It’s the middle of October, which is a weird time for a recap about something related to a Bachelor franchise as none of the staple shows are currently on the air. However, the first episode of “Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After” just premiered on Freeform and as a loyal Bachelor Nation member, I wanted to recap the pilot.
I actually really enjoyed the first episode, which I was not expecting as I was strongly Team JoJo during Ben’s season. It was a little weird at first to watch a show featuring people from the franchise and have it take place in their real lives instead of exotic locations. But, I quickly got over it.
In the premiere episode, titled “Moving On,” Ben and Lauren begin to settle into their new normal in Denver. But, they cannot avoid the reality of fame as seen in the the show’s opener when they are approached by fans in the supermarket (This part has to be set up by the producers. There is no way that they divulge that much about themselves to complete strangers). Unfortunately, they cannot avoid Ben’s past relationship with JoJo either as Lauren admits they are constantly asked about her.
Coincidentally, in the next scene (which was obviously filmed a different day since they are wearing different outfits), they are contacted by one of the Bachelor producers, who asks them whether or not they would be interested in taking part in the After the Final Rose (AFR) special for JoJo’s season of “The Bachelorette” to give her advice. Lauren is afraid that all of her feelings she had when she initially learned about Ben and JoJo’s relationship will come back and haunt her.
Eventually, Ben and Lauren decide to make the trip to Los Angeles for AFR. But before they depart, JoJo calls Ben while he’s at dinner with Lauren. She wants to know if they two of them want to grab a meal with her while they are in town. Ben agrees, but Lauren is reluctant about it, as she seems about everything else.
At the AFR special, Lauren has a lot of anxiety about everything that is going on. “I didn’t have a choice. I feel like you just said yes for the both of us. But it’s fine,” she tells Ben, seconds before they walk out in front of the live audience. Ben, who didn’t seem to realize beforehand how uncomfortable it would make her, finally realizes during the filming when Ben’s name keeps getting mentioned that Lauren might have been right about coming to AFR all along.
The episode ends on a cliffhanger, which I wasn’t expecting, with Ben and Lauren on their way to lunch with JoJo and Jordan. I’m super excited to see this interaction, and I just hope it doesn’t disappoint with all the buildup that this week’s episode did.
- It’s funny. JoJo seems to be a recurring part of the episode despite that fact that she never makes an appearance.
- My favorite part of the whole episode is when Ben and Lauren binge-watch JoJo’s season. I love hearing all the behind-the-scenes secrets that Ben spilled and I secretly wonder if it’s like that with any of the other past Bachelor/Bachelorettes when they watch episodes. Also, the comments they made about the guys’ hairdos were fantastic. It was a little awkward to see all the times she mentioned Ben montaged together. But, unlike Lauren who seemed to take it as her not being completely over Ben, I understand that it was a major part of her background; she wants to make sure it won’t happen again so of course, she’s going to talk about it.
Is anyone else as excited as I am to see the rest of Ben and Lauren’s journey? What did you guys think of the first episode? Let me know in the comments below!