But let's back up a sec so I can issue a disclaimer: I've never watched this show before, ever. I know what a Rose Ceremony is and everything -- Amish people know what that shit is by now; it's the kabrillionth season -- but I don't know the ins and outs of the show (…as it were), so those of you who worked through your Chris Harrison issues back in the '90s will have to bear with me.
And with Melissa.
We open with a montage of roses and limos and sobbing betties (and dudes) and hot tubs and diamonds and frenching and someone's dad racking a shotgun. Someone's dad, come sit by me; this bitch is an hour and a half and I feel you right now. More montage: that O'Connell gent, blubbering; proposals; a gay man asking a woman to marry him; Trista and Ryan, and their BachSpawn, Max, who is cute. The VO promises that the show is better, and sexier, than ever, and we see a clip of a girl whipping her bikini top off over her head. Missed it? Don't worry, you'll see it about 24 more times.
Now it's time to meet "the sexiest Bachelor ever: Brad Womack, the self-made millionaire from Austin, Texas." Brad is a little fratty-boombatty for my taste at first glance, but he's cute: brush cut hair, stubble, cut bod but not too gym-y. Brad tells the camera, "I'm not royalty, I'm not a professional athlete -- I'm just an everyday, hardworking guy that's looking for his soulmate." You'd think years of recapping Dawson's Creek would have inured me to the word "soulmate," but: no. Bile still creeps up just like the old days. While Brad successfully dresses himself, he blathers on in VO about how he's so lucky, he can't wait to propose and find the woman he's going to spend the rest of his life with, blah blah you'll hear this about a hundred thousand times in this ep alone so let's move on. Brad watches a pretty sunset, alone, and then it's a montage of the upcoming party as Chris VO talks about how Brad's going to share a Malibu mansion with "the craziest women yet," and go on the most exciting dates in Bachelor history. Montage of women doing pole-dance moves, telling Brad to take his pants off, dates on private jets. Montage of women calling other women bitches, getting in catfights, crying, taking off their bikini to-- no, that's the same girl from before. "I just can't handle all the drama in this house!"