Archive for the ‘ I AM COUCHMASTER ’ Category

Bachelorette Emily: “YOU’RE NOT MY DAD!!!”

You’re not going to believe it. You’re going to read this account of the most spectacular, controversial season-ender The Bachelor(ette) has ever seen, and you are going to say, “Dude, why can’t you just own up to the fact that you totally forgot that The Bachelorette’s season finale was Sunday night instead of Monday night, and so after you went on a long, all-day bike ride and then to a barbecue where you ate, drank and got merry, you couldn’t have blogged the stupid show even if you HAD remembered it was on, which you didn’t? Huh?”

And that is your prerogative. And I hope it makes you very content to act all smug about how clever with a good memory you are and say mean things about how dumb with a bad memory I am. I’m not mad at you; I understand that lots of people are like that – the good feelings they have about themselves must be experienced relative to their bad feelings about someone else. It makes them* easy prey to the most common reality show trick in the book – the old, Advertise-and-run-the-decoy-season-finale-show-on-a-different-night-than-usual-and-then-run-the-real-deal-on-the-night-the-show-always-airs. I understand and forgive you. Now, can we please get on with this?

In spite of how weird he was about getting the heave-ho a few weeks ago, no one truly expected to see Ryan again, on this or any other season of The Bachelor**, but there he is, lurking around Port au Prince, Haiti, the self-same place Emily has rather inexplicably brought her entire family, including Little Ricki (drink!), to meet the two remaining men who could possibly, within the confines of this television franchise, publicly and heterosexually declare their love for her and “propose” to her in front of an audience of millions. What’s he doing here? What’s anyone doing here? Weird.

But, if you have to ask what Ryan’s doing here, then you can’t honestly call yourself a Bachelor(ette) watcher***, can you? He told Emily at the time she gave him the boot that she was making a mistake, and now he’s here to make good on what he understood as a promise. It seems strange when Jef doesn’t show up at the appointed time for his date with Emily and her parents; that said, it’s also just sort of assumed that word came from his family that this union is not to be and it doesn’t matter that much anyway because Arie is the one Emily really likes kissing.

But Arie doesn’t show up for his date, either, which is a crying shame for Emily**** because 1) she’s been telling her mom all about what a good kisser Arie is and now her mom isn’t going to believe her, and 2) because Ryan shows up instead, informing Emily that he has kidnapped both Jef and Arie and has buried them alive and they won’t ever see the light of day again if she doesn’t marry him instead of either of them. So she does because what choice does she have, but it’s not without a sneaky plan of her own.

The whole time he was on the show, Ryan kept also promising Emily that she would be his trophy wife and she had to stay pretty if he was going to stay interested in her, and so Emily doesn’t stay pretty. In fact, she totally lets herself go like Betty Draper, and about six years into the marriage and about the same time Little Ricki (drink!) starts going into puberty and they find out she’s a mutant with super powers, Ryan leaves her.

Thus unencumbered, Emily returns to Haiti, and with the help of Little Ricki’s (drink!) powers of superecholocation and super strength, she locates Jef and Arie under a still-unrepaired building and allows them to see the light of day again! Hooray!

Now, in the time that Emily and Ryan have been married, Barack Obama has been re-elected***** and as part of his plan to destroy the United States of America once and for all, he makes it so that anybody can marry anybody else, even more than one person, and so, as Little Ricki lifts away the last piece of concrete that Ryan strategically placed on each of the other men’s legs to keep them exactly where they were, Emily sort of comes around to a godless liberal way of thinking, imagining the fun that could be had from marrying both Jef and Arie when they propose.

But, as it turns out, not only have Jef and Arie reached a point in their relationship where they’re quite used to and fond of one another******, but also, neither of them really digs on fat chicks either, so, sorry Emily, not interested.

Emily could take this the totally wrong way, and she almost does. She starts tearing up in that way we’ve all come to recognize, but before she can get too carried away with that, Little Ricki (drink!) tugs her sleeve. Emily looks down at her daughter, who looks up into her mother’s big brown eyes and says, “Mom? Why would you waste your energy on this fucking bullshit? Wanna see my new powers?”

Emily nods, and Little Ricki (drink!) pulls her down to kneeling, presses their foreheads together and in the epiphanic moment******* her own flesh and blood creates, Emily Maynard at once recognizes The Bachelor(ette) for the bullshit that it is******** and realizes what little need she has for any damn man. Then, Ricki whispers something in Emily’s ear. Emily’s eyes widen as if to say, “Really?” Ricki nods her head, mother and daughter smile at one another, then Ricki closes her eyes in concentration and they both disappear, just as Chris Harrison shows up with an engagement ring the size of a fist he planned on offering to Emily. They are gone, leaving Harrison to shed the tears from here on in.

NOW aren’t you sorry you didn’t watch the REAL season finale of The Bachelorette like I did?

*You, that is.

**Bachelor Pad, maybe. Probably. Hopefully getting a Snidely Whiplash-style mustache drawn on his pubis while he slept, but if wishes were horses, right?

***Here is your pat on the back for that.

****She cries.

*****Though Emily is obviously a Republican and rather disapproves, but that’s another blog for another time. And then Hillary Clinton gets elected after that! Finally! Yay, Hillary!

******A little on the co-dependent side, their friends say, but it’s to be understood.

*******Possibly another of Little Ricki’s (drink!) developing super powers.

********Of course, Obama cancelled it via executive order the first day of his second term, so, like…

Bachelorette Emily: “I’m A Mom!”

"Say it like you mean it, bitchez."I am not trying to be mean. I don’t mean to be indelicate or gauche*. And I am not here to directly challenge anyone’s sincerity, but this is just about it. It’s Emily with the three remaining guys in Curacao this week, the big stupid reunion show next week, and then the season finale. So if I’ve got questions – if anybody’s got questions – now really is the time to ask. But insofar as The Bachelorette fills me with questions from episode to episode and season to season, right now, I’ve got only one: What can we realistically hope to know as the result of a declaration of love made by someone who is not us?

We can know they said it. I dropped into this episode a tiny bit late, after the first half of Emily’s date with Sean. It’s just in time for dinner on the beach, and also for a reminder from Emily that Sean has not yet come out and actually said that he loves her. She’s already got dates on tap with two guys who have said it, and with this being a show that’s all about falling in love or at least the declaration of having done so, it would actually come as a bigger surprise at this point if Sean stuck to his guns and didn’t say it.

But alas, it seems he’s written a letter to Emily’s daughter, Little Ricki (drink!), and while we’re wondering why the two of them would open and share somebody else’s mail on TV, Sean uses the letter as a springboard to greater things. It seems that he feels that love means that he can’t stand the idea of living his life with anybody else, and as such, “I have fallen in love with you and I know it beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

Cue the proffering of the pimp key – “Should you choose to forego your separate rooms…” – and its qualified acceptance. They go back to the room and they stay up late, but Sean doesn’t stay the night. As Emily puts it, “I’m a mom,” which, as explanations go, doesn’t really cut it, but okay, fine.

Next date, Emily’s got Jef on a boat. They jump off the boat and go swimming, they steer the boat toward a little cove and then jump off the rocks and go swimming. Of course, Jef has already made a public declaration of his love for Emily, which unlocks the door to conversations about their future together: where they’ll live, why she thinks it hasn’t worked out with any of the other guys she’s dated, questions about whether Emily thinks he would be a good ‘fit’ for Ricki. At one point, via voice over, he utters the most romantic words we’ve heard all segment, “I want to spend every day with her like it’s our last,” so we know that although it may be intended sincerely, we don’t necessarily have to take a declaration of love completely seriously.

And then, when the pimp key comes, Emily’s looking at Jef all like she totally wants to hear what he’s got to say about that, after which she’ll have something to say, but he totally heads her off at the pass with a sneaky thing about how he’d love to stay with her in the Fantasy Suite, but he knows she’s a mom and there are their families to think about and respect**. Emily’s maybe a titch annoyed that he preemptively uses the words that she was going to use to shoot him down***, but hey, everybody knows that it doesn’t matter whose idea it was to abstain, just so long as you abstain.

It’s not exactly important to remember, heading into Emily’s date on a boat with Arie, that he was the first one to tell her that he was in love with her, except maybe that as declarations of love in situations where everyone’s sort of expected to make one go, the first person in the group to do it takes a bigger risk than anyone who follows. And that was Arie. What can we know about it? Same as usual, nothing really****.

These two make out so much, it’s like gravity or something. They’re kissing as soon as they’re in range of each other. They’re on the boat, they’re kissing. They’re swimming with dolphins, they’re kissing. They’re talking about how much they like kissing, they’re kissing. What the heck is going to happen when the pimp card turns up and Emily’s primary goal is to not come across on national TV like she’s totally hot for it? Easy peasy, she just doesn’t even offer Arie the pimp key. They just sit there (and kiss) and talk about the future and how Arie would come to be Ricki’s dad (and kiss), and no mention is ever made of foregoing their separate suites. Good thinking, Mom!

And then it’s time to make a decision. Chris Harrison is there to wonder, obtusely, why, if it’s been such a great week full of perfect dates, Emily seems so sad now*****. He’s also got video messages from each of the three men******. She cries and cries, agonizes or appears to agonize over her decision, and says to the fellas, just before the roses get handed out, “I want each of you to know how much I care about you, and I’m sorry.” It’s Sean’s turn for the ride out of there and he feels kind of stupid for having finally given in with the declaration of love, and for what? But Emily sits with him for awhile and says a bunch of stuff that probably doesn’t offer much comfort, when what she should have said is, “Sweety, you felt you were obliged to say it at this point in the game, and so you sort of convinced yourself that you loved me, enough that you could say it. In the future, save your public declarations of love for the times that actually warrant them. But for now, get the hell out of here already!”

*this time

**and now is not the time to show her his Mormon underwear?

***which kinda makes you wonder what would happen if someone read that note, and instead of being all sensitive about situations, just said, “Yeah! Let’s goooo!”

****maybe it means he really means it, maybe it means he’s a race car driver and he likes to get out in front of his competition and compete from the head of the pack

*****my daughter thinks it should be okay for her to marry all of them

******and possibly some giant sweat marks in the pits of his shirt, but there was some pretty good editing

Bachelorette Emily: “I’m Ten Times The Man That Any Of Those Fucking Guys Are.”

“…And then get in that limo and get the hell out of here!”

“Hometown dates are important because it’s a turning point in every relationship.” This statement, made by Bachelorette Emily as she’s about to embark on a week of traveling around to each of her four current boyfriends’  hometowns in order to meet the people they call their families, is exactly right. After all, if you like a person alright, but maybe you’re dating somebody else at the same time who you like a little bit more, you can break up with that first person and blame it all on their family for being a bunch of losers, or you can say his father or his sister tried to feel you up or something.

Conversely, if you’re dating somebody you like just fine, like, maybe even more than the other person or people you’re dating – you think they’re totally great and all that, and then they introduce you to their family and their father or their sister tries to feel you up or something, then you can decide right then and there whether you want anything to do with that kind of scene, and if you don’t, well, thank gods somebody tipped their hand before it was too late.

Up front, I have to say, these were four pretty nondescript hometown dates. Each had its moments which the producers tried to milk as much as they could, but if you were hoping for some of the excitement from last season where whatserhead set up the entire mock marriage thing for whatsisname, you should know better than to hope for things.

Of the four men remaining on the show, if Emily called me up on the phone and asked, “Proposals of marriage aside, is there any one of these guys from whom I should turn and run in the opposite direction?” my answer would be Chris. This is because his perspective on the world is unreliable, and he sulks when things don’t go his way. He’s icky. Because she didn’t ask me, Emily shows up in Chicago, but she and I are basically on the same page anyway. Chris shows her around a bit, takes her to a place called Polish American Restaurant where they have a beer and then go off to meet his family, where Emily has the opportunity to say perfunctory things like, “Thank you for having me. I’m so excited.”

They have dinner, there are the obligatory interviews between each of the happy-ish couple and members of his family. Apart from Chris’ sister Rene, who begs Emily, “If he’s not going to be the one, end it sooner rather than later,*” nothing memorable is said, so cut quickly to the Polish Party they have in the back yard and then get that Bachelorette out of there!

After all, she’s got to get herself dressed up for a trip to Jef’s family’s ranch in Utah, for some dune buggy riding and some skeet shooting and wondering what the deal is with Jef’s family. On last week’s episode, Jef told Emily that he broke up with a girl once because his family didn’t like her, so now, for no reason, I find myself hoping that 1) they will communicate with each other in real time through an elaborate system of gestures and hand signals, and 2) they won’t approve of her and will so direct Jef to escort her to the gate and send her away, which 3) he will do**.

No luck. With the parents not there, it falls to Jef’s older brother, Steve, to point out that he’s a little bit skeptical of The Bachelor(ette)’s process for matching people up and to allude to Jef being a bit of a wild one*** who’s never shown the same inclination to procreate as the rest of them have. At some point, Emily sits down with the hens for some serious girl talk about whatever, and then later, Jef reads her a letter he wrote on the flight back to the New World, listing all the things he loves about her. Emily’s very impressed, but she can’t stay, of course.

After all, she’s got a date with Arie and his family in Scottsdale AZ! He takes her for a ride around the track in his fast car, triggering some comments about trust, and then they sit and drink for awhile as Arie tries to explain how weird it’s going to be with his Dutch immigrant parents.

As promised, there is an awkward moment when Arie’s mother starts speaking Dutch, and then everybody starts speaking Dutch – except Emily of course****. Soon after that, Arie’s mom takes Emily off to quiz her about what happened with Brad. It seems to Emily that she didn’t ask Brad the right, fundamental questions, which she is doing now, like for example who makes her laugh? Arie. Who’s down to Earth? Arie. Then the two ladies talk about what it’s like to be married to a race car driver, while dad and son hang around out back, chatting about the hot chick one of them is dating.

They could go on and on, and I suppose father and son might just do that after Emily’s left, but Emily does have to go, for she’s got a date in Dallas TX to witness for herself the perfect life and the perfect family of the fourth man she’s dating, Sean. He is walking his dogs when she arrives, and so they continue walking, making bouquets and talking about a girl Sean dated once who was so great, but who Sean couldn’t give himself to completely*****.

They head off to meet his family, who are quite rich and play an eccentric rich people trick on Emily where they tell her that Sean still lives at home and then they show her his messy room and see if her Southern belle facade cracks at all. It doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t look and sound freaked out by this. Sean opens up to his dad about opening up to Emily, then Sean’s dad opens up to Emily about Sean opening up to him and it’s all quite touching if a bit convoluted and also a little mysterious – has anyone asked why Sean is as private as he is? Doesn’t matter. That would have taken up too much time in the segment anyhow, and there might not have been time for Sean to run through the streets yet again, bellowing Emily’s name after her car has driven away so that he can stop the car and show her what she means to him by demanding another kiss.

And then they’re all in a hotel in Beverly Hills for the rose ceremony, and then Chris is in the back of a car, offering bile and curses as his famous last words. But why? Why Chris? Why now? Because given a choice between a guy she’s probably got nothing to establish a long-term relationship with and guy she’s definitely got nothing to establish a long-term relationship with, a girl’s going to reach for what little hope there is on offer almost every time, and let’s face it, this whole thing could just as easily have gone down last week.

*Which is going to be THE topic of conversation between Chris and Rene for Christmases and Thanksgivings thirty years from now.

**Just because that’s not something you see every day, that’s all.

***That hairdo! Only one ‘f’!

****How excellently awkward would it have been if, in the middle of all of them treating her like an outsider, with Arie’s dad weirdly telling her in English that they’re talking about her and offering to translate, Emily smiled and advised him in perfect Dutch that there was no need?

*****Which might be a euphemism, but I’d rather not think about it too much.

Bachelorette Emily: “That Is Very Shocking Because I Would Not Have Seen That Coming”

When Emily announced at the end of last week’s episode of The Bachelorette that she and her troupe of düds would be headed to Dubrovnik, Croatia, it only made sense that a quick Google/Wikipedia search would be in order, so as to find out something about Croatia. It was illuminating, to say the least. For instance, did you know that Dubrovnik is the preeminent destination for women who want to finally cast off the boyfriend they’ve been feeling completely ambivalent about for weeks but just haven’t been able to pull the trigger*?

There was a slight typo on the date card that showed up, advising Travis that his time on this show was just about up. The card said, “Let’s look for love beyond these walls.”** It was supposed to say, “You might as well look for love beyond these walls, ‘cause…”

But I’m spoiling it, and even a man who is facing execution gets a last meal or something, right? So because he is a Southern yokel just like Emily, Travis gets a one-on-one date with her, during which she takes him to this balancing stone that just barely sticks out of the wall and tells him that the deal with this thing is that if you can stand on it and take off a shirt or coat, you’ll be lucky in love. The way it’s been told, Travis has not been lucky in love. You see, he was engaged to be married once, but they broke it off and he has not been on a date since.

Well, dang it all if Travis doesn’t manage to find a way up onto that stone, but does he take off his shirt once he’s there? Nope. And Emily’s disappointed about that, too. Dang. And the other thing is, Emily’s starting to wonder if there’s a romantic spark between her and Travis at all, but as they make their way into a little dining setup with candles and stuff, she feels the stage has been set for romance and if it’s there, she’ll find it.

Regarding the breakup of his engagement, Travis says, “I don’t think it’s anything I did wrong, I don’t think it’s anything she did wrong,” but dadgum it if he’s gotta say something right after that about being hungry and wanting to eat and that’s it for Travis. It’s not long before Emily’s grabbed the rose, getting him all excited, and delivered the first half of the spiel about the two of them having a good “friendship foundation” which he foolishly takes as a good sign – until she mentions the lack of romance. No rose for Travis, just a head fulla regrets about what could have been, a few plump tears and a walk in the rain to camouflage his crybabiness. We should probably just talk about something else now, like the group date, maybe?

Ah yes, the group date, for which the date card says “Lasting love requires bravery.”*** Basically, it’s a setup for the lot of them to go and see Brave, the new Disney film****, about a girl who doesn’t want to marry some goof that’s been chosen for her, she wants to choose her own goof. So off they all go after the movie to put on kilts and high woolen socks to have a mini Highland games – archery, caber toss, maide leisg – in some Croatian meadow. Chris is terrible at everything he does, but he was game about the whole thing so Emily gives him some kinda Bravery Award, and then she gives him the date rose too, even though he seems so completely uncomfortable around her and it seems rather unlikely that he’ll last more than an episode or two more.

Travis’ departure and the rest of the crew being on the group date leaves Ryan alone in the hotel room for awhile, which is good because his upcoming one-on-one date***** requires a certain amount of setup. Earlier in the episode, while Travis was off showing Emily how unsuitable he was for her, Ryan, um, reasoned that he doesn’t think Emily has a big enough personality to be with Travis, and he thinks she actually sort of goes for bad boys, of which he is one, a characteristic he feels comes out on a football field, which he misses. Is all this another way of saying that Ryan’s been a little lost since he stopped playing football and he genuinely fears that 1) his best days are behind him now and 2) he has little to offer the world now?

The only way to know for sure would be to watch him get ready for the date, meaning we get to watch him shave that weird design into his beard and listen to him talk about his pro football career some more and talk about himself as a ‘good looking man who can get the girl.‘ Does this remind you of anyone******?

So here are Emily and Ryan on a date. He drives like an old woman, they take pictures of each other in places because they’re both so pretty, they wind up on an oyster boat. Emily can’t swallow a raw oyster*******. Again, the topic of Emily As Trophy Wife comes up. She’s having a difficult time deciding about Ryan because half the time, he’s a pretty fun, enjoyable guy and the other half of the time, he’s a dick. The question is, which is the act and which is his real personality, which will assert itself more and more over time?

Luckily, by way of helping, Ryan pulls out a list he’s made (after much careful thought, of course), enumerating the Twelve Qualities Ryan Wants in a Wife. Ready? Loyal, logical – not overly emotional, encourager, faithful, nurturer, confident, magnetic, loves to laugh, assertive, unselfish, beautiful with a sexy personality, likes to catch my eye********.

Ah, but this is a sad turn of events – Ryan’s list doesn’t say anything about a loving family, which is at the very top of Emily’s not-quite-as-committed-to-paper list of the Twelve Qualities Emily Wants in a Husband, and so she cannot give Ryan a rose*********. “That is very shocking because I would not have seen that coming,” says Ryan, a guy who probably doesn’t get told to take a hike very often, which is not the same as saying he shouldn’t. Nobody else who doesn’t get a rose wants to hang around any longer than they have to, but Ryan’s still there, lecturing her on the mistake she’s making, after they’ve gone to commercials and come back. He does eventually go, and as he goes, we’re treated to a voiceover from Ryan about all the friendships he’s struck up with the guys – the perfect opportunity to cut to a shot of the hotel room, which is full of men hooting and hugging as his suitcase gets carried away, leading to the perfect closing line, where he says he prays the producers of the show don’t cut all his scenes to make him look like an asshole. Guffaw.

And then, because scenes where somebody sneaks over to see the Bachelor(ette) are becoming anticipated moments on this show, Arie sneaks over to see Emily and they lay in her bed and talk about what a shitty husband Ryan would be, then she gives him the rose that Ryan didn’t get and then they make out and then he goes back to the hotel.

Cocktail party highlights: John knows this thing is coming down to the wire and he can’t keep sitting there doing absolutely nothing and expect to keep hanging around, so he shows Emily his grandparents’ funeral cards, which he keeps in his wallet. D(ugh) gives her a one-armed hug. He is bound and determined to be the drippiest drip still remaining in the chase, but Emily sits him down right next to her and puts his arm around her, which is when D(ugh) finally makes his move, which is to slightly wiggle his thumb in the vicinity of her hip.

Both of these guys really have to go, but Emily feels she’s already dispatched enough losers here in Croatia. She ducks out in the middle of the rose ceremony to talk to Harrison and a producer, and for a time, they make it look like she’s not going to give out the last rose at all and send both John and D(ugh) home (yay!), but then Harrison shows up with a tray with two roses on it (booo!). And that is why I will forever keep a grudge in my heart against Croatia.

*Just an expression.

**Because Dubrovnik is a coastal city with big, old-fashioned walls with which it used to defend itself?

***I paid a lot of attention to the date cards this week. I can’t say why.

****Opening this weekend, hint hint.

***** “The world is our oyster.”

****** This guy?

******* If I say I’ll let that go without a remark, I’m not really letting it go without a remark, am I?

******** In the spirit of fair play, I’ll leave this as unremarked upon as Emily’s oyster problem.

********* And also because he is a murder/suicide waiting to happen.

Bachelorette Emily: “Then Get The Fuck Out!”

Ten potential suitors remain as Emily et al pull into London England, which means, realistically speaking, we’ve still got a few weeks before we can truly consider this group whittled down to contenders only. There’s still plenty of chaff to be separated out, and if anyone knows anything about that, it’s Chris Harrison, and he puts it in some seriously dire terms as he briefs the gathered contestants in Trafalgar Square.

“Only one of you will become Emily’s husband,” he promises, and in a new twist*, The Bachelorette has decided to take this and other notions of conventional marriage as seriously as they purport to. So, on each of tonight’s dates, they’ve opted to take out and dust off those hoary old wedding vows that hardly anyone pays much attention to anymore and really test these fellows’ mettle.

Lucky Sean gets the first one-on-one date. His date card says, “Love takes no prisoners,” which translates roughly into the vow that everyone always hopes they won’t ever get tested on, good ol’ in sickness and in health.

Now, normally, a fellow would be pretty stoked to find out his date with Emily will be six months long, but in this case, the first thing that happens on this one is Emily gets exposed to a near-lethal dose of radiation and then is immediately hospitalized. She loses her hair and lots of weight, she vomits constantly and has no energy, and Sean mostly just sits by her bed, reading aloud, applying fresh cold compresses, wiping away various oozings, dealing with health professionals and of course, footing the bills**.

Good guy and aspiring stalwart family man that he is, Sean excels at this date. He is excellent husband/father material. It’s going to be very sad for him when she chooses someone else.

Okay, fine, if you really must know, they actually go sightseeing. The whole nine yards – double decker bus, St. Paul’s Cathedral, a quaint British phone booth, Buckingham palace. He’s pretty sure he’s falling for her, which is just what he wanted, he tells Emily, or the camera, or someone, because, “Good girls are hard to come by.” That’s probably not what Jesus would say. He carries her bag for her, they turn up at Speaker’s Corner*** and then have dinner in the Tower of London. “Today is the best date I’ve ever had in my life,” Sean tells someone. He is excellent husband/father material. It’s going to be very sad for him when she chooses someone else.

What’s really important to know at this point, however, is that while Emily and Sean are on their date, the centrepiece for the entire episode is happening back at the hotel. The date card for the group date has arrived, enumerating the participants and offering the theme, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Someone calls out that they think that’s Shakespeare, but we all know it’s going to be for better or for worse****. Here, the Douchebag is sitting at a table with Jef and somebody else, and the Douchebag makes a joke: “Of course, whoever wins, they’ll all be group dates – you, Emily and Ricki.” It’s not bad, but it doesn’t go over well at the table. Supposedly he also makes a crack about Little Ricki (drink!) being baggage. Whoops. How do you think that’s going to turn out?*****

Everybody turns up at Stratford Upon Avon to put on a performance of Romeo and Juliet. It’s going to be crappy and everyone is uncomfortable except for the Douchebag who, when given the role of Romeo, pronounces, “I’m not surprised. I was born to play this role.”****** While he’s practicing, Emily comes to visit. He shoos her away. She’s unimpressed by that.

But if you think she’s unimpressed by THAT

After the play, it’s off to a pub for a drink, where everyone is happy to gossip about the Douchebag and call the Douchebag out on what he said back at the hotel while Emily is off somewhere smooching with Arie or giving Ryan the wrong impression of the chance he actually stands with her on this game show, but will anyone actually go so far as to be the tattletale? D(ugh)’s gonna be the tattletale. It immediately enrages Emily that someone would call her daughter anything but a blessing, and she rushes off to confront the Douchebag, which costs D(ugh) the remaining alone time he might have had with Emily, and a smooch, and whether he recognizes it or not, this is how his moment with her on this date will be remembered. Does a person generally get a rose for being a tattletale?

Nope, tattletales cost everybody the date rose, that’s what tattletales do. The date’s over; the Douchebag gets sent away and Emily’s pretty bent out of shape by the whole thing, not only about what the Douchebag said, but what everybody else didn’t say to her about it. Is she overreacting? I think so, which is but one reason why Emily’s not marrying me. She doesn’t know the whole story*******, but if she were to stop and think about it for a minute, something she ought to know from being on this show before is there isn’t much benefit that comes to the someone who tells the Center of Attention about how no good another contestant is.

Luckily, Emily gets to spend some time with her precious little daughter in advance of her next date, and as she subtly tries to get Little Ricki (drink!) to behave like a charming, engaging child in front of the cameras, she’s reminded of what a pain in the ass her kid is. So by the time that she and Jef have cut out of their lesson on traditional afternoon tea with some British man/lady named Jean and headed to a pub for beers and fish and chips, she’s completely ready to hear not only his firsthand account of what went down with the Douchebag, but also his suggestion that if her daughter is baggage, she’s at least really nice baggage. Score! Onto the London Eye for dessert and later, some smooching!

At the cocktail party, everybody gets their time on the hot seat, either to do a certain amount of damage control pertaining to the Douchebag Problem, or to do a certain amount of sucking up pertaining to the Douchebag Problem. And then Alejandro gets sent home because five episodes or whatever into the season, who is that guy again? In the back of the limo, he tells us he’s hurt because he’s ready to find love, but he should consider the bright side: at least he doesn’t have to worry about forsaking all others in order to be with a woman with baggage.

*which isn’t really happening; I’ve dropped off to sleep due to the repetitive nature of this show and I’m currently dreaming the craziest things.

**This is what we talk about when we talk out of our ass about love.

***Yes, I am going to persist with this.

****You hardly need to guess; by now, they’ve already spoiled it in the previews. Idiots.

*****Does he know it ends with a guy who fakes his own death so well that he fools his girlfriend, who then kills herself, moving him to kill himself for real after he awakes and discovers her body? Why ask?

******Hardly anybody knows the whole story; there were only three guys at the table at the time.

Bachelorette Emily: “I Am A Really Good Catch.”

How’s that old saying go again? ‘Live and learn’? Yeah, that’s the one, ‘live and learn’. It seems like that was the theme to this week’s episode of The Bachelorette, at least whenever the theme wasn’t Bermuda, or what a murder/suicide headline waiting for his object and opportunity to come along Ryan is, at least when he’s not too busy being a physical trainer, a “really good catch” and a wholehearted appreciator of himself.

Penis Manor seems to be divided into two, maybe three camps on the issue of whether or not live and learn is a saying to put stock in. In one camp, there are the old dudes like Doug who are thirty or something, which, yeah, is like, so old, but compared to some of the other guys on the premises, they are old, and the thing about getting older is, you almost have to subscribe to that saying, or else what the hell have you been doing all this time, right?

Mind you, there are a lot of people in this world who are old enough that they really should know what’s what, and yet somehow, they manage not to. And maybe Chris, as the flag bearer for the camp of young’uns who have little choice but to answer back to the quantity argument with the appeal to the quality of a person’s experiences that matters, is onto something. Or maybe he’s just being argumentative for its own sake, the way people who aren’t even thirty yet will do, especially when they’ve found themselves an old dude who just completely rubs them the wrong way, the way Chris has found Doug.

Emily likes Doug, and it has more to do than just with him being a father who knows about single parenthood*. Their date is one of those walking around, going in all the shops in the town of Hamilton, Bermuda, while Emily says via voiceover that this is exactly what married couples do, so it might have something to do with his arms, which are gigantic and undoubtedly capable of carrying many, many shopping bags full of  stuff, or perhaps it is those arms combined with a demeanour so pre-domesticated that he’ll just carry all those bags without making so much as a goddamn peep. After that, Emily produces a postcard that she purchased, suggesting that she was so touched by his son’s letter to her that maybe they should send this back to him**.

Emily may like Doug, but do we? Mmm, we think he’s a bit of a square, actually, and for her part, Emily says that he sort of reminds her of Brad in that he’s always got to give the perfect answer. The best she can get out of him from the premise of what his old girlfriend, if she was produced right now***, would complain about as far as Doug goes: how he spends too much time with his son and how he doesn’t clean her car enough, before he’s turned the question back on her****. And then he doesn’t even kiss her, even as she’s making the face that says she wants him to kiss her, because, referring to himself in the third person “Doug never makes the first move.”

Oh, there’s something wrong with this guy, alright, possibly something worse than what’s wrong with both Nate and John, all put together. Yup, I’m skipping ahead to the two-on-one date these two guys had with Emily on a boat, jumping off cliffs into the water and eating dinner in a cave because…just because. My second-favourite part of the date was during dinner in the cave, Nate***** exclaims, “Hey, is this quin-o-uh?” and then musters something else about it being a good source of fibre. My absolute favourite part was when two identical stalactites broke free and fell from the ceiling, crushing each suitor’s skull just as Emily was about to give John the date rose, so it’s a crying shame it didn’t really happen, but on the plus side, we’re done talking about that date and we can mention the group date almost as much in passing now.

The group date features Charlie, Ryan, Chris, Jef, Sean, Arie, Travis and the Douchebag, competing against each other in two teams of four in a sailing race to see who gets to stay and make time with Emily and who’s got to go back to the hotel. Arie must have been on the winning team because all of a sudden, there he is, kissing her some more, and Ryan must have been on the winning team because not long after Arie’s been kissing her, he’s trying to manipulate her into feeling bad for kissing guys on TV, and Jef must have been on the winning team because there they are on the beach in front of a bonfire with a blanket wrapped around them, with Emily making the ‘kiss me’ face again, and Jef answering, “Well, we better get back******,” and the Douchebag must have also been on the winning team, because I’m pretty sure I didn’t imagine the fifteen second long exchange between the two of them before the cut to a commercial.

And then it’s time for the cocktail party, where we return to this issue of ‘live and learn,’ or at least Chris and Doug return to it, or at least Chris does, taking the time out of his one on one time with Emily to explain how not immature he is, like absolutely nobody’s really said about him. Then he pulls Doug aside so that he can tell him how not immature he is. Is Chris drunk? This is a very strange conversation. Chris might be on to something when he tells Doug that he doesn’t believe half of what he says, but he has no idea what he means when he says it. So.

Somewhere along the same lines, or not, Arie scoops Emily from a conversation she’s having with Ryan, and Ryan, being old, doesn’t appear to mind all that much because if he doesn’t win this thing, he’s thinking about Bachelor Ryan*******, and Sean is the only one who thinks to ask how Little Ricki (drink!) would feel about her mom getting married. In spite of giving the impression that it’s never come up between her and her daughter, Emily says she is sure Little Ricki (drink!) would be fine with that. And Emily should know, at least better than her daughter, because she’s lived more. And learned. Presumably.

Charlie and Michael “Ponytail Boy,” sadly enough, will not live to see the next episode, thanks to a rose-on-platter shortage.

*Remember Tony the Crybaby? Just barely? Well, that counts, you know.

**”What little kid doesn’t want a postcard from his dad(‘s lady friend who his dad will maybe marry without hardly including that little kid in the decision?”)

***Is this not an excellent idea for a show segment?

****Yes, Emily, what would your old girlfriends complain about, if given the chance?

*****To whom I was referring in my head as Travis. Just goes to show, eh?

******Which wins him the date rose! WTF?

*******Eeeewwww, much?

Bachelorette Emily: Dudes…Or Duds?

“Go home, crybaby.”

Might as well be honest. I’m not enjoying blogging this season of The Bachelorette as much as I’ve enjoyed others. It’s still way too early in the proceedings to rush to any sort of judgment on the whole season, that’s just an acknowledgement of my feelings, which I feel. And as long as I’m feeling feelings, I might as well try to get to the bottom of them so as to enliven and enrich your viewing experience of a show that is generally so devoid of real human feeling or experience.

It’s not Emily, or not exactly. In fact, at the time she was announced as this season’s Central Object, it was hard to imagine her being anything other than ultramega boring, but Emily’s done better than that. She tells jokes and frequently comes across as a genuine person who actually exists on this planet*, while rocking this enigmatic nature that is very likely to make some dudes cry** before the end of the season.

So what is it that I’m not enjoying***? Could it be the sheer number of dinks roaming around this big, borrowed North Carolina mansion, waiting their turn to try and make the stranger love them? Sort of, yeah. The dudes, for the large part, are duds.

Take Chris the corporate sales director (please)****. They might show him smearing on way too much aftershave before his first date with Emily, but they keep hidden his viewing of the six hour Emily Highlight Reel***** from which he emerges calm and refreshed enough to don a harness and climb to dinner with her up the side of a building, offering the warmest of high fives once they reach the top. “I didn’t think it was the right time to kiss her right then,” he explains, and considering the giant ‘This would be an excellent time for you to kiss me’ smile she was giving him at that exact moment, it would seem that I am totally right. Again. About everything.

But if that’s not enough proof for you, how about when shit-country nobody Brian Singer puts on a concert for the two of them and any yokels loitering nearby, Chris finally does kiss her and then says, “Kissing Emily is like the greatest thing that I’ve ever experienced in my life.” This, just after he’s finished telling her about how he left home when he was 17 to go to school and get experience? He loves her too much for no reason. Many of them love her too much for no reason. And all who do are idiots.

I swear, if it wasn’t for the simmering love affair between Stevie “Party Stevie” the Party MC and Kalon “Luxury Brand Consultant” the Douchebag, there’d be nothing of interest going on in that house at all. Oh, you missed that? Yeah well, hear me out. Surely you haven’t missed how Party Stevie needs – wait a sec, everybody needs – how Party Stevie NEEEEEEDS? It’s there in his eyes? In every single close-up? He needs love and attention and validation, probably he needs a place to live, and definitely he needs someone to tell him the truth about a lot of things, complete him, to complement whatever it is that he brings to the world besides that little beard and his pop ‘n’ lock. And while his mouth, as he struggles to remain ‘proper’, may say Emily is that person, the way he spent all last episode glowering at Kalon? It’s a thin line between love and hate, baby.

And as for Kalon****** and his 26 year old, collagen injected lips and his manners and his need to project cool and control himself and others, Emily’s not for him. He just wants to win her because he likes to win things*******. He thinks no one can see the seething anger and his need to dominate, but we can.  And Party Stevie can, too. Party Stevie could be so good for the Douchebag.

Nobody blames you for wanting to take a moment to mull that one over, but I’ve got to move on. There’s a lameass group date in the park which I’ve got to cursorily cover. The duds all arrive, walking like they’re airing out their armpits, until they find out that they’re actually walking into the shittiest date ever, getting interviewed and objectified by Emily’s posse of bidd- er, girlfriends, then proving their suitability for stepfatherhood via the chasing of a bunch of kids - orphans, presumably, or otherwise unwanted******** – around a playground.

It winds up being all too much for Tony, who finds that leaving his son behind for weeks and weeks is enough to make him weep (and weep and weep) until finally Emily has to send him away for being a crybaby. Hmmm, this was the first major test of her ability as a Central Object, to keep potential strays in line, to give them the ‘have patience, try to understand’ line like Brad was so adept with. By letting him go home instead of pressuring him to succumb to the nonexistent luuuuuv, Emily kind of fails at that part, but who cares? Tony was too earnest for anyone’s good. Date rose to Sean.

So, how’s it coming with that Stevie/Kalon thing? Pretty good? Good, because you’re just in time to rejoin the show as Chris spanks racecar stoner Arie on the ass as he leaves for his own solo date with Emily. Right after that, Chris has another go with a line that he tried last week, that he finds it hard to believe that anyone could have the same connection with Emily that he does. It sounds every bit as stupid this time around.

Emily takes Arie to Dollywood, which he never knew existed until now. They go on a rollercoaster. She fears this, but holding hands with Arie makes it better. Then, as they find themselves on a darkened stage with blank paper and directions to write a love song, a sparkly animatronic Dolly Parton appears. Oh! It’s really Dolly! She sings songs for them, has some girl talk with Emily about how vague the feeling of falling in love can be. I wish Dolly Parton would have been one of Emily’s friends in the park.

Does Arie get the date rose? You bet he does, but not before Emily playfully gives him the gears********* a little bit. Then it’s time for the merry go round, where they kiss (and kiss and kiss) and snuggle together tightly so as to prove Chris right, but not in a way he’d be happy with.

What’s more, Arie and Emily continue with the smooching back at Penis Manor, but this is different smooching, meant to console after she and Allessandro come to an understanding about the nature of compromise, meaning that he’s going to have to leave. Immediately. Which makes her upset, though not as upset as it makes Ryan to see her and Arie smooching.

The worst thing about any of this is that it means that only one person will get singled out for eviction at the rose ceremony, and the worst thing about that, whether Kalon the Douchebag knows it or not, is that Party Stevie is the one who winds up in the limo. I’d pour one out for lost love, but I’m at work right now and they don’t like it when I spill booze on the carpet. But don’t let that stop you. This is some sad shit, yo.

*Ashley is ordering another round of Underachiever cocktails as you read this.

**Tony cried tonight, but it seemed a little forced. And he’s not a dude. And it wasn’t exactly Emily that caused it.

***Besides the show itself, which isn’t news.

****Is this the right time to wonder how much makeup it takes to hide his Romulan brow?

***** “Reminiscing about old times,” they call it.

******Who does he remind you of? Jog your memory?

*******And remember she told Ryan last week she’s not down with that?

********In this day and age, who volunteers their kid to be babysat by a group of complete stranger guys?

*********See what I did there?

Bachelorette Emily: “It’s The Worst Feeling In The Whole world”

“Dare to dream, but don’t get your hopes up, sweety.”

Manners. Who doesn’t appreciate manners?
An especially enjoyable thing about Emily’s first go-round on The Bachelor, in Brad Womack’s second try at mating, was how she was always with the emboldening smiles and  nods and the pleasant pleases and thank yous, leaving no one completely sure whether it was Emily or her manners talking, and whether or not the statement was anywhere approaching sincere.
It was fun last week, too, as Emily debuted as The Bachelorette‘s belle to impress for the season. No matter who it was – from the little twelve-year-old-looking CEO dude who arrived on a skateboard before tossing it in the bushes to Party Stevie, who made the scene with a boom box in hand and the charming if misguided belief that he can twitch his way into Emily’s heart – they could count on a lovely smile and all the overencouragement she could manage in a 15- to 30-second first encounter.
It’s part of the deal with this show, that the object of the affections must always smile and be less than a full-fledged human in the display of their moods, but Emily’s got this raised to an art form. She was so very pleased to meet each and every one of those fellows, she gave roses to almost all of them, and there’s not one of the survivors of that cocktail party that has the slightest doubt that he belongs there*.
So obviously, we’re all very excited to witness the housewide sense of bafflement that ensues as this Bachelorette expresses nothing but joy and pleasure with each of the house’s man parade and every stupid thing they do in an effort to curry her favour. But I’m especially looking forward to a time when she simply cannot maintain such a ridiculous façade any longer.

The advance notice on this episode is that the dates are intended as a test of the contestants’ potential stepfatherhood, and hey, we can’t ever forget about Little Ricki (drink!) because Little Ricki (drink!) is the most important person in Emily’s life. In fact, we’re to understand that Emily insisted that in the early going, the show would locate itself in Emily’s hometown in order to keep things as normal as possible for Little Ricki (drink!), and then, once they commenced with the world travel, Little Ricki (drink!) would accompany them here, there and everywhere. I poke fun of course, but honestly, what would we think of Emily if she left her daughter behind for a second time to go off and try to find love via television?

The problem might be, as any stepparent is likely to tell you, is that stepparents can’t win, don’t win, won’t win**, but then again, as much as we should expect to see the Little Ricki (drink!) factor exploited this season, it’s true that a quick early round of determining general unsuitability for the role might just make for some appallingly good TV. So let’s cross our fingers!

Promises promises. Ryan the pro sports trainer certainly does get drafted* to help carry Emily’s groceries into the house and bake cookies for Little Ricki’s (drink!) soccer team at their game that night. But he’s gotta wait in the car while she drops them off. Not yet, right?

Dinner later is an interview where Emily expresses worry about being the prize in a competition**. WHAT? Okay, whatever. Cut to the shot of them exiting the restaurant and dancing on a raised platform in front of every single rubbernecking yokel that lives in Charlotte NC, otherwise known as all of them.

So, are we really and truly looking to see who’s good fatherhood material for an entire episode of The Bachelorette? Not really, no, but sort of, yes. Even with the centerpiece of the group date being a hospital fundraiser featuring the Muppets, and even though she does call Little Ricki (drink!) up to sing The Rainbow Connection with Kermit the Frog, most of the drama on this date involved Charlie playing his Oh, my brain injury! card in order to get out of doing low-quality standup comedy.

And the really weird thing about this is, Charlie knows funny! When Party Stevie angles in and gets a little dancing in during his small talk with Emily. Charlie, peering at them from a hiding place, thinks it’s hilarious. And doesn’t he have a point? What’s funnier than a guy you’re competing with for a woman’s affections making time with said woman while you content yourself to peek at them from a stairwell and giggle?

But I’m tired of talking about the group date. Suffice to say, Jef gets the date rose, and Chris gets the award for weirdest response to that: “There’s no way that he had a conversation with her like the conversation I had with her.”

Now, to be perfectly honest, if I was given the choice between talking about Emily’s date with Joe and just arbitrarily making up awards to give out to different contestants, I believe I would choose the latter, but in the spirit of compromise, how about this? The award for the contestant who is the most completely and woefully unaware of what actually happens on this television show goes to….Joe.

It quickly becomes apparent on this date that Joe is someone Emily is looking to eliminate, not keep, and so if he’s going to stay, he’s going to have to do quite a bit better than wearing the oldest shirt he owns on a trip to The Greenbrier Resort in Emily’s home state of West Virginia, and he’ll probably want to be prepared to answer a question or two about his life and future. Whoops! No rose for Joe*. Kudos to whichever houseman it was that managed to come across as surprised when the porter came to take Joe’s suitcase away.

And finally, the cocktail party was boring. Let us all smile, nod, and never talk of Aaron the Chemistry teacher or Kyle the Financial Advisor again. There’s no need, they’re done. Kyle makes what must be the funniest deadpan joke ever: “When you get your heart broken, it’s the worst feeling in the world.”

*by Emily’s side, for all time.

**mind you, neither do the The Bachelor(ette)‘s winners, so maybe it’s a wash.

***Fireworks go off anyway. They must be on a timer or something. This part was so excruciatingly, simultaneously, funny and depressing.

Bachelorette Emily: “I Promise, It’ll Be Worth It.”

Okay, champ, this is it. The time has come. You got your rest and relaxation, you got your Monday nights to yourself for a few months, you got your chance to clear your head and get it on straight. But then again, there’s no time like the present to own up to the fact that this is the stupidest, most manipulative show ever, and flat-out refuse to have another goddamn thing to do with it.

 Wait a second. What are you thinking? This isn’t some damn third place Ashley who’s about to send 24 of 25 boys packing over the course of the next few weeks. This is EMILY MAYNARD, “the Southern single mom with heartbreak in her past,” as Chris “Useless” Harrison describes her. She’s been engaged twice*, and apart from a little girl named Ricki for whom Miss Maynard will try and find a caring father figure** from a group of strangers who think she’s even prettier than when they saw her on TV, she’s got nothing to show for it***. Are you gonna say ‘no’ when Emily Maynard needs you the most? You’re here for Emily, dammit, so take a deep breath – now exhale. Now, I want you to get out there, keep your head on a swivel and your dukes up. This is The Bachelorette, yet again.

Things we know: every season kicks off with a cocktail party, after which the Bachelor(ette) give away a tonne of roses to the strangers they’d like to live in this mansion with the other strangers while she decides who to keep around a little longer and who – not to. But before they can do that, the fellows need to arrive and have a big ol’ sausage party in this big ol’ mansion in the big ol’ state that just went to needless extremes to tell the gays just how they feel about them.

But for a lot of guys, the chance to make any sort of an impression on the Bachelorette has already been lost by the time they’re inside with a drink in their hand. Hence, the growing tendency towards steaming piles of schticky business being deployed immediately upon exiting the limos, like the offering up of a glass slipper, dressing up like an old woman and the carrying around of an ostrich egg. Kalon, a luxury brand consultant**** even goes so far as to arrive in a helicopter.

To be blunt, nothing interesting happens at the party. There’s a negligible amount of friction between Stevie the Party MC***** and Kalon******, while Doug, the single father/charity something or other/real estate something or other else gets the first impression rose, prompting some dude named Chris (but not Chris Harrison) to spout the first misguided suggestion of the season pertaining to something he deserves*******. But  otherwise, lots of guys stay – way too many to make much of an effort at identifying them – and a few guys go. Better luck some other time, some other place: Lerone (real estate dude), David (singer/songwriter who helped me remember Woody from Cheers’ song for Kelly), Jackson (fitness model), Randy (marketing manager, dresser upper like an old lady), Brent (technology salesman with six kids) and Jean-Paul (marine biologist). And if I forgot anyone, well, it’s hardly a surprise, right?

*Potential season-long drinking game suggestion number one. You drink whenever it’s mentioned that….

**Potential season-long drinking game suggestion number 2.

***Cursed. She’s cursed.

****No idea.

*****Party Stevie. Not that he’s likely to last long enough to warrant a nickname, but just in case…

******The Douchebag. Maybe he’ll last, maybe he won’t, but we’re definitely calling him The Douchebag.

*******Important ground rule: NOBODY DESERVES ANYTHING.

Bachelor Ben: “It’s Been Nice Knowing You”

Honestly, I don’t get it. I could be sitting here, type-type-typing away, banging out words on the way to phrases, phrases on the way to sentences, sentences on the way to paragraphs, paragraphs that’ll eventually bring me to the end of this season’s blogging of The Bachelor.

I could be griping about how it seems like they’ve been in stupid old Switzerland for weeks now*. I could describe what Ben’s mom, Barbara, and sister, Julia**, make of his two remaining girlfriends***, Lindzi who rode into his life on a horse and Courtney who everybody hates.

Why aren’t I doing this? Why am I just sitting here? The most obvious answer would be that I just don’t want this season to ever end, and so, any lack of comment on my part regarding how little substance there is to either Lindzi or Courtney’s answers to Ben’s family’s questions about what it is that makes him such an especially loveable Bachelor****, can be construed as naively wishful thinking that not saying anything at all will keep me properly distanced from the ending for all time. But I don’t think that’s it.

I could be cracking wise about vests with lapels and suspenders that are worn for reasons other than to hold a person’s pants up, or how, whenever the producers of this show promise “the most controversial finale in Bachelor history,” we should actually expect tonnes and tonnes of low grade blah blah blah about the monumentally difficult decision there exists for Ben to make today and/or the Barbarinoise ‘confusion’ Ben manages to sneeze out in response to every tiny not-confusing stimulus that gets up his nose. But my heart’s just not in it.

Is it burnout? Could countless seasons of Bachelor blogging have so drained me of any and all sensitivity to irony, that all the bullshit talk about what Ben’s gone through along the way to this day – date after date after date involving no emotional risk, no financial outlay and no true effort on his part, while still getting all the credit and all the smooching – completely fails to get any sort of rise out of me whatsoever? Possible, but not likely.

Truthfully, I simply lack the enthusiasm for the task, and I believe that it’s Ben’s fault. Remember at the end of last season when Ben, after Ashley allowed him to get down on one knee and propose before she tossed him over, wouldn’t let her console him, couldn’t for one second let her say nice things to or about him? Remember “Good things don’t end, unless they end badly”? That was the moment that defined Ben. There was an angry promise made in that statement that made Ben Flajnik more interesting than just some second-place dude on a dating show. That exchange made Ben into the Bachelor that we wanted to see.

And he squandered it. Where’s angry Ben? What’s with this soft Ben who gives a shit about how Courtney’s treated the other women in the house all season? Who the hell is this guy who encourages Lindzi to be more vulnerable, more open to love for the past several episodes, dumps her at that fake-ass looking proposal altar set on a mountainside, and then gets such a serious case of the ohmanohmanohmans that the woman he’s just ditched has to comfort him and tell him that it’s okay that he just broke her heart? Did he really let her say he could call her if things don’t work out between him and Courtney? Shaaaaame!

But Courtney. Hooray for you, Courtney. They say that the truly great players elevate the games of those around them, and so we thank fucking gods for you, Courtney, because we shudder to think that what we just witnessed all this Ben season of The Bachelor was those other bitchez (you included, Ben) with their games raised. I can’t speak for anybody else, but I don’t even care that by the time After the Last Rose was being broadcast, your “forever” with that twerp, that phony, that sham, that impostor, was already over. That’s the deal anyway, for all intents and purposes. We all know that you didn’t want Ben as much as you just wanted to win. And we all know that for your efforts, you deserved to win something more, and better, and worth it. Someone get this woman a series, already!

*It’s actually just kind of an illusion, seemingly dragged out even longer by the Women Tell All episode last week.

**Huuuugs!

***They love them both quite a bit. Greeeat, thanks for your valuable insight, guys.

****Notice that no one’s saying a thing anymore about how they’re loving your hair, dude.

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