"Picture like… the best dream you've ever had and times that by ten… and that's what I'm living in." -Desiree, the new Bachelorette
Oh sweet, sweet Desiree. You're not in 6th grade anymore, so the phrase is actually "multiply that by ten," dreams are assumed to be positive (since they aren't nightmares) so your opening phrase is redundant, and you shouldn't end a sentence with a dangling preposition. But WHATEVS girl, you're the new BACHELORETTE! You get to be as dumb as you want AND drive a baby blue convertible Bentley (wish I were kidding—it was like a Bennifer era J. Lo video up in that place).
Monday night kicked off a new season of The Bachelorette and Desiree (poor man's Katie Holmes from Sean's season) is the lady of the hour (or 8 weeks). I always prefer seasons of The Bachelorette because I find dudes more fun to mock (I'm a feminist—what do you want from me?) and this batch looks like a doozy. But before we met the men, ABC services up a hell of a lot of B roll of Desiree bopping around Malibu: Desiree on roller-skates in a bikini, Desiree sketching on the beach, Desiree chasing seagulls on the beach, Desiree in SO many outfits. It was quite a montage. Desiree sat down with intrepid Bachelor/Bachelorette mascot Chris Harrison to discuss how she's feeling at this moment, as she stands on the precipice of taking "the ultimate risk" as she calls it. The producers hit the "Cinderella" storyline HARD and I'm sure we'll hear a LOT of Cinderella comparisons throughout the season (cause you know how that story goes: poor man's Katie Holmes aka Cinderella has tattooed, mood swing-ey brother and grew up poor then ended up on TV or whatever). Desiree was on the verge of tears within 3 minutes of the opening credits and she didn't stop until the 2 hour season premier was over. But let's get to the good stuff: HER SUITORS!
We learned a bit about a handful of suitors in some pre-shot footage, but let's go over what we know once the limo arrivals started. Yes, we're back at the Bachelor mansion, which must be outfitted with Valtrex dosing machines in every room for the number of Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor Pad seasons that house has seen. Who's rolling into Desiree's Domain?
-Drew: a digital marketing dude from AZ who we learned in the pre-taped segment has an alcoholic dad and handicapped sister (playing the sympathy card RIGHT OUT THE GATE!) and seems super sweet if a bit immature. He looks a lot like the young character Billy from Stealing Home (one of the best movies of ALL TIME), so I like him right away. Seems very genuine.
-Brooks: has longish hair, which I dig, but an awkward way about him. Perhaps he'll be a slow burn.
-Brad: dude is CUT (nice), built like a brick shithouse (nice), has little to no neck (very nice), wears a striped tie (niiiiice), and brings a wishbone so that he and Desiree can make a wish together. Mama likes.
-Bryden: Iraq vet who we learned in earlier segment is from Missoula Montana and seems super sweet. His hair is a little bit Dumb & Dumber, but he's probably just psyched it's not in a buzz cut anymore, so I'll give him a pass.
-Michael G: a federal prosecutor from FL who comes off as a LITTLE bit overexcited/intense, but he looks like a young Patrick Swayze (circa The Outsiders), so I like him. He and Desiree throw pennies in the fountain and make a wish. Mad wishing going on in this episode!
-Kasey: a social media guy (whatever the hell that "job" is) who I hate immediately. He has spiky hair, angular features, and speaks in hashtags. I AM NOT JOKING! Within his first few moments on camera he legit claimed that he had "made" a hashtag from Desiree (as though that involves actually MAKING something), then recited it to her saying, "hashtag marriage material." OMG I want to FIGHT you, you loser in lime green soled shoes. I hope you #GetVotedOffRealQuickAndCryAboutIt.
-Will: a banker from Chicago who is the lone African American on the show. He seems sweet, albeit a bit overenthusiastic. He gives Desiree a goddess nickname right away which is cute and creepy. But he likes Bikram yoga and so do I, so I'll give him a pass.
-Mikey T: a plumber from Chicago WHO FRIGGITY RULES! He's like a hot pit bull of good looks, dimples, and family loyalty. His pants are a little too short and he lights into a speech about the importance of family a little too quickly, but I adore him nonetheless.
-Jonathan: a lawyer from North Carolina who is a little bit whispery and a whole lot creepy. He hands Desiree a date card and asks her to go to the "fantasy suite" with I'm right away. Getting pushy for action upon first meeting a girl, who does this guy think he is, a Duke Lax bro!? (BOOM!)
-Zak W: a drilling fluid engineer from TX who loves his abs, loves being hairless, and HATES SHIRTS (in his defense, those three specifics tend to go hand-in-hand). He asks Desiree if she will "accept these abs" and she awkwardly accepts. Yowza. Somebody get that guy a Xanax.
-James: a 27 year old from Chicago who looks like a mixture of Young Republican and Mafia Don.
-Larry: a 34 year old ER doctor with glasses who tries to dance with Desiree and dip her, but manages to almost rip her dress.
-Nick R: a tailor/magician from Chicago who does a trick for Desiree. Yes, this guy is a MAGICIAN. He is this season's version of Stevie (the resident pity bid/loser of Emily's season who was a professional party MC and was blatantly picked by producers for mean-spirited laughs).
-Zack K: I feel like I'm in the midst of a Zack Attack, even though this is only our 2nd Zack of the night. He's a book publisher based in CA with no neck, a barrel chest, and a pair of Chuck Taylors. I can't decide if I hate this guy just yet.
-Diogo: dude rolls up in a suit of ARMOR. Yes, the producers always get pushy with at least one person (last season it was Lindsay who arrived drunk and in a wedding gown on night #1) and this episode of was sweet Diogo who hardly speaks English. Ahh well. Drink up, kiddo, cause you're not sticking around.
[Note from inside the house: when Diogo entered in his suit of armor, everyone laughed at him pretty hard, but no one laughed harder than the shirtless jag Zak. Apparently even losers have a pretty strict hierarchy.]
-Chris: a pasty mortgage broker from Seattle who gets down on one knee in front of Desiree… TO TIE HIS SHOE! Somebody has been reading "The Game" am I right!?
-Mike R: a dental student who wears his dentist lab coat to remind Desiree that he gets covered in spit for a living.
-Robert: an Los Angelino who invented the spin sign. Have you ever been driving along a deserted, suburban-style road in Los Angeles and seen an underpaid, hungry person spinning a sign to encourage you to visit the nearby car wash or dry cleaner? It's the most depressing thing in the world AND YOU CAN THANK ROBERT FOR THAT ONE! But wait, he has a one eyed dog so maybe he's not a total jerk wad?
-Juan Pablo: a former pro soccer player from Venezuela who repeats his name about a dozen times for Desiree. She finds this hot, I do not.
-Brandon: rolls up with a bandana over his face (like he's about to commit a robbery ON DESIREE'S HEART!) and on a motorcycle. Earlier in the episode we learned that Brandon is an "adrenaline junkie" whose mom is an actual junkie. (Brandon and Drew are toe-to-toe with good looks and hot, traumatic backstories!)
-Brian: a forgettable 29 year old finance dude who rocks a velvet dinner jacket. Eh.
-Micah: a law student who designed his own outfit (and it's horrible).
-Nick M: a 27 year old with a cheek mole (it's hard to differentiate these guys!) who reads a cute poem.
-Dan: a beverage sales director from Las Vegas with WICKED white teeth & a hot face. Keep him around, pls.
And just when you think you've seen every POSSIBLE iteration of shameless entrance on The Bachelorette, a dude sends his 5 year old SON out the limo with a flower. Brody is the little boy and coming out the limo right after him is a tall drink of BORING water, Ben. Ben explains that Brody is his best friend and the most important thing in his life (but thankfully a best friend/super important thing who you can hand off to your mother for 8 weeks or so while you make out with a stranger all over the world).
And with that, all 25 beaus have assembled and Desiree has greeted them all. Exhausting, huh? The cocktail party is standard fare: Nick the magician says that he has a magic trick for everyone and his "trick" is that he makes Desiree disappear OFF WITH HIM! Aww snap Nick! The boys back at New Trier Middle School are going to DIE when they hear about that one! There's a whole lot of interrupting, Ben is grinney and smug as hell (especially after he scores the first rose), and Jonathan gets shitfaced. Proud Papa Ben explains that family is the most important thing in the world (but not important enough to marry your lone child's mother, apparently); Brandon talks about his mom's alcoholism (standard small talk, no?); shirtless Zak stays shirtless until he strips down to his undies and jumps in the pool; Bryden talks about his dog; Juan Pablo comes off as a bit needy yet patronizing; Michael G looks more and more like a Chunky Swayze; Mikey T flashes his dimples and makes fun of Nick the magician (OMG MIKEY CALL ME!); Larry apologizes for making Desiree trip on her dress hem and then seems to fall asleep. Lots of excitement. Jonathan attempts to drag Desiree to his created "fantasy suite" which prompts her to send him home immediately (good girl), then before you know it, it's rose ceremony time. Des has been giving out roses during the cocktail party, so a few lucky suitors already have boutteniers (Ben, Bryden, Zak W (pity rose), Nick, Michael G (chunky Swayze)) and who else gets 'em?
-Brandon (pinstripe suit, motorcycle entrance)
-Zack K (Chuck Taylors)
-Will (Chicago Bikram boy)
-Brooks (longer hair, lil effeminate)
-Juan Pablo (his name is a joke)
-Brett (dude is THICK)
-James (Mafia Don)
-Robert (spinning signs!)
-Brian (velvet jacket—he'll be gone soon unless he finds a personality)
-Dan (white teeth Vegas dude)
-Chris (pasty, bended knee Boys II Men dude)
-Mikey (THE CUTEST GUY IN THE WORLD! HELL YEAH! But I hope Desiree dumps him soon so I can twitter stalk his sweetness!)
Who got sent home?
-Nick (magician who is somehow smug as SHIT despite the fact that he's a non-hot magician)
-ER doc (seemed dull and couldn't seem to wake up)
-Homemade clothes (aka Micah)
-Knight (aka Diogo—I don't think he quite understood where he was)
-Mike R. (dentist)
-Jonathan (was sent home mid-cocktail party for being a creeper)
I think I'm missing a forgettable guy or two there in the mix, but who cares? Next week we'll whittle down this group once more and then we'll dig into the good stuff. In the previews I saw some shots of the dudes FISTFIGHTING and I am FIRED UP for this season. I may be a pacifist, but I love me some fighting dudes. See you next week!