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.

Celebrating The Carbon Monoxide Of The Airwaves

I had the privilege, this lunchtime just finished, of sitting next to a group of CKUA types who appeared to be brainstorming slogans for an upcoming orgy of self-congratulation. There wasn’t much that I both overheard and can now remember, but at the same time, I know they didn’t really even scratch the surface of possibility. So, CKUA, because I love to brainstorm as much as the next guy, and because you can always use the help:

Tedious fuckery for tedious fuckers.

You are feeling sleeeeeeepy.

Always happy to ruin a perfectly good lunch.

Sorry you bothered yet?

At least your tax dollars don’t pay for us anymore.

Just imagine how good any one of these would look on a t-shirt or a tote bag, or tattooed on the penis of some guy with incurable erectile dysfunction. Will there be more to follow? I doubt it. Like CKUA itself, the idea of making this list seemed far more entertaining than the reality of the thing.

And of course, in case you have to be reminded, this reflects my own opinion and not anybody else’s. Anybody who doesn’t know as well as I do – and I will admit that there are many of you out there – is free to disagree.

Your Daddy Don’t Know What Your 68Comeback’s Gonna Do Tonight

This was the June 9, 2011 edition of the 68 Comeback Special, during which a record number of mothers marked us down on their lists of potentially pleasing characters whose progress they will monitor. And no wonder.

Five Eight  –  Karaoke

Jesse Dangerously  –  Bring Your Girlfriend to Rap Day (feat. Audra Williams)

Kimya Dawson  –  Tire Swing

Dirty Projectors  –  Six Pack

the Ridiculous Trio  –  I Wanna Be Your Dog

Battles  –  My Machines  (feat. Gary Numan)

Fucked Up  –  Queen of Hearts

Slam Dunk  –  Only Fun

Slam Dunk  –  Bleacher Lovin’

Sebadoh  –  License to Confuse

Younger Brother  –  Tetris

Rural Alberta Advantage  –  Stamp

Galactic  –  Garbage Truck

Bebop Cortez – Man of the Year

Mark Davis – Eliminate the Toxins

Crystal Stilts – Flying Into the Sun

Twin Library – Beware of Bees

Jolly Boys – Blue Monday

Wagon Christ – My Lonely Scene

Slates – Dirty Water

Bix Mix Boys – Did She Mention My Name?

Vinyldogtoy – Terror From the Year 5000

Consider Your Slam Dunk Prayers Answered

Hey there, buddy, how’s your day going? Everything okay? Don’t take this the wrong way, because we don’t want to come across like we want you to be having a bad day or anything, but if you ARE ALREADY having a bad day, please allow the 68 Comeback Special to swoop in and save it with the extraordinarily good news that Tom has invited SLAM DUNK to pay us a visit tomorrow on the show, between 3 and 5 p.m. on the everlovin’ CJSR-FM88.

They will: brighten days, answer questions, play songs, provide help with your homework, and I’ve got an idea that I’d really like them to write and perform a brand new song that is both for and about us, right there and then, on the premises and on the spot. Tune in, dammit!

Two Little Dots That Mean So Very Much While Meaning Nothing At All

Because even design kids want their chance to talk about metal, eye magazine’s blog treats us to a brief survey of hard rock’s MVP (Möst Valüable Pünctuation), the umlaut.

The Bachelorette: “I Hope My Hair Looks OK”

"Plenty of room up there for a thought balloon, and yet..."

I’m not usually one to put much stock in preview clips for reality shows. The people responsible for these shows are way too likely to pull that old trick where they use a highly edited clip that, when put in its true context, doesn’t go anywhere near where you were led to believe it would.

But this time is different, in a sense, if only because I really, really, REALLY want what I think I saw in last week’s “Next week on…” segment to happen. There, and in numerous repeats of the same clips in the lead up to the actual events, we’ve been promised that William would make an ass of himself and make Ashley cry with a remark about her not being the one anyone was hoping for in this go ’round, followed by Bentley packing up and heading home. These were promised, but what would be delivered?

Sorry Charlie, it’s not time for that stuff yet. First, Ashley needs to teach Ben C. some dance moves so that they can be in a flash mob together and then they need to be in the flash mob together, and then…what? You don’t know what a flash mob is? Oh, that’s when one minute, Ashley and Ben are sitting in the park with a bunch of people standing around gawking at and taking pictures of them, and the next, they’re all dancing to some sorry pop song by Far East Movement, and then they’re all hanging around on cue so they can sway on cue to the group’s second song and urge Ashley and Ben, on cue, to kiss.

So now is it time for the stuff they promised? No, but remember, coming up a little later on this blog, we’ll be talking about what happened with William and Bentley in those upcoming segments we were promised! But first we’ve got to sit through the rest of Ashley and Ben’s date, wherein she needs to find out if she’s someone he could fall in love with. Well? Can he? Ben tells Ashley that regarding love, he would like to live in a bubble, “an unrealistic, idealistic bubble with someone.” In other words, he’s hoping for something completely impossible and unattainable, but failing that, it needs to at least be guaranteed to end in bitter, bitter tears. And what a coincidence! So is she!

Hey, did somebody mention bitter, bitter tears? Then it must be time for The Worst Group Date Ever!

A roast. They’re going to roast Ashley*. A bunch of them go to the Comedy Store where they’re greeted by Nick Ross, celebrity roaster extraordinaire, who gives them their assignment and then reminds them, “Roasting comes from a place of love and affection,”** which William promptly forgets, or misunderstands, or perhaps disregards. Most everyone else makes cracks about her small boobs, but William? This is a roast, baby: “I mean, I thought I was signing up to be with Emily or Chantal and then Ashley is here.” Next thing we know, Ashley’s off in a corner of the club, sobbing her way through the first of many refrains of, ‘One of my biggest fears coming into this season was that it would be made painfully obvious what a distant third I came in last season.’

But if you think that’s as bad as it gets, imagine a long line of guys whose best response to this is to sit there and stare at her with pitying looks on their faces. Thank goodness for Ryan P., who may yet turn out to be a phony but who won the date rose for knowing what to say when a woman is crying out for  just one of ten men to say directly to her that he’s happy that she’s the one he’s trying to fall in fake love with on this TV show, and for Bentley, who’s got a comforting untruth for every occasion.

But enough of Bentley’s comparatively minor role in that piece of crap date, it’s finally time for Bentley’s Segment. Moments after he doesn’t get the rose on the group date, he decides that 1- he misses his daughter and 1a- Ashley might be totally into him (and she is), but he’s not so into her and he’s tired of wasting his time with this lot***, and so he’s packing up and going home. So he does. He packs his suitcase, says goodbye to the schlubs, and heads over to Ashley’s place to make her cry. And cry. And cry. And see if there’s any last ditch possibility of getting in her pants.

I slowly shake my head from side to side as I say this: Oh Bentley. I so wanted to root for you as a kind of jerky anti-Bachelor breath of fresh air, but at the end of the day, you’re just a garden variety sociopath, aren’t you? And now you’re gone. I wonder if you’ll live to regret any of the stupid shit you said in public on this show.

Finally, the last solo date. You might be inclined to think of poor J.P. as a guy who can’t get an even break on this show. Last week he gets no date at all based on the flip of a coin. This week, his date is scheduled for right after Bentley does his nefarious deed. But on the other hand, after a shitty turn of events like that, maybe there’s an advantage to having that date. Whatever the big ridiculous date they had planned was, where the two strangers would mostly have remained that way, it doesn’t happen. Instead, J.P. gets to be the first dude on the scene, staying in with the Bachelorette, comforting her, making her feel better, gettin’ the rose, etc., etc., heh heh.

Then it’s practically the end. Chris Harrison’s on the scene as Ashley’s staring at a photo of Bentley, and he’s got the audacity to claim, regarding Bentley’s departure, “We didn’t see this coming,” which of course is about the biggest freakin’ lie he has possibly ever told and makes him every bit the sack of crap that Bentley is. Of course they saw it coming! Every single time they turned a camera on him, he would say something about how he’s not into Ashley, doesn’t like Ashley, didn’t think Ashley could hold a candle to someone like, say, Emily****. Fuck man, they’re rotten.

So then, no cocktail party. Ashley doesn’t feel like it. Instead, she gets right to the roses, sending Chris D. and Jeff home. “Wha’?” you exclaim, completely surprised that William doesn’t get shown the door. Yeah, well, you’re not nearly as surprised as William, or as ripped off-feeling as Chris D. Or as stupid-feeling as Jeff. Or as self-satisfied as Bentley. But no one could ever feel as self-satisfied as Bentley. And no one could ever feel as steered right by the previews as we were tonight. Thanks, The Bachelorette‘s producers, for being every bit as scummy as you promised you would be, for once.

*Got that bad feeling yet?

**Okay, yes. Love and affection, which has developed between people with personal and professional relationships that are well-enough established that the participants could be said to know one another, as opposed to between a group of people who are all trying to win the favour of one person who they met three days earlier.

***Hey, I totally forgot to mention that The Mask unmasked, and he looked exactly like you probably imagined he would – neither frighteningly ugly nor appallingly handsome enough to warrant a mask. A bit anticlimactic actually, except for the hilarious sequence as the end credits roll with him sitting on the toilet, wearing the mask as he reads classified ads to Bentley.

****Who he’s fooling himself to think she would ever have anything to do with him.

Summertime, And The Livin’ Is 68Comeback…

June 2, 2011 will go down in herstory as the day everyone felt a little bit better. Here’s the playlist that proves it.

Richard Davies  –  Cantina

the Creaking Tree String Quartet  –  Little Green Men

Wolf Parade  –  Fancy Claps

Orlando Julius & His Afro Sounders  –  Mura Sise

the Jolly Boys  –  Do It Again

Spastic Panthers  –  I Can’t Make the Scene (Without Caffeine)

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band  –  Hot Head

Dengue Fever  –  Kiss of the Bufo Alvarius

Bad Livers  –  Farther Along

Bass Drum of Death  –  Get Found

Slates  –  Misadventure

Brian Eno  –  Quartz

Crystal Stilts  –  Flying Into the Sun

Crimes in Paris  –  Honest Signals

Vandaveer  –  Dig Down Deep

the Replacements  –  Favorite Thing

Bebop Cortez  –  We Bangin’

Rebirth Brass Band – I Like It Like That

Six Organs of Admittance – Light of the Light

Jim Jones Revue – Princess and the Frog

Fist City – I Grew Up In Fist City

Sloan – Follow the Leader

Bix Mix Boys – Hit the Road

Emmylou Harris – New Orleans

Dog is Blue – Tortoise

Albert Collins – I Ain’t Drunk

Death Valley Driver – I Choke the River With Your Dead

%d bloggers like this: