"Bachelor In Paradise" recap: The premiere refuses to let the clouds pass
In theory, "Bachelor in Paradise" should be even more fun than its mother and father shows. "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" have to keep up appearances that they're about TRUE LOVE, whereas "Bachelor in Paradise" is just about throwing some attractive people together on a beach with some booze and seeing what happens. Sure, it's sleazy, but it owns its sleaze.
That's all in theory, though, and it goes out the window when alleged sexual misconduct takes place, something that sucks the fun right out of any sleaziness – and something that, for some odd reason, "Bachelor in Paradise" wanted to linger on during its season premiere Monday night.
If the show just moved on, we could've all moved on and possibly had a fun time. But instead, the show refused to let the storm clouds leave "Paradise," refused to realize some dramas aren't worth exploiting and refused to JUST FREAKING STOP IT with teasing "the most shocking and most dramatic season ever," like sexual assault allegations are some hackneyed TV trope.
Anyways, the show: After a '90s-tastic montage of the rejects – most notably Lacey, who for some reason is glazed entirely in suntan lotion – Raven is the first to arrive on the "BIP" beach, excited and nervous to find love. After all, "the next person to arrive could be my husband." Cue Dean! He's the first guy to arrive – and the only guy for a good while, as Kristina and Danielle M. both come after. Unfortunately, Dean's dream scenario of being the only guy on a beach filled with women ends quickly – sorry Dean – as Ben and a VERY EXCITED Iggy arrive.
More cast members make their way to the beach. Jasmine's excited to meet the guys from Rachel's season because, hey, they must be into black women, so that's good news for her. JACK! STONE! is back, desperately trying to convince the world that he's not a serial killer (dude, if you have to insist ... ), while Alexis dons her Shark/Dolphin Girl costume again. JACK! STONE! wonders if she's here for the right porpoise, a pun that's somehow even worse than trying to convince America that you're not a murderer.
Then DeMario arrives – and even before the allegations, the cast is not happy with him. At least, definitely not the ladies, because last we saw of DeMario, his time on "The Bachelorette" was interrupted by the girlfriend he already had. "We are not attracted to douchebags," Danielle M. insists. Counterpoint: You were on the Nick Viall season of "The Bachelor." Anyways, DeMario gets jabbed at by the ladies, while he attempts to win over Raven, who he sees to be the queen bee of the "BIP" ladies. He thinks it went great. It didn't.
Meanwhile, more people show up, including Derek, Alex (who might be the first person in the show's history to say that he IS here to make friends) and Corinne, who opens her time on the show by declaring she's going to "Make Paradise Corinne Again." That line is even more tragic and desperate than Iggy saying that he's typically the life of the party.
The intros continue. Lacey arrives, eager to disprove that she's just remembered as Camel Girl from Nick's season – ALREADY A SUCCESS, considering nobody remembers her, camel or no camel. Vinny runs in, as does Diggy, about whom the show immediately forgets. Matt shows up in his penguin outfit, and Kristina speaks for America, saying, "Like I'm supposed to know who that is?" He's not the only person in costume, though, as Nick also shows up in a Santa beard, but Matt is not impressed by his lack of costume commitment. Agreed, Matt; coming dressed as a penguin to a sexy beach soiree is definitely the way to go.
Amanda (who is convinced this process can work despite getting engaged last season and having it very much not work LOLZ) and Taylor, who's nervous about what people will make of her yet again, round out the arrivals, as Harrison takes the show to commercials by teasing the dramatic tension of shutting down the show over sexual misconduct allegations. I don't know how many times and how much caps lock I can put on this, but SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NOT FUN TV DRAMA. STOP IT, HARRISON, YOU CREEP.
So, in non-terrible news, Taylor's concerns over being disliked were clearly unfounded, as she hits it off with Derek right away. She insists that, to be with her, "You need to be able to go into the woods and build a fire." She says this multiple times, so clearly this is essential; maybe she's a big fan of "The Revenant" or something. But luckily, Derek can, and they start setting off some cute emotional sparks, as well.
Meanwhile, Alexis is just chilling out because none of the guys have made her vagina dance yet. Honestly, Alexis is not here to meet anybody. Alexis is here to relax, have fun, spout some amusing lines about dancing vaginas and snag a free vacation. And I am pro all of that.
That great line is RUINED, though, by cutting to Alex making giggly color commentary on DeMario and Corinne drunkenly fooling around in the pool – where, if people followed the story, the alleged incident happened. And it's TERRIBLE. There's silly music and Alex awkwardly watching from a distance, trying to come up with things to say. It's profoundly uncomfortable for everyone, as "BIP" attempts to make entertainment out of an ugly situation and the nation cringes with disgust. That this show didn't want to completely move on, no questions asked, is INSANE, but these producers just can't be convinced that any drama is not always good drama.
Finally, it ends, and Harrison makes some announcements to the cast – namely that Jorge the bartender is leaving to pursue his dream of Jorge's Tour-ges, which I assume is a tour company. Good for him! He'll be replaced by former contestant Wells. Amanda's bummed out that Wells, in his role of bartender, can't date, while Alexis is bummed Jorge's off the show and therefore off the market. I guess her vagina finally started dancing.
Oh, and Harrison announces that ladies have the roses for the first ceremony, and with that, the first date card happens, with Kristina picking Dean for the season's maiden date. The two bonded comfortably earlier over their odd family dynamics and over the fact that Dean's exceptionally handsome. Danielle M. certainly agrees, as she is THIRSTY for Dean – like, all episode. So she's bummed Kristina and Dean are all adorable and cute and kissing with a mariachi band, dancers and confetti cannons exploding, but at least she has Wells to bond with over drinks (they're Nashville chums). Plus, she's kind of hitting it off herself with JACK! STONE! – though, at one point, he tells her with an alarmingly straight face that, "You don't want to be the first person to die in Paradise." So when does this become an episode of "Forensic Files?"
As for everyone else, Iggy and Lacey are hitting it off, which is almost cute. Iggy says he's like a puppy, but the audience knows he's more of a weasel. Their relationship, however, hits the most unfortunate of road bumps when Lacey wakes up the next day with the news that her grandfather died, so she's leaving the show to deal with that. Iggy's sad too ... though more so seemingly because his way to a rose and therefore staying on the show is now bailing. He coldly talks about her coping with a loss in her life like it's reality-show strategy – something even weirder than Lacey saying she didn't sleep well because of dreams of crabs.
I take back what I said about Iggy and Lacey being kind of cute; Iggy still low-key sucks.
You know who doesn't suck though? Matt, the great forgotten guy from Rachel's season. He and Jasmine hit it off in the hot tub while Nick is too drunk to do anything on the first night. The two – minus the jacuzzi canoodling and Jasmine's all-too-eagerness to slap and choke Matt – are kind of sweet. And when Matt gets the date card, he uses it on Jasmine (cue sad Nick face and probably more drinking) for a night on the town – in particular, his first drag show. He's chill, accepting and open-minded – and HOW CONVENIENT; they need somebody to pull on stage and dress in drag. So, of course, he's taken backstage and turned into a gorgeous diva – all the while, Matt's owning it and having a blast, talking about the beautiful people who helped him and made him look awesome.
It may have taken an entirely different show for Matt to finally make an impression, but at least it's a terrific one.
Speaking of delayed intros, there's one more guy for this season of "BIP": Robby, whose good looks and hair mystify the ladies. The guys call him Ken Doll – and for good reason, between the handsome appearance and proud plethora of shirts and swimming trunks he's brought. He's not just into fine fashion and hair swoops, though; he's also into Raven, which is bad news for Ben, because he's sacrificed a lot to be here. And by "a lot," he means time with his dog. He really likes his dog. REALLY likes his dog. PETA might want to check in on him.
In case that wasn't sad enough, though, Robby and Raven have a date jet-skiing around the beach. And while it seems fun and flirty enough, a very hoarse Raven comes back unimpressed and very concerned that he'd be the prettiest one in their relationship. He's got TOO many abs, you see. So she's stuck between choosing a "social media influencer" with an excess of shirt pride and a guy who might hold her second in his heart after his dog. Raven, this franchise of shows might not be for you.
After a very meandering two hours or so – there's no real structure, so there's little narrative drive to anything – we reach the rose ceremony, which has a lot of the dudes stressed since the ratio of girls-to-guys is high, meaning a good handful of them will see their vacations cut short. Poor, forgotten Diggy tries getting a rose from Jasmine, but that's a non-starter. Iggy sounds more and more like an over-strategizing ass, while Taylor uses the word "feelings" four times in a simple sentence.
Then production shuts down, confusing all of the castmates (who know nothing) before cutting to the end credits. That's right; "Bachelor In Paradise" is stretching this terrible story out for two episodes. Because why ruin one episode with ugly drama when you can kill a pair of them?!
I know it's not in the show's nature to turn down drama, but this should've ended up on the cutting room floor. Because right now, "Paradise" may have survived the storm, but its clouds still haunt the sky – and the show has nobody to blame but itself.
Madre Mueller originally had negative interest in watching "Bachelor In Paradise" – too sleazy for her, and that was before the DeMario/Corinne drama. However, she couldn't help but provide some commentary while playing computer games with the show as background noise. For instance, she's happy Dean and Kristina are hitting it off, since those two – and Raven – are the only ones she particularly likes.
At one point, my dad even got in on the commentary:
Dad: Are they blowing whistles?— Matthew Mueller (@aManAboutFilm) August 15, 2017
Mom: Yeah, it's bad.
Dad: It's like a bad 1980s Kool and the Gang concert.#BachelorInParadise
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