It's that time of year again. The Bachelorette is back and cuter than ever!
Our relationship with the ABC franchise is complicated as always. Neither love-hate, nor unbridled love, nor unfiltered hate, it's hard to put a finger on.
What we do know is this. Ashley Hebert captured our hearts last season when she was rejected by Brad Womack, and is ready to "do it right this time."
We have no idea what that means, but despite the contrived nonsense this show throws at you, Ashley comes off as your classic American girl next door.
NO MORE REGRETS: Ashley Hebert is looking forward, not backward!
For all the scripted scenes, cue cards, misleading promos and manufactured drama, we were excited to see the season premiere, and it didn't let us down.
Will the Maine native find the man of her dreams and fall in love? Will there be heartbreak along the way? Will someone be there for the wrong reasons?
Possibly, definitely and almost certainly, and we can't wait.
Follow this link for The Bachelorette spoilers that we know so far. Then follow the jump for THG's patented +/- Bachelorette season premiere recap!Cue obligatory montage in which Ashley recalls her DEVASTATING split with Brad and finds solace in her life at school. So lame. So predictable. So moving. Plus 7.
We love Ash, but for an Ivy League grad student, you just don't expect to hear things like "Brad and I's breakup." No one says that except on this show! Minus 5.
Love the dance studio footage. And outfit. And her new hair. Plus 4.
Ryan Park runs a solar power company. That's awesome, save for the unnecessary "sun" plays on words. High fives in the writers' room, but Minus 2 here.
Ben from Sonoma combines two Bachelorette musts - someone who makes wine AND someone who lost a loved one! Plus he's a brunette guy! Plus 9.
Alright, Ames Brown is officially way too smart to be on this show. Minus 8.
West's story is heartbreaking. The compass gag? Eye-rolling. Net Plus 7.
William's, on the other hand, sounds like the plot of Good Luck Chuck. Minus 3 for the obvious ripoff, and Minus 5 more for us actually knowing that.
OMG. Ashley tells Chris that she’s been told that one of the guys cast on he show, Bentley Williams, isn’t there for the right reasons. Already! Plus 7.
How did she know? A former Bachelor castoff is friends with Bentley’s ex wife. He's from Salt Lake City. So it's gotta be Michelle Money! Plus 6 more!
A la Chantal O'Brien last season, Mickey says, “This is from every guy in America…” But instead of slapping Ashley across the face (think she braced herself when she heard that?), he kisses her on the lips! Plus 12.
Anyone who rates himself "about a 15-250" on a scale of 1-10 deserves to be eliminated immediately. You know who you are, Mr. Romantic. Minus 4.
Ben Flajnik brings a bottle of wine and two glasses out of the limo to impress her. Good one. Hey, might as well get the boozing started early. Plus 5.
Jeff Medolla wears a mask 'cause he wants Ashley to get to know him for what’s on the inside. Wow dude. That's ... we don't know, but Minus 19.
Plus 5 for the immediate abuse he takes from the guys inside.
The digital camera was a nice touch. but would've been better if he had Tweeted them on the spot for some exclusive Bachelorette spoilers. Minus 1.
JP gets props ... for not using any props! Bold! Plus 6.
Laid-back dude: "Ashley's great. She's pretty. I would very much like a rose, definitely." The Bachelorette is so different from The Bachelor. Plus 3.
Matt Colombo calls his mom so she can talk to Ashley, and she reminds them to use protection on their dates. What an absurd setup. Minus 11.
The Guy in the Mask already has a nickname and a growing list of enemies. Plus 4 for the awkwardness and the use of the term "creepin'". Plus 5.
Ben Castoriano writes on cue cards and holds them up as Ashley is talking to two other guys. So, basically what they do for every take. Plus 6.
Tim McCormack gets WASTED and kicked out before rose ceremony. We'll give Chris credit this time, it really was a party like no other. Plus 10.
This guy rules. Not because of his dating prowess, which earns a Minus 24, but because he sounds like he's taking in a fake mobster accent.
Was that snoring real?! Plus 13 if so, Plus 3 even if ABC inserted it after the fact. We'll go with the latter, but either way, what a display.
Ryan Park gets the first impression rose. Not a shock. Plus 4.
Also not a shock? Ashley actually likes Bentley, despite the noise planted in her ear by Michelle. Minus 5 for this obviously manufactured plot.
Gotta give a Plus 7 for honesty here: "Ryan got the first impression rose. That sucks. Even if I'm not super attracted to Ashley, I'm competitive."
ROSE RECIPIENTS: Ben Castoriano, Chris Drish, Ryan “Mickey” McLean, Bentley Williams. Blake Julian, Ben Flajnik, Nick Peterson, Stephen D’Amico, William “Will” Holman, West Lee, Lucas Daniels, Constantine “Dino” Tzortzis, Ryan Park, Ames Brown, Jeff Medolla, Matt Colombo, Ryan Miller and JP Rosenbaum.
OUT: Tim McCormack (drunk), Frank Carpenter, Jon Ellsworth, Anthony Santucci, Mike Burns, Rob Dahm, and Chris Malhomme (no roses).