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!