''The Bachelor'' premiere is a real dud. Enough with the sappy ''here's how we picked them'' backstory, says Caroline Kepnes -- let's get down to the real action
The Bachelor
Credit: The Bachelor II: Craig Sjodin/ABC

”The Bachelor” premiere is a real dud

On Wednesday night’s debut of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” I expected to gasp at the second crop of cutesy desperadas vying for the affection of one lucky man. But all I got was a lousy docu-clip show. Everyone knows it’s tough out there in the dating world. We don’t need the ”Bachelor”’s showrunners to go all “American Idol” on us and sound off on how they “scoured the country” for singles with sincerity and charisma like they’re Paula Abdul. We don?t want to see the search for the contestants — we want to see them play!

The hour started off like some kind of video dating service, as we watched the audition tapes and interviews with the top five Bachelor finalists — four of whom we’re presumably never going to see again. Not that that’s so tragic. Mark — the Air force pilot who shops for groceries in uniform — seemed like he’d rather cruise Tom Cruise than look like him. Next came Jason, the San Francisco-based recruiter who said he wants a girl willing to chow down at Target. As someone who eats her share of meals on paper plates, I can honestly say, Jason, come on!!!

Weirder still, Jason only looked good when he was sweating on the basketball court, which could kind of limit a gal’s long-term interest. Eventually, we met the anti-pick-up artist, Robert, a New York businessman. Maybe he should go bowling with John, who “hated accounting” but went into finance anyway. You know something’s wrong when you turn to MTV on commercial breaks to watch “Def Jam: Uncensored” for a little flava.

Compared to these cocky dolts, Aaron — who will serve as stud this season — seems like a good enough pick. So you know, white boy hails from Michigan, where he enjoys flying planes, inheriting family wealth, playing piano, and, from what we saw in the previews, sucking face. Lucky for us, he didn’t heed “Bachelor” winner Amanda’s advice to not “stick your tongue down every girl’s throat.”

And what about the girls? Since the only one that made an impression on me in her five-second intro was the Asian lady who hopes the bachelor has a fetish, all I can say is…neato!

The rest of the debut — reunions with last season’s contenders and clips of ABC stars gushing about “The Bachelor — can be filed under not so neato. Alex and Amanda, in full-on grope, insisted their long-distance relationship is in top form. It’s tragic, if predictable, that their last dalliance with the media happened at ABC. The host asked Alex Michel if he’s gay… as if he was gonna give a straight answer! And, when Mrs. almost-Michel-Trista-started hyping “The Bachelorette,” it was like, Okay, but what about this season?

It was only in the last two minutes that I fell for “The Bachelor.” A distraught damsel wailed that the rival babes were “gazed in on” Aaron. When I heard the poor grammar, when I saw the eyes watering and the manicured hands flailing, I knew that by this time next week, assuming the producers stay off-screen, we’re gonna have one hell of a second date. Which is more than you can say after most first dates.

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