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Colton and the ladies go storytelling. (PHOTO: The Bachelor Facebook)

"The Bachelor" Rose Rundown: Second episode summons comedians but not much drama

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Now that's better, "The Bachelor"! See how much better your TV show is when you, you know, have a TV show and don't spend 90 minutes of it high-fiving yourself? Let's do me a favor and never do that again, maybe. The words "viewing party" better never be uttered again this season – and especially "Utah viewing party," which seems like an oxymoron.

Just because episode two was an improvement, however, doesn't mean there still isn't work to be done for Colton's season. This go-around is still very raw and still patting around trying to find villains and storylines that'll give this run some memorable drama.

But who can really be that upset when Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally and Billy Eichner are all in attendance? I like this; if I'm going to be stuck watching this show, the least ABC can do is bring in comedic charmers and remind me of other, better television shows I could be watching. Sure, it's a little like torture – but it's also like glimpsing the light at the end of the tunnel. JUST ONE MORE HALF-HOUR AND YOU CAN CLEANSE YOUR PALATE BY PUTTING "PARKS AND REC" IN YOUR EYEHOLES. Literally everything's better with Ron Swanson. He is the bacon of humans.

The episode opens something that seems new: Colton doing a selfie cam confessional from bed, talking about his plans for the day. Get that younger demographic, "The Bachelor"; replace Chris Harrison with just a flurry of Snapchats. My first thought was genuinely, "Uh oh, watch your back, Harrison" ... but then I watched a sleepy Colton mumble inarticulately into his iPhone camera and was like, "Oh, OK, you're fine, Chris. No worries."

Cue the ladies performing the ritualistic shout off a balcony, and episode two is off – complete with the season's first dates. The first group number blasts a bunch of lady contestants (much like how all of the "Bachelorette" bros were miscellaneous Chads last season, I'm calling all these anonymous women Hannahs. I know that's not all of their names, but really, they're all assorted Hannahs until they prove otherwise) off to a theater to meet Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, aka Ron and Tammy II, aka Karen and Jackson Boudreaux, aka an adorable real-life couple.

I'm, of course, happy because these two are comedy champions – and Megan opens things up by mocking "Bachelor" contestants, so I'M ALL ABOARD – but I can't imagine ABC is super-jazzed about its stars giddily talking about NBC shows. Weird choice – I guess the Good Doctor and Ron Livingston from "A Million Little Things" were busy. (Which, sidebar, they should just call that show "This Is Also Us" already. You guys aren't fooling anyone.)

Anyways, the two perform a pair of spoken word pieces about sexing people up and make all of the Hannahs VERY uncomfortable – one of the ladies notes that the works were full of innuendos, but I don't think, "I f*cked a person," is an innuendo for anything; that seems pretty straight-forward. The only thing more awkward? Now it's the ladies turn to take the stage and tell a story to a live audience that would definitely rather Offerman and Mullally tell more jokes. Oh well, a free show is a free show.

Colton opens things off with a tale about the time he told his football bros that he was a virgin – because, as we all know, Colton doesn't like talking about his virginity. As for the ladies, one contestant shares the fond memory from 10 hours ago when she literally blew the whistle on DJ Catherine for stealing Colton – and DJ Catherine responds by telling the same story, then bitch-slapping the microphone and getting bleeped out. I know that SOUNDS like juicy drama, but DJ Catherine doesn't sell it all that convincingly. AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A REALITY SHOW VILLAIN!

Elsewhere, Tracy tells a sweet story about the time she threw fists at a romantic rival while Elyse talks about her status as the cast's oldest contestant at 31 – which, in sexist/ageist "Bachelor" years, makes her basically the old lady from "Titanic." She seems cool, though, even surviving Baby Person Demi passive aggressively calling her "brave." That's like saying someone's house is "quaint" or their outfit is "a choice." I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO SAY, AND I WILL NOT HAVE IT, CHILD.

As for Demi's performance, the woman child steps off the stage and smacks Colton with a kiss in front of everyone. It's a bold move – almost as bold as the frankly alarming amount of denim she's wearing – that wrankles some of the ladies, mainly Tracy who's probably just annoyed her hat has been overshadowed.

Little Baby Demi isn't done not making friends, either, as she kicks off the group date's cocktail hour by immediately snatching Colton away for one-on-one time. And the other Hannahs are SIMPLY AGHAST I TELL YOU. I very much enjoyed all of them sitting in the room, abandoned, all talking like, "Aww, I was gonna do that," and "Classic Demi move." Oh, you mean ... spending time with the Bachelor? Indeed, what a bold strategy.

Tracy in particular is upset about her IMMATURITY and DISRESPECT – especially when Little Miss Demi returns and TOUCHES THE ROSE, which CAN YOU EVEN DO THAT!? – but girl, you're just jealous that Demi's good at this game. Have you considered watching the show before? Anyways, Tracy's giving off major Chicken Man vibes – and I would rather never have to remember Chicken Man.

Meanwhile, Tracy and the show are trying to set Demi up as the villain ... but I am all #TeamDemi. Yes, she is a baby person who possibly shares at least 37 percent of her DNA with a cupcake – but she's fun! She gets her man time. She plays with her dress's dangly flowers when she's drunk and/or bored. She creeps behind couches watching other one-on-one sessions like Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor's neighbor. She has a laugh that's juuuuuust on the border of awful. In short, go #TeamDemi. I will be sad when she gets left behind on an island or in the desert on a future two-on-one date four weeks from now.

The solo date is up next, with Miss Alabama Hannah getting to be the chosen Hannah for the first one-on-one card. There's a little bit of tension bubbling back at the mansion as fellow Miss USA contestant Caelynn mutters about how Hannah turned into a different person after she finished behind her at the pageant. INTRIGUE! But speaking of bubbles, first we must go on Colton and Hannah's date to a hot tub in the middle of a desert. Because if there's one thing I need baking in a desert, it's a hot tub! Plus the sand's gonna stick to your feet and get all caked on. NOT EVERYTHING REQUIRES A HOT TUB, "THE BACHELOR."

Unfortunately, their date is super not hot. Hannah is quiet and uncomfortable, and though Colton seems understanding and kind about how nervy one must feel on a "Bachelor" date, he also keeps pestering her about how she must feel weird. You know what really makes people feel self-conscious, Colton? TELLING THEM THAT YOU CAN TELL THEY'RE FEELING SELF-CONSCIOUS! Also, a lot of Colton's flirting technique is just ... noticing stuff? "Oh look, a hot tub." "What do you think of those rock formations?" Listen, unless you're dating Ross Geller, I'm not sure rock formation trivia is the icebreaker you think it is.

Anyways, after Hannah spends the first half of the date silent and Colton spends it poorly hiding his disgust, the two finally begin to spark at dinner. She starts to open up and accept being goofy and odd around Colton, and Colton stops picking at her scabs and telling her how obviously uneasy she is. She eventually earns the rose, and the two celebrate with a fireworks show – MUCH better than a jacuzzi in the desert.

And lo, we reach the final date: a group outing to ... summer camp? Sure, why not. When I'm seeking a life partner, I find it's important to make sure they're good at Duck Duck Goose and egg-and-spoon races. The gang also plays Red Rover and badminton – though I'm pretty sure that last one was just so they could get Colton to say "shuttlecock." And if you think that's kind of dirty, YOU DON'T KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD BECAUSE BILLY EICHNER IS HERE NOW. The ladies didn't seem to know who Eichner was – psht, what kind of future social media influencers do they think they are? – but I did, and he was a very welcome sight, making fun of "The View" and Colton and just about everything. I nominate we bring him by every week and let him roast the Hannahs.

As for the cocktail portion of the date, Colton finally gets some quality time with Heather who confides to our lead hunk that she's not only a virgin but she's never been kissed. Somewhere behind the camera you can hear Harrison salivating over a "Bachelorette" season focused on not just another virgin but an über-virgin. Colton seems very interested in this contestant who's even more of a virgin than he is ... but he doesn't pop her kissing cherry. Another time, Heather. Instead, it's time for bed, so Colton abandons all the ladies in a secluded cabin to sleep. I'VE SEEN THIS HORROR MOVIE BEFORE!

Thankfully everybody survives and after the requisite Colton shower shot – not even a glimpse of abs; for shame, "The Bachelor" – it's time for the cocktail party and rose ceremony. At one point, a contestant air-horn blasts a fellow Hannah in order to steal some time with Colton. Because asking if you can steal Colton away isn't annoying enough; you need to add a blowhorn to the equation too. The wronged Hannah, Sydney, then gets her revenge by snagging some pots and pans, and banging them around to re-claim Colton's attention. So basically, for five minutes, Monday's episode became this:

Meanwhile, Little Baby Demi pulls out the Corinne move, putting on a robe and pulling Colton away for SOMETHING ILLICIT I'm sure. Oh, it's just a massage? And she was wearing her regular evening gown underneath the robe anyways? STOP TRYING TO MAKE VILLAIN DEMI A THING! She's just playing the game, which seems very confusing to everyone else in the house for reasons I do not know. Tracy, as expected, takes this pretty hard and crumbles into a corner of the house in a way that makes her look like she's filming one of those LifeAlert "I've fallen and I can't get back up!" ads. But Demi goes to apologize (sort of) and then gives Tracy a little pep talk and confidence booster. AND SHE'S SUPPOSED TO BE A VILLAIN!?

Between her, the disappearance of DJ Catherine and that half-hearted rendition of "Stomp" we had a paragraph ago, the spicy drama and feuding hasn't quite arrived at the mansion yet.

But the roses have – and sadly that means it's time to axe some Hannahs. (Except for the actual Hannahs, who both survived to see another day.) Demi gets a carnation, as well as Tracy who snags the final rose – so we're totally getting more of those two having this JV-level Jordan versus Chicken Man rivalry. If this doesn't end with a two-on-one date, I'll eat a bottle of wine – I mean literally the bottle. (Editor's note: No, he won't.)

Unfortunately, while complainy Tracy gets to stay, poor sweet Wisconsin native Annie does not, getting cut just two episodes into the season. Well, there goes my local angle. THANKS A LOT, COLTON! She seems to be a favorite in the house, as she's the last to leave thanks to getting condolences from pretty much every cast member. Or maybe I'm just reading into things a lot because I'll miss her. Goodbye, Mequon Annie. We'll always have "The Ellen Show."


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