chris // week four

You're right, Carly... her mouth is definitely NOT a virgin.

SA: This week continued in the grand tradition of Chris making the girls do humiliating things in bikinis. Putting up a tent? For realz? They couldn't put their shorts back on for that task?  There's nothing like squatting in low-rise bikini bottoms when it's been a few weeks since your last wax. Although, that seems to be something none of these women had an issue with, there must be a secret Blakely in the house performing spa treatments. The fact that NOT ONE woman had pants on, even Kelsey, who vocalized her annoyance at almost every aspect of this date, made me think that producers specifically asked the women not to cover up. #gross (I noticed Chris was fully comfortable in a button-down oxford, btw).

JA: Did you notice Chris has put on some weight? We're not seeing any more outdoor showers, and when he takes off his shirt for various lake/pool parties, suddenly the editing speeds up. Yeah, this whole low-budget Blair Witch lake camping trip seems really skeevy for Week Four. Like, during Juan Pablo's season, weren't we already in South Korea by now? And next week we make it all the way to... New Mexico. My favorite part was how the girls all freaked out because they thought "natural" on the date card meant "no makeup."

SA: So...Chris wants everyone to know that this is 'his element'. He wants to make sure the girls are comfortable since real life isn't all "rooftop romance". He seems a tad on his high-horse after he threw such a hissy fit last week at Costco. Kelsey is not feeling this "swamp date" because they have "beautiful lakes in Michigan". Later in the date when the gals are saying how they are the luckiest girls in the world, Kelsey chimes in with a well-timed, sarcastic, "really?" This infuriates the other women, because for the show to work, it's essential contestants feel like they are in a fairy tale (more on that in later). But, in actuality, being on a 'group date' in a 'swamp', where one man takes turns making out with every woman there, does not a lucky lady make. Point, Kelsey. But, ya, K did seem hella fake when she talked to Chris so I'll give that one to the women. To be fair, though Kelsey's laugh was ridiculous, at least she wasn't lying about how much she disliked the date. Her one-on-one vibe was, 'I'm not having fun but I still want you to like me' as opposed to, 'I'm not having fun and I don't give a shit whether you like me or not.' The latter being a little too much to ask from any bachelor contestant.

JA: I would like to remind our readers that when Selma complained about having to run into an icy river in Canada or wherever the hell on Sean's season, that was the week she was sent packing. Rule number 1 of the show: if you wanna be about this Bachelor life, you need to stay enthusiastic about every activity, no matter how humiliating and terrible. (Those kebabs looked seriously undercooked, btw.) But this is what you signed up for, ladies. I think the most interesting development of this episode was that it set up Kelsey to be the season villain, which I never would have anticipated (and is also a testament to how weaksauce this season is... where is Courtney? Where is Tierra?)

SA: But the fake award this episode does not go to Kelsey, nor does it go to Ashley, who wore what appeared to be three layers of fake eyelashes camping. The fake award goes to....bachelor Chris. Here's why. In his ITM, where he described Ashley I. sneaking into his tent, he says (paraphrased) "I'm half asleep, what's happening, I don't know what's going on, blah blah blah". BUT, when Ashley opened the tent flap, you can hear Chris coo "come here" with the syrupy vocal invitation of a man who thinks he's about to get a BJ (or at very least an HJ). So that is why, Chris Soules, you win fakest girl at camp.

(And, Ashley I. if you want to let a bro know that you are 'more than just a 'hook-up girl',  it's probably not a good idea to sneak into his tent in the middle of the night to hook up with him. Even if you did spout some gibberish about being conservative first. Just, FYI.)

JA: Fia, you are speaking so much truth. You are leaving it all on the stage. I actually think Chris cooed "come here" before he even knew who it was. He heard a girl's voice and was like, "maybe I can get some Juan Pablo-Clare Vietnam action here in the woods." So yes, he's a fakey fakey McFakester. But Ashley, booboo, you gotta see what you're doing here, too. Any kind of rogue middle-of-the-night one-on-one sneak attack visit is going to be seen as an invitation to canoodle, at the very least. And your ridiculous hypersexualized Kardashian look is seriously at odds with the good girl image you want to project. Get it together. Your eyelashes turn the corner before you do.

SA: An open letter to Kaitlyn -

Dear Kaitlyn,

Cheers to you, for getting another rose. But, more importantly for being the only girl in bachelor history to tell us you were drunk, before we could guess it. You can hold your liquor, that is rare in these parts. Good on ya having a good time without embarrassing yourself, and for knowing how to play the game. (Bringing up that you always have fun, but that it was time for you and Chris to talk about something serious, clearly you've done your homework). I still see no future between you and Chris, but I don't think you care about that anyway. He thinks you are here for the right reasons, so as far as I can tell, you're audition for bachelorette 2015 is going swimmingly. Right now, you and Britt are my frontrunners for that pony-show. Maybe that's why she was trying to sabatoge you at the rose ceremony. Thoughts?
Love, Fia

JA: Yeah, Kaitlyn is playing this game really well. I agree that she has no real chemistry with Chris (although slightly more chemistry than Chris and Jillian -- WTF was that???) but she did manage to hold her liquor better than 95% of the women who have ever been on this show. But ohmysweetpotatoes, can we talk about Jillian. Yes, Miss Fitness, you easily won the physical challenge (Muck Run, Mud Race? Whatever), but when it came to actually being a person, you stayed in Bro Mode and turned your precious one-on-one time into a game of "Would You Rather" that involved discussing sex with a homeless woman. I can't with you, Jillian. And neither could Chris. Congrats on being the first girl to be denied a rose.

SA: Josh, you tackle the Cinderella situation because I can't.

JA: Oh, Disney. Your movie product placement just gets more and more blatant. Wait. Is Cinderella in theaters March 13? I only know that because it was yelled at me a hundred times (although I was less annoyed when it was Robb Stark yelling it). So Chris's three sisters take a much-needed Chekhov girls' trip to California to give six girls a job interview to see which one gets the fancy movie date. I think one of the sisters was actually checking a sheet of paper to keep track of who she was talking to. And every question was "How do you feel about living in Iowa?" Nothing about compatibility with their brother, whom they know has the personality and depth of a ham left out in the sun too long. Nothing about who the girls are as people. Just. Give us your thoughts on. Iowa. So somehow, despite Carly's tearful confession that guys have not been nice to her, Jade wins the date and it's really cute and Chris is an awful dancer and she should have worn the sparkly dress. That is all.

SA: Megan continues to prove she is a few sandwiches short of a picnic by admitting that she does not know all five of the senses. She then blindfolds Chris and asks him to guess what kind of chocolate covered fruit she is feeding him. This is her attempt at "getting serious" (clearly she has not done her homework). She labels this game, "The guess the senses game", the real version of which, she could have benefit from in elementary school.

JA: Yeah what was that? Just make out already. Also I kind of love Britt for using her one-on-one time to call Chris out on forcing them to do weird things in bikinis. If you're Britt, you have to be thinking, "I got the First Impression Rose and since then, I've only been drinking goat's milk and helping Ashley I. adjust her hair extensions."

Speaking of Ashley I., I have to say that she played this shit perfectly this week. To drop "I'm a virgin" on a guy right before a rose ceremony is kind of genius, because he obviously can't send you home after that or he looks like an asshole. So she lives to fly home in coach another day.

SA: After this week I think we are narrowing in on our top four. My guess is - Jade, Becca, Whitney, and either Kaitlyn or Britt. I know both Kaitlyn and Britt seem like front-runners but neither of them is going to move to Iowa and as we get closer even dum-dum Chris should be able to see that.

I still hate Chris but some of the ladies are starting to grow on me.

JA: Hmm... dark horse pick with Becca. I agree with Whitney for sure. I think Britt makes a great comeback starting next week. I guess, yeah, Jade...? I think based on the logic for eliminating Julia with an E, Kale's Mom's days are numbered. There could also be time for Megan to become a real person. But it appears next week is all about Kelsey and her medical emergency. It's not a season of the Bachelor until an ambulance is called.


CHRIS // week three

Can we chat rill quick? About my dead husband?

JA: I'm all for a crossover, ABC, but this Jimmy Kimmel nonsense was way too much. Every time I thought he was gonna go away, he didn't go away. From his forced "jokes" about having sex with all the girls to that Costco date to being gross in the hot tub with Chris and Kaitlyn, I thought this whole idea fell ridiculously flat. But I don't want to get ahead of myself.

SA: So, ratings are down this season. Big surprise, ABC, you chose fucking Chris Soules. Who I hate. But, more on that later. I would say this Jimmy Kimmel thing was to compensate for those ratings but they filmed it months ago, so I don't know what the incentive was, other than to wink to the audience. Because having Jimmy Kimmel highlights how fake and unnatural this situation is, which viewers know anyway, but like to suspend their disbelief. With JK in the house, that is just not happening. However, I must say that I love Jimmy Kimmel and I hate Chris. So, I was just glad there was another lead on whom to focus.

When Chris announced that the women would have another man in their lives this week, some amazing girl replied with, "Is it an animal? A pig?" Bonus points to that young lady. I couldn't figure out who said it.

Now, this ain't my first time at the Bachelor rodeo, so I get that the early-season dates are super low-budget in order to compensate for all the world travel that happens later on. But I didn't get this Costco trip at all. First of all, who were those random children pushing around Chris and Kaitlyn in that giant inflatable ball? Second of all, why did they buy literally all of the ketchup in stock? If I had ketchup on my Costco grocery list, and then showed up to find that it had all been bought as part of some dumb Jimmy Kimmel joke, I would have been pissed. Third of all, they had to buy furniture? You mean there's nowhere for three people to sit and eat in Chris's Bachelor house? The hell?

I kind of disagree about the Costco date. I thought it was a fun idea, the fact that the date card said, "unlimited appetizers" and then they show up at Costco. That's a great, joke! The thing I didn't like was how Chris was such a baby about it. He was stomping around like, 'where's my helicopter! I want a helicopter! and 25 more women's bare legs to rub.' Also, 'enough ketchup to fill a hot tub' was clearly a joke, the fact that Chris and Kaitlyn took is so literally was the real life equivalent of when Valerie bought Seth Rogen the ham on the Comeback.

And then, Jimmy doesn't just join them for a drink. He sits down to dinner, between them, and asks questions that sound like they're coming out of a 12-year-old boy's mouth. (Although his hard-hitting investigative journalism did reveal that Kaitlyn is down with some Fantasy Suite sex. Jury's out on how Farmer Chris feels about that.) Then he gets into the hot tub and says something else gross while eating a chicken wing. Get me out of here.

Kaitlyn is not okay with fantasy suite sex with multiple partners. Kaitlyn is a 'cool girl', and she's clearly more interested in impressing Jimmy Kimmel than she is in Chris. But I don't want to be mean, I would want to impress Jimmy Kimmel more than I would want to sit on Chris's lap too. And  I like Kaitlyn, I can't wait to see her on Bachelor in Paradise this summer, but she and Chris have NO CHEMISTRY and I hate watching them pretend to (I hate a lot about this season). Can I take yet another moment to lament that we are not watching Jef or Arie right now??

THEN (because he's just not ever going away), Jimmy Kimmel subjects about 12 of the girls to a hoedown involving various farm tasks. And it appears that no season of the Bachelor is complete without a race to guzzle goat's milk as quickly as possible. Jillian, who apparently has sewn two headbands together and is calling them shorts, is the odds-on favorite, because she spent the whole night before doing squats, but she's edged out by Carly, who is also a person I do not ever remember seeing.

(glad you brought up that milk thing so I didn't have to!)

Luckily, everyone gets a break from Jimmy with a little rooftop cocktail party post-hoedown, where Kale's Mom straight up asks Chris why he's making out with all of the people on earth. It got a little awkward after she asked that, but I don't blame her. A girl needs to know if she's gotta pick up some Abreva on the way home.

Bonus points to Ashley S for the look on her face when Chris gave Becca the rose. It was a look I shared.

Then we have Whitney, who literally shed tears when the date card arrived with her name on it. She had all night to get ready for her date, so naturally she picks out a sensibly distressed denim vest and a giant necklace from that rack right by the register at Chico's. Sartorial choices aside, I am rooting for Whitney. She seems fun and easygoing and genuine and like she shouldn't be moving to Nowheresville, Iowa.

I like Whitney too. And let's not forget that Whitney didn't get any dates last week, or the week before (including group dates). That means she has been trapped inside Bachelor Mansion for over two weeks! If I had been forced to stay in the same house for that long, and then a little piece of paper in middle school handwriting declared my release, if only for a day, I might start crying too.

The whole wedding crash was a fun little way to cap off their date, but I laugh out loud at any suggestion that it was "spontaneous." All I can picture is a bunch of PA's running around that wedding getting all those hundreds of people to sign releases. I loved seeing the occasional blurred-out face of someone who was like, "NOPE."

So, the moment I was starting to settle back into real life and maybe thinking that Jimmy Kimmel on this show was just a nightmare, he reappears to tell the girls that the evening cocktail party is scrapped in favor of a pool party. So many bikinis, so much white wine being drunk out of straws. But of course, it's not a pool party until Julia With An E tells the gut-wrenching story of her husband's suicide. As we all know here in Bachelor Nation, stories of personal trauma are a great way to quickly generate false intimacy between you and the Bachelor. But as genuinely awful as this story was, I found it kind of gross. I couldn't connect emotionally the way that Julia With An E (and the producers) wanted me to.

This was a horrific story. A lot darker than most traumas that used to come up on this franchise (though they've been raising the bar steadily for awhile now). But man, a pool party is not the place. I felt bad for Juelia, but still can't believe she could pour her heart out like that to a shirtless bro-slut wearing a leather necklace. Talk about any port in a storm. Jesus.

The rest of that pool party stressed me ALL THE WAY OUT. Kim Kardashleyan (I'm still working on that pun) finally cracked under all that stress. In her mind, she'd made a deal with Jillian to let her stay alone with Chris in the hot tub as long as she could have next up. But then, "next up" turned out to be, like, 30 seconds. I don't know, Ashley, maybe it's time to step up your game. I could accomplish (and have accomplished) quite a lot in a hot tub with only 30 seconds. I can see how, under the influence of about a gallon of Pinot Grigio, it could be a bit too much pressure, though. But she pulled it out in the end. Never underestimate Kim. This girl is emerging as the most entertaining woman of the season.

Let me just take a moment here to say why I hate Chris so much and why I find this season so difficult to watch. He's a man who probably hasn't dated that much, so is looking for all the action he can get. I realize it is polarizing to say 'Chris shouldn't be kissing all these women'.  Cynics (and Jimmy Kimmel) will always counter, 'isn't that the point of the show?' And yes, to an extent it is. But, Chris does not seem to have any connection whatsoever with most of the women he is kissing, caressing, and taking into his bedroom like a high school boy. Usually on this show, physical intimacy is a sign of the relationship progressing. Yes, that happens with more than one person (on the bachelor and the bachelorette), but it doesn't usually happen with EVERYONE. Take Amber's elimination tonight: on the group date, Chris was all over her. Yes, she was the aggressor, but this early in the season, the lead pretty much knows who they plan on keeping around, and acts accordingly. Chris had no problem hitting it and quitting it with Amber- giving her false hope, then sending her packing. The intimacy was fully selfish on Chris's part (as it appears to be with most of these women.) That, to me, makes Chris a despicable lead. Much more so than Juan Pablo, who in his defense, was at least good television. Because the other thing about Chris is that, he's boring as fuck. ABC is leaning so hard on all these farm metaphors because we literally know nothing else about Chris. They even had to bring in a late night TV host to make the show more interesting.

Also, on this season, the women who Chris is not making out with / treating as objects, etc...and with whom he's taking things a bit slower (their choice, not his) are the ones who appear to be emerging as front runners (Whitney, Becca). This makes the whole season a gross and regressive lesson in  'the rules' and feels a lot dirtier and meaner to women than the show usually comes across.

In the end, no real shockers at the Rose Ceremony, as three more women I couldn't distinguish from carefully coiffed honeydew melons are sent packing. As is Jimmy Kimmel, whom I hope to never again see on this show.

I miss Kacie B. I miss everyone, from every other season. #neverforget


CHRIS // week two

riding a tractor in a bikini: the daily fate that will befall whatever poor woman wins this season

JA: So first off, hello, dear readers. My apologies for not being able to be the Costello to Fia's Abbott last week. No excuses. But I'm back now, and ready to snark. (Thank you to my partner in crime, Fia, for picking up my slack last week, on her birthday, of all days.)

We open Week Two with a direct pickup from Week One, and it's apparently daylight (did the cocktail party last THAT long?), and it's apparently fine for Kimberly to walk back in and ask for a second chance at a rose. Desperate, party of 1? Your table is ready at the WORST BRUNCH EVER. Then again, maybe she decided that he got her confused with Drunk Tara and that she should have gotten that rose. Drunk Tara's rose was clearly sponsored by Jameson. Still, it's never a good sign when your first interaction with Chris is begging him to give you a second chance after you've already been eliminated. That's not how stories of Bachelor Ever After begin.

Sidenote: can we have a moment for Farmer Chris's gratuitous outdoor shower, where he apparently has no soap? Or loofah?

SA: Hi Josh! Welcome to my least favorite season I've ever watched. I think it's because I seriously do not like Chris. If you'll remember last week, my icy heart was maybe starting to thaw as I thought I saw a lonely lil farmer drinking beers solo in his one-light town. Well, that ship has sailed. In this episode, I wised up and realized that a man like Chris, someone who probably hasn't dated that much in his life, and is isn't looking forward to dating too much more in his future, is going to use a season of The Bachelor like a three month stay at the MTV Spring Break house. And that is not a bachelor with whom I would like to be friends. Juan Pablo may have been a self-interested jerk, Ben Flajnick may have been a stingy snob, and Sean Lowe was most certainly an uber-Christian tomato, but those men all knew that about themselves going in. Whatever weird issues Chris has with himself and women we will most likely discover along with him this season, and that makes bachelor mansion 2015, a dangerous place to be living.

Our first group date of the season has Chris and six of the girls on a strange "hoedown" date in downtown LA that involves tractors (clearly the show is saving money for all those international plane tickets later in the season). Will these dates all be farm-themed? Is the next group date going to be a race to inseminate as many cattle as possible in under two minutes? These girls were the best combination of bikinis, Uggs, and terrible wedges I've ever seen walking downtown. Anyway, Kim Kardashian Ashley I. wins the tractor race and gets some one-on-one time, and I'm bored.

I agree with Kelly. And again, you're smile is not fooling me Prince Farming. I am on to you.

Back at the house, Jillian and Megan sneak into Chris's house through the backdoor (while Jillian's own backdoor is hanging out of her underwear... zing!) and Megan wears Chris's helmet and does her best impression of someone without all their chromosomes. #mimosasforbreakfast Also, our first big trauma reveal is to all the girls, and it's Julia (with an E), whose baby daddy killed himself. This is a really heavy story for breakfast. Is it just me, or is the Bachelor shoving more and more death in our faces as the seasons go on?

OMG. I thought that was drunk Jordan banging her head into the wall. It's Megan? That's cool. Maybe I like Megan. She's never watched the show, she doesn't know what a date card is and she thinks banging your head into the wall is an appropriate way to spend an afternoon whilst being held hostage in a mansion and supplied with all the wine coolers you can drink. This, however, cannot beat drunk Jordan, who slept through the date card arriving. Maybe they actually did find these girls at the MTV spring break house.

Speaking of reveals, Mackensie (I prefer to refer to M as Kale's Mom, FYI) decided to reveal her son to Chris while they were out on an unofficial one-on-one. The kid reveal is always tricky, because it gives the Bachelor/ette an excuse to send you home RIGHT AWAY if they're not feeling you. "Yeah, I just keep thinking about Kale/Spike/Rocco back home missing his mom, and I know you miss him too, so I don't wanna keep you away from him any longer. The car's pulling up now."

BTW, Kale's mom is only 21 years old. Chris is 33.

And then there's Megan, who gets bubbly and a private jet and a helicopter and a Grand Canyon picnic. Jackpot. Some other poor girl is gonna have to jump off a building or rappel down a sheer cliff face. Luck of the draw, I guess. Then, Megan decides to tell Chris the story of her dad's death just as a plane flies very loudly overhead. Hey, Megs, why don't you tell Chris the story of how you broke into his house and banged your head against the wall for half an hour?

I don't even know what to say about that weird zombie paintball group date. I'm gonna leave that to you, Fia. Also I'm getting tired of Ashley S. being crazy for no reason.

Have you ever been at a party and some girl you sorta know, maybe a friend of a friend, corners you and starts breathing hotly into your face, sloshing white wine onto your shoes and talking about how similar the two of you are to each other. If you can manage to sneak away from the conversation, you see them do this same dance with another unsuspecting acquaintance and from an outsider's perspective you can see that what initially looked like stranger danger is actually just the result of drinking on pills. That's what's up with Ashley S. The girl graduated from Auburn, so she can't be as crazy as the producers and contestants are trying to make us believe she is, all on her own. There is some chemical crazy going on with this one. I don't mean she's not a loon, but it's not all her fault.

My favorite moment of the evening happened at the cocktail party, when it got real with Mackensie, Megan, and Kim K Ashley, who admitted that she was a virgin, and then Mac said what many women think is true, but isn't that true: "Guys love to take your virginity."

Kale's mom seems a little too into, "what guys love". Did Kale's dad tell her that guys also love not wearing condoms? I bet he did.

I'm gonna wade into some choppy waters here. I don't date women, so take this with a grain of gay salt, but I do know men. And I feel like the idea of honorably and excitedly deflowering an unspoiled girl is sometimes a thing that girls tell themselves a guy is into. I don't know many men walking around going, "...and it'd be great if she were a virgin." Ideally, many guys want a girl not to be too "experienced," but they don't want the pressure of storming the castle first. When a guy hears he's your first, he's probably thinking one of two things, no matter how pig-headed and idiotic these things might be:

1. This is going to hurt for her and generally not be good for me.

2. What if, after this is over, she stalks my life and thinks I'm her boyfriend?

Fia, feel free to disagree with me on any of those points, but my main idea is that a guy doesn't greet the news of a girl's virginity with automatic glee. Farmer Chris, though... probably.

I agree with everything you said. I've never met a guy who wasn't a huge creep, who was into virgins. In fact, I think a lot of men think it's a whole lot of unnecessary baggage (especially a 26 year-old virgin). Chris seems like a secret creep though, so he probably loves it. You know who else loves it? ABC.

And at first, I didn't believe Ashley was a virgin, but then she started kissing Chris and I could see that she makes out just like a virgin. It's ravenous and it's intense and it's magical, because it's all she's ever done.

This is where I do need to disagree with you dear J. While I do not think Ashley is a liar, and I believe her that a penis has never fully penetrated her vagina (sorry), thus making her a hetero-normative "virgin", I would bet dollars to donuts that she's had a penis in her mouth (sorry again). I'm sure she's given a hand job, that someone has gone down on her and that she's partook of many other sexual acts. But sure, let's go with it, she's a virgin. Also, Chris Harrison told us last week with glee that this season includes a virgin in the fantasy suite so get used to Ashley, she's gonna be here for awhile.

Speaking of making out, Chris is making out with everyone. Like, he's the opposite of Juan Pablo. All this house needs is one person with a cold sore and it's all over. So that made it all the more tragic when Chris refused to kiss Drunk Jordan. You know that's the kiss of death (pun intended).

Aside from Jillian mishearing the name of Julia (with an E) and eating it on the carpet, nothing really eventful happened at this rose ceremony. Kimberly went home (predictable), and Drunk Tara was sent on her teary way.

I liked drunk Tara. I like all the drunk girls.

P.S. Those of you with a hankerin' for more inside scoop on the Host with the Most, Chris Harrison, should check out Taffy Brodesser-Akner's awesome profile in this month's GQ.


CHRIS // week one

"I feel so powerful" - Ashley S.

Okay, I shit the bed on Andi's season. I fell off the face of the earth. I stopped updating. It was totally my fault, Josh was recapping his heart out and I was just not meeting him at the plate. So, I apologize. We vow to be better. That means, we will always try to post, but depending on schedules, sometimes it will be just me, sometimes just Josh and hopefully often both of us.

Side note: both Josh and I are now professional recappers! We tried  and tried to get the sweet bachelor gig, but apparently that is such a desirable task that newspapers have writers on staff to do it. Nevertheless, you can read Josh's opinion of The Good Wife and my musings on Nashville at the New York Observer.

We both also write for TV. And we both have premieres this week. So, please, if you like our bachelor commentary tune into EMPIRE and MAN SEEKING WOMAN, our respective employers. We love them and hope you will too.

Now, onto Prince Farming. That is ABC's moniker for Chris. I hate it. I am also, not the biggest Chris fan in general. Last season, I was Nick all the way (until that unfortunate ATFR debacle). I recognize Nick may not have been a good bachelor, but was pulling for at least a Jef or Arie season, both of which would make for great television. No such luck. Prince Farming it is. God help us.

This show was three hours long. Had I not been watching with friends, I might not have made it. Can someone please tell ABC that a red carpet is supposed to start prior to an event and not at the time of said event, unnecessarily delaying everyone's bedtime? THREE FUCKING HOURS. My god. They are mad with power. And they are right to be, I don't even like this bachelor and I watched every goddamn second.

So we open on Chris and a bunch of old guys in a VFW hall talking about how, living in a town of 400 people, it would take Chris a lifetime to meet 25 women. Holy shit. They're right, my icy heart starts to faintly crack as I think Chris might be the only bachelor in history of this franchise who really did come on this show for the 'right reasons'. So it begins. I'm hooked.

There's never really much to say about the first episode of a season. A bunch of women show us who among them is crazy to begin with, and who will be driven crazy by the sadistic process that is living under the thumb of ABC and master manipulators, Chris Harrison and Egan Gale, for the next three months. In the former category (of the ones who made it through), we have the crazy-eyed pomegranate picker (Ashley S.), Kale's mom (Mackensie), and a super athlete (Jillian). In the later resides the beautiful widow (Kelsey) and the baby-voiced fertility nurse (Whitney). My favs for viewing pleasure are the drunken cowgirl (Tara) and the dirty joke specialist / dance instructor (Kaitlyn).

Hug Donater Britt got the first impression rose and an unprecedented first night kiss. Chris seems so comfortable with Britt and so uncomfortable with this process, I would wager if production asked him to stop the show and make a go of it with Britt, he'd say yes on the spot. Britt seems sweet enough, but giving out hugs to strangers on Hollywood Blvd. plants her firmly in the 'already crazy' camp.

These women have a tendency to grow on me as the weeks progress, and at this point it appears to be anyone's game. As far as real, smart women go, there don't appear to be any Sharleens or Andis here this season, but who knows, maybe Tara will surprise us.

I look forward to continuing the journey with you all.