My husband does not make new year's resolutions. Every year, I have list of about 20 different things I'd like to do/change; Brian: zero. No list, no resolutions, nothin'. He won't even buy into it. He won't even listen to me talk about my resolutions.
However, last night, he took one look at the TV screen, heard Chris Harrison's voice, and told me without hesitation, "There is no way I'm watching one minute of that show this year."
And so folks, I'm counting that as Brian's first ever new year's resolution.
While he has banished himself to the second TV, I happily curled up last night with a large bottle of water and the fuzzy blanket and settled in for the 14th - 15th? 28? - installment of this silly series. I'm kind of over it; the beefcake dudes, the crying girls, the broken engagements (RIP, Ally and Roberto). And I'll admit, I was not a big fan of Ben last season. The floppy hair is not my thing. And while he's a wine maker (score!), that's about the only redeemable quality I noted from Ashely's season. I'm just not into the schmoopy-puppy-wah-wah guy thing.
And I will be the first to say it: I was wrong.
This dude is hilarious.
It took me about 10 minutes to completely change my mind about old Ben. He's soft-spoken, yes, but he sincere. And funny. And smart. And most of all - most importantly - he still has that fresh LA-hasn't-corrupted-me-yet vibe to him. There were not a lot of shirtless scenes in the opening montage. None of him lifting weights. No dude-check-out-my-abs-moments. There was the occasional kayaking scene interwoven with lots of vineyard action, but it was nice and not overplayed. He said he was crushed by Ashley's rejection, but recognizes (without therapy and/or an ounce of self-importance) now that he needed it to make himself more available. He's a different person than when he started "The Bachelorette" and is ready for more of life's adventures. He spoke about his father's death in a realistic manner and expressed interest in moving forward.
I kind of love him for that. Nice job.
Well done, Ben. Let's hope this continues.
The girls, on the hand, are your usual assortment of hot messes. The makers of Latisse must have seen their stocks jump in the third quarter of last year, as all of these women are sporting deer-like eyelashes (or are all wearing falsies; couldn't tell). The ill-fitting satin dresses from the Kardashain Kollection were on full display, and LA must have run dry from all of the spray-tanning that happened in the hours leading up to meeting Ben. All of them - well, almost all - gushed about how they already love Ben, how he's the right guy for them, and how happy they are he is the new bachelor. And he clearly pointed producers in the direction of brunettes (even commenting during the opening interviews, "God, I'm loving these brunettes") since there were more dark-haired beauties in the crowd than normal.
I got a kick out of how the introduction part of the show has turned into this big production. Giant hats, horses, quippy little lines - I guess each girl wants to be more memorable than the next. I did like the grandmother part, though I was worried she was going to stay for the rose ceremony (that would have been weird...).
Early front runners to me seem to be Casey B, the cute dental hygienst (or was she an admin asst?), with the dark hair. She had on the sparkly silver dress? She seems normal and not corrupted by reality-TV fame yet. And Lindzie (how the heck do you spell her name??), the one who rode up on a horse, She of the First Impression Rose, seems to have legs (hoofs?) as well. I liked Jamie, the labor and delivery nurse since she seemed mostly down-to-earth and really did avoid the drama on the first night. Those are my top three.
Courtney, the model from Santa Monica, had that weird Kelly Killoran-Benisimmon-hair-flip thing going on, expounding to Ben on the fact that "what you see it what you get." I am trying hard not to hate her, but the hair flip combined with verbal vomit and the number of times she mentioned she is a model "...well, my job - I'm a model, you know - did I tell you I'm a model? Well, I am. A model" made me break one of my resolutions of not disliking people on sight. And based on the coming attractions, it looks like she stirs up quite a bit of trouble among the ladies, as well.
And trouble there was, on Night One. I like to think of this as "Give Really Skinny Girls A Lot of Free Alcohol and See What Happens" Night. Jenna and Monica did not disappoint. I'm not 100% sure what team Monica is playing for (that "Bachelor/Bachelorette" season has not happened yet), but she is a weird one. The slurred speech, the snuggle with Blakely, the intense aggression to Jenna, of all people equals one weird contestant. And Jenna, who clearly has watched one too many episodes of "Sex and the City" and now actually believes she is Carrie Bradshaw, is about a half glass of wine away from a complete and utter breakdown. I really hope the show producers allowed her an emergency phone call to her NY therapist after she locked herself in the bathroom. They do screen these people for mental illness, right? Right?
And with that, the ladies who were sent home were Amber Bacon (hideous dress but loved the sense of humor), the Kentucky girl, the girl wearing the ill-fitting white dress that looked strangely like a wedding dress (must have come from the Khloe Kollection), the English girl who should have never agreed to go on high-def TV, Amber T, and the LA girl. Bummer, ladies. Better luck next time.
What were your thoughts? Are you, too, on Team Ben now? Who are your front runners? And who do you think comes back (i.e. "the ex-girlfriend") in future episodes?? Does this show have any rules left?