Ben, hi. Thanks for coming. Now: Do you think you see your wife in this room? Huh? You’re not sure yet? Just find her already, dammit! We’ve only got 10 weeks!
Welcome back to ABC’s nicely aged, white wine-flavored marriage machine, The Bachelor. Meet this season’s hero: the brave, blank-eyed, tenderly unlovable Ben Higgins. We can overlook his bad hair and watered-down vanilla flavoring because he’s super tall and VERY SENSITIVE due in part to Kaitlyn rejecting him last season. The guy’s already a natural at dealing with irrational reality TV contestants, even going out of his way — twice! — to console the girl he surely wishes he’d never started a conversation with: Lace.
That’s right: I know this is hard to believe, but someone’s name is Lace and she loves attention. She needs it. Attention and champagne make up her complete diet. Classic Lace. The Sarah Silverman lookalike loosens up on her fifth drink or so and starts crankily judging her competition as all the other “young ladies” (Ben’s words) sit agape, thrilled that someone else will be the night’s biggest embarrassment. Lace kisses Ben twice — what does she think this is, Episode 2? — then scurries away in a huff after another heinous weirdo interrupts their time together. And Ben follows her! “You guys seen Lace?” he absently asks his herd of hopefuls. Suddenly they’ve all been downgraded to guys instead of young ladies. I told you things were moving too fast.