Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bachelorette Jojo: SEASON PREMIERE!

Monday night was the night that Bachelor Nation has been waiting for since we received the thrilling news that the next Bachelorette would be beautiful Jojo (over boring Caila)---the season premier of The Bachelorette featuring Jojo and the Boyz.  This season the Marketing staff got a friggin’ clue (after the mess that was “the perfect Ben” ad campaign last season) and are using the Demi Lovato song “Confident” as their signature jam. Hell yes!

In the premiere, Jojo showed us just how confident she is---encouraging the guys to RELAX (yes yes yes girl, gaslight these beefcakes!), repeatedly saying that they’re going to have so much fun, and making some decisive calls (sorry, Coley with the weird shaped head). 

The episode opened up with a montage of reminders about what lead Jojo to this—a shot of Ben telling Jojo that he loves her while they sit in a sit in a waterfall, then a shot of Ben telling Jojo that he loves somebody else more while they stand on a platform above a brook.  Heartbreak and assorted waterways don’t mix.  But Jojo has learned a lot, she’s grateful for that experience, and now it’s her turn! 

Who better to advise her than 3 ladies who have been through this gauntlet before: Ali Fedetowsky (who has somehow become an Instagram “celebrity” from what I can tell and yes, I follow her Instagram (but hey, I also follow LukePerryDaily and an IG account is random pictures from 2009, so my taste is horrible)), Desiree (snooze), and Kaitlyn (HOLY BRONZER OVERLOAD WHAT WAS GOING ON THERE?). They give her the obvious advice—think about compatibility, take a step back every so often, don’t fuck Nick Vialli, and put the guys you like first on the back burner. Desiree tells Jojo that this is “one of the hardest things you’ll do, but one of the most rewarding.” REALLY?  Is this an 8 week vacation of tonsil hockey with assorted hotties or is this Teach for America?

Before we know it, Jojo is getting dolled up for the suitors arrivals and standing outside the Bachelor Manse, ready to meet her fate.  We all know that I generally HATE any flesh toned clothing (no matter what your flesh tone), but I must say that I LOVED Jojo’s dress.  Fantastic sparkles, great neckline, flattering mermaid cut—all good, all around. 

Then it was time to, as Jojo said, “bring on the men!” And so we met…

-Jordan, former professional football player who is a HOTTIE. Wow. He makes a great impression on Jojo throughout the night and they have instant chemistry.
-Derek, commercial banker with big ears, no tie. No thank you.
-Grant, 28, firefighter from San Fran who is HOT, but probably shouldn’t have lead with last season’s Ben “I love you”-gate. 
-James F., boxing club owner in a black suit, red tie. His outfit is a lil bit 1990s Mafioso but I can dig it. I like this one--he seems funny and smart. 
-Robby, 27, Floridian former competitive swimmer who rolls up with a bottle of wine for them to drink and Jojo makes a great joke about her mother.
-Alex, 25, tiny U.S. Marine guy who is hot, but whose suit is much too small. Did anyone else notice it? Jacket was about to bust off of him and the pants were very short—no thank you.
-Will, Jersey City, NJ, 26, who gets out of the limo with notecards (lines?) and they are out of order and he does an overwrought bit about mixing up the order and saying something funny. Stop trying to hard, Will.
-Chad, luxury real estate agent from Tulsa OK who is WAY TOO MUCH TOO SOON. He intertwines his fingers with Jojo and is much too physical. Get some boundaries, kid.
-Daniel, 31, Canada. Another dark suit, dark tie, which is a pretty severe look. He says “Damn Jojo, back at it again as the next Bachelorette” and somehow expects her to know that it’s based on a quote from a video that went viral for about 3 days back in the spring. Don’t you realize that when that video was going viral, Jojo was busy at the gym getting in friggin’ SHAPE for this season?  
-Ali, 27, Persian piano player who has a sort of rumpled look about him, but mama likes it.
-James Taylor, 27, a singer-songwriter who OPTS TO GO BY JAMES TAYLOR even though there’s already a PREEEETTY successful singer-songwriter named James Taylor on the scene. Anyone with half a brain would go by Jim or James T. or maybe his middle name, but not JAMES TAYLOR! I hate this guy already. Also, please stop serenading everyone in the house—it’s tedious as hell.
-Jonathan, 27, Canadian dude who is half Chinese, half Scottish and rolls up in a suit jacket and kilt then makes a joke about penis size. Yikes!
-Santa – who knows who this guy is, but I think his name is Nick and apparently he needed to sweat off some weight because he kept that damn Santa suit and beard on ALL NIGHT LONG (all night). 
-Chase, 27, Colorado, medical sales guy who wore sunglasses with a moustache attached and made pun jokes (the worst). He revealed himself to be hot later, though, so I like him, because looks are all I care about.
-Jake, 27, landscape architect from CA – didn’t leave much of an impression.
-Sal, FL, 28, gives her blue balls and makes a blue balls joke. Eww.
-Coley, 27, Chicago. When you have a misshapen head, maybe DON’T slick your hair back to highlight how pointy it is, mmmK?
-Brandon, 28, “hipster” (don’t you mean “rich kid”?) from LA. Long, floppy hair and a blasé attitude, but at least he’s familiar with the “Damn Daniel” viral video, so there’s that.
-James S., 27, Bachelor Superfan from Arizona who resembles Mr. Potato Head wearing white eyeliner (sorry so harsh but I AM CORRECT IN THIS APPRAISAL, AM I NOT?).
-Nick S., 26, San Fran, light suit, made ZERO impression.
-Vinny, a walking stereotype: he’s 28, a DJ, and lives in Florida. OF COURSE HE IS ALL OF THESE THINGS AND ALSO NAMED VINNY!!!!
-Peter, 26, light suit, gives her a stuffed heart, makes no impression at all.
-Evan, 33, Erectile Dysfunction Doctor (seriously) who says “God bless America” upon seeing Jojo. Maybe calm it down a smidge, guy?
-Wells, 31, radio DJ who says “you are so out of my league it’s ridiculous” which is cute, but not especially appealing to hear, then he pulls the singing group All-4-One out of his limo (have they been back there all these years? Also, why are they using a numeral and a spelled out number in their name? Consistency is key! Who owns their band Style Guide? Ugh I'm such an Editor). They serenade Jojo with their hit “I Swear.” A strange moment, but Wells seems like a unique, cool dude.
-Christian, 26, telecom consultant with a great smile drives in on a motorcycle. Not too shabby.
-Luke, 31, war veteran from small town TX trots up on a horse (or rather, a unicorn). Later on, as the guys are saying how cool and pretty Jojo is, Luke says “she’s in the unicorn section—not crazy and hot.” WOW I HATE YOU. Blerg. There’s nothing more tired than the trope that “bitches be crazy!” and I was disappointed to hear Luke say that. We’ll see if he can redeem himself.

And those are her suitors!  Jojo enters the house for a cocktail party and tiny Alex swoops her away for some push ups and alone time. Jordan makes great use of his 1:1 time, offering Jojo his suit jacket (I am a feminist but goddamn I love shit like that!). Jojo spars with James F., the boxing club owner (who my podcast co-host and I have decided looks like The Count from Sesame Street, but like, a hot Count).  Will makes a paper Cooty Catcher (remember those from 5th grade?) that ends in Jojo being obligated to kiss him and they have the most chaste, awkward kiss I’ve seen since Juan Pablo and Sharleen.

During the cocktail party excitement, we get a better sense of what the guys are like, as Chad lives up to his name (sorry, Chad I dated briefly in HS) by mocking every single guy there and bragging about being emotionless; Daniel pokes Evan in the belly button, strips down, then dives into the pool; Nick S. disrupts Jojo’s interview with super drunken antics; and Luke gives her a gift of cowboy boots.  The first impression rose goes to Jordan, predictably, and the couple shares a hot kiss. Ali plays the piano for Jojo, James Taylor makes a good impression on her, against all odds, and before we know it, it’s rose ceremony time (probably 5:00 am or so). 

BUT WAIT, a limo is pulling up and a guy in a suit wants to interrupt the rose ceremony—who can it be now?

Jake “on the wings of love” Pavelka, the dolt of a former Bachelor who chose the most hated participant of his season—Vienna. He shows up because he’s family friends with Jojo and like a brother to her and for a moment, Bachelor Nation wonders if this big brother is trying to get into her dating pool (eww), but no, big bro is there to share his GEMS of advice: stay open, don’t zero in, and don’t put your walls up. Wow Jake, thanks so much for that advice.  (ASIDE: Jake seems like a star fucker/attention whore for sure, but I’ll admit that it seems like he’s able to laugh at himself a bit, which I find refreshing. He had a brief cameo in a comedy show I saw recently—was it BurningLove, the fake Bachelor show?—and he was really funny and cool about it. )

OK, it’s FINALLY time for the most important flower these losers will ever receive.  Jordan “my brother is Green Bay QB Aaron Rogers and it’s hard for me to deal with his success” Rogers already has the first impression rose, so he’s safe (and extremely handsome and appealing). 

Who gets roses from Jojo next?

-Luke – silent cowboy
-Wells – CUTIE who has a very different energy about him and might be a sort of Nick V. character (minus the desperation)
-James Taylor – I aint down on Copperline, but Jojo is
-Grant – hot firefighter yesssss
-Derek – corny dude with big ears (won’t last long)
-Christian – smiley hottie who addressed his biracial heritage head-on and it was a refreshing moment for the Bachelor franchise
-Chad – ugh. This guy. You can already tell that Producers are keeping him around to stir the pot. In his conversation with Jojo he said that it’s hard to find girls who are confident and comfortable with themselves and I HATE that kind of talk. Sorry that you are surrounding yourself with shitty people—don’t blame WOMEN in general. Good luck, asshole—you’ll need it.
-Chase – Colorado hottie with good hair (facial and head)
-Alex – tiny military man. Let’s hope he has some larger suits packed.  
-Robby – congratulations, Blonde Will Forte
-Brandon – the floppy haired hipster made it through and I hope he packed some sunscreen! 
-James F. – Boxing Gym owner/Hot Count

This season has some serious look-alikes
-Ali – handsome piano player who seems very nice
-Santa – ugh, who IS that guy?
-Will – I guess Jojo is a sucker for Cootie Catchers and bad kissers
-James S. – Bachelor Superfan gets to move into the house. Enjoy these next 2 weeks, buddy.  
-Vinny – slimy DJ who literally said “I’m a good judgment of character.” Keep on telling yourself that, Vin. And here’s hoping that your buddy Pauly can cover you on the 1s and 2s while you’re in LA getting famous on TV.
-Evan – very expressive floppy haired nerd who exclaimed “I got one” after getting a rose. I understand that you’re happy and I don’t mean to Emotion Shame you, but get it together.
-Daniel – DAMN DANIEL! The drunk Canadian moron gets a rose!? That struck me as a power move to make the rejects feel like REAL crap. 

So who is heading home and most likely pleading with his boss to get his old job back?
-Jonathan the kilt wearing hottie. A few idiots in the house took issue with his kilt and I was thinking, do they not know that a jacket and a kilt is traditional formalwear? My friggin’ uncle wears one to all our family weddings—get a clue, boys!
-Coley the weird shaped head guy. Maybe wear a hat on the first date next time?
-Peter in the light suit who we barely knew anything about.
-Nick S. also in a light suit who was much too drunk.
-Jake, who we learned less-than-nothing about.

And now our journey begins. Based on the previews, it looks like Chad is going to terrorize the entire house, Jordan is going to have a target on his back, Robby will keep up his Will Forte impression and MAY have a girlfriend, and there will be tears.  HERE WE GO!!

(As always, I'll be recapping here and my pal Dava Krauss and I will be talking about every episode on our podcast, The Fantasy Suite.) 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bachelor Ben H. Finale: Ben Regrets Nothing

Last night’s episode of The Bachelor was introduced by Bachelor Nation President (no term limits!) Chris Harrison as “the most dramatic finale EVER” and sure, he’s legally required to say that phrase 10 times per season, but I’ll contend that Bachelor Ben’s finale lived up to the hype.  We had a “disturbed” mother, even more family where that came from, lots of tears, a bathroom floor confessional, and, of course, a proposal on bended knee. 

The episode kicked off back in the Bachelor studio with Chris Harrison introducing the episode and showing us that Ben’s pastor was in the house (and presumably ready to marry the final couple after he was done paging through his Bible), plus both Lauren’s entire family and Jojo’s parents. Did anyone pause right there? I had Lauren to be the last woman standing most of the season, but the fact that her ENTIRE family showed up and just Jojo’s parents? That’s a bit of a giveaway, huh?

A battle for the ages: blonde vs. brunette
But first, we must go back to the final proposal/heartbreak.  Lauren is still walking like she just got off a horse and she and Jojo are both dressed like Whitesnake groupies roaming around Jamaica and wondering if the man who said “I love you” actually does.  Ben is torn and terrified and his parents’ input doesn’t help at all. Ben’s mother is “disturbed” that Ben loves 2 women, but put your outrage on hold, Mama Bear, Lauren’s here with flowers and wine!

Amy and Dave (the rentals) are excited to meet Lauren and she conducts herself with a calm, graceful demeanor as she shares her love of Ben and calls him “seemingly perfect” which KILLS with Mama Bear Amy (note: Lauren and Ben’s mom held hands during that convo, which seemed intense). Amy talks about the tough times of marriage, which I found to be a refreshing balance to the fantasy environment of the show.  Lauren and Ben sit on the steps to say goodbye alone and she says “I’m in love with you” like she’s announcing a Bingo game, then reminds him that she’s only getting married once and she wants to be part of the Higgins family.

The next day Jojo arrives in a patterned jumper carrying a small horn of plenty filled with flowers (very odd) and shaking from nerves (poor thing).  She comments to Amy that she’s extremely nervous, to which Mama Bear Amy responds, “we’re not scary people” which felt sort of negating to me, but perhaps I’ve been reading too many self help books and spent too many years in the improvisation world of “yes and”?  Jojo and Ben trot out their courtship stories and Jojo definitely makes an impact on Ben’s parents with her enthusiasm and love for Ben. Amy event says that with jojo “it did feel different” but ultimately, the parents love both girls (and who wouldn’t?).   Ben just still doesn’t know who to plant his stake with.

Then we transition back to the studio and Chris Harrison says “he’s got himself into a bit of trouble, right?” which sounded like a line straight out of The Dukes of Hazzard. 

Then it’s time for final dates and Lauren gets a catamaran ride with Ben during which they cuddle and say “I love you” numerous times.  Bachelor Producers try to mislead us by inserting clips of Ben saying that perhaps things between them are “too good to be true” and editing final date footage to look a bit boring and stale.  That night they dress up and talk by candlelight (“You look great” “You look great”) and Ben tells Lauren that he’s confused and “no matter what happens, you’ve made me a better person” which sounded like a friggin’ breakup speech!  If I were Lauren, I would have been crushed (but psyched to have such great hair and a nice bum).  They say goodbye and Lauren, ever the strong steady, tears up and says that, “if tonight were the last time that I heard Ben say he loved me, I don’t really know what I would do.”

Then it’s time for Jojo and Ben’s final date and, unlike Lauren, Jojo has truly jumped in completely (both literally and figuratively) while Lauren has wisely played things a bit cooler, but much of that is simply your personality and you can’t stop being who you are. If I were on that show, I wouldn’t be as measured as Lauren—I’d be more like Jojo (and pray for her killer curls). 

Jojo and Ben drive to a literal blue lagoon (it’s more than just a Brooke Shields flick circa 1980, apparently), strip down to their swimsuits, and jump right in. As we saw last time, Jojo’s hair is immediately tangled and wet and her make-up is gone and if I were jumping from that rope in Jamaica (is my Tuesday morning quarterbacking super obnoxious or absolutely delightful?), I would do one of those Lifeguard-style stride jumps to keep my head from going under.

As the waterfall screams behind them, Jojo and Ben talk about what they would do next—Denver or Dallas? Jojo never gets any answer on that, but says that she has faith in Ben and trusts him, to which Ben responds, uninspiringly, that he loves her but his mind is in 1,000 different places. 
My mind is in 1,000 different places... and so are my bowl movements (I have diarrhea). 
That night Jojo pulls out the hail mary pass of rompers and shows some serious cleavage as she and Ben discuss what is going on between them and what doubts Ben may have.  They retire to the bathroom and have a teary-eyed heart-to-heart on the bathroom floor (off camera, but still mic-ed) during which Jojo seems crestfallen that Ben loves Lauren, also, and has told her such.  The tile commercial ends with Jojo saying that she feels foolish and expressing that she didn’t realize that Ben had dropped the L bomb to anyone else (Lauren).  Oh girl.

Ummmm hi--may I remind you of how damn hot I am, Ben?

The next day Ben wakes up and before we know it, Neil Lane is here with a case full of blood diamonds, ready to be the transition into a flashback montage of the ladies.  Ben finally says that he has made a decision, picks a diamond (square diamond with step stones up to it), and gets suited up. 

The ladies are prepping, also: Lauren in a royal blue, floor length dress (great pick) and hair down and Jojo in a surprisingly bad choice—a super pageant-y, light pink gown covered in sequins, hair down.  Oh Jojo, every dress you picked was better than the last up until this final rose ceremony—where did it all go so wrong?

The ladies hop in their helicopters and head to the site and, as any lifelong Bachelor fan knows, the first to arrive is the one being sent home brokenhearted.  We see a shot of silver heels emerging from the helicopter and they are soon followed by a sparkly, pink grown.  Oh Jojo, I’m sorry, girl (but your big brothers are sorrier, no doubt). 

Jojo walks across the bridge to Ben and delivers a sweet speech about her love for Ben as he stares at her with an absolutely blank facial expression.  Once she is done, Ben launches in on his part about how he was unsure at first and he didn’t know if he could find love, but he found it with Jojo, but he found it with somebody else more. Ooooouch.

Jojo tries to breathe and hold it together while I was tempted to crank this song:

Jojo exits gracefully, saying that she feels blindsided and confused and scolding him for telling her that he loved her.  They hug goodbye and Jojo hops in the limo, saying “I just want he kind of love that I can count on.”  Oh girl, don’t we all.  I feel you. 

Ben goes back to his spot and calls Lauren’s father to ask for Lauren’s hand in marriage. Listen, I get that this is tradition and some fathers think that it’s really noble and honorable to do that, but may I remind everyone that it completely ignores the MOTHER? If you want to show your respect for a woman’s family and be sure that they’re OK with you joining that family, then please please PLEASE ask BOTH parents. Presumably BOTH parents raised her and BOTH parents put up with a lot—let’s not forget out mothers, OK?   (This is also why I love the Jewish tradition of BOTH parents walking a bride down the aisle.)  I’ll get off my soapbox, but Lauren’s father is thrilled and gives his blessing, which prompts Ben to shriek like a tool. 

Lauren arrives and tells Ben that their first kiss was her “last first kiss” and “you are my person.”  Ben responds that this has been a journey full of goodbyes and he never want to say goodbye to her, then he gets on bended knee and proposes.  Lauren is laughing and clutching her mouth, then Ben hands her the final rose and they immediately start dropping the “f bomb” (fiancée—a word that will forever give me dumb chills). 

Hour 3 of the Bachelor Finale extravaganza takes us back to the studio where Chris Harrison interviews Ben and asks Ben if he regrets anything.  Ben responds that he can’t live in a state of regret, which is a really easy thing to say when YOUR heart wasn’t broken and YOU got what YOU wanted no matter the emotional cost to others. 

We have the standard parade of people—the jilted ex (Jojo) looking AMAZING in a black dress with strategic cut outs and just the right amount of bronzer (a lot).  Chris Harrison thrills Bachelor Nation by announcing JOJO as the next Bachelorette (Halleluiah!) and Jojo and Ben have a friendly conversation about their breakup. 

Lauren comes out and she and Ben cuddle and talk about what life has been like since the show and then all of their family and Ben’s pastor (DENNY!) join them onstage for a giant hug off. Lauren’s sister rocks a weird circus style red dress and Ben’s mother is serving Hillary Clinton circa 1993 realness in a maroon dress with shoulder cut outs (remember when that was SO popular?). 

Chris Harrison bids us adieu promising, I think, a new season of The Bachelorette (starring JOJO!) in May (that’s pretty damn quick, no?) and Bachelor In Paradise this summer and the Bachelor Train keeps rolling on!

To hear me yammer about this solo (because my sweet co-host was having bedtime problems with her sweet baby who was as emotional about the finale as Jojo was), listen to The Fantasy Suite here.

Thanks so much for reading, lovebugs! I really appreciate it and I’ll be back in May to make jokes about the lunks who line up to date the gorgeous, wonderful Jojo!  xo 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Bachelor Ben H. Ep 10: The Women Tell All

Monday night Chris Harrison wore many hats: cheerleading squad for Jubilee and Lace, mediator in a few tense conversations, and shameless journalist who is itching for an ugly cry. It was the episode that promises closure, but in reality probably opens up a world of hurt feelings and unresolved issues: THE WOMEN TELL ALL.

The episode kicked off with clips of Bachelor Ben and Bachelor Nation President Chris crashing Bachelor viewing parties and these fans are the real thing.  There were #hometown onesies, fantasy league scoreboards, decorated cakes, grandmothers, and—of course—roses.  Chris Harrison was feeling the love, saying that the fans are “like fuel” and they “blow up your world.”  Wait, is that what Lace’s tattoo says? I can’t quite remember.

Actual photo of Bachelor fans 
Then it’s time for the good part: when a dozen relevant cast-offs get DONE UP and look better than they have ever looked because they know this is their last moment in the limelight. Though a few of the ladies’ ideas of “super dolled up” weren’t so appealing to me and yes, I’m talking to you, Olivia. Who was there?

-Lace: Oh sweet, simple, inspirational tattooed Lace. She has some good highlights and a cute, white dress.
-Tiara: The girl who brought the chicken. You’re tiresome and you haven’t even said 3 words, but I like your big hair and white separates.
-Amber: Looking good, though I still think she’s bad news after she went after Jubilee. She’s rocking a bold lip, bright eye make-up and cleavage out.
-Jami: Her twin (not really, but kinda) in a yellow dress, tits out.
-Izzy: Who? Who cares.
-Rachel: Who? Is there an own here or just an assortment of blah brunettes who failed to make any sort of impression?
-Jubilee: Looking good in a blush, flowing gown and red lip.
-Shushanna: The Russian whose curls and highlights are absolute perfection.
-Lauren H.: Sure, she has good hair (still), but she also has a grating accent a mild case of racism/classism methinks.
-Olivia: WHO IS YOUR STYLIST? She’s rocking flat, blah hair with an odd bend in it, raccoon eyes, a bare lip (NO NO NO), and a bland white jumper. No thank you!
-Leah: DO YOU HAVE THE SAME STYLIST? Ladies, your shared stylist is trying to ruin you both! Leah is rocking a brown lip (I loved Melrose Place, too, girl, but come on), maybe lip injections on the top lip (anyone?), and a blah tan dress.
-Becca: She may have half shut eyes that remind me of Janice from the Muppet Band, but we share a love of sparkles and the color gunmetal, so I love her.
-Haley and Emily: The Vegas twins looks like Vegas twins.
-Amanda: Mama is looking good in a red, lace dress despite her cold.
-Caila: She has looked better and I wish she’d worn a brighter lip, but her black jumper is cute.

They kick things off with a montage of all the terrible things that they did and that were said about them as if to say, “Ladies, are you going to let her disrespect you like that?” and get the talons out.

Hi, I'm another pretty but forgettable brunette. Don't you remember me? 

Leah defends her bizarre anti-Lauren move saying that she heard that Lauren said a comment that the girls were “losers” for being upset about something or other (really detailed, reliable story there, Leah—I totally believe that that happened) and then insist that she didn’t “intentionally lie, though” despite the fact that there’s a videotape of her intentionally lying (though). 

The conversation is repeatedly disrupted by that stupid chicken, which some people found funny and odd, but I just found hella tiresome.  Then again, I’m a disgruntled old man who wants everyone to get off my lawn trapped in the body of a smoking hot fox, so I find everything tiresome. 

Jubilee (who is black, or as she says “full black”) has a tense stand off with Amber and Jami (who are both biracial) when they say that her repeated comments about being “real black” and “full black” were offensive to them and Shushanna backs them up by saying she heard it, too. The conversation continues after the break with Jubilee sitting down with Chris Harrison (after Leah chimes in to “get over it” and GIRL I wish you’d just shut up—I used to support you before you turned into a nightmare).

Jubilee and Chris have a touching conversation (and I mean that truly) about her heartbreaking family history and the trauma she has endured.  She says that she’s complicated and that she overthinks things to the point of self destruction and it certainly seems that she does, but hey Jubes, just as they say in GI Joe (which is a poor imitation of actual military people like you), knowing is half the battle.  I nearly got choked up when Chris Harrison ended her segment saying, “you might be complicated, but I hope you realize you’re a pretty special woman.” Oh Chris, may you lead Bachelor Nation until the end of time!

Lace hops in the hot seat and says that she’s working on herself more, trying to avoid the word “crazy,” and listen to people.  Good calls all around. As she’s talking, a random guy (seemingly from the crew) interrupts Lace in a moment straight out of an unrealistic romantic comedy that we were all force fed during our adolescence and gave us completely unrealistic expectations of what dating and romance would be like as adults and shouts that that she’s crazy… crazy beautiful, then he pulls up his shirt to reveal a tattoo of her face on his torso. 

Check that Lace tat!

It’s during this crucial juncture that Chris Harrison informs Bachelor Nation that this summer, Bachelor In Paradise will be back!  Huzzah! Apparently Lace will be the token kookoo bird and I just pray that sweetheart bartender comes back!

Olivia and her unflattering hairdo get in the hot seat and says that the show was hard to watch because she didn’t realize quite how much everyone hated her and she felt that no one quite “got” her.  Olivia claims that she “owns up” to the thinks she did wrong and that “we all did things we regret” which makes a bunch of the ladies laugh out loud.

ASIDE: I hate it when people say stuff like that—comments that assume that, hey, everyone is an unadulterated, selfish, horrifying sociopath at certain points, right? NO. Not everyone is. I remember back during my college sorority days, some girls would hook up with another girl’s ex-BF or current crush and say, “hey, we all do it—our sorority is so big—it’s just bound to happen.” No it’s not. YOU CHOOSE YOUR CHOICES. I somehow NEVER hooked up with a friend’s crush or ex-BF, so we don’t just ALL DO IT, OK? And same with Olivia—I doubt that many of the other women (save for Lace and Jubilee, maybe) did or said things they regret.  Most of the women there conducted themselves well and didn’t bring shame upon their families, so don’t generalize to serve your own ego.


Olivia apologizes to Amanda for calling her “Teen Mom” and saying that men should run away from single mothers (yikes) then previously boring Jennifer says that Olivia acted like the women in the house were airheads, but if she had gotten to know them or asked them questions she would have learned that they also like to “talk smart things.”  Olivia’s closing Hail Mary pass is that she was severely bullied as a child and that the house dynamics brought her back to those sad times and made it hard for her to socialize. I have a lot of sympathy for that, truly, but I’m not sure if I believe her.  Random drop-in Izzy makes a cogent point, saying that if Olivia HAS been through “the bullying thing” (there are better ways to phrase that, girl), then you should have learned and perhaps had more sympathy for her bunkmates. 

Olivia says that she doesn’t look at social media anymore because it’s so hurtful and prompts a really interesting conversation that breaks the fourth wall of “reality TV.” She apologies profusely, says that there’s no way of knowing how to do this, and she didn’t do it right but she learned. Way to go, girl.  Now if I may make a recommendation: big hair is much more flatting on you, Olivia. Go now in peace.

Then Caila gets to watch herself get dumped in front of a studio audience while wearing a very plain lipcolor.  She watches clips of Ben calling her a “sex panther” (and members of the studio audience are wearing homemade “SEX PANTHER” shirts) and them sitting on that bench in her hometown (that you KNOW will come up in her season as The Bachelorette—oh yes, did you hear the news? I’m NOT excited, but I will probably watch because this is an addiction and I surrender control).  She’s still blue over the breakup but after watching Ben and Jojo and Ben and Lauren, she sees how he looks at them and she wants THAT (which is a perfect sound bite to launch her journey to find love as The Bachelorette, aint it?).

Finally, Ben comes out and speaks with a few of the ladies to answer their questions and give them “closure,” but a few of those conversations seemed like that bad move you make when you and your ex agree to meet for drinks a few months after the breakup “for closure” or “to catch up” but you both know damn well it’s just so that you can look good in front of him and be like, “LIFE IS GOOD! Everthing’s coming up roses! But maybe we should make out in the coat room—wouldn’t that be funny and fun? Just for old time’s sake? What, no? You don’t want to do that? OK that’s fine. I’m doing great, so I don’t need your validation at all—am I drunk? No I’m not DRUNK, Jared. I’m FINE. I just wanted to meet up with you and catch up because I care about you, but I’m completely MOVING ON—can’t you tell by these new heels I’m wearing and this slimming dress that’s sort of similar to your favorite dress of mine but even TIGHTER? Hahah! I’m great!  All is well! WHY DID YOU FUCKING DUMP ME?”

ABC serves up some delicious Bachelor bloopers, Chris Harrison says that Ben belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Bachelor Nation history, and we watch a finale sneak peak in which Ben’s mom says that she’s “disturbed” that he’s in love with two women.

Next Monday is the 3 hour live event and I’m placing my bets now: Ben will propose to Lauren and Jojo’s brothers will be out for blood. What do you think? Who's going home broken hearted?

ALSO, if you want to hear me and my wonderful neighbor/fellow comedian Dava Krauss chat about this episode (and every episode) subscribe to our podcast, The Fantasty Suite here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Bachelor Ben H. Ep 9: Fantasy Suite Nights

Last night’s Bachelor was the infamous fantasy suite episode—the night when Chris Harrison bizarrely invites the bachelor +  his lady of the night (three total!) to “forego their individual rooms” and stay as a couple in the fantasy suite. Most members of Bachelor Nation can recite that fantasy suite card text like 3rd graders can recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ben is in beautiful Jamaica, a country I have visited twice and I absolutely adore. Ben wanders the gorgeous vistas of Bob Marley’s homeland saying, “Jamaica has a freedom to it” which is ironic since Jamaica only gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962. But enough about Jamaica’s pathway to freedom from Spanish and British rule and its history of slavery crossed with indentured servitude followed by a hard fought emancipation—Ben Higgins has come all the way from Warsaw, Indiana to GET LAID!

We’re down to Caila, Lauren, and Jojo and Ben roams around Jamaica in a pink button down shirt summarizing his feelings on each of them.

Caila arrived on that first night in a sparkly dress and jumped directly into Ben’s arms, setting the tone for her puppy dog-like antics for the rest of the season. Caila is beautiful, smiley, and bubbly and Ben likes it, but will she ever join him in his favorite hobby—crying?

Lauren makes Ben feel like he has a schoolboy crush and seemed like love at first sight to Ben, but is it too good to be true? Is she holding back on Ben?

Jojo is goofy like Ben (at least he seems to think he’s goofy, but I’m not sure I see it) and he feels like himself with her, but her brothers are walking nightmares and the hometown date “added confusion,” as Ben tactfully puts it.

The producers show us the ladies in their Jamaican hotel rooms and we endure SO MANY SHOTS of them staring out the water, staring out windows, staring off while sipping tea, taking deep breaths, and walking around in sexy robes. Life, huh?

Caila is first at bat and she’s wearing daisy dukes and a bikini top-style shirt for their daytime date cruising on a lazy river. The energy is awkward and a bit tense, as Caila feels weird post-hometown and with 2 other girls still in the running. They hop off their raft at a jerk chicken shack where they sip coconuts while Caila admits that she’s overthinking things and doesn’t want to ruin the mood by being the heavy. Ben remarks that it feels weird and Caila is very melancholy and wow, it seems like there is no room for error with that guy, ya know?

That night they dress up and Caila’s black separates are sublime. They sit on a couch directly behind a bonfire and surrounded by tiki torches and I am stunned that they didn’t melt. Ben dives right in and says that today was weird and she’s usually bubbly and communicative and Caila says that she’s glad he called her out (GLAD? ugh) and that post-hometowns she’s very scared and nervous because it’s very real now. She says that she has doubted every other relationship she has ever had (hear that, ex-boyfriends! EAT IT!) but with Ben, it feels right all the  time and she continues making bullet points about him that sound like dialogue, then she closes with “I’m in love with you.” Ben grabs her and kisses her, but doesn’t say it back (per The Bachelor rules) and they read the fantasy suite card together. They strip down to their swimsuits (and Caila’s swimsuit is TINY, also when did I become an old nun?), make out while fireworks go off, and then retire to the fantasy suite. 

The next morning they say “good morning” to one another about a dozen times, then sit on the patio as Caila says “love ya” way too many times.

But don’t bask in the afterglow of night 1 of humps too long, Benny boy—you’ve got another date! And it’s with the woman who you’re obviously going to marry, Lauren!

Lauren meets Ben and somehow she has constructed the most unflattering outfit of all time—ill fitting daisy dukes, a tank top made of sweater material, and a bikini underneath. They take a boat to Gibraltar Beach where they release a nest of baby sea turtles and Lauren says that this is “one of my dreams” (to open up an underground nest of tiny sea turtles? Really? I guess my dreams just aren’t specific enough). After their conservation efforts, they sit down on a tapestry and each says that the other is too good for him or her and I guess that’s cute, but also, please shut up.  They strip down to their swimsuits and another TINY bikini is in play and I wonder, do all these ladies have tiny bums? My badonkadonk just needs more coverage—is that too much to say?  Have I just alienated my small-rumped readers?

That night they attend a reggae concert (as Lauren rocks fierce peach separates) then sit down to dinner where Lauren describes Ben as “legitimately the man of my dreams” (legitimately? Seriously? Literally?) before they read the date card and opt to head into the fantasy suite.  Lauren says that she’s excited for alone time with Ben to “just be us and do us” and that she’s ready to “open up” and OMG WE GET IT! You won’t be playing Tiddly Winks in there! In the fantasy suite, Lauren tells Ben that she’s completely in love with him and—in a moment that Chris Harrison would call UNPRECEDNTED IN BACHELOR HISTORY, Ben responds that he has been in love with her for a while as well.

I was expecting an alarm to go off because THAT is against The Rules of Bach, but then again, are there any rules, truly? Aren’t we all making it up as we go along (that is, in life and love) and doesn’t ABC want better ratings each season (that is, on The Bachelor)? What ARE rules, truly? Must we abide by any social norms at all? (Can you tell that I took a lot of philosophy courses in college?) 

They repeat their “I love yous” a bunch of times, then close the curtain for love saying while love making (that phrase just made me throw up in my mouth a lil). The next morning they sip coffee and stare at each other and then Ben’s got to bounce and tell another woman that he loves HER. This schedule of “I love yous” is unrelenting!

Jojo and Ben’s daytime date is a helicopter ride to Negril (where Katie Compa and I have taken adult spring break twice) where they explore a waterfall and jump off a ledge into the water (BAD CALL, JOJO! Do you know how gnarly your hair is going to look as it dries? Take it from me, a girl who didn’t dunk my head underwater for a decade in order to preserve my award-winning hair). They sit in the water and talk about the future and upon Jojo’s confession of love, Ben says “I love you, too” which makes her start crying and ask “are you allowed to say that?” Ahh Jojo, your hilarious mother may not understand what this show is about, but you definitely know your Bachelor rules.

That night they “eat dinner” (drink and flirt) as Jojo marvels at how good it feels to hear these “words of affirmation” and then they opt to enter their fantasy suite, which is named the “Romeo + Juliet” suite (woa—double suicide as Bachelor finale? The producers really DO want ratings!). They strip down and then sip bubbly in a hot tub before closing the curtains for 1:1 time.

The next morning they nibble on fruit as Jojo tells ben “you gave me so much more than I expected yesterday” which Bachelor Nation unanimously assumed was code for oral sex, no? JK!

That afternoon Ben thinks about the choice he must make as he roams around alone and can we all agree that he walks like an absolute DWEEB? I don’t know how you “walk cool” but Ben, you’re definitely not doing it. Could all shots be from waist level or above from now on, please? Thnx.

Ben reveals that something is missing with Caila and in a move that has the producers fingerprints all over it, she immediately arrives to surprise him! She’s wearing a skirt and a pastel sports bra and she surprises Ben by coming from behind and putting her hands over his eyes—a move that should be outlawed when you graduate from middle school.   Ben is surprised and things go downhill fast.

That Face When you know you're about to get dumped

Ben is talking about how much he appreciates that she “tried to come over here” and Caila asks “are you OK?” which is—in my experience—what you ask when you think someone is pulling away and/or about to dump you. Ben explains that he’s in love with 2 women here and he simply couldn’t say “I love you” back to Caila so he has to send her home and, much to her credit, she calls him out on a few comments that sound like stock lines (truth) and leaves quickly. Good girl. I handle breakups the same way—just go. There’s no “figuring it out” that is of use to anyone. He walks her out and she furiously plays with her hair (again, I feel ya, girl—rub on your safety blanket) then hops in the car. She sits there for a moment, then gets back out (ya sure you want to do that, girl?) and takes advantage of that time to get some answers. She asks him, in so many words, if he slept with her knowing full well that he didn’t love her and he says that no, as the week progressed he felt that he couldn’t hold back with Lauren and Jojo’s confessions of love and so here we are.  They hug goodbye and in the car as she cries, Caila says that she still loves Ben, which is completely valid and very adult of her. But does this mean that she’ll be the next Bachelorette? I just don’t think that Bachelor Nation can handle such a naïve puppy of a Bachelorette for an entire season.

Soon it’s rose ceremony time because The Bachelor is nothing if not addicted to rituals. Jojo arrives in a fantastic floral dress and wedges (I heart wedges) and takes her mark. Lauren makes a shocking dress misstep and rolls up in an unflattering, low cut, red potato sack of a dress that is an odd length. 

An actual photo of Lauren's rose ceremony dress 

Chris Harrison greets each girl and wins the Best Actor Oscar as he pretends to be surprised at their confessions of love and the news of Ben’s reciprocation.  They have the rose ceremony, though I wish that Ben had given both ladies roses at the same time (his order was Jojo then Lauren, for what it’s worth) and the trio toasts to falling in love and meeting family.  

Next week is the Women Tell All and I can’t wait to see some of our favorite Bach Ben alums: Leah and her pathetic lies, Olivia and her cankles, Lace and her self improvement plan. Has Lace learned to love herself? We’ll soon find out!