The "previously on" clips that open the show -- about five hours' worth -- build the tension like the first seventy-five minutes of 127 Hours, which has a happier ending than I think this show will.
We open in Cape Town, South Africa. "What a place to end this journey," says Brad, who is standing on a hill and saying that it's like looking at the whole world. I don't know what that means, but I do know that The Bachelor is whiter than even apartheid-era South Africa.
Brad's family shows up, and Brad can't get through a couple of hugs without crying. And then he apologizes for the crying, and he explains to us about why he's crying, which is that he gets "choked up," and then he's crying again, and he tells his family that he's happier than he has been in a long time. They ask him if he's considering proposing, and he says "one hundred per cent".
Brad tells his family that the two girls could not be more different, which must tell them a lot about how stupid this entire process is. Then the doorbell rings, and Brad says "speak of the devil," and goes off to answer the door, saying "I need some time with my woman." He seems to forget that he has two of them.
And then there's Chantal, hugging Brad, and telling Brad's family that she fell in love in Costa Rica, and tells an inane story about how they were drinking wine and then it started to rain and so they ran away from the rain, and it was totally awesome or whatever. And then Brad's brothers decide to talk to Chantal about whether she's really ready, and she is, and then Brad's brothers tell him how awesome she seems, and then Brad's mom talks to Chantal as well. And Chantal, unsurprisingly, is her sweet, charming self, and Brad asks her how she can be in love with Brad already, and I forget what she says but the weirdest thing about Chantal's audition with Brad's family is the usual unspoken "so what about the fact Brad is doing the exact same thing with another woman?" business.
"I'm so in love with Brad. I am. I'm ready to change my whole life for him," she says. Brad tells us that she is an extraordinary woman, and "If everything works out, I will marry her." Yes, you can make a lot of statements if you start them with "If everything works out..." and use a tone of voice that implies he has no control over whether everything works out.
And now it's on to Emily, and Brad tells us he's worried about the story of Emily's ex coming up. What are the odds of that happening? It's only the focus of every conversation. Anyway, Emily brings flowers, and she tells us she's nervous because there's a lot of pressure on her and they're going to be sizing her up.