Welcome back to The Bachelorette where the men are pretty and the women are pretty desperate… to find love! Also, some quality herpes. Like, the Harvard of herpes. Only the best will do! I don’t know about you, but I have spent the last week on the edge of my seat (my dog was taking up the rest of it) wondering why Ashley had decided to keep an unshaven soapbox-toting idiot in an Eyes Wide Shut mask around. I mean, obviously the producers were like, “Keep the freak! He’ll rope in the viewers, because the viewers are very easily distracted by… oooh shiny.” Since we are supposed to care (and this early in the game the only things we can care about are A. The freak in the Hamburglar mask, but without the charming and delicious benefit of a stash of hamburgers, or B. The guy with the dead wife, or C. Bentley with his bad reputation and equally bad personality, or D. the guy who makes his own wine because OH MY GOD MARRY THE GUY WITH THE FREE WINE, the editors tease us with a reveal of the Masked Man’s hideously deformed face. There is no way that will happen, so make yourself comfortable. I am dying to know who Ashley is going to pick for her first date! And by dying, I, of course, mean, remaining semi-conscious in front of the television set. For now.
After seven seasons of The Bachelorette and, what, ten seasons of The Bachelor? Chris Harrison is really dialing in his “work” at this point. So the fact that he hasn’t even bothered to button his cuffs when he walks into the Bachelors’ Axe-addled abode isn’t exactly a surprise. I mean, the man counts roses on a reality show for a living. There is no way he tells his parents about his “career” and is greeted with any semblance of pride or respect. So he can’t be expected to live up to the rest of society’s standards when it comes to dressing for success. Chris rouses himself from whatever velvet-lined papasan chair he was nestled in and stumbles into the living room to remind the men that one of them will be forced to actually go on a date with Ashley today. She has been contractually bound to keep all discussions of oral hygiene to a minimum. Date card, group date, yadda yadda yadda. Then Chris Harrison shuffles back to his Habitrail of Tears to return to his quarters until the bell tolls for him. The bachelors all set their game face and pretend they really, really care if Ashley picks them first. This early in the game, it’s still JV squad tryouts, but the more competitive men try to take it seriously.
Ashley picks William, the cell phone salesman from Ohio who has a sense of humor, blond good looks, and a slew of impressions in case she wants to fantasize that she’s on a date with Sean Connery (the younger version, of course, unless she likes to think about kissing her own grandpa, and no.) All the men make threats (on national television, no less) about wanting to kill William for this offense. If William dies under mysterious circumstances on this date, it’s going to be super awkward. Then we cut to Ashley in skinny jeans and a pensive look thinking hard about love, the meaning of love, finding love, whether the men are good enough for her, whether she’s good enough for them, love, and kissing her own grandpa. Then she jumps in a convertible Maserati, which, um… whoa. If you loved me you would buy me one. She drives to the mansion and picks up William for their date. I do appreciate the fact that Ashley is driving in stilettos, which is hard, and doesn’t cede her seat to William, although he is probably DYING to drive that car. The sound of the bachelors’ jaws dropping in unison is magical enough to give an angel its wings. Ashley laughs and smiles and it is clear that she thinks the men’s salacious stares are for her, but it is equally clear that the editors have tried to cut out any hint that the men are actually talking about the car. ‘Cause they totally are. They should make a reality show where the men have to compete for the love of a car and the car should be KITT from Knight Rider. I’ll await my royalty checks, NBC!