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