Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Bachelor begins

by Kelsey Barritt, Writing Intern       

Nothing makes a person want to simultaneously vomit and swoon quite the way a season premiere of The Bachelor does. Once again, the noble quest for true love begins, and America watches every intimate step. Season 19 of The Bachelor stars Chris, a seemingly pleasant farmer who’s looking for a bride. Claiming there are not enough eligible ladies in Iowa, Chris turns to ABC. From the looks of it, this season of The Bachelor will be just like any other—filled with hopeful moments, bad puns, nervous breakdowns, and difficult decisions.
Photo by Nicholas Maggio

This season premiere is not a surprising one. It starts the way any realistic documentary would—with a bachelor leaning on a motorcycle, looking off into a cornfield, with a look of destiny his eyes. Of course, he must then do pushups on bales of hay to exhibit strength. We get it Chris. You are a robust farmer with a soft heart. Cynicism aside, Chris seems to be a decent guy. He demonstrates as much authenticity as possible in a situation like this, even if his soft mumbles cause viewers to constantly ride the volume.

After a quick background on the main man, viewers witness “Bachelor Nation,” a.k.a. the peanut gallery—past contestants and members of Chris’s hometown. Bachelor Nation must frustrate even the most dedicated fans. They constantly give their input on tiny details regarding the women and Chris’s decisions. The show could be an hour shorter, and better, without this segment.

The interactions are the most entertaining for the home audience. Whether they are between women and Chris, the women themselves, or even the women and the camera crew, they are amusing to say the least. While it may be shameful to find pleasure in angst, it is unavoidable. These women make some serious first impressions. Some go for a regular handshake and a nervous giggle. Others go for full-on performances and presents. The gifts this year proved to be the most unique. From a lucky penny, to a seat belt, to a HUMAN HEART in a cooler (which was fake…probably), Chris probably now owns a big box of odd Bachelor souvenirs.

Dreaded mingling follows the first impressions. Plenty of time passes. The women consume enough liquid courage to not only start conversations, but also to embarrass themselves just enough for good TV. That statement may actually not be fair-- only two women nearly topple over. Plus, a few genuinely delightful moments occur. Chris makes a first connection; it looks promising. They forget about the camera crews and the other 29 women.  We see two people experience each other for the first time. The encounter between these two likeable people is honest and pleasant. Other encounters are quite the opposite. Viewers breathe heavily as they witness women rush to get a moment with Chris, panicking under the insane pressure. Awkward moments fill the television screen as women constantly interrupt conversations. They bring up completely inappropriate topics, while Chris just stares at them and calls them amazing.

When the host makes the announcement for the rose ceremony, everyone knows it is the moment of truth. Chris must choose a handful of women to send home, on the very night he meets them. The women tremble with nervous anticipation, hoping that this man they just met might be their future husband. Some women, on the other hand, sway with glazed eyes and try not to collapse.
The first rose ceremony ends up as dramatic as any other (just as the host promises every year). Chris leaves the room half way through to rethink his decision. Contestants tensely look at each other in confusion. But in the end, all is well in the land of The Bachelor. Chris makes a decision he is confident with and everyone begins to celebrate the end of a long day. Everything is just dandy until an eliminated woman comes back and asks to speak to Chris. Of course, her motive will not be revealed until next week, when America tunes in for another three hours. Cliffhangers seem to be one of The Bachelor’s most useful tools.

Overall, this season premier lives up to its expectations. This bachelor appears to be a refreshing choice by being a kind, normal person. As always, the combination of women proves to be a mixture of adorable and insane. The drama and jealousy easily matches that of past years. But it’s safe to say that season 19 of The Bachelor will not be giving viewers anything they haven’t seen before. 


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