A caffeinated, almost sarcastically excited crowd of vacationing middle-aged women and their daughters fills a soundstage just east of Fairfax. As the nondescript but achingly familiar strains of "The Bachelorette Mash" (it was a pop-culture-graveyard-smash!) fill the room, the women clap like Tinkerbell is on her death bed, and all the while they cling to the recorded announcement played right before the cameras started rolling that, if they'll be patient, Dr. Phil will be out to solve all of their problems in juuuuuust a minute or two. It may be a lie, y'all, but isn't it their fault for choosing to believe it?
The lights come up, instead revealing the face of "All I Want For" Chris "Mas Is To Stop Losing My" Harrison, wearing a peculiarly shiny silver polo shirt and the same pair of ill-fitting khakis I wore to temple the night before my Bar Mitzvah. You know that age? That age where nothing fits right? Chris is that age tonight. He speaks directly into the camera, which I must admit I find a bit invasive: "Good evening. And welcome to The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All." A reality-show name with a colon in it? What is this, his fucking graduate thesis? And did I miss the memo that The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All is the actual title of the show now? Why is this the first time we're privy to a descriptive sentence letting us know the thesis statement of the episode before it even starts? How come the past weeks weren't tagged with helpful openings like "Welcome to The Bachelorette: Greg Lives In A Broken-Down Shanty on the Outer Valence of Coolsville" or "Welcome to The Bachelorette: Ryan Wears a Really, Really, Really Gay Hat"? It could've helped. I'm just saying. So Chris welcomes us, having no idea which word of this newly-minted title to emphasize, deciding on the curious "Men" over the fairly obvious "All." But we'll leave him alone early tonight, because he's obviously nervous about having so much screen time, for once. Plus, he's feeling awkward about the fact that his protruding belly can see its own reflection in his shiny shiny shirt, and he's mad at his mother for picking those clothes out for him in the first place. Other boys may be just the chess princes, but he's been to the mall, and Chris is the only Chess King. And yes, since you asked. I just checked. And I am a total supermodel.
"For weeks, we've all be glued to our televisions, watching Trista in her search for love." Who is the "all" to which he is referring, exactly? People who have never heard of American Idol? People who have that really weird cable plan that only includes one hour of network television a week? People living in politically neutral countries that no one's heard of where they avoid war and whose main export is, like, doilies? "The tables turned and the power finally in a woman's hands, emotions ran high and egos were bruised." "Finally." Take that, thousands of years of gender inequality! It's payback time, and Trista sure is the Miami Heat Martyr willing to give herself over to this bunch of Poindexters in order to turn the tide. "When it all began, there were twenty-three other men involved, and tonight they're back and ready to answer the questions that you've been dying to ask." Like what, for the love of god? LIKE WHAT? "Who will Trista choose?" But we know they won't answer that. And besides, we already know the answer. And, also, shut up, Chris Harrison. But tonight he won't shut up. Not tonight. Tonight is his night. To be the stah.