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“My story starts at sea, a perilous voyage to an unknown land. A shipwreck. The wild waters roar and heave. The brave vessel is dashed all to pieces. And all the helpless souls within her drowned. All save one. A lady. Whose soul is greater than the ocean, and her spirit stronger than the sea’s embrace. Not for her a watery end, but a new life beginning on a stranger shore. It will be a love story. For she will be my heroine for all time. And her name will be Viola.”

This is a thing William Shakespeare says in the film Shakespeare In Love, but I think it applies to The Bachelor, too. For what is Nick Viall looking for if not a soul greater than the ocean and a spirit stronger than the sea’s embrace? From distant lands these women have journeyed, all that Nick might find a true love. And maybe her name will be Viola—we don’t know, we just started!

Hi, I’m Lizzie, and I’ll be recapping the Bachelor this season. Also, I have never seen this show before! I’m excited to be on this journey with you all.

The Bachelor, I soon learn, comes on after Wheel of Fortune, which is kind of the same thing because if you spin the wheel of life right, you get the fortune of love, you know? Like, can we as a society buy a vowel, and can that vowel be “commitment?” Anyway, The Bachelor! The Bachelor. The. Bachelor. Is Nick. His name is Nick, he looks nice, and he’s been on this show before! He’s been rejected by a bunch of terrific women—but if you watch this show, you already know that. You already know that Nick is a puppy-eyed family guy from Waukesha who is ready to get his heart broken again. He’s a realist, Nick is, and he knows that he might be the first bachelor to be rejected at the end of the show, which would be sad and also very funny.

“I’m gonna give America a happy ending.” – Nick

We see in flashbacks that Nick doesn’t know how to talk, really, or touch his face with his hand in a human way, and that he really figured out his facial hair over the past couple years. But so much for him, am I right? On to the women.

I assumed that the women would be, well, bimbos, for lack of a better word. Why would any self-respecting female with a good job and a brain between her ears go on television to compete against other women for the affections of some guy who is, what, symmetrically featured? Either these girls must be desperate, in which case this would be embarrassing, or young and naive, in which case the show was exploiting them. Bachelor Nation, I was totally wrong. The women are fantastic.

The first woman is an attorney who likes to dance while vacuuming; the second is a salon owner; the third is a special needs teacher who speaks THREE languages. I would date all of them, and I don’t even date girls! But it wouldn’t work out with any of them anyway because my heart belongs to Josephine, a 24-year-old platinum blonde nursing student from Santa Cruz. She talks to her cat. I love her.

i love you


Josephine is the best person on this or any show. I thought I was going to be cynically detached about The Bachelor, but we’re already beyond the pale. I am All In For Josephine. Josephine, my Queen. I don’t even care if Nick likes her, I just want Josephine to be on my television as much as possible. But fine, fine, fine, fine, I will consider the other women. They all seem nice! The ones who are younger than I am make me a little nervous just because…why the rush, ladies? But they seem like decent people, except perhaps for the 23-year-old (Taylor) who is a mental health counselor. Would you got a a 23-year-old therapist? Would you, though?

Corinne…has a nanny. Don’t know what else to say about Corinne. She is a self-described “very serious businesswoman.” She is 24.

“He needs to love dolphins or else this isn’t gonna work out.” – Alexis

One girl (“Liz”) has already met Nick. They’ve hooked up. They have mutual friends. And this woman decided that the best way to get in contact with Nick is to go on television. And then we meet a neonatal nurse who might be an actual angel? Her name is Danielle.

(Bachelor Nation, I have a question: Chris Harrison? How do we feel about him?)

At the Limo Ceremony (Limo Entrances? What is this scene called?), Rachel (the attorney) tells Nick, “Before I left I finished up my fantasy team, but now the only plays I want to make are for your heart,” which is a grade-A pickup line, as it lets Nick know both that she’s a girl who’s into sports and also that she came to fucking win. Rachel is 31, people. This is not a drill.

THE BACHELOR - “Episode 2101” - What do a dolphin-loving woman, a successful businesswoman who runs her parents multi-million -dollar flooring empire;, a bachelorette, who is hiding a big secret about her past involving Nick, and a no-nonsense Southern belle, who has Nick in her cross-hairs for a big country wedding, all have in common? They all have their sights set on making the Bachelor, Nick Viall, their future husband when the much-anticipated 21th edition of ABC's hit romance reality series, "The Bachelor," premieres, MONDAY, JANUARY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Rick Rowell)CHRISTEN



Christen (pronounced Kristin) does a little fan dance and asks Nick if he thinks she’s crazy. He doesn’t. Then she tells him how he seems like a celebrity to her because she has watched him on TV so much. Um, pretty sure he thinks she’s crazy now.

“I’m excited you’re excited. I’m excited, too.” – Nick

Ida Marie makes Nick catch her in a trust fall because it’s all about trust. Sarah walks into the back room saying, “Oh my God, there’s food!” so I’m cool with Sarah. And then Jasmine brings out Neil Lane, who I know is the ring guy because we had him on Glamour‘s podcast.

“Do you know what a girl wearing underwear says? Neither do I.” – Hailey (DAMN GIRL DAMN DAMN DAMN)

Liz, the woman whom Nick has previously boned, makes an awkward entrance because she can’t decide if he remembers her or not. Also, she’s a doula a.k.a. a hot Earth mama! Does he remember her? Kinda. Would it be cute if they ended up together? Kinda! Corinne gives Nick a hug token. You go Corinne, commodify affection! That’s good for the cause! Vanessa is so fucking pretty.

This is taking…a very long time.

Some of these girls are doing shit like giving Nick a “beard massage,” and it all reminds me of in elementary school when it was show and tell time, but you hadn’t brought anything so you were like, “Um, here’s my shoe. It’s a special shoe because I only wear it on my left foot. Should we pass it around the class?”

JOSEPHINE UPDATE!!! Josephine goddamn planned ahead. Her prop is a book, and I’m thinking, aww, she’s gonna say that he comes first in her book, and it’s gonna have his name in it. NO IT’S WAY BETTER. She tells Nick, “You’re a wiener in my book.” (It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize this was a pun on “winner”) Then, she opens the book to reveal that it is hollowed out and contains one uncooked hot dog. She then invited Nick to “Lady and the Tramp” it a.k.a. bite it at the same time from either end. Josephine is literally the best person I have ever known of in my entire life.

Lacey enters on a camel. Alexis is dressed as a shark because she loves dolphins. The other women are equally confused. Alexis does herself zero favors by dancing and making dolphin noises. At least it’s not a red dress, the look du jour.

“I dolphin-ately can’t wait to talk to you more inside.” – Alexis

Finally, the limo bits are over.

THE BACHELOR - “Episode 2101” - What do a dolphin-loving woman, a successful businesswoman who runs her parents multi-million -dollar flooring empire;, a bachelorette, who is hiding a big secret about her past involving Nick, and a no-nonsense Southern belle, who has Nick in her cross-hairs for a big country wedding, all have in common? They all have their sights set on making the Bachelor, Nick Viall, their future husband when the much-anticipated 21th edition of ABC's hit romance reality series, "The Bachelor," premieres, MONDAY, JANUARY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Rick Rowell)ALEXIS


“I want you to all feel as empower as…as impow…as empowered as possible.” – Nick

Nick has a little sit-down on a little outdoor divan, and Rachel (civil defense lawyer) uses this time to kill it. They both have big families and like football.

CHRIS DELIVERS THE FIRST IMPRESSION ROSE! This means you are safe, as explained to me by Lauren. Thank you Lauren. It’s exciting, but is it TyraMail exciting? TBD.

Corinne gives Nick MORE tokens he can exchange for physical favors because the American education system has truly, truly failed her. And then she comes back and interrupts Nick’s date with Vanessa because she wants to make out with him. On the one hand get it Corinne but on the other calm down. You can, of course, kiss on the first date. But on YOUR first date, not Vanessa’s.

How. Did. I. So. Quickly. Become. A. Person. Who. Cares. This. Much????????

“I am here for Nick. Nick. Nick. Nick. Nick. Nickelodeon!” – Corinne

Everyone is fighting for Nick’s attention, which I object to on feminist grounds of COURSE, but it’s also a great crash course in betchiness. “Can I borrow Nick for a sec?” is Godfather-level loaded language.

By the end of the night everyone is very wine drunk and enamored with Alexis, the Dolphin In A Shark Costume. She wades into the pool and dolphin calls for Nick. It shouldn’t be cute, but it is.

“I wanna be the first dolphin to get a f-cking rose tonight.” – Alexis

Later, Nick asks Liz the very reasonable question: “If we already have mutual friends and you want to date me, why wouldn’t you just get my number on your own?” to which Liz says, “Herm blerm I wanted to be on television.” I’m paraphrasing. But, really, Liz, let’s talk, honey, sweetheart, my dear: Do you have a self-esteem ish? Let guys give you their numbers, and give guys your number if they ask and you want to! And contact guys you want to hang out with! And expect them to remember you! Just one recapper’s thoughts.

The neo-natal nurse and Nick have some nice chemistry, but the first impression rose goes to…Rachel! The attorney! It matches her red dress!

THE BACHELOR - “Episode 2101” - What do a dolphin-loving woman, a successful businesswoman who runs her parents multi-million -dollar flooring empire;, a bachelorette, who is hiding a big secret about her past involving Nick, and a no-nonsense Southern belle, who has Nick in her cross-hairs for a big country wedding, all have in common? They all have their sights set on making the Bachelor, Nick Viall, their future husband when the much-anticipated 21th edition of ABC's hit romance reality series, "The Bachelor," premieres, MONDAY, JANUARY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Rick Rowell)CORINNE, NICK VIALL


Nick uses the word “intriguing” too much.

OK, now we’re at the Rose Ceremony (Rose Tournament? Rose-A-Thon?). Corinne fully believes that she is having a panic stroke. Kristina cries beautifully with her accent. She does that thing where her voice catches and tears fall, but she doesn’t get red or snot up. Teach me to cry like a princess, Kristina!


Alexis the Dolphin gets a rose and is hammered. The Hammerhead Shark.

And for drama reasons, Liz the possibly shady doula gets to stay as well. She seems like a nice person, and also, as my friend says “she looks like Tina Fey and maybe that’s why I like her.” All good points!

The rejected girls (who cry and like, you know, it is sad because love is hard and no one wants to be alone) leave the mansion and we see that it is fully light out. They have been doing this all goddamn night. And I feel like I have, too. The girls are already being catty over who has kissed whom, which does lead a person to wonder, is this seventh grade?

Next up is a Fifty Shades trailer that is more or less 30 minutes long. Sounds about right.


Parting thoughts: Most, if not all, of my previous assumptions were confirmed when a woman in a red dress quotes Carrie Bradshaw.

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