Monday, September 3, 2012

Olympics for Everyone!

I started this post during the Olympics, and then got side-tracked, but after a conversation with someone, I decided to finish it.

The first Olympics that I remember are the 1992 Albertville winter games. I was in Kindergarten, and, more than anything, I wanted to be Kristi Yamaguchi, and I watched her gold medal run obsessively (or as obsessive as you can get as a six-year-old). Later that year were the summer games, where Shannon Miller won the silver all-around. And it was then that I decided that I was going to BE an Olympian! This is - no joke - from second grade.

I know. How cute. If only I had a picture of my Shannon Miller poster that I bought at the school book fair.

Anyway, somewhere around fourth grade, my body did not cooperate with this dream. Somehow, my petite, child body started turning into something like this:

*cue the violin music!* Big boobs and thighs do not a gymnast make. And thus my dream was shattered. However, this unfortunate setback in my career choice has not kept me from enjoying the Olympics throughout the years - especially gymnastics. I don't know about you, but when the Chinese gymnasts fall off their apparatus and their coaches start yelling "DISHONOR!" at them . . . Well. That is television at its best.

Anyway, at the beginning of the events, when discussing the Olympic happenings, my friends and I started discussing Olympic events we could medal in (I am a favorite to take gold in marathon pizza consumption), I began to ponder what sorts of events we could have in a "Being a Regular American" Olympics. You know, for us schlubs. Here are some things that only Americans could and would medal in.

1) Beer drinking. This one is obvious. If you are already going to over-consume, make it count!

2) The hunting of Beliebers. I think we could all get behind this and medal big-time. Plus, it would be effective social Darwinism.

3) Super Bowl party contest. Because if you watch the Super Bowl alone, you are a loser. Medals for the best 7 layer dip.

4) Finding strange occasions to purchase and send greeting cards. I was at Target the other day, and there was a card that said "To Mom, Love the Cat" or something like that. Seriously? Gold medal to the first person who markets a "On the Day of your Colonoscopy . . " line of cards.

5) Frying stuff. You know, like "DEEP FRIED GARLIC BUTTER MASHED POTATOES ON A STICK" or something like that. Only where there is excess, do people bread and fry candy bars.

6) Frivolous lawsuits. Gold medal to anyone who can commit a crime and manage to sue the person they were trying to take advantage of at the same time (i.e. Break into someone's house, get hurt on their window, sue them and win).

7) Universities giving out useless degrees. First one to give a degree in Harry Potter Studies wins.

8) The number of times you can get your DVD player logo to bounce into the corner. This is serious business. And anyone whose logo bounces into the corner more than once in a 100000000 year period deserves recognition.

Yessir. In four years, I am going to be one decorated girl.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My love is like a red, red rose?

It’s Monday night, Rose Enthusiasts! Let’s watch the Bachelorette! To recap: Emily “Tragic Past” Maynard is searching for the (third) man of her dreams. She is mother to six-year-old Ricki, whom the potential suitors must be up to parenting. Last week, we cut loose a few, and are down to 17. We begin with Emily catching up with some of her mom friends. After perfunctorily thanking them for taking Ricki to soccer practice while she goes on her date, we are back to the Bachelor mansion, where Chris Harrison arrives with the first date card and explains the rules. Chris encourages the “gentlemen” to steal time with Emily wherever possible, because *gasp!* not all of them are going to get a date before the next rose ceremony. The first date goes to . . . Ryan, a.k.a. “Tire Lifter Extraordinaire.” He’s fired up, but no sooner has he left the patio than the trash talking begins. Kalon, this season’s jerkface, is perturbed that he didn’t get the first date card, and unnecessarily waxes about how Ryan might not come back from the date.

Emily arrives to retrieve Ryan, and confesses that he makes her nervous because of his good looks. Um . . . better get used to that. There’s not a fencepost among these fools. Also, have you seen yourself, honey? I think you’re probably doing ok.

The date begins, and Ryan wonders what exotic activity they will be embarking on. “I’m thinking a hot air balloon ride,” he states. Unfortunately for him, things do not go as planned, because they end up . . . at Emily’s house? “Help me bring in these groceries!” Emily cheerily offers. After all, the life of a single mom isn’t exactly so glamorous. It turns out, Emily is snack mom for Ricki’s soccer practice today, and the two will be making cookies! Aww. Adorable.

After dropping off the snacks, Emily informs Ryan that they will be going to Chuck E. Cheese for dinner! Appropriately horrified, Ryan says, “That’s cool,” while simultaneously developing the shifty eyes. But don’t worry! She was just kidding, guys! They’re really going to a real place. We are treated to Ryan’s fabulously waxed abs while he gets dressed for dinner.

At dinner, Emily grills Ryan about his exes. Ryan reveals that he wants to be with someone who he really needs to step out of his comfort zone to get to know and be “inspired by.” The two have a nice conversation, and seem to genuinely be enjoying themselves. Not surprisingly, Ryan gets the rose, and will live to see another date. They exit the club, and Gloriana plays a song while they dance. And scene.

Meanwhile, a date card is dropped off at the Bachelor mansion. It’s a group date! Alejandro (Shroomy), Nate, Alessandro (Shaggy), Tony, Michael, John, Jef (Vanilla Ice), Charlie, Kyle, Kalon (DB), Chris, Stevie, and Aaron will be going on this date. The date card says, “Let’s set the stage for love!” According to Kalon, many of the men are intimidated by the theater, but not him. He embraces it. *retch* After all, he was Pinocchio in his first grade play. Well, in that case…

The men arrive at the theater. Emily announces that we will be doing some performing today, and raising money for a charity. Nice. Emily pulls the curtain, and to help them out today, we have THE MUPPETS. “Holy F***!” exclaims Tony. I guess he was surprised, but he definitely should have quit before launching into his very sad Kermit impression.

The guys are split into groups, each with their own task.

Dancing group: Kalon, Alejandro, some tool in a newsie cap, and someone else blocked by the camera (maybe Nate?).

Singing group: Tony, Jef, Michael, Alessandro

Stand up comics: Nameless white people. No, seriously, they didn’t flash any of their names.

Charlie is particularly nervous, or so the music would imply, because of his difficulty speaking that came from his TBI. Not coincidentally, the guys back at the house, are discussing this very problem. Ryan recounts Charlie’s issues for the audience and for the men before we cut back to the date.

Back at the theater, Charlie shows up at Emily’s dressing room and confesses his difficulties with his speech and requests that he sit out the comic portion. Emily is sympathetic and agrees to allow him to sing instead. How cute. We cut to John “Nobody calls you ‘Wolf’”, who is getting jacked up for the performance. He also makes a welcome jab at Stevie’s newsboy hat (ahh. So that’s who that is.)

After some scenes of the guys dancing and performing terrible jokes, Miss Piggy (who appears to be wearing the winning Project Runway dress from last season’s Muppets challenge. Can anyone confirm?) proceeds to interview the suitors. Jef mock proposes, someone recites a romantic poem, Charlie gives his secret for impressing women. We see a few more clips, before they break into a rendition of Rainbow Connection.

At the post-show hotel par-tay, there is the usual poaching and c**kblocking going on, but the creepiest exchange definitely happened between Kalon and Aaron, who attempted to cut in on Kalon’s conversation with Emily. But, he’s not going to put her in the position of having to choose between them (“Obviously,” he mutters), and before it comes to blows, Kalon turns it over to Aaron, but not before smiling at him with a grin akin to Jack Nicholson in The Shining. While complaining about this injustice to the other guys, Stevie correctly points out that, only moments before, Kalon had stolen Emily from him, declaring, “If you want to be a douche, be a douche!” Good for you, buddy, but honestly, the hat earlier wasn’t helping your anti-douche case.

Surprisingly enough, the date rose goes to Vanilla Ice. This particularly infuriates Chris, who believes that there is NO WAY Jef had a better conversation with Emily. Think again?

Time for the second date, which is with Joe, who, honestly, made no impression on me last week. He, dressed in an AWFUL pink and blue plaid shirt, sets off to meet Emily at the airport, where they jet off to . . . West Virginia, Emily’s home state. They arrive at a hotel that Emily used to hang out at with her family when she was growing up. The two strip down and enjoy the pool. During their dinner, Joe makes some grandiose, but ultimately meaningless statements about being happy with his choices and starting a life after the show. When pressed about what that means from Emily, he awkwardly turns the question around on her, unable to come up with a satisfactory answer. Joe then proceeds to discuss coming back here with Ricki, and meeting her parents, and all sorts of other BS. We hear Emily recounting this in the confessional, where she reveals before we see it, that Joe doesn’t get the rose. Good. I would have been highly disappointed in Emily if she hadn’t gotten rid of him after his empty speeches. Joe seems to take the blow stoically, before returning to the limo as Emily watches the fireworks alone. We don’t even get a post-date confession from Joe, which surprised me, but we did get to see my favorite thing, which is the producers thundering in to unceremoniously grab the loser’s suitcase. Farewell, Joe!

At the cocktail party, Emily catches up with a few of the guys that didn’t get dates, and a few who did. Tony reveals to Emily that he has a kid, and he feels good about it. Kalon, after his confrontation with Doug (which I fast forwarded through . . . oops), he proceeds to tell Emily how much more mature or different he his than the other guys. He uses big words such as “intangible.” Impressive. While they chat, the other guys plot to take Kalon down. Sean says that he probably uses his vocabulary to intimidate those around him. Good call, Sean. John says it best. “If you have Louis Vuitton luggage and your’e a dude, you’re probably an a**hole.” Hear hear.

It’s rose time! Getting roses tonight are: Kalon (all the guys grunt), Arie, Michael (did we even see him this episode?), Nate, Sean, Chris, Doug (yay!), Travis, Tony, John, Alessandro, Charlie, Alejandro, and Stevie.

Eliminated are adorkable Aaron (like you’re really a science teacher), and Kyle. No loss for us either way.

Any highlights for you this episode? I was, for the most part, impressed with Emily, and thought, with the exception of Kalon (but no one is surprised there), made some good choices. How long do we think it’s going to take before one of the guys pulls Emily aside to warn her about Kalon?

Until next week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Impressions (The Bachelorette, episode 1)

Welcome back, Rose Enthusiasts! We are gathered here today to celebrate the union of this woman and her twenty-five ridiculously good-looking suitors. If there is anyone here who believes that my Monday nights could be spent doing something better, let him speak now, or change the channel. No? Good. I confess that I have never watched The Bachelorette before now, but judging from the eye candy I saw online this week, I am sorely disappointed that I have been missing out!

As we all know, this season’s “lucky” woman is Emily Maynard, recent ex of two-time Bachelor Brad “I have as much personality as dried foliage” Womack. She has a daughter, Ricki, whose father, Emily’s fiancĂ©, died in a plane crash. Of course, why anyone would think that they could find someone to potentially, you know, help PARENT THEIR CHILD on a reality show is a mystery left up to scholars investigating Tupac’s murder, but this is neither here nor there. We know that the potential parenting situation is going to come up ad nauseum this season (shots every time someone brings it up?). I’m sure we can also expect a reasonable amount of discussion about “journeys” and “choices” and “opening up.” And I CANNOT WAIT.

Enter our dapper host, Chris Harrison, to set up the journey (drink!), and introduce us to the twenty-five “gentlemen”. Here are some snap judgments.

Kalon, 27, is a luxury brand consultant (really? That’s a job?) from Houston, TX. He shops for a suit while discussing his former life as a womanizer. Points for dropping the V-word (“vulnerability” [drink!], you nasties) in the first 20 seconds.

Ryan, 31, is a former pro-football player and current tire lifter (those kids were really impressed with your strength) from Georgia. Look at him sitting on a cliff with his dog. Metaphor?

Tony, 31, is a lumber trader. What? The poor guy arbitrarily declares, “This is a great batch we got here!” at a palette of wood. He has a kid, loves to work out, and has a sole patch. What has two thumbs and is going to marry, Emily? “This guy!” declares Tony. 2005 called . . .

Lerone, 29, is our token black man this season. He is a real estate consultant, which, according to his film, involves making cell phone calls outside tall buildings. And he owns a . . . Chihuahua? Anyone else getting gay vibes from this fool?

David, 33, cocky singer/songwriter from New York. He’s been writing songs about trying to find true love. Yeah, you and about 75% of the population. Words he used during his reel: “quintessence”, “disparate”, “facets”, “ineffable”, “converge”. Words I use to describe David: “douche” “canoe.”

Charlie, 32, is recovering from a traumatic brain injury. And he gets points for his ADORABLE bulldog. I’ll pick him as my favorite for right now.

Jef (that’s not a typo . .) is from Salt Lake City. Intial thoughts? Holy pompadour, Batman! He looks like a cross between Kenickie and Vanilla Ice. It was so distracting, I have no idea what else he said.

Arie, 30, is a race car driver, and hails from Scottsdale. As he looks out his balcony overlooking Fashion Square, he wonders if it will be too painful for Emily to give him a chance because her late fiancé also raced cars.

Because these eight are apparently the only ones interesting enough to show footage of, we press on to the first cocktail party. As our fearless leader debriefs Emily, she voices her fears about putting herself back out there, and mentions Brad a few times, blah, blah, blah. Let’s get to it!

A myriad of indistinguishable white men show up. Those not deemed interesting enough for a full “get to know you” package are Sean, a hugger from Texas. Doug asks about Ricki, and discusses his son. Jackson, a fitness model (??) turns up the cheeseball factor by declaring this a “moment to take your breath away.” Joe might have epilepsy. Or maybe he just peed his pants in the limo? Kyle stutters like a seventh grade boy, but Emily likes his tie. Chris tells Emily that he’s going to follow his heart.

On the creepy scale, we have Aaron, who has adorkable glasses and is apparently a high school biology teacher (please. I have never seen anyone that good looking working in a school. Much less teaching science). He whips his glasses off and declares, “I’m here to have chemistry with you!” Interesting. “You’re real!” declares Alessandro, who, besides needing a haircut, looks genuinely surprised that Emily isn’t related to Pinocchio.

Award for the second cockiest entrance of the night, however, goes to Jef “Vanilla Ice”, who skateboarded up, tossed the skateboard into a bush, and strutted his way up the steps. Meanwhile, Stevie, rolls up with his boom box and attempts to dazzle Emily with some sweet dance moves. Tony, brings a glass slipper while silly music plays in the background, and declares that he has found his princess.

In WTF territory, we have Randy, who showed up dressed as a . . . grandma? I guess if you want to go with that curmudgeonly adorable vibe? Aaron smells really good, and Emily thinks he’s cute. Brent is wearing a nametag (not a bad idea, since we probably won’t see him again, much less remember his name). Next, we have Travis, who shows up with an egg, as a symbol of how well he will take care of Emily and Ricki. Emily receives a guitar pick from Austin, who looks like a clean-shaven Jesus. A guy from Colombia claims to be a mushroom farmer (…). But at least he can compliment someone in Spanish.

The parade of chiseled features continues, and ends with someone in a . . . helicopter? Did they watch last season of the Bachelor and want to top Lindzi’s entrance on a horse? Oh. It’s Kalon, our friend the luxury brand consultant. “Toolbag!” declares everyone. He makes a beeline for the bar almost immediately, and we are FINALLY done with the intros. Harrison reminds Emily about the first-impression rose and lets her loose on the men.

After the initial introduction, Chris corners Emily with bobble-heads he had created of the two of them. Because that’s not creepy. They then proceed to make them talk to each other. While this goes down, everyone makes fun of Travis’s high school child development class project, the egg. Doug brings out the big guns and brings a note from his son to Emily, talking up his dad. It was adorable. I loved it. It’s manipulative, but who cares?

DUN DUN DUN! Chris Harrison enters with the first impression rose (Kalon really wants it, but he’s used to people thinking his a tool), which goes to … DOUG! I like that guy. I’m totally down with his getting the rose. Way to go for the gut, man.

The Rose Ceremony is upon us. Moving on to next week’s potential humiliation are Chris, Ryan, Kalon (that whooshing sound you hear is team Bachelorette’s sigh of relief that this jerkoff made it through), Arie, Charlie (yay!), Pompadour Jef, Nate, Sean, Joe, Kyle, Aaron, Alejandro the mushroom guy, John, Alessandro-needs-a-haircut, Michael, Stevie, Tony, and Travis the mighty egg protector. Noticeably absent are Lenore the black man, Brent with six kids, David with the vocabulary, and a few others.

The preview of Emily’s adventures includes answers to the following questions. Do men enjoy yelling? Yes. Will she kiss more than one guy? Of course. Is Ricki freaking adorable? Absolutely. Is Kalon going to be a huge a**hole? HELL YEAH. Will the men defend her? I hope so. Will there be tears? Indubitably. But we all have to take a leap of faith, Rose Enthusiasts! So let’s enjoy this season of The Bachelorette!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Journeys End in Lovers' Meeting?

Well, well, well, Rose Enthusiasts! We have come to the end of this “journey,” (or as they are referring to it on TVLine, The Bachelor: Lummox With Increasingly Terrible Hair Makes Increasingly Terrible Decisions) and I am going to admit that I did not watch one second of the bloated finale. I have turned the TV on specifically for After the Final Rose, because, well, there was no point in sitting for two hours of garbage to watch Ben pick Courtney. Agreed? I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some serious justification and awkwardness from our two “lovers”!

Here we go, Harrison! You’re looking good. It’s two minutes in and I’m already chuckling at the fact that he has referred to whatever this is as a “joyous television event.” Good ‘ol Chris asks us to withhold our judgement, and we’re off!

We start with Ben. He is pretty short with his words at first, not really responding when Chris brings up Courtney’s generally crappy behavior, but he insists that he did listen to the other women when Chris asks him why he didn’t listen to the other women when they warned him that Courtney was bad news. Sure you did! Listen to your groin, I mean. Chris asks if Ben is embarrassed about his choices, he says no, but then goes on to say that during a period of time while the show was airing that they were essentially “broken up” due to her nastiness. Cue the audible gasp from the audience (seriously, there was an audible gasp) at this unsurprising revelation. Ben calls this the “low” of this experience. Chris brings up the photos of Ben kissing another woman in a tabloid. Ben insists it didn’t happen (the pictured audience member isn’t buying it, though). He says that he’s not kissing the women in the photos. What are you doing, then, Ben? Vomiting in their mouths like a mama duck?

Now it’s Courtney’s turn. A smattering of applause and booing takes place. She says that people’s lack of support of the relationship is depressing. She discusses, quite robotically, how upsetting it was when Ben broke up with her. Harrison asks her if she thinks Ben was supportive, and she says, to unsympathetic chuckling, that Ben abandoned her. She says that it is disappointing, but she thinks she tried to love him through his poor reaction to her jerkiness. She says that they’re together now, she thinks. Not exactly a vote of confidence. Anyone else notice that she’s whimpering, but no actual tears are coming forth?

Alright, so now, we’re bringing out Ben to sit with Courtney and we can find out exactly where the relationship stands. Oh goody. They hug awkwardly, and sigh deeply as we sit down. Chris asks where they are, and Ben says that they are in a good place. Little different than what Courtney said five minutes ago, eh, Ben? Courtney says that she can’t trust Ben completely, but that she believes in what they have. Chris asks if they have no doubts. Awkward silence. Ben dances around the question, saying that he likes Courtney’s honesty, tells her that he is not going to abandon her.

We press on, and rewatch the proposal. I fast forwarded it. Courtney pretends to emote after, and Ben tears up a little, because he is upset that everyone’s negative response to them as a couple has soiled the moment for them. And surely that has nothing to do with the fact that they are both skeeze balls and everyone knows it. Chris brings the ring back out, and asks Ben what he wants to do with the ring. Unsurprisingly, Ben puts the ring back on. There is applause, but I think they must have bribed the audience or gotten them drunk since the last commercial break. Harrison wishes them the best of luck.

Because I could not care less about Ashley and JP, I FFed their segment, and we are at the end of this journey. Count on me to blog the Courtney and Ben breakup special!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The "Women" Beat a Dead Horse

Alright, fellow punishment gluttons! It’s Monday night, and you know what that means! No, not that you had better start drinking early in order to forget that there are four whole days left of this workweek (although, considering what I am about to do, maybe I should consider drumming up at least a tankard of beer from somewhere). That’s right, “reality” mavens! It’s time for the “very special” edition of The Bachelor, THE WOMEN TELL ALL! Oh, even the title is ominous. Anyone else surprised that the audience is all women? No? Here comes our host, and we’re off!

I was wondering how they were going to fill time of this epically long special (seriously, did they need two hours?), when an extended piece about some of our favorite hopefuls(?) from past seasons rolled across the screen, which turned out to be an extended commercial for Bachelor Pad (which I have never seen . . . you have to draw the line somewhere!), and a reminder about just how skeevy these people are. Here’s a tip: if you want people to take you seriously about finding love, don’t show yourself partying in Vegas and making out with randos, k?

There is no way I could possibly summarize this craziness, so I think I’ll share some choice sound-bytes from this first segment. We see a reel of everyone talk crap about each other, so where to start?

Blakely gets trashed on for awhile, but Samantha really steals the show with her audition tape for Bachelor Pad, by swearing and squeaking and shouting at Blakely. Classy. Next, we come to Brittney, who says,“The first reason why I left, is that there was no attraction towards Ben whatsoever” Preach it, sister. Samantha continues the whining, and Brittney gives it back to her, telling her to shut up, complete with hand clapping for emphasis. Double preach.

They brought Shawntel back to confront the “ladies”, and I fast forwarded it. Who cares about that? They shouldn’t have called her a trailer trash hooker, she should have learned her lesson the first time around, blah blah. Let’s keep going.

After the commercial break, we get a one-on-one interview with Emily, who told Ben to watch out for Courtney, he didn’t like it, she got dumped. Emily discusses that maybe she should have kept her mouth shut, but she wisely points out that she wouldn’t want to end up with someone who liked someone like Courtney anyway. Duh! You are just now figuring this out? Emily, like everyone else, was displeased to find out about the skanko-Roman wrestling that went on between Courtney and Ben, saying, “obviously, you are going to be clouded by thinking about sex!” which gets tumultuous applause from the audience. She’s extremely well spoken. Clearly, she deserves better than Ben anyway.

Next up, we have Nicki. She discusses how she fell hard for Ben, and we get to hear about her divorce again, it was cathartic to fall in love, yeah yeah yeah. She does not appear to be over it, judging by her tone of voice. She correctly points out that she doesn’t think that she could do anything different, because she was honest the first time. Good for you, Nicki.

Kacie B is the next interview. “Prior to this experience, I was thinking, obviously the only way I was going to find love was on The Bachelor. I was really hoping that this was the avenue that was going to work.” Oh, honey. I kind of felt sorry for you during your curse-laced limo ride of doom (Been there! Minus the limo, of course), but not anymore. The rest of the interview is pretty boring.

And now it’s time for let’s dump on Courtney! Goody! Gah, she’s horrible, isn’t she? “I remember her telling me in Sonoma that she had a big crush on Ben during Ashley’s season,” says Casey S, in a feeble attempt to defend her. “Of course she did! He was on TV!” quips another girl. Ouch. But deservedly so. “I think it could have been Joe Schmo sitting in the seat, and Courtney would have done her damndest to make sure she had the final rose!” exclaims Emily. Harrison asks at what point the girls could forgive Courtney, and they resoundingly respond that it would have to be sincere, which I think we’ll be hard pressed to find. All this, leading up the announcement that COURTNEY IS IN THE STUDIO! Everyone looks thoroughly annoyed by this.

Courtney comes out, and ominous music plays in the background. She says she’s terrified. She basically says things that are banal and formulaic, she’s so sorry, and what not. But I’m sure she’s sorry that everyone thinks she’s awful. But hey, I think she should send ABC a thank you letter for their money to help her work on her acting skills. Emily comes away from this segment with another wise nugget of truth, “Every single one of us was insecure, but we were adult about it, and supported each other.” Good call, Em. As great people have said, it is under stress when we see our true personalities come forth. Courtney carries on with the crocodile tears during the next segment, but it mostly sounded like whining about how mean the tabloids are being. Like you aren’t eating it up, you fame whore.

Next segment brings us Ben, who is almost an afterthought on his own show. The women are pretty easy on him, no one even asking about the skinny dipping (wimps!). I get the impression the women would still date him when he inevitably dumps Courtney. I mean, whoever he chooses.

Well, that’s the women tell all. Other than the Courtney segment, it was pretty uneventful. Who is pumped for next week’s finale? I know I’m excited for it to be OVER, and to watch Bones on Monday nights when it comes back. But until next week, au revior, rose-lovers!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hanging out and Hooking Up

Alright, reality TV enthusiasts! It’s Bachelor time!

To recap: Last week we saw some awkward hometown visits, full of “deep” conversations, that ended with Kacie “what the f*** just happened!?” B. getting shockingly (?) eliminated. This week, it’s time for the fantasy suites, or as I like to call it, “Discourse and Intercourse.”

We begin our “journey” with our merry harem traveling to Switzerland. After an extremely painful opening montage of Ben saying ridiculous things and walking the streets of Switzerland, we get to the dates!

(Side note: anyone else totally amused by the fact that this portion of the Bachelor was brought to us by Titanic in 3D? They know Leo died at the end, right? Inevitable foreshadowing?)

First up, we have Nicki! Ben and Nicki hold each other in the cold, cold wind, and begin screaming because . .. THEY’RE GETTING PICKED UP BY A HELICOPTER! OMG! “The view is so majestic!” gushes Nicki. Ben says that his relationship with Nicki is reaching new heights (ho ho), but is, at the same time, grounded. Um. Ok. Whatever that means.

The helicopter disappears, and suddenly, Ben and Nicki are chilling (I can write puns too!) at the top of a mountain. We are reminded that Nicki told Ben at her house last week that she is in love with him. Ben chuckles uncomfortably at this recollection. And they make out. Boring! Show me something new! All of these dull montages and circle camera shots of the mountain picnic, are emphasizing just how much I want someone to hand Ben a thesaurus for his increasingly irritating sound bytes. Seriously, the guy knows four words (“great” “forward” “open” “awesome”). I can bet he didn’t do his assigned reading at school!

We pick up the narrative on a moonlit walk, where Ben takes Nicki to “literally” a log cabin. There are candles, a fireplace, wine, and all of that good stuff. Ben asks Nicki how she views their future, day-to-day activities. Nicki is so excited to discuss it. She, not surprisingly, sees herself integrating right down into San Francisco. They talk about kids, Ben wants four, she wants two. Uh-oh! But this doesn’t seem to be an issue, and Ben wants to take it to the next level by offering her the key to the fantasy suite. Like he was going to say “no thanks.” Although Nicki says that she does not make these decisions lightly (that’s why you’re on the Bachelor, no?), she doesn’t hesitate to accept the offer. Oh geez, this room even has a bearskin rug. We have some more “tender” conversation and it’s off to the romper room, complete with bubble bath. We leave the scene with Nicki’s leg swung up over Ben as we pan out on Fantasy Date #1.

Next date is Lindzi. They’re near Interlaken (there is a castle there!). Predictably, Dimples McGee is stoked for this date. She’s in love. Blah blah. We arrive at an extreme sports course (I cannot believe they didn’t pick Courtney for this date ;)), where our loveable thrill seekers will be rappelling 300 ft off a ledge. Everyone is nervous, but as we know, insane heights and the potential for death makes for relationship preparation! “Things get tough, people get scared. You have to be there for each other,” announces Lindzi, like she’s the first person to think of that analogy. They hold hands and creep down the mountain. “She’s open to anything!” says Ben. “Shut up!” says Julie.

Oooh, hot tub. That was quick. Are they even dressed? Sheesh. Just looks like a foul mound of skin in there to me. At least add some bubbles, producers. Lindzi compares herself to an ice queen melting. Ok? She discusses her transformation and vulnerability. Ben, per usual, doesn’t say much beyond his usual grunts and about six utterances about “vulnerability.” The make out music is on! “It’s getting hot in here,” whispers Lindzi. No kidding. You’re making out in hot tub. Ben discusses his thoughts on his odds with Lindzi going to the fantasy suite. I’m going to guess they’re pretty good.

They have dinner and discuss (again!) Nicki’s failed relationship. I’d quote more of what she said if she hadn’t said it in every single episode thus far. In a not unanticipated move, she, too, accepts the key to the fantasy suite. “This is a fantasy of a suite!” exclaims Lindzi. Methinks that maybe the two of them and their stunningly poor speaking skills deserve each other. And just in time for that thought, I turned my head and the two of them were sprawled out on the bed. Wasted no time there! Ben says that Lindzi is now “vulnerable”, which, I think normal people would refer to as “DTF.” But whatever! And we shut the door on date #2.

During the commercial break, let’s come up with some synonyms for “vulnerable”, which we can send into the producers.

defenseless, exposed, susceptible, undefended,unguarded, unprotected, unresistant

At last, we come to the final freak(y) show, the date with Courtney “I got the rooooose”. Ben is sporting a pea coat, and discusses how he has concerns about he way she has treated the other women (which didn’t seem to matter when she was mounting him). They take a train ride, and Ben marvels about the mountains and the trees. Duh, Ben. This is Switzerland, not the Sahara. The two of them pick up some picnic food, run into some goats, and Courtney declares that she feels badly about the way she treated the other girls. They start talking about her “difficulties,” but then decides not to. Probably good move, Ben. Might as well get some guaranteed action while the getting is good. We get some crocodile tears from Courtney about her behavior, and the picnic is over.

At dinner, Ben and Courtney discuss her issues with the other girls. Courtney continually interrupts Ben while he’s trying to talk, but everything ends ok and it’s off to the fantasy suite! And another bearskin rug. They get naked in a SUPER small hot tub, and Ben is not complaining. Gross.

With a half hour left to go, the mind reels as to what could be coming next. Oh, except it doesn’t have to, because as everyone knows, Kacie B is BACK to warn Ben about Courtney. OH SNAP, people. She approaches the door, knocks, and Ben responds with a “Holy s***”. It’s awkward. She’s shaking. Ben looks extremely uncomfortable. Kacie asks Ben to tell her what went wrong. Ben says that they were “worlds apart” when it came to their backgrounds. After Kacie digests the information, she decides to take the plunge, and says that Ben would probably get his heart broken if he chooses Courtney. Kacie expands, saying that Courtney displays an “in it to win it” attitude. Ben looks decidedly unhappy about it. He sighs deeply, and Kacie is out of there. She collapses on the floor. Ben contemplates the meaning of life at his table.

He discusses things with our fair host, and things are cloudy (literally and figuratively). But there’s a rose ceremony to get to.

And here come the roses. If you’re ready, here’s Ben.

First rose goes to Lindzi! She’s thrilled.

And the final rose goes to . . . dun dun dun! Courtney. Alas! Poor Nicki! We hardly knew ye. But be not afraid! You don’t want to be with Ben anyway. She at least has the decency to hide her face while she weeps.

Well. That was emotional. We get a commercial for The Women Tell All, and I don’t know about you, but I’m annoyed about having to draw this shiz out another two weeks to wait for the end. Oh well. Until next Monday, friends!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Homeland Security

This week on The Bachelor: HOMETOWNS! After last week’s shocking elimination of Emily, Ben will travel to see Lindzi, Kacie, Nicki, and (ugh) Courtney and their families. Who will emerge victorious and continue to next week’s fantasy suite sex auditions? That’s all coming up in my recap, designed to keep me interested in what’s happening.

We begin the journey in Ocala, FL, home of “I came to the first cocktail party on a horse” Lindzi. To be honest, I have seen almost nothing of Lindzi’s personality over the last several weeks, except that in last week’s episode, she called Ben her boyfriend. Sure he is, honey. Anyway, she’s so excited. She waxes on awhile about her breakup that we have heard about once or sixty times, while riding a horse. Aaaaaand, Ben’s here. Lindzi is thrilled that she has planned today’s events instead of the producers Ben planning their events. They go on a carriage ride, and a picnic miraculously appears on the side of the track. The words “walls”, “vulnerability”, “being open”, and “at that point” are tossed around for awhile, and Ben says he saw a “sweet” side of Lindzi that he never has seen before. Blah blah.

Lindzi introduces Ben to her parents as her “boyfriend”. We discover Lindzi’s parents got married at City Hall in San Francisco, where Lindzi and Ben had their first date. What are the odds? The four of them then embark on carriage races, where Lindzi’s parents dominate. Now it’s time for some potentially awkward conversation. Lindzi’s mom likes Ben, but she doesn’t want her to be upset if he chooses someone else. But, for the most part, everyone is happy and Lindzi’s parents congratulate her on “picking” a good guy. Well. Good luck.

Next up, we are in Clarksville, TN, and Kacie’s family. She is excited to see his eyes. How…weird? Anyway, when Ben pulls up and see’s a marching band playing, and there’s Kacie twirling a baton. She goes on to discuss her grandparents and how much they loved each other. Ben is impressed. Kacie is “ready.” We get some foreshadowing about potential conflicts between Ben and Kacie’s dad, who doesn’t drink. Bad news for our wine-maker.

Ominous music plays while Ben chats with Kacie’s family over dinner. Kacie rationalizes her “love” to her sister, who looks a little skeptical. Cut to the conversation between Ben and Kacie’s dad, who looks at Ben the same way one would look at a piece of maggot-infested meat. He makes a good point, by saying that if he doesn’t want to pick her, let her know now. Ben is hoping that Kacie’s mom is easier on him, but no luck. Mrs. B says that she wouldn’t want her to move in with Ben if she were to be declared the “winner.” You know, good for these people. At least they are realistic! Kacie, on the other hand, is not having it. What an unexpected turn of events! The visit ends in uncertainty.

We then enter a Texas stereotype, complete with cowboys and steer, as Ben visits Nicki. Is anyone else surprised Nicki is still on the show? I mean, did he really dislike Emily that much? Not that there’s anything wrong with her, but she hasn’t gotten much screen time until the last two episodes or so. The two go try on cowboy gear, and hit up downtown (?) Fort Worth. Nicki is glittered out, and the two of them drink beer, like all Texans apparently do, and then Ben and Nicki discuss her divorce. Again. Snooze.

Nicki’s mom is into Ben, but she’s concerned about Nicki getting her heart broken. Yeah yeah. Nicki’s dad, on the other hand, is worried about giving his permission to the wrong man again. This goes on for awhile, and Nicki eventually tells Ben that she loves him. He doesn’t say it back, but he has a good impression on the day.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, THE MAIN EVENT. The potential freak show! The WTF moment! Courtney’s house. Um. Hold the phone! Courtney is from Scottsdale!? Ten bucks they end up somewhere around Gainey Ranch. Courtney babbles in her baby voice about how excited she is to see Ben, but Ben says he needs to find out about how Courtney relates to people.

Courtney announces to her family that she likes/loves Ben, but Courtney’s mom isn’t buying it. I admit I zoned out throughout most of this visit. After all of the buildup, it was boring. There was a funky commercial break in the middle of their conversation that snapped me back to attention. We return from the commercial to see Ben and Courtney going on a picnic. There’s a wedding set up at the place, and Courtney just so happens to have paper to write vows, a tie, and rings ready for them to have a . . . fake wedding? Um. That’s really weird. Seriously. But rather than being concerned, Ben’s into it, and recites his beautiful vows. Courtney says her vows, which sort of rhyme, but are fairly prosaic. She says she’s in love with him. Ben tosses the words “open” and “vulnerable” around again. Let’s just forget about the fact that if anyone ever set up a wedding on a date, the guy would be out faster than you could say “psycho!”

We have arrived at the cocktail party. Ben is making a “difficult” decision. At this point, I see Kacie being the one eliminated. And if you’re ready, here’s Ben!

Ben thanks the “ladies” for their visits with their families. Hurry up with it already, Ben.

First rose goes to . . . Courtney! No surprise there. She’s going to shimmy her nastiness right into a proposal. Mark my words. Second rose goes to, Lindzi, which leaves Nicki and Kacie left. Who will it be?!

And the final rose goes to . . . Nicki! I knew it! “What the f*** happened!?” Kacie shrieks, as she ugly cries her way to the airport. You know what, Kacie, you are better off. You have good parents. You’ll find someone. Farewell! Here's wishing you a hot drum major.

We get a preview of next week, which finds our merry harem traveling to Switzerland. Looks like it’ll be nice and drama filled. Who do you think has the good(ie)s to take on Courtney? It’s all next week on THE BACHELOR.