overnights

The Bachelor Premiere Recap: ’Round Yon Virgin

The Bachelor

Week 1
Season 23 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating *****

The Bachelor

Week 1
Season 23 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Rick Rowell/ABC

Do you love New Year’s Eve? Do you love watching crowds of people huddled in the cold? Is your idea of a thrilling evening of television watching the human equivalent of dry toast throwing focus across the country, where someone who has no business holding a microphone is holding a microphone? Do you think NBC’s New Year’s Eve celebration had too much Chrissy Teigen?! Instead of counting down to a new year, do you wish that people were blowing noisemakers and pom-poms counting down until a 26-year-old virgin has sex for the first time? Then this weird-ass format of The Bachelor premiere is for you, and you might be the literal only human on Earth who this new format is for!

The only material they can muster for this live show is demanding former Bachelors and Bachelorettes and sections of the American populace tell us that Colton is a very nice man and that being a virgin isn’t strange at all. With some different lighting and the background music playing in a minor key, this whole thing could look like Chris Harrison is some psychosexual killer who is obsessed with holding large groups of people hostage and forcing them to praise sexual purity.

It’s also not a good sign when the majority of the lead-up to the action of the season is the host and the Bachelor sitting around going “A lot of people think that this was a bad decision but it’s … fine?” for 50 minutes before any ladytestants step out of a limo. Dis tew much.

And let’s just DO THIS NOW, since the entire season is apparently going to be a series of puns and visual gags and jokes about this man’s cherry. I have zero angst or stress about Colton being a virgin. What I DO have a problem with, and what could cause trouble down the line, and why I’m not crazy about Colton, is that he is no personality. He’s nice? And football? Being a virgin is not a personality. It’s barely a descriptor. If you told the police the man that robbed you was a virgin, that would not help in any capacity. They’d be like “Cool. Was he tall?”

In addition to not having a personality, Colton is notorious for not being able to decide about his romantic interests. That’s 99 percent of his responsibilities here. The other one percent is making grand speeches, and he sounds like he’s struggling to remember all his lines tonight.

So amongst all this live Bachelor Nation party footage, what do we get? A montage about Bachelor babies (Where is Sean’s baby?) that includes the jarring appearance of Arie and Lauren. They really think we like them and we do not. Seeing a child say, “My mommy and daddy met on The Bachelor” is the bleakest sentence of 2019. I’m calling it now. Krystal and Goose are sitting in a hot tub on the roof of the studio? And later they get a bunch of audience members to line up in bikinis and Host Chris says that Ryan Seacrest is on the guest list for the hot tub. READ THE CULTURAL MOMENT, CHRIS.

Then some random dude proposes to his girlfriend and reveals that they first said “I love you” after an episode of The Bachelor. I take it back. That’s the bleakest sentence of 2019. There was also another proposal, but I gotta be honest fam, I did sitting-upright power naps through the live segments after the first hour.

So after an hour of filler bitches, it’s time for the filler bitches. Let’s get to it.
(Oh, quick note: We’re pretending that Tia and Colton’s time on Bachelor in Paradise doesn’t exist. Colton asks for privacy during this trying time.)

I don’t know who is doing the editing for these first ladytestant introductions, but I felt like I was getting Southern Belle whiplash. This whole thing feels as slapped-together as a midterm paper that you started the night before. There are two Miss USA contestants, and I have to be that bitch and say, Miss USA is not Miss America.

The Bachelor also managed to find a series of black girls with questionable rhythm who all believe that they’re soooooOOOOoooo weird despite not being that weird at all and being full-on beautiful. Gimme a real nerd who still hasn’t figured out that bootcut jeans aren’t for them. They’re for nobody.
There’s Heather, whose occupation is “Never Been Kissed.” She also went to one of Colton’s charity events to meet him. Then she signed up for The Bachelor. She wants her first kiss to be with Colton. This is an episode of Black Mirror.

Then there’s the setup for the most preposterous hometown visit: Demi’s mom is in federal prison and she’s going to be released soon. So Demi’s first visit with her mom will be with Colton. Her mom is in prison for embezzlement, and I’m rooting for this crazy cupcake bitch to make it to hometowns.

Colton plays catch by himself by a lake and sits in an arena cut out of a mountain, then it’s finally time for the women to arrive. Host Chris asks him if he remembers what he said to Becca. Colton says “Yes, I remember my walk up. I don’t remember. I blacked out.” Then you don’t remember, Colton.

Demi is the first to arrive and she has a nightmarish 2005 matching two-piece set. Cassie arrives with a box and says that she’s got butterflies. Somewhere Asia O’Hara pissed herself. Thankfully, they’re faux. Colton picks one up and puts it in his pocket. That’s genuinely cute.

Listen, everyone on Twitter has been obsessed with Bri, who is doing a fake accent, but she got no airtime after she arrived. I’m here to talk about THE SLOTH. THIS SLOTH-ASS BITCH! Homegirl isn’t just wearing a cute onesie or a mask with a cocktail dress. She’s wearing a full-on mascot outfit, only speaking in an incredibly slow voice, and gyrating around at one-third speed. It’s like someone asked a beginning improv student to create a character, and it’s perfect.

Catherine arrives and she is 26 but looks like a Real Housewife from one of the newer white cities. What is her tactic? She’s going to give Colton her 10-year-old dog to take care of for the entire season. She refers to this dog as her child, but she puts it in Colton’s arms, watches it struggle, and walks away. ICONIC.

Once everyone has arrived, it’s time for the cocktail party. Colton has to deliver the intro-to-the-season speech, and it is rough. Colton is not going to parlay this into an on-camera position or the now-inevitable podcast. The second girl to take him aside is McNut and she asks him, “Why hasn’t your dick ever been wet?” and his answer is his answer.

Colton kisses Miss North Carolina after he calls her Miss Carolina and he does a breathing exercise with Hannah G. Is that Alabama Hannah or … the other one? Colton says that he’s had more experience in his life and it’s made him more man than most 30-year-olds. Sure, Jan.

Again, the editing here is Godard-esque, giving us only surreal flashes of this cocktail party. Someone from Alaska put a dead salmon in the pool. Tayshia rode him like a pony. The Sloth-Ass Bitch was in a tree. Ceci n’est pas une cocktail party. If this season keeps up a real absurdist vibe, I’m in.

Catherine decides to get some quality face time with Colton, but when Tracy steals him away, Catherine will not stand for that. So she steals him back. I already love this dumb bitch. All the other ladytestants watch Catherine assert her dominance, and Onyeka decides to right this grave injustice. She puts on a snorkel and blows a whistle, because you all know you can blow a whistle underwater. She screams at them “I HEARD YOU WERE DROWNING IN SOME BITCHES, SO I CAME TO SAVE YOU.”
Fuck me. That’s the single funniest line that’s ever been uttered on this program. It’s genuinely funny and should be on a T-shirt and a tote bag. Catherine steals Colton back AGAIN. I’m in love. This is the greatest cocktail-party strategy in American history. All of the other ladytestants are sitting inside freaking out.

Why are you freaking out, ladytestants? Just go steal him. We’re 57 seasons into this franchise. No one gets points for politeness. If I ever go on The Bachelor, I’m bringing a timer and a snorkel and when the timer goes off, I’m gonna scream “I HEARD YOU WERE DROWNING IN BITCHES SO I CAME TO SAVE YOU.”

Onyeka decides to take Catherine aside and appeal to her greater human decency. Catherine agrees that everyone should respect each other and Onyeka shouldn’t laugh at how short her time with Colton felt. Onyeka knows that Catherine won’t steal Colton again.

Catherine steals Colton again. She is perfection.

Colton ends up giving the first-impression rose to … one of the Hannahs. The girls even go “Oh. Gold-dress Hannah.” They make out a lot.

By the time of the Rose Ceremony, plenty of these women are freaking out they didn’t get any time with Colton. That’s your fault. Catherine acted as if she had a time turner and that bitch is getting a rose. But before the rose ceremony, there’s a montage of Chris Harrison’s best moments introduced by his mom. Is … he ill?

Miss Carolina, Katie, Alex B., Hannah B., Onyeka, Caitlyn, Annie, Kirpa, Heather, Elyse, Asia, Courtney, Cassie, Demi, Nina, Erica, Sydney, Bri, Angelique, Tracy, Nicole, and Catherine all get roses. When the ladies exit the mansion, the sun is up and the ladytestants with roses are laughing behind them. A 23-year-old cries that she won’t find anybody. This is truly the bleakest season.

Then, in the “Coming up this season” tease, Colton leaps over an eight-foot fence in one smooth motion.

The Bachelor Premiere Recap: ’Round Yon Virgin