"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Premiere's first drama comes from its last arrival
Much like all of "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" castoffs come to "Paradise" filled with hope that maybe this time will be different, I tuned into Tuesday night's "Bachelor in Paradise" hopeful that this season will have some life that the past two months of Becca drama did not. After all, when sexual misconduct allegations aren't ominously floating like all of last season, "Paradise" is supposed to be the looser, goofier, more casual and boozier of the shows – aka the platonic ideal for what "The Bachelor" should be, a show about attractive doofuses on a beach maybe falling in love but definitely being ridiculous.
So I'm happy to report that episode one of "Paradise" was actually a solid amount of entertainment. But maybe that's just the effect of five total hours of "Bachelor" in two days and the wine necessary to endure it talking. Either way, I had fun – which is more than I can say for most of Becca's season!
After Harrison intros the season and tidies up the beach hideaway (aka acting like he actually does any work around here), we get our "Bachelor in Paradise" intros. There's Kendall from Arie's season, who wants to be remembered for more than just taxidermy and playing the ukulele. (And I want to ride a unicorn around the rings of Saturn. Sorry, Kendall.) There's KENNY! who's still the best – so much so I'm caps lock-ing his name this season. Krystal is there, but her raspy ASMR voice didn't make the trip. She notes that she's got a lot to offer as an entrepreneur, a dog lover and a cook – and as proof, here's her sloppily putting frosting on some clearly pre-made shortcake. Indeed, what a cornucopia of gifts to offer.
The Chris R. Forgiveness Tour drops by to call himself a "silly goose" a lot, complete with lots of bird jokes, so he's going to have a lot more apologizing to do after that. Speaking of birds, Chicken Man David is here too. Last we checked, he dressed as a chicken and broke his face falling out of a bunk bed. Now he's living with his mom in Boca Raton and debating whether or not he can marry her. The man may still be concussed from his fall. Speaking of mental instability, Jordan is cooking and preparing a rubber chicken. THAT'S A GREAT WAY TO RUIN A PAN, GUY! Meanwhile, Annaliese is still afraid of bumper cars. And redheads. And sand. And large bodies of water. Hey, are you sure going to a beach is a good idea for you, Anna? There's also Bibiana, who's focused on her booty and listening to her vagina. Look, I just report the facts; don't judge me.
The first actual arrival on the beach, however, is Tia, last seen ruining Colton's night by telling Becca that she still had feelings for him late into her season. She's clearly excited for Colton to show up on "Paradise" at some point ... and she'll have to keep waiting, because Eric from Rachel's season is the first guy to drop in. He's energetic; I like him. He behaves like I would behave if I got sent to beautiful island beach for no good reason.
But the real exciting arrival and scene-stealer is some crab that apparently got to be in every establishing shot and cutaway this season. I'm not kidding, the crab definitely got more screen time than half of the "Bachelor in Paradise" cast. He might as well get a lower third with his name (Crab), age (29) and occupation (crab). WHO IS YOUR AGENT, CRAB, AND HOW CAN I MEET HIM!?
Thankfully, even more entertainment arrives on the beach in the form of Jordan – who's in awe of "a place as beautiful as me"; god, I missed this glorious doofus – and Bibiana, who tells a joke to Harrison about her uterus that goes so far over his head that it's a threat to passing airlines. A producer off-camera tells her that the joke was good, and Bibiana, THAT PRODUCER IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. Grocery Joe shows up, and since he was barely around for a second, even people from his own season, like Chris R., don't recognize him. But he's handsome and dorky and relatably awkward, so the internet was maybe right to blow him up into a meme. Cue KENNY!, two people named Nysha and Angela who were apparently on "The Bachelor" and definitely not just two strangers who meandered onto the set, and everyone's least favorite person Krystal, and we're about ready to start pairing people up.
Kendall jumps into the flirting game the fastest of seemingly everyone, pulling Grocery Joe aside for some sexy talk about ... picnicking in graveyards. Dammit, Kendall, the plan was to lose the weirdo reputation on this show! Starting off your conversations with talk about eating lunch at cemeteries and asking, "Have you ever seen a dead body in person?" is a real good way to end up dating a person from a "Dateline" segment. Amazingly Joe isn't scared off by her dead lunch date companions – nor by her interest in just about every dude who arrives on the beach. That includes John the tech genius, who she quickly pulls aside too. BUST OUT THAT SEXY CEMETERY TALK AGAIN, GURL!
Grocery Joe still isn't dissuaded from Kendall, however, and later on in the evening, he takes her aside and they chat under one of the bungalows. She talks about how she expected more drama and more people staking their claims into people they're interested in – to which Grocery Joe slyly and cutely notes that's exactly what he's doing right now. OOOOOH! OH JOE, YOU SLY DAWG! The two flirt some more and eventually get to kissing – and dear reader, I kid you not, but I felt my heart go a flutter. For all this show's talk about swooning romance, all it took to actually create a cute love story was a sweetly awkward normal guy and a woman who loves lunching with corpses. (But seriously, "Bachelor" producers, see what happens when you let people be clumsy and goofy on dates instead of filling their chats with cliches and formulaic drama?)
As for other couples, well, Krystal is bummed out that Grocery Joe's interests are elsewhere, but she cushions her heartbreak nicely on the tattooed pecs and arms of Kevin the Canadian fireman. And in less romantic news, Nick from Becca's season tries enticing Chelsea with some solid moves: drunken profanity, not knowing the names of her kids, playing and staring at his hands during his profession of love and just generally looking like the long lost third member of Florida Georgia Line. Amazingly, none of this works, and Chelsea goes to bed because "she's not feeling well." Maybe hold off the f*ck-bombs with the lady raising kids, my dude. Best of luck next time.
The big overall storyline for the premiere, however, was Tia and Colton – not a surprise since that's been in the air since the start of Becca's season. Tia's clearly holding out for Colton to arrive on the beach, and everybody knows it ... except for apparently the "Bachelor in Paradise" producers because he doesn't show up. The last guy to come down the stairs is Chicken Man – and to answer your questions: Yes, Jordan still hates him, and no, they didn't give him a top bunk, thank god.
To make matters worse for Tia, she gets the show's first date card. With no Colton around, she finally decides to let him go, see what the show has to offer without him and take Chris R. out for her date. And the date goes fine! The two seem to have fun and talk honestly and – oh, you already know where this going, don't you?
That's right: NOW Colton arrives on the beach, just when she's starting to move past him. DAMN YOU, HARRISON!
Colton turns up with a date card as well, which he uses on Tia – obviously. But Chris R. and the rest of the cast is pretty salty at the former football player because, when he first showed up, he talked with seemingly every other woman on the beach first before finally going to Tia. Not the kind of move one does when your eyes are set on one person. They think he's playing the field while keeping the clearly still-lovestruck Tia dangling on a string, someone to pull close when he needs her and then let her loose when he doesn't.
So, in other words, he's being a douche – and a bunch of dudes aren't going to stand for it ANY LONGER. Or they'll at least stand it UNTIL NEXT WEEK'S EPISODE.
And I'll be honest, I'm kind of excited for the next episode. Maybe it's just because Becca's season was such a joyless, soul-sucking vacuum, but the premiere of "Bachelor in Paradise" was just as I'd hoped – a looser, funnier, sleazier and, somehow as a result, more genuine version of the show. See what happens when you focus on fun before formula? I expect you're taking notes, "The Bachelor."
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