Quit whining. Look, last night was the season premiere of ABC’s The Bachelor, the glorious kickoff of reality TV in 2018. Many people say this show is like watching a fiery car wreck, but that’s only half true. You’re seeing something crash and burn, but it’s less like a rollover accident and more like watching a clown car smash into a comedy club and explode into a fireball, so it’s more funny than it is sad.
The Bachelor is never more fun than during the premiere-episode introductions, when the women turn the shenanigans, the gossip, and the booziness all the way up. It’s absurd. The impressions range from sweet to wild to legit psycho, and when these interactions are placed against the show’s relentless sincerity, it makes for a delightful and appalling two hours.
There’s lots to unpack. Here are the most mortifying, perplexing and completely irredeemable moments from The Bachelor premiere.
All of Arie
Arie is the Bachelor this season, and man, he’s just a giant nothing. He used to be a race car driver, which is very rad and interesting, but he’s reduced that experience to a couple corny jokes and a few obnoxious sports-movie speeches about “making it to the finish line.” It’s dumb, and makes you think he’s dumb, too.
Bachelor host Chris Harrison sells the audience on Arie by saying he’s “handsome, financially successful and arguably the best kisser we’ve ever had on the show.”* Notable omissions: Arie is: smart, capable, respectful, dignified, kind, generous, considerate, conscientious or thoughtful. Those feel like important things in a husband, and those things were not said about Arie.
*This quote makes it sound like Chris Harrison knows Arie is a good kisser from personal experience. Arie was a contestant on a past season of The Bachelorette, which is where his rave kissing reviews come from. Our sources cannot confirm that Chris Harrison and Arie have ever kissed or made out or touched lips in any fashion.
Arie’s last big moment of the episode comes while talking to Bekah (who seems like a pretty bomb chick, by the way). Bekah asks him to name three things that make him excited to be alive. Arie’s response: excitement, adrenaline and pizza. A) Excitement makes him excited. Mmmmkay. B) Adrenaline. Close, Arie, but that’s basically excitement in chemical form. C) Can’t argue with pizza.
Bekah, for her part, says mountains (nice!), the feeling where you like someone but aren’t sure if they like you back (sincerely, a thrill), and experiencing surreal moments like sitting in the back of a classic car with the Bachelor (which is where they were at the time; a nice line to bring things back to the present moment). Bekah is rad. You tell me who would wear the pants in this relationship.
Oh, bonus thing: Arie has a really weird voice.
Oh, bonus bonus thing: Arie is a realtor in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is the most Basic White Girl job/location combo a man can have.
Oh, bonus bonus BONUS thing: Arie keeps a diary, and when he lost his season of The Bachelorette he left it for the Bachelorette (Emily) to read. She didn’t read it. Great move by Emily. Psychopath move by Arie.
Annalise, Masked Killer?
One of the girls, Annalise, tries to stand out on Night One by donning a party mask until she and Arie have one-on-one time, when she takes it off and reveals her face. It’s one of those “great in concept, poor in execution” strategies. You never want to be the only person wearing a mask at any function, because people who wear masks in solitude have a dark secret to hide.
Turns out, if you put a few drinks in Arie and ask him what Annalise’s dark secret is, he would probably say her face. When she takes off her mask, his response is “Aww, so pretty.” With a period. It was like he was looking at an emaciated animal in one of those Sarah McLachlan ads. It’s the cringiest moment of the night, and that’s in an episode where a girl literally shows off her taxidermy collection. Speaking of which:
Kendall, Unmasked Killer
Kendall is a 26-year-old creative director from Los Angeles, and she collects taxidermy—as in, dead stuffed animals. Her collection is, to put it lightly, expansive. She has tiger heads and deer heads and entire meerkats and even what looks like a baby seal, which she sings to while playing the ukulele.
Kendall says she’s never been in a relationship that lasted past a year, but luckily, with taxidermy, she’ll be able to keep her time with Arie forever. Kendall has murdered at least three people (we think).
Nysha the Nurse
Arie sent Nysha home on Night One, but honestly, thank goodness, because Nysha had this to say during her bio, in which she discussed being an orthopedic nurse: “Sometimes, we have people with gunshot wounds. I love it. The more blood, the better for me.”
Tia the Wiener Girl
On every season of The Bachelor there’s one woman who occupies the half-aloof, half-secretly-savvy Southern belle role, and this season it’s going to be Tia, who hails from a tiny town in Arkansas called Wiener. It’s funny, and Tia knows it’s funny, but the thing is, she hammers the Wiener jokes over and over.
During her introduction, she tells Arie she knows all about tiny wieners, gives him a tiny wiener and says she hopes he doesn’t “have one of those already.” It‘s bold, so you respect it, but you might worry for Tia because now she’s the Wiener Girl, so whenever Arie sees her or talks to her or holds her hand or kisses her, he might be thinking just a tiny little bit about wieners.
Sean and Catherine, Infant Puppeteers
This couple is one of The Bachelor franchise’s biggest success stories, so the show trots them out every chance they have to prove that, hey, this actually works, alright? Sean was the Bachelor on season 17 (we’re on season 22), and Catherine won, and now they are married and have a little son together.
Arie asks Sean for advice going into the show, and Sean ducks down behind his son’s head and says, “Respect the women, Arie.” Fine advice, but weird to present it as if it was coming from an infant child, who has only interacted with one woman his whole life, and hasn’t even worked up the courage to talk to her yet. Ugh. No wonder Arie sucks. All his advice comes from babies.
Jenna and the Foot Bath
Night One of The Bachelor is infamous now for its drunken tomfoolery. It’s a long night—probably about 12 hours—so at any given point the 28 women who aren’t with Arie are made to just hang out in the mansion and drink and gossip. Go a little hard, and when your time comes around to speak with Arie, you might be a little sloshed.
This happened with Jenna, who came off great outside at the limo but came off super not great during her alone time. A) She gave Arie a foot bath, which is the most disgusting thing people have tricked themselves into thinking is erotic. B) She said she’s never been on a plane before, which is worrying. Does that mean she’s never been out of Indiana? And she’s 28? That’s a red flag. C) Arie said later, “Because I can’t figure her out, I’m gonna keep her around.” And he did! Translation for Arie: Jenna is super hot, and I want to make out with her at least once before she goes.
Jessica and Her Late Father
Ooh, man, this one was brutal. Jessica is a TV host from Canada. Her father, who has since died, met Arie while he was alive. Jessica was excited to pursue Arie because she was hopeful to end up with a man who her father met, liked, and therefore approved of. Plot twist: Arie cut Jessica on the first night after she told him this entire story. It was frigid and horrible and not at all OK. Jessica walked out of the house saying, “Now my dad will never meet my husband.” It made your heart shrivel up like a raisin.
Chelsea and the Line of the Night
Quick, some anonymous runner-ups for line of the night: “If you can find love on Tinder and dating apps, you can find it on TV.” Um, not the same thing, but OK. And also, in reference to Arie, “His lips are like pillows.” That one really made me wonder if I had been underrating lips as a feature my whole life.
Anyway, Chelsea, a single mother, is going to be the villain on this season of the Bachelor, which makes her incredibly compelling. She really asserted herself on Night One and didn’t play by the rules, cutting off other women and interrupting a few conversations to have more time with Arie. It was all very dramatic, but it wasn’t until the season teaser when the show hinted at Chelsea’s fully evolved evil form.
“I’m not a b****. I’m a mother.”
HAS CHELSEA SEEN CINDERELLA? What about Carrie? Or Mommie Dearest? Or Psycho? THERE ARE LOTS OF B-WORD MOTHERS. There is so much disillusionment and aggression and insanity packed into that line it’s almost too good for the show. Arie might be little more than a hard-boiled egg, but he has some ringers in that mansion. This season’s gonna bang. Bring it all on.
Tyler Daswick is a senior writer at Relevant. Follow him on Twitter @tylerdaswick.