'The Bachelor', Season 22, Episode 1, Part 1: Arie Goes For Rides, Chris Harrison Lied, and Let's Meet Some Child Brides!
Welcome, lovers, to the season premiere of The Bachelor: Arie Likes To Kiss!
The last time we saw Arie was five years ago, back when he made it all the way to the end on Emily Maynard's season, which just so happened to be the very first season I started recapping the show (after watching the show from the very first season, I finally couldn't stand it and just had to put my indignant rage to paper/blog)! Arie was a dorky race car driver who was so smitten kitten for Emily that it was honestly almost embarrassing. He was also one of the most memorable kissers in the entire history of the franchise, but not because he was GOOD at it (#howdareyou, Chris Harrison), but because his kissing style resembled that of a Lamphrey who's trying to eat your face off, thus earning him my own personal nickname of Lamphrey Luyendyck.
But anyway! That was five years ago! And even though five years is basically fifty in Bachelor Nation Years, we're still gonna give him another shot at love because Dean was too young and stupid, Peter's honesty threatens the very existence of the fragile Bachelor dimension, and even though having a black star of the franchise pulled in absolutely spectacular ratings, ABC would rather give all of that up in favor of continuing on with their long and boring tradition of featuring bland middle class white people.
Also, being a race car driver is like a producer's wet dream when it comes to "___ is a lot like love" metaphors.
Which, true to form, is what we start right out with!
Love Is a Lot Like Race Car Driving In That People Immediately Zone Out Whenever Arie Talks About It
This is the most important race of Arie's life, you guys. The timing of his life is right for this...mostly because he's had five years of being a kingpin of Bachelor Nation, which apparently means crashing sorority parties with Jef Holm (raise your hand if you actually believe Jef's assertion that he has "never been in a sorority house" in his life), banging a ton of college girls, being kissing buddies with Courtney Robertson (they dated for a hot minute, but are now just "good" friends), and leading on petite blondes who seem to have a lot of stories to tell and are not at all concerned about deleting old photos of their exes from Instagram. But also, I mean...what did we expect? That Arie was just going to hide out in Arizona and only seriously date age-appropriate women and continue to be a fine, upstanding man with a solid moral character? That literally never happens with any guys who come out of this show. Being on The Bachelorette basically and immediately shoots you into this portal where paid bar appearances pass as a legit career and sliding into the DMs of any and all Instagram "models" is a cool way to meet people. So let's not set the bar so unrealistically high, is what I'm saying.
But Arie's also nervous and scared, because the last time he went on this journey, he got his heart broken. Do you guys understand that? FIVE WHOLE YEARS AGO, Arie got his heart broken by Emily. Man, bet that is STILL fresh! And then we're forced to see a series of moments between Arie and Emily, and you know what is still fresh? Arie's disgustingly incessant need to kiss ALL. THE. TIME., as if it's the only way he can replenish his life force. It's like the guy is a kissing vampire...(and yes, I'm laying it on REALLY thick so you'll know where I'm going later).
My favorite part is when they spotlight the Emily season voiceover of Arie saying, "And I am definitely going to marry her" and then they show a lizard standing on a rock in the sun and looking confused in the next scene. PURE BRILLIANCE. The only way that moment could have given me more delight is if they had done a sad trombone sound effect.
So we see her dump him (which you can read all about here) and then we get to watch THAT AMAZING MOMENT when we learned that, after the show was all done, he literally FLEW to her hometown to LEAVE HIS JOURNAL on her doorstop in the hopes that it would make her "hear" him through his journal, only to have her say on NATIONAL TV that she didn't even READ the damn thing!! It was the most humiliating, embarrassing, amazing, and wonderful moment in Bachelor live television (next to Melissa Rycroft getting dumped on After The Final Rose and then Jason Mesnick being all, "Ya wanna maybe do this again...?" to Molly), and I, dear reader, loved every single moment of it.
Back to present day: Riding along in an expensive sports car that I don't care to know the name of and looking noticeably pale and sallow -
...We hear Arie tell us that his heartbreak over Emily was hard. To help himself get over it, Arie started racing constantly, and he was gone up to "280 days a year" trying to forget about all of his pain and heartache, as well as quench his undying thirst for the life force of lithe women under the age of 25. But he decided he needed something different, and decided to "settle his life down" by starting a career in real estate. "And things are going really, really well," he tells us, as he shows a house to a couple paid by production. After closing a fake sale, Arie magically transports himself to the balcony of the Bachelor Mansion, where he gazes contentedly over the barren landscape of Malibu.
Arie hears the sound of Sean's voice calling to him. After all this time, that voice can still make my heart stop, Arie thinks, as he forces himself to smile cheerfully at Sean, his poorly-coiffed wife (Catherine, I love you to bits, but was that really the best look you could pull together for an appearance on national television?) -
...and their admittedly-adorable baby.
"What's uuuuup!" Arie calls back, through a tight smile and gritted teeth. "How are yooouu?"
"This is what we want to be in your future, pal," Sean tells him, patting him on the back as they all look at Sean's baby.
"HAHAHAHAHA," Arie fake-laughs. All I ever wanted in my future was you, Sean, he thinks, as he closes his eyes against Sean's hand on his back, remembering a time when Sean's touch felt so promising, so full of precious things to come. "I miss you," he whispers. "I miss the dream of us."
But no one hears him, and instead, they retire to the disgustingly-decorated living room of the Bachelor Mansion (seriously, have you guys noticed how the decor somehow gets progressively worse each season?) where Sean and Catherine are prompted by the producers to remind every one that they were one of the few couples who actually did find love and matrimony on The Bachelor, and Arie confesses that he hasn't really been in love since he was on the show five years ago. Not since you, Arie thinks, as he looks longingly at Sean. Do you ever think about us, Sean? Do you ever think back to those late nights in those bunk beds, when we bared our souls and our most appalling secrets to one another? Or what about when we traveled the world together...oh what a time that was! Sometimes I would look at you from across the hotel suite and imagine it was just the two of us, jet-setting around the globe, without a care in the world! I told you once that it could be for real...that you could come with me, on my race car travels, just two dapper men on a great adventure in both life and love! But you only laughed your hearty laugh and slapped me on the back, unaware that the longing in my eyes was more than just a jest. What a farce my life was then...sustaining my immortal bod by sucking face with the nubile blonde who would later become a veritable baby factory, all the while desperately in love with the man who would become the world's most famous born-again virgin. But ah...the world is a stage, and I have a part to play...!
"You can absolutely find the one you're meant to be with," Sean advises him. "Put a lot of work into it and then you can have a happy successful relationship marriage."
"Yeeeaaah," Arie says, non-committedly.
"Now, you've given a lot of advice," Arie points out. "And I'm just gonna call you out on it."
"It's either the advice is terrible or...they're not taking the advice," Sean says, but we all know that what he REALLY meant to say was "Or they've been terrible" which has been absolutely true. Farmer Chris, Ben H., and Nick - ALL TERRIBLE.
Then there's some more playing with the baby, which I zone out for because the only kids I care about are my two nieces and nephew-by-proxy and I'm sorry, Samuel, you seem like a fine baby but there's no way you can compare to a girl who can come up with a puppy name like "Luther Baby Cutie Grayson Carter" AND improv her own perfect lyrics and dance moves to a song she's never even heard before, all while wearing an adorable backpack:
So don't even waste my time, KID.
To cap it all off, we see Arie posing awkwardly at the requisite The Bachelor promo photo shoot, race car helmet and roses in hand, and then we see him take off once again in his sports car and arrive at his home in a nice gated development in Scottsdale, AZ - which by, the way, is the Westlake Village Inn, JUST IN CASE YOU WANT TO STALK HIM SERIOUSLY ABC WTF.
He's ready, you guys. He is BEYOND ready for this!
The Race is on For Arie's Heart! Who Will Win It? Who Will Lose It? Who Will Purposefully Spin Out So They Can Hurry Up and Jumpstart Their Instagram Careers?
Like the narrator of a Disney Fairy Tale, Chris Harrison magically appears in front of the mansion to run down the list of why Arie's so great and why we should like him as the Bachelor: "He's handsome, financially successful, he has his own house, he can drive a car, you'll never have to worry about looking older than him, he's the kind of dopey guy who could maybe cheat if the other woman made it really easy for him but otherwise he'd never have the skills to pull off an actual affair, and he's Dutch!"
Doing a little soft-shoe and a kick-ball chain to distract us, Chris Harrison then tosses out a couple of bold-faced, outrageous lies, just to make things fun: "And, as we saw on Emily's season, he's also arguably the best kisser we've ever had on the show. The point is, he's a catch!"
Which leads us to the point of the show where we're given an inside look into the lives of some women who may or may not be serious contenders for Arie's heart! We saw some of these women spotlighted in The Bachelor: Countdown to Arie, but guess what, guys - ABC wants to waste more of your time by not only repeating those segments, but also adding onto them!
First up is Chelsea, a single mom from Portland, Maine (hey! I've been there!) who we see picking up toys and spreading peanut butter on bread (cause, y'know...she's a MOM) while she talks about wanting to find a man who will treat her right and be a good role model for her son.
Her friends tell her to "Crush it! Just be yourself, because you're already awesome!"
This is terrible advice.
Then we get to see Caroline, a realtor from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, show a fake house to a fake couple while she tells us that she hasn't even been in real estate for a full year and she's already "sold $5 million." So, yeah...she's really good at her job, guys. Then we get to see her repeatedly touch another woman's baby without asking while the couple asks her if she has kids which HAHA WHAT A COINCIDENCE YOU ASKED THAT SHE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A BOYFRIEND YET BUT NOW THAT SHE'S GOING ON THE BACHELOR MAYBE ALL OF THAT WILL CHANGE!
Hopefully soon, because I honestly have serious doubts that 26 is her real age (and no, friends, I'm not okay with women lying about their age, because even if it might make that person feel better about themselves, it sets up unrealistic expectations for other women and it's also playing right into the patriarchy. Like, let's just own our ages and who we are and place more value on age, experience, and wisdom instead of worshipping at the foolish throne of youth, okay?).
And then it's Maquel, a "photographer" from Utah who looks like Queen Elsa from Frozen and is only 23 but is already moaning about not being married yet.
WHICH. YOU GUYS. Maquel has already been married before. Like, I don't know how she even had the time between high school and this, but apparently it was one of those classic "We're super young and beautiful Mormons, we can't drink alcohol or caffeine but let's get married so we can at least have sex" things. Which makes her intro package that much more hilarious: She goes on and on about being ready for love, and how the reason she just loves shooting engagements and weddings is because it's these happy couples who are just "so into each other." Maybe she should take up poetry alongside "photography"? She is also totally, totally ready to meet Arie, as well as stare pensively across the lake with pursed lips and narrowed eyes, so that everyone in America can think, "OMG, she should totally be a model!" even though she already is one, so pretty sure we can all see where this is going.
Then we've got Nyesha, a 30 year old Orthopedic Nurse from South Carolina who loves to jump out of planes and is super into the broken bones, blood, and gunshot wounds that come with her job.
She's excited to meet Arie because he seems like someone who knows what he wants. The End.
And then we gotta meet Tia, a 26 year old Physical Therapist from Weiner, Arkansas. She shoots guns and goes fishing and hangs around tractors, y'all!
You might think she looks and sounds a lot like Raven from Nick's season, and whaddya know - they just happen to be good friends! "You're very likable, so I can't see someone not liking you!" O' Wise Raven advises.
"Next time I see you, I might be engaged," Tia tells her.
Yeah...but probably not.
Next up is Kendall, is a 26 year old Creative Director from Los Angeles who is super into taxidermy, which ABC does and will continue to milk for all its worth.
But oh god, she also plays the ukulele and makes up cutesy love songs, which they are ALSO going to milk for all it's worth (like, what is UP with the recent epidemic of Millennial women playing the ukulele and singing funny songs in a cutesy voice? Like, can they all NOT). But other than that, she seems cool.
And then we're forced to see another baby, and hear yet another person - Bekah, a nanny from Los Angeles whose age is not displayed because it becomes a central plot point of the show later on in the season but whom everyone who even remotely cares about The Bachelor already knows is 22 - put a poor innocent child through a line of questioning about Arie. Can we stop doing this to children, ABC? It's not adorable - it's fucking insane, and literally nobody is like, "Hahaha, OMG, that woman just asked that baby what it thinks about Arie! I can't wait to find out what that baby is going to say!"
Anyway, Bekah is "both gentle and nurturing, but punctuated by moments of excitement and adrenaline." Because she's a rock-climber, you guys! She's also incredibly well-spoken and articulate for a toddler, which I'm sure will be a central argument for why she's still a match for Arie even though Arie absolutely positively owns DVDs that are older than her.
Then we check in with Marikh, a 27 year old restaurant owner who honestly looks like a Disney Princess, even while she kick-boxes with a trainer.
"I think dating a guy dating other women is going to be very difficult," she tells us. "I'm used to being the one that's pursued." THEN WHY DID YOU EVEN SIGN UP FOR THIS SHOW. She owns an Indian restaurant with her mom, which is cool, except that it gives ABC an easy pun for her to be all, "I hope Arie's ready for my spice! He better be!'
Ugh, and then it's Krystal, a 29 year old "Fitness Coach" from San Diego -
...Whom I already know from my earlier post that I'm not going to like.
Looks like she has a voice to match her dipsy "I just want to help people reach their full potential and be the best version of themself." It's THEMSELVES, you adorable dummy.
Oh, but wait - we're not supposed to make fun of Krystal, because she has a brother on the streets who's not ready to accept his family's help, and so, because Krystal wants to be the change she wishes to see in the world and treat people the way she hopes others would treat her brother, she packs "yummy treats and snacks" (I literally can't take any adult seriously who describes something as "yummy") and passes them over chain-link fences to homeless dudes. Krystal is coming to this experience with the "guards off her heart", you guys, and if you couldn't already tell that ABC is definitely setting her up to be a major player on the show, I don't know what to tell you.
And that's it for Part 1 of the Episode 1 recap! Part 2 and Part 3 will for sure be posted before tomorrow night's episode, so please continue to sit on the edge of your seat and hold your breath. If you want to be the first to know when they're posted, just give me a follow on Instagram - it's the first place I update on social. I'm also thirstin' hard for that #FitTummyTea #Ad money, so if you could also get all of your friends and acquaintances and relatives and coworkers to follow me, too, then that would be just great. Kiss kiss!