Well if that was any indication, this is going to be quite a fascinating season.
Nick Viall has officially begun his reign as The Bachelor's current star, and for the most part, his first episode was pretty much like every first episode—except for one major difference, best summed up by visiting former Bachelor, Sean Lowe.
"I think a lot of people see Nick as this former toolbag, right?"
That's pretty much the gist of the season's narrative, which is that this is the final act of Nick Viall's redemption story. He started out as the "bad guy"—or at least the guy who behaved unfortunately in unfortunate situations—during two seasons of The Bachelorette, then spent all of Bachelor in Paradise introducing us to the new and improved Nick. Now, it's time to root for him to finally find a woman who hopefully doesn't reject him for another guy.
And he had better actually find that love, because as he himself tells us, he is never giving up. He will live out the rest of his days on Bachelor spinoffs if that's what it takes to finally find his one true love. So basically this one had better take, or we're stuck with him forever, and he's stuck doing this forever.
We begin Nick's journey with his own struggle coming to terms with his new reality, and also the sentence "Hi I'm Nick, and I'm the Bachelor."
Nick then tells us all about his many flaws—he's long-winded, he can't sit sideways on a couch, and he mumbles a lot—and it's time for clips of some of Nick's previous rejections, and some advice from his little sister.
"Pick them up in a cool ride," she advises, which is very helpful, thank you little sister.
Up next it was the annual meeting of the available former Bachelors with Sean Lowe, Ben Higgins, and not-a-success-story-but-nice-to-see-you-anyway Chris Soules.
Nick managed to wait to show up only after the guys had finished poking a bit of fun at him, though Sean wasn't done being frank.
"A lot of people don't like you," he told Nick, referring to the majority of America that didn't watch Bachelor in Paradise, but all three guys assured Mr. Viall that the Nick that they know and the Nick that America is about to meet is pretty cool and deserving of love.
Finally, it's time to meet the women, via neatly packaged intros designed to show off the good, the great, and the huh?
First, there's Rachel, who we kind of love. She's a lawyer who spends her free time dancing while she vacuums, like the cool single girl in every romcom ever.
We also met a lovely nurse, a vet who talks to cats, a southern girl who likes to say "family, faith, and football," and a dolphin-loving gal who occasionally walks to CVS in a sumo wrestling costume, and who was probably tOtAlLy RaNd0m in middle school.
And we also got to know Liz, and the only thing we know about her is that she met Nick once before at Jade and Tanner's wedding. She's here to take the risk of finding out if he remembers that they had sex or not. That seems like a really questionable decision to us, but what do we know? We write about TV shows for a living. We're completely useless.
Strangely, a lot of the limo arrivals were just incredibly underwhelming. The best one, according to the other women, was Lacey, who arrived on an actual camel and said "I hear you like a good hump."
Apparently, camels are the new…horse? Based on the way the other women reacted, you would have thought Lacey just won the whole shebang.
"So jealous of that, why didn't I think of a camel?" one asked. "A girl came out on a camel. Why was that not me? How are you going to beat a camel?!" another wondered.
And on the bad side, Jasmine G. showed up with Neil Lane, in order to show Nick the engagement ring she had already picked out for herself. That was a big fat nope, and clearly Nick did not appreciate it either, since Jasmine was later sent home.
Josephine creeped us the F out by presenting Nick with an unheated hotdog and asking if he wanted to "Lady and the Tramp it," and Jamie really could have toned things down with the "I've got balls!" thing, referring to her nose ring. And then there was Taylor, who informed Nick that all her friends believed he was a "piece of s—t." (Later, she told him again!)
While the limos continued to arrive, the women inside the house started to freak out because there were too many of them wearing red. The girls in red were panicking, and the girls who weren't wearing red were nearly panicking because they almost wore red. "How did this happen?!" they cried. We don't know!!
The final limo arrival, Alexis, also almost wore red, but instead she decided to wear a shark costume. It was most definitely a shark costume, but she was purely convinced she was dressed as a dolphin, because she's obsessed with dolphins, and talking about dolphins, and making dolphin sounds. She's so fun. So glad she got a rose tonight! So great!
After the limos were all done arriving, it was time for the cocktail party, which was a bit of a clusterf—k. Corinne emerged as the aggressive one by stealing a kiss from Nick. He felt uncomfortable, but she thought she had landed the first impression rose.
In fact, many girls believed the first impression rose was meant for them, and they wanted it desperately. Even the girl who said "I hate flowers. I honestly can't stand flowers," wanted that rose, despite how badly that first impression went last season. Did everyone forget about Olivia being left on the windy beach or are we the only ones who like to put that scene on repeat occasionally?
In the end, the first impression rose went to Rachel, the vacuum dancing lawyer, who had a lovely convo with Nick about how she lived in Wisconsin for three years while in law school. Their talk was not riveting, but we still like her vacuum dancing, so we're fine with this.
Elsewhere this evening, Nick had a little talk with Liz about how he did, in fact, remember having slept with her. He was a little taken aback that she was there since he had asked for her number and she refused to give it to him, and since she could have easily gotten his number from Jade and Tanner, but she had just been so touched by his transformation on Bachelor in Paradise that she had to go on The Bachelor and find out if there was real love there.
We're gonna guess no, if it took you nine months and a TV show to feel the need to try your luck again, you're probably not meant to be, but we're so happy for the producers and Chris Harrison for whom this storyline is a dream come true. "You think you know one of the girls here?" Chris Harrison said dramatically, as if it were the greatest plot twist of the century. It wasn't. It was really just kind of annoying.
Finally, the first rose ceremony of the season came and went, with no big surprises. The weirdos all stayed. The girl who brought Neil Lane did not stay, and neither did the girl who pretended to give the STD test/prostate exam. Too bad, so sad. There are still too many women on the show to care about you yet, but we hope you have a nice life!
And that's it. We're off to an interesting start, and oddly looking forward to watching Nick continue to prove he's a changed man. Head to the comments to share your thoughts on tonight's premiere!
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.