Houston, we have a problem. Oh wait, Bachelor Sean Lowe is from Dallas, huh? OK, well, whatever. We have a problem either way.
And what a delightful problem it is: the original bastion of mediocrity is back! That's right, America, The Bachelor has returned to ABC's airwaves after a brief hiatus for Emily Maynard to attempt to find love, yet again. And who shall sail these lovelorn seas all the way to the shores of Wedded Bliss?
Sean Lowe, Emily's scraps and the newest, blondest man to smile his way into the hearts of 25 26 women.
Apparently, Sean Lowe has it all! (Him? Really?) He has a great job! He's blonde! He loves family! He has a camera crew following his every shirtless move!
And let me tell you, every move is shirtless with this dude. Is this an advertisement for Playgirl TV or primetime ABC?
Our poor, lonely Sean has wandered these past few months, lost, alone, and scared. He had such strong feelings for the world's blondest woman, Emily Maynard. True love, you guys! The process works! The process works! (Sidenote: the process 99% of the time never works, just FYI.)
Anyway, Sean loved Emily, see, and his bare-chested heart was broken. So broken that he needed to keep his shirt off in order for it to breathe in new life after his was declared over. Thankfully, God (Sean's main dude is the Notorious G.O.D.) has another plan for Sean. And that plan is more televised love. Because only on television can you find the sort of beautiful marriages that everyone in his family has (wait, aren't they all non-TV normals or is there a show we missed somewhere along the line?), and it's beautiful marriage that is missing from Sean's life.
And for that, he is very sad. Poor, lonely Sean. Forever at the kids' table. Everybody take off your shirt and cry.
But Sean is so totally different—and by different we mean exactly the same as everyone else—he believes he's only going to get engaged once.
Yes, Sean, you will be different. A young, conventionally attractive, white, blonde dude who believes that the process works! It works! It WILL work for him, verdamnit!
Needless to say, tonight's episode was one exhausting, drawn-out advertisement for Christian Mingle or something. Only with more flesh (how sinful)!
So clearly, all that purity needed a bit of dirtying. Enter last season's Resident Attractive BadBoy, runner-up Arie Luyendyk, Jr. Oh hi hello, sir! Very nice to have you back. Arie and Sean are buds, and if buds know anything, it's when their friend is a s**tty kisser. So he's giving Sean a kissing lesson because apparently Arie is a super-kisser! (Prove it, Arie. I dare you! Come kiss me on the mouth! Please? No? OK, that's cool, too, whatever.)
Welcome to high school, Sean. (If this first episode was proof of anything, it's that high school is back in session. For everyone.) Use your hands when you kiss a la-dy, Sean! Play with the hair, Sean! Ladies love a quick touch of the face, and don't forget to hold them close! You use your whole body to kiss a lady, says Arie. But what about the evil tongue, Sean ponders allowed.
Has Sean Lowe ever kissed another human before? I'm beginning to wonder. Thankfully, this awkward lesson is preempted by a "will you accept this rose?" practice run. At one point, I was convinced a PA was about to push Sean and Arie's heads together and say "now kiss!"
Remember when I said there'd be a lot of blondes on this show? Apparently ABC got the memo that diversity is the spice of life, because an army of tiny blonde ladies it's not.
This go around we have women of color (finally!), brunettes, a girl with actually curly hair, and my personal favorite, the highly-normal-seeming, one-armed Sarah. She seems completely level-headed and also just normal. Naturally this means she probably won't last long. But I'm rooting for you, Sarah!
Sean starts off his Bachelor adventures by continuing the trend of "doing it differently this time" (just like everyone else, Sean! Doesn't Chris Harrison tell these kids that they make their own rules?) and handing out roses to whatever ladies he wants, whenever he damn well pleases.
That means before, during, and after the cocktail hour. Oh snap, Sean! What a rebel.
Speaking of the ladies—let's meet the kooky bunch!
Desiree is a Bridal Stylist in Los Angeles. She dreams of finding her missing puzzle piece and one true love. She spends her day sketching images of her perfect dress and Ken Doll man.
Tierra is from Colorado. She's family oriented and OHMIGOD SO EXCITED that Sean is the bachelor! Because he's family-oriented! Just like her! What are the ODDS?! They're soulmates, you guys. Plus, her puppy needs a new daddy! His eyes are so dreamy! "Hey future hubby!"
But the intensity doesn't scare Sean: in fact—he digs the s**t out of it! Say what? It's true, when Tierra, the most over-excited Sean fan in the history of bland blonde people arrives, she tells him a story. Tierra has an open heart tattoo on her ring finger—something she hopes Sean will complete. Sean tells her to "wait right here" and he goes inside to tell Chris that he wants to give her a rose.
Sean is breaking the rules and eating the attention right up! What a badass. He finds Tierra sweet, exciting, and filled with "great energy." You know the girls in the limo waiting for their turn to exit are losing their minds in a wave of seething, raging jealousy watching this unfold.
Sean hopes it won't create tension already, but, uh, DUH. OBVIOUSLY! Ha ha ha, oh Sean. You have way more to learn about these women other than how to kiss them
Robin is from Texas: She's quirky! She puts sticky notes with Spanish on them all over her apartment in order to learn. Her entrance involves literal gymnastics to get to Sean. And while she messes up a bit, she's generally pretty charming about it. So far, we like Robin.
Diana is from Salt Lake City, Utah—oh man, does she know Jef With One F aka Emily's ex-fiance?
One can only hope. Diana mentions that she owns a hair salon and now I'm convinced (between her and Jef) that Utahans are especially obsessed with their hair. She has 2 daughters and is a single mom (divorced), but is totally ready to just hit the road with Sean.
Literally, she's trying to pull him away from his mark. Something tells me the extended cut of this involves Sean being stuffed into a trunk. Can't wait for the bloopers!
Sarah! Lovely, wonderful Sarah lives in Los Angeles. Sarah is a total normal person, by all standards—and on this show, that is the highest compliment. She works in advertising and was born with one arm. She's still a beautiful blonde, though, so she totally fits the mold of the show, for the most part.
While most girls were clawing at each other's throats to steal Sean away for alone time, Sarah was refreshingly honest about her own insecurities and disinterested in the chase that most of the women seemed to revel in. Which means she'll probably be deemed too boring for television and kicked off the show early. Take it as a compliment, Sarah—and we're glad you got an early rose, too.
Ashley P. is from Michigan and obsessed with finding love because all her friends are married. She loves her cat and Christian Grey! She WANTS TO BE MARRIED SO BAD OMG HOW IS LIFE WORTH LIVING WITHOUT A MAN?!
Well it can be worth living if you read 50 Shades of Grey and get drunk on national television instead. Homegirl shows up with a blue tie (hidden between her boobs) that she wants to wrap about Sean's neck and choke him into orgasmic submission with. Or something. I don't know, I am terrified of her.
Lesley M. lives in DC because she works in politics. But she hates politicians. Great place to live and perfect career choice then, eh?
Originally from Arkansas, she's a "modern southern belle" and she thinks Sean is the one. She brings a football because sports! No just kidding, she wanted to look at his ass. If Sean can't be the one, she'll at least get one minute in staring at his ham hocks.
Kristy is a Ford Model, which she will remind you of over and over, because it's like, totally a prestigious modeling agency (true facts: it is! Glad she wasn't such a braggart about it...oh wait!) that is only for the most attractive of attractive people.
I don't know if Kristy is actually an over-confident jerk, but it sure looks like they are going to portray her as such. Why do they always make the model-types look like jerks? I know two whole, real-live models, and neither of them is a jerk. I've heard some jerk models exist, but why do they only seem to flock to The Bachelor?
One thing that makes Kristy unique is that the only phrase she has mastered in the English language is "the best of the midwest!"
AshLee F. has a very cluttered name for a Professional Organizer: what's up with that, AshLee? AshLee is obsessed with being organized because clearly she feels out of control in her life. I imagine she spends many a night alternating between crying in her shower, screaming "why?" and getting black-out drunk.
The great thing about how organized she is, is that when she's feeling a little out of control, she knows exactly which drawer her hairshirt collection is in, so she can try them all on at once and rock herself into a blissful, calm slumber. She's also adopted!
Lacey is a human disco ball with a "heart of lace" (literally! Get it? Do ya? Do ya, Sean?) so Sean can remember her.
Paige the jumbotron operator from NYC was on Bachelor Pad 3, so some of you may recognize her. She, too, is a firm believer in that age-old adage "this process can work," which is hilarious coming from someone who weaseled her way into the Bachelor empire on the trashiest and least-love-driven show of the bunch.
Amanda is a "fit model" which I guess is different from a regular model. Since, you know, all those other models are just so unfit! Har har har, jokes!
Amanda wants to get the awkward pause when you don't know someone out of the way. So they sit and stare at each other for 30 seconds. Pretty people looking at each other hardly feels awkward. Girls, why do we all have to think of something weird and overly-cutesy every.single.time?
Keriann is an entrepreneur from Florida—which I always knew to mean one very specific thing, though I don't want to pass that judgment onto Keriann (or the entire state of Florida).
She drove over 2,000 miles to be here! Which, I mean, that's great and all but The Proclaimers WALKED 1,000 miles to fall down at their girls' door (which is way harder than driving!), so, meh. Color me unimpressed, Keriann.
Desiree has pennies for wish-making, and Brooke is a community organizer from Pittsburgh who may also be part cat. Ashley H. believes herself to be the Barbie to Sean's Ken, and is another model who seems unable to keep herself from reminding Sean how great it is to meet him.
After her came Lauren, who is either a little bit Italian and a fan of stereotypes, or the daughter of a mob boss who will break Sean's legs if necessary. She's also a journalist, so this was probably at least the fifth draft of that speech that she had prepared. Girl, should've gone with the fourth draft.
And finally we have number 25 herself, Lindsay. Oh Lindsay. Lindsay, Lindsay, Lindsay. What are we to do with you? Lindsay is a subsitute teacher and also the substitute bride! That's right, a girl with probably no less than 10 Pinterest boards dedicated to Her Big Day, she comes on strong. Very strong.
She kisses Sean square on the mouth (he couldn't even prepare himself with Arie's tips!) and scares him half to death. You can see Sean running away, mentally, as she hums 'Here Comes the Bride.' Oh lawdy, this one. I was shocked when she got the rose, y'all. And you know the other girls who didn't make it through were right pissed off.
But wait! There's a surprise! This year will feature not 25, but 26 girls! Hello, Kacie B! Everyone remembers her, yes? She was the one everyone wanted the last Bachelor, Ben Flajnik to end up with at first. Her parents totally ruined her chances of his heart, though.
She wants a second chance with the guy who's getting a second chance! Sean is so excited she's here because they've hung out before and he considers her a friend. Could romance be in their future? Yeah, probably not, but Kacie is bound to try (and cry) her way though a few episodes, at least.
She is scared of the girls, because duh. This sort of "shocking" addition isn't shocking anymore, Bachelor—you've done it every season for the past few now. Enough.
Leslie H., the poker dealer, does not like the odds in this situation. The other girls are pissed.
Every utterance heard from the limo during the introductions can be summed up as the following: OMG, he's SO CUTE AND HANDSOME! Aww! LOLz! Right out the gate, there's territory marking from the get-go! A flurry of hugs and lipstick marks and sparkly dresses.
There are enough extensions to breed a small army of Shetland ponies. There are embarrassing made-up handshakes. One of the girls is even a cruise ship entertainer who wrote Sean a song (Kelly)! It's amazing she had time to write a song in between all the hours she must've spent in the tanning bed.
There's a yoga instructor (of course) to help Sean align his chakras. Forced smiles and declarations of Sean's cuteness. Everyone likes that he's cute, and handsome, and a man, and nice, and also definitely hot and dreamy. Every girl has dreamed Sean into reality: he is greater than the sum of his parts. All in a night's work!
Women be actin' a fool on this show—and this season seems to be no different. There's a screaming match—wow, ladies, you're all just so wild and free! How do you even handle that? It must be so intense to be you.
At this point in the evening, Sean has spoken to most of the girls, and handed out roses to several of them. Putting yourself out there for love is hard: sometimes you have to talk to people you want to kiss on the mouth and they have to listen to you.
Sometimes it doesn't work out, which is so weird! That never happens to anyway, so I can only imagine the pain these women must be going through. They've gotten to spend a whole evening in the general vicinity of Sean Lowe! How could they not fall in love instantly, right?!
The girls are all atwitter over Sean's decision to hand out roses as he so pleases, so there's only one thing to do: get wasted.
And wasted is exactly what Ashley P. gets. She's dancing around, throwing her blue neck tie around, quoting 50 Shades and telling Sean how normal she is while jokingly tying him up and explaining how her mom is already calling him her son-in-law. Totally normal!
Dance like no one's watching, Ashley P. And if they are watching, show 'em your ass tattoo. Hi mom!
These ladies are ravenous for some Grade-A, Sean Lowe man meat, so a stealing frenzy erupts. For a moment, I thought I was watching the National Geographic channel.
It was like when you see a bunch of seagulls attack the last remnants of a fallen funnel cake on the Jersey Shore. Heartbreaking and also terrifying.
In the end, Sean can only hand out so many roses. 12 have already been secured by ladies who managed to pry them from Sean's cold, dead hands, so 7 remain. The women are crying. It's too hard, you guys! But Sean wants to find his wife, so they must carry on for the sake of his unending loneliness.
Going into the rose ceremony, 12 girls already have roses, there are 7 left. Sean wants to find his wife, y'all.
Say Goodbye To Your Dreams, Following Ladies. Love Doesn't Live Here, Anymore:
Kelly, who is SO totally embarrassed because now that she's been eliminated on the first night, no one in the entire human world will want to date her ever again. (Totally true and logical.) Is it worth it to be in love if she has to feel this way?! OH, Kelly—ever the philosopher, this one! Opening yourself up to love hurts and sucks and oh just shut the f**k up and go home already.
So there we have it, friends. We did it, we really did it. What's to come in our future? Rock-climbing, beaches, helicopter rides, kisses, and D-R-A-M-A! The claws are out, y'all. Someone holds a secret!
Someone has a boyfriend or maybe boyfriendS, and an ex-boyfriend comes back into the picture. There are s**ty cookies and girls that are like, so totally above it all. And maybe the girls also hurt someone on purpose? Something is so totally crazy, and everyone is crying all the time. Even Sean!
He is stunned and doesn't know what's going on. He's blind-sided! SEAN IS HURT! Call the wahmbulance! Alert the media! This lonely boy is ready to make a crash landing.
Game on, indeed.
What did you think of tonight's premiere of The Bachelor? Have any favorites picked out yet? Sound off in the comments!
[Photo Credit: ABC]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes