Happy New Year, rose-lovers! Ah, the passing of time... Do you ever feel like your life is one long tangle of reality TV seasons, all unspooling endlessly before you like entrails out of a gutted deer? No? It's just me? All right, let's get on with it then.
In case you're not a member of Bachelor Nation, here's what you need to know: Last August, we watched in horror as Ben got down on bended knee to propose to some truly unfortunate hair extensions, the owner of which then squashed his manhood under her heel and whimpered, "I'm sorry." After the requisite mourning period/negotiations with ABC, Ben headed back to San Francisco bruised but not defeated. [Cue the Self-Justification Montage] There's wine to be made! Dirt to be sifted! Tractors to be driven! David Gray's "This Year's Love" to be played on an outdoor piano! And if Ben doesn't get busy turning that sailboat crank while wearing a bright orange tank top that shows off his buff, tanned arms, who will? Plus: "personal growth," "discovery," "love feelings," "clarity," etc. Okay, Team Bachelor -- that is enough talk. Release the hounds!
Lindzi C., 27: No one understands her except National Velvet. Claims her last boyfriend gave her the boot via a "Babe, welcome to dumpsville, population YOU" text message. That is either patently untrue, or she hasn't had a boyfriend since seventh grade. Or... she ignored a LOT of warning signs.
28 29: Those Midwest farmers' daughters really make you feel all right... unless you don't eat cow balls when you come on the hometown date. In which case they will shoot you in the heart with a crossbow while licking their lips in delight.
Kacie B., 24: Sweet Southern girl who wants her "me" to be a "we," preferably a "we" like the lifelong relationship her grandparents had. Faith. Hope. Love. Delusion.
Courtney, 28: This season's scapebitch is a model, and unlike so many "ladies" before her who've made that claim, she seems actually to have gotten paid for her work. She's even dated a minor celebrity. Won't get out of bed for a diamond smaller than two carats. Neil Lane, you have been warned.
Jamie, 25: Swinging to the opposite end of the humanity spectrum, we have this big-hearted labor and delivery nurse who fought for custody of her younger siblings when her single mother, who had "dependency issues," couldn't care for them. Are they still airing Chris Harrison's feel-good game show? If so, can we kidnap Jamie from Casa Bachelor and send her to the You Deserve It set instead?
Lyndsie, 29: Oh, dear. This blond British diplomat's daughter may speak many languages, but she's not worldly enough to know that when a producer says, "Hey, why don't you model some different examples of native dress that you have in your closet?" you're about to star in your very own montage of buffoonery.
Jenna, 27: Freelance blogger based in New York City who couldn't help but wonder: Why do none of my relationships work? Oh God, I'm starting to hyperventilate. Does anyone have a paper bag? I will not die alone in my furry bed! Help me, magical balcony owl...
Shawn, 28: Single mom living in Phoenix. She has a cute little boy. Wish she hadn't put him on TV.
Nicki, 26: Sure, she got married at 18 and was shocked to see that relationship disintegrate. But this dental hygienist knows the next time she gets married -- even if it's after a two month, booze-soaked courtship -- it'll be forever.
NEXT: Let's pretend, just for a moment, that the grandma was a real contestant.