The first episode of this season of “The Bachelor” has come and gone and here are my guesses for the season based on nothing but the unhealthy amount of reality TV I consume and one unsolicited tidbit from a friend. I have not visited the bowels of the Bachelor conspiracy theory internet - YET.
Skip to the end for my meta guess on the ending of the show, and obviously spoilers for Episode 1 of this season.
The Bachelor Himself: Peter Weber
Peter is … fine (not “foiiiiiineeee”). I was mostly agnostic towards him during Hannah Brown’s season of “The Bachelorette” but I wasn’t rooting against him. Admittedly anyone was better than Jed. Towards the end I thought he and Hannah had chemistry (or the editors were really good) and that was that. I was somewhat creeped out by the following: his weird cult-y chanting family, and again when his parents cheered him on during the finale/ after-show for having apparently had sex four times in one night in a windmill. So basically his family creeps me out?
When he was announced as the Bachelor I was unimpressed.
Having seen the first episode I continue to be unimpressed. I think had he not been on the show, if one saw him on a Tinder or Bumble one would not necessarily swipe right. They also are doing him no favors by continuing to show him shirtless. He’s fine, and skews a little softer than we're used to seeing. I do not feel too much guilt in judging the physiques and physical characteristics of the contestants as they all volunteered for it. No one is FORCING them to go on Reality TV. For better or for worse, in modern society there is an understanding that by signing up for one of these shows you will open yourself to judgement. That in and of itself is a bigger issue and a different conversation.
Body language wise, he does have a bizarre ease and comfort with the women, but perhaps that’s just because unlike previous Bachelor, Colton Underwood, he’s clearly actually talked to (and done much more with) women before. I will also point out that watching Arie Luyendyk Jr interact with women was like watching someone constantly performing the Dementor’s kiss, so at least witnessing Weber’s courtship isn’t physically repulsive.
I also do like that he apparently still has a real job, and may not be going for that Instagram/Sponsorship post-show life / income. This could change once the season ends.
The North Scar
Apparently - and based on several montages - Peter gets injured at some point during this season. He spots a wound above his eye, which will make the job of the editors particularly challenging this season. Usually they are able to manipulate us via talking head interviews, b-roll footage, and other tricks of the trade in to feeling and believing what they want us to.
So what happens when that tool is taken away from them as you’ll be able to identify at what point in the season Peter’s interviews happened? WE’LL FIND OUT!
The Ladies: First Impressions
As with any premiere episode of “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” there is an overwhelming number of contestants introduced. Many of them were forgettable and it’s tough to root for any of them from the start.
Here were just a few thoughts based on the obligatory cringey limo first impressions and desperate mixer. Yes this may get shallow.
One overall observation I did make was there were a surprising number of Asian women on the show. The franchises are not known for their diversity, but Asian contestants in particular seem to do extremely poorly. This may just have to do with Peter’s personal minority preferences. Aside from Tammy who seems to be getting some air time, the rest seem to have already faded into obscurity.
What it’s not tough to do from the get go is start disliking some of them, and our two main villain contenders are also of course our front runners.
Kelley reminds me of a slightly younger Danielle Staub from “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” She has a slight leg up in that she and Peter randomly met before filming.
They claim to have just met but all signs point to: those two definitely bumped uglies.
The engineering of having the first group date at the location they met at was brilliant. She knew how to play that room of girls very easily as well, setting her up as a villain. Clearly the editors want more out of these two, so buckle up for more air time.
The other frontrunner and likely villain is Hannah Ann. Her use of the “Can I steal you for a sec” may go down in premiere history as the most steals. You can also tell from the way he looked at her like a piece of meat when she was first entering the mansion that he is in to it.
Her confrontation with Shiann about the steal was downright cold hearted. I am here for it. I also do not like her.
A possible contender, but even more likely contender for “The Bachelorette” is Madison aka off brand Anna Kendrick. Going back to my earlier point about Peter’s family, are they so thirsty for TV exposure now that they allowed Bachelor nation to crash their marriage renewal for A FIRST DATE?
Also way to lead her on Peter. Now you HAVE to keep her around for a bit or you look like a jackass.
A New but Old Challenger Enters the Fray
Here’s where I think things will start to get interesting.
Enter Hannah Prime aka Hannah B.
Having her come out of the limo was a pure genius move. Plant the seed early of “will she enter the house?”
For the record I think it would be downright degrading for Hannah to enter the pool of competitors living in the house (as Peter hints he might outright ask her to do). You don’t become THE Bachelorette to have to slum it in the mansion again.
There does seem to be an undeniable chemistry between the two. While I question the professions of love from Peter (y’all knew each other for a few months and under insanely engineered circumstances), I do think they seemed like an okay match.
Apparently Hannah was filming her turn on “Dancing with the Stars” during this season so I think it’s unlikely she will join the house. Also as I mentioned, I think if she has any self worth she’ll not bother to enter the fray again.
I give her extra kudos for managing to hijack this first and likely second episode. She manages to shower off some of the embarrassment of picking so poorly in her own series, and for now avoid the sponsorship route.
The Hypothesis: Redemption
If I was the ABC team, who for the last 18 years have been shoving “romance” down TV audience’s throats, I would be embarrassed by last season and scrambling to figure out how to make up for it.
What would be a better twist than Peter going through his entire season “normally” and then at the final rose / end of the line deciding he was right all along, and that Hannah B is his true love?
Peter looks like a “good guy” for staying the course and the claim of having loved her. Hannah gets redemption by lowering herself a bit and asking for forgiveness in her choices.
ABC gets “the greatest Bachelor/Bachelorette wedding special” ever told. It would be a ratings bonanza.
It might be somewhat wishful thinking, after all having absorbed however many seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” one does start to drink the kool-aid a bit and hope that not ALL of this is BS.
We will see how the season plays out. One thing for sure is that we will have some ripe candidates for “Bachelor in Paradise.”
Bonus Round: Drinking Game Edition
Depending on how much damage you want to do to your liver there are always a few classic key phrases you can drink to during an episode of “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette.”
Staples include “Can I steal you for a sec?” “I like that” and “He/She isn’t here for the right reasons.” This season’s buzz word seems to be “Genuine” - which backfired hardcore on poor man’s Anna Kendrick, Madison, who seems to have commented on her own Instagram about how genuine and real she is - and it made it to the front page of Reddit.
The latest interviews, reviews, and opinions on film by Dana Han-Klein. Thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and not reflective of my employer or any third parties.