Elyse Watches The Bachelor–S23 E01: Happy Fucking Birthday

Elyse Watches The Bachelor with Kraken Rum and CokeWe’ve reached the point in the year where I watch The Bachelor so you don’t have to, an act of charity that requires the consumption of alcohol. (These are our archives, in case you need a few hundred thousand words of horror-tinged hilarity as a distraction today.)

This year might actually break me. This season’s Bachelor, Colton, is a virgin, a fact that has been mentioned approximately eleventy billion times in the previews I’ve seen.

I’ve watched maybe thirty seconds of teasers, and I’m already incredibly uncomfortable with how they’re fetishizing his virginity. I guarantee it will be mentioned about every five minutes on the show. Take a shot each time they do if you want to be black out drunk by 8 pm.

I don’t like it

Schmidt from New Girl chants I don't like it I don't like it I don't like it!

So Colton is a virgin. Who cares? Firstly, I’m assuming we’re talking about a heteronormative concept of virginity where he’s never had p-in-v intercourse before. I don’t think he’s been hiding on a desert island deprived of all human touch. I’m pretty sure he’s actually seen women before.

People keep speculating that he loses his virginity on the show, which…I don’t think it’s gonna happen on camera? Like, is Chris Harrison going to be in corner, breathing heavily, and confirming penetration?

See how salty I am already? Do you know how much booze I actually want to drink to get through this? I can handle one Kraken and Coke Zero on a school night or maybe two glasses of white wine. I have to go to work tomorrow. That requires that I be conscious and ambulatory. I’m only going to be pleasantly buzzed drunk when I really want to be “my face is numb” drunk.

Anyway, today is also my husband’s birthday. He pointed out that The Bachelor premiere is the shittiest birthday present ever. I told him he didn’t have to watch. Our house has multiple rooms in it. It has multiple TVs. Instead he just shook his head mournfully and poured a glass of wine directly into a plastic tumbler. The big kind you get at the movie theater.

Happy fucking birthday, I guess.

Anyway, tonight is the first episode which means it’s basically two hours of women getting out of limousines and trying to make a great first impression on Colton. Or a lasting one. Also some poor PA has to hose down the driveway to the McMansion to make it shiny between takes. For real.

A promo shot of Colton in front of a wall of roses

We open up with Chris Harrison hosting a live viewing party at The Fonda Theatre in LA. He’s an alarming shade of orange. He talks about all of the viewing parties going on across the US, including one in the “middle” of the country, in Lansing, MI.

Lansing, MI isn’t in the middle of the country, Chris. It’s not even close.

Then we meet Chris’s mom, Mary Beth Harrison, and I’m not saying this to be an asshole but she looks ten years younger than her son. WHAT HAS THE ROSE GOD DONE TO YOU, CHRIS?

In the opening package we meet Heather, a self-described beach girl, who is also a virgin and has never kissed a man (take a drink). We also meet dental hygienist Kirpa who wants to clean Colton’s teeth, which…

Ryan Gosling says Okay

So then we get a slo-mo shot of Colton taking a shower outside because…IDK. After he takes a shower he works out and then takes another shower. He’s basically following Marky-Mark’s schedule, I guess.

A shot of Mark Walhberg's schedule that he posted on instagram. It starts at 230 a.m. with prayers and then just alternates between snacking, working out and showers. He does reserve an entire hour for family time though.

Colton reveals that on the last season of The Bachelorette he was ready to lose his virginity to Becca (take a drink). Then he and Chris have a sit down and talk about his virginity some more (take a drink). Colton says there’s a stigma there and before he can finish his sentence Chris says “that he’s not a man!” WHOA. SLOW YOUR ROLL, SIR.

Colton says, “I’m not waiting for a ring, I’m not waiting for a marriage. I’m waiting for love. I’m waiting for it to feel right.”

It’s at this point I go to fast-forward through the commercial and realize THIS IS THREE HOURS LONG.

THREE HOURS.

I want to cry RN

A ferret rolls aound on a couch, pulling pillows down on top of itself while the words

We keep cutting back to viewing parties and former Bachelor couples, and I don’t care. Then Arie and Lauren show up and talk about how they’re pregnant. Arie is still incredibly boring. He’s on screen for like ten seconds and I suddenly feel like I drank straight from a bottle of Nyquil.

It’s 8 pm and no one has gotten out of a Single. Fucking. Limo. Yet.

Some couple at a viewing party in Park City, UT, gets engaged. I hate them. I hate everything.

“It’s live TV! Anything can happen here tonight!” Chris says.

EXCEPT THE ACTUAL FUCKING SHOW.

Do you know what I could do with three hours? I could read an entire book. I could knit a sock. I could just go to bed at a reasonable hour.

I thought I’d be half done by now…

Dianna Agron from Glee sobs and says I'm tired.

So then finally, FINALLY we get to the McMansion.

First up is Demi who tells Colton “I haven’t dated a virgin since I was 12!”

I don’t…take a drink, I guess?

A woman grimaces

Sydney tells him that she quit her job as a NBA dancer to be on the show.

Then…it happens. Folks, we have an Elyse. Elyse with a “y.” Yeah. I don’t have the strength for this.

“I’m so nervous!” Other Elyse says.

ME, TOO. MY NAME WILL BE ON HIS LIPS. I DON’T LIKE IT.

A headshot of Other Elyse. She's got light red hair, immaculate eyebrows, and a really great lipstick on.
Other Elyse

Do you know how often I wished I had a popular name when I was a kid? I could never find novelty keychains and stuff with my name on it. This just feels like a slap in the face from the universe, quite frankly.

Then we get Caitlin. She has a big red balloon which she pops and tells him, “Now that I popped your cherry we don’t have to talk about virginity anymore!” Take a drink.

Are you drunk yet? You should be drunk.

Katie from Sherman Oaks, CA does a card trick that involves taking Colton’s V card. Take a drink.

Then, I swear to God, a woman gets out of a limo in a sloth costume. She moves toward him, speaking slowly.

“I heeeearrrrrddddd youuuuuuu taaaaaaaaakkkkkkeeee thiiiiiiinnnnngggssss slllllowwwwwwly,” she says, inching forward.

LADY THE DRIVEWAY IS DRYING UP AND WE HAVE TO HOSE IT DOWN. MOVE YOUR ASS.

You know what, just drink straight from the bottle. It’s better that way, honestly.

Colton helps a contestant remove the head from her sloth costume. I actually just typed those words.

Next up we get sirens. Tracy, a wardrobe stylist, gets out of a police car. She says she’s the fashion police, and she gives Colton some handcuffs to “hold on to.”

“I’ll save these for the Fantasy Suite,” Colton says.

Then we get Bri. You might have seen the previews where we find out that Bri speaks in an Australian accent. Bri isn’t Australian, by the way. She’s just using the accent to stand out.

I want to know long she’s going to commit to this for. Like, if they get married, is she still Australian? I can picture them, married forty years, and Bri is on her deathbed. Colton leans down to kiss her, one final time and she whispers, “Colton… I have to tell you… I’m from Worcester, Massachusetts, motherfucker!” and then she cackles and sheds this mortal coil.

Colton and Bri sit on a drinking sofa
Colton and Bri

Then Catherine, a DJ from Florida, steps out of a limo holding her Pomeranian, Lucy. And I’m thinking, “You can have dogs on the show now?” This makes the show 9000% better!

Except she tells Colton that since she wants a piece of his heart, she’s going to give him a piece of hers, AND SHE GIVES HIM LUCY.

Like I assume not for real, but we don’t joke about these things!

DOGS ARE TOO PRECIOUS AND GOOD FOR THIS WORLD AND YOU DO NOT GIVE YOUR DOG TO THE BACHELOR. OMG. LUCY, BABY, COME LIVE WITH ME. I’D NEVER DO THAT TO YOU!

I love dogs so much. At Christmas I told my sister I loved Chris Evan’s dog more than her, and I was only kinda kidding. I mean, WTF Catherine. What’s WRONG WITH YOU?!

If the Bachelor tried to take my dog from me I’d straight up punch him in the fucking face.

The other women are horrified.

Then Chris Harrison takes the dog for the duration for the show, and I’m SO upset. Lucy isn’t safe.

I’m so upset

A woman holds a giant bottle of wine and says I don't think I need a glass

Some woman shows up in a horse-drawn Cinderella carriage and I don’t care because I need to know if Lucy is okay.

Do you know what it would take for me to give one of my pets up? NOTHING. All the Chrises  could pledge their undying devotion to me if I just let them have Fisher, and I would punch them all in the throat. Fish and I are ride or die. We are forever. You stay the fuck away from his fuzzy toe-beans, Hemsworth.

Shit. I think the alcohol kicked in.

Then we cut back to Lansing DEAD CENTER (NOT) IN THE MIDDLE OF THE US and someone tells a fascinating story about this time her cable is out and…

HAS ANYONE SEEN LUCY? IS LUCY OK?

Then the cable lady gets engaged, and JFC people. I just want to go to bed. I don’t care about Colton’s engagement. At this point I only care about Lucy and not being hungover tomorrow.

So then Colton and Chris Harrison talk about the thirty women he just met, but neither of them are watching Lucy which YOU HAD ONE JOB YOU GUYS. JESUS.

Then Colton goes into the mansion for the cocktail hour. Demi scores some solo time with him first. Meanwhile the other women discuss his virginity. Take a drink.

Erika flat out asks him why he’s a virgin (take a drink). Colton talks about waiting for the right person and…it’s not even nine you guys.

I’m so tired

A little girl is sound asleep, draped across a rolling suitcase while an adult pulls her along

Also we have a Miss Alabama and a Miss North Carolina in the house and they don’t like each other. So that’s a thing a guess.

Other Elyse tells Colton she’s from Alaska, and that if you’re from Alaska you need to know how to fish. So then they reel in a piece of smoked salmon that’s floating in the pool, and it looks super gross.

The woman in the sloth costume climbs a tree. Then she takes off the costume and she’s in an evening gown. She climbed a tree in an evening gown in a sloth costume.

Respect.

The competition for Colton’s time is intense. Onyeka comes up to him in a snorkel and blows a lifeguard whistle because he’s “drowning in bitches.” Catherine interrupts four girls for solo time, which doesn’t go over well with the group at large. Catherine is the woman who abandoned her sweet dog, Lucy. Pretty sure she’s this season’s villain.

Catherine strides across the freshly hosed driveway while holding Lucy

After some dramatic music, Colton gives the first impression rose to Hannah G. I honestly don’t even remember them talking, but it’s been a night.

Then Chris Harrison appears, sans Lucy, and tells them it’s time for The Dreaded Rose Ceremony.

“I know it was an extremely long night,” Colton says.

YOU FUCKING THINK?

Longest night ever

Old Rose from The Titantic says it's been 84 years

We cut to commercial and when we come back Chris Harrison’s mom dedicates a tribute video to him. It’s like PTSD flashbacks from Bachelors past. You can see him getting progressively more orange as the Rose God drains his life force.

Finally, finally the women wait for Colton on the risers while he talks to Chris Harrison about handing out roses.

“Oh, thank God,” my husband whispers.

The cast of this season stand together in a promotional shot

Somewhere in an eldritch chamber, the Rose God stirs. He wakens from his slumber as he feels the power of the roses being handed out. He has been patient, but he is hungry.

Colton says, “Elyse, will you accept this rose?” and I have this visceral urge to punch something (I’m strictly fight, no flight).

I can’t accept your rose Colton…I have a headache for the rest of my life, I think. Or diarrhea. Yeah, that’s it. No one questions diarrhea. It’s real bad.

If I was Colton, I’d give Lucy a rose and send everyone else home. I’d spend weeks in the McMansion with her, then we’d do some traveling, and it would be the best season ever.

So then we’re down to one rose, and Chris Harrison steps up to announce, “This is the final rose tonight.”

THANKS CHRIS.

The last rose goes to Catherine. Of course it does. Ugh.

Which means Erin (Cinderella girl), Tahzjuan, and Devin go home, and I finally go to bed.

And while my count may be off, because did I mention this was three hours long, by my unscientific method, this episode had 14 mentions of his virginity. FOURTEEN.

Are you watching this season? What did you think of the opener? DID YOU MAKE IT THROUGH? ARE YOU OKAY? 

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