‘The Bachelor’ premiere: now known as ‘don’t drink and date’

The crazy train has left the station.

You’ve waited for this a long time: the drama, the romance, the shirtless shots of Ben rowing around the ocean — “The Bachelor” is back.

If you’ve loved the show for years, then odds are you would probably love this alcohol-infused premiere. We literally spent the first half-hour of the show watching footage of Ben talking about why he was here — which we really knew already since it lies within the title.

We could sit here and focus on some of the specific details of “who said what” or take you down a straight line, but we figure you’ve already seen that since you just watched the episode. Instead, we’re here for the oft-cynical, gut-check reactions to what exactly went down.

With that, we turn to our major players.

Lindzi – We think it’s a sad story that someone broke up with this girl via text – but this “welcome to Dumpsville, population YOU” message may be the most ridiculous thing we’ve ever heard. Who would really send this? Maybe it’s true, but it sounds like a line that didn’t quite make the cut for “10 Things I Hate About You.”

Lindzi despite the text found a way to make quite an impression this week, earning a first impression rose after arriving on a horse. However, the girls seemed to think that Lindzi got the rose simply because she decided to arrive on the horse. Once again, there is no credit given by the ladies of “The Bachelor” to anything other than gimmicks.

We definitely see Lindzi as a girl who could last a while like Tenley from Jake’s season, or even win like Emily did last year. She seems friendly, and, and one of the few who never screamed “crazy” during this episode.

Amber Bacon – Talking about your last name being a pork product is not romantic, and she found this out the hard way. We know how reality TV editing works, and she probably talked about all sorts of things that are not served at a breakfast table. Nonetheless, she is done.

Amber T. (whose last name is apparently not as exciting) – This was a bad episode for people named Amber. We learned that she probably should have applied for “Sons of Guns” rather than this show, and she ended up going home before she could make Ben eat the certain part of the cow anatomy that she really wanted him to try.

Courtney – Out of all the women during the premiere Monday night, we probably found out more about Courtney during the “next time bit” than the rest of the show. She may look like a bizarre combination of Selena Gomez and Katie Holmes, but she acted a good bit more evil than we’ve ever seen either of these two try to be.

One example? The cackle she apparently lets out. The other? Having a secret rendezvous on the beach in order to disrobe. Yes, it’s a “Bachelor” first — but it’s probably better as a “Bachelor” never. (If you were on this show, would you even stay if Ben did this with another girl? We would leave — and possibly throw something since it would have the viewers at home cheering.)

Brittney’s grandma – To this point, we really don’t have any idea who Brittney is. Meanwhile, her grandma Sheryl seems incredibly nice. In all seriousness, Sheryl had pretty much more airtime than any woman on the whole show. They tried to set it up for some reason like she was pursuing Ben herself, but she wasn’t and this was just a cute way to set up her granddaughter.

The real question for us is that now that we’ve devoted a good two hours of our lives to finding out about Brittney’s grandmother, is Ben going to be able to see her in a romantic light?

Lyndsie – We wanted Lyndsie to stay around longer. She was a blonde Lisa VanderPump with oodles of money and an interesting personality — and thanks to her British descent, she was actually someone different on a show typically stuffed with carbon copy women. (Once again, where’s the diversity?)

Jenna’s tears – Remember this: Jenna works as a blogger on relationships. In many ways, the show wanted to make her into Carrie Bradshaw. Unfortunately, Jenna made a worse impression than just about any date Carrie ever went on.

It’s hard to even count the ways that this went wrong — the introduction was awkward, she seemed combative later on with Ben, and then she topped all of it off by fighting with Monica and refusing to let it go. She cried on the couch, lied to Ben about it, and then went to cry in the bathroom.

Even though she somehow got a rose here, Jenna has about as much of a shot at this working as Carrie Bradshaw does of becoming a professional bullfighter. If nothing else, she may be able to sign a “Bachelor Pad” application with her tears.

Wine – Yes, the fruits of Ben’s labor were a character in many ways — just as they always are during the first night. People drink when they are nervous, and we can attribute many of the night’s problems to wine turning up and giving some of the ladies a bear hug:

-The fight between Jenna and Monica.

-Monica’s strange cuddle session with Blakely that was made out to be far worse than it really was.

-The ladies hating on Lindzi’s horse.

-People playing soccer outdoors in their high heels.

You have to remember that these first nights literally go until three and four in the morning, so some of these ladies have been drinking for a long time. With that being said, though, we think that Patti Stanger needs to come along and force everyone into a “two-drink maximum.”

Anna – We still have no clue who she is, but we love the fact that she decided to make Ben work for her attention by not introducing herself. She literally said nothing for just about the entire episode before leaving — but even with this, she still said more than Rick did on this past season of “Survivor.” On a different note, we love that Anna’s last name is “Snowball.”

Emily – Emily will either win this show or go down as the most desperate contestant ever. The girl tried everything — she got the first kiss, she raps, and she does poetry! She’s really just thoroughly entertaining, and her rap may have actually been the most clever thing we’ve heard from a reality contestant in some time (and this is coming from someone who used poetry on “Beauty and the Geek”).

The giant hat – At this point, it doesn’t even matter who was wearing it. The hat had a more interesting personality than some of the contestants.

In addition to some of the people mentioned above, our rose recipients for this episode included such people as Samantha (who literally wandered around the whole episode wearing a sash from a beauty pageant), Kacie (a likable girl who talked about her grandma but didn’t bring her for show and tell), and Nicki (who is the only divorced contestant to our knowledge).

While we joke around about shirtless Ben, screaming contestants, and whatever programming Chris Harrison has been given every week, we admit that the show does a great job every year at getting us hooked. This is easily a stronger cast than Brad Womack’s season already, and the drama is set to boil over so many times this season that even Ben’s going to find himself drowning.

So buckle up (or go find a horse to ride on, if you prefer) — this is going to be a bumpy road to reality TV romance.

Photo: ABC

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