'The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever!' Premiere Recap: Checking in on Bach Nation's Golden Boy

Because she’s been there and done that, literally, former Bachelor contestant/tear fountain Ashley Iaconetti is recapping The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever for Cosmopolitan. With insider insight as well as a clear eye for what actually went down both in front of and behind the cameras, read on for her thoughts.

Well, here we are again, friends.

Last night ABC aired the first episode of a ten week series The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever. Each 11-episode season will be crammed down into 3 hours (2 hours and 10 minutes without commercials) and send you down memory lane, reminding you of all the villains and love stories of Bachelor and Bachelorette seasons past. Whether you’ve seen every season or it’s your first time getting to know some of these characters, it’s something to fill The Bachelorette void that quarantine left us.

The show kicked off with a recap of Sean Lowe’s season.

Wholesome Sean is one of the franchise’s golden boys, being the only male lead to marry the woman he chose at the final rose ceremony. Yep, of 24 Bachelors ranging back to 2002, he’s the lone one to make it to alter in the way the show intended. Jason Mesnick and Arie Lyendyck’s seasons both led to marriages as well, but those two said “I do” to their initial “runner-up.” Shameless shout-out to the Bachelorettes, who have a much better track record. Of The Bachelorette’s 15 seasons, four of the ladies married their final pick (Trista Sutter, Ashley Hebert, Desiree Hartstock, and Rachel Lindsay) and two are still engaged to their final rose-getter (JoJo Fletcher and Becca Kufrin).

Sean has been married to Catherine for over six years and they have three adorable children together. Their oldest, Samuel, may have singlehandedly given me baby fever when he said, “Hi, Mr. Chris” to Chris Harrison via Skype. Catherine flew under the radar most of Sean’s season. In my opinion she was the darkest horse of all Bachelor “winners.” We see there’s even a point in which Sean says that AshLee Frazier, his eventual number 3, was his strongest connection. I think the slow build of his relationship with Catherine made for an interesting season because his choice wasn’t obvious from the start. However, that also meant that the audience didn’t get to know her as well as they would other “winners.” We didn’t start really paying attention to Catherine until she was part of the Top 6. While they did give Catherine and Sean’s story at least 15 minutes of airtime and showed their full proposal, I wish their story was less montaged in this episode. I would have loved to see some more footage of the two of them that we didn’t get to see during Sean’s 2013 season.

There’s so much missing from the TV version of these love stories.

Jared and I produced The Story of Us as a way to explain to Bachelor Nation how we became a couple after the small amount of our relationship you got to see on TV. I think it would be cool if Sean & Catherine got an hour of this special to narrate from the time of their meeting to the time of their proposal. In the midst of this narration, we could see clips of the conversations they most remember being landmarks in their story. Like, When Harry Met Sally style! Sean mentions in his book The Right Reasons that there were some conversations about faith that helped clarify his final decision, but we’ve never seen any of that.

Catherine rocks. Everything that came out of her mouth wasn’t just “Bachelor speak.”

You know the phrases: “I had such a great time,” or, “I feel like we’re in a great place.” Looking at the beautiful Catherine and getting to know her bright personality, we wonder why she’d ever doubt Sean being interested in her, but she did! She was mind-blown that she landed herself this hunk. Those moments of self-doubt were so relatable. (I’m not trying to advocate self-doubt, but you get what I mean, right?) She doesn’t have an ounce of conceit. I got a kick out of her repeatedly saying that Sean was a “beef cake” and “so hot,” as I’m super vocal about my physical attraction to my husband as well.

My favorite part of the Lowes’ condensed season was rewatching their proposal.

It was another incredibly real moment with Catherine looking like she might combust from buzzing nerves. I’m obsessed with the lack of facade. I don’t know that there’s been a Bachelor that looked more excited than Sean when telling Catherine she was the one. It was a proposal that makes you smile watching TV and your heart beat faster.

Other standout moments in Monday’s premiere included: seeing the sweet Sarah Herron’s start on the franchise, being reminded how douchey Desiree’s brother came off, and of course, Tierra’s eyebrow and sparkle. I remember when I walked into The Bachelor Mansion for the first time, one of the first things I thought was, “That’s the infamous staircase Tierra fell down.” Seven years later and I’m still left wondering if she really had that severe of a reaction to the polar bear plunge.

Next week, I get to watch my husband make out with my friend Kaitlyn Bristowe when her season’s highlights get aired. Should be weird. Talk to you then.

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