Speaking of tequila, it’s time to watch the new Bachelorette drink margaritas with 25 eligible men! This season’s Bachelorette is Ashley H., whom we last saw plunging into a humiliating shame spiral as she finished 3rd in the Brad Womack sweepstakes.
My wife was infuriated to learn that she was selected as the new Bachelorette, as were many other viewers. “Chantal deserves a second chance at love instead!,” you all protested. No she doesn’t, said ABC. Instead, Chantal is sentenced to a lifetime of loneliness and regret, pondering where things went wrong with Brad. I hope she knows how to knit, play solitaire, and collect cats. (By the way, I just learned the hard way that a Google Image search for “cat lady” will pull up images that shall haunt you for the rest of your life.)
Anyway, on to the new show. We are re-introduced to Ashley, whom Stephanie notes has been given bangs by ABC to obscure her misshapen forehead. Kind of like that scene in “E.T.” where they put E.T. in a wig and girl’s clothes to hide him from the authorities. Same tricks, equally impressive result.
Does Ashley have the looks to make a show in which 25 eligible bachelors fight for her affections believable? Not quite. But she looks perfectly fine as we see footage of her dancing, jogging, and pondering on the streets of Philadelphia.
I step away for a few minutes to take care of some household errands, and when I return Ashley is still pondering, staring into a body of water, and executing a monologue about overcoming obstacles, finding one’s self, and learning from tragedy. OH MY GOD, I thought: her family has been wiped out in a plane crash, or some similar tragedy so as to justify her profound sadness. I feel terrible for Ashley.
But then I realize she’s still talking about her “relationship” with Brad, and I damn near regurgitate my dinner. However, as we know, the Bachelor/Bachelorette series is not about maintaining proper perspective in life. To qualify as a contestant, one must equate a broken nail with 9/11 or mismatched shoes & socks with the Rwandan genocide.
We are introduced to 25 men that each claim to be there “for the right reasons” and explain their tales of hardship and woe in the ways of love. While each are successful in their respective fields and reasonably good looking, they maintain that they are single because their attempts to commit their lives to another woman have been thwarted by work schedules, rejection, and even death.
They are all seemingly complicated tales of unrequited romance and frustration, which can be translated thusly: These guys have been playing the field throughout their twenties and now see an opportunity to actually get on national TV while they hit on a chick.
Ashley informs Chris Harrison at one point that she has been “tipped off” to a contestant, Bentley, who might not be there for the right reasons! Harrison is stunned. Yeah, I know, says Ashley. That leaves only 24 virtuous men in the whole bunch. (Of course, Ashley falls head over heels for Bentley by the end of the episode and elects to ignore all valuable advice previously given to her. Like the part in a horror movie where the hero’s car breaks down in a forest, we know precisely where this is all headed.)
We are also introduced to a guy named “Ames” who tells viewers that he is from New York and went to undergrad at “Yale, in Connecticut”. I’m relieved that he clarified the location, since I almost assumed he went to the Yale in New Mexico. He says he went on to earn three more degrees, including one from Harvard, and has run 39 marathons and several ultra-marathons.
While my bullshit detector starts ringing like a school bell, Stephanie falls in love with our new contestant. “He’s only 31! There’s no way he already has 4 degrees!” I exclaim. “He’s just really driven,” she says. “But the ultramarathons!” I protest. “I know guys who have run those races and they are all skin and bones! This guy is too bulky!” It was a losing argument. Dis-attaching a woman from a favorite Bachelorette contestant is an impossible task. I must wait for Ashley to expose his lies and send him on an ultramarathon back to where he came from.
In other notable news, one contestant chooses to wear a mask throughout the episode, explaining that he’d prefer that Ashley get to know his personality first. (If a guy were to pull this in real life, the first thing he’d get to know would be a restraining order.)
We also meet a contestant who chooses to take full advantage of the show’s open bar policy and get tanked. He slurs a few come-ons to Ashley, challenges the Masked Man to a fight, then passes out on a couch.
The man will eventually realize that passing out is meant to be done in bathroom stalls, gutters, and rat-infested alleys behind bars — not on nationally-televised romance shows. A lesson learned.
With that, it’s time to turn the lights out on this blog post. Coming up next week (SPOILER ALERT!): Ashley learns that some of these guys aren’t exactly what they seem!!