We begin this doomed season with Nick, who's on The Bachelorette more frequently than Chris Harrison, starring as The Bachelor himself. There is an adorable montage of Nick being hot, including being hot in the shower and being hot while running. Then there is an endearing sequence of Nick explaining all of his foibles, including mumbling, poor eye contact, and taking himself too seriously. Oh wait, I put that last one in. We see Andi reject him, and women in the street telling him he's so fine. Despite all of this, and despite saying that he didn't know if he would ever be able to fall in love again (spoiler: he will) Nick valiantly puts himself Out There again, to reap fame and fortune, at least via sponsored social media posts from brands like Axe, I'm guessing, to Find Love Again.
The previous Bachelors come together and gently rib Nick about his rep as a "total toolbag" or some equivalent, as I'm staunchly maintaining my "no rewinding" policy this season, although I have upgraded to no commercials on Hulu, because $4 is worth my sanity. The dudes, including Beneric, muse about their stint on the Bachelor being basically the high point of their lives. And that seems about right, because if some dude doesn't think that having beautiful women throw themselves at you and have sex with you one after the next in exotic locations while all of America cheers for you is the high point of their life, that is one self-actualized dude, and possibly an idiot.
The guys agree that Nick is less of a tool bag now than he has been in prior iterations of the show, and he accepts this compliment graciously and returns to his hotel room to put on his hipster polka dot tie and get ready for the ladies to emerge from the limo.
But first, we are subjected, I mean treated, to a montage of the contestants on this season. The first is a black lawyer who likes to dance, then a nail salon owner, then a French teacher of special education students who was "put here to be a teacher and to be a mom," a nursing student who looks like a porn nurse who will be occupying the "quirky" role, a boutique owner slash Southern small town girl, who "has an amazing life but needs love" (never heard that one before), and a spoiled rich girl with a nanny who runs her dad's business, who says "Nick just says and does what he feels, like I do... and our kids would be really cute." But that's not all, we also have a Jersey girl slash second contender for quirky Manic Pixie Dream Girl contestant who says that Nick needs to love dolphins for them to work out. And a neonatal nurse with a demeanor like an angel. An angel who Nick might want to have sex with. And a mental health counselor. WTF! Girl, get off this show! You know better! And a doula who already slept with him at someone else's wedding who didn't give him her phone number after sex but now wants Nick when he's on national TV. Sounds sincere.
Back to Nick and his facial hair waiting for the women to approach while Chris Harrison discusses how people think he sucks. He says he will be vulnerable this season, and if you want to play a drinking game, take a shot every time Nick says "vulnerable," "out there," "real," or "open." The girls and their breasts begin pouring out of the limo, and Nick looks them all up and down in a cute hipster way that would be skeevy if he was more of an alpha male. Kristen in the yellow dress flirts excessively, then Taylor the mental health counselor tells him immediately that her friends all think he's a "piece of $%#," a display of sensitivity, tact and verbal prowess that characterizes an excellent therapist (???!!!!). He then meets the Eskimo who owns a nail salon that gives him Eskimo kisses, a girl who runs up in sneakers and gives a runner up joke because Nick is a perennial runner up on the Bachelorette, a girl who brings out Neil Lane, the Bachelor franchise jeweler, to tell Nick what size ring she is, which is no less amusing than any of the other corny jokes, but annoys the other girls. Then we have a girl who tells the joke, "Do you know what a girl wearing underwear says? Neither do I." Maybe I'll try that one on my husband during dinner with our three kids under 7. The woman discuss how Nick is a really sexual guy.
Oh ha, the girl Nick slept with approached him, and he doesn't remember her, but gives her a weird look. Then Chris Harrison comes out and asks if he remembers her, and he says he does, but not as well with her clothes on (he doesn't really say that). Corinne gives him a hug token, Vanessa the special ed teacher impresses Nick with her French breasts, the Southern girl who teaches him some cheer about sports or something, the nurse says Nick looks dashing and gives him a hotdog for some reason. The women all talk about how they're wearing red dresses, OMG. Lacey comes up on a camel and says she likes a good hump like Nick does, ba dum ching. Then a girl comes out in a shark costume that she says is a dolphin costume, quirky girl #2 from the montage, and she keeps making dolphin noises, so she's going home some time soon.
The women talk about what a masculine man Nick is, so maybe they were all raised in convents or something. He enters the room and they act like Apollo the sun god just came in, except more excited. Nick gives some bizarro speech about wanting a woman with a strong personality and wanting the women to be as empowered as possible and wanting this experience to be "as normal as possible." A member of his target audience says that his speech made her feel empowered, which is a good illustration of how cults work.
Party time. The black lawyer makes a good impression on Nick, and if he picks her, it will be the first black contestant to win, kind of like Obama's presidency, except meaningless and slightly embarrassing, so not at all actually. Kristen, in the yellow dress, teaches Nick ballroom dancing and compliments him excessively again, like she read too many Cosmo articles on how much men like compliments. The hug token girl gives him a whole bag of hug tokens, which seems to have dampened his ardor for her. When giving out hug tokens, ladies, think minimalist. Less is more. And zero is most! The French special ed teacher captures Nick's interest, but their moment is interrupted by hug token girl, Corinne, who returns and plants a kiss on Nick. Despite kissing her back, he obviously didn't feel comfortable and says to the camera that he hopes the other women didn't see them kiss. NOT A GOOD SIGN.
The girls talk about how Corinne is too aggressive and shouldn't have kissed him first, so now she's the token slut. Jasmine tries to approach Nick and he says he's talking to someone else, so she feels rejected. The dolphin girl goes into the pool and dolphin calls to Nick, which, weirdly, the other women find cute. I guess she's so "quirky" that she isn't a threat to them. Also she's drunk. The girl who had sex with Nick says she "likes the mystery" of Nick not remembering her. But he tells her that he does remember her, and he remembers "being very intrigued" by her, but he doesn't know why she didn't want his number post-coitally but wants to be on the show now. He says, "I'm not big on the whole 'right reasons' thing [coming on the show for love] but you could have gotten my number from anyone." But you weren't The Bachelor before this, Nick! The mental health problem, I mean, counselor, reaffirms her earlier assertion to Nick that she has a friend who thinks he's a piece of $%^. The neonatal nurse is killing it, because guys loves women who are nurturing, and you don't get more nurturing than a damn newborn baby nurse.
And then Nick picks up the first impression rose, because it's That Time, and gives it to Rachel, the black lawyer, so he's super unpredictable, guys. She looks very happy, and she's smart and cute, so I hope she wins. Except then she'd end up with emo Nick for the rest of her life, so there's that.
Rose ceremony. Corinne, the hug token girl, gets a rose, along with the dolphin, the neonatal nurse, a dental hygienist that was crying over the prospect of not being chosen, the sexy nurse, the camel hump girl, the no underwear girl, the nail salon Eskimo, and the fame whore who slept with him already but didn't like him till he got on TV. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker and all the other women are sent home slash saved from a life where Nick's Feelings take priority over everything else. Nick raises a glass to the women, and we see foreshadowing that both Corinne and the previous sexual partner will be narcissistic and annoying this season.
Coming up this season, we have Nick in the hot tub with many women, The Backstreet Boys, the previous sexual partner being found out as a previous sexual partner, Corinne attempting to woo Nick with her "vaginne" and a direct desire to "explore each other sexually" that may get rebuffed. Nick cries, there are helicopters, there are beaches, there is repetition compulsion, and there are teal hipster printed shirts. And till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, Nick Is Like A Reality TV Phoenix.
Learn about Dr. Rodman's private practice, including therapy, coaching, and consultation, here. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.