Happy New Year, everyone. In with the new and out with the old, as they say.
But will viewers tuning in to the new season of The Bachelor truly get something new?
With the uniformly sliced and diced tv romance product which drops, season after hackneyed season, from Mike's trusty Fleiss-O-Matic, what possible new twists and turns will those tuning in be treated to?
Or do we really even care?
I mean, isn't all we really want a couple of vilains, a heart-felt backstory or two, a bevy of bathing suit-clad bimbos or himbos and a lovestruck couple who pledges eternity (made convincingly complete with a dazzling diamond) and strolls into the sunset or jumps, fully-clothed into a conveniently nearby pool?
Isn't this what keeps us sighing and crying and trying to convince ourselves that this is real?
Is this why some of us just don't stop believing? Is it because every once in an (albeit frighteningly long) while, a Bach Bubble Couple actually makes it?
It was before my time in the Bach Patch but did Trista and Ryan lead the way down the path of fairytales and pinkness to become the envy of all others to come?
And by all others, I mean all those who didn't merely sign up to worship at the Altar of Fame or dip in the communal vat of "BBF's" (Bach Bodily Fluids), but also to prove that normal coupledom can come from this the most abnormal of ways to meet your life partner.
Is this what we eager viewers do? Live vicariously through these reasonably attractive but otherwise ordinary people elevated to celebrity because (to the sounds of various musical interludes and the backdrop of breathtakingly beautiful scenery) they laugh, cry, kiss, fight, repeat rehearsed lines in voice-overs and do things in hot tubs which surely made their parents avert their eyes from the screen?
Despite the mock-worthy mismatching of Matt and Shayne, despite the chaotic coupling of Jake and Vienna; despite the doomed debut of DeAnna and Jesse, and even despite the scandalous and predictably short-lived success of Jillian and Ed, why oh why does the bachfan faith never seem to waver?
Is it because it seeks succor and sustenance from Trista and Ryan's domestic delight, from Jason and Molly's shaky but ultimately successful start and perhaps (as we hold our collective breaths and hope) from an Aliberto Alliance for always?
Is this is the optimism we crave? While wars are waged in the world and the economy continues to crumble, do we see hope in a future outlined by the undying love of the next Bachelor couple?
Or is it just a an idle distraction on an otherwise tedious Monday night?