The Bachelorette: “Are You Getting Wet?”

On the night that the guys and gal from The Bachelorette pack up their tents and move to Thailand, and in the interests of a frank and open cultural exchange, I’d like to share the following little tidbit with any out-of-towners who happen to tune into this blog. Here in Alberta, where I watch the show, thanks to a little problem we appear to have, we’re treated to government warnings about syphilis every third bank of commercials. Just thought I’d mention. So – what’s going on where you watch TV?

Aaaahh, Phu Ket. Who doesn’t prefer, when confronted with the heartbreak of rejection like that which Ashley currently faces, to get the hell outta Dodge and find a place about as far from Dodge as you can get in order to go on dates with the twelve guys you’ve got trailing along behind you? Now, we do need to remember that neither Bentley nor the producers of the show were especially honest with Ashley about why he was leaving, so while on the one hand we shouldn’t be too hard on her for being all mopey about his departure, on the other hand we couldn’t possibly be hard enough on her, because FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, LADY!

Anyway, if anyone should be mopey about Bentley being gone, it’s those of us left watching Ashley go on dates with all these guys like Constantine who are happy to forego sea kayak trips out to sea caves with private beaches due to a little bad weather, opting instead to stay in town for shopping and awkward exchanges with locals. Enlisting the help of some girl who happens to be happening by, they ask some oldish dude how long he’s been married – 36 years – and “Any advice for us?”*

Later, they eat dinner on a giant bed thing, Constantine confesses that he knows he likes Ashley because their date was really boring and that was okay. He gets a rose, but no smooching. Fuuuuuck. It’s a giant bed! You gotta know Bentley woulda got smooching.

On the group date, they refurbish an orphanage. They paint the walls, plant some plants, put in some new furniture and barely tolerate Ryan P’s too much smilin’ foreman/not enough smilin’ workerman schtick. Seriously, that dude smiles a LOT, so much that the dentist and Mickey and J.P. have to have a little sausage party to complain about him while he’s upstairs with his hand on Ashley’s leg. J.P. eventually gets a little action of his own, after he takes her out in the rain for a little smoochy smoochy and then carries her back in (in front of EVERYONE!) but anyone who figured that would get him the date rose** was mistaken. The dentist bitches a little more both to and about Ryan P, but here’s the thing about dentists*** – who gives a shit what they say? Certainly not anyone in charge of doling out roses, that’s for sure. Can you tell I’m not very enthusiastic about describing this date? Yeah well, no Bentley. Can we move on?

As much as Ashley and I are having trouble getting over Bentley, on the plus side, there’s Ames. She admits later to Chris Harrison that he was in serious danger of getting sent home****, but he wound up getting the sea kayak date that Constantine didn’t, and he wound up being engaging and clever with the WHITEST TEETH YOU EVER SAW.  He may still wind up being a white collar criminal, but as of now, it’ll only add to his mystique.

So then – Bentley may be gone and Ashley may have had a dark week as a result, but at least there was a cocktail party this time. Ashley uses it as an excuse to set West up for the big letdown, taking the opportunity to wonder if he’s ready for marriage***** again, not so long after his wife died. He says this is a different situation, blah blah blah. Apparently it wasn’t the answer she was looking for, because on an episode where only two would have been sent home anyhow, she asks Chris Harrison for the favour of one extra rose to give out so she only has to ship out one person, and so it can be made as clear as possible to that one guy HOW COMPLETELY UNWELCOME HE IS. Aaaand it’s West. Poor West. He almost seems like the kind of guy who could get signed up to be the next Bachelor, but for the fact that he wouldn’t even be third place, and hasn’t he had enough sorrow in his life already? Haven’t we all?

*Yeah. Don’t marry anyone you meet on a game show.

**That goes to Ben F. for how crappy he is at painting elephants.

***It just struck me that this is another problem with Ashley.

****Like maybe at the start of the date when Mr. Been There Done That says he’s already been to Thailand – TWICE.

*****What does it matter if he’s ready for marriage? This is The Bachelorette.

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    • Karen
    • June 14th, 2011

    This girl isn’t even mature enough to date, let alone get married. Is she really this needy or is that the way the producers make it look? If she’s this heartbroken after seeing some guy a few times a week for a couple of weeks, she’s not really ready to be proposed to. It seems like all the Bachelorettes wind up looking like insecure attention-seekers, which may or may not be true, but it’s getting really hard to feel sympathy when they’re treated badly by guys there “for the wrong reasons.” *eyeroll*

      • 68comeback
      • June 14th, 2011

      Huh. You know, Karen, as obvious as it is now that you’ve mentioned it, I don’t believe I’ve ever really taken proper account of the attention-seeking tendencies of the Bachelor(ette)s. We really have no idea of the degree to which this is coached/coaxed out of them by the various and sundry behind-the-scenes creeps that make this show and others like it go, but doesn’t there have to be a pretty strong preexisting need in order to get a person to sign up in the first place?

        • 68comeback
        • June 14th, 2011

        I wonder what Rachel thinks.

    • Rachel
    • June 14th, 2011

    I’m here! Here I am!

    I think they’re totally encouraged to indulge whatever attention-seeking tendencies they already have (which probably quite significant, but don’t reach pathological levels until they’ve been ruined by this creepy television franchise.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how the Bentley thing plays out. You know he’s got to be coming back.

      • 68comeback
      • June 14th, 2011

      Did you see the ‘tune in next week’ segment? HE’S IN THE HOTEL!

        • Rachel
        • June 14th, 2011

        I missed that! I just had a feeling…

        Plus I read spoilers elsewhere on the internet.

    • Rachel
    • June 14th, 2011

    I hate it when I don’t proofread my comments and realize too late that I left out a word and forgot to close my bracket.

    But what I really came back to say was that your line about Ben F. getting the rose for how crappy he is at painting elephants made me laugh out loud this morning.

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