The Bachelorette is back with Nick Viall's bronze medalist Rachel Lindsay looking for love. In the season premiere, we met her 31 guys and her adorable dog Copper. But most importantly, we met Lucas, whose catchphrase, WHAAABOOOOM (three a's and four o's), is going to be all you remember from this excellent season premiere.
Seriously, limo entrances are always one of if not the best part of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, and this one didn't disappoint. These guys seem very fun. Some of them even seem charming!
I'm still worried that the show will use Rachel's race as another thing to mine awkward moments from in a way that will feel offensive, but race barely came up in the first episode beyond an acknowledgement that Rachel is the first black Bachelorette and somebody observing that it's a diverse group of handsome men. Rachel is setting the tone, and race just doesn't seem like something she wants to talk about a lot. Which is fine. She doesn't want her race to be her defining characteristic, and it shouldn't be.
Instead, night one was all about having fun. Rachel's a great sport. She's unflappable. She laughs at everything and she's nice to everyone. She has unflagging positive energy that transfers to the people around her. It makes a lot of sense that she used to be camp counselor. And she got that that one dude was doing Steve Urkel/Stefan Urquelle right away. JoJo wouldn't get that reference, you know?
Rachel is either going to be a great Bachelorette because she's so lovable, or she's going to be an underwhelming one because she's too normal. She still seems too well-adjusted for all this, you know?
But no matter what happens this season, we'll always have this terrific episode.
So much hilarious stuff happened. I loved Rachel's intro package, especially when she was in the fake courtroom and she was like "objection!" and the judge was like "sustained." Rachel's a lawyer on Law & Order, apparently. I loved when she was driving down Rodeo Drive and said, "I feel like I'm in Clueless right now." I loved her dog and I hope he's okay — did you notice his leg was in a cast?
Also, it was interesting that they showed the house where she's staying during filming. I don't recall ever seeing the lead's private domicile before. It kind of spoils the magic of imagining they're in a separate wing of the mansion from their suitors, but this season has been about spoilers from the moment Rachel was revealed as the Bachelorette before she was eliminated from The Bachelor.
I also loved that the guys' intro videos zipped by quickly. We got eight in about 10 minutes, and they were packed with stuff. It's unfair to judge Blake E. too much on his sex talk, since the producers made that decision to only include stuff like "many women have told me about the amazingness of my penis," but he also said that, so maybe judge him a little bit. He's the aspiring drummer (in reality he's a personal trainer, one of like four this season), and he got really pissy with Whaboom, so I think he's going to be a villain this season.
Lucas introduced WHABOOM and it ruled. He explained its origin, kind of, and what it means, kind of, but mostly it was just him screaming "WHAAABOOOOM!!!!!" over and over again.
I'm envious of Diggy's sneaker collection.
But the most notable thing from the guys' intros was Josiah's truly upsetting story about his brother killing himself. It's much too early for the show to drop something that heavy. Last season we didn't get Kristina's sad story about growing up in Russia until we already knew her a little bit. That way we got to see what kind of person she was before we had this tragic backstory coloring what we thought of her. Now no matter what Josiah does on the show, he's going to be the guy who cut his brother down from a tree after he hanged himself. Which isn't fair to Josiah, and it's unfair to viewers to have to process something so devastating amidst all the silliness happening around it. The Bachelorette shouldn't lead with tragedy.
Speaking of Kristina (who looked incredible and has an open invitation to email me), she and several other of Rachel's friends from Nick's season — Alexis, Corinne, Jasmine, Whitney and Raven, who apparently is not bitter she was passed over for The Bachelorette — stopped by to give Rachel advice.
"Don't judge anybody if they come in a costume," said Alexis, who showed up dressed as a shark — excuse me, dolphin.
Then it was finally time for the entrances. Peter got the hubby entrance, first out of the limo, so watch out for him (Lauren Bushnell and Jordan Rodgers were first out of the limo in their seasons). He has a gap in his teeth just like Rachel's, and he said he knows she hasn't had great luck with Wisconsin guys lately and he'd like to change that. Slick.
Next up was Josiah, a lawyer like Rachel, who said, "I am convinced that by the end of our experience together, you will have no reasonable doubt" that they should be together.
Rachel laughed and said, "Legal terms!" Rachel loves corny humor, as she confirmed when a guy actually broke a piece of ice with a hammer in order to "break the ice."
"See you later, litigator," he said as he went inside. And yet I couldn't forget that he had cut his brother down from a tree.
Bryan, who would go on to get the first impression rose, audibly went "mwah" as he air-kissed Rachel two separate times, so that's the kind of person he is.
Then they all started to blur together. One guy had a vacuum cleaner for reasons that never became clear. Another guy was wearing a penguin costume. Another guy brought a marching band. We met Jonathan the tickle monster. It was a lot.
Rachel also got her first demonstration of WHAAABOOOM. Lucas said it was just a taste, but it felt like a KFC Famous Bowl worth of WHAAABOOOOM to me.
One guy, Fred, knew Rachel when they were kids. She was his camp counselor when he was in 3rd grade and she was in 8th grade. Apparently he was a very bad kid in a way that left a lasting impression on Rachel, because she can't get over it. Poor guy. He should have let the past stay the past.
In one of the weirder twists, one guy had a creepy puppet version of himself. People seemed genuinely unnerved by it. Even Rachel, who's so relentlessly positive, was like, "I don't like that puppet." Eventually the puppet started speaking in French and gave a confessional interview. This season is going to get very weird, I think.
And the final stretch before the rose ceremony was dominated by WHAAABOOOOM. He was grating on everyone right away. But not me. I loved it. I loved his megaphone narration. I loved "let the big dogg eat" and Rachel's confusion over what that meant (no one knows what it means, but it's provocative). I loved the juggling. I want to buy a #WHAAABOOOOM shirt. Actually I don't, but I want the option to be available.
Lucas and Blake E., who objected to Lucas' obvious lack of interest in actually trying to date Rachel, are clearly each going to be troublemakers this season.
Of course Lucas was the last name called at the rose ceremony, and he let out the biggest WHAAABOOOOM of the night.
Blake K., Grant, Jedidiah, Kyle, Michael, Milton, Mo and Rob got sent home, and the rest of their journeys begin. It's going to be a preposterous 12 weeks.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.