us in 2019, a lot has changed. But, here in Bachelor Nation we’re diving right back in with the same reckless, pervy enthusiasm that kept the nation all a twitter before Twitter even existed.
You can understand The Bachelor franchise’s desire to step back in time, considering the “troubling” revelations of season's past— see: racist tweets, bigoted memes, convicted sexual offenders, alleged sexual assault etc etc.
So now we’re left with Colton: the “all-american” former pro-football player, ex-boyfriend of Aly Raisman, cystic fibrosis charity guy, and virgin. Cue: everybody freaking out about his virginity and a season full of poorly chosen puns, double entendres and innuendo. But you know what? This isn’t new. This is old. This is as American as apple pie.
That’s what this episode meant to me- a surreal mix-up of new and old. A three hour time-suck I'll never get back, and a crushing reminder of my own poor taste in enterta-- wait DEMI'S MOM IS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR EMBEZZLEMENT??? THIS IS THE GREATEST SHOW IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION!!!
In the spirit of trying to keep something related to this episode brief, this won’t be a recap, just a few thoughts I had while watching.
I don’t know what Blake and Jason did the upset the producers, but having them “host” from a house party in Lansing, Michigan seemed cruel and unusual. But I’m happy to see Jason’s hair looking better and Blake’s hair looking consistently square. I don’t mean “not cool”, I mean literally square shaped.
Seeing Crystal and “Goose” in that hot-tub on and off for three hours was a never ending degenerative nightmare. 3 hours in a hot tub would be punishment enough, but when you add a line of total strangers standing outside some random hotel in LA in their bathing suits waiting to get in with you? I can't. The people wearing diapers in New York on New Years Eve make more sense to me than these people. LA why are you so weird?
Enough of these shenanigans, let’s get to the 30 (mostly way under 30) ladies desperately waiting to meet/de-flower/marry Colton Underwood.
Cassie the adorable speech pathologist giving Colton a box of butterflies. Butterflies in a closed box… how will they survive….??? Oh wait, they’re fake. Surely no one would be foolish enough to release live butterflies during a competition reality show.
Sloth-Girl truly stole my heart. I wish she has been cooler post reveal, but I’m glad we had her for as long as we did. If I were Colton I would ask if she could stay on not as a contestant but just as a part of the set to help with storytelling, like those (literal) crabs in Paradise.
Who else- ok, dueling pageant queens I’m here for. Catherine “stealing” Colton for an “unheard of” 4 times- I’m also here for. Fun fact about Catherine, she is 50 and her real name is Camille Grammer.
Ok, 45 hours later, the episode concludes. Colton picks one of two girls named Hannah, aka “gold dress Hannah”, aka a 23 year old “content creator” from Texas to get the first impression rose. Hannah looks like if Bambi and Catherine Bach (name is completely coincidental and amazing) from Duke’s of Hazard were created in a laboratory to make one person. Or perhaps I’m thinking of Jessica Simpson starring in the 2005 remake.
Because after all, everything old is new again. (Unless of course you’re a woman applying to be on this show in which case after 28 you’re just old. Always old. Never new again.)
Till next week, my pervy virgin obsessed friends!