The first few episodes of any Bachelor/ette are always a bit of a chore. There are too many unnecessaries. Unnecessary men, unnecessary gimmicks, unnecessary sporting events that always seem to take place at a local high school. This time around, we’ve got a crazy ex-girlfriend to contend with (though I’m sure the situation is a lot more nuanced than that), and you know it’s going to take at least 10 commercial breaks for ABC to allow that mess happen, so let’s get into it.
The rose ceremony survivors gather in the mansion sporting street clothes, which is always an interesting moment for me. Chris Harrison emerges and offers some textbook foreshadowing by mentioning “the right reasons,” and drops a Date Card™. It’s Iggy, Dean, Jack Stone, Jonathan, Blake, Kenny, Fred, and Lucas, and they immediately start day drinking.
Rachel greets the brotestants in a field in a gorgeous dress (Rebekah Minkoff?) and introduces today’s gimmick guests, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. Jack Stone says they’re the most perfect couple in Hollywood right now, but let us never forget that Emily Blunt and Jim Halpert are a thing.
The couple claim they love the show and called the producers asking to help Rachel find love. I might buy that. Mila then asks the most important question in this franchise’s history: Who here has health insurance?
CUT TO THE MANSION
Alex’s doll floats terrifyingly in the pool while Nashville talks some nonsense about people having targets on their back. Will listens patiently because that’s the kind of wonderful human that I can tell he is based off his one minute and 24 seconds of screen time. (#ROOTINFORWILL)
CUT TO THE FIELD
Ashton and Mila explain how an aggressively intricate obstacle course can reveal who’s “husband material.”
I want Kenny to win for Rachel’s sake, but life isn’t always fair, and sometimes perfect angels have to spend forced time with a man who screams “Whaboom” for no other reason than what Mila succinctly summed up for us: “just cuz he can.”
The most incredible thing about Mila and Ashton being here is that nobody makes a Punk’D joke.
CUT TO A LOS ANGELES BAR
The brotestants gather in a space filled with more neon than Blade Runner and Tron: Legacy combined.
Blake says he knows Lucas from a previous “encounter.” Thanks to some deep IMDB investigative reporting, we can infer that this encounter happened on WE tv’s Ex Isle, which is just as terrible as it sounds. Carmen Electra was the host, and Blake E. joined the show as a “sexy new single” (barf) at some point in the season. This douchebauchery discredits both of these clowns, and I am done paying attention to them.
The best thing that comes out of the Blake/Lucas interaction is the following insight from Kenny. “I’m a pro wrestler. I know all about white dudes acting crazy. But everybody is just talking around in circles, so if y’all want to get on the merry-go-round take your a** to Santa Monica. These white dudes are kind of bugging right now.”
Dean, who has fully recovered from his risky opening line on After the Final Rose, gets the date rose, a kiss, and some actual chemistry with Rachel.
Peter is the first out of the limo and gets the first one-on-one. We need to pay attention to Peter, which is easy, of course, because of that beautiful, beautiful face.
He and Rachel take her Tesla to a private jet to go to Palm Springs with COPPER. They go to Barkfest (sponsored by Bark Box!) and it looks so fun and adorable. It’s everything that Ex Isle is not.
— The Bachelorette (@BacheloretteABC) May 30, 2017
Peter dances with Copper and my heart skips one thousand beats. Later, Rachel, Peter, and Dakota Johnson continue to make me wish I had a gap tooth. Rachel gives Beautiful Peter a rose and says she’s a “smitten kitten.” This is a hard phrase to pull off, but it’s just the best.
GROUP DATE NUMBER 2
Will, Jamey, Diggy, Alex, Adam, Lee, Matt, Eric, Josiah, and DeMario are listed on a Date Card™ that says “Swish.” Thankfully, this is a basketball-related date, and not an impromptu performance of Katy Perry’s new single. (Seriously, what are you doing, girl?)
My heart starts racing trying to guess who has the ex-girlfriend. I need to care less.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrives, and I’ve actually heard of him, so you know he’s a big deal. There’s a winning team and a losing team but none of that matters because there’s an ex-girlfriend lurking around here somewhere. We’re seeing a lot of DeMario, so by the laws of this show it has to be DeMario’s ex-girlfriend, right?
There’s a commercial break, and then suddenly I’m not watching The Bachelorette anymore. I’m watching something that most closely resembles a cross between Jerry Springer and Vanderpump Rules. (Ex-girlfriend does sort of look like a less surgically altered Scheana.) According to ex-girlfriend, DeMario (duh) was literally on his way over for a movie night when he detoured and went to After the Final Rose instead. DeMario mailed her keys back to her. Rachel is not here to get played, is justifiably furious about this garbage scenario she was thrust into, and tells DeMario to leave. She blows right past Chris Harrison who’s just sort of lurking and smirking around, changes into another stunning ensemble (Self Portrait?) and takes her remaining men to a magical bar with a tree and they sit at its trunk.
Josiah is sweet. Diggy is nice. Will performs spoken word poetry (!!!). A Russian man speaks Russian. Eric asks what her love language is. Someone asked me what my love language was on a recent date and I SHUT DOWN EMOTIONALLY, but Rachel is a better, more accepting person than I am.
Rachel gives her rose to Josiah and I realize that he has white sleeves, a black vest, a blue blazer, and no white collar and I am baffled.
The second Rose Ceremony™ is finally upon us, but it’s 8:56pm so of course DeMario shows up with the cops to wrap this episode up.
In the wise, wise words of Ashton Kutcher, “That was truly an effort.” In more ways than one, man. In more ways than one.