Props to David and Miranda, for dinner and a choice viewing locale that, for once, wasn't the well-worn ass-groove on my couch in my apartment. Oh, ass-groove. Sometimes I think you're the only one who knows me at all. Hmmm. Also, props to ass-groove.
Ching-ching-a-ching-ching, strummity-strum-strum-strum goes the skipping record of a soundtrack that comprises the aural wallpaper for every music cue on this show. The generic, easy-listening quality of it calls to mind not the unfolding drama of complex and televised emotional developments, but more the sense memory of watching safety instructions on a plane shortly before take-off. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for flying Bachelor Air. Please see that all carry-on luggage is stowed in the overhead compartments. In case of emergency, Bob Guiney's ego can be used a flotation device. If that is not available, please note the giant pink slippers in your seatback pocket, which can be used as a raft that only floats to Fire Island. Enjoy your flight.
"Fellas, if you would, come join me in the living room, please," shouts the angstier-than-usual voice of Chris "Host Of Compelling Show Past" Harrison, as the remaining Bachelor 15 grunt and scratch and amble toward the steps, because these are real men and that is what real men do. Except for "sensitive" Elliot, who is not a real man. And neither is "delicate" Rick. Nor is "square-faced" Matthew. Two of them because they're just a little gay. One of them because he's geometry. See if you can figure out which one is which!
Grunting, scratching, preening, and calculating the dimensions of a four-sided shape in order to end up with a regular octagon when you connect the outside vertices of the figure, the men make their way downstairs. The sit around on a plush collection of sofas and divans, as Chris welcomes them to Boymerica and asks them what they think. A general murmur of pleased assent is his reply, save for one or two lispy "this giant ottoman simply will not do"-type things that must just be my imagination. Because one of the hallmarks of this show is that everyone who is ever on it only does it for all the right reasons of finding love, Chris believes that they've never seen this show before. So, a recitation of the rules. Again. But wait! They're different! But not different enough. Not really different at all: "We usually start with three group dates. This time it's a little different. There are only two group dates, and one very special one-on-one date." Oh, fabulous. A one-on-one date with a guy Meredith doesn't know at all, and two dates teeming with guys we'll never get to know at all. Dually effective in the way that these changes are barely concessional surface changes, and yet they still manage to be bad. Well done.