Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bachelorette: Episode 6

Last night’s episode was monumental, as we saw the (brief) return of cro-magnon con man Bentley, the voluntary exit of a great guy, and a whole lot of tears.

The crew relocated from Thailand to Hong Kong, China and set up shop in a nice hotel. When the episode opens, Chris “Part Time Therapist” Harrison is trying to give Ashley some tough love about Bentley. She STILL can’t shake him (ugh), even though he is named after an overpriced and ostentatious type of car, he has been gone for three weeks AND she’s been in three different locations since he left. Ashley insists that she’ll gain some “closure” by speaking with him again, which is moronic. As my wise older sister Laurel taught me (both of my big sisters are wise and wonderful, but Laurel was the one who taught me this), when you reach out to a guy and claim it’s for “closure,” it really isn’t and you’re actually hoping to restart things. Get real with yourself (to quote Dr. Phil.) If you want closure, you have to give it to yourself by moving forward and deciding that you’re DONE with this situation. Ashley should adopt the strategy of Don Draper (circa Mad Men season 1) and be like a train rolling down the tracks in ONE direction, never looking back. (I know that trains can’t look backward, but you get what I mean). Chris Harrison dutifully orchestrates a meet-up between Bentley and Ashley and encourages her to say what she needs to say and be done with it. I’m convinced that the producers must have shown her Bentley’s outtakes (when he says that he doesn’t like Ashley, he wishes the bacehlorette were Emily, etc) because she had a QUICK change of heart while she was talking to Bentley. Whatever she did to gain some self-respect, I’m just glad she did. They had a talk, said goodbye, and the Bentley era is over (much like the era when Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck used to cruise around Los Angeles IN a Bentley- heyo! Bentley jokes, people!)

Lucas got the first 1:1 date and to refresh your memory, he’s the TX oil guy who plays golf, seems like a little uptight, and wears a big ring. I’m not averse to dudes in rings, but Lucas cannot pull off this look. I bet that ring is inscribed with something like, “Never Forget the Alamo.” They explore Hong Kong and have dinner on a boat, which gives us lots of shots of their heads bobbing up and down along the horizon. Who knew that you could feel sea sick while sitting on your own couch and chugging white wine? (Everyone.) Lucas talks about his first marriage and they kiss. A pretty forgetable date, but Lucas scored a rose from it.

Up next is a group date which is Dragon Boat Racing with Ames (big head Yale/Harvard guy), Ryan (guy with an annoyingly positive attitude), Blake (bland dentist), Mickey (spiked hair hottie) and the Monkey Twins: Constantine and Ben. The guys divide up into pairs and have to recruit locals to help them row. The Monkey Twins find this task extremely difficult, but perhaps because they both resemble unshowered, overgrown primates. Nobody else has a problem recruiting rowers—not even Ames, whose eyes are so far apart that he almost resembles a fish. Ames and Mickey win the race and the “prize” is a sense of personal accomplishment, it seems. The crew goes to a roof deck for the dragon boat race after party, where Ames finally does something cool for once in his life, and makes out with Ashley (HARD) in the elevator. I bet they don’t teach that maneuver at Yale, so how’d he learn it? Ashley gives Ryan the rose on this date, and Ryan becomes the Vienna of this season of The Bachelorette. For the uninitiated, when Jake (the pilot/super cheeseball) was the bachelor a few seasons back, that season was called The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love (barf, I know) and Vienna was the most divisive girl in the house. She was pretty “Dub Tee” as we might say (white trash) and every other girl thought that if Jake wanted a girl like Vienna, they didn’t even want to compete. Ryan is getting the same treatment right now and I kinda feel bad for the guy, but MAN he seems annoying.

Up next is a 1:1 with sweetheart construction manager J.P. Ashley appears to be wearing a silk nightgown over black jeans which highlights the fact that she’s completely bo-legged. How did I miss this before? J.P. and Ashley eat dinner, flirt, and make out in a weird train. Over dinner, Ashley tells J.P. about the recent Bentley news and he handles it gracefully. If I were J.P., probably would have been like, “Why are you telling me this!? It’s NOT necessary! Sometimes honesty is NOT the best policy! There are some things that simply do NOT need to be shared!” which is what I was screaming at my television. J.P. got a rose and those two lovebirds are going to be puking into one another’s mouths (BIRD STYLE) in no time. (Yes, I just quoted a piece of my own standup. If you want to see more, come to Luca Lounge (Ave B between 13/14) Wednesday night at 7pm!)

Time for a cocktail party/rose ceremony and Ashley’s silver dress is 90% gorgeous The spaghetti straps in back are NOT the best, but everything else about the dress is perfect. I’m something of an anti-spaghetti strap activist, though. (I’m also pro-choice and a democrat with libertarian tendencies, but my anti-spaghetti strap activism comes before anything else.) First off, straps named after a type of pasta weird me out. Second, that type of strap is so thin that it tends to make the wearer look really broad-shouldered and linebacker-y, no matter what her size. Just don’t do it. But I digress. Ashley informs ALL of the guys about the recent Bentley visit and many of them are, understandably, pretty pissed. She basically just told them that for 3 weeks she has been pining over a jerk and she’s FINALLY over him now and ready for this sweet batch of second bananas. Mickey’s offended and decides to leave, taking his spiky hair, nice tan, and sweet jaw line back to Cali. Ashley starts crying and pleads with the guys to stick with this process. I hate to be a hater, but her speech felt a little bit needy and sad. Meh.

Who got the boot? Bland fellow dentist Blake. It was pretty harsh because he reacted to the Bentley news pretty badly, then when he saw Ashley crying “his heart melted” (his words, not mine!), then he got negged in the face nonetheless. Ahh well, thems the breaks.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bachelorette: Ep 5

Pardon the belated recap, dear readers. I’ve been a busy bee this week, if bees were mostly tasked with telling jokes, drinking too much, and not sleeping enough. Let’s get down to biz, shall we?

We’re down to 11 suitors and the action moves from Phuket (pronounced “Fuck it,” I can only assume), Thailand to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Ashley keeps talking about how the week post-Bentley was “a dark time” and she was in “a dark place.” I know you were, girl, you’re a friggin’ brunette! Boom! [Up top]

But she’s ready for a fresh start with these guys (or so she keeps telling herself) and what better place to fall in love than Chiang Mai, huh? Just like the old saying goes. Things kick off with a 1:1 date with the hotter half (that’s not saying much) of the “Monkey Twins” (Ben F. and Constantine), Ben F. He and Ashley putz around an outdoor market, paint parasols, and generally act cute date-y. Later that night over dinner (served in a sick garden covered in flowers & candles), Ben opens up about his old trust issues and the death of his father. He explains that he hasn’t let himself be emotionally vulnerable with anyone since his father’s death (FOUR AND A HALF YEARS AGO), but as of a year ago, he’s ready to let people in. He shut down because he didn’t want to love someone and lose them and get hurt again. I liked that tale of emotional detachment better when it was told by Patrick Swayze’s character in “Ghost.” Despite that, Ben F. is growing on me somewhat, and he’s definitely growing on Ashley.

Up next is a group date for Ames, Blake, JP, Ryan P., Mickey, Nick, Constantine, and Lucas. They head to a Muay Thai gym to punch stuff, kick stuff, and sweat. Whoever schemed up this activity has been reading my dream journal because this isn’t just up my alley, it’s also in my wheelhouse, and any other weird colloquialism that is vaguely sexual while communicating that it’s something I’d like. FIGHTS! Nick is looking dope, and overall there are some sweet bods among this crew of dudes. Even Ames, who reveals that he’s a complete pussy yet has pretty nice pecs. I want more coverage of Nick, though—and the lack of coverage of his “character” (himself) worries me. Could this indicate that the rich man’s Chad Kroeger is going to be sent home soon? Time will tell.

But first, the guys change their shorts and gloves, get into an open-air van, and are taken to a fighting ring in the town square. When the crew of shirtless dudes got in the truck, I couldn’t help but wonder if the next part of this group date was to be sold into slavery. Seriously- scary stuff. But no, it’s something only slightly worse than being a cog in the wheel of the global slave trade: the dudes had to fight each other in the town square. (Up next week, we identify witches and hang them!) The fights are pretty bush league with lots of tussling and very little landing of punches. Sadly, Ames receives some punches to the dome and lands a mild concussion. To add insult to (literal) injury, he’s wearing pink shorts and pink boxing gloves during this entire mortification. He is taken in an ambulance to a Thai hospital, where they run some tests.

That evening the group date crew gathers for drinks and flirting. Again, not much coverage of hot assed Nick and this continues to worry me. Ames arrives late and his forehead seems to have grown (just me?), plus he’s wearing a cheesy suit jacket. He went from “Eh—his eyes are kinda far apart, but whatever” to “Woa, dude’s head is GIANT and he’s a total wimp” in a matter of minutes. Sorry, Ames. He’s obviously really embarrassed and he can’t verbalize things very well (ouch), yet Ashley still doesn’t give him the group date rose. Harsh stuff. Instead, bland dentist Blake receives the rose but it feels like a pity rose. We’ll see.

Final date is the ‘ole 2:1 date which always devolves into an “Elimidate”-like episode of “Big Love.” (Yes, that was 2 pop culture references within words of each other. Look at that skill!) This is no different, but only because William is a stupid punk who makes lame jokes. William (cell phone salesman from Ohio) and Ben C. (lawyer w/ big jaw and faux British accent) are the two on the 2:1 date and you can tell that they aren’t besties. Ashley and the boys hop on a raft and head down to an “Elephant Experience” (which turns out to be riding elephants, not a creepy bestiality theme park) where they have a picnic. Ashley and William have some 1:1 time to chat, during which William tells her that Ben C. has talked about doing online dating when he gets home, or something like that. First off, William is a sneaky weasel and should mind his own damn business. As we learned from David, the Hot Psycho during Jillian’s season of The Bachelorette (David/Hot Psycho had big eyes, sick body, great tattoos, worked construction, and later went on to win Bachelor Pad), right now William is breaking Man Code. I don’t know the details of Man Code, but its tenets seem to be: Don’t be a Pussy, Mind Your Business, Don’t Throw Another Dude Under the Bus, and Hook Up A Lot.

Back to William breaking Man Code and being a weasel. Perhaps Ben C. said that, sure, but it’s not William’s place to tell Ashley about something that another guy MIGHT POTENTIALLY do later in life. Is every guy on this show supposed to be completely obsessed with Ashley and convinced that he will DEFINITELY marry her? William is double awful, though, because he has tapped into Ashley's major insecurity, which is that the guys on the show aren’t really into her. So she walks back to the picnic and sends Ben C. home immediately. Poor Ben C. tries to speak his piece and remains really calm, but his angled jaw and faux British accent can’t save him now. He floats away (literally) on probably the slowest raft ride ever.

Now William has Ashley to himself and thinks he’s all set, but she throws him for a loop (thank God). Over dinner (during which Ashley rocks a dope one-shoulder patterned dress), Ashley asks William about his earlier claim that he’s a really a child. Dude is 30 and apparently on their first date he made some joke about being “still a child” or a “man child.” Note to dudes: there is NOTHING hot about that. I would rather date an octogenarian who has his shit together than a 30 year old guy who is hot but immature. (Note: the octogenarian in this situation should NOT be Whitey Bulger. Can you believe they found him!? I’m still reeling. And now Whitey Bulger is going back to Mass, or as we say it in Mass, “Whitey Bulga’s comin’ home! Go get some Kelly’s Roast Beef and call Sully!”) Ashley explains that she wants a man, not a boy, and puts him in a car. William seems stunned by this turn of events, as he will be at every turn for the rest of his life. He’s just one of those guys who doesn’t get it, ya know? I used to work with a guy like him. This guy stole THOUSANDS of dollars in books from our company in a carefully orchestrated scam, then when he was fired, he seemed STUNNED by it. Blech.

Back at the house, the guys clap when BOTH sets of bags are removed.

At the next cocktail party, Ashley comes out and makes a weird speech about how she hopes that the guys like her. Oh man. Girl. Come on. Chin up, stop thinking about sleezy Bentley, and act confident. Fake it ‘till you make it!

Rose ceremony time and who gets the last rose? Ryan P. I mention the last rose because that’s usually a sign that a guy is on the chopping block, and I think that Ryan P’s eager beaver tendencies are grating on Ashley. Who gets sent home? Sigh. Rich man’s Chad Kroeger, Nick from Florida. Oh sweet Nick, we barely knew ye. I generally hate blonde guys, and yet you really got a hold on me somehow. Nick, perhaps you will find some comfort in this song by your doppelganger, Chad Kroeger. I give you the music video for “If Everyone Cared” and yes, this is the music video that prompted me to start crying while on an elliptical machine at New York Sports Club a few years back. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Bachelorette: Ep 3

Last night there was so much drama in episode 3 of The Bachelorette, just as there’s so much drama in the LBC (according to Snoop Dogg). Episode 3 did not disappoint in the drama department, as we had a delightful evening of tears, broken hearts, mean jokes, and sweatpants.

The episode kicked off with a 1:1 date for lucky Ben C. He had come off as pretty bland earlier in the season, but now he’s growing on me, somewhat. Last week, he told Ashley how much he likes to dance, so their 1:1 was to learn a dance routine (because apparently her idea of a great date activity is my idea of a slumber party circa 7th grade activity). I give Ben a lot of credit for completely committing to the dance routine and having fun while learning it. Ashley and Ben then went to a perfectly-manicured park area (that resembled an Epcot Center version of an actual park), where they were part of a flash mob that performed the aforementioned dance. I gotta say, I generally hate flash mobs. I find them corny and lame, with the staying power of a Snuggie (that is, in a few months we’ll all look back and be like, “Wow—remember when people somehow thought flash mobs were cool?”), but somehow Ashley and Ben’s flash mob really struck a chord with me. In fact, it made me cry. Let’s remember that I was doing my usual Bachelorette viewing routine of consuming too much sushi and FAR too much wine. So don’t judge, you heartless imagined readers (who I am abusing, yet I NEED to read my blog—I’m sorry, baby. I’m not trying to be mean.) Post-flash mob, they have a romantic rooftop dinner and Ben explains that he wants an all-consuming marriage in which both partners are insanely obsessed with each other (like a clean-cut Sid & Nancy).

The next date is a group date and the crew is:

-William (cell phone salesguy who claims that he has wanted to be a comedian his entire life, yet has never done anything about it),

-Bentley (cro-magnon man who is determined to give Jesse James a run for his money as the most hated man in America),

-Ames (nice, not much to report with this one),

-Blake (seems like a definite non-idiot, so there’s that),

-Jeff (Mask Guy, soon to be known as “You shouldn’t have taken off your” Mask Guy),

-Nick (rich man’s Chad Kroeger, who is growing on me, much like the melodies of Nickelback),

-Chris D. (seems perfectly nice, but as bland as white rice eaten in Indiana),

-Lucas (cute, nice, benign)

and possibly a few other, forgettable dudes. I never said I was all about the facts, OK?

For this group date, they all head to The Comedy Store where Jeff Ross will be leading them in a roast of Ashley. The guys have a little while to write jokes, then they will be performing for a packed house. Yikes. All of the guys are really anxious, except for William who seems to think that this could be his big break. Yeah, telling a few crummy one-liners in front of a “packed house” of paid extras during a daytime comedy show is your TICKET TO THE TOP! Next you’ll tell me that I have to bring “only” 10 friends who will pay $12/ticket and 2 drinks, and then I can have 5 minutes of stage time and the club’s booker will DEFINITELY be watching! The other guys are non-morons and they play it safe with digs at each other and light jokes about Ashley. Jeff completely eats it because he’s a weird bird, with or without a mask. Then William closes the show and is HARSH on Ashley. Pre-show, he had been advising the other guys that a Roast is an opportunity to skewer the person and the gloves should come off. Can someone please inform William that he’s NOT on a comedy reality TV show, but rather on a dating show, and (presumably) his goal is to get the girl, so perhaps he should think about that before he jokes that all of the guys on the show secretly wish that Emily were the bachelorette. Ashley ends up crying after the show and William is stunned and upset with himself. He speaks with Ashley and literally says, “A roast was such a dumb idea.” No dude, YOU are the dumb one, as YOU took it too far. You got all “Bridge on the River Kwai” with the roast and lost sight of why you’re on this show. Not to build a good bridge and effectively HELP your captors in a Japanese POW camp (that is, not to REALLY hashly roast Ashley), but rather to simply stay alive in said POW camp (to ultimately win her heart, despite these moronic challenges). See that basic parallel there? No? OK, William, how about you go back to peddling cell phones at a mall kiosk and leave the joke-telling to the professionals.

Meanwhile, Bentley has been playing the role of the guy who gives a rats, when he readily admits that he doesn’t like Ashley, he wishes the bachelorette had been Emily, and he’s tired of this whole charade. In the words of a high school crush I once had, Bentley is playing Ashley “like Nintendo.” Ashley asks Bentley if he’s here for the wrong reasons (as she was warned by their mutual friend Michelle Money, who I assume is either a stripper or a Cash 4 Gold peddler). Bentley’s a completely chickenshit, so he denies it, then almost immediately decides he wants to leave. Pulling the old “You can’t fire me, I quit” move. The maneuver of an absolute coward.

So he packs up his things and says goodbye to Ashley, all the while playing the “I miss my daughter” card and being viewed as a noble guy who just had to get home to his baby. EFFFFF YOU. Good riddance. Exploiting your daughter in that way is really creepy and you’re a straight-up sociopath with caveman-like features.

Ashley is heartbroken by Bentley’s departure, but I wish she wouldn’t be. Dude is toxic, and as I’ve said before, she shouldn’t misconstrue his boorish behavior as appealing—it’s manipulative. Sweetheart JP comes over to Ashley’s house that night for a low-key 1:1 date. Ashley breaks out sweatpants and glasses (perhaps as a fast-forward to what a relationship is actually like, down the road) and JP rolls with it perfectly. Sweet guy.

It’s finally cocktail party/rose ceremony time and Ashley’s sparkly dress and necklace are phenomenal. She goes into the framed photo chamber, where Chris Harrison counsels her and gives her some Dr. Phil-style tough love. I know that I give Chris Harrison a lot of shit on this blog, but deep down, I think he’s a delight. And he didn’t disappoint last night, when he reminded Ashley that Bentley LEFT HER and opted out, and if he was into her, he would have stayed. Bless you, Chris Harrison. As I once heard on Oprah or Dr. Phil or somewhere else, “If a person who doesn’t love and respect you walks out of your life, thank that person.” TRUTH!

They skip straight to the rose ceremony, where Ashley doles out the roses and the final rose goes to William “Wakka Wakka Wakka” WhateverTheHellYourLastNameIs. Who is going home from this episode? Well, obviously Bentley already left and Ashley did the “no rose for you” to Jeff and Chris D. Chris D. seemed like a nice guy, but there never seemed to be much spark there. As for Jeff, turns out his mask might have been the most normal thing about him, as he showed himself to be completely odd when it came off. I loved the shot of him throwing his mask into a fire, like his very own little Rosebud sled. Holy craps do you know how bad that mask in a fire would smell? That thing was completely rubber and synthetic! Why don’t you throw some hair into that fire, while you’re cooking up the most awful smell of ALL TIME. Oh also, capture the scent of a homeless guy sleeping on the F train while you’re at it.

Up next, the crew is rolling down to Thailand for a Hangover 2-like Bachelorette! Mike Tyson had BETTER show up on one of their group dates.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Great scene in Good Will Hunting

In the past few years, as so many of my friends and peers have gotten married and had kids, I've found myself quoting this scene a lot. The lines at 1:43, specifically. Check it out: