Update January 4, 2012: Hey, why keep living in the longish-ago past, when you could be keeping up with the recent past? The bad news is there’s a brand-new season of The Bachelor that just started up, with Ben as the centre of attention. The good news is, I’M BLOGGING IT!
So this is it. This is how it ends (SPOILER ALERT!), which just so happens to be the same way as it always ends. The two remaining contestants for Ashley the Bachelorette’s affections – J.P. and Ben in this case – meet her family and go on one more date with her before one is sent home with a broken heart, while the other gets engaged to her for awhile until it all goes south and they eventually split up.
Oh, but there are details to attend to first, two hours worth of details, to be exact.
Quickly – ask yourself what your own family would be like under circumstances like this: “Guys, the TV show that’s helping me find a husband/wife would like to fly you all to an exotic destination so you can meet for the first time the two finalists, one of whom I’ll probably get engaged to within a couple of days. I’m looking for short-order insight from you, but I’m especially looking for you not to make too many waves for me on TV. So, how about it?”
Next thing we know, Ashley’s family is sitting there in Tahiti and her older sister Chrystie* is letting it be known that she’s not seeing what’s so special about Ashley and J.P. together.
Goddamn older sisters**! Ashley’s in tears in seconds! She hoped this meeting would provide some clarity! She’s felt so alone on this journey! She just wants people’s support! And not long after that, J.P.’s in a tizzy as well, for much the same reason! The only question is, who’s impressed by that? Ashley’s been bursting into tears for little or no reason all season long, and J.P. has not exactly been a guy who hides his volatility under a bushel. If Ashley’s older sister couldn’t set her little sister to bawling and make her boyfriend mad, how could she truthfully call herself a older sister?
Now, I’ve got no real beef with J.P. No, he doesn’t express himself particularly well, and yes, his affection for Ashley seems a little lacking in adult-like reflection, but he seems nice and really does appear to like her and I’d be a great deal more frightened for his state of mind if she turned him down than I would be for Ben’s, so it’s just as well that she chooses J.P. at the end of it all. Oops, did I just spoil it? Sorry.
Now, it could all just come down to the editing, but Ben sure does seem a whole lot more together when he meets Ashley’s family and on the date the two of them go on the following day. Of course, it helps that, having heard that Chrystie thinks she wasn’t all that much herself with J.P., Ashley is now putting on a show for her sister’s benefit (and making Ben do likewise), and it also helps that her sister, having been accused of being purposefully bitchy, has now toned down her whole purposefully bitchy act, but it could just be the editing, and speaking of editing, here comes the helicopter to whisk Ben and Ashley off to their last date…EVER!
Via voiceover, Ashley says as they’re landing near mud, “With Ben, I could never really see myself having a bad moment with him,” to which we all respond, ‘Hold that thought.’ They start smearing mud*** all over each other, and each says they think it’s pretty sexy, but if they don’t mind this small interjection from the sidelines, the last time we saw sexy mud play on The Bachelor, it was Jake and Vienna doing the deed, and I just saw him in a commercial for Bachelor Pad****, hoping for her to take a 3000 foot fall to her death.
Now here’s Ben making the bed in his hotel room, putting a tray down on it with what appears to be a parfait. Then Ashley’s there and he tells her he’s in love with her, they start making out, the camera hangs around until someone deems it more appropriate to cut to a shot of the moon. And the only reason I bring it up is because I want to mention how icky I find the self-centredness this show encourages in its centerpieces. For example, when she’s on a date with J.P. the very next day and he also tells her that he’s in love with her, Ashley gets this look on her face like the cat who just ate the canary, or more precisely, like the self-involved little thing who’s just had two guys profess their love to her, and it comes with the commentary, “I’m so happy with the way I’m feeling right now.” Oh yeah? I bet. Then, as she reflects on her sad task the next day of accepting one marriage proposal only after rejecting another: “And I don’t think he expects it.” Ick.
She sure doesn’t disappoint the next day, either, as she lets Ben say all his lovely things to her and about her AND GET DOWN ON ONE FUCKING KNEE AND PROPOSE before she turns him down. I-C-K.
He stands up, says, “Oh. So that’s it,” and starts walking away, which is when she starts chasing after him and trying to tell him nice things about himself. Ben’s not so interested in this and when she tries to make herself feel a little bit better with a line about not wanting things to end on bad terms, he is heard to utter what have to be the all-time classic words of any runner-up on The Bachelor(ette): “Things like this DON’T end on good terms. Good things don’t end, unless they end badly.”
And now Ashley feels really bad, and why shouldn’t she? Dude arrived in a seaplane, and she’s sending him out to sea in a fishing boat*****.
And then J.P. comes and proposes and it’s a dream come true. He’s probably the wrong choice, but whatever. So it goes, right? Cue the REO Speedwagon, bitchez, because this season of The Bachelorette is OVER.
*Heretofore known as ‘the hot sister’
**I wouldn’t have even invited mine.
***”Healing mud,” that is.
****Which Ames is signed up for, too, so you can forget anything nice I ever said about that guy.
*****NOT a metaphor.