Episode 2 not quite up to par
ABC wants the new "Bachelor" to remind people of Richard Gere in "An Officer and a Gentleman." We know this because they're calling this season, "The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman." At least they came right out and said it. Lt. Andy Baldwin isn't as sexy as Richard Gere in that movie, but I liked him immediately and thought he was the cutest bachelor yet. He works as a doctor in the Navy's dive unit with Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner, does charity work and Ironman triathalons and even has a hot body. Of course, Bill (my husband) was suspicious as soon as we learned Andy's alma mater was Duke -- he kept saying, "You watch, you watch, he's going to end up being a [bad word]."
Not even 30 seconds later, we watched Andy get into his fancy sports car, which looked like a DeLorean (do they still make those?) and had those dorky doors that open straight up. I hate when Bill's right. You should know that my friend Terera and I have a list of things that instantly bother us about guys -- like guys who wear man sandals (those leather ones that look like the ones girls would wear, only they're for guys, I call them "mandals"); guys who wear black jeans or black tennis shoes; guys who wear Speedos at the beach; guys who drink daiquiris or frozen mudslides; guys who tuck their sweaters into their pants; and especially, guys who drive weird sports cars (like Miatas or Corvettes). I don't know the name of Andy's car, but it should be called "The Overcompensator."
We watched Andy tool around in his DeLorean hoping he'd pick up Doc and head back to the future. Instead, he pulled up to the clock tower, I mean, bachelor mansion, and was greeted by our old friend Chris Harrison. I like Chris -- he knows his place and never interferes, not even when a girl has too much champagne during the opening cocktail reception and might drown in the pool. Meanwhile, Andy looked so excited to meet the girls that it was uncomfortable. It looked like he was going to burst. Bill described him as "a much, much, much hornier Richie Cunningham." That's why he's a writer and I'm not.
The limos started pulling up and we watched the girls emerge one at a time. Each one was more overdressed and annoying than the last one and every other girl had a name like Amber and Tiffany. That didn't stop Andy from gasping, "You're gorgeous!" at least 10 times. The first girl introduced herself by saying, "Hi, I'm Pay-tonnnnnn." (I'm not a fan of girls who overpronounce their own names, but that's a whole other list.) Another handed him a fortune cookie she had received at dinner "that week" (or so she said). The fortune said, "Your dreams will become a reality" and she thought this was a good sign for her and Andy because, gosh, it's so rare to get a positive fortune cookie. Another tried to be sexy by asking him, "Where's your uniform?" and Andy responded, "Maybe I'll put it on for you later." Gag!
At one point, Andy gave his "First Impression Rose" (a single rose he could hand out to a girl he liked immediately, or as Bill called it, "The Rose For the Girl With The Biggest Boobs") to someone who was just average enough that we wondered if Andy was drunk. There's a slim chance she was cuter in person than on TV, although I doubt it -- the other girls weren't jealous when they saw her with the rose, more confused and upset, like there had been a mistake. One girl even described her as "heinous" and insulted her dress. Yeeesh. Not a popular choice all the way around. Once we met all 25 girls -- Bill counted three "hot" ones, two with crazy eyes, one with "super-duper-crazy eyes" and 20 who were dressed like rejected prom dates -- Chris reappeared to get Andy's gung-ho take on everything. He was far too excited and this was the point when Andy lost all hotness for me. At least until he takes his shirt off again.
We headed inside for the best sequence of every "Bachelor" season: the first cocktail party, when the bachelor tries to talk to 25 girls at once while they pound champagne like Tara Reid. Each girl fights for five minutes of "alone time" and tries to win Andy over any way they can. For example, the fortune cookie girl sang the entire national anthem for him. Two girls played the serious card -- one talked about her parents' divorce, the other brought up how her college boyfriend died of cancer, two fun topics for a meet-and-greet cocktail party. Another girl did a round-off back handspring in a pink silk sheath evening gown, getting a hug from Andy and a groan from Bill because we never saw her underpants (he's a pig). One girl announced that it was her birthday, and coincidentally, it was Andy's birthday too (no way she wasn't getting a rose after that), so two other desperate girls baked him a birthday cake and used tequila instead of eggs. Because nothing wins over a future husband like a tequila cake from two drunk girls!
Here were my three favorites:
1. The girl who showed off her leg scars from years of mountain biking and said, "You're gonna like me because I like to get beat up." She didn't elaborate, but she did get a rose. I knew those Duke guys were sketchy.
2. The girl with "super-duper" crazy eyes (also in the military) challenged Andy to a pushup contest, which she ended up winning because, as Bill said, "She's built exactly like Gilbert Arenas." Later she announced, "Andy is my mirror image in a male form" and Bill said, "Or, he's just her mirror image." Bill kept claiming he wasn't enjoying himself but I know he was.
3. The token "tramp" (she might not be a tramp, she might have just been acting like one, that's why I used quotes) doing a worm dance in a super-tight mini-dress. "The Bachelor" always has one of these girls -- we know she's not getting picked for the final rose, but the producers encourage the bachelor to keep her on so guys will continue to watch the show. Usually she's the best candidate to be involved in a scene that's blurred.
I have to say, this year's group was pretty tipsy and I think ABC prohibited them from eating before the cocktail party. They were slurring words, falling off chairs and throwing themselves at Andy; there was even a near-fight. I felt like I was in college again! Eventually, Andy had to pick 15 girls and did it without mentioning that it was the "toughest decision he's ever had to make" even once, although there was some drama when the same girl who nearly started the fight stormed out after not getting a rose, then insulted Andy to the cameras for being short and having huge teeth, only she was crying the entire time. This show continues to make women everywhere proud.
Anyway, I don't see the final episode of "The Bachelor" playing out like "An Officer and a Gentleman" did -- with Andy's best friend hanging himself and Andy carrying his bride out of a cheering factory -- but if he drives one of these "well-educated" floozies off in his DeLorean as Chris Harrison waves them away, I'll enjoy the ending just as much. Especially if they crash into a tree.
My rating for the first episode: A-minus.