Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Czech please! The Bachelorette recap

Can this woman tear Arie and Emily asunder? (Spoiler alert: no)

Don’t ya just love when Chris Harrison thinks he’s breaking the “fourth wall” of the show, by turning to the camera and saying, “Hi, I’m Chris Harrison”?
Dude, there IS no fourth wall. This is reality TV. It’s not like Harrison is some sort of shadowy figure we’ve only heard in voiceover. (Ahhh, so THAT’S what Chris Harrison looks like.)
Anyway, the big drama this “Chris Harrison” fellow wants to share with us is that Arie, like, once held hands with one of the show’s producers or somethin’. Seriously, they dated briefly (and obviously meaninglessly) 10 years ago. Not quite sure why Arie didn’t just tell Emily about this but it is legitimately possible that it SLIPPED HIS MIND. That’s how not-big-dealy it was.
Nonetheless, Emily is trying to get him to come clean. It’s like watching  a really frustrating game show where we know that the password is “I dated the producer” but Arie doesn’t.
“What do you value most in a relationship?” Arie asks, sensing Emily has something on her mind.
“Honesty,” says Emily, leading the witness.
“Me too,” says Arie. “If anything, I’m honest to a fault. I’m overly honest.”
Emily glares.
“What else do you value in a relationship?” Arie asks, because it’s clear there’s more to be said.
“Complete and utter openness,” Emily says.
“Those are synonyms for honesty,” Arie says (Okay, he didn’t say that, but I wish he had.)
“You want complete openness?” he says.
“What the fuck do you think we’re talking about here?” Emily says (or something to that effect.)
“Okay,” says Arie.
And here we go:
“I used to have a tattoo of my ex girlfriend’s name on my arm.”
So then we go to a commercial and Chris Harrison is back.
“I’m Chris Harrison,” he says.
I knew that dude looked familiar!
“I’m here to tell you that all the interesting stuff happened off camera.”
So apparently, Emily and Arie made up and are cool with each other and proved this by continuing to swap spit like they were at some sort of spit swap meet.
And then Arie tells Emily that he loves her and then actual fireworks go off.
There are many reasons why relationships formed on the Bachelorette are doomed to fail. But the number reason? Fireworks.
Once you tell a girl you love her and actual fireworks go off (over some shimmering lake in Prague, no less), it’s all down hill from there. 
This shit isn't real, people!

You may think that a pot of gold is waiting for you at the end of the rainbow, but as my Uncle Richard proved in this disappointing but profoundly important video, it’s actually a Staples office supply store.

Okay, so the next one-on-one date is with John, aka “Wolf.”
First of all, has anyone called him Wolf on the show, like, EVER? Just because you wish and hope that “Wolf” is your nickname, that doesn’t make it true.

(This just in: A Google search reveals that his last name is “Wolfner.” Okay, I get it now. . .) (Also, he’s a “data destruction specialist” What the hell?)

Anyway, old Wolfy was totally getting the boot last week until he broke out the dead grandparents card (literally), which saved him for a week.
But his complete and utter lack of personality might still prove to be problematic.

So Wolfy comes back from his date, and he’s on Cloud 9 (well, let’s say Cloud 7. . .I don’t think Wolfy’s personality goes all the way up to Cloud 9) because the date just went THAT WELL.
This makes Chris even twitchier. (More on Chris’s insane-in-the-membrane meltdown later, needless to say.)

But first, one of the most ridiculously fake, embarrassing segments in the history of the show. Yes, I’m talking about Sean’s Stanley Kowalski moment.
So Sean decides he’s a man of action. And men of action don’t just sit around waiting for the Bachelorette to come to them. They go to the Bachelorette.
He has a plan, almost brilliant in its caveman simplicity. He will wander the streets of Prague, shouting Emily’s (first) name, UNTIL HE FINDS HER!
It’s so crazy, it just might work.
So off goes Sean, roaming the streets, yelling, “Emily! Emily!” like he’s searching for a lost poodle.
Then he sees a woman in an alley, in the shadows.
It’s all very Hitchcockian.
Who will it be?
a. Some random blonde who is not Emily
b. A transvestite who will “have to do” for the night
c. A vampire
d. Actually Emily, cause lurking in alley’s in Prague is “her thing”

If you guessed d, well, bravo. You give the show less credit than I do and. . .you are right.

    “Emily, what are you doing here by yourself?” Sean asks.
Really, show?
“Just hanging in Czech alleys, as I am wont to do,” Emily says. “Can we make out now?”
“Boy, can we!”
And . . . scene!

"Czech out my tongue"

Next day, the group date with Chris, Sean, and Doug.

The saga of Doug, the man with no game, continues.
He and Emily are alone in a little nooky, romantic window sill of the castle they’re visiting. This things is so romantic, it may as well be nicknamed “makeout sill.”
And yet, his arms are folded, defensively.
His body language screams, “You can look at Doug, but you can not touch Doug.”
Then, his leg accidentally brushes against hers.
“Sorry!” he blurts out, mortified.

“Doug’s body language is that he doesn’t want to sit with me, much less put his arm around me and give me a kiss,” Emily says in voiceover. Preach, sister.

She decides it’s time to cut Doug loose. She starts her exit speech . ..
“There’s such a thing as a slow mover, but then there’s NOT MOVING AT ALL,” she says.
And with that, he reaches out and gives her quite possibly the most furtive, most bloodless, least romantic kiss in the history of kisses.

“Thank you,” Emily says, as though Doug was a waiter who had just dropped off the check. And then she goes back to breaking up with him.

“I think my girl radar is just totally broken,” he says, as the limo takes him away. (Ya think?) And then he cries. Don’t worry, Doug, there are lots of pretty girls waiting for you at the Celibates Without Partners support group.

So back to the date, which has now gone from a three-on-one, to a two-on-one.

“Dates like this make me want even more to be with one guy for the rest of my life,” Emily says.
(Awkward syntax aside, she does realize that 2 on 1 dates don’t actually exist anywhere outside the little Bachelorette bizarro bubble, doesn’t she? It’s not like, when people finally get engaged, they wipe their brow and say, “Whew! Thank God the awkward two-on-one portion of my dating life is finally over.”)

She gets some alone time with Sean and I become obsessed with the fact that both his hair and his skin have the exact same pigment. He’s like one big, pinky flesh-toned hunk.

Meanwhile, Chris is going bananas. He’s beginning to realize that he hasn’t had enough time with Emily—and it might come back to haunt him.

He twitches.
He sits.
He paces.
He lifts a glass, puts it down.
He crosses his legs, uncrosses his legs.
He twitches some more.

Finally, Sean and Emily come back and Chris pulls her aside.

“I am a little upset with you.” He says it in a playful, flirty way, but we all  know that he’s one chainsaw away from complete massacre mode.

He proceeds to tell Emily how upset he is that he hasn’t gotten a one-on-one date lately. She soothes him with her magical kisses and the crisis is averted—for now.

Nonetheless, he is not totally placated, especially when Sean gets the rose.
“If I don’t get a hometown date, I’ll be scared for anyone around me,” he says.

Next up, Emily’s date with Jefffffff.
They wander into a marionette store (aside: We get Build-a-Bear in the mall. Czechs get quaint little marionette shops, run by Gepetto.)

Then there’s an awkward moment where Jef and Emily act out their love via marionettes.
I can’t say it any better than a woman named Abby Zidle (aka @AbZurdity) did on Twitter:  “This date has taken a weird “show me on the doll” turn.” (A+)

It’s particularly apt because Jef really is such an adolescent. In real life, Jef kinda gazes at the floor, chucks Emily on the arm and says, “You’re swell.” Through his doll, he makes smoldering eye contact and says  “I’m 1 million percent in love with you.” (This segment brought to you by the American Psychiatric Foundation.)

Then they discuss home town dates.
“My parents are in South Carolina—they won’t be there. They’re  . . . committed to some stuff for a few years,” Jef says.

Committed to some stuff? For a few years? In South Carolina? What could this all possibly be a euphemism for? Are they in prison? The witness protection program? Mobbed up? In . . . a CULT?

“My family is very private,” Jef says ominously. (Then he asks her how she feels about Kool-Aid. I worry.)

Rose ceremony time.
Emily contemplates the photos of her five remaining suitors and… an urn.
Yeah, not quite sure what that urn was there for either—to represent Doug? John’s grandparents? (Okay, bad joke.)

Downstairs, Chris is all sweaty and glassy eyed at this point, worrying that he won’t get the rose.
Luckily, he’ll be able to grab a little alone time with Emily at the cocktail par—DOH!
Some guy named “Chris Harrison” has come downstairs to inform the bachelors that there won’t BE a cocktail party. They’re going straight to the rose ceremony.

“I don’t feel right,” Chris says, bobbing his head and staring at the camera with dead eyes. 

Would you let this man around YOUR child?

“I got this,” says John. “On our one on one date, I knocked it out of the park.” (Sorry, Wolfy, but I thought it a bloop single at best.)

The ceremony begins. Chris stands next to his fellow contestants, positively squirming. He literally looks like he’s rabid. I half expect him to start actually foaming at the mouth.

Emily picks Jef, then Arie, then. . .

“Emily,” Chris interrupts, in a shaky voice. “I really need to talk to you, if that’s okay?”

So Chris pulls Emily aside and professes his love and clearly she can see that the man is unhinged. Dude is tweaking.

Sooooo. . . of course she picks him for a hometown date.

Wolfy, you just got PLAYED.

(In truth, I don’t think she was ever going to pick Wolfy for a hometown date. She had more chemistry with that urn.)

Next week, perhaps the mystery of Jef’s parents will be unlocked! What if they’re Brad and Angelina, you guys?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Give Him a Hand: The Bachelorette Recap

Blue Suede Douche

One day, when I’m feeling sad, when I need to turn that frown upside down, I will just hunker down in front of my DVR and replay the moment that Emily tells Ryan that he and his rose-free lapel are getting the first ticket out of Croatia. 

It’s rare enough in this life when a douchebag gets his comeuppance. But to have a camera actually trained on him as it happens. To watch his douchey little face, with its fancy little beard and smirky little smirk, go from cocky, to concerned, to confused, to really confused, and finally to downright desperate—well, it was gratifying to say the least.

“That was very shocking,” Ryan said, as the news finally sunk in. “I’m very, very surprised.” And then, just in case you didn’t catch his drift: “I would not have seen that coming.” (And then, as God is my witness: “I’m baffled.”)

Of course, you gotta love the guy’s outsized confidence (and by “love” I mean “hate”): “I can’t help but to think you’re making the wrong choice,”  he said.

As for Emily, she couldn’t just leave a perfect moment alone. She couldn’t just let him sulk home, leaving a trail of Drakkar Noir and broken dreams in his wake.
Noooo, she had to confess to Ryan that she was unsure about her decision and even suggest that maybe he was too perfect for her. (Ugh.)
But in the end, he was poleaxed, adiosed, made redundant. 

“Trust yourself,” he said, hugging Emily goodbye. “I mean, you’re making the wrong choice. . .” (Then he added, “Be well.  . . I mean, contract a deadly disease” and  “Enjoy yourself. . .I mean, have a terrible time.”)

Okay, a few more thoughts on the episode, in no particular order.

•This tank top of Ryan’s alone should’ve been grounds for his immediate dismissal.

Puts the "wife" in "wife beater"

•Speaking of sartorial choices, when a Bachelor wears a hoodie on the couch—drink! *Collapses into alcoholic coma*

•Nothing says Croatia quite like “The Highland Games” and men in kilts.

•Speaking of Croatia, has 3D technology not yet come to that fine republic?  (Brave is in 3D. . .) I like my torturously-inserted product placements to be accurate.

•Oh yeah, Travis is gone. I’d miss him, if I'd ever known he was there to begin with.

•The time has come to talk about Doug, the couch, and what will hereafter be known as Ass Gate.
First of all, it’s possible I misunderstood Doug. I thought his whole humble “I’m just a boy named Doug” routine was fake. But the man has no game whatsoever.
Exhibit A: Ass Gate.
He’s sitting on the couch with Emily, and she has essentially readjusted her position to facilitate a makeout sesh, and he lets his hand rest in the purgatorial region between her lower back and her ass and his hand just . . .sits there.
Doug’s hand is ready to party, but Doug isn’t.
This was sad enough, but made truly bizarre by the fact that the Bachelorette producers became obsessed with Doug’s hand.
No less than five times (I counted!) did the camera pan to Doug’s hand, resting uselessly on Emily’s lower back.
It was as if the cameraman was saying, “Doug’s Hand Has No Game Either.”

•Speaking of sad, poor Chris Harrison: “Emily, the extra rose you asked for”—as he hands her the rose, waiter-style, on a silver platter—must be the scene he plays over and over again in his head as he contemplates the abyss.

"Struggle face"

"Too cool for struggle face"

•The biggest problem with the final 6? They’re all relatively likeable.
Now that I know what a loser Doug is, I can't actually hate him anymore.

Handsome, wholesome, blond, athletic Sean is so far removed from anyone I’ve ever known in my actual life, he may as well be from a different planet—but he seems like a sweet enough fellow.

While Jef strikes me as a bit of a fraud—the skateboard, the James Dean hair, the mysteriously missing “f,” the skinny tie all may scream hipster, but I think deep down he’s a mainstream guy—I still can't help but to like him.

Tall drink of hotness Arie is loveable, despite his advanced-placement-level neediness.

Chris neither attracts nor repels me, so there's that.

And John? Well, he carries his dead grammy and grampy's funeral cards in his pocket, for Christ's sake.

To be honest, much as I hated him, without Ryan, a boring season may have just gotten boring-er.
Be afraid.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Baggage Claim: Thoughts on The Bachelorette

Run for your life, Kalon!

Five episodes in and I have a serious love/hate relationship with Emily. It’s like some sort of Bachelorette-Induced Schizophrenia (BIS).
Sometimes, I’m all “you go, you little saucy Southern spitfire” and other times, I’m all “make it stop, you Barbie prom queen from hell.” The thing is? Sometimes I have these feelings over the course of one scene.

Okay, let’s take Baggage-Gate, shall we?
Anyone else think Emily overreacted just a wee bit to that controversy? I mean, I’d like to see how this girl would react an actual disaster, like an earthquake or a bad hair day.

The cult of Ricki on this show is kind of out of control, if you ask me. That silhouetted image of The Bachelorette they show before going to commercial break? It's actually of Emily and Ricki. That’s the Bachelorette's freakin’ logo, people. It’s her brand.
And each episode starts with a little scene of Ricki and Emily having some mommy/daughter bonding time—this is to prove to us that she’s not neglecting her little snookums while carousing around with a pack of horny dudes.
Look, I get it, she loves her kid. Seriously, I don’t doubt that for a second. But frankly, I’d believe it even more if she wasn’t constantly ramming it down our throats.

So the whole Kalon thing? Yeah, he acted like a jerk. Newsflash: Jerks do jerky things.
All she had to do was not give him a rose. Or even, if she was really really pissed, kick him out on the spot.
But the whole “West Virginia hood rat backwoods on his ass” routine? It seemed a bit self indulgent: Like she was showing off what a fierce, proud, righteous mama she could be.
And then, dear God, it continued. Her men were supposed have her back and fight for her. (What year is this? 1956?)

Short list of guys who do not "have her back"

A few thoughts on that:
a. Girlfriend, you’re clearly more than capable of fighting your own battles. (And I quote: “I want to rip off his limbs and beat him with them.”) Frankly, you’re terrifying.
b. So Kalon calls Ricki baggage and one of the guys is supposed to, what. . . challenge him to a dual? Write him a strongly-worded letter?
c. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the 295 seasons of The Bachelor, it’s this: Nobody like a narc. Badmouthing a fellow contestant is rarely a good move (see Ben and his Emily). Except, apparently, in Emily’s season, where if you’re not tattlin’ you’re not carin’ (or something like that)

That being said…you know when I LOVED Emily? When she went all Kanye on Kalon’s ass: “Imma let you finish…”
The fact that she threw Kalon’s words (“I love to hear you talk but not until I’m done”) back in Kalon’s face as she kicked him to the curb was a true standing ovation moment. If only he could’ve been taken away by helicopter.

Okay, a few more moments of BIS:

Luckily, Ryan's douchey little scarf is not a screaming red flag

LOVED when Emily literally cringed when Ryan winked at her.
HATED that she said, and I quote, “I’m mad at myself for saying it, but I’m liking him more and more” (come to think of it, that quote suggests that she, too, might suffer from a mild case of BIS.)

LOVED when Emily told Doug that she wanted to be by herself. (You are dismissed, tattletale!)
HATED that she gave him the first rose to thank him for “having her back.

HATED when she said, of Sean (natch): I get butterflies, but they’re in my heart.
LOVED that she added, “I know that sounds cheesy.”

And so it goes. . .

A few more random thoughts on the show:

1. I finally figured out why I hate Ryan so much (well, except for the obvious: He’s hateful.) He reminds me of Matthew McConaughey. Not in appearance, obvs. But the whole Southern boy former-jock-turned-dime-store-philosopher persona. McConaughey gives us “Just Keep Livin’” and Ryan gives us a new nugget of musclehead wisdom every week. This week? “When a girl tells me I’m trouble, but she smiles when she says it, that means she wants to get in trouble.” (Am I the only one who wants to rip off his limbs and beat him with them at a moment like this?)

 2. Note to American boys: Not knowing shit about England or Shakespeare isn’t cute, it’s embarrassing. (Like, Ricki thought the King and his Dragons lived in Buckingham Palace and she still knows more about England than these nimrods.)

3. If Emily doesn’t end up with Sean nothing will ever make sense again.

4. Ewwww, Doug. (That is all.)

5. Why didn’t Jef get a punny date card? Did I miss it? I live for the punny date cards. (Hmmm, there had to be a pun about using the right fork but I can’t think of it) (That’s why the Bachelorette Punmaster makes the big bucks and I toil away anonymously on this blog.)

6. British etiquette lady needed a lesson in the proper way to behave around a tub of tinted foundation. (Just sayin’). HDTV was not her friend.

7. Awww, Jef, that kiss was truly adorkable. Love. Him.

8. Alessandro was crying when he got the boot? Because Emily was really beginning to see who he was? Dude, there were pigeons at Stratford-upon-Avon who got more face time than you did.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Waving the Red Flag: My Bachelorette recap

I’m a little torn about whether or not to commit to recapping The Bachelorette this season.
The thing is, I’m not particularly drawn to Emily. I mean, she’s a fine little spitfire Dolly Parton/Jessica Simpson hybrid, with a heart as big as a country jamboree (or whatever Southerners say about people’s hearts) and a love for her daughter as fierce as a mama hen cornered by a fox in a barn (ditto). But she’s not really my kinda gal (in fact, if you could scientifically triangulate my exact opposite human being, I’m pretty sure it would look a lot like Emily.)

That being said, I root for her and can’t help but to wonder if she is just particularly blind to GIANT RED FLAGS being waved in her face or if all us women are similarly afflicted. Because man oh man, is she missing a lot of warning signs.

Anyway, instead of recapping last night’s episode, I thought I’d give a State of the Show report on the remaining guys.

Oh wait! First a few thoughts on one of the rejects.
Was that Alessandro dude creepy and weird, or what?
At some point, I got the sneaking suspicion that Alessandro had just stumbled off the street and actually had no idea he was on a reality show, kinda like THIS guy.

Okay, now onto the actual bachelors.

Pluses: Cheekbones that just won’t quit.
Minuses: No discernible personality
GIANT RED FLAG: None yet. But the amount of hair gel he uses can’t be a good sign.

Pluses: Totally crush-worthy.
Minuses: I have a hunch that his early confidence could collapse into a ball of whimpering craven neediness if Emily stops giving him special treatment.
GIANT RED FLAG: In his case, it’s a checkered flag (see what I did there?): Can Emily get past the whole race car driver déjà vu?

Pluses: Wears clothing extremely well.
Minuses: I want to pinch his cheeks (he’s such a baby!)
GIANT RED FLAG: His foot-stomping insistence that he is mature enough for Emily is, like, totally immature.

Pluses: Is a dad (in case you missed it the last 50 times he told you)
Minuses: Doug has no flaws (according to Doug)
GIANT RED FLAG: “I’m just Doug with a rose.”

Pluses: Seems kinda chill
Minuses: Bob’s Big Boy hair.
GIANT RED FLAG: The missing “f.”

Pluses: Demonstrated poise and self-confidence on the dreaded two on one date.
Minuses: That hairline.
GIANT RED FLAG: None that I see. But maybe I'm just blinded by the atomic whiteness of his teeth.

Pluses: Totally sweet access to helicopters.
Minuses: Too many to enumerate. The guy basically screams “asshat.” (And WTF is a “luxury brand consultant” anyway?)
GIANT RED FLAG: “I do want to hear what you have to say, as soon as I’m done talking.”

Pluses: Awe-inspiring neck/head ratio
Minuses: Dumb guy who thinks he’s smart. Sexist pig who thinks he’s enlightened. Delusional guy who thinks he’s in the lead. Etc. Etc. Etc.
GIANT RED FLAG: “God designed you to be a beautiful woman.”

Pluses: He’s basically the he-Emily
Minuses: But are they TOO much alike?
GIANT RED FLAG: None. He’s my pick to win the whole shebang.

Pluses: Has effectively stayed under the radar
Minuses: Has effectively stayed under the radar
GIANT RED FLAG: I have no idea who he is

Monday, June 4, 2012

RIP Richard Dawson

In honor of Richard Dawson, I'm reposting this way early blog item from 2004. As true today as it was then. I loved me some Richard Dawson (and some Match Game.)

Okay, gang . . . I told you I'd be weighing in on my pop culture obsessions, so today a few thoughts on Match Game. (But first a few thoughts on the Game Show Network. . . I want to meet and thank the evil television mastermind who came up with the idea of running reruns of the old '70s and '80s game shows. Who knew I'd be sucked right in? He did, apparently. Genius, I say, pure genius!) So yeah . . . that Match Game. With Gene "Lurch" Rayburn, the freakiest looking game show host ever. Not only is the guy about 7 feet tall, he's sort of stooped, the way really tall guys can be, and, to add to the general sense of elongation, he uses this impossibly tall, skinny microphone the likes of which I've never seen before. (He also seems like a real pussy cat, by the way.) 
Why am I obsessed with this show? Hard to say. Is it the orange shag carpet set? Is it the funky, waa-waa-pedal-heavy "concentration" music? Is it the contestants, and their fabulous parade of '70s wardrobe misdemeanors? Is it the show's "naughty" cavalcade of double entendres? More likely, it's the regular panelists, who always look like they've had a few highballs before (and perhaps during) the show, who SMOKE on the air (god bless the '70s), and who, if you listen closely, are often heard hacking up loogies during the show.
You've got Brett Summers, who has this fabulous, "I've been around the block a few thousand times" whisky-soaked voice and wears these giant glasses that dwarf her entire face and who is/was famous for some indeterminate reason. (She was married to Jack Klugman, I'm told. . . so there's that) You've got Charles Nelson Reilly, who makes Nathan Lane look like Gary Cooper. And you've got my fave, Richard Dawson, who WAS Simon Cowell long before Simon Cowell . . all British and smug and flirty (he went on, of course, to launch a thousand kisses on Famly Feud, which was a spin-off of Match Game! You see the useless information you get by reading this blog?) For whatever reason, God, I love this show. If I didn't have to see all these dang movies, I'd watch it every day.