When I tune into an episode of ''The Bachelorette,'' I want to see certain things: teary meltdowns, exotic locales and Chris Harrison promising a given episode will be "our most dramatic ever." But just because I appreciate certain recurring elements of the franchise doesn't mean I want the reality show to continue to repeat some of its most toxic traditions year after year.
Because while I'm a sucker for ''The Bachelorette,'' but I want this to be as internal-conflict-free a viewing experience as possible, with less racism and sexism than previous installments. So, will JoJo's season make any improvements in that regard? Honestly, it's too early to tell; but that doesn't mean we don't have a lot of bonkers stuff to talk about in the meantime. Below are the things from Monday's season premiere that I loved, and some of the things I loathed (DAMN, Daniel).
Most fun segment that didn't involve the suitors: JoJo gets inducted in the Bachelorette cabal
It's super corny, but I love whenever former Bachelorettes are brought in to give the new inductee advice on how to handle their time in the spotlight. Kaitlyn, Desiree, and Ali all showed up at the Bachelor mansion to drink some white wine (of course), and advise JoJo to focus on compatibility over bone-ability when it comes to picking guys. The ladies also shared respective regrets from their own season, and Kaitlyn heavily implied she regretted sleeping with Nick, which is kind of a bummer since that decision was pretty revolutionary for the show and might have helped end some stigma for the Bachelorettes that will follow in her footsteps. Then again, it's totally understandable that she would regret that decision, given it led to a lot of harassment for her, as well as some probable tension with her now-fiance.
The guy who scored JoJo's first impression rose: Jordan Rodgers
JoJo gave the coveted First Impression Rose to Jordan Rodgers, a former pro football player and the younger brother of Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers. It's easy to understand why JoJo is into Jordan—he's one of the few guys the episode showed putting his own nerves aside in order to make her feel comfortable.
After having a chat earlier in the evening where the two really seemed to have chemistry, Jordan later pulled JoJo outside again for a kiss (which she needed after being coerced into an awkward smooch by that other guy). JoJo is obviously very attracted to him (following their kiss, she praised his butt and committed herself to doing more squats. Girl, don't worry; your butt is already divine). Clearly, Jordan is going to be a major player this season.
The guys who won my first impression rose: Santa Claus, Ali, James, Christian, Luke and Derek
Just kidding about Santa, guys (although props to JoJo for being game enough to humor the guy and even sit on his lap).
As for the rest of the men listed above, I'm not saying I think any of them will necessarily be the future Mr. JoJo, or even in the final three, but they're some of my favorites so far, and the kind of guys I could root for as The Bachelor down the line, particularly Ali—he's super sweet, and he can skateboard with his dog. That's TV potential right there. James listed his profession as "Bachelor superfan" and seems to have a Chris Harrison shrine in his room; Christian raised his half-brothers and seems incredibly well-adjusted for a man seeking love on a reality dating show; Luke is...Tim Riggins, essentially; and Derek is a self-professed nerd who looks like pre-serum Steve Rogers. I would not kick any of them out of the fantasy suite.
WTF did these guys score a rose: Evan the erectile dysfunction specialist and Daniel the drunken Canadian
Some of JoJo's suitors are the kind of tiresome men that make me want to renounce male company altogether. There's Evan, a preacher-turned-erectile-dysfunction-specialist who winkingly describes his line of work as a "hard" and "draining" business. And then there's Daniel, seen above, a comedian from Vancouver whose entire identity is crafted around a months-old meme.
When JoJo says she's not familiar with the origins of "Damn, Daniel," he condescendingly asks if she hasn't been on the internet in months (someone should be asking him that; c'mon, guy, it's all about dat boi now). Later, he strips down to his underwear and flings himself into the pool. Shockingly, Daniel didn't get sent home. Maybe the producers convinced JoJo to keep him around? Drunken Canadians make for compelling television, I guess.
One potential downside of Jordan's frontrunner status: D-R-A-M-A (and not the fun kind)
The teaser for this season shows that Jordan's immediate emergence as a frontrunner for JoJo's heart inspires a lot of masculine posturing and possessiveness in the other contestants, especially from that slick dude Chad. I have no reason to dislike Jordan specifically yet (compared to Evan and Daniel, he's Mr. Well Adjusted), but I'm already weary at the thought of all the jealousy and chest-thumping that might ensue this season.
Biggest disappointment: Jake Pavelka's surprise visit
Throughout the episode, ABC kept teasing a "mystery man" from JoJo's past. Bringing on a surprise contestant is a time-honored "Bachelor" tradition, and I know it's corny and predictable, but reader, I'm a sucker for it. I knew there was no way it could be Nick — this would be his third consecutive "Bachelorette" season in a row — but still, a little part of me was disappointed when Jake Pavelka busted in on the first Rose Ceremony. Jake and JoJo both cryptically discussed their long history together, and Jake, who JoJo later referred to as a "very old friend," left after imparting her with some vague, condescending wisdom: "Don't throw your walls up."
The entire segment seemed like a particularly unimpressive attempt to generate drama in a first episode that, while solid, was a little less exciting than the start of previous "Bachelorette" seasons.
What did you think of the season premiere? Let us know in the comments!