bachelor-in-paradise-premiere-ABC.jpgI feel like all of my hours and hours (and hours and hours) of writing about “The Bachelor” franchise shows has led up to this moment, y’all.

“Bachelor in Paradise.” It’s like “Bachelor Pad” where the only goal is to do it in the ocean instead of win money. The setting is gorgeous, the cast is amazing and the drama looks like it is turned up to 11 — the opening trailer alone teases like four seasons-worth of stuff happening on this one little show. Strap in, here we go!

Meet the Paradisos

Um, Chris Harrison is wearing a linen suit with no tie and his pink button-down is open at the collar. It almost trumps the poetry-by-the-fireside turtleneck sweater from Andi’s “Bachelor,” but not quite. Also, how great is it that they’re doing “limo arrivals,” but instead of meeting the lead person, you are greeted on the beach by a linen suit-clad Harrison? Terrific.

Sarah Herron comments that Marcus Grodd is gorgeous in person, with piercing blue eyes. I’ll confess, I did not see the good-looks Andi was always gushing about with Marcus — until I met him in person at the “Men Tell All.” I don’t know what changed, but all of a sudden I met him and was like, “Ohhhh, there it is. ‘Sup, Marcus?”

Daniella McBride? Sounds like? She’s maybe? Kind of a space cadet? *shakes head*

Clare Crawley is spot-on with her assessment of Graham Bunn. He is older, but in a great way. He’s more mature than a lot of the guys, I think, but he’s also not super old, like how Mark from the original season of “Road Rules” used to come back to “The Challenge” even though he was approximately 50 years old and seemed like he could be the dad of some of the other contestants.

Anyway, Lacy Faddoul is next to arrive. She’s the weirdo who brought Juan Pablo a puzzle made out of a photograph of himself and his daughter that I pray was given to her by a production assistant, because if not — super creepy. She also went home night one and seemed like a real ditz. However, she’s very pretty and has large breasts, so the guys sit up and take notice of Lacy.

I enjoy how Clare is so over this Lacy person and is looking for the nearest pier to shove her off of. I’m totally Team Clare after the way Juan Pablo’s season ended up, just bee tee dubs. Love Clare. I’m also still kind of Team Ben Scott from Desiree’s season. I never thought he was a bad dude, he just got made out to look like a villain because the season needed a “bad guy.”

Also, Marcus needs to step off the high horse regarding Ben. First of all, you know how editing is always looking for someone to be the “villain” of every season. Secondly, just what exactly is the “right reason” to come on “Bachelor in Paradise”? I feel like “to have fun,” “to get laid,” “to fall in love” and “boredom” are all viable reasons. What would be the “wrong reason”?

Michelle Kujawa wanders up and Daniella snots that Michelle as “a bad reputation.” You know what, lady? At least we remember her.

Speaking of people we don’t remember, Robert Graham is here from Desiree’s season. He’s adorable, but I barely remember him. And speaking of adorable, Dylan and Marquel’s bromance is cute.

What is not at all adorable is spending five minutes watching Elise Mosca baby-deer-walk her way down the stairs in her impractical shoes. But she immediately gets back in my good graces by declaring it might be “love at first sight” with Dylan Pettitt. That’s great for two reasons: First, the show needs that kind of crazy, but secondly, Dylan seems great and deserves to at least have some fun.

AshLee Frazier — of the single greatest example in human history of the phrase “If looks could kill” on Sean Lowe’s season — is the last to arrive and it turns out she’s kind of obsessed with a fellow contestant. RUN, GRAHAM. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.

When Chris Harrison welcomes them as a group, Michelle immediately starts in with her … unusual sense of humor by “joking” (?) that she’s not single. Honestly, who knows what’s going on there?

The rules are explained to them — there are dates and there is a rose ceremony each week. The guys are up the first week, six of them give out six roses and one girl (or two, as we find out later) goes home, then next week it’s the girls’ turn. Sarah seems very nervous, she didn’t think there would be eliminations. I can’t help but wonder if she’s thinking no guys will keep her because of her arm. I hope not, because she’s great and that shouldn’t make any difference. I want love for Sarah, you guys!

lacy faddoul bachelor in paradise 'Bachelor in Paradise' premiere: AshLee Frazier and Michelle Kujawa keep ridin' the crazy trainNight One

Guess who is making Sarah feel intimidated and uncomfortable? Good ol’ Boobs McGee Lacy (what? Those things are on display). She’s being very forward with the fellas, taking Robert into the ocean for a romp approximately 15 minutes after they all arrived.

Then later, Lacy swaps her ocean-romping partner, trading in Robert for Marcus. Lordy, Lacy. You’ve been there like an hour! And Sarah likes Marcus. Sorry, Lacy. You must leave now because Sarah is the greatest.

But who else is pairing off? Dylan and Elise make out in the ocean, with Clare and Marcus watching like “The Bachelor’s” Statler and Waldorf. The next morning, Elise and Dylan stumble into breakfast and you have to honestly wonder if they hooked up already. Tee hee. Good for them.

Also, AshLee tries to play down her online stalking of Graham, but the jig is up, Ash. She came on this show hoping to meet him specifically and now … he will be hers. Oh yes, he will be hers. Then like five seconds later, she says, “I don’t want to be overbearing.” Oh, sweetie. We are way past “overbearing.”

Clare’s Date Pre-Clare’s Date

Clare gets the first date card and in her interview directly after, she grunts and grits her teeth in enthusiasm? But it sounds more like she’s passing a stone. Clare, you are too much, girlfriend. Also, I am not at all surprised Clare has never asked a guy out before, so she’s just having personal growth all over this show. To top it all off, she asks Graham to go on her date and he says yes. Guess who freaks out?

AshLee lets the crazy out of the bag rill early, as she storms off and starts muttering to herself about how Graham is being “disloyal” to her and how “everyone knows he’s into me” and “I’m the only normal person here besides him.” Elise is like, “I’m right here.”

Sarah Herron should maybe have a strike against her for calling AshLee “literally” crazy, but … we’ll let that one go because she’s probably correct.

ashlee frazier bachelor in paradise 'Bachelor in Paradise' premiere: AshLee Frazier and Michelle Kujawa keep ridin' the crazy trainBUT THEN! Crazy-pants AshLee calls Clare an “ugly” “slut”, which — wow. Lacy just got usurped from the bottom of the list. AshLee should have to swim home for that level of disgusting behavior. There’s a way to be mad at someone without feeding into the culture that uses words like that to describe female sexuality. You’re as bad as Juan Pablo with the slut-shaming, Crazy Eyes.

And Clare knows AshLee
is talking smack about her, so she goes off to … cry about it to a raccoon? Seriously. Maybe Clare’s a secret Disney princess and wildlife just flock to her side (including fire ants, apparently). But the editors of this show should win all the awards. This scene alone could be their creative arts Emmy submission.

As an aside, if this level of nuttiness keeps up, my fingers will be bloody nubs by season’s end and I love it. I mean, we haven’t even gotten to the stuff from the preview trailer yet and I’m over 1000 words.

We still aren’t on Clare’s date yet, mind you, because Clare decides she has to make things up to the crazy girl who called her a slut, so Clare tells AshLee she’ll ask another guy on the date. AshLee is thrilled and doesn’t feel the least bit bad. Clare tells Graham it’s for the best if she picks somebody else for the date, which it probably is, but only so that AshLee doesn’t murder them both in their sleep tonight.

Daniella sums it all up for us: “I feel like I’m in a soap opera? And I’m watching it all go down.” Indeed, Daniella.

Graham says it’s “paradise lost” for him at this point, because AshLee is still mad at him (of course) and doesn’t want to talk.

Clare’s Actual Date

Clare and her second choice, Robert, take off on the date and are immediately set upon by the fire ants that AshLee dispatched to kill them. I have to ding Clare for saying she’s “literally speechless,” since by virtue of saying that out loud you are automatically making that a false statement. But I still love Clare and she seems to have a great time with Robert once they climb the ruins and then romp in the ocean.

Meanwhile, back at the beach, Lacy keeps making her move on Marcus, who honestly just seems like he wants to be left alone to drink his sorrows away about Andi.

Sarah’s Date

Sarah gets a date card. Take Marcus. Dooooo it. *whispers* MarcusMarcusMarcusMarcus. Then she does, yay! Poor Lacy is sad. I’m sure you’ll get your chance, Boobs. Also, take heart that Marcus looks less than thrilled to accept Sarah’s date. I feel like it’s more that he’s sad about Andi than that it’s Sarah asking him on the date. It better be.

Their date is in an underground cavern that is absolutely beautiful, plus Sarah has on the cutest one-piece swimming suit. And then “timid, shy” Sarah Herron kisses Marcus. Thumbs up all around! Even though I sadly do not feel a spark from Marcus on this one.

Back at the Bachelor Tiki Hut, Lacy cries to Robert about how both the guys she’s interested in went on dates with someone else. I’m sure he appreciates that you mentioned “both the guys.” You definitely have a lot of room to be mad about him going on a date with someone else.

She then says possibly the greatest thing of the entire premiere episode, “I think if a man comes back from a date and he’s still assertive and still coming after me, I feel like he’s really interested in me. At this point, we’re back on track. He is a gentleman, he stepped up to the plate and I appreciated that.”

………… what?!

But we don’t have time to dwell on that because Michelle Money in the house, y’all. You know what I wish? I’m saying it right now — she and Graham are really good friends, they partnered up on “Bachelor Pad.” Remember how they gamed the “Newlywed Game” competition? Anyway, they’re friends and I hope that it’s just a matter of seeing that best friend who is right in front of you, rom-com-style, and they get together on this show. It would not only be super romantic, but it would have the added bonus of AshLee’s face melting like she just opened the Ark of the Covenant.

No sooner did I type the above paragraph that Michelle also brings with her a date card and she immediately tells Graham she needs to talk to him privately. Killer. You know who could actually stand up for herself in the face of AshLee’s death ray stare? Michelle Money. But anyway, we don’t really get to hear what Michelle and Graham talk about, which is a shame.

Michelle’s Date

The next day, AshLee realizes that the guys are the ones giving out roses this week and she better patch things up with Graham because ain’t nobody else gonna keep her her crazy butt around. So, she comes to him hat in hand and they make up.

Then Michelle asks Marquel out on a date, which is second best to her asking Graham out. Marquel is the sweetest, that’s a great choice. The date is horseback riding and Marquel jokes, “Where’s the obstacle course? How do you make him go faster?” Hee. Cookie Monster 4EVA.

Lacy’s Date

Who will Boobs take on her date, Robert or Marcus? It probably depends on which one can teach her how many percents are in 100 percent, which ends up being Robert. Marcus is disappointed that Lacy didn’t choose him, so he’s leaning toward giving Sarah his rose.

And apparently Dylan and Elise are just skulking around doing it wherever they can, did you spot them in the background there? It’s like “Where’s Waldo (and His Special Lady Friend)?” But Dylan does take time out of his busy Elise schedule to tell Marcus that he thinks Lacy is putting “all her eggs in Robert’s basket.” Thank god he does not use the word literally incorrectly because, gross.

Dylan then gives some very sage advice to Marcus, “Don’t fight for Lacy. I think she should have to fight for you.” Andi’s season bromances are the best! I seriously get the feeling that that cast got really close and I love it.

But Marcus wants to go off and be sad, since apparently meeting Lacy brought all his walls down and now he’s worried he’ll get hurt again. Dude. You met Lacy like, yesterday. Please tell me that Marcus is not the Ted Mosby of “The Bachelor” franchise.

Meanwhile, Lacy and Robert make out in the ocean.

marcus grodd bachelor in paradise 'Bachelor in Paradise' premiere: AshLee Frazier and Michelle Kujawa keep ridin' the crazy trainCocktail Party

Time for the last-ditch effort on the girls’ part to try to secure their roses. Nobody thinks Michelle Kujawa is getting a rose, right? She’s way too weird, plus she’s barely been in the episode. That means it’s Sarah vs. Daniella vs. Clare for Marcus and Ben’s roses. I actually kind of hope Sarah gets Ben’s rose. That might be an interesting thing to watch play out. But Marcus says Sarah deserves his rose and since Lacy is getting Robert’s rose, it seems like he’s leaning that way. It all really depends on what order the guys go in for giving out the roses. Hmm. Because what if Marcus get to go ahead of Robert and he gives Lacy his rose?! That would be awesome.

Weirdly, Marcus feels like his rose should exemplify who he wants to have a romantic relationship with and he doesn’t want Sarah to get the wrong idea. Um, dude — she just wants to stick around. Keep her there, don’t be daft. Lacy is obviously staying via Robert’s rose, so you’ll have your chance to get to know her better. But give Sarah a rose, Marcus. C’mon.

Rose Ceremony

Michelle Kujawa eliminates herself from the competition before she can be the last person picked for dodgeball in a few minutes. Everyone kind of snickers as she leaves. Marquel misuses a phrase and implies that Michelle’s parents are crazy, which may be true, but I’m fairly certain Marquel has not met them. But the gist is that he thinks Michelle is crazy. As she leaves, she smirks to the cameraman about not being single. It’s so weird.

Anyway. Marquel gives Michelle Money a rose, Graham = AshLee, Dylan = Elise, Marcus = Lacy?! and then she accepts (she
doesn’t have to accept). Whoa. That’s exactly how I predicted! This show is not fooling around, they know what they’re doing in the call-out order for the guys, that is stellar. Unfortunately, this does not bode well for Sarah.

Robert gives his rose to Clare and then Ben chooses …… Sarah! Delightful, thanks dude. Sorry, Daniella. You were funny? In your talking-head interviews? But we aren’t going to, like, cry? As you leave?

Next week: So, it turns out Michelle Kujawa hooked up with a crew member, maybe? Who broke his legs jumping off a balcony? What on earth, y’all. If that were the case, why would she be allowed to stick around? Why didn’t that air this week? Hmm.

But either way, this is clearly the greatest thing to happen in the history of TV. I can’t wait to see more.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."