Friday, October 7, 2016

10 Years in New York City

I just hit 10 years of living in New York City, the point at which, New Yorker’s say, you become a “real New Yorker.” I tend to think that promotion happens the first time you watch a stranger literally take a dump on the subway (in which case I’m a real New Yorker three times over), but that’s just my take on the issue. 

Two years ago I wrote a piece in honor of my 8 year anniversary of living in NYC and, upon re-reading it, it’s still spot on!  I still love this city and my life here and almost every night I run around performing comedy—it’s amazing.  I still pinch myself that this is my life.  

But I’m a bit more circumspect about things this go-round and perhaps it’s because 10 years feels like a more meaningful anniversary.  A decade in NYC—what do you have to show for it? 

Well, I’ll shoot you straight—my career is not quite where I want it to be and at 10 years in, I thought that I would be “farther along.” (Oh, this is going to be one of THOSE posts, is it? Yes, it is. If I can gaze at my navel anywhere, it’s here on my old blog where I can overanalyze my own, 90s style, still pierced navel.)

OK OK so, after a decade in NYC, I thought I would be farther along.  

But what do I even mean by that? I’m not sure.  What IS “farther”?  And who decides what it is?  And whenever I decide or you decide farther IS, is that something I even want? Am I happy where I am, however far that is? 

The answer to that last one changes by the day.  

Some days I feel great about where I am—I feel understood, I feel like a member of the community, I think that people know who I am and that I’m pretty funny. I get called in for commercial and sitcom auditions occasionally even though I don’t have an agent or a manager, and that feels great! (Tune into RED OAKS on Amazon Nov 11th! I'm in episode 7 and I'm shameless!)  Also, I truly believe that slow and steady wins the race and, as my sister Laurel and I have always said, Coppocks are never going to be overnight sensations.  We’re workhorses who will get our due EVENTUALLY, but it won’t come quickly or easily.  

But other days I look at my contemporaries and friends who have leap frogged over me—people I used to do open mics with or run around with who now have amazing careers and myriad opportunities presented to them, and while I’m SO happy for my friends to get their due and have these successes, sometimes I feel jealous and completely unaccomplished and think, “am I actually NOT funny at all and this whole thing has been a giant ruse of people booking me just to be polite?”  

But I know that’s not true. (Right?? Right gang? Gulp.) 

I’ve been living in NYC for 10 years, but I have only been really focused comedically for about 6-7 years, I would say.  And that’s because it took me a while to get settled in and learn the ropes and also, more important, it has taken me a while to feel like I deserve to be heard or I deserve opportunities and it’s still an ongoing mental battle.  I think that this feeling is like a cousin to Imposter Syndrome and I’d be willing to guess that a lot of comedians grapple with this one.  

As a comedian, you must feel that you have something to share, that you deserve to be noticed or listened to (even if it’s just silly, strange ideas), that you can contribute to the conversation in society.  And it has taken me a while to get comfortable with that.  During my first few years in NYC, I was extremely intimidated by the comedy scene—by people who had the chutzpah to produce shows, by people who had the confidence to dominate conversation with news of their own careers, by people who knew the right way to be a mover and shaker in the community.  So it took me probably 3 years to really plug in and start getting booked with some regularity.  But then I still had my ongoing self doubts and thoughts of, why would the audience care what I have to say?  I often doubted if I had anything to say that was worth hearing.  And often I still do—I have a hard time feeling entitled to things.  

That lack of entitlement comes from an overabundance of gratitude, I think.  I thank and yet blame gratitude for the fact that I have a hard time feeling entitled to opportunities.   

I’m extremely thankful for my life—for this pathway.  I didn’t love growing up in a small town—I’ve always been an old soul and I just wanted so badly to meet more people, to hear more ideas, to be in a bigger place—small town life wasn’t for me.  Throughout high school I was pretty fixated on college—I could leave my hometown and meet new people and I couldn’t WAIT.  And I never envisioned anything post-college.  I never imagined a wedding or family or kids—I just wanted to get out of my hometown and college would be that.  And I absolutely loved college—my life, my friends, my studies, my activities—it was amazing.  And then I was fortunate enough to live in Chicago and Boston and now NYC and it all just feels magical and miraculous.  I’m not an eye-rolling hipster and I can’t be a “cool girl”—I’m so fucking excited to have an apartment I love and a “normal job” the pays my bills and to be living in NYC and performing comedy and knowing a LOT of people.  I love knowing people! It sounds stupid, but I find it thrilling to pop by an event that your friend is hosting and then know this girl at this bar and stop by this restaurant because another pal works there and then run into another person you know on the subway—it’s amazing! I’m so grateful for all of it.  

Also, comedic success is a moving target and the pathway is often 2 steps forward and 1 step back.  A certain booker loves you and books you a bunch, then moves away.  You get passed at a club and are psyched about that, then the club closes.  You have a lead on a fantastic opportunity and then the project falls apart.  When you’ve been in the comedy scene in NYC for a while, you can’t help but get cynical about stuff—you have seen a lot of clubs fail and deals fall though and comedians with so much buzz just sorta fade out.  There’s no clear pathway of THIS leads to THIS leads to THIS.  So you just have to create because the creating is its own reward.  You tell the jokes because you love writing and performing and telling jokes.  And if something comes of it, GREAT, but if not, that’s OK, too.  

And I guess that last part is what I’ve been having trouble with lately—reconciling my feelings of gratitude to get to participate in ANY of this with my feelings of, where is it going? Will it lead somewhere? Does it need to? What is “farther along”?  

I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll keep writing and performing because the doing is its own reward.  And 10 years into NYC comedy life, that’s all I know right now.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Why We Need Women Writers, Developers, and Decision Makers in Comedy

This week Adult Swim Executive Mike Lazzo responded to backlash over the tally that of 47 shows on the Adult Swim docket, not a single one was created by a woman.  He first said that women cause "conflict" in the writer's room, then clarified those remarks somewhat.  The AV Club explains this situation much better than I can, so check that out here.  

Do all women cause "conflict" in writers rooms? 

Why do we NEED women in comedy writing and development and board rooms?  

This current kerfuffle made me think back to something I watched a few years ago.  

Do you remember the Emmys in 2014 when Seth Meyers hosted?  I was super excited to tune in because I think Seth Meyers is hilarious and I love awards shows (mostly for the dresses and clutches).  The show included a now infamous bit where Sofia Vergara stood on a rotating pedestal so that the crowd could enjoy her curves and beauty as the president of the Academy recited a boring update about the state of the television industry.  I’m a comedian and, like most comedians, as a joke is unfolding, we’re always thinking of how it can be heightened, what the next beat will be, what the final button might be—we’re always thinking about the structure of the joke and rarely enjoying "the thing.”  It’s our cross to bear, but we endure it because of all those sweet, sweet drink tickets that we receive as payment for our comedy.  So as I was watching Sofia Vergara be introduced and the bit was initially explained, I couldn’t wait to see the 2nd beat which, I assumed, would be taking the hottest heartthrob in Hollywood and putting HIM on a rotating pedestal, also.  Would it be Channing Tatum?  Idris Elba? Joe Manganiello? Would they be spinning in opposite directions? This could get really silly and cute. The joke is about beauty worship and Hollywood objectification, right?


The joke was only about FEMALE objectification.  The joke only worked in one way—it only went one way.  I sort of couldn't believe it.  I felt really naive for assuming that the joke would go both ways.  I was disappointed, not just as a woman, but as a comedian.  Why did they write this joke that way? The writers could have heighten that joke MORE and had it be so much more inclusive SO EASILY, but they opted not to.  And I don’t think it even occurred to those writers that this bit could be perceived as sexist. I think they were stunned at the backlash that this segment received on Twitter and in Emmy recaps.  

I have no idea who the writers were for those Emmy awards and I can't seem to find that information online, but I'd be willing to bet money that there wasn't a woman in the group. I bet that if a woman were in that writers' room, she might say, "hey guys, I think Sofia Vergara is hella gorgeous, too, but what if we ALSO had a dude on there being objectified because I have dudes commenting on my body regularly and I'm tired of it, so how about we level that playing field a bit?"  Then the joke works for more people and is less creepy.  Women don't "cause conflict" in writer's rooms, they speak to an experience that is often forgotten about or misrepresented and that firsthand experience can improve jokes.  

And sure, it’s ONE joke in ONE awards show in friggin’ 2014 (I’m nothing if not topical), but that Sofia Vergara spinning bit is, in a nutshell, why we need women in comedy writing rooms.  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Nick Viall - Bachelor Groundhog's Day

Hey lovebugs! 

I hope you're all enjoying the summer and loving this season of Bachelor In Paradise.  Usually August is a chill time for me as far as standup/storytelling shows, but that hasn't been the case this year, so unfortunately I haven't been keeping up with the show too well and obviously I haven't been recapping or podcasting.  I know!  I'm sorry, life is crazy and goes by fast, all that jazz. 

I've tuned into the show occasionally (watched Chad's unraveling, Lace's Tammy Faye Baker-style eyelashes, Carly and Evan's regrettable love connection, Josh's disgusting moaning and pizza eating), but not super steadily.  

But somehow, I found myself sitting on my couch watching After Paradise on Tuesday night when the beautiful and hilarious Michelle Collins revealed the identity of the next bachelor.  I had my #TeamLuke banner and T-shirt ready (JK about a custom made shirt and banner but NOT JK about how much I love Luke) when the next bachelor walked onto the set and it was....


Ummmm WAH!??!?!? WAAAAAH???? SERIOUSLY?? 

Legit, at first I thought it was a joke and that he'd sit down and then Michelle would be like, "JK Bachelor Nation! You know how they like to keep you guessing--come on out, real Bachelor LUKE the war veteran who captured America's hearts last season!"  

Alas, that did not happen.  And it still hasn't.  I think this is real, guys.  I think that the producers of The Bachelor have selected a modern day Matthew McConaughey's character from Dazed & Confused to serve as their next protagonist. 

You may be thinking, "that's an apt comparison, Selena, but refresh my memory--where have I seen Nick V. before?" Why thank you, that IS a solid comparison.  Where have we seen Nick before? Where HAVEN'T we, as Bachelor Nation, seen Nick before??  

He first burst on the Bachelor scene in Andi Dorfman's season of The Bachelorette and he wasn't exactly BFF with the other guys in the house, which is always a red flag.  (Sidenote: I'm currently reading IT'S NOT OKAY, Andi Dorfman's book about her time on The Bachelor and as The Bachelorette and it is a page turner! Josh sucks so much!)  Andi's turn as the protagonist was the season with Dylan from Boston (my long lost crush who I actually met and embraced at a standup show in Boston during summer 2014--full recap of that magical night here) and Chris Soules (the farmer who went on to become Prince Farming on his own season of the show).  Andi's final 2 men were Josh (aka Armpit Tats) and Nick V. and obviously she chose Josh (and lived to regret it).  As I mentioned earlier, Nick was that one guy who couldn't seem to get along with everyone else (ugh--that type of person shows up every season and always SUCKS) and always came off as a bit of a weasel to me. He just seemed like the type of guy who thinks that the rules don't apply to him.  But Andi dumped him and we all moved on with our lives.  

Well, except for Nick.  He awkwardly confronted Andi during the After The Final Rose episode (asking her why she "made love to" him--check out her book for the context of that quote) and then was shameless enough to appear on yet ANOTHER season of The Bachelorette. 

That's right, lovers. Kaitlyn Bristow, the hilarious Canadian bachelorette was HALF WAY through her season when Nick dropped in and joined the other guys vying for her affections.  Needless to say, the other guys HATED him because he was new competition and--even worse--fresh meat among the guys who had been around all season.  AGAIN he made it to the Top 2 (Nick vs. Poor Man's Ryan Gosling Shawn) and AGAIN he was rejected on national television.   

Taking that many knocks would prompt most people to resign themselves to a life away from the public eye--a quiet life, perhaps on a farm upstate.  But ya know who never learns? Anthony Weiner AND ALSO NICK VIALL. 

Bachelor In Paradise kicked off this summer (just after Jojo chose Jordan and they began their Diff Eyewear sunglasses tour) and who wandered into paradise but our old buddy Nick Viall!  Is it Groundhog's Day? I can't escape this motherfucker! 

He stuck around all season and is, apparently, still on the show (finale airs next week) and paired up with Jenn or Jennifer or something (brunette who is vaguely familiar from Ben's season and brought nothing to the table and yet also somehow came off as a bit of a bitch), but that won't last.  

My final take: Bachelor Nation is TIRED AS HELL of Nick V.  I'm sorry.  We have seen him get his heart broken twice and we've seen him flit around paradise for a few weeks this summer.  That is ENOUGH.  

I understand why Bachelor producers chose Nick, though.  There's no learning curve--he's already been through the paces of the show, so he's easy to direct, he knows how to speak on camera concisely, he won't be surprised or upset because he already knows how the sausage gets made.  But I think there's a bit of Nick V. fatigue going around Bachelor Nation.  We know him and we've spent MANY seasons looking at his face.  I don't think that level of familiarity (exhaustion?) is a good thing for the franchise.  And from what I read today, Luke was ready to be the next Bachelor before producers pulled the plug.  Bad call. 

What do you think? 

I mean, of course I'll watch every episode, tweet, recap, and podcast about Nick's season of The Bachelor.  Hating the chosen bachelor has never stopped us from watching that magical show before, so why start now?  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bachelorette Jojo FINALE: There once was a man from [Nan]Phuket

Monday night was the 3 hour season finale of The Bachelorette and Bachelor Nation waited with baited breath as Joelle Hannah Fletcher chose between the voluminous-haired guy who used to play football or the one who used to swim.  Well here comes the spoiler, lovebugs: Our long, national nightmare is over and we’ll no longer be forced to stare at Robby’s beady eyes and singed skin anymore—Jojo chose the lesser of two evils (or at least the hotter), Jordan. 

But how did we get there?

We found ourselves back in Phuket, Thailand (“there once was a man from [Nan]Phuket”) with Jojo saying that she’s SO torn because when she’s with Robby, she thinks of Jordan and when she’s with Jordan she thinks of Robby. Oh Joelle Hannah, have you never read any self-help books about just being PRESENT and monitoring your breath so as to not spin off?  Just me? 

Team Fletcher is in town: mom Soraya (a woman beloved by Bachelor Nation for her practice of drinking wine straight from the bottle), dad Joe (a man also beloved by Bachelor Nation for his resemblance to the dude from Guess Who as my pal Michelle Collins pointed out and the magnetic shavings game as my podcast co-host Dava Krause pointed out. Plus her 2 brothers and a random brunette who didn’t utter a single word (was she a silent sister? Sister-in-law? We’ll never know).  Jojo updates the family on her adventure—26 guys, eliminations, travel. She explains hat Jordan is the type of guy who she would “normally” go for (read: a total douche) and with that, he’s arriving with a bouquet in hand! 

The family greets him and they all sit down for lunch and Jordan has bought a gift!  Fear not, it’s nothing appropriate or respectful or serious, it’s something that is in keeping with HIS family’s tradition of making fun of each other (lil too familiar there, brosef): an assortment of SILLY HATS! 

An actual photo of Jordan preparing to meet Dr. and Mrs. Fletcher in Phuket.
Despite his penchant for corny hats, Soraya feels that Jordan is a playboy and must attract too many women and she tells Jordan that Jojo has trust issues with men.  That was a recurring theme among the entire family and it really made me feel for Jojo. Nobody likes it when every member of a family is like, “she’s REALLY messed up,” ya know?  Soraya asks Jordan to give his word that he won’t break Jojo’s heart, which stuns Jordan and makes him go silent and fumble some words. Great sign! Despite the refrain that Jordan has been saying for weeks and weeks (“the most important thing in the world is to ask permission of the family, the father”), he fails to do that and has a conversation with Papa Fletcher without asking. In interview footage he explains that he didn’t ask because Robby’s also there, but who cares? Run your own race, Jordy!!

Up next is Robby with a bigger bouquet than Jordan (you know what they say about guys with giant bouquets!) and also a deeper tan. Soraya dives right in, asking Robby what he likes about Jojo to which he responds, “she’s smart and intelligent and that’s a no brainer.” No, Robby, YOU’RE a no brainer (ZING!!!!!).  Over lunch, Robby shares the story of when he told Jojo that he loved her and Jojo confirms, that yes, Robby was the first one to say it (but also, this isn’t a goddamn foot race, psychopath. Saying it first doesn’t win you any prize other than “Thirstiest.”) Robby makes a great impression, though, with his calm, serious energy and earnestness.  I can see why the family loved him.  Jordan rolled up with a sack full of ZANY HATS and was like, “my family LOVES mocking each other and we don’t even SPEAK to the famous one!” while Robby was like, “I will build my entire goddamn life around Joelle.” Like the thirsty adult that he is, Robby asks Dr. Fletcher and Mrs. Fletcher for their blessing and they give it gladly. 

Robby departs and the family gathers to tell Jojo that they all prefer Robby, especially because Jordan didn’t bother asking for Joe (AND SORAYA’S) blessing.  Jojo is stunned and defends Jordan, which her hot brother comments on.  Why does she feel compelled to defend Jordy???

The next day is Robby and Jojo’s final date and they swim, kiss underwater, and talk about the future. Robby paints a picture of suburban life—meatloaf in the oven (no thank you), kids in the other room (raise yourselves, brats!), pizza place within delivery distance (unlikely). 

That night Jojo rocks a lovely ombre dress (dark blue fades into white) and share their last moments. Robby reiterates that he wants this forever, he wants her, he knows he loves her (WE GET IT, ROBBY!) and then gives her photos of their courtship.  In an interview, he says “the only reserves I have is that maybe I’m blinded by love” and GOOD LORD would someone tell him that the word he’s seeking is “reservations”??

The next day is Jojo’s final date with Jordan she’s wearing white cutoffs, a white bikini top as a bra (girl after my goddamn HEART), and a flowy, long-sleeved top.  Jordan greets her on the dock like they’ve been married 20 years and are about to go run some errands (“what’s uuuuup….”). Dude has WAY TOO MUCH CHILL and Jojo reflects his energy by being pretty low key, herself. 

They hop in some kayak-like boats and paddle out to a beach where they sit down for a drink and a talk (could I please live in this world were somehow picnic baskets filed with Sauv Blanc are awaiting me everywhere I go?) and Jojo very carefully and calmly asks Jordan WTF he’s thinking.  Jojo asks Jordan what he thought of her family, her father, WHY HE DIDN’T ASK DR. JOE FLETCHER FOR GODDAMN PERMISSION TO MARRRY JOELLE HANNAH???? Jordan takes a lesson straight out of the Narcissistic Gaslighters Handbook (popular with a certain Boston improv comedian who I had the misfortune of dating back in 2004) and asks Jojo to put herself in HIS shoes for one second (no thanks, dillweed), then later insists that he didn’t ask permission because he wants to be sure that SHE is into it (sure! Put the blame on HER for why you’re a total chicken).  That night, Jojo is still frustrate and “confused” (a great word to trot out when you think someone is a goddamn moron) and tells Jordan that the moment is gone now and you can’t get it back (the moment of asking permission).  But wait—thanks to modern technology, it’s NOT!  The next day, Jordan acquires an iPhone and calls Joe and Soraya to ask their permission to propose to Jojo. Did you find the way that he addressed them (“hey, Joe and Soraya”) to be much too casual? Dava and I discussed this on the podcast (episode to come) but dude, if you’re asking permission to marry your GF of her parents, how about you lead with “Dr. and Mrs. Fletcher” and then let them correct you, ya know? 

Robby and Jordan make the BRUTALLY TOUGH decision of which FREE blood diamond to pick, write last minute love notes to Jojo, and get suited up.  Meanwhile, Jojo gets dressed up in a gorgeous flowy gown with low cut neckline (you paid a lotta money for those boobs—show ‘em off!) and beautiful, drapey skirt.  Jojo is waiting for her suitors amid a hodge podge of tropical props and religious symbols and who is the first to arrive (meaning, the REJECT)? ROBBY. Aww snap! Somewhere in the world, Robby’s ex-GF Hope is SHRIEKING at the opportunity to watch her ex-BF’s world frigging crumble on network television.  Don’t we all wish we could watch that? 

Robby starts in on his bland monologue, saying that his future longs for Jojo, his heart yearns for Jojo, love is so deep, fairy tales, yadda yadda yadda.  Jojo lets him talk but jumps in before he can get down on one knee, saying that she can’t let him do that and she won’t take that moment from him.  Robby looks like he just got hit in the face with a frying pan (maybe an improvement?) as Jojo says that she fell in love with him, but yet her heart is somewhere else.  Robby tries to digest this news as Jojo clings to him (BACK OFF, girl), then they exit together and Robby covers his face, sighs loudly, and says “I gotta go, good luck, don’t settle.”  In the car, Robby talks about his feelings and, more than anything, it seemed like he found the whole thing unfair, which is pretty hilarious.  He said, “she wouldn’t let me get down on one knee—in what world is that OK?”  HUH?  OK? This isn’t about OK, SwimFan. She doesn’t want to marry you and life is unfair. Baaaaaaaiiiiiiii.

Up next is Jordan in a suit that’s much too small reciting a pretty trite monologue about how much he loves her and that she challenges him to be the best version of himself, best friend, soul mate, blah blah blah and then Jojo interrupts to tell HIM, “I love you so much and I’ve been waiting to tell you that I love you.” Jordan claims that he didn’t NEED to hear that and it wouldn’t have stopped him (REALLY? Cause a day ago you legit said THE OPPOSITE, but whatevzzz). Then we get a sweeping crane shot as Jordan gets down on a knee and gives Joelle Hanna Fletcher a free diamond that he scored off some dude with a briefcase.  She says yes, they both say “I love you” enough times to frighten all of Bachelor Nation, and drinks appear (halleluiah). 

Before we know it, we’re back in the studio with Chris Harrison, Ben and Lauren from last season, the Bachelor In Paradise Reject Posse, and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (huh) and Robby is ready to talk to Jojo. In the intervening moments, Robby definitely got veneers, as his teeth nearly blinded all of Bachelor Nation and you could hear that the inside of his mouth hasn’t yet adjusted to the new chompers (sorta like how teens talk when they have new braces). Yikes. Also, as my bestie Suzanne commented on, he was wearing a bizarre flower pin, as if to say, “I don’t need no stinking rose—I’ll bring my own flower, thank you very much!”  Jojo is bronzed within an inch of her life and wearing a strange beige/grey dress that resembles the sheets you throw over furniture when you close the beach house for the season. Robby asks her if she thinks about what life would have been like for them and she essentially says no. Byyyye, Robby. 

Finally Jordan comes out and the happy couple kiss and cuddle while saying that the tabloid rumors have been difficult to endure (they HATE US Weekly, it seems), but now they can be normal and eat at Chipotle together (thanks to their savior, People Magazine).  Chris Harrison name drops “Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers” far too many times and the lovebirds are gifted a getaway weekend back in PENNSYLVANIA!!  A touching ending to a sweet love story. 

What did you think of the season, dear readers?  Are you fired up for Bachelor In Paradise?  I’ll probably do super simple, bulleted list recaps of that one.  Mama’s tired!! But also, Mama loves her Bach.  Let’s hope that Jojo and Jordy can make it!!   

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bachelorette Jojo Ep 9: Luca Brazi Sleeps with the Fishes and Chase Kisses Them

Last week we were left with a cliffhanger (Will she send home Luke? But he said “I love you”? Is that enough? Who made her amazing dress?) and this week ABC picked up right where it left us—with Jojo ready to hand out some roses in an airplane hangar.  The order was…
-Jordan (looking good in a dark suit)
-Robby (in a 3 piece suit, still looking crispy)
and finally the moment of truth….
-Chase (looking pretty hot, but still feeling a lil like dead weight).
So despite his Hail Mary “I love you” pass, Luke is still heading back to his Texas ranch solo. I think that Luke was the best guy there—handsome, earnest, genuine, sexy—and I’m HOPING that he becomes the next Bachelor because Bachelor Nation would LOVE IT! 

But first, Luke’s heartbreak.  He is STUNNED and dazed as he and Jojo walk outside to say goodbye.  I’m a little shocked that Jojo didn’t drop him moments before, back when they were outside together, ya know? Sure, he suddenly dropped the L bomb, but her mind was made up already, it seems. Jojo tells Luke that she cares about him a lot and that their relationship progressed, but she never quite knew where she stood with him, which I don’t quite believe. I think that either you’re into a person of you aren’t, and trotting out specific reasons for why it didn’t work is just hurtful because it passively blames the other person. Luke lead you down a candlelit path to a heart made of flower petals and you claim that you didn’t know where you stood? HUH?  I aint buying what you’re selling.

Luke whispers “I’m sorry,” hops in a limo and says that he feels like he just got hit by a train. Speaking of trains, on Sunday night I saw Guns N Roses in concert (Axl, Slash, Duff and a few others—no Steven or Izzy, sadly) and they played their hit song Nighttrain, so here’s that video and a message of good luck to hottie Luke.

Jojo can’t wander around the airplane hangar in tears all night, though—she’s gotta hop a flight to Thailand to hump some hotties!  That’s correct, readers, after only a few minutes of Monday night’s episode we were down to Jojo and 3 Boys, which means FANTASY SUITE TIME!!  Dava Krause and I have a Bachelorette/Bachelor podcast called The Fantasy Suite, so we were LOVING last night’s episode. You can listen to us gab here and yes, the latest episode is live!! We rule!

Robby gets the first Fantasy Suite date and he rolls up in a weird motorcycle sidecar thing. Consistent as ever, he’s tannish/reddish, his hair is too high, and he’s wearing a button down. Jojo wears a patterned romper and today’s plan is to explore a “crazy market” but Mother Nature has other plans.  A downpour hits so the couple must make out and talk as two Thai women give them foot massages.  Holy white, westerner guilt, Batman! Robby proceeds to remind Jojo MULTIPLE TIMES that he has told her he loves her—what a non-pushy, low key, natural way to behave! I’m also not buying what YOU are selling, Robby. 

That night Jojo rocks a filmy, red cocktail dress with a thigh slit and Robby a pair of white pants (respect), grey shirt, and dark blue jacket as they talk about trust, saying “I love you,” exes, and such. As if presenting a court case, Robby pulls out an Exhibit to PROVE just how much he MUST love Jojo: A note from his father saying that Pops thinks that Robby loves Jojo. WELL THERE YOU HAVE IT!  TA DA! If the jury can’t see how much Robby loves Jojo, then I declare this whole thing a mistrial!! Wait, what?  Robby, stop pushing so damn hard to prove your love—if you REALLY loved her, you wouldn’t need to work so damn hard to prove it. Joelle (as he calls her—he really KNOWS her, you see?) and Robby head to the Fantasy Suite to test drive before they buy (too much?). The next morning they share breakfast in bed and Jojo remarks that it’s their first breakfast together (a line she’ll recycle the next morning with Jordan, too) to which Robby responds, “I told you—glimpse of the future.”  Ya know what ISN’T cute? Romantically saying “I told you so” to your partner. 

Now it’s Jordan’s turn to woo our intrepid Bachelorette and he arrives by boat, hopping off to jog through the water in his white V neck shirt and shorts (no shoes). A backpack and shoes appear out of nowhere and they start in on a hike, with Jojo dressed like an extra from The Craft in black cut offs, a black belly top, shirt around her waist. Crank up some Pearl Jam cause it feels like I’m living in 1994!! They hike, sweat, and cuddle as they make their way up a mountain then down into a temple within a cave. Jojo puts on the shirt to cover her shoulders and she and Jordan aren’t allowed to kiss inside the temple.  They sit on a blanket and talk about checking boxes (that Jordan, such a romantic!), family, and whether Jordan is “ready to commit to a future that means forever.” Joelle (can I call you that?), if you’re feeling THIS INSECURE THIS EARLY, then trust your gut and DO NOT end up with Jordan.  Granted, Robby is Satan and not a better option, but your instincts with Jordan are worrisome but probably correct. 

That night Jojo and Jordy sweat through “dinner” (Jojo in white separates, Jordan in a grey jacket and shit eating grin) as Jojo tells him that she’s scared that he’ll break her heart and he doesn’t do much to appease her. Jojo asks Jordan what the next year looks like and Jordan responds, “Tough question—I don’t know” which isn’t the answer that ANY girl wants to hear. You don’t know? How about we talk about Dallas vs. Nashville? How about we talk job stuff? Family stuff? Jojo handles his crap response with grace, saying that THAT makes her nervous and that she worries that he’ll make a decision right now and renege on that decision in six months. Jojo, girl, it sounds like the universe is SCREAMING AT YOU to walk away from this one.  The couple both admit that it’s hard to know when it’s real, when you’re in love, when it’s THE ONE and I just wanted to crank up Whitney Houston’s masterwork because yeah, how will I know?????

Jordan reads the Fantasy Suite date card and responds, “OK fine” which is a joke, but not an especially thoughtful one given Jojo’s insecurities about him.  Either way, they disappear to the fantasy suite, sip champagne, make out on camera, and then hit the lights.  Again, we are given footage of them the next morning and again, Jojo exclaims “this is our first breakfast together!” Jordan says that the fantasy suite time was “exactly everything I needed” and that they went in “a really important direction” (the direction of THE BEDROOM wink wink wink) then Jojo dons a casual camouflage dress (awesome) and heads off. 

The final Fantasy Suite date is with Chase and Jojo’s date outfit is my favorite of the episode—white daisy dukes, a white bikini top (my favorite thing in the world), and a flowy pink blouse. Chase rolls up on a scooter that he can hardly drive and before we know it, he’s holding a dead fish suspended over his mouth and being hit with fish spit—HOT STUFF!

The moment when Chase cheated on Jojo RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER FACE

They cruise around on a boat, snuggle, make out, and then have a picnic on the beach. Just before their picnic, Chase spits out an assortment of seemingly random words: sex appeal, unstoppable, feel, touch, fishermen, monkeys, fish—what is going on here!?  The pair strips down and runs into the water where Jojo straddles Chase and they make out hard.

Later that day when Jojo is back at her hotel room getting ready, Robby surprises her with a visit and tells her “I’m ready for us, I’m ready to get down on 1 knee, I’m ready for a family, country clubs and coloring books.”  COUNTRY CLUBS AND COLORING BOOKS! Huh?  Doe he mean that he’s ready to have kids with Jojo and mostly ignore them while the Country Club staff supervise the tykes so he and Jojo can sip strong Gin and Tonics poolside?  Sure sounds like it!  Jojo is friendly, but tells Robby that she’s ON a date right now and she needs to get back to the OTHER white dude who is toned and tan and she’s going to make out with. Byyyyye.

That night Jojo sports a cute blue jumper with shoulder cut outs, fuscia lip, and flowy hair as Chase says that he has fought harder than Jordan and Robby (perhaps true, but not really “fought harder” so much as, didn’t do much early on then managed to stick around somehow) and that he wants to be her man.  They head to the Fantasy Suite where Chase reveals that he’s “100% in love” with Jojo and she responds by saying “I’m glad to hear that, thank you” then leaves the room. Yikes!! Jojo explains that she’s not quite feeling the way she thought she would feel, so she goes back into the Fantasy Suite and says, “I don’t know if I’m in the same place as you” then sends him home, so as to avoid a night INSIDE the Fantasy Suite with him, which would make it ultimately harder. Good call, girl. If you’re not feeling it, don’t take that next step and make things more intense.  Jojo is weeping and Chase asks what she was missing and snaps that she didn’t even give it a chance, but dude, she’s just not that into you. You don’t need to “crack this case” because there isn’t a case to be cracked—she likes 2 other dudes more. Sayonara, or however you say goodbye in Thai.  Chase walks off (and is briefly chased down by Jojo, but girl, let him GO and cry in private), cracks a beer, and hops in a van that he dejectedly calls his fantasy suite. 

So now Jojo has narrowed it down to two men: One tanned, toned guy whose life up to this point revolved around sports and whose ex-girlfriend says he’s a louse and ANOTHER tanned, toned guy whose life up to this point revolved around sports and whose ex-girlfriend says he’s a louse. What an assortment!!  Robby and Jordan even arrive to the rose ceremony looking like friggin’ twins in their blue button downs (bad choice—pit stain city, BOYS!) and light pants.

They are practically interchangeable, are they not?
Jojo rolls up in a flowy, army green dress (which I LOVE because I love all fashion things that are army based), greets Chris Harrison (remember him?), then takes her spot and begins to tell Jordan and Robby of Chase’s departure, when who should walk in, but CHASE HIMSELF! Wah!? Oh man the producers are creating DRAMA this season and I admire their commitment to timing (was Chase hiding in a damn bush outside?) but it’s pretty forced.  Chase asks Jojo for a moment, then proceeds to apologize for how he acted the day before (solid move) and say that he’s very impressed by Jojo, he’s not angry, he still has lover for her, and that if things change down the road (you mean like a broken engagement? I’d bet my mortgage on it, if I had a mortgage), that his heart is still open for her.  It was a gentlemanly move and a good way for Chase to look good in front of Bachelor Nation (vying for that next Bachelor slot against Luke!). 

Jojo is relieved to hear all of this, sheds a few tears, then goes back to hand out roses (completely unnecessary, but whatever) to Jordan THEN Robby (why must there be an order? Couldn’t she just be like, “you both get roses!” and then they walk up at the same time?). How about a dose of socialism in the Bachelor franchise, huh? 

Jojo proposes a toast as the guys sweat through their button downs and Chris Harrison’s voice over tells us that Tuesday night will be Men Tell All, then next Monday will be the return of Jojo’s mom (get your wine bottles ready!) and the rest of her family in the finale.  Sadly, I can’t watch the Men Tell All live tonight (I have 2 shows), but I will watch and recap later this week.

What do you think of her final 2 picks? Were you heartbroken when Luke was sent home? Chase? Who do you think sucks less—Robby or Jordan?  I’m Team Jordan, but with a lot of apprehension.  It’s not that I like Jordan as much as it’s that I hate Robby. #NeverRobby    

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bachelorette Jojo Ep 8: I AM VERY LATE & SORRY, PALZ!


This recap is extremely late because I have been on vacation (in Milwaukee and Chicago) so I watched Monday night’s episode on Tuesday (in my hotel room on Hulu, like a futuristic humanoid from the future) and jotted some bullet points, but I’m writing this out while I wait for my flight out of O’Hare because I got here 3 hours early like a complete psychopath.  NOT THE POINT, SELENA. 


But seriously, no elimination—what is this, every other non-competitive reality TV show?  COME ON! I didn’t get into this racket to feel warm & fuzzy and watch a Full House rerun. I want TEARS out of the eyes of BABES (and by babes, I mean HOTTIES who will go on to such gigs as Guest DJ at failing Vegas nightclubs). 

But let’s start at the beginning.  Monday night was the night of hometown dates and a reminder that anyone who goes on the show is required to have parents who still live in their childhood home and that childhood home MUST be a McMansion that West Elm threw up in. 

Jojo’s first stop was Highlands Ranch, Colorado where Chase and his SHATTERED family live.  Jojo meets Chase’s estranged father and Pops basically admits that he wasn’t there for Chase and his sister, but now he’s remarried and doing it right THIS TIME. I’m sure Chase is glad that SOMEONE is being fathered (only kidding—Chase seems forever hurt by his absentee father’s actions, but whatevzzzz).  In a 1:1 conversation, Absentee Daddy asks Chase if this is what he expected and Chase’s response is, “no…. but look where I am!” Huh? Chase seems to get his flat affect from his dad. 

That evening Jojo and Chase have dinner with his mother, stepfather, sister, sister’s husband & their baby. Throughout this visit, Chase’s family makes it sound like children who were raised in a divorced home are absolutely RUINED and damaged goods, which obviously isn’t true.  My random thoughts: Chase looks NOTHING like his sister, Chase’s mom is great at collecting data (“Jojo loves dogs, hates fish, and has a great laugh”), and the language they use about Chase potentially marrying Jojo is bizarrely vague (“I think that my wife is here tonight”). Just before her car pulls away, Chase tells Jojo that he thinks he’s falling in love with her. 

Chico, CA is the next stop, where Jojo meets Jordan’s “family” (MINUS THAT ONE GUY—COUGH COUGH—RYMES WITH TEARIN’) and EVERY staff member of his former high school.

Teenage Jordan (with me and Heidi in the reflection)
Jordan talks a LOT about Jordan, they roam the hallways and make out HARD in the library, then head to the Rodgers estate (complete with fountain!) for family dinner. 

Jojo meets Jordan’s parents Ed and Darla (who seem lovely, but wow his mom speaks in a whisper and his dad interestingly says very little except for “fame can change you”), Jordan’s older brother Luke, and Luke’s girlfriend whose hair is a goddamn sideswept cascade of blonde dreams!
She is a blonde dream and Luke is definitely punching above his weight. 
They have a standard family visit and as she’s departing, Jojo reveals to Jordan that she’s afraid he will change his mind, which is a worrisome thing to think of a potential mate.  Time will tell!

From there, Jojo heads to St. Augustine, Florida where Robby’s giant family lives and Robby greets Jojo in a white T-shirt and coral button down shirt with only a single button buttoned. WTF is this about? Did that hometown visit take place in 1992? Seriously Robby, get it together. My friend Heidi (who I was vacationing with and who was watching along with me at Public Chicago, a fantastic hotel despite a leaky sink) and I were HATING ON Robby hard and honestly, this guy is just bad news. He has NO redeeming qualities and, as I have mentioned previously, always looks like his skin will be hot to the touch from a sunburn. Over drinks on the water, Jojo asks Robby if he’s TRULY over his last relationship and he trots out empty platitude after empty platitude, claiming that he hasn’t thought about it at all (not hard to do when you’re thrown into a completely foreign lifestyle for months) and that Jojo is everything. As they approach his parents McMansion, Robby proclaims that “emotions are going to be flying” which makes zero sense, but I would expect nothing else from a guy who buttons the bottom button of his damn shirt.

Jojo meets Robby’s mom, dad (COACH A!!!!), 2 brothers, and 2 sisters and they all seem great, which is surprising when contrasted with him.  Robby tells his brothers that he hasn’t slept a wink and has had MANY panic attacks, which I absolutely don’t believe. Then Robby’s mother pulls him aside to warn him that his ex-girlfriend’s roommate (ALEX!) has been telling people (tabloids, so, LOTS of people) that Robby dumped his ex to come on the show and Robby is stunned and upset, which was fun to watch since we’ve all been reading these tabloid rumors the whole time!  US Weekly is my Bible! Stars ARE just like us! The remainder of the conversation plays out like a convo between 2 people who are VERY aware that they are being taped and this will definitely end up in the Hometown episode.  Robby runs from chatting with his mother and disrupts Jojo’s hang time with the 2 sisters (ladies love WINE!) to talk to her about these “false accusations.” Robby resembles an overcooked ham as he assures Jojo that his relationship with Hope was dead in the water LONG before it ended (aha so you’re bad at communicating AND confrontation—good to know!), ending his explanation with “we had a blow up fight and she slapped me.” By how he said that sentence, you could tell that he was expecting “The Slap” to be a BOMBSHELL, but it wasn’t. HA! Sorry, Tanny McTannersteen!  Jojo don’t care!  It begins raining outside (OMINOUS) as Robby and Jojo say their goodbyes and then Robby dramatically throws down his umbrella and stands in the rain (still wearing that damn single buttoned button down). 

Jojo heads to Burnet, Texas for her hometown date with Luke and it played out like a Americana dream sequence—family and friends eating BBQ in a field, Luke arriving with his beloved via lifted Chevy extended cab (I’m a SUCKER for a lifted truck), and old men getting choked up at the thought of their son’s military service to the USA.  Jojo jumps right in and seems to impress everyone and jive with Luke. All snark aside, the emotional moment between Luke and his father got both me and my pal Heidi choked up and was probably one of the most authentic, vulnerable vignettes that we’ve ever seen on the show. 

After the family time, Luke whisks Jojo away so that they can make out on a couch made of hay and then walk down a candlelit path to a heart made of flower petals as the country music swells—it was MAXIMUM BACH and I loved every moment.  But remember when Tiny Hero (Alex) got all mushy with Jojo and she sent him packing?  That may explain what happened later, as the country home sequence was LOVELY and Luke is SO wonderful, but perhaps it was a bit too much for Jojo?  Luke tells Jojo, “my heart is yours and out there for you” before she leaves.

The rose ceremony takes place in an airplane hangar and Jojo’s dress is FIERCE. She looks like a gorgeous seal and I AM LOVING IT! Readers, how hard did that dress rule? Royal blue, slippery when wet material, low cut chest, slinky as hell—damn perfect.  We watch the boys arrive and in a move that Chris Harrison might call “unprecedented,” we immediately hear a voice over of Jojo saying that she plans to send Luke home.  That comment made Heidi and I SHRIEK out loud (and probably scare the people in the hotel room next to us). Luke RULES! He’s the tops! Girl, he worships you, he has a sick body, he has an edge, AND he lives in Texas—snap him up, Jojo!  And then, as if warned by a producer (probsies), Luke asks Jojo if he can talk to her and he pulls her outside to say, “I’m in love with you” which is apparently JUST what she needed to hear. That feels like semantics to me because “my heart is out there for you” is the same damn thing, but I’m not the one trying to eliminate hot bodied boyz from my life. 

Luke walks back into the hangar and Jojo has a meltdown outside, then we’re told that next week we’ll have a full episode Monday (and, presumably, TWO eliminations) then The Men Tell All on Tuesday (because they always do Men Tell All when they’re down to 2 remaining people).

My recaps will be on time next week, I promise!  But also, did you YELL at the thought of her sending Luke home!?!!