It’s Bachelorette season! And you know what that means. It’s time for the most awkward meet-cutes you’ve ever seen on national television!

But first! We have to meet the bachelorette, of course, and we have to tease the finale. Which in typical Bachelor fashion looks to be the MOST…DRAMATIC…ENDING…EVER!

We’ve got a long way to go until we see that final rose, but the show loves to tease the end before we even get into any of the action.

Jenn & Jesse - TB S21E01  - The BacheloretteJenn & Jesse - TB S21E01  - The Bachelorette
(Disney/John Fleenor)

Re-meeting Jenn is a pleasant enough experience. She bounces around Boston, showing off her athleticism (how does she have the time for all those activities?) and taking a brief detour to the hospital to remind us she’s a Physician’s Assistant Student.

One of the things that stood out about Jenn during Joey’s season was how kind and chill she was. They make a point to remind us of that during her video package, including the Joey recap portion.

It’s a little awkward transitioning from her telling Joey over a candlelit table how her family issues have caused her to feel unwanted and unloved and then segueing into said family time, but that’s television for you.

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Jenn’s mom seems excited for her to begin her journey, and after some tears, Jen’s ready to begin, but not before meeting some excited fans who are thrilled to see the first Asian American bachelorette.

It’s certainly been a long time coming, and Jenn’s very excited and proud to be the first. She’s ready to find a husband, live out every girl’s dream (LOL), and all the other things the Bachelorette contestants have historically said.

I love the video montage of her doing all the promotional stuff to prepare for the season. It’s like you know you’re watching a television show, but then you’re reminded this really IS a television show when you see the behind-the-scenes machinations of how everything comes to life.

Jenn's Season - TB S21E01 - The BacheloretteJenn's Season - TB S21E01 - The Bachelorette
(Disney/John Fleenor)

The limo ride is uneventful, sans for the fact that Jenn looks STUNNING, and if she was nervous, she was hiding it very well.

Jesse Palmer, standing there in all his former football player glory, greets Jenn at the NEW Bachelor mansion, which is almost too grand to house what will surely be a chaotic group of men, and then it’s off to the races.

Listen, the arrivals are some of the worst parts of the whole season, and I’ll give you a little abridged version here, just as the show does.

There are a lot of shots being taken, and some cute puppies that even move Mr. Palmer away from what I assume is his statue-like position off to the side to assist in getting them back to the lovely people who loaned them away for the evening.

First up is Marcus, and he has winner written across his forehead. When they gave him the shot sitting on the hill overlooking the vast and grand landscape that is life with his arm on his perfectly perched knee, I knew this man was going to AT LEAST the overnight dates.

Many men got the slow walks through a city park, but very few had the profound moment and camera work that Marcus did.

Jenn & Spencer - TB S21E01 - The BacheloretteJenn & Spencer - TB S21E01 - The Bachelorette
(Disney/John Fleenor)

The next few didn’t stand out all that much, sans for the Love Virgin, Sam N., who got the breaking the 4th wall producer cut joke that is probably meant to be funny, but my secondhand embarrassment won’t allow me to laugh.

There is also Sam M., who gets a video montage showing off his construction skills and clearly comes across as a front-runner. However, something about him feels calculated, and as the episode wanes on and we see more of him, I feel my observation becoming more and more correct.

But I digress. There are more introductions, including Grant, who starts rapping and singing, and it’s cute, if not cringe as hell. Then Thomas N. gives her a friendship bracelet (played out, but I’ll allow it because he is so damn endearing).

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Jonathan comes in on a stretcher with his face bandaged up, and of all the ways to introduce yourself, hiding your face on a dating show where you may only get five minutes to make an impression feels like a curious choice.

Jeremey comes in a hot car and makes a joke about the size of his, you know what, which causes my prude self to gasp out loud.

Devin gets a video package, so he’ll stick around for the foreseeable future. And the harping on his big personality makes it obvious he’ll clash with the other guys but probably be a top guy for Jenn.

Jenn & Devin - TB S21E01 - The BacheloretteJenn & Devin - TB S21E01 - The Bachelorette
(Disney/John Fleenor)

The most annoying guy is usually the one the lead can’t get enough of.

Aaron comes in via the twin-brother with Bachelor in Paradise success story pipeline, meaning he’s built to make it far. However, his video package is severely lacking in excitement.

Hakeem comes in last with a million balloons strapped to his back, and I hate myself for laughing every time he walks somewhere and a balloon pops in his wake.

Once the boys all arrive, Jenn gives a moving speech about what love means to her and mentions wanting a “ferocious” love, which will undoubtedly be something all the guys reference when they do something unbecoming in the name of a FIERCE love affair!

Sam M. (shocker!) is the first to whisk Jenn away, and it’s apparent he has her smitten, but again, there’s something off. He’s a little too smooth.

Perhaps I’m jaded from years and years of watching dating shows, but he sounds like he’s reading off a script. Then again, I’m watching on my Dreamcloud mattress with a glass of Cameron Diaz’s wine and not sitting across from the man feeding me lines outside a mansion in 75-degree weather.

Jesse Smiles For The Camera - TB S21E01 - The BacheloretteJesse Smiles For The Camera - TB S21E01 - The Bachelorette
(Disney/John Fleenor)

All that to say, I see why Jenn is swooning.

They guys cycle in and out from there, with perhaps the best conversation going to Jenn and Thomas N., who relate over their parents and similar backgrounds. It’s an impactful conversation, especially with Jenn being the first Asian American bachelorette, and it left an impression on me.

At some point, they throw in a truth or dare game that is not at all raunchy when it involves 25 men trying to date one woman.

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When the first impression rose comes out, everyone puts on their game faces, and the fight to the death for a kiss commences!

We get our first real drama of the night between Brian and Jeremy, and I’m team Jeremy on this one, which is a crazy thing to say when, a few minutes prior, the man made a joke about his genitalia as a fully-formed adult.

Brian seems obsessed with the idea of stealing the car for a joy ride. What exactly is the thought process there? Girls like bad boys?

Jenn & Grant - TB S21E01 - The BacheloretteJenn & Grant - TB S21E01 - The Bachelorette
(Disney/John Fleenor)

I’m pretty sure girls don’t like men who steal other guys’ car keys and refuse to give them back, but again, call me a prude if you like.

The drama is limited to some snarky looks from Jeremy back in the mansion but doesn’t go beyond that, which is BORING.

We’re watching for the love story as much as the tears and irrational fights that occur when many people date the same person.

The talks with men are not that noteworthy overall, though Jonathan’s unwrapping had a little spice to it, if only because both me and the guys were curious about what the guy looked like underneath.

Jenn has chemistry with many of the guys, including my pick, Marcus, who seems genuine and has the right amount of nervousness for the situation.

Jenn & Austin - TB S21E01 - The BacheloretteJenn & Austin - TB S21E01 - The Bachelorette
(Disney/John Fleenor)

When Jenn pulls Sam M. to give him the first impression rose, I audibly groaned, but I want all the good things for Jenn, so if she sees something in the man, I’ll put the Cameron Diaz wine down, put on my drug store reading glasses, and see what I can find there.

She gives him the first and only kiss of the night, and I’m happy for her.

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Now it’s time for the rose ceremony! 25 men is just simply too many when Jenn probably already had five cuts in her mind the second the last guy stepped out of the limo.

In the end, we lose Ricky (he would have been fun), Brendan (I hope his stomach’s okay after those peppers), Kevin (fare thee well on the ski slopes), Matt (he had red hair), Dakota (I wish I could get his thoughts on the Cameron Diaz wine), Brett (maybe we retire the dancing split one day), and Moze (no one wants to do math of a first date!).

The big end-of-episode surprise comes in the form of a trip to Australia! Everyone’s excited. Toasts all around. Now, the journey can really begin!

Ready To Meet Her Suitors - TB S21E01 - The BacheloretteReady To Meet Her Suitors - TB S21E01 - The Bachelorette
(Disney/John Fleenor)

But wait, there’s more! The season teaser validates me in a way I didn’t know was possible.

People not liking Sam M.? I knew it! Marcus being a front-runner? I also called it!

But there’s a lot more to get excited about, including fights between Devin and Sam N., tears, A MAN FROM JENN’S PAST SHOWING UP TO GET HER BACK AND ALL THE MEN SAYING BOO, tears, and someone being accused of not being there for the right reasons.

Oh, we are so back, Bachelor Nation!

Let me know in the comments how you’re feeling about the premiere and the season ahead. I can’t wait to talk about this season!

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