For the past few installations, I've watched with just a passing interest, armed with my iPad so I can enjoy other diversions during the boring or painfully awkward Bachelor and Bachelorette dates.
The TV franchise has been around for so long that I was almost watching out of obligation ... I've spent so much of my life following these people and their televised quests for love that I've got to keep up for tradition's sake alone.
But this season is different. I'm excited for Monday nights and find myself watching without any outside distractions. I've had several girlfriends tell me they feel the same way – for some, after nearly deciding to stop watching the series entirely, they're excited about it all over again.
We've got Sean Lowe to thank for that.
Here's why I think the 29-year-old is a rare breed of Bachelor who's breathed new life into the long-running series:
1. He Seems Like a Truly Genuine Guy
In all honesty, Sean didn't wow me on Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette. I found him to be a little dull (sorry, Sean!) and not entirely believable. So I didn't expect to be thrilled by his turn handing out the roses. But week after week, I find myself really believing in his assertions that he's looking for lasting love.
I mean, really, don't they all say that? But from night one, he's been straight up with his bachelorettes about his feelings, and he's just got that intangible "something" about him – you can't help but root for this guy. Even my often-jaded colleagues who've met him in person were impressed!
2. He's Easily Smitten
Maybe this makes him more endearing, or maybe it's indicative of the dramatics to come when he'll need to whittle down the list. Either way, I'm so tickled by the fact that after the majority of dates, Sean is just smitten by a new woman. So far, he seems to be falling for AshLee, Desiree, Lesley, Lindsay, Sarah, Selma and, of course, Tierra.
It's refreshing and sweet, not to mention believable ... What guy wouldn't fall for a group of beautiful women on budget-less dates?
3. He's Got Quite the Cast of Costars
Bravo to the casting department on this one. The mix of women vying for Sean's affections is diverse, dramatic and destined for medical emergencies. (Chris Harrison promises more ambulances this season!)
And did anyone else find last week's kiss-less date with Selma incredibly hot? They didn't need to get their lips involved for viewers to feel the intense heat between them. So this week, call me a marketer's dream: Two Bachelor episodes in the next two nights? Sold. Thanks, Sean.
This week's double episode of The Bachelor will air Monday (8 p.m. ET) and Tuesday at (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.
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