Friday, January 19, 2018

Bachelor Arie: Wrasslin, Dawgz, and DISRESPECTING BIBIANA!!!

Monday night's episode started off with 18 ladies remaining and over the course of 2 hours we heard about dog trauma (Good Lord Annaliese these producers are BAITING YOU at this point), we saw lots of tears from many ladies (Bibiana, Tia, Annaliese, Caroline), and American watched a forgettable blonde named Jenny straddle Arie and make out with him (why why whyyyy?).

I'll try to keep this short (impossible).

Chris Harrison informs the harem that this week there will be 3 dates--2 group dates and one 1:1 date.

The group date starts with the quotation "it's all about the ring" and these ladies have watched enough episodes of the show they are appearing on to deduce that "the ring" probably isn't a blood diamond, but rather a wrasslin' ring.  The crew is Maquel (uber blonde Utah gal), Jacqueline (low key brunette who will probably get sent home before she embarrasses her family, which is pretty solid), Tia (Arkansan brunette), Mahrik (girl who I'm thinking perhaps doesn't bring much to the table since she seems to be on the listening end of a LOT of annoying ladies' ramblings), Lauren B. (blonde who hasn't done much this season), Bekah M. (aka Baby Rizzo), Bibiana (America's sweetheart straight outta Miami), Krystal (who LOST me as a fan and also should really breathe from her diaphragm to project bettter).

The ladies suit up in yoga pants and sports bras, hop into some limos, and arrive at a boxing ring for GLOB--GORGEOUS LADIES of BACHELOR!!  Training them are 2 surprise guests--original GLOW wrestling ladies!!  I WISH that the producers had reached out to actresses from the Netflix series GLOW, but I guess that ABC doesn't necessarily want to promote Netflix.  Angelina and Ursula, the GLOW Veterans, and EXTREMELY MEAN to Bibiana and Tia for whatever reason. The brunette veteran takes it all VERY seriously and mocks Bibiana's name, then pulls Tia's hair.  As T and Bibs cry on some nearby stairs, Bekah and Maquel practice their fake wrestling moves with great flourishes. Tia and Bibiana decide to help each other out and admit that they don't want to quit because they want to "LOOK strong, independent." Whatever it takes, I suppose.

welcome to your group date!!!!

The ladies are assigned wrestling alter egos and they are:
BEKAH: Sex Kitten (and yes, kitten--because she is v. young)
TIA: Southern Belle
BIBIANA: Bridezilla (Godzilla headpieces and all--brutal)
MAQUEL: Lunch Lady (HUH?)
KRYSTAL: Cougar (producers are throwing shade about her age and I aint mad at it)
JACQUELINE: Pageant Girl or something that is probably related to whatever personality she may or may not have because she definitely has NOT revealed ANYTHING yet.
LAUREN B.: huh who? The blonde girl? Listen there aint enough time to get everyone on camera at every group date, OK?  Also she's a pink leopard? Is her wrestling alter ego, Claire's Accessories Cat?
MARIKH: Gold something?

Actual photo of Maquel during her wrestling match
Before the ladies pair up and do their best impressions of Mickey Rourke doing an impression of a washed-up wrestler, first Bachelor die-hards are delighted by an appearance by Kenny
"Prettyboy Pitbull" King (who we last saw during Rachel's season of The Bachelotte because Bach contestants NEVER MOVE ON)!!! He fights against Arie, who dons an eye mask and adopts the wrestling persona of the "Kissing Bandit" (PLEASE STOP WITH THIS NIGHTMARE JOKE, ABC!).  They do some moves and Kenny shows off his hot bod, which is inordinately better than Arie's pasty flesh sack.  Arie wins because it's in his contract.

The ladies pair up and tangle, with Bekah and Maquel REALLY selling it, which is both surprising and pathetic.

Before you know it, this wrestling group date is over and the gang is all cleaned up for the afterparty and in a move that we can only call "rich people glamorizing and fetishizing poverty," the afterparty is in an assortment of TRAILERS!  Oh I kid, I kid. Classic airstream trailers are cute, but I must admit that I'm tired of super wealthy people thinking it is SO CHARMING and CUTE to live in a TINY HOUSE!! Have you seen articles about the tiny house "TREND" that is rocking the nation? Ummm for some people, that's just called LIFE.

But I am getting sidetracked by the inherent violence of capitalism and ya know what I should be focusing on--Krystal's crushed velvet romper that is PROFOUNDLY unflattering! Krystal is a beautiful girl with a great figure--what is going on here!? Krystal and Arie have some alone time in a trailer and she asks him flat out how she should handle these group dates--hang back or come and get him? He says to kick back, but come and get him when she needs attention. Great non-answer, bro!

Bibiana and Arie have 1:1 time and she explains that she's respectful to others, wants to give the other women their time with Arie, also, and straight out of the playbook of "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished," Arie seems NOT excited to hear that. I hate to say that The Bachelor is just like dating in real life (because it certainly isn't) BUT, this show always reminds me of a simple fact: if he likes you, he likes you, and you sorta can't screw that up too much. Arie seems like he simply doesn't like Bibiana that much, so her manners and respect for the other women in the house are a con and not a pro, ya know?

Tia and Arie have some good alone time during which Tia says that she felt "weak" and didn't enjoy the challenge. Arie responds, "I'm the man--let me do that." Oh MAAAN. I mean, sure, the entire agenda of the Bachelor franchise is to advance heteronormative relationships but COME ON do you gotta be THAT on the nose!?!?? "Waaah I'm a weak woman and you're a strong man!" Barf.

While this crew hangs out in their privacy pods (err I mean trailers), back at the house a 1:1 date card has arrived and it's for blonde beauty LAUREN S! Lauren seems cute and fun and I'm happy for her! Also I will live to regret saying that in mere MOMENTS!!

But first, we gotta wrap up this group date.  Bekah telsl Arie that her longest relationship was 2.5-3 years and she ALMOST reveals that they broke up the first week of college, but pulls back, so as to seem like she's not twenty frigging two.  They talk about how breakups can be valuable, how they make you hit the gym then you fall in love (on exactly the schedule you want that to happen, right?) then everything melts away.

The crew re-convenes and Arie gives the rose to Bekah which is annoying, but makes Krystal upset, so it's nice to watch.

The next day is the 1:1 daytime date for Arie and Lauren S. and WOWIE WOWIE WOWIE this reminded me of dates I used to have when I was, oohhhh, maybe 19 and I'd go out to dinner in the North End (Boston) with an older guy and be SO KEYED UP because not only am I on a date (which is v. exciting, especially if you grew up thinking you were v. ugly and that no guy would ever want to be seen with you in public) but ALSO you're drinking wine like a real adult and you're using a fake ID!!

Lauren looks gorgeous--maroon short dress, hair curled perfectly, although her shoes were an abomination and you could tell that the camera person hated them also, as they were rarely in the shot. They board a private jet to Napa Valley and roam around a winery, drink, and talk. They discuss what it must be like to run a winery (HUH? You two hardly know each other--why not talk about your family, your jobs, your taste in books and film rather than stupid hypotheticals?) and Arie makes a few jokes about being an old man which Lauren seems too polite to razz him on.  It was hard to watch because she was being VERY polite and curious and he was being sorta lightly sarcastic, it seemed. Just me?

That night they "talk" (well, Lauren talks) over more wine and Arie ACTUALLY EATS the dinner that the producers set out which NEVER HAPPENS but he couldn't get a word in edgewise, so may as well tuck into this meatloaf or whatever it was. Lauren seems VERY NERVOUS and probably VERY DRUNK and she yammers on about her San Francisco breakup, the fact that "there's power in problems" (save me the self-help talk, plz), and how blessed she is to have a great family.


Finally, Arie takes the rose off the little tray and you can tell that Lauren feels like she's about to be given a report card and she knows she got an F or at least a D. He says that he has enjoyed getting to know her and learning about her family (was that an insult wrapped in a fake compliment?) but, he says, "I just don't see it for us" then he escorts her to a waiting car.  DeBussy's classic "Clair De Lune" (one of my favorite songs of all time) is played live by a string quartet as Arie roams around alone, rose in hand (HILARZ) and the ladies back at the house process the news that Lauren S. is gone. Caroline, Tia, and Becca are heartsick and even though they are all brunettes, I feel like I would be part of that crew if I were in the house.  Krystal takes Lauren's departure as an opportunity to give the remaining ladies a speech about how everyone needs to put themselves out there and nobody wants to hear from her.

Next day is a GROUP DATE and it is DOG DAY AFTERNOON!  (JK it's not actually "Dog Day Afternoon" because that's a film from 1975 about a bank robber who wanted to pay for his boyfriend's sex change operation and I am not kidding!)

This group date isn't about bank robberies but it IS a day of circus-style dog training for Arie, Chelsea (she has a child so every moment of her life is more important and meaningful than anyone else's), Annaliese (who has phobias GALORE), Becca, Caroline, Ashley, and others!

The gang learns some tricks with dogs then suit up for a dog show at The Grove in Los Angeles! Comedy God Fred Willard is doing color commentary along with Chris Harrison and Willard's role in BEST IN SHOW is serving him well!  He makes some jokes about doggystyle sex and we're rocking and rolling!

Annaliese secures her spot as this season's "Poor Thing" when she is given the role of POOPER SCOOPER in this challenge.

Dear Readers!

I must address a phenomenon that I have noticed in all reality TV shows--that of the "Contestant Who Can't Catch a Break." She is the participant in the group who is singled our by producers to get THE WORST of everything. 

In America's Next Top Model, she's the one who arrives with a head of gorgeous hair and is IMMEDIATELY given a buzz cut (to make her more "edgy") and she spends the season not only enduring the challenges and humiliations and stresses, but also mourning her lost hair, new look, sense that she isn't herself. Remember Brit (aka Brittany) on cycle 8 of ANTM? She arrived with GREAT hair but producers needed to have someone SPIRAL out of control, so Brit was given a red weave that was itchy and disgusting. 

And same with The Bachelor.  There is always one girl who just takes it on the chin--time and time again.  In every challenge, she is given the nightmare costume or the most embarrassing position.  In Juan Pablo's season it was Kelly, a girl who seems COOL AS SHIT and who is now happily married (she's super tight with Andi Dorfman, so I see her on Andi's Instagram a fair amount bc I'm am addicted to all things Bachelor).  Here is Kelly during that fateful season:

I mean, she looks like an ALIEN with that giant, white mark on her face. Kelly was fun and enthusiastic and she paid dearly for it--always getting the embarrassing costume or assignment.

This is a long way of saying, Annaliese should be HAPPY that she was sent home this week because the producers had decided that she would be their whipping boy.  She was a joke to them. So at least now she is home, safe, and far away from bumper cars and dogs, I hope.

Oh yeah spoiler alert, Annaliese bounces outta Bachelor land.

Oh, sweet, sweet reader. I have been trying to write this recap all damn week and have been so busy. So I'm sorry that I'm going to commence phoning it in HARD right now, but I cam.  Let's do the quickest summary of the rest of the episode that we can!!

-Afterparty is in a fancy bank turned into a cocktail lounge.
-Chelsea says that she wants to discover herself through someone else (ummm isn't the phrase--that you often her from handsome military men who you date for a few months--just me?--supposed to be, lose yourself in service of others? I digress) and reminds Arie that she has kids. WE GET IT.
-Becca's in a cool, fuscia dress and she and Arie def. have chemistry.
-Caroline asks him what types of relationships he had before this--great Q! Also great way to guarantee on-camera time b/c the show is, after all, mostly about HIM.
-Annaliese is awkward as HELL!! Oh wooow it was like watching me trying to flirt with Wayland dudes circa 1996!! Yikes!
-Chelsea gets the date rose. Blech.

-Bibiana has a lovely bed set out in the driveway (don't judge) for star gazing with Arie. She has a telescope set up--everything.
-What a setup!! Arie "stumbles upon" that lovely setup (while Bibiana is NOT with him and NOT nearby) and canoodles with Lauren B. on that couch.  OUCH!  Bibiana WALKS UP and Arie says to her, "can we have 5 more minutes?" HOLY SHIT!! This is SOOO BRUTAL!  Bibiana deserves better!!  Arie then smooches Bekah (Baby Rizzo) on that bed, also! Bibiana, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! This dude has awful taste in women and you are being disrespected by him AND the producers. Booooo.
-Annaliese continues her Awkward Nightmare tour, pulling him away and then sort of asking him to kiss her, which he OPTS OUT OF!! TALK ABOUT A HEISMAN TO THE FACE!! OUCH!! Finally she gets it and essentially, tells him she is leaving. Goodnight, sweet princess.
-Jenny (or is it Jenna? Look, I am a blonde but I can't tell these blondes apart!) straddles him and they kiss HARD.
-Hipster Kendall Twee Nightmare kisses him, too. Goddamn everyone gets a kiss except for Annaliese because if you ASK for it, you will not receive it.  Those are the rules of life TRULY.
-Bekah is a know-it-all and informs Arie that he dates mothers only because he wants to rescue women and that he responds to unavailable women because they don't NEED him and Arie acts like she is dropping profound points, but this shit is pretty standard. Dudes want what they can't have--ummmm yeah. Bekah isn't friggin' Henry David Thoreau or some shit. This stuff is pretty damn standard and straight out of The Rules or Why Men Marry Bitches (which I am currently reading and I am NOT kidding).  Easy, Arie.
-Roses are handed out but I can't be bothered to talk about all those dresses. 
-Bibiana is sent home. Oh, sweet, sweet Bibiana. You deserved better than this.
-So this episode we lost Annaliese and Bibiana--not super surprising.
-Next week, hot tubs and make-outs in Lake Tahoe!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bachelor Arie: TRIGGER WARNING: Bumper Car Trauma


I'm late with this recap because I had a standup show on Monday night when the geniuses behind The Bachelor dropped this KILLER episode. On Tuesday morning, a few friends who are fellow Bach-Heads made mention of bumper cars and I wasn't sure what they meant, but I figured, oh a bumper car group date--how weird can it be?


But before we get into flashbacks to childhood bumper car trauma and the PTSD that such events can cause and ripple throughout your adulthood, start from the beginning.

There are 21 ladies in the house and they are all looking gorgeous and sipping mimosas like the walking cliches that they are (as a feminist, I hate to say that b/c I truly LOVE these ladies for being gutsy enough to go on this show and I bet they are almost all super fun and cool but also, I HATE brunch and mimosas are connected to that, so I must throw shade). I am fascinated by the mechanics behind everything and I kept thinking--it was sunrise when the first night rose ceremony finished up and now it's daylight--did this mimosa toast take place mere HOURS after that unending first night cocktail party OR did the ladies get a day to SLEEP, settle in, then kick things off the next day? I feel like it's the former but I wish that it were the latter.

As the ladies sip mimosas, "tough guy" Arie is on the top of a mountain--just him and an eagle hanging loose like two rolling stones who are VERY COOL, right? Extremely cool! I mean, that leather jacket! Those shades! This guy is EXTREMELY COOL, the producers assure you!!

Chris Harrison arrives at the house and hands over a date card for Becca K, the brunette publicist from Minneapolis. Before you can say "Arie is fundamentally NOT HOT. His DNA is ugly--I'm sorry to be so harsh but I am a scientist," Arie rolls up to scoop up Becca K. for a motorcycle ride into the mountains. Like a gaggle of gluttons for punishment, the 18 ladies who are NOT invited on the date assemble in the front driveway to watch Arie and Becca drive off.

As they drive to an anonymous mansion, Becca keeps remarking on how amazing this ride is, that this feels so good, that "we're not in Kansas anymore" (DUMB CHILLS), even though we can't see Arie's face (thank GOD), you just KNOW that he's there underneath his helmet being like, "zip it! Act like you been here! Soak it in, but please don't give me a director's cut of this ride, girl."

They arrive at an offensively modern, sleek mansion where there is lobster, champagne, and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's-bestie-turned-enemy who they nicknamed Raisin Face, RACHEL ZOE!

Brace yourself for some branding partnerships because it's episode 2 and we're already being force fed Rachel Zoe's new fashion line, Louboutin's signature red-soled shoes (did you know you can buy stickers to make ANY soles red? Ha! I'm a trash bag), and Neil Lane.

Becca gets a day of ostentatious indulgence and unrepentant materialism and Arie slides right in the role of Lame Boyfriend Waiting Outside The Fitting Room as Becca tries on gorgeous, metallic, 70s style dress after dress. I'll admit that all of those dresses were very on brand for me (my BRAND is disco queen who has seen  better days) and--get this--Becca gets to keep them all. Lucky lady! After the dress deluge, Arie gets down on one knee to gift Becca a pair of Louboutins and then Neil Lane's enforcer walks up off the beach (very casual) to hand over a box of blood diamonds.  Becca is stunned by the diamond earrings, necklace, and bracelets and Arie says that he's excited to spoil her because she's down to Earth.  You hear that, ladies! Act like you don't NEED diamonds and you will GET diamonds because The Secret does NOT work, in fact the opposite works! Life is crazy!

Lauren pops back to the mansion with her arms full of bags (it's just like "Pretty Woman" except Lauren isn't a woman who is being paid to fuck a stranger--she is NOT being paid and MIGHT fuck a semi-stranger--VERY DIFFERENT) and makes everyone jealous, then changes into a beautiful silver number and heads to downtown LA to meet up with schlubby Arie. He's waiting for her and wearing a suit, but that doesn't make up for his face. Arie AGAIN justifies his CHOICE of leaving professional race car driving (WE GET IT! You're SUPER EXCITED about where your life is heading, which is why you constantly tell everyone that you're super excited about where our life is headed! Totally!), they agree that it's pretty cool that they BOTH have families they don't hate, and Becca scores a rose.  Oh also, they discuss Becca's late father and make out beneath a shower of gold confetti.

Up next is a 1:1 date for the valley girl-iest fan of whispering, Krystal. OK, in episode 1 I really liked Krystal--she seemed like a bubbly, earnest, simple, sweet girl and I was on her side. I liked her throughout most of episode 2 until the cocktail party, but we'll get to that.  Her 1:1 date with Arie is what I call the "Too Much Too Soon Mindfuck Special"--a private flight to Scottsdale, AZ (where he lives and his parents and brother live) where tour around his hometown, high school, and finish it off with a stop in to MEET THE PARENTS! Remember, fellow Bach heads--this is a FIRST DATE.  Krystal and Arie met AT MOST, 48 hours prior.  And now she's watching home video of him and meeting his sweet parents!? HUH?

Everything this season is moving WAY TOO FAST and I'm sure that's by design--there's more drama to be had for producers if you can get the ladies HOOKED QUICKLY. So we are seeing ladies reveal family trauma VERY early on (I'm sure producers are encouraging that), ladies dive into Arie's family and childhood stories much too early (again, no an accident), and just an expedited timeline that pushes them to a level of false familiarity with Arie.  Can you tell that I've become VERY good at sensing false familiarity and a deliberate lack of boundaries in guys? Special thanks to dudes who manipulated me when I was young and naive and foolishly thought that people were all nice and honest!

Krystal falls for it (or wants to believe it? Or just enjoys it? I can't quite tell) and loves the walk down Arie's memory lane (also known as Narcissism Street) and is thrilled to meet his parents, brother, sister-in-law.  They have a nice chat and I'll say this for Krystal, she's a great conversationalist, she's very inclusive of the family, curious about them, asks a lot of questions.  Also I must give props to the fact that all THREE women in the parents' house are BLONDE, so I love it.  If Krystal marries Arie, they'll have a gorgeous extended family of blonde women and men who can easily wear bags over their heads because their heads are all quite small.

That night, over dinner (drinks) at Los Angeles landmark The Bradbury Building, Arie asks Krystal about her childhood and Krystal reveals herself as she seems to choke back tears. Poor thing. She explains that her father walked out, her mother was a single mom and Krystal felt that she and her brother were not wanted (oh Lord how sad is that?), that she essentially raised her little brother, and dealt with very adult things from a very young age.  Before I lambast her for being a weirdo at the cocktail party, I'll say this: I give her SO much credit for having such a positive attitude in spite of that tragic childhood of abandonment.  Arie pulls a Robin Williams from Good Will Hunting and literally says "it's not your fault" then when she asks if this scares him (oh man I was almost crying), he says no, gives her a rose, and they make out HARD.

The next day is a group date for 15 girls (Maquel, Marikh, Tia, Valerie, Annaliese, Lauren G., Kendall, Bekah aka Poor Man's Rizzo aka Braless Nanny, Jenny aka Jenna cause who can tell those blondes apart, Sierre, Jenna aka Jenny because--wait, didn't we already account for her, who knows, Caroline, Brittney, Bibiana aka MIAMI HEAT, Chelsea or something I think? how long does it take to recite 15 names and also who are most of these people.

But before they leave to play real life bumper cars with "shitty cars" that would probably be considered "perfectly good cars" in any country but the United States, Krystal needs to act evasive when the ladies ask her about what her 1:1 date with Arie was. In some ways I get it (BOUNDARIES!) but also, come on, girl. Be friendly, chat a little bit, have fun.

The group date gals head to a mud pit and enter the stadium like a sea of yoga pants, where Chris Harrison and some supposedly famous car person, Robby Gordon, are waiting to do color commentary for the BASHELOR Demolition Derby! Everyone is fired up except for Annaliese who has--and this is where The Bachelor turned into a self-parody--traumatic memories of bumper cars. Annaliese explains to Marikh and Maquel that as a child, she drove bumper cars and was smashed up, felt all alone, was terrified. The brilliant minds behind The Bachelor intercut the footage of Annaliese sharing her trauma and crying with shots of bumper cars and screams of children. I AM NOT KIDDING!!! Scroll back up to see those gems!! It was HILARIOUS. 

Of course, Pasty Arie calms her down, says he'll act as the car Goon to protect her (I gotta get in at least one Goon reference per recap), and the Demolition Derby kicks off!  Everyone is suited up, in helmets and neck guards, but MAN whiplash seems imminent nonetheless.  Sienne wins and later, we learn that not only is she great at demolition derby, she also attended Yale University.

The afterparty is that night and Brittany is too sick to attend (later it sounds like she may have been hospitalized? Dude waaaaah? This pasty snooze is NOT worth it, girl!), which is probably for the best because shit is TENSE.  Everyone looks gorgeous (well, except Arie who is rocking a corny assed cardigan and his face) and after a toast, Single Mother Chelsea pulls Arie away IMMEDIATELY to explain that it's much harder for HER to be there and SHE is really focused on this because she's a single mother and "this is actually really serious to me." Arie has dated numerous single mothers so he's unfazed (which I sort of LOVED b/c she acted like she was about to drop a SUPER UNIQUE BOMB and he was like, OK yeah cool no bigs). Then Chelsea returns to the group and tells them that SHE is really there FOR LOVE because SHE is a mother and it's really, uniquely hard for HER to be there and GOD BLESS, Marikh and Bibiana are both NOT having that and remind her that they ALL have their reasons to be there and they ALL left things behind and they ALL chose this journey.  THANK YOU, ladies! I am never having children and yet, if I went on the show, I'd be "actually really serious" about it also--women who aren't mothers aren't somehow frivolous gals about town--we ALSO want love and partnership.  OK enough of my yakkin!

Slowly, Bibiana is becoming increasingly anxious about things and worried that she won't have 1:1 time with Arie, which she does NOT end up having. That has GOT to be frustrating. Bekah M. aka Poor Man's Rizzo rocks a wildly unflatting, white girl flesh toned turtleneck  (A TURTLENECK) and makes out with Arie just after he does a dorky shoulder shrug. 

Finally the group date is almost over and Arie has to give out a rose.  He fakes out Chelsea (DELICIOUS) and hands it to Sienne.  Nice werk!

The next day is the cocktail party and let me cover it quickly:
-Bibiana looks gorgeous (love that one shoulder thing) and aint got NO TIME for Krystal's fake nicey nicey bullshit and I am Team Bibiana on this one. After Krystal grabs Arie away from other girls TWICE (even though she has a rose), Miami's own Bibiana tells Krystal that "there's a lot of angry people here and I'm just the voice" then legit STAND UP, says "mic drop" and walks out. BIBS RULZ.
-Baby Rizzo Bekah is wearing no bra (lights out NIPS OUT) and a T-shirt material dress, it seems, plus a fur coat (huh) and mid-make out tells Arie "I'm simple, I'm not drama, I'm easy to please" which is a line straight out of the Cool Girl Handbook and it makes me want to puke, but Arie eats it up.
-Sienne informs Arie that she is MUCH smarter and more cultured than he is.
-Krystal tells Arie that she has missed him (they were apart for, what, a day?).

It's rose ceremony time and Becca K., Krystal, and Sienne are safe and have roses. Who else scores flowers that you could buy a corner bodega?
-Maquel - blonde white girl from Utah rocking a dusty rose bandage dress that is too big for her. Bad look.
-Jacqueline - brunette white girl in low cut, 70s style, satin dress and hoops.
-Bekah - tween who resembles an old woman playing a teenager in Grease and recites lines from every dude's dream girl fan fiction. Next up she'll  be like, "I eat SO MUCH and I'm addicted to GIVING HEAD!"
-Jenna - blonde white girl in a green dress with shoulder cut outs SO large that the arms of her dress are straps and wrist pieces--very weird.
-Chelsea - Mom from Hell (Portland, Maine).
-Lauren S. - blonde white girl w/ long hair, cool maroon dress. She has kept a low profile and I can dig it.
-Kendall - faux hipster who is trying MUCH too hard and was apparently featured on a disgusting episode of Fear Factor that never aired! My sweet college friend Zach dug up the clip! Watch it here, if you dare!
-Brittany - black girl who got some major whiplash during the demolition derby, rocking a black dress with cool neckline.
-Ashley - girl who didn't get a date this week so was extremely anxious, but should perhaps "put on a lip" as they say.
-Marikh - girl who owns the Indian restaurant with her mother sporting a SLINKY, metallic dress that looks like it is made of rust-colored latex and I LOVE IT.
-Caroline - brunette white girl in a red dress that's very "Pretty Woman" and looks lovely.
and the last rose goes to.....
-Bibiana - Miami's spiciest export who, I am hoping, will stop being polite (about waiting for her turn with Arie) and start getting real!

So which ladies traveled to LA only to earn a few hundred more Twitter followers from this bizarro experience?
-Valerie - redhead white girl who doesn't seem to understand what it means to find colors that flatter you.
-Lauren G. - black girl with long hair and a RAD, sparkly dress who I seemed super cool AND can spot a pair of Loubouton's at 50 paces
-Jenny - blonde white girl who was SUPER snarky and sarcastic and, in one clip, mocked Arie's age to his face. She walked out without saying goodbye, then when he followed her, she said that she was sad, but NOT sad to leave him, rather, sad to leave her friends! What a shameless burn as you exit. I giver her credit.

When Arie wants a hug but you aint in a hugging mood
I'll watch episode 3 live and I'm bracing myself for more fake nicey antics out of Krystal and even fewer bras out of Baby Rizzo aka Behak M.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Bachelor Arie: Our National Nightmare Commences


Greetings!  Hello!  Happy new year!  Happy 2018!  Here we go!

A few weeks ago, when ABC released the headshots of all the assorted Laurens who would be vying for the affections of The Bachelor's least hot and most boring participant ever, Arie, I meant to write up a run-down of who I thought would last long, who would be the resident Mean Girl, and such.  But I didn't have time because I was busy promoting my debut standup album, SEEN BETER DAYS! The album's release and promotional push were AMAZING and my baby was #1 on the iTunes comedy charts for 2 days!  It was all super fun.  I got some great write-ups on Splitsider and chatted with cool people on great podcasts such as Keith and the Girl and elsewhere.  Fun, busy times overall. 

So I didn't have time to prepare for this season but ALSO--I must be honest with you, dear reader--I have been dreading this season.  I simply don't like Arie at ALL.  During Emily's season I found him to be really drab and pasty.  Being pasty isn't a cardinal sin, but I just don't like it!  He just always seemed like quite a snooze to me.  Alas, I suspect that Bachelor producers were in a bit of a pickle with picking the next Bachelor (Luke was HOT and I used to be truly Team Luke, but he has revealed himself to be a shameless wanna-be country music star and I feel gross for even writing that sentence).  Despite how ABC spins it, I think that it's surprisingly difficult to recruit a person to be the main character in this bizarro romance circus. It's a select group of people who can leave their job for 6 months, date an assortment of bonkers participants, then potentially live a life of D list fame for the remainder of their days, ya know?  So I guess they went with Arie this go round.


We last saw Arie five years ago when he was the runner up in gorgeous Emily Maynard's season (she went with Jef, a tiny, Mormon, Robyn look-alike). On that season, he proved to be quite pasty and--allegedly--a really good kisser.

QUICK ASIDE: Can we talk about how EASY it is to be a good kisser?  Just be responsive to the other person!  It's truly NOT VERY HARD at all.  I'm a good kisser (thank you very much) and guys have repeatedly remarked on that to me, which is very nice, but also I always say, "well yeah you just respond to what the other person is doing and sorta mirror their style." This aint rocket science, people!  

OK so let's dive in.  As much as "I wish I could quit you," Bachelor franchise, I cannot.  So last night from 8:00 to 10:00pm I was on my couch, witnessing Lauren after Lauren pile out of stretch limos and watching a Rizzo look-alike sporting a choker avoid questions about her age. Man oh man are we really doing this again?  We are.  And let's get to it.

Arie is a professional race car driver who decided to change careers (OF HIS OWN VOLITION, RIGHT???) and become a realtor peddling giant vacation homes in Arizona.  Hey, we can't all live in Days of Thunder forever, I suppose. He's 36 and ready to settle down and start a family of pasty bores.  Or so he says.

The first night is standard fare--a flurry of gorgeous women in sparkly gowns introducing themselves to Arie and a handful of dumb jokes.  We see the arrival of FOUR Laurens in a row (I love that producers put them all in a single limo, it seems), one pushy Mean Girl (Chelsea the single mother from Portland, ME), one girl who takes a weird mysterious identity bit way too far (Annaliese in the face mask--cool imprints in your face, girl!), and everyone interrupting everyone else so as to score a MOMENT with Arie. 

A few quick thoughts/takeaways: 

-Kendall the girl who LOVES taxidermy and plays the ukulele is like a watered down hipster wanna-be and it is all just too twee for me. Barf. Also she rolled up in a sparkly nightgown like some sort of fancy Wendy Darling of Peter Pan Fame.

Hi, I'm Amber and I own a spray tan salon--
wait--OK, sure you can cut in.
-The two most magical moments that happened in the entire 2 hours were both of the interactions between Arie and a forgettable ombre-ish blonde/ish brunetteish girl named Amber (that's her photo here).  She interacted with him only two times and in both of those interactions, the only information that she communicated to him was that she owns a spray tan salon.  She literally met him at the door and was like, "I own a spray tan salon" (and made a crass joke), then had a MOMENT with him by the pool and she repeated that she owns a spray tan salon, then she was interrupted.  IT WAS HILARIOUS.  Oh sweet, sweet Amber, you are too simple for this world.

-As far as dress style, the big thing was cut outs (all over the place) and showing off your lower back. Also, and I have asked this question before, but does no one on this show EVER have a single frigging freckle or mole!? I can't be the only grown woman out there with some moles, can I? Am I weird? My new "thing" for 2018 is LOVE (self love, romantic love, not giving my heart to underemployed, tax evading "directors" who are narcissists and mislead people), so I am trying to love my moles but what's a girl gotta do to get some representation!!??!? Where my freckly knockouts at!?!?

-As usual, we had a blonde, Mormon knockout (Maquel), a girl who is friends with a Bachelor alum (Tia, Raven's Arkansan pal), and a few dramatic entrances in cars to piss off the girls who were already inside. 

Shockingly, no one got super wasted during that first night and preditcably, Arie gave the First Impression Rose to an overconfident nightmare (Chelsea), thereby creating a monster.  To save my sanity and your time, let's do a quick run-down of who got roses, who was sent home.

-Chelsea - Portland ME single mom who will cut a bitch for face time with Arie--I  mean, who just knows what she wants and who is on an expedited timetable because she left her child to be on a reality TV dating show across the country from her home. From the jump she was overly familiar with Arie and I found it really manipulative.
-Becca K. - brunette, white woman publicist from Minneapolis whose black dress with cutouts and overlays was dramatic and cool, brought letters from her mom.
-Marikh - Salt Lake City, Utah owner of Indian restaurant with her sweet mama rocking a gorgeous maroon, lacey dress.
-Kendall - blonde, white lady hipster chick whose ukulele songs are tiresome as hell. I hate people who try so hard to be weird or quirky that it feels really deliberate and performative. Blech.
-Lauren G. - black woman in black dress with silver decorative beading on the back who did a pineapple taste test with Arie and made a cute joke.
-Krystal - smiley, very bubbly blonde, white lady in a killer red dress who I think will eventually wear on me, but for now, I really, REALLY like. Her brother is homeless and has rejected help and that has inspired her to help homeless people. She just seems pretty earnest and sweet and I dig it.
-Bekah - a poor man's Rizzo who is out past her bedtime (she's the one who evades questions about her age).  I mean, is this not the same person?

-Lauren S. - social media manager, 31, white girl with long, blonde hair, cute black dress. Seems sweet. 
-Sienne - 27, black girl from California who gave him elephant cuff links (cute move). Love her super low cut, black dress.
-Caroline - 26, brunette, white lady realtor who lives in Florida but is a MASSACHUSETTS NATIVE THEREFOR I WILL  BE ROOTING FOR HER ALL SEASON!!! Also her first night look was fierce--gorgeous mermaid cut white dress with good cleavage being shown, perfectly curled hair. Overall, super solid look, great work flirting with Arie.
-Brittany T. - marketing manager from LA whose bumper sticker opening line was a bit too much for me (she literally PUT a bumper sticker ON Arie's butt--yikes--boundaries, please!) but then she did a little motorized car race thing with Arie that was VERY sweet and silly. Solid work. 
-Bibiana - Exec Assistant, 30, Miami. I found her hair MUCH too casual for the event (a sloppy low bun? FOR NIGHT ONE???? COME ON, GIRL) but she seems spunky, which I dig. 
-Annaliese - white woman in the face mask as a joke about the "Kissing Bandit."  No thank you.
-Jenna - 28, Raleigh NC native, blonde, white girl in a royal blue dress and silver shoes. Her dress has, as is all the rage, cutouts on her hips which are NOT easy to pull off. Also she's just a LOT to take. She's very expressive with her hands and throughout the episode she's just TOO MUCH. The kids today would call her "extra" I think. She reminds me of party girls I knew in college who were perfectly fun but also, on the verge of being batshit insane.  And were forever losing their meal cards or forgetting to pack before break.  Just like, WOA.  Shall we nickname her Hurricane Jenna? Why not.
-Valerie - 25, Nashville TN, white girl in yellow dress with purplish/reddish hair. I don't see her being around too long. I also see that hair color fading QUICKLY (as red always does).
-Jacqueline - 26, Research Coordinator from West Virginia (mountain mama), white girl with dark hair, maroon dress who is very authentic, it seems. She even made a joke about him that struck me--asking him to "just look cute." Ha!
-Jenny - 25, Chicago, IL, white girl, bright pink dress, blonde hair. She's an artist and had drawn a pencil rendering of Arie in which he looked SUPER HOT, so obviously she's not great at accuracy in her art.
These are two different people, apparently? 

-Lauren B. - 25, sparkly, silver dress, long, blonde hair, white girl. I retained by little about her because the first night was a deluge of blonde women and women named Lauren, so the Venn Diagram where they overlap is just a dead zone for me. 
-Ashley - 25, real estate agent (gosh realtors haven't gotten this much buzz since... well, ever) with dark hair and a super cute, very sparkly cocktail dress. She walked in and gave Arie a little race car flag thing, which was cute. 
-Tia - brunette white girl who is BFF with Bachelor alum Raven. Tia hails from a small town in Arkansas called Weiner and when she met Arie, she handed him a small weiner and made a joke that she hopes he doesn't already have a small weiner and HE COMPLETELY DIDN'T GET THE JOKE. Don't get me wrong, it's a hella corny joke and I HATE childish sexual innuendo like that, but Arie was like, "yeah, no, I don't have one of these, thanks" LIKE A CLUELESS DOLT.  BUH. 
-Maquel - platinum blonde white lady who is 23 and READY TO GET MARRIED (buh), works as a "professional photographer" (read: lives at home and occasionally photographs friends' events, wants to be pregnant yesterday).  As she came down to claim her rose, she scolded Arie, saying "why did you do that to me?" which was super sensitive to the 6 women being sent home--really kind of her.

-Amber - Spray Tan owner girl. As they say on Ru Paul's Drag Race, Sashay, Away but I'll remix it for Amber to say, Sa-SPRAY, Away.
-Ali - forgettable dirty blonde haired white girl who asked Arie to give her a "sniff check" when she entered. Note to self, don't attempt to flirt with a guy by ASKING HIM TO SMELL YOUR ARMPITS. Good Lord are we in 8th grade? Speaking of 8th grade flirting techniques, ya know who else went home....
-Bri - (yes apparently that is somehow her FULL NAME and not a SPELLING ERROR)- 25 year old sports reporter, brunette white girl from Oregon who entered by exclaiming "think fast" and CHUCKING a baseball at Arie.  Oh man I HATE shit like that. It's just so obnoxious and I pity people who think that these are valid flirting moves in adulthood. Good riddance.
-Brittane J. - 27, marketing manager from San Diego who looked like a brunette Blac Chyna.
-Nysha - 30, orthopedic nurse from SC who was SO damn skinny! Seemed super sweet but perhaps didn't push hard enough to have face time with Arie.
-Olivia - maybe? I can't keep track of that happened with her, so if she pops up next week, don't be surprised.  Look, tracking all these gorgeous ladies isn't a cakewalk.
-Jessica - gorgeous white lady newscaster whose red, flowy dress was a lil "country's night out" for my taste, but she seemed sweet albeit INTENSE. She referenced the fact that her deceased father has met Arie and how much she loves that fact and I think that it was a major turnoff for Arie. Just a lil too much too soon.
-Lauren J. - blonde, white lady in white dress with big, green earrings (fun look) who was probably the only remotely age appropriate participant for Arie, so she HAD TO GO!!!

Bachelor producers left us with a preview of what is to come this season and there will be drama surrounding Bekah's age (which is quite ironic since Stockard Channing was infamously VERY OLD to be playing the role of Rizzo in Grease and her look alike Bekah is VERY YOUNG to be trying to secure a proposal from a 36 year-old-race-car-driver-turned-realtor who has already been publicly rejected on national TV once before), Bibinia will NOT have time for your drama (YESSSSS!), and Arie will drive a Jet Ski while making out with a blonde chick who is straddling him.  The ONLY thing that might make this season bearable is if Arie starts acting like Kenny Powers.  We can only hope.

Arie is disgusting 
Kenny Powers is the best

What did you think of opening night!?!??

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bachelorette Rachel FINALE! 3 to 1 to 2 (I HATE MATH!)


As you probably noticed, my blog reading die-hards, I didn't get around to recapping The Men Tell All.  I'm sorry--last week got away from me because I did a rad show on Monday night then recorded a podcast Tuesday night, then Wednesday night I hit the gym and crawled in bed by 9:00pm like a sleepy dweebus then Thursday I saw a rad bluegrass band down at Coney Island, then the weekend was upon me--yada yada yada.  Also, The Men Tell All episodes can be fun, but I figured this one might just be Lee defending his ignorance/racism/implicit bias and I wasn't in the mood to bother catching up.


Last night was the finale and you bet your bottom dollar I tuned in!  This season has been VERY different than previous seasons in many ways (Rachel's family did NOT uproot themselves and fly to paradise to meet 2 guys, her father never appeared on camera, and her nephew has the strangest name I have heard in a long time--Alistair).  So it came as no surprise that Monday night's episode was a bit different than Bachelor Nation is accustomed to. But also, the storyline demanded it.

So we tuned in and our intrepid therapist host, Chris Harrison, was there along with a few dozen screaming women, ready to guide them home.  In a shocking move, who joined him on the live finale studio stage, but RACHEL LINDSEY herself!! Rachel was looking gorgeous in a pinkish/white, tight cocktail dress that enabled her to show major cleavage (more than we saw all season), sexy metallic heels, sparkly hoops, and dark eyes but light lip (great move).  Her hair was curled and she was ready to watch the playback of multiple breakups in a row while an audience watched HER watching her own life.  Wheee! Modern society is completely bonkers!!

We head right back to Rioja, Spain where--if anyone can even remember this--Rachel had her Fantasy Suite date with sweet Eric.  I was always Team Eric, but also, I always knew he probably wouldn't stick the landing.  Sigh.  We left off the next day during her date with Robot Peter and we pickup with them having a heartfelt conversation about the impasse they have reached: Rachel came on the show to find a husband (literally that is the SOLE GOAL of the show) and Peter came on the date to, what, find a GF? Huh? Neither will budge so they use the Fantasy Suite as an opportunity to "discuss things" (wink wink) and perhaps I'm a Fantasy Suite snob, but their setup was pretty underwhelming.  I suppose you can have sweet humps with a short term BF anywhere and it will be fun, but it just seemed like the 'ole Fantasy Suite budget was tight this go-round.  Anybody else?

The next morning they do the 'ole "I woke up like this" and are cutesy with each other as they cook breakfast, sip coffee, and smile, kiss goodbye.

Because Rachel still has a sex date with Bryan!  This Hump Train has a schedule to keep and it's time to GET ON BOARD!!!!

Up next is Bryan and Rachel's date and Rachel waits for him in her best 1990s finery--velvet choker, jeans, plaid shirt tied around her waist, cropped top, and a jean jacket. Goodness it was like walking into a high school dance circa 1994 and I was loving it!  Bryan is wearing a red shirt and jeans (who cares?) and the pair hopped on some horses, then dismounted to drink and discuss his visit to Dallas, which felt like a MILLION years ago.  Bryan tries his best to act like he thought it went fine and that they were skeptical because this arrangement is new to them, NOT because Bryan's a smooth talking weasel, right?

Rachel isn't quite herself and in interview footage, she admits that Peter really did a number on her mentally. Ugh.  Bryan very gingerly commented on it and said that she seemed a little off, the energy feels different (which is very perceptive of him and surprised me) and Rachel takes this to heart, resets, and re-energizes for Bryan, which really impressed me.

ALSO, during all of this as we cut to commercial, Chris Harrison promotes trailers for a few upcoming fall NBC sitcoms and WOW white men are making adventures HAPPEN in the fall line-up!

But back to Rachel and the rad, 80s style black suit jacket/dress with fringed edging that she wore for "dinner" with Bryan.  She looks great and seems focused on Bryan, so they head to the Fantasy Suite (his response to the date card was admittedly very funny and charming).  The next morning, Rachel and Bryan are lovey-dovey but everybody needs to get home to get cleaned up for the Rose Ceremony!

Rachel roams through the fields of a winery in a BEAUTIFUL red, flowy dress with intricate beading on the sleeves and a flattering waistline as the guys arrive.  Eric is in a scoop neck shirt and dark suit with cool, white sneakers.  Bryan is in a grey suit jacket with black edging that makes him look like he put a grey suit jacket over a black suit jacket, and Peter is looking hot BUT HE IS A ROBOT AND CANNOT EXPERIENCE HUMAN EMOTIONS!! The Scientists who built Peter probably dressed him, so I can't give any credit to Peter directly.

Rachel arrives and says something to all 3 guys that is a direct message to Peter, "I came here to cultivate a relationship that moves toward the common goal of marriage" and all of Bachelor Nation screamed my new tagline directly at Peter, "GOODNIGHT, BIIIIIITCH!"

Alas, it wasn't to be!  Rachel gave roses to....

Bryan then

Poor Eric was sent home.  He handled it with SUCH grace, class, kindness that Rachel joked that se felt like perhaps she had made the wrong decision. Unlike most other guys who parlay this into dates once they are done, I really hope that this experience DOES open up some opportunities for sweet Eric.  He was graceful from start to finish and watching him blossom from anxious dude on night 1 (those SHOULDERS were CRUNCHED UP) to confident, calm suitor on the way out was a treat. Much love to you, Eric.

[Gosh I get too emotional with all of this but these people are REAL PEOPLE and also I'm just sort of weepy lately because you just never know what will happen in life and a friend got a scary diagnosis lately and it makes me so sad and scared. Sorry for this aside. Thank you all for reading my wacko recaps--I genuinely, truly appreciate it. OK let's get back out there and judge some boys, shall we?]

So we're down to Peter the Robot who refuses to budge about his commitment to only proposing ONCE in his life and Bryan the slippery suave Miami boy who has always been 100% into Rachel and I have somehow hated for it, but wait, why is that a bad thing? If it's GENUINE (and that's where I lose faith somewhat) then let it rip.

Bryan and Rachel have a final date up in a hot air balloon (my nightmare) and then they have an evening make-out date during which Bryan presents Rachel with a customized Spanish-English dictionary, but the worse he has "customized" are so boring--just "wife," "husband," "forever." Dude--I thought that perhaps you were going to do something cute or funny!  But no, you're really not capable of that.  Sigh.

The next day Rachel and Peter have their final date and when they're not getting marriage advice from a monk they are still debating the issue of whether or not Peter is capable of proposing.  Man.  Is THIS the hill you want to die on, Peter?  Rachel phrases it SO perfectly, saying that Peter talks about their future together and how he can see it--where they will live, trips they will take, what sized mattress they will buy (seriously), yet he somehow can't take the necessary step to GET THEM THERE.  She's able to perfectly verbalize things that would prompt me to just scream, "WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME?" and run off searching for the monk to console me.  Also her camo jacket was perfection.

That night, Peter and Rachel talk in circles some more, to no avail.  Rachel feels confused and, as a tough love sister once told me, if you're confused or unsure where you stand with a guy, well, there's your answer.  He's just not that in to you. It's hard to hear, but it's true.

And so it was with Peter--he has CHOSEN to set up a roadblock for himself and obey this strange rule. I know PLENTY of people who have been engaged and called it off.  I know PLENTY of people who have gotten divorces.  Sure, you don't want to walk into reality TV dating stuff with the idea that marriage is a joke, but also, let yourself LIVE, Robot Peter!!  But you can't because you're a robot.

Oh also, let's not forget when Peter dropped a line he will NEVER LIVE DOWN, which is when he encouraged her to essentially, get engaged just to be engaged and "go find someone to have a mediocre life with."


Fuck off.  No.  You do NOT get to try and SCARE Rachel into waiting for you.  That is so manipulative and you know it is, dude.

For as much as I don't really love Bryan, I gotta admit that the Peter vs. Bryan match up really felt like a situation in which the girl decided to FINALLY stop taking emotional bullshit from a guy who she had pined after for SO LONG (I can relate WOW WOW WOW) and decided to instead, go for a guy who is NICE TO HER and OPENLY LOVES HER (spoiler alert) and people now act like she "settled." She didn't settle. There's NOTHING WRONG with accepting the love of a kind, devoted, emotionally available man and fuck you for claiming that by accepting healthy, unconditional love, you are somehow settling.

Hoooo boy!  That got me all riled up! But I think that years of having guys pull bullshit like that on me (just manipulative moves to make you not trust your own judgment and not accept love) have made me able to sniff this out.

Rachel and Peter both agree that they are going to regret this decision but what else can they do? Peter won't budge and Rachel didn't come on this show to just keep dating.  They walk to the elevators.  By this point, Rachel has cried off her fake eyelashes (hilarious) and after some last kisses, she takes the stairs as Peter cries and asks himself, "What is wrong with me?"  We're ALL wondering that, you idiot.  When you let a beautiful, accomplished, successful, funny, easygoing woman with a killer career WALK OUT OF YOUR LIFE, there is something wrong with you.

And when Peter came out to face Rachel, Chris Harrison, and the studio audience, it was TENSE!  It felt like Peter is still processing this and kicking himself for being unwilling to take a chance.  I bet he'll look back on this in a few years and realize what a mistake he made.  I kept waiting for there to be a moment of levity between them, or even a moment of levity FOR HIM, where he admitted that maybe he was too strict with his own weird rules, but it never came.  I really feel bad for him--he'll live to regret this.

But onto the HAPPY ENDING!!!

Rachel gets ready (loved that shot of her supposedly curling her hair when the iron was probably turned off-ha) and Bryan picks out his blood diamond (you know how I feel about diamonds, dear readers) and shows up to the appointed location--a Spanish mountaintop that was SUNNY and beautiful JUST BEFORE Bryan arrived, but turned into a goddamn TWISTER once he got there.  HA!

Bryan arrived in a black suit, white shirt which was classic cool against Rachel's fierce sparkly, beaded, slinky silver dress with SUPER HIGH THIGH SLIT (yazzzz) and sparkly earrings.  Bryan does his monologue, telling her how he liked her from the start, he wants her to be his wife and the mother of his children and he hopes she feels the same.  She demures a bit and then tips her hand, saying that he was too perfect and she was trying to find cracks in the foundation because she's used to difficult relationships, but he's the perfect foundation and that she sees her forever with him.  He JUMPS on her and she has to shout "WAIT" and push him off a bit so that she can tell him that she loves him (that was cute), then they kiss HARD and Bryan gets down on his knee.  Rachel shrieks and is elated, then they make out more as the twister SWIRLS AROUND THEM!!!  GET SOME SHELTER, YOU CRAZY LOVEBIRDS!!

In the studio, Bryan comes out and gets down on one knee in front of Rachel AGAIN, asking her to "re-marry him" (which felt VERY odd but was because she didn't want to wear the ring before and spill the beans).

They're both very happy, but a few of their remarks gave me pause: they haven't decided where they will settle (Miami or Dallas or maybe LA, they say. Yiiiiikes.) Also they don't seem to have given much thought to the future and their shared claims that their respective families LOVE their engagement rung a little hollow to me.

For their sake, I really hope that this is like a Desiree/Chris situation where The Bachelorette was so focused on ONE guy (in Desiree's case that tall Mormon guy who was NOT hot; in Rachel's, Peter) and then he essentially broke her heart so she finally noticed the strong and steady who had been there all along (Chris, Bryan).  I appreciate that Rachel got what she wanted--a man who wants to propose and be married.  Bryan is 37, so hell yeah, he's ready for that, it seems.  I'm psyched for Rachel that she chose the path of love and acceptance and didn't roll the dice with Peter and sacrifice her own needs.

I wish Bryan and Rachel much luck!!  And for their sake, I hope they get out of LA and try something real.

If you want to listen to the lovely Dava Krause and me discuss this finale point by point, take a listen to our podcast The Fantasy Suite here.

Next week Bachelor In Paradise starts and I'll probably live tweet it when I can, but Mama needs her Monday nights back!!

Thank you all for reading this season!  What did you think of the finale!? Who do you think they will select as the next Bachelor??

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bachelorette Rachel Ep 9: Meet The Parents (and sister, aunt, cousin)


I am extremely late with EVERYTHING right now.  Things were kookoo bananas last week with my album recording on Wednesday (which went BEAUTIFULLY and I am so proud of the show and the album will be released in September or October and you better believe I'll be badgering you to buy it).  I watched the bizarro episode in which Rachel's final 3 suitors met assorted members of her family in Dallas, which is UNPRECEDENTED in Bach history, but I love that Rachel's family is like, "yeah ummm Papa Lindsay aint flying to some wacko island and also Constance is pregnant so we're going to change things up this year" and they did!!

The final 3 guys (Peter the Human Robot who seems to have NO emotional capabilities whatsoever; Eric the nice guy who I think she should pick but is she HOT for him the way she's hot for the others; and Bryan the frigging slick Willy who is like "within moments of looking at Rachel, I declared her my GF and knew I was in love with her" and I'm like, "CAN WE PLEASE GET REAL AT SOME POINT HERE?" because I have been re-reading too much Dr. Phil lately.

My quick breakdown of the odd Hometown Trio's family meetings:

-Peter looks good and gives a frigging' monologue when he first sits down for lunch with the family.  How his parents met, his first impressions of Rachel, the fact that he was built in a laboratory by a kindly scientist who wants to see if he can build a robot who could eventually FEEL. He sits down with assorted family members and tells Rachle's mother (who DON'T TAKE NO MESS and I love it) that he doesn't want to ask her for permission to propose to Rachel right now, but rather, permission to keep dating her.  HUH???? WHAT IS THAT? THAT IS NOT A THING YOU DO.  One the RARE occasion that I have a boyfriend (shout out to the men of NYC who have disappointed me and stood me up MORE THAN I EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE!), that dude isn't calling my parents every so often to get their blessing for us to KEEP DATING.  Blech.  Peter--time to hit the bricks, pal.  Sorry, but at some point in life you MAY want to lead with emotion and your heart.

Also, I really like Constance and I love that name, but what is UP with her son being named Alistair? It sounds like an old timey manservant in Victorian England, not a cute kiddo who loves strips in Dallas!

-Eric is up next and before the family meeting, Rachel and Eric enjoy the view from some brutalist Space Needle wanna-be in Dallas.  Oh man I'd be willing to be that building was built in the 1960s or 70s when every city was like, "isn't poured concrete so great? Brutalism is an architectural style that we'll NEVER regret! Just look at Boston's City Hall Plaza--everybody loves it! Right? Right? Riiiiight?"

The family all really like Eric and they perceive him to be very genuine, candid, which he is.  He talks about his chaotic upbringing and I wonder if Rachel cares about him more as a friend/someone who she respects for what he has endured, more than a romantic partner, ya know?  Eric asked Rachel's mom for permission to propose and she grants it.  He's relieved and I'm hoping Rachel goes with him when all is said and done!

Up next is Miami's smoothest import since Gloria Estefan, BRYAN. Ugh.  Before the family visit, Rachel takes Bryan to a restaurant where they have drinks with her blonde pals on a windy roof.  Rachel admits that at first, she thought Bryan was a "douche bag" (YOUR INSTINCTS WERE RIGHT, RACHEL! TRUST THEM! DR. PHIL WOULD AGREE WITH ME!).  Bryan seems to make a good impression on the blonde gals somehow (ugh) but he does NOT impress the Lindsay family (thank God).  Constance is NOT having his use of the word "love" every other sentence and she tells him as much (YES) and Mama Lindsay likes that Bryan is close with his mother, but dislikes how effusive he is about people he hardly knows.  Overall, Bryan's visit feels like a VERY uncomfortable job interview and Rachel gets defensive on his behalf.  Oh girl--let this slippery snake slip out of your hands and go crack some backs back in Miami.

During that meeting, Rachel says something that reminds me of me: "I'm chill until I'm not." AMEN!! Love that!

After the Dallas family lunches, 3 Men and a Rachel fly to Spain for 3 nights of dates and FANTASY SUITE HUMPS.  We witness Rachel and Eric's final date and sleepover (well, the standard cutaway to fireworks or the light in a window turning off or some other such indicator that "HUMPS ARE HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.")  We watch Peter and Rachel's final date is cute (stomping on grapes! drinking wine!) but ends with the two of them seemingly at an impasse because Peter is a robot who cannot make decisions with his heart (he doesn't have one! He runs on a battery that must be recharged--what is a heart?) and Rachel is a fucking adult human who wants to get married, which is why she came on the damn show!

Am I getting too emotional?

This week was The Men Tell All and I'll watch that on Wednesday (after a serious date with the gym) and recap as quickly as I can.  Apologies for the delay, sweet readers!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bachelorette Rachel Ep 8: HOMETOWNS


On Monday night a little bird flew into my apartment (for the 2nd time in 3 years which is a whole lotta birds as part-time roommates) so I was home to freak out about that AND to watch Rachel visit four lucky suitor's hometowns!  (Note: the bird ended up in the empty bedroom in my apartment--I'm currently seeking another roommate--where I simply opened the window and the screen, shut the door, and prayed that the bird would find its way out. It did! All is right in the world!)

The episode kicked off with Rachel visiting Eric's hometown of Baltimore, MD. Rachel looked cute in her casual getup of jeans, cute boots, and a white-ish plaid button down while Eric represented Canadian nuptials (that is, a Canadian tuxedo) in a denim-on-denim ensemble.  The pair canoodled at the basketball court and then Eric's hype man, Ralph, showed up to assure Rachel that Eric was a stellar student, scholar, athlete and great friend who managed stay positive despite his chaotic surroundings.  Eric expanded on that to Rachel, saying how his mother was so unemotional and obsessively self-sufficient, that he became very "hard" (I feel like I should up that in quotation marks but also using those makes me feel like a reeeeal suburban dummy) and unwilling to let in romantic love. He said that his friends had never seen him be romantic or touchy-feely with a woman, which I found fascinating--I'm sure that in his younger years he saw that as weak.

Eric and Rachel head over to "Auntie's" apartment (and Auntie is Verna, who, it seems, was a nurturing mother figure to Eric AND SHE RULES, unsurprisingly) with flowers and gifts.  The entire family is assembled---Auntie, Eric's mom, Eric's dad, seemingly other cousins, Ralph--and they all cheer and clap when Rachel and Eric entered the apartment, which warmed my heart.  Verna has a conversation with Rachel and brings up race, which I appreciated.  I love how Rachel has been willing to address that head on but not let it CONSUME her time as The Bachelorette. As she said, her journey shouldn't be any different than the previous 12 bachelorettes, though she admitted that she feels a lot of pressure to do right by the black community AND everybody else.  That's a lot of pressure.

The crew enjoys a lovely lunch with heartfelt toasts and sweet conversations.  Assorted family members were more than willing to have some pretty HEAVY conversations (Eric and his dad, Eric and his mom).  Eric and his mother's conversations was VERY revealing and it made me want to hug Kiddo Eric.  She claimed that she was distant and not there for him very much ON PURPOSE to toughen him up.  Ooof.  That seems like some unnecessary tough love.  Unsurprisingly, one of her first questions to Eric was asking him if he was ready to get dumped/OK with getting dumped.  Thanks for the vote of confidence, mom!

Rachel says goodbye to the family and to Eric, then heads to south to....


Wowie Zowie that intro to Miami was straight outta Miami Vice--the music, the graphics.  Rachel is looking great in a cute, flowy blouse and a GIANT umbrella (the kind that actually protect your hair--I have one of those umbrellas!) and Bryan rocks a red sorta ombre shirt that fades into grey, plus grey pants and it was too much grey.  She RUNS to him and he lifts her up, then she STRADDLES him which is a first this season and worries me.  They play dominoes with some local guys who are in fedoras (a look that is ONLY acceptable if you're a Floridian-Cuban retiree--NOT if you're a Brooklyn hipster--got that?) then walk to Calle Ocho and eat some local goodies.  They try to dance in a cigar rolling place and smash heads (ha!), then limp to the back patio to go over the family names.  Bryan ays that his father is softspoken and charming and his mother is supposedly the opposite (heh).  He describes her as a "fireball, ball of energy, sensitive" and WOW that sounds like a recipe for a person who pushes around and mistreats other people, but gets really upset when you say "hey, please stop mistreating me." This is going to be FUN!! We can only wonder why Bryan's ex-GF RAN SCREAMING from this family!  Before they hit the road, Bryan says "I just want to continue to make you smile--it's something I'm kind of obsessed with" and I OFFICIALLY HATE THIS GUY.  Blech.  These are just LINES and they feel so disingenuous!!

Rachel and Bryan arrive at the family home with flowers, gifts and are greeted by Bryan's mom, dad, sister (I think?) and other people?  Who cares--BRYAN IS HOME!!! Bryan's mom, Olga, immediately proposes a toast to Bryan, "the most precious thing I have in my life." Hoo boy, Olga, do you know that your husband and your other child can hear that??? Do you realize that?  Oh, you do and you only care about SONS because daughters are worthless and also, your own partner doesn't deserve your respect?  Cool, cool.   Also, now I can see why Bryan is SO FRIGGING CONFIDENT.  His mother has convinced him that he's a goddamn angel. As she gives this toast, she starts crying then chugs the drink for a while.  Move over, Jojo's mom chugging out of the champagne bottle--there's a new boozin' mama in town and it's Bryan's mom throwing back a shot!

This season, the role of "Jojo's Mother" will be played by "Bryan's Mother."

During the course of the visit, Olga says "my son is my life," and literally says to Rachel, "if he's happy, I'm happy--if not, I'll kill you," later calls Bryan "the love of my life." NO PRESSURE, RACH. JUST DO NOT GET IN THE WAY OF A MOTHER'S BURNING HOT LOVE FOR HER ONLY GODDAMN SON!!!  If I were Rachel, I would run as fast as I can.  But she doesn't! Instead, she listens to Bryan's sister badmouth Bryan's ex because that bitch had the nerve to try and get between Bryan and his mother.  WHAT AN IDIOT!! Doesn't she know that Bryan is dating his mother?  Or wait... what???

Rachel and Bryan escape the Mom Love Vortex and go outside to make out HARD beneath some BRIGHT lights that producers must have bought in.  Rachel says goodbye to Bryan and somehow isn't freaked out by his family.

Up next is Madison, WI where Rachel will meet Peter's family and ALL OF THEIR RECLINING COUCHES! Holy shit I didn't think it was possible to wedge THAT MANY crummy looking recliners (WITH CUPHOLDERS!) into a living room, but Peter's family is going for gold in that event!

"Mommy, where do overstuffed recliners come from?"
"Bernie + Phyl's, OF COURSE!"

But before the trip to Bernie & Phyl's (talk about a LOCAL joke!), Rachel and Peter wander around a farmer's market in downtown Madison and are tailed by excited teenagers videotaping the couple with their phones (did anyone else see that in a shot or two).  They buy flowers and the salesman is NOT having it, then they head to a restaurant to meet a few of Peter's besties.

Doesn't his look quietly say, "get that camera the fuck outta my face'? 

Oh I almost forgot! Peter says that "today will be a major step in Rachel and I's relationship" and he has done this a FEW TIMES this season. Goodness gracious doens't saying "I's" feel WEIRD to you, gap tooted Wisconsin??? It's fucking MYYYYYYY--Rachel's and MY relationship.  OK, rant over.

Rachel and The Guy Who Needs To Go Back to 5th Grade Language Arts Class head into a bar/restaurant and meet some of Peter's best friends (2 couples) then make a whole lotta jokes about people being black or white.

Soon it's time to head out to the super Americana town of Cottage Grove, WI where Peter's family lives.  As I mentioned before, their decorating style can best be described as "comfortable" or "Superbowl Sunday every day" and Rachel meets Peter's mother (rocking a hairstyle called the Original Kate Gosselin), his father, his bro and sister-in-law (whose hair color was effortlessly perfect), plus their 2 kids.  During Rachel's alone time with Peter's mother, Spiky Hair Mama Bear says that while Peter might not be ready for marriage or to make a proposal, he's definitely ready to commit and start a family.  HUH?  Like, are you talking Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell (companions forever, no need for a piece of paper) or are you saying that he's into kids, but can't be bogged down with a wife?  That statement was very odd and, frankly, I doubt Peter truly feels that way.

Rachel leaves and based on the previews from next week's episode, we know that Peter gets sent home at the end of next Monday's episode.  Not such a great job on the editing, Teach Bachelorette.

Up next is Aspen, CO for Rachel to meet Dean's father, stepmother, brothers, and sister.  Dean is rocking skin tight maroon sweatpants (WHAT WERE THOSE?), a grey hoodie sweatshirt thing, and some BIG, sparkly teeth (as always).  Rachel looks super cute and cuddly and they ride 4 wheelers, then head to the home where Dean's father (newly chosen name Paramroup) lives with his wife Santantar) and, in direct opposition to Peter's parents' house, there are ZERO couches.  Talk about a switcheroo!

Dean is anxious and self-conscious about his father's new life (he is now a Kundalini Yogi Sikh after decades spent as a breadwinning, typical American father figure) and he shows that by being unwilling to engage in some of it (not eating, repeatedly calling his dad "Pops" which I suspect his father dislikes).  The preview made it seem like his dad's a jerk and he's not, but he doesn't seem to have ANY sympathy for the fact that Dean lost his sweet mother at age 15 and felt completely abandoned and alone.  Ohh Dean--my heart goes out to you, buddy.  Honestly, between this and some of the issues brought up by Eric and family in Baltimore, I must give ABC major props for showcasing some REAL, true, candid family and societal issues.

In their alone time, Dean effectively asks his father to just ADMIT that he abandoned the family and essentially, just say sorry, say you fucked up--and his dad simply can't do it.  It was all very hard to watch.  They're both hurting and while Dean lost his MOTHER, which is brutal, Paramroup (or as he was probably called then, Steve or some shit) lost his partner/best friend/wife.  It's so tragic all around.  Dean's sister Sky tells Rachel that Dean was always the strong one and that he has been through so much.  Poor guy.  Man.

Later on, Rachel tries to talk by a fire with Paramroup and he abruptly exits, which I can completely understand.  Dredging up these emotions--in front of cameras especially--must be exhausting and you gotta set some boundaries.

Dean and Rachel make out on the floor (again--my hell--I HATE mattresses that are too low to the floor or being stuck sitting on the floor for too long) and Dean tell Rachel that he's falling in love with her.

At long last, everybody reports to Dallas, TX to get dressed up and potentially dumped.  Rachel sits down for a completely unnecessary conversation with Chris Harrison, then it's line-up time.

The guys are all dressed up and Rachel looks wonderful in a beaded gunmetal dress, sparkly grey/green eyeshadow, red lip (I would have gone with a light lip but to each her own), and a fun, beaded bracelet.  She's struggling from the start as she hands roses to...

-Bryan - ugh, Rachel, are you SURE you want to marry into a family where your mother-in-law will FOREVER be reminding you that she was there first?
-Eric - YES!! His family is so wonderful and it's been SO nice to watch him come out of his shell and gain confidence around Rachel.
-Peter - who is definitely going home next week (he's just too serious, practical)

Rachel walks Dean out and they chat beneath a GIANT painting of oversized hummingbirds quickly.  Dean seems angry and a bit upset, but Rachel responds that she's just not sure they are in the same place in life, which we all knew the moment the age of "26" flashed on the screen when Dean exited the limo on night number one!! Dean leaves with his head held high, though, saying that Rachel has some great guys in there and he hopes she finds what she's looking for.

Next week we had to SPAIN where, seemingly, we will see the last of Peter's salt and pepper hair and gapped toothed smile.  Then it's down to Bryan vs. Eric and, from the looks of it, Bryan does NOT do well with Mama Lindsay.  I can't wait to see how it all goes down!

Also, do you like to HEAR two hilarious comedians TALK about Bach??? Then listen to the latest episode of The Fantasy Suite right here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bachelorette Rachel Ep 7: My Very Late HOT TAKES


As usual, I'll start with apologies because I'm late.  I'm gearing up for an album recording (Wed July 26th at The Duplex--all info on my website, and it's a bit of a sprint right now.  This Monday I'll be watching live then recording The Fantasy Suite podcast with my wonderful pal Dava Krause, so I promise I'll do better!

This will be a quick post because Monday night's episode is old news and was quite predictable--the two guys who were sent home were the two guys who have inspired me to scream "HOW ARE THOSE BOZOS STILL HERE?" at my television repeatedly.

The remaining 6 guys and men fly across a cartoon map to Geneva, Switzerland--home of the United Nations, a big water spraying thing, lots of mountains and quaint buildings, and a giant, red chair.  The six boys roam the streets of Geneva with SUCH enthusiasm it felt like watching a boy band film some B roll of them being excited to be young and alive.

The guys sit around their hotel suite (after the requisite move of jumping on the bed WHICH MAKES ME CRAZ--people, have you never seen a fucking BED before? Get it together!) and Rachel arrives in all white and looking sharp.  She informs the guys that this week (the week before HOMETOWNS OMG OMG OMG) there will be three 1:1s and a group date.  She wastes no time on her first 1:1 and asks Bryan to head out with her.

We all know how this played out--they went to a watch store and did a Reverse Pretty Woman, with Rachel buying Bryan a VERY expensive watch and Bryan repaying her in sex (or at least, in an intense kiss inside the shop), then rode on a boat, had a picnic, ALL events while drinking.  That night they get dressed up (Rachel in another white ensemble and did you notice that she wore a TON of white throughout this episode) and over "dinner" (draaaanxxxx), Rachel tries to get a sense of Bryan's upbringing, childhood, family, but he deftly changes the subject to--how weird was this--Rachel's schoolgirl days.  It was bizarre.  There's something I don't like about him and some guys back in the hotel agree with me.  His complete confidence and suaveness since day 1 weird me out.  We'll see. He gets a rose so Rachel will definitely be visiting his crew in Miami.

Dean scores the next 1:1 date and wow how the mighty have fallen!  Dean, I hated you at the start of the season (too young, teeth too big and white), then I LOVED you (calling 'em like you see 'em, seeming perceptive) but now I hate you again (constantly laughing, never answering real questions).  The couples attends a Catholic mass in French, enjoys coffee hour, then wanders around Geneva and Dean claims it resembles Aspen, which makes me think that Dean has never been to Aspen.  Dean evades questions but finally over "dinner" Dean reveals that not only did his mother's death irreparably fracture his family, his father has become an "eccentric" so he's nervous to bring Rachel into that situation.  Yikes.  In past seasons, I think I recall there being a "hometown" visit that took place at the participant's apartment and was siblings coming over for dinner--am I remembering wrong?  From the previews it looks like Dean's father is INDEED an eccentric and now I feel bad for him because I'd imagine that the producers were LOVING the idea of getting footage of a bearded weirdo shut-in.  Yikes.  Dean gets a rose, so get ready for a peek into

Third 1:1 date goes to America's second father gap tooth (second to Rachel, of course), Peter.  They take a helicopter into the alps, ride on a dogsled (talk about snow to the FACE), then have a painful picnic in the frozen, windy tundra.  There had been teasers that Peter might say he's not ready to take Rachel home or he might opt out, but that was tricky editing and Peter's in it, but still VERY pragmatic and serious.  Peter gets a rose so soon we'll learn if everyone in his family also has a gap in their front teeth.

In between all these date we see THE MOST prompted, stilted conversations between the remaining guys.  Wow these guys are NOT actors.

The 1:1 is Adam, Matt, and Eric and FINALLY we say goodbye to Adam and Matt.  I suppose that some dead weight inevitably hangs around EVERY season, just by the nature of the show, but WOW these two had such DUMB LUCK to make it as far as they did.  They both seemed FINE, mind you, but not like they had any real, romantic connection with Rachel.

But how did it go down?

The crew hopped on a boat to France to sit outside a beautiful chateau and drink, freeze.  In her 1:1 time with Matt, Rachel told him that he reminds her of herself (sweet), cried a LOT, then put him in a car to drive home.  Oh man you got rejected in FRANCE but all your stuff is in SWITZERLAND! Ha! I hope you brought your passport on this date or else you'll be stuck in limbo at the Paris airport for the rest of your days, man!  He's very kind to Rachel as he leaves and now he can get back to his passion--working as a Burt Reynolds look-alike.

That night, Eric, Adam, and Rachel get all dressed up (Rachel in a black cape and beneath it a beautiful, sleeveless black dress with a neckline that resembles a necklace--so gorgeous) and sit down to a 3 person dinner like a class episode of ElimiDate.

Rachel's talk with Adam is light and fun, with Eric is mores serious and intense.  The producers give us a rare, very REAL moment on-screen, with Eric talking about his formative years in Baltimore and witnessing crime, poverty, broken homes, drug dealing, abuse, incarceration.  Props to the producers for not shying away from some heavy topics.

Rachel is torn and I said to my roommate, "she's going to pick the easy-breezy guy--Eric was too intense" but Rachel impressed me HUGELY when she went with Eric! Way to go, girl!  Her relationship with Adam just wasn't quite there--I just wasn't sure that SHE was ready to admit that.  Adam hops in a car and whines that if she had met Mama Jean and Papa Jean (do his parents truly have the same name? Or is it Jean and Gene?), she would have been sold on him.  But dude, Rachel is looking for a MAN to marry--not a set of in-laws to marry closer to.

So hometowns will be Bryan (bienvenidos a Miami!), Dean (do NOT join this guy's cult--seriously), Peter (I'm betting on some SERIOUS parents who created this SERIOUS guy), and Eric (Baltimore--will both of his parents show up?).  From the previews, it looks like Rachel's family is NOT going to fly to paradise in order to meet the final 2, but rather the final 2 will come to THEM (and it seems that Bryan will definitely be in that final 2).  I love that--they participate on their own terms.

See you next week!