Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bachelorette Week 5: Mormon in the house

Are we only on week  five? Oof.


Des takes Chris out for a day of tourist nonsense. German phrase book in hand, the two try on lederhosen, sample meats and reinforce stereotypes of Americans by dancing around like idiots in a public square. It's during this display that  Bryden shows up, says he's not that into this whole thing but thanks for the free trip to Germany, and leaves. Des cries for .3 seconds then resumes her date with Chris, who reads her this poem over dinner:
Thoughts so honest (title)

While I stand there waiting watching you
You dress so perfect
You look so cute
You reach for red, a chance you'll take
the choice is right and your mind is made
While I stand there waiting my thoughts run free
thoughts of past relationships, old to me
Girls I used to think were true
All out of mind as I think of you
The plan here now, not up to me
Feelings eternal if you choose me
Can you believe he wrote that himself? Can you believe Des is into it? She even ugly cries at the ode's conclusion. Chris gets a rose AND a private performance by Matt White. You would think the caliber of performers would increase as the weeks ware on. You would be wrong.

All the other men except Probably Gay Michael and Ben receive a group date card, meaning Michael and Ben are left for the dreaded two-on-one date. Two men enter, one man leaves, the other gets a rose. Michael, never one for exaggeration or outrageous statements says, "This is a competitive  gladiator style setting. I now need to go and  murder Ben."

The group date guys and Des take a tram to the top of Germany's highest peak and make lots of metaphors about sledding and  love. Juan Pablo struggles to say yodeler. I love Juan Pablo, and not just because he thought the word for yodeler was "juggler." I hope he wins.
The crew hangs out in an ice cave, spy on each other kissing Des, and Brooks gets the rose.

The next day Michael says, "Today is Armageddon " and by that he means it's time for the two-on-one. What does Des have in store for these two sworn enemies? Quality time together in a hot tub, of course! Not just any hot tub though. A hot tub that is a boat that floats on a freezing German river. Leave it to the Bachelorette team to bring America the latest in hot tub innovation. Things get pretty tense out there on the water. "Funny how we haven't  heard anything about your son," says Michael to Ben."I had an absentee father so I can relate to your son," says Michael. "I wonder if I'll die if I jump overboard," wonders Des. The confrontation continues in a cozy cottage where the three feast on schnitzel and at least three different colors of alcohol. A maybe slightly intoxicated Michael accuses Ben of being rotten and Des tries desperately to change the subject. "What traditions do you want to enjoy with your future family?" she asks. Ben starts talking about church until Michael interrupts "You didn't go to church Easter Sunday." When Ben retorts that it was a Catholic Mass in German, Michael says, "So? There was a Jewish guy there and  a Mormon." A Mormon! We're taking over the world! We're running for president and we're winning the Bachelorette (Jef)! But who do you think it is? Brooks is the obvious choice, what with his constant smiling and his hometown of Salt Lake. But Chris has a very mormony look about him. And I wouldn't be surprised if Drew learned to part his hair like that on his mission. Maybe we'll find out during home town visits.
Anyway. The attacks become too much for Ben and he excuses himself from the table. Des gives Michael the look my mom gave me when I peed in the middle of the grocery store when I was four. I should have known better and the same goes for Michael. But his strategy pays off when Des sends Ben packing,much to the glee of the men sitting around in the hotel room.

Turns out Mikey and James are planning their futures post-Bachelorette, or so says Drew and Kasey. These futures include tall women who will be seduced on boats. Wait what? Who makes those kinds of plans? Mikey and James do. And, according to Drew and Kasey, James is gunning to be the next Bachelor. Drew and Kasey plan to reveal these scandalous details to Des at the cocktail party, but TWIST, there will be no cocktail party because Des tells Chris Harrison such while dressed as the Dowager Countess sitting in Dracula's castle.

Roses for everyone but Mikey. Don't worry about him though. He knows where to find tall women to take on boats.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Bachelorette Week 4: A Hodgepodge of Tomfoolery

Before we dive into this week's recap, take a moment and treat yourself to Jimmy Kimmel's Baby Bachelor. I'm partial to the first episode, though the home town visits are pretty spectacular.

Wasn't that great?  If only the same could be said for last night's Bachelorette.

Des and her harem travel to Atlantic City. "It's like Las Vegas on the ocean!", says one of the guys, trying his hardest to mask the disappointment of not beein in Saint Lucias.

"I want a love that can light the darkness," says Des during her amusement park date with Restraining Order Brad. Unfortunately over dinner  it quickly becomes apparent that Brad is too dim to light even the dark space between clasped hands. So it's good bye Brad and one less BR name we have to remember

The group date is filled with the stuff a Bachelorette Recapper's dreams are made of. The men, with the help of Miss. America, prepare for and compete in The Bachelorette Mr. America. "As a young kid I often dreamed of becoming Mr. America, and now I have the opportunity to make those dreams a reality. That's all I could ask for out of life," says Michael. I feel like any commentary I make on that quote will by wildly insensitive and inappropriate, so let's move on.
Each contestant is assigned a swimsuit, and every fiber of my being tells me that it was Chris Harrison who decided which men would wear speedos.
The men get nervous when they're informed that they will be pageanting in front of an audience. Do they not know that they are on television?
The performances are as dumb and cringe-inducing as one might hope. Mikey T claims he's tired of being looked at as a piece of meat, then rips of his shirt. Poor Zak W. performs an incredibly heartfelt, incredibly terrible song. And Kasey takes the first place sash with a tap-dance routine. We can assume Michael's heart shattered into five thousand shards as his childhood dream went unfulfilled.

Meanwhile back at the hotel, James enjoys his alone time with a bubble bath and chocolate-covered strawberries. Did he order those from room service? Who picks up the bill for that? Does each man have their own bathrobe or was it just his turn to use the one they all share? Does each guy have his own hotel room with attached bath, or was he bathing in the skin cells of twelve other dudes? Regardless, he seems to be in a state of complete bliss when the date card arrives.

The next morning the men gather and wait for Des to whisk James away. And for the briefest of seconds, we see this:

Kasey, in crown and sash, at the end of the couch. This is the only glimpse. I had to rewind three times to capture it. He's completely cut out of the rest of the scene. I guess the editors were not amused by his attention seeking antics. I sure was though.

James and Des take the least romantic helicopter ride in franchise history as a Red Cross lady points out Hurricane Sandy devastation. It is entirely unmockable, as is the following meet and greet with Manny and Jan, a couple working to rebuild their home after the destruction. Des and James give up their fancy dinner to  the grateful couple, and opt for pizza at a divey bar. It's actually the most appetizing any food has looked on the show. Des must get so tired of chicken and spinach. Over the greasy food James reveals that he cheated on his college girlfriend. It's not nearly as dramatic as it should be. What a let down. James gets a rose.

At the cocktail party the men gripe about Ben, who has yet to do anything to make America hate him. To be fair, we're all accustomed to Tierra-like shenanigans. It takes rogue eyebrows and at least three faked injuries before we start to suspect a true villain.

At the Rose Ceremony, Des sends home some guy named Zack, who I swear I've never seen before. One less Zack to keep track of.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Bachelorette Week 3: You're a Lying, Cheating, Deceitful Pig

I think Brian's audition for The Bachelorette went a little something like this:

Brian: Hey, I'm Brian, I can bench press a milk cow and I enjoy acoustic guitar
Casting Director: Brian, we're looking to add a little conflict to this season. Tell us about the women in your life.
Brian: Well I just got out of a relationship with a single mother who threw rocks at my head.
Casting Director: Do you think she'd be willing to make a surprise appearance? Maybe call you a lying, cheating, deceitful pig?
Brian: I guess so, but I'm really here to find love.
Casting Director: We'll pay you double.
Brian: You got yourself a deal.

"What about my son?!" She yelled like 27 times, without ever explaining why

And so rock-throwing, baby mama Stephanie shows up, stakes her claim, and a really large man named Paulie escorts Brian off the premises. I bet Paulie is always on hand. I bet he stands by Chris Harrison at all times. I bet the job he applied for was "Official Lying, Cheating, Deceitful Pig Get Ridder Of."

Brooks takes a page out of Tierra's playbook and requires an ambulance ride to the hospital. Because he broke his finger playing dodge ball. I'm not making this up. Brian's casting? Yeah. I made that up. Brooks' injury? There's no way I could. It's too amazing. We get some great, gritty, hospital room footage of Brooks fighting for his life. At some point he passes out. Just a reminder, he hurt his FINGER playing DODGE BALL. Will he pull through? Or will this be the first ever franchise death?  He will. It won't. Brooks makes  a triumphant return to the group date, finger bandaged, ego wounded.

Des spends half the episode in fleshy colored pants, making it seem as though she spent half the episode half naked.

Brandon tells more sad stories. Brandon tells Des he is in love with her. Des tells Brandon good bye.

The men hate Ben, probably because they need something to talk about.

Brad manages to spin a story about his domestic violence offence and restraining order to make him look like a caring, single parent.

Chris Harrison appears to have raided my shirt collection from 2003. So many fitted, western-cut tops in one episode.

Des and Juan Pablo make out and while they're supposed to be synergizing The Lone Ranger. Disney/ABC/Affiliated syndicates fail.

And some other stuff happened but it's already 9pm and I still haven't posted this. So until next week...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bachelorette Week 2: Right Reasons


Let's take it from the top. Monday's episode started with the first one on one date. Des/producers thought it would be cute and fun to take Brooks to a bridal shop. Do you know what would happen to any other woman in the world if she took a first date to a bridal shop to try on tuxes while she tries on wedding gowns? She would be single. Forever. But Des is The Bachelorette so the poor guy plays along. Adorned in their marital attire, the pair travel to the Hollywood sign, which ABC must have rights to because every bachelor/bachelorette spends a good five minutes of camera time there. As they sit in the dirt, kissing, I: 1. Am grossed out by what must be sound-engineered smooching noises, and 2. Really worried that Des's dress is getting muddy. The date continues with dinner on a bridge, because LA has no traffic ever and it's  not a big deal if you close off an entire road for a reality star to have a meal. Over their chicken and spinach, Des and Brooks TALK. It's normal first date conversation. What are you currently reading? What was your major in college? How has your parents' divorce affected your views on marriage and you don't have to talk about it if it makes you uncomfortable but yes you do because you're on television. Brooks gets a rose. They both act surprised to find their own private concert by a musician I don't recognize, because they've never seen The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Neither of them are good dancers and there's more kissing noises and it's still gross.

Speaking of not being good at things, know who is not very good at rapping? White guys with faux-hawks and boot-cut jeans. But that didn't stop Chris Harrison from orchestrating the worst group date in  the history of the world, wherein Soulja Boy coaches fourteen of the husband hopefuls, in their very own rap video, and by "rap" I mean really really bad rhymes recited very very poorly. Watch:

I told you Des was a bad dancer. Also, I don't know if street cred is still a thing, or if Soulja Boy ever had it, but it's gone now. In fact I think that this single video killed rap entirely. Or maybe not. Maybe Ben will make a special appearance on Kanye's next album. Maybe Mikey T. will be in a Lil' Wayne video. Maybe Chris Harrison  will produce Dr. Dre's new beats. Or maybe we'll all  just cringe and try to forget this ever happened because it was super embarrassing for everyone involved, including the viewers. Even those luxury vehicles look like they hate being there. Anyway, Ben gets a rose for kissing Des. The other men get mad.

Bryden and Des go on a "road trip" through California, starting In Malibu and ending in a hot tub. "Just kiss me already," says Des to Bryden at the end of their nice, normal, boring date. Bryden reluctantly kisses Des. Bryden gets a rose.

The men/producers decide Ben is the new Tierra and the cocktail party becomes a complete spectacle. Michael, who by the way is a federal prosecutor but still has time to take off a lot of work to appear on a reality television series and also obviously does not like women, is really mad that Ben interrupts his serious talk time with Des because Michael has never seen The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Just as Michael reveals to Des that he is gay  diabetic, in walks a sheepish Ben to steal Des away. While Ben tries to confirm that he's the only man Des has macked (Ben has never seen The Bachelor/Bachelorette), Michael gets mad. "I'm surprised he didn't send in his son to interrupt us," Michael says.  "We've sure heard a lot about his bar," fumes another thirty-year-old man. When Ben returns from Des time, the other dudes hold pitchforks and torches in the air and scream, "You're not here for the right reasons! Watch the music video!"

During the rose ceremony, all but three men get a rose. Some guy I've never seen before, the guy who invented sign spinning, and the only black guy. I guess Soulja Boy filled the Franchise quota for racial diversity. 

Next week promises an ambulance and a girlfriend back home. See you there.