Well, here we are. It’s the beginning of a new year and, more importantly, the beginning of a new season of ABC’s The Bachelor. This season features Arie Luyendyk Jr. and his quest to find love and/or book some solid Instagram sponsorship deals. If you don’t know who Arie is I cannot recommend watching Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette highly enough. Arie aside, it’s just incredible television. A single mother! A tragic plane crash! Not one single contestant of color! Jef with one F!
I’m cautiously optimistic for Arie’s season because he reminds me of seasons past - seasons when the lack of social media meant that contestants had nothing to gain from going on the show. Back when there were ugly people and people with real jobs! It was wild! Plus, Arie is cute and fun and Dutch and a racecar driver! Spellcheck keeps telling me that “racecar” isn’t a real word so clearly I am not an expert but I think that sounds like a cool profession, like it’s a job a Ken doll or one of Serena Van Der Woodsen’s boyfriends would have.
So let’s dive right in. Chris Harrison has emerged from the Equinox steam room where he lives 300 days of the year and the driveway has been hosed down for maximum shine and slippery drama potential. Will Arie find someone to marry, or at least date halfheartedly until the next season of The Bachelorette starts airing? Can the show legally start limiting the number of Laurens who are allowed to appear? Can a 36-year-old man with a stable career be able to find love with women for whom high school is a vivid, recent memory? Whatever happened to Peter, anyway?
Rev up your engines and close your browser tab where you googled “racecar jokes” and let’s get started.
Ali asks Arie to sniff her armpit. Ali does not receive a rose.
Jenna terrifies me, frankly. Her HAND GESTURES! I can't believe she isn't a Bitmoji. She waves her hands around everyone's face like a Sim that's been backed into a corner and can't figure out how to move around their chair. Arie gives her a rose anyway because she looks like a Disney princess. A Disney princess who got kicked off the Olympic vaulting team for doing crack, but, whatever.
Amber owns a spray-tan business and has seen a lot of dicks, apparently.
Olivia’s screen time is so brief that the only footage I can salvage a GIF out of (as in, footage without that annoying text overlay) is a 1.2-second shot of the back of her head. Olivia, 23, tells Arie, 36, that she remembers watching him on Emily’s season. I am also 23 and do you know what my memories of watching Emily’s season are? Being a literal high school student and hearing about Emily’s choice between Arie and Jef from my cooler older cousins but not being allowed to watch it myself because my mom thought it was inappropriate for a child of my age.
Jessica looks exactly like Mr. Schuster’s wife from Glee. That’s about all there is to her. Well, it's not. She also gives Arie something called a "gratitude rock."
Tia, who I’d call Raven Lite except I think the real Raven is actually more of a Raven Lite, has a bright green dress and a southern accent that could knock you into voting for Roy Moore. Tia is from Weiner, Arkansas, so naturally she gives Arie a plastic hot dog (I think? I assume it was a plastic hot dog and not a red plastic penis but what do I know) and says “I hope you don’t already have a little Weiner!” Arie, who completely missed the name of the town she was from, goes “No, I don’t… I don’t already have one of these, thanks.” The joke does not stick the landing.
Bri rolls up looking like the 2007 Miss Pacific Palisades first runner-up and throws Arie a softball. I don’t even think she makes a joke about it. Would that have been so hard, Bri? “I knew you were a catch!” “Hope you don’t drop the ball on love!” “I’m hoping our relationship is a home run!” I should go on this show.
I am truly not interested in body-shaming but I think Nysha is really, alarmingly thin. Am I crazy or does she actually look unwell? She’s also a doctor which makes it even more confusing. Nysha gets eliminated at the end of the episode and we will likely never hear from her again so I hope she is okay!!
I won't even pretend. I have no idea who this is.
19. LAUREN B.
I’m just gonna go ahead and say what everyone is thinking: There is only room for one Lauren B. in this franchise. This knockoff Lauren B. is part of the dance of the rotating Lauren montage so we don’t even really get a glimpse of her face. I suspect she will not be here for the long haul.
18. LAUREN G
Nice manicure, Lauren G! Sorry we didn't actually get to see your entire face. I'm sure it's nice.
17. LAUREN J.
Lauren #3 gives Arie a giant Mardi Gras necklace and is like "Guess where I'm from!" and Arie, obviously, is like "New Orleans, duh! This season of Are You The One was so good!" and Lauren #3 is like "No, it's a different town in Louisiana." Why??
I am not here to tell women what to do with their bodies but my God, if your hair is bright red maybe don't wear a bright yellow dress? This whole ensemble just makes me think of McDonald's. I am not lovin' it.
Chelsea is so spooky. I can’t think of a better word to describe her. She kind of schlumps out of the limo and rolls her eyes like she’s already bored of being there. Chelsea tells Arie that there’s a lot to learn about her but never actually gets around to telling him anything about her. Chelsea has a kid, I think? Did we ever see the kid? Is Chelsea’s big secret that she has an invisible child?
Don’t even get me started on the spelling of Brittane’s name. Well, okay. It’s almost as if, when she was born, her mom was like “Let’s name her Brittany!” and her dad was filling out the birth certificate and he was like “Brittan…E… nailed it.” Brittane says “They say you should never put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari (? Do they?), but why not an Arie?” Mi scusi? It makes no sense but she puts a bumper sticker on Arie’s butt and they have a good laugh about it. I like it only because it allows us to catch a glimpse of Arie’s goofy side. Who knew!
Ashley pops out of the limo wearing a disco ball and waving a racing flag. Get it, because Arie is a racecar driver! These girls are nothing if not literal.
Jacqueline is a pretty girl with a pretty dress who tells Arie “All you have to do is stand there and be pretty, which, mission accomplished.” I am not sure what to make of any of this.
I don’t even know where to begin unpacking Krystal. She speaks like she’s being choked and is on the verge of taking her last breath at all times. She says that she likes to help the homeless because her brother is homeless but he’s not ready for help yet. She does yoga on the beach and films it. She leads Arie in some kind of strange meditation/breathing exercise and he can’t keep from laughing. She seems like she is about to cry at absolutely all times. I am worried about her.
Marikh “owns” an Indian restaurant “with her mom” (read: her mom owns it and Marikh is allowed to hang out in the kitchen sometimes as long as she doesn’t drop any of her eyelash extensions in the gulab jamun). She tells Arie that she cooks with a lot of different spices, but is ready for some salt and pepper in her life. Alright, Marikh.
Bibiana seems cool. She gushes about Arie’s blue eyes and how her babies will have blue eyes and that is… truly not how genetics work but I’m willing to let it slide because she has a very elegant cloak thing that she puts on once inside.
For those of you who haven’t watched Emily’s season of The Bachelorette yet (why? Why haven’t you? It’s on ABC go and Amazon Prime!), Arie was given the nickname “The Kissing Bandit” because he - you guessed it - stole a lot of kisses. Rich comedy. Annaliese wears a mask and carries a bag… of kisses? It seems a little half-baked. She is very lucky that she is pretty, because I for one was worried that Arie would eventually unmask her and then quietly put her mask back on.
Kendall, a taxidermist, rolls up wearing blood-colored lipstick and a sexier version of Wendy’s nightgown from Peter Pan. She’s supposed to seem kooky but I think I like her. Kendall says that she likes taxidermied animals because, unlike boyfriends, they can never leave her. This is the content I never knew I was missing from this show.
Becca is very pretty and wears, I think, the best dress of the night (in that it looks like something that would be deemed “too mature” for the prom.) She does kind of an awkward schtick where she asks Arie to get down on one knee and ask here “Are you ready to do the damn thing?” I’m not sure what this means but Becca says yes, she is ready. This feels a little bit to me like one of those college essay prompts where you get to ask and answer your own question. It’s not a great bit but luckily she’s charismatic enough that it doesn’t fall completely flat. I also like Becca because when she later learns that there are four Laurens in the group she asks “Am I on the wrong show?”
Caroline is very pretty but kind of boring? I’m not sure yet. She’s very nervous when talking to Arie and chokes out a joke about how they’re both realtors and hopefully they’ll both be off the market soon. Not with these new property tax laws, am I right ladies!
Bekah, who I think I’m going to start calling BekaaAAhHHH, rolls up in a cherry-red 1965 Mustang. Do you know how I know it’s a cherry-red 1965 Mustang? Because she tells us about a goddamn million times. Bekahhhh tells Arie that even though she’s young, she can still appreciate something classic. Is she… trying to hit on Arie by calling him old? Is she trying to insinuate that that car is actually hers? What, did she buy it with her babysitting money? That’s not me being rude, by the way, she is actually a nanny by profession. And I’m a nanny too so I’m allowed to make fun of her!! I think Bekaaaahh is very pretty and has great energy and I love that someone with short hair is actually getting half a chance on this show, but her whole aesthetic just rubs me the wrong way. If you have a haircut that makes you look like Tinkerbell you can like, I don’t know, not also wear a green dress and a choker. It’s an option.
3. LAUREN S.
Lauren S. is my favorite Lauren by miles and miles. She’s so cute and energetic! I have no memory of her doing anything once she got inside. Did she get eliminated? I don’t even care. Look at her shiny hair!
Seinne (which is pronounce see-ENN, not “Shawn” in some kind of Irish name trick as I originally suspected) is so beautiful. Like… she is so beautiful. I don’t feel like people are talking about this enough. Seinne gives Arie elephant cuff links which is A. Cute as heck and B. A genuinely nice gift! He can keep those! No little weiners from Seinne! It’s a very tastefully done entrance and I hope we will be "Seinne" more of her ha ha ha ha ha ha
I am choosing to ignore the fact that Maquel has been secretly married before (really!) and that she’s from Utah (the spookiest state!) and that her name is literally MAQUEL (!!!) because oh my God, that hair shake! Look at it! Watch it on loop forever! Maquel rolls up in a race car that she isn’t even driving, hops out in a full prom dress, pulls off her helmet and… just watch it again. I don’t know how long she spent choreographing that insane hair dance in the mirror before coming on this show but what I do know is that it paid off big time.
See you next Monday!