[caption id="attachment_162941" align="aligncenter" width="236"] The Honey Badger, awaiting his harem.[\/caption]\r\nTraditionally, the first episode of The Bachelor is the one in which we get to know all the participants. An origin story, if you will. Except, of course, we only get to know four or five of the participants, the rest being just brief glimpses of psychosis, to be fleshed out in their full horror later on. Also, the term \u201ctraditionally\u201d is bearing a great weight in the above sentence, as there are no actual \u201ctraditions\u201d in The Bachelor, only regrettable habits. So let\u2019s just say, the first episode of The Bachelor is the one where you see a bunch of very damaged people wander past the camera.\r\nOf course, the Bachelor himself is a man we all know. Don\u2019t we? Some of us do, anyway. Nick Cummins is a former international rugby player who has parlayed his interest in wearing underpants and talking like a Picture magazine editor into a vast ill-defined entertainment empire. He\u2019s looking for a woman who doesn\u2019t mind his rough and ready ways or grainy VHS porn looks and is willing to commit to a long-term publicity campaign.\r\nWe begin, of course, with The Artist Formerly Known As Andrew G, wandering about a candle factory telling lies about romance. Then it\u2019s into some highlights of Cummins\u2019s rugby career. \u201cSome call me the honey badger,\u201d he says, explaining that this is because he will bite any living creature with barely any provocation. Then we have to see some flash-forwards to things that haven\u2019t happened yet, like a Christopher Nolan film or something. Get the fuck on with it, right?\r\nIn fact, this whole \u201chere\u2019s what is going to happen\u201d bit really goes on for a long time. They may just be recapping the whole series before it starts. Apparently there\u2019s going to be emotions.\r\nSeriously, can we get on with it? The audience is salivating for some transparently fake feelings.\r\nOK, here we go. Nick meets TAFKAAG, both of them wearing what can only be described as \u201csuits\u201d. \u201cDo you have any idea what\u2019s coming your way?\u201d TAFKAAG asks. \u201cNo idea,\u201d says Nick, even though there have been multiple seasons of this show and everyone knows exactly what\u2019s coming his way by now. Nick does some Aussie speak and TAFKAAG fake laughs and the two chaps bond like nobody\u2019s business. And we wish it was nobody\u2019s business.\r\nThe first bachelorette arrives. She\u2019s Shannon, she\u2019s 25 and she lives in Melbourne. She is a \u201ccar care consultant\u201d, which I guess means she runs a car wash? She also paints, and you\u2019re not going to believe this but she is ready t find love. She has made a solemn vow to \u201cbe herself\u201d, i.e. wearing expensive dresses, rollerskating in little shorts, etc.\r\n\u201cYou scrub up all right,\u201d Nick says to Shannon, and Shannon laughs coquettishly because she\u2019s on TV and she would get kicked out if she told him to stop being a prick. He takes her for a walk around the garden, just to waste everyone\u2019s time. \u201cI like a man who has a good sense of humour,\u201d says Shannon, bafflingly believing this to be related in some way to tonight\u2019s experience. She also says, \u201cI\u2019m a bit of a weirdo\u201d, afraid that she hasn\u2019t been dull and predictable enough so far.\r\nThe second bachelorette \u2014 Jesus Christ we\u2019re only up to two \u2014 is Brooke. She is 23 and has turned up carrying a rugby ball and an Aussie rules ball. This isn\u2019t because she knows who the Bachelor is \u2014 HEAVENS NO! It\u2019s just that she likes sport, and when you like sport and you\u2019re going to meet a man, obviously you show up carrying footballs. Nick tells Brooke that he is a rugby player, and Brooke is utterly gobsmacked. \u201cHe absolutely loves sport. That\u2019s what I was so scared about,\u201d she says. That\u2019s what she was so scared about. She was scared -SCARED \u2014 that he might not love sport. If she\u2019d turned up and he\u2019d hated sport she would have just died.\r\nOnly twenty minutes in. I mean\u2026we\u2019ve got MONTHS of this to go. Jesus.\r\nAnyway, next bachelorette is Brittany, but you can call her Britt. She thinks she\u2019s funny, and she\u2019s from Port Macquarie. Nick is also from Port Macquarie. Can you believe that? It\u2019s one of those amazing yet tedious coincidences. Nick and Britt engage in a short and unbelievably dull conversation about travel, and then she pisses off.\r\nNext is Cayla, who is an \u201cenergy healer\u201d, so she\u2019s leading the Dickhead Stakes so far. \u201cMy psychic prediction is legit right,\u201d she says as she approached Nick: she had a mysterious premonition that this year\u2019s Bachelor would look like he\u2019s wearing a wig. Cayla gives Nick a big lump of rock and Nick hasn\u2019t got the first clue what\u2019s going on.\r\nNext is Cat, who is a fashion designer from Bali and thinks an awful lot of herself. Which is good because it\u2019s great to have confidence, but on the other hand you\u2019re a contestant on The Bachelor, so you deserve much lower self esteem.\r\nNext is Tenille, who has brought a basket full of plates, which she and Nick smash because of Greek culture apparently. Next is\u2026I missed that one. And the next one. There are a few in a row that we see only for a second because they\u2019re not worth seeing for longer.\r\nNext three women show up at once, which is against the rules. One of them is Cass, who knows Nick already \u2014 OH NO DRAMA. Before we get to Cass, we have to endure Sophie, who has no interesting backstory at all, but does have a small box with two remote controls in it. What a card!\r\nCass, meanwhile, is having a kind of fit in the car, because she\u2019s Nick\u2019s friend and says \u201cthere\u2019s feelings there\u201d, which makes one wonder why, if she had feelings for her friend Nick, did she decide to swan off to canoodle with a stranger on TV. HUH? HUH CASS? HUH? Hussy.\r\nCass walks up to Nick and Nick bursts out laughing. Cass bursts out laughing. Neither of them can stop laughing. It\u2019s a pretty funny situation, but after listening to them laugh for what seems like about half an hour, it feels not very funny at all. They already know each other, so Cass pisses off pretty quickly.\r\nNext is Emily, who has already had to endure Cass blithering on in the car, and who now gets three seconds on screen before we move on to several other equally forgettable women. One of them is called Ursula. Another one is called Juliana. They\u2019re all wearing dresses. They have no other distinguishing features.\r\nSuddenly the music goes all squishy and one thing becomes clear: we\u2019re about to meet a sexy Russian. The music goes from squishy to Twin Peaks soundtrack as Nick meets Dasha, who definitely wishes to harness him and ride him like an ox. Dasha greets him as she greets all men, by wrapping her legs around his neck and doing vertical stomach crunches on him. \u201cHoly strewth,\u201d says Nick, which is weird.\r\nNext is Vanessa Sunshine. That\u2019s what she claims to be called: \u201cVanessa Sunshine\u201d. When she sees Nick, she says she is \u201cnot thrilled\u201d, because he has a moustache. She\u2019s pretty picky for a woman called Vanessa Sunshine. She straightens Nick\u2019s bowtie for him, just in case introducing herself as Vanessa Sunshine wasn\u2019t annoying enough. He asks her where she\u2019s from and she refuses to tell him. \u201cWhen it comes to dating, you\u2019ve gotta leave them wanting more,\u201d says Vanessa Sunshine, who believes the key to a man\u2019s heart is not talking to him.\r\nVanessa Sunshine enters the mansion and busies herself telling all the other bachelorettes that her name is Vanessa Sunshine. Some of them still think she might be a decent person, though, so she gets on with interrupting them, dominating the conversation and ignoring what everyone else says. \u201cThis is The Bachelor, not making girlfriends,\u201d she says, and she\u2019s right: Making Girlfriends usually airs earlier in the year.\r\nThe bachelorettes chat among themselves. I can remember three or four of their names. One of them is very impressed that there are fairy lights everywhere, so that\u2019s the one who grew up in a coal mine I guess.\r\nCass is worried because she has a crush on Nick, and \u201cnow there are twenty other girls\u201d. The presence of other women has apparently come as a huge shock to her. Wait till she finds out about the dates, it\u2019ll devastate her.\r\nI think the fairy lights woman is Britt, the one who found it mind-bogglingly eerie that Nick is from Port Macquarie.\r\nTAFKAAG shows up and all the bachelorettes squeal like they\u2019re twelve-year-olds and he\u2019s someone much much more impressive than Osher Gunsberg. \u201cI have seen people here fall madly in love,\u201d TAFKAAG tells the women, weeping on the inside as he lies for money. He explains what roses mean on The Bachelor as if they don\u2019t already know. He then introduces a \u201cworldwide Bachelor first\u201d \u2014 sincerity.\r\nNo, just joking. Actually it\u2019s the key to the Bachelor Pad, the house Nick is staying in. \u201cTonight Nick will give this key to one of you,\u201d he says, producing a chorus of yelps. The woman who gets the key gets to visit the Bachelor Pad at one time of her choosing. This is a prime opportunity to look through Nick\u2019s private belongings and possibly steal his identity.\r\nNow Nick arrives, and everyone applauds even though they\u2019ve already met him. \u201cHis curly hair is doing it for me,\u201d says a woman. I don\u2019t know which one, but it\u2019s obviously one of the stranger ones.\r\n\u201cWhen I see Nick, I definitely get butterflies and my hands start shaking. That\u2019s what happens when I like someone,\u201d says Cass, tragically not noticing the early symptoms of the nerve disorder that will lay waste to all her dreams in a matter of months.\r\nNick and the bachelorettes drink a toast to the concept of fake love. Alexandra grabs her chance and immediately leads Nick off into the bushes for a serious talk. Who is Alexandra, you may ask. I have no idea. I don\u2019t think anyone knows. I don\u2019t think she\u2019s actually a contestant on the show.\r\nSuddenly a subplot appears out of nowhere, as Cat spots Sophie. \u201cI know who she is because an ex-boyfriend showed me a picture of her,\u201d she says, which means\u2026what? He dated her? He was hunting her because she skipped bail? There was a feature on her in National Geographic?\r\nAfter the ad break we learn that it\u2019s actually that Sophie is seeing Cat\u2019s ex-boyfriend. This is massively significant in some way. \u201cI hope Sophie\u2019s here for the right reasons,\u201d says Cat, but she has a strong suspicion that Sophie is not trying to get a drivetime radio presenting role at all.\r\nMeanwhile all the women are trying to drag Nick off and paw at him in private. \u201cI\u2019m busier than a one-armed builder in Baghdad,\u201d says Nick, cryptically. There is a near-zero chance that this man does not call his penis a \u201ctockley\u201d.\r\nCat heads for Sophie, planning to confront her over\u2026whatever it is that\u2019s supposed to be worth confronting her over. But before she can land a few slaps on the ol\u2019 Sophster, Nick spirits Sophie away to play with remote control speedboats. Funny old world.\r\nWe get a fun little interlude with Cayla the insane idiot energy healer wanker, amusing the whole party with her dumb stupid wanker ways.\r\nMeanwhile Nick and Sophie drive their speedboats around the pool and swap witty anal sex jokes. \u201cThat little boat race was different to the boat race I\u2019m used to,\u201d Nick confides to us, significantly yet meaninglessly. He and Sophie keep talking for a very long time. Way too long. Sophie lets slip her deepest secret: she is ready to find love.\r\nThe other woman are inside, drinking heavily and waiting for Cat and Sophie to kick off. Cat reveals that Sophie\u2019s been seeing her ex. Cat declares herself gobsmacked. \u201cWhy would she bring that up?\u201d she asks the camera. It\u2019s pretty obvious really, Sophie. Sophie claims she had a few dates with him a while back and that\u2019s all. Cat seems dubious, and also drunk. \u201cI do not condone humiliation,\u201d says Brittany, but it\u2019s only the first night: she\u2019ll learn. Cat is sure Sophie is lying, but doesn\u2019t care because she thinks Nick is going to soon realise that Sophie is a basic bitch with nothing to offer. But if Nick wasn\u2019t into basic bitches with nothing to offer, he\u2019d hardly have gone on this show now would he?\r\nCass is following Nick around like a sad and slightly deranged puppy. One bachelorette finds this very amusing: the same one who found Cat\u2019s story about Sophie very amusing. This bachelorette seems to be on the show just to provide running commentary on events. I wonder what her name is.\r\nNick is having a heart-to-heart with Nick about all the love she has to give and the relationships she wants but doesn\u2019t need. They are quickly realising that they share something special: a painfully awful sense of humour.\r\nAt this point the screen goes blank for a few seconds. I don\u2019t know if this is a technical fault or Nick and Brooke are banging on the couch and we\u2019re not allowed to see it. Anyway when we\u2019re back Cass is still mooning about after Nick and the Ray Warren of the mansion is still exploding with laughter as she gives the play-by-play.\r\nCass finally gets some alone time with Nick, and tells him that months ago she wrote in her diary that all she wanted was Honey Badger cock, and now all her dreams have come true. Nick smiles gently while trying to blink a distress call to the camera crew. Cass tries to kiss Nick, but it doesn\u2019t quite work out because Nick is afraid of having his tongue eaten. \u201cHope Nick doesn\u2019t have any pet bunnies at home,\u201d chortles the female Bruce McAvaney. Seriously, what\u2019s she doing there?\r\nCat gives Nick some home-made jewellery because she is cheap. Kayla is hoping to get Nick\u2019s attention, \u201cso he can remember who I am\u201d. Good luck Kayla, because I sure as hell don\u2019t. Isn\u2019t it a bad idea to cast a woman called Kayla and a woman called Cayla? You\u2019re just asking for trouble.\r\nAt this point, Kayla \u2014 not Cayla \u2014 jumps in the pool to get Nick\u2019s attention. Then the screen goes blank again. Then Kayla gets out of the pool, having ruined her dress and achieved nothing.\r\nBack to the couch, where the women discuss who will be getting the Bachelor Pad key. Some say Dasha. Some say Brooke. One says Cass, but haha, no. Seriously, after watching this episode no man will ever give Cass the key to his house. Restaurants won\u2019t be willing to give her metal cutlery.\r\nIt\u2019s time for Nick to award the possibly-important prize of the key. \u201cI definitely want the Bachelor Pad key,\u201d says Vanessa Sunshine, adding, \u201cNobody wants to second-best, and I\u2019m definitely not second-best.\u201d This, I can say, is not in dispute.\r\nIn the end Nick gives the key to Brooke because it\u2019s pretty obvious he\u2019s already in love with her, despite the fact Cat went to all the trouble of making him a pair of shitty cheap cufflinks. Nick tells Brooke he feels a really special connection with her, and he wants to explore that further by allowing her to visit him on one occasion in the future, while periodically sticking his tongue down a couple of dozen other women\u2019s throats.\r\nThe commentator thinks Cayla might be going home tonight, because she\u2019s a freaking loon and \u201cI don\u2019t know if I see her in Nick\u2019s future\u201d. But does she see herself in Nick\u2019s future, given that she has seemingly spent the entire night in a separate room watching the live feed on a monitor and calling the action without actually meeting Nick at any point?\r\nPut another way: who the fuck are you, lady?\r\nIt\u2019s rose ceremony time. Three women are leaving the mansion tonight. Vanessa Sunshine is confident she\u2019s not going to be one of them. Not surprising: you have to have an enormous amount of confidence to call yourself Vanessa Sunshine in public.\r\nBrittany gets a rose, because she seems nice.\r\nDasha gets a rose, because her thighs are like iron.\r\nKayla gets a rose, because she\u2019s all wet.\r\nRhiannon gets a rose, because why not?\r\nCat gets a rose, because she\u2019s a messy bitch who loves drama.\r\nShannon gets a rose, because we\u2019d almost forgotten her.\r\nThe commentating lady gets a rose, because otherwise we\u2019d have no one to tell us what\u2019s going on.\r\nTenille gets a rose, because she has no particularly offensive odours.\r\nSophie gets a rose, just to piss off Cat.\r\nAlexandra gets a rose, in a case of mistaken identity.\r\nSteph gets a rose. Steph?????\r\nCass gets a rose, because they\u2019ve already cut the promos.\r\nCass hugs Nick for an uncomfortably long time before being prised off, and then\u2026\r\nRenee gets a rose, despite having not been on the show.\r\nEmily gets a rose for no particular reason.\r\nAshley gets a rose I guess.\r\n\u201cBlair\u201d (?) gets a rose.\r\nJuliana gets a rose apparently.\r\nChristina\u2026ok\u2026\r\nCayla gets a rose because Nick wants more crystals.\r\nSomeone or other gets a rose.\r\nVanessa Sunshine gets a rose, but is really pissed off that it took so long, and that Nick didn\u2019t use her full name.\r\nAnd so, three women go home, but we\u2019ll never know who they were, because we don\u2019t see Nick say goodbye to them, and they are wiped from history forthwith, as we cut straight from Vanessa Sunshine\u2019s angry acceptance to \u201ctomorrow on The Bachelor\u201d.\r\nAnyway, tomorrow on The Bachelor, a boat or something.\r\nREAD EPISODE 2\r\nIf you like The Bachelor, you\u2019re weird. But if you like Bachelor recaps, you can show your love by chipping in to my\u00a0Patreon, if you like.