Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tonight at Union Hall

Tonight in the basement of Union Hall, I'm joining forces with a few of my besties to bring you a night of fantastic stand-up comedy.

We've gotten love in the NYTimes:
An Evening with Matt Wayne, Selena Coppock and George Gordon (Wednesday) Kendra Cunningham hosts these three impressive young talents from the Park Slope area for half-hour sets. At 8 p.m., Union Hall, 702 Union Street, at Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 718-638-4400,; $7. (Czajkowski)

And in the Village Voice:
An Evening with Wayne, Coppock and Gordon
Union Hall, Doors 7.30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. $7
Three of the strongest young Brooklyn comics take the stage tonight, all stretching out to half hour sets. Matt Wayne pops and fizzes with zingers and old timey goofs, like his whole act is an audition to be your favorite uncle. George Gordon is one of the best out there at killing with cadence and laconic repetition. And Selena Coppock (author, New Rules for Blondes) is the dark horse audiences never see coming: a performer with unexpected tales of booze and G'n'R cover bands lurking behind that "elegant young lady" look.

Come on out to Union Hall (Union Street and 5th Avenue, Brooklyn) and get some cheap laughs!  Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8:00pm, tickets are $7 and life is good!

Friday, October 10, 2014

8 Years in New York City

A few weeks ago I had my 8 year anniversary of moving to New York City and I was too busy juggling work and standup comedy to notice it. But it got me thinking about what I've done over those years. 

In the 8 year period that I’ve been living, working, and performing in NYC most of my college and hometown friends have gotten married, bought houses, had children.  I have done none of those things and society tries to make you feel like a real screw up for choosing a different path—especially as a woman.  I’ve had plenty of moments at weddings or cocktail parties when I’ve been prodded for information about why I’m unmarried and questioned as to whether I’m “still trying to do the standup improv skits."  As much as I resent these questions, I’m not ashamed of my life’s path—I’m super proud.  Sometimes people look at me with concern and pity—I don’t have a family or a house to return to at night and to these people, that is unimaginable.  No, I don’t have kids (nor do I want them) and I don’t have a traditional life and I love every minute of it.  I often think of the scene in Good Will Hunting when therapist Sean Maguire snarls at snobby Professor Gerald Lambeau, “I didn’t fuck up—I chose this life.” 

I chose this life and the past 8 years of performing standup, storytelling, and sketch comedy in New York has been phenomenal.  My years spent in living Boston and Chicago were great, too, but New York is where I found my comedic voice so it will always have a special place in my heart.  

New York is where I moved to after I had been living in Boston for a  few years and trying out standup.  I was working for Prentice Hall and when they relocated my team to NJ, I was laid off.  I didn’t know what to do and my boss at the time (who is now one of my best friends), Anathea, encouraged me to be thoughtful and deliberate in plotting my next steps.  She knew that I wanted a change both in my publishing career and with standup and she suggested that I move to New York City.  I thought about it and made some plans, then my generous uncle Jim offered to let me live in his Upper East Side apartment and before I knew it, my parents had loaded up the Buick Roadmaster (rest in peace, Land Yacht) and moved me into uncle Jimmy’s apartment.  It was like a "Fresh Prince of Bell Air" situation and I was the luckiest girl in the world.  Anathea kept her job, relocated to the Upper West Side, and would commute out to the office in NJ.  As we found our way in NYC, Anathea and I would often say to each other, “Holy shit! We live in New York City!” when something magical happened. We just couldn’t believe everything that was at our fingertips—culture, shows, restaurants, excitement.  

My first sketch comedy class started 4 days after I arrived in New York and my life here has been comedy ever since. 

New York is where I met hilarious people in that sketch class at UCB and connected with 2 brilliant ladies to form a sketch group (rest in peace, Walking Contradiction) and my classmates and I went on to make movies, teach, sell books, and write for SNL.   

New York is where I learned how to produce and run a show (rest in peace, basement of Two Boots Pizzeria and Luca Lounge) and be part of a comedy community.  

New York is where I have found 9-5 work (let’s be real—9-6 or 7) at 2 different publishing houses that has been professionally rewarding and where I have met great people.  

New York is where I’ve met a lot of terrible ex-boyfriends, including one who stood me up on Valentine’s Day (you’re still a loser, Nick B.) and another who wanted to "get successful at comedy THEN find a partner” (how’s that going for ya, Kevin?) but also where I’ve found some wonderful boyfriends who have taken me out to some of the nicest restaurants in NYC (I’m pretty sure you were in the mafia, Craig, but we had fun while it lasted!) and taken me mudding in rural New Jersey (I’ll always think of you fondly, Ryan—even with your Axe body spray).  

New York is where I wrote and rewrote and rewrote my book proposal over 18 months, then sold my book to HarperCollins, cranked out roughly 60,000 words by sequestering myself inside my apartment every weekend for 8 months, and hosted an amazing book release party.  

New York is where I discovered the Sex and the City bus tour and got myself hired so that I could parlay my love of SATC into a second job.  For 3 years, every Sunday at 3pm I could be found outside the The Plaza waiting for a posse of 55 awesome visitors and fellow SATC fans to board a bus and cruise NYC for 3 hours while I told jokes, pointed out spots from the show, and did crowd work.  It was the most bonkers and fun job I've ever had. 

New York is where I learned how to tell stories and found the ceaselessly inspiring storytelling community that has enabled me to share some of the most triumphant and heartbreaking moments of my life with an audience. 

New York is where I learned to accept that I’m high-energy onstage and I should stop fighting that instinct—that’s me.  

I often say that when I started doing standup, my entire life made sense.  And as I reflect on the past 8 years of amazing shows and terrible shows and open mics and crummy road gigs and storytelling shows that make you explode with both laughter and tears and book proposals and rooftop comedian parties and packed subway cars and afternoons at Coney Island beach and check spots and writing meetings in random cafes and drink tickets and walking around with a bag full of wigs and props and running into fellow comedians on the street when you both say, “hustling to a show—give ‘em hell!” and feeling completely understood as an artist and a person, I want to pinch myself.  Holy shit, I live in New York City.   

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Endured 4 Hours of BinP

Beloved Readers!

Last night I sat in the piping hot living room of my fourth floor walk-up apartment and endured FOUR HOURS of Bachelor In Paradise, as both a test of endurance and to prove my love to you.

Where do I begin? How do I express 240 minutes of STD Shack without unspooling a tawdry tome from my dome piece?  Bullets.  It's all I can do.  Here we go, 4 hours of BinP, bullet style:

-Graham is sweating like Matty McConaughey in "A Time To Kill" but he accepts the rose from AshLee anyway. Dude, your BODY is saying no but your mind is saying yes (or some other such R. Kelly lyric).
-Lacey then has to puke and complains of cramps, which her loverly Marcus refers to as "terrifying" but guy, it's called having your PERIOD. She gets taken away in an ambulance and hospitalized for bad cramps. (Usually I just eat Congo Bars and get weepy in public, but hey, she's in PARADISE!)
-Finally, more roses are given out and the result is that Kalon and Marquel are going home. Two completely opposite guys in that Kalon is universally reviled by all other contestants and Marquel makes friends everywhere he goes.
-Was Marcus friggin' serious when he was IN the hospital bed with Lacey and spooning her as her vitals were taken? I wish that a surly nurse had yelled at him to get out of the patient's bed.
-Christy arrives (a forgettable blonde from Juan Pablo's season whose accent reveals that she must have grown up either in a Denny's parking lot in Illinois or a Denny's parking lot in Syracuse, NY) and she has a date card! She wants to ask Zack but he says no out of respect for Clare (good call) so she asks Jesse and stumbles upon a nightmare cause that kid SUUUUUUUUX.
-Sarah and Robert go on a date and after they awkwardly bonk heads, they finally bonk mouths.
-Macklemore on Roids (Cody) is so intense with Michelle! He wants to talk about their future and she wants to take about quad size.
-Zack and Clare discuss their relationship and Clare wisely says that there's no "figuring it out" and "either you're into it or you're not into it" then opts to leave paradise. She rules. I just wish she had left without even saying goodbye to Zack--now THAT would have been a cool way to exit. She'd be a Mexican girl giving an Irish goodbye!
-We're down to 6 girls, 6 guys when who romps down the beach by LUCY, the "free spirit" trust fund kid who can afford to do whatever she wants in this life! Lucy's still Lucy--overexcited, lil bit kookoo, and unable to control her body. Also, she lives by the mantra "TITS OUT!"
-Lucy and Jesse go on a date to some ruins and Christy is upset because Lucy is her BFF and Jesse is her crush. I got news for ya, Christy, THEY'RE BOTH TERRIBLE.
-Michelle and Cody's date is to go swimming while fully dressed in wedding attire. Is this Bachelor in Paradise or a lifeguard test on Lake Winnepausauke?  MAKE THE JEANS INTO A FLOTATION DEVICE!
-AshLee and Graham went on a date to a race track because Graham can't figure out how to get away from a girl who he isn't even officially dating.
-Marcus dropped the L bomb on Lacey. ("They'll make tan babies" -Sarah saying the greatest thing ever).
-Did Lucy, Christy, and Jesse have a 3some? Did they all fall in love because they share a hard "e" pronunciation in their first names? Probsies.
-Rose ceremony ensues and Lucy gets dropped like a free spirit who's actually wildly annoying and not "free spirited" at all. (Yes, that's a smilie made from the thing the simile is about--META! LAZY!)

OK, HOUR #3 IS UNFOLDING. Chug some Gatorade cause these kids aint done falling in and out of love while sandy.

-Brooks arrives and for whatever reason, some girls are excited. He was in the top 3 during Desiree's season (my recap of his final episode here) and he's known for being disinterested in everything and speaking in a whisper--WHAT A CATCH! Sarah digs him and Brooks seems to dig her, but Robert refers to Sarah as his "bae" and commands Brooks to back off. Hot move by Robert, but when did everyone starting calling everyone "bae"? It's friggin' everywhere and I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.
-What was with all the ladies wearing boho/hippie/Coachella style headbands? It's a cute look but man that trend rocked their house like a summertime storm.
-Tasos appears (guy from Andi's season whose exit never aired because it was in the episode when the rich adventurer guy died) and asks Christy on a date. Christy seems to have grown some self-esteem post-Jesse and they have a lovely time. Did Tasos become TEN times hotter since we last saw him? On The Bachelorette I wasn't really a fan of his, but now I am.
-Zack's jealous of Jaki and Brook's flirtation, but then he scores a date card and gets some hot & heavy cave time with Jaki. That girl must be a former gymnast because she has got some killer muscle tone that didn't show up yesterday, ya know?
-It's cocktail party time and there are 8 guys, 6 women, so 2 men are getting the Heisman and a 1 way ticket back to Normal Life, USA. Based on the couples in paradise, it's Brooks, Zack, Tasos, and Jesse who are on the line.
-Zack and Brooks are both courting Jaki hard, but Brooks was mistakenly told that women love it when guys give them manicures. Bad news, Brooks: a guy who can do a mani and speaks in a whisper is NOT a guy who anybody likes.
-Jesse is a sweaty, drunk sociopath who hunts down "dumb blonde" Christy (his words) then tries to manipulate her into feeling like she iced him out and he feels rejected. Oh man I wish somebody would take Jesse around back and pummel him.
-Michelle Money looked like a take-no-shit brothel owner and also acted like it, which I loved. Watching those 3 ladies light into Jesse was the best thing I've seen since Emily Maynard told Kalon to "get the F out."
-Dressed like a boat captain, Jesse decides to leave "ON HIS OWN TERMS" (if you know my standup, that will mean something) rather than suffer the indignity of a rose ceremony. As we say in Kickassachusetts, what a friggin' pussy. Although I gotta admit I LOVED listening to him wax poetic about all the best buddies he just made and all the plans they'd have post-show. Everybody hates ya, kid.

Finally, it's rose ceremony time and who chose who?
-Lacey gave a rose to Marcus (holy 80s prom pastels, Lacey!)
-AshLee grave a rose to Graham (cool cropped top, but not as cool as her CASINO style look from the rose ceremony 2 hours back... seems like just yesterday, huh?)
-Sarah gave a rose to Robert (and rocked a KILLER flamenco style top!)
-Michelle gave a rose to Cody (crazy updo, feather earrings, backless shirt--there was so much going on here!)
-Christy gave a rose to Tasos (while rocking a purple romper and finally loving herself!)
-Jaki gave a rose to Zack (love the braid and dark lip combo)
So Brooks is taking his effeminate gait and whispering voice back to Utah.
Chris Harrison then appeared from the wings to inform these 6 couples that tomorrow EVERYTHING CHANGES!
Is he serious, or are they belatedly promoting a Matthew Sweet song? WE WILL NEVER KNOW! (Well,  not until Monday.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bach in Paradise: OH THE DRAMA!

On Monday night, Bachelor In Paradise was back with part one of a two night saga of sand dunes and drama.  I tuned in 30 minutes late because I still can't quite figure out how to use my DVR (I'm like an technologically averse old man's brain trapped inside the body of a smoking hot fox) and because I was living my damn life (and in the immortal words of One Life To Live's opening credits, "we've only got one life to liiiiiiive," ya know?).  OK, so I watched STD Shack while the rest of the world watched Sophia Vergara spin like a pig on a spit during the Emmy Awards.  (It really IS a great time for women in television, Julianna Marguiles!)

When I tuned in, Cody (the artist formerly known as Macklemore on Roids from Andi's season) had just arrived in paradise and asked out his uber crush Clare. Clare turned him down in favor of seeing where it goes with Zack and after some back and forth, Zack and Clare seemed to get on the same page. They had a good conversation on some Mexican festive pillows, during which Clare rocked far too much blush, but phrased her position well, saying, "I'm not asking for marriage tomorrow." Nice work, girl. Also, how do you keep your teeth so impossibly white?  

Cody didn't want to ask a second runner up (smart move, gym rat), so he passed off his date card to Marcus so that Marcus and Lacy could go on the most snooze-worthy date of all time. 

Later that night we saw the arrival of Kalon, the preppy tool from Emily's season who was booted for referring to Emily's daughter as "baggage" and who talks about being extremely wealthy much more than anyone who is actually extremely wealthy would ever do. (Seriously--I went to college with some crazy rich kids and it was always the richest kids who downplayed it, while the solidly upper middle class kids with aspirations of wealth were the ones who got name droppy about labels and cars. It's the financial version of "methinks the lady doth protest too much.")  Everyone hates Kalon on sight and he has no idea because he's a delusional moron.  He has a date card and he'd like to take Michelle on an adventure and "motorboat the F outta that" (his classy words--the crew back at the Yacht Club must be so proud!).  She agrees to a date with him, then drops him the next morning (#karma) so Kalon goes looking for a date and none of the girls are interested (awesome).  He refers to all of the women as "idiots" and leaves for a date alone, during which he did a fake heart-to-heart dialogue with himself and other activities that I'd imagine the UCSD shooter psychopath would do. 

Later at a beach bonfire Jesse Kovacs strolls up (hottie from Jillian's season who has a player reputation).  Jesse invites Jaki on a date and lays it on thick (and by "it" I mean charm/desperation) while they eat dinner in a cave. When she asks him point blank if he's strategizing, Jesse plays dumb and says that he's not good at strategizing.  Very strategic answer, Hot Dummy! 

That night during yet another beach bonfire, Michelle (who hilariously joked that she "felt like a plan B... or even C... occasional D" and made a fan out of me) lamented her inability to make a connection with anyone in the house and then got a massage from sweetheart Cody.  I smell a new love connection! 

The next day AshLee learned a heartbreaking lesson: when you go on a reality TV show, you're mic-ed 24/7 AND there are cameras everywhere. I KNOW! Can you even stand it? Fake EyelAshLee learned this tough lesson when she openly talked smack about Clare to Zack. She encouraged Zack to pursue other women, called Clare "cuckoo" (oh that's rich coming from AshLee who confessed to Graham that she staked is Instagram on the day they met), and snapped, "she bleeped a guy in the ocean--are you kidding me?" Zack didn't say much of anything (and dude needs to learn how to STEP UP) but word got back to Clare faster than you can say "internalized sexism is what keeps the patriarchy in power and sexual double standards are often reinforced by the very groups that they victimize!" 

In a private conversation, Zack tells Clare that he isn't going to have her back, despite the fact that they are Bachelor In Paradise-dating, but the words come out as, "I don't want to be part of this drama" and Clare says she'll handle it herself (OMG she rules).  

Later that night, AshLee pulls Clare aside and says she's unsure of why Clare might be mad, but she senses some tension (oh AshLee, you're more inept at playing the victim than the girls who used to pull that crap on me in high school). Clare wins the day, telling AshLee, "you and I are not friends" and when AshLee has the audacity to say, "I'm not upset at you--don't feel like you did anything wrong" Clare rightfully snaps back, "I DIDN'T." It's intriguing to watch AshLee try to pull Jedi mind tricks on Clare and fail so spectacularly.  Clare tells AshLee that she's tacky and not classy and AshLee scampers off to lie in the bed that she made (literally and figuratively).  

The next night is the rose ceremony and 6 girls will be giving out roses to 8 dude options. Smart  money says that Kalon is on his way out (don't forget your baggage, fake Richie Rich), but who will the other reject be? Well we won't know until Tuesday night because there was drama at the rose ceremony! 

During cocktail hour, Michelle pulled Graham aside and told him about AshLee's toxic smack talking. Graham had been unenthusiastically "dating" AshLee (thought it seemed  more like a hostage situation), but he's stunned by her mean spirited behavior toward Clare. The rose ceremony starts, and we get as far as...

Lacy - Marcus (I think I dozed off for a moment because of how insufferably BORING these two are.) 
Clare - Zack (I hope the guy can step it up soon. Also, her white top rules.) 
AshLee - Graham 
BUT as AshLee offers her rose to Graham, he stands there looking dazed for a moment, then simply walks out of the rose ceremony. Michelle follows him moments later (because she knows how to make good reality TV and drama must be talked out with another person) and then we see "TO BE CONTINUED" on the screen.  


Monday, August 18, 2014

How I Met the Hottest Masshole from The Bachelorette: DYLAN!

Beloved Readers!  It has been a hot minute since I posted on there, and for that I am sorry. I must also confess that I haven’t even finished watching last week’s episode of STD Shack aka Bachelor In Paradise. This August has been a busy one, which is very different from my usual August routine of making regular trips to Coney Island Beach and pretending that I hate weather so hot that I must wear a tube top 16/7 (it would be 24/7, but who can sleep in a tube top?). 

From what I saw of last week’s BinP episode, Elise is a lil bit of a kookoo bird, Chris B. still walks like a duck (literally—that’s not a euphemism), and Robert’s nursing a broken heart (at the hands of a girl who is as overrated as One Direction—yeah, I said it!). 

BUT NONE OF THAT MATTERS. What matters is that a few days ago I had a face to face meeting and hang time with Dylan, the Boston accountant featured in Andi’s season of The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise (as Elise’s major crush).  If you recall, during The Bachelorette, I was pulling him for day one and not just because he’s a stocky hottie—also because he’s a Masshole.  I’ve been writing recaps of The Bachelor franchise for years—it’s how I got my book deal.  This here blog has gotten a lot of hits from Bachelor Nation and a month or two back, a sweet girl on twitter (Amy Ciulla!) pointed @dylanpetitt (the aforementioned Dylan) to my blog and he read my recap. He agreed with America that my reality TV recaps are friggity whack hilarious.  He then started following me on twitter and I followed him, which enables us to send Direct Messages to each other.  It’s like a sad version of Tinder up in here!

I sent Dylan a note and said that I was pulling for him and I thought he navigated reality TV really well—he seemed genuine and real and never said anything too inflammatory, which was smart.  He wrote back and was very nice and we had a few friendly messages back and forth.  I mentioned that I do standup comedy and I had some shows coming up in Boston during late August.  I told him the dates and he said he’d be interested in attending, so I said that I’d remind him as the date approached. 

If you read my book, you know that I have “lovingly stalked” reality TV hotties before (see "Chapter 4, Rule: Don’t Date a Guy or Gal Who is As Hair Obsessed As You Are" from The New Rules for Blondes to hear the Constantine Maroulis saga) and I always get my man (if by “get my man” you mean, meet the guy and plead for a photo with him).  Now I am two-for-two with reality TV hotties, as I invited Dylan out to a Boston standup show and he actually showed up, plus I scored a photo with him.

A few days before my Thursday night show at SweetwaterTavern, I sent Dylan a reminder and I said that I could get him and a friend into the show for free. Unlike the jag who stood me up on New Year’s Eve 2001 (you can read that tale of woe in my book, too), Dylan is a man of his word and he showed up at Sweetwater Tavern on Thursday night with two pals in tow. The show was fantastic—packed room, awesome line-up, some free beer—great times. I was last on the line-up and I was really happy with my set (some might say that I “friggin’ murdered” and some would be completely right). After the show, my pals and I had a nice chat with Dylan and his buddies about growing up around Boston, Boston nightlife, Southie vs. Eastie, comedy, and The Bachelorette. To answer the question that I have gotten a few times, no, I did not maneuver him into a corner and shove my tongue down his throat.  I’m not 25 anymore, so I don’t need to kiss every cute guy I meet (but weren’t those the days, friends?). 

It was a lot of fun to meet a guy who I had jokingly mocked/rooted for/adored on TV and make him laugh. He was even gracious enough to pose for about a dozen photos with me. His friend was willing to snap a photo of me and sweet Dyl Dyl inside the bar, but when I looked at the photo it wasn’t so great, so I asked him to pose for another one outside.  Yes, I can be shameless when it comes to capturing a good picture.  A few years ago I had the lady at the Brooklyn DMV retake my license photo four times—sometimes you just gotta get it right (though he warned, those DMV ladies will NOT be happy with you). 

What did I learn from all of this, pussycats?

I you can dream it, you can achieve it (provided that your “dream” is to meet a reality TV personality who lives in your hometown and enjoys standup comedy and drinks).  If I had put half as much energy into my academics when I was a teenager as I do into my reality TV crushes in adulthood, I could have gone to friggin’ Yale. Without further ado, I give you a photographic record of the time I met the hottest Masshole from The Bachelorette…

Our first photo together. We were so young and foolish! 
Photo #2 is when we loosened up around each other. 
Finally, we settled into a rhythm of love. This one will make a great engagement photo,
don't you think?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bach In Paradise: The Kickoff!

Monday night, ABC kicked off their latest vehicle to keep reality TV “stars” off the unemployment line, Bachelor in Paradise. On this show, a house full of Bachelor and Bachelorette “alums” (that’s putting it nicely) will go on dates throughout the week and elimination will happen if they aren’t coupled up with somebody by week’s end. Does that sound like a recipe for hurt feelings, heartbreak, and rapid transmission of communicable diseases to you? 

Yes, and there’s nothing I’d rather watch. 

Who will be living and loving in Paradise this season?

-Clare – Johnny Pabs’s second runner up who is earnest and a lil corny, but sweet
-Marcus – fresh off a dumping by Andi (Ombre DA) and ready to get back on the horse of love/rejection!
-Sarah – cute blonde from Sean’s season who has 1 arm and seems like a touch of a wet blanket. 
-Marquel – also fresh off a dumping by Andi and ready to find love while rocking a straw fedora! Oh, make the fedora thing stop PLEASE!
-Daniella – blonde from Sean’s season who looks a lil bit trashy and opinionated, which means I both relate to and adore her.
-Graham – from DeAnna’s season (which I must confess, I didn’t watch—that was back before I became a die hard) who is the elder statesman of the house and who the ladies find irresistible because he doesn't seem to care about anything. 
-Lacy – a girl who was sent home on night 1 of Juan Pablo’s season, which is a bad omen. If girl couldn’t manage to make small talk with the guy who was the most superficial, bullshitty Bachelor in Bach history, what the HECK does she bring to the table? (I have a feeling it’s big boobs!)
-Ben S. – southern faux gentleman from Desiree's season who wears a shit eating grin 24/7 but god knows where he gets that confidence from because kid is NOT handsome or remotely interesting. 
-Michelle K. – total wackadoo from Jake’s season.
-Robert – uber generic guy from Desiree’s season. Robert is so bland that I feel like I have face blindeness when I see him because I’m just like, “Who is that mass of white skin and average brownish hair with non-dramatic facial features?”
-Dylan – Masshole hottie is BACK and it’s the only reason I’m watching this ridiculous show. Dylan quickly proves a theorem that scientists have been debating for years: the only thing hotter than Dylan staring out a train window on The Bachelorette is Dylan with a tan and topless on Bachelor In Paradise!
-Elise – blonde gal from Juan Pablo’s season who was known for her unending supply of sequined, pageant-y cocktail dresses.
-AshLee – southern belle from Season’s season who has spent her few years out of the spotlight investing in false eyelashes and highlights. 

There are 7 men and 6 women and at week’s end, the guys will be handing out roses to the women, so the mission is clear: LADIES, GET MEN TO LIKE YOU, STAT! (Bachelor in Paradise is taking a page from Nine West’s latest horrible ad campaign!)

A quick run-down of my thoughts from the episode:

-Every girl on this show (except weird Michelle K.) must have gone to her colorist and said the exact same thing, “light brown base with blonde highlights, please!” You know you’re in a sea of sameness when a true brunette shows up (the infamous Michelle Money and yes, I hate myself for knowing that she’s Bach “infamous”) and you shout, “finally some DIVERSITY!”
-Dylan and Elise fell in Love at First Sight, which I’m hoping turns into Heartbreak at Second Week so that Dylan is free to date me when I’m in Boston next week.
 -Lacey’s was doing a helluva job putting her hair up in bonkers up-dos while being wicked passive and making Robert and Marcus embarrass themselves for her. Could she BE more overrated?
-AshLee arrived in Mexico with a plan: to meet Graham, who she only knows through social media.  She then threw a tantrum and cried when Clare invited him on a date, exclaiming, “he couldn’t be loyal for 24 hours?” Umm… loyal to what, False EyelASHLEE? (OMG I JUST MADE UP THE GREATEST NICKNAME EVER!) He doesn’t owe you anything and by him accepting a date with someone, he isn’t being “disloyal” to you, a virtual stranger.
-Daniella was throwing out zingers and it's cracking me up. 
-There seemed to be a Clare vs. AshLee crazy-off going on. I’m excited to see how this plays out.
-Lacey and Macrus’s conversation about how they both have pretty eyes might be the dumbest thing I have ever seen (or was the dumbest thing when Lacey said she was torn between two guys and the balance of her affections was “80/40”?)
-Props to Sarah for being aggressive and telling Marcus that she wanted to make out, but it was still an awkward moment.
-Michelle Money (a late arrival) and Graham love each other, you guys, and nothing says “love” quite like a drawn-out secret handshake!
-AshLee and Graham’s conversation about “red flags” was hilarious. I loved how he referred to her intensity as a “red flag” and she tried to backpedal.
-While Lacey was straddling Robert in the crashing waves, Marcus was whining to Dylan that after his Andi heartbreak, he had his walls up and Lacey managed to break those walls down (in just 24 hours?). Those sound like some pretty weak, dinky walls, my friend.

Before we know it, everyone is done straddling everyone else in the ocean and it’s time to hand out some roses.  With the arrival of Michelle Money we have 8 ladies, 6 guys, and 6 roses.  Oddball Michelle pre-empts the rose ceremony by saying that she wants to leave since she hasn’t made a connection with anybody. Go for it, weirdo. 

Now we’re down to 7 and 6 and the roses go like so…
-Marquel dressed as a hipster pirate gives a rose to Michelle Money who is dressed as a flamenco dancer
-Graham who makes all of his decisions based on FEAR gives a rose to AshLee aka Fake EyelashLee. 
-Dylan who is rocking a jaunty vest that I’d hate on anyone else but I love on him gives a rose to Elise who admits she would say “I love you” to Dylan at this point.
-Marcus throws everyone for a loop and gives his rose to LACEY, which makes her now his possession (based on how she reacts).
-Robert is dumbfounded and gives a rose to Clare, who refers to Paradise as “Claradise" (#barf)
-Ben who is probably wondering why nobody really gives a rat’s about him gives his rose to Sarah.

So Daniella, the most funny, candid contestant on Bachelor in Paradise is going home. I hope the other people know how to crack jokes and talk smack, because we’re going to need some of that!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bachelorette Andi Ep 10: THE DECISION (just like LeBron, huh?)

Monday night Andi Dorfman aka Ombre DA made the most important decision of these modern days, picking between Josh, a poor man's Kenny Powers whose job title is "Former Pro Baseball Player" (a job he quit 5 years ago) with hyper waxed eyebrows and tattoos in his armpits (hence my ingenious nickname for him: Armpit Tats) and Nick, a mischievous Milwaukee native who didn't get along well with other men (red flag) and spent the entire season bragging that he would win Andi's heart.  Yes, this entire paragraph has been one long sentence.  That's what commas are for, JAGS!

Nick met Andi's family first: mother Patti (they love their i names!), father Hy (who has an amazing poker face), sister Rachel, and brother-in-law Who Cares With A Bad Haircut. Nick makes a good impression by arriving with flowers for Patti and a bottle of booze for Hy (quite a dice roll--what if Hy's in recovery and/or a teetotaler?).  Patti commented on how nervous Nick seemed but Nick wins over Mama Bear by repeatedly saying that he loves Andi and he knows she's the one and he loves her a lot and he knows she's it for him, until Patti says "UNCLE." Hy asks Nick what he likes about Andi and Nick gives genuine, thoughtful reasons (more than I can say for how Josh later answered that question), then Hy gives his blessing.

Up next is Josh and God bless Papa Hy, he hates Josh on sight.  Hy comments on the fact that Josh is a former pro ball player and he seems extremely nervous.  Josh is like a robot--sure, he can technically answer the questions he is asked and engage in conversation, but there's no there there.  He's like a musician who has the technical stuff down--he can do the scales, he can read the sheet music--but has no soul.  Sure, this rendition of "Night Moves" is technically correct and you are hitting the notes at the right time, but I want to hear you perform in a way that tells me that you were once young, restless, and bored, ya know? Armpit Tats isn't worth my brilliant theorizing, so I'll just say this: Josh met Andi's family and didn't screw up.

The next day Andi has her final date with Josh and they go swimming and snorkeling off the side of a beautiful boat.  That night they have their final evening together and Josh is rocking some atrocious red pants (did you come straight from the Yacht Club, dickwad?) while Andi is wearing one of many backless, silk shirts. Armpit Tats has a gift for Andi and it's (1) a note (isn't he a KILLER GIFT GIVER?) and (2) a baseball card with her photo and stats.  OF COURSE Josh gives Andi a baseball card.  What ELSE would he give her, a necklace? But a necklace won't serve as a constant reminder that he is a FORMER PRO BASEBALL PLAYER, will it? No it won't.

The next day is Nick's final date with Andi and they go mudding (gave me flashbacks to one of the best dates I've ever been on--offroading through the woods of NJ in a lifted Chevy with a redneck hottie 8 years my junior BUT I DIGRESS).  They talk about her family, Andi says that Nick makes her "think of things I never thought before" (huh?), and they go swimming. That night, Nick breaks out another one of his multicolored baseball-style shirts (he has a cornucopia of them!) while Andi rocks another drapey silk shirt. As Nick and Andi sit in the couch, he says that he can't wait to go grocery shopping with her (shoot for the stars with those fantasies, Grown Up Nerd) and she asks him what he'll buy and what other types of errands they will do together, which is like the conversational equivalent of worksheets that a substitute teacher gives a classroom of kids that she doesn't want to deal with. He then gives her a necklace as a gift.

The next day, Andi ponders her next move as you do: while walking around her lawn in paradise wearing a neglige and sweater.  She says that she knows what she has to do and as Neil Lane visits Josh to loan him an overpriced blood diamond, Andi knocks on Nick's door to drop him like a sack of heartbroken potatoes.  ABC shows us that it's Andi at Nick's door, then cuts back to the studio where former Bachelor/Bachelorette rejects weigh in on the relationship of two strangers.  Thankfully, we don't have to listen to them for long because soon we're back in paradise watching Nick go through the worst 20 minutes of his life. Andi says that she "woke up and didn't feel that something was right" (ya mean that you felt something was WRONG? There's a better way to put that, girl). They talk about feelings, say "like" a ton, and Nick asks, "Is this about somebody else?" which gave my Bachelor Finale party a good laugh.  Yeah Nick, it's somebody else and THE CALLS ARE COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE (BACHELOR MANSION)! A storm erupts at just the right moment and we are given dramatic shots of Nick feeling depressed on his patio while Andi drives away in tears.

Back in the studio, Bachelor Nation is sitting in stunned silence. But they won't be silent for long because it's time for a PROPOSAL!

Cut back to paradise and the sun is shining! Andi's all dressed up in a beautiful off-white goddess dress with gorgeous beaded neckline and hair half up/half down (with fantastic volume at the crown--I bet her hair was dirty cause how else can you hold a style like that ESPECIALLY in tropical heat, ya know?). Josh arrives and Chris Harrison gives him good poker face, guiding him to the stage area where he will either weep tears of joy or heartbreak. But we all know how this is going to end--with Armpit Tats walking away with the girl. Josh approaches and launches in on the most formulaic confession of love I have ever heard. He manages to mention his "first love, baseball" in his flat monologue that any casting director would reject as too false. Then it's time for Ombre DA to be candid with her feelings and she dives in, telling Pretty Boy Kenny Powers that she has loved him from the start and that she wants to have babies with him. Josh then gets down on one knee and hands her the free ring that he scored off his buddy Neil.  Andi gives Josh the final rose and we all live happily ever after.

BUT WAIT, Nick is back in Milwaukee and he wants closure, dammit! He tries to contact Andi two times during the post-breakup but pre-finale period of a few months and she rejects his attempts at communication. Nick (looking a bit over-powdered and grey) gets in the hot seat and conducts himself like a class act, saying that he's not going to judge whether Andi made the wrong choice or not and that Josh is a nice guy (that's HELLA generous b/c Bachelor Nation knows it's not true).  Andi comes out in a white cocktail dress and she and Nick have an awkward conversation in which Grown Up Nerd just seems sad and heartbroken and Andi comes off as defensive and cold. Andi says that she wasn't in love with Nick, so she never told Nick that she loved him and she seems to forget that Bachelors and Bachelorettes aren't ALLOWED to confess love during the season, so her not saying "I love you" to Nick wasn't a viable indicator of anything (I'm a regular Blonde DA with those logic skills!).  She says that she dumped him in his hotel room out of respect for him, which I won't contest. At least she didn't make him get all dressed up and schlep out to a little stage for his dumping.

After a commercial for Bachelor in Paradise (STD Soul Train), it's time to watch the happy couple reunite on national TV!  Josh comes out, gets hella handsy with Andi, and says that they're not pregnant, but they're "trying" (and I didn't think that I could hate you more, guy). Chris Harrison playfully mocks Andi's frowny face and persistent use of the word "stooooooop" and brings out Grumpy Cat because D list celebrities love tie-ins with other hot topics in the cultural zeitgeist!

What did you think of the finale? Bachelor in Paradise starts next week and I'll be writing super short recaps for that one because I can't resist. I'm thinking bulleted lists. Who does't love a bulleted list!?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bachelorette Andi Ep 10: The Men Tell All (Plus an Ultrasound!)

On Monday night, The Bachelorette aired its “Men Tell All” episode, but in addition to men telling all there was a live ultrasound, a frank discussion of race relations, and appearances by a few Bach alums who just can’t seem to graduate from Bach U. 

The show kicked off with an appearance by JP and Ashley, the couple who are singlehandedly reminding Bachelor Nation that reality TV love CAN work out.  Ashley is wicked pregnant and they are moving to Miami because winter 2K13 into 14 was tough and, as Ashley says, “happy wife, happy life.”  They’re a super cute couple and they seem to get along great, but I felt like I was watching 2 people playing prescribed roles of Doormat Husband and Wife With a Real Mouth on Her.  Chris Harrison made a joke that JP and Ashley are moving to Miami to be closer to Juan Pablo and I hope that Johnny Pabs is ready to be the butt of every Bachelor joke for the rest of his clueless life.  Then, in a move that Chris Harrison would call UNPRECEDENTED, a medical technician shows up and administers an ultrasound on “live” TV.  Just when you thought that The Bachelor franchise couldn’t get more heteronormative, they pull this move!  What’s next, a Bachelor cremation? The audience is bizarrely invested in the sex of a baby made by two strangers and when they discover that it’s a boy, everyone is elated.  JP says that he’s excited to watch football with his son (since girls are allergic to football—it’s in their DNA).  

Chris Harrison throws us a promotion for the next move in the Bachelor franchise, Bachelor In Paradise (which will be launching in a few weeks and yes, I will be recapping but I might do shorter recaps—I can’t handle this much Bach).  Bachelor in Paradise promises to be filled with drama, craziness, tears, and end with AN INCIDENT that involves blood and handcuffs.  This aint your mammy’s hump house TV show!  

Finally, the rejects—err—guys—from this season of The Bachelorette are trotted out and true to form, everyone looks better than they did during the season (except for Cody—sorry, bro).  We’ve got Carl (firefighter), Brett (hairdresser who walked in with a lamp), Andrew (guy who came off as pretty damn sketchy), Patrick (dude who brought nothing to the table), Bradley (Opera Man), Ron (left abruptly after a few episodes), Craig (Overexcited Loser), Nick S. (golf pro who Andi straight up didn’t like and he treats her as though she’s somehow in the wrong for this opinion), Tasos (who was lucky or unlucky enough to have his rejection never go to air), JJ (Pantsapreneur who had some wicked red eye this episode), Marquel (all sweet smiles), Cody (who is a ball of muscles with a pair of ears attached), Dylan (who got a haircut and continues to rule), Brian (his BFF—New England buds for LIFE!), Marcus (who I never quite “got”), Chris (who I’d like to get).  

Marquel rocked a cookie pin and handed out cookies to the audience (WE GET IT, KID), Brian was in a suit but looked like his mom had dressed him up for the 7th grade semi-formal, and the guys debated the he said/he said storyline of whether Andrew made a comment about the “black guys” during a rose ceremony.  We watched a montage of the guys during which Andrew referred to JJ and friend as “meatheads in suits” which makes me wonder if he went to a college without a football team.  Is a self-described “Pantsapreneur” your idea of a “Meathead"?  If so, let me introduce you to the boys of Delta Upsilon sometime.  I once watched one of them fistfight a refrigerator when he was drunk—THAT is a meathead, my friend. 

The guys talked about the alleged incident in which Andrew leaned over to JJ and made a comment about the black guys and the producers played the footage of that exchange happening (Andrew wasn’t miced, though), then Marquel talked about his faith and manhood and the whole thing was a surprisingly adult, civil conversation.  Chris talked about how to handle things “as a man” and made it clear that he’s not a fan of JJ.  It seems like JJ is one of those guys who characterizes himself really easygoing an playful and fun, but is actually a shit stirrer.  

Marquel spent some time in the hot seat and admitted that he was unable to get out of the friend zone with Andi and that he didn’t realize that guys were kissing her.  Marcus chatted with Chris Harrison about his experience and admitted that he made a comment because he was hurt (admirable to admit that on TV), and Chris heard more about how much his farmer family friggin’ rules.  A random chick in an off white jumpsuit interrupted their conversation so that she could flirt with Chris and give him her digits, which was gutsy… but weird.  During Ketla (yes, that was her name) and Chris’s commercial break speed date, Dylan shouted, “YOLO!” which cracked me up. 

Finally, Andi came out in a sparkly, short dress and took some questions from the guys.  Two tone shirt Cody tells Andi that she never saw “the real Cody” which is a blessing for everyone involved, I think.  Chris Bukowski (who tried to crash the first cocktail party) again lets himself be a Bachelor punchline in order to promote Bachelor in Paradise.  Dude, get some pride, would ya? Chris Harrison shares the lie detector results which are that JJ, Brian, and Chris told no lies.  Josh told some lies (perhaps the question was, “Are you over your failed pro ball career?” and he said yes?), Marcus lied about his number (awkward), and Dylan lied about preferring brunettes to blondes.  Hell yeah, Dylan’s wicked smaaaat and he prefers BLONDES which is the CORRECT OPINION!  Might I recommend a beach read to you, sweet Massole Man?  Here's the trailer for said book:

The episode closed with a montage of Andi bloopers, then pieces about Josh and Nick.  Who will win Andi’s heart?  We’ll find out on Monday!  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bachelorette Andi Ep 9: Bump 'N Grind in the DR

On Monday night, Andi and her final 3 suitors flew to the Dominican Republic for Fantasy Suite dates, also known as “get the milk for free one time to see if you want to accept a blood diamond from that cow.”  The montage of shots promoting that episode prompted me to wonder, in the history of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, has there ever been a white participant who can’t tan? Seriously—this thing looks like a Coppertone commercial. 

To kick off the episode, Andi sat down with America’s sweetheart, Chris Harrison, to talk about each of her suitors while we watched clips of their courtship.  She described Josh as “funny and endearing” (really? To me, those are antonyms for words that describe Pretty Boy Kenny Powers) but says that he is the type she has unsuccessfully dated in the past. She described Chris as a “grown man” and the “total package” but isn’t sure if she could handle farm life in Iowa.  Valid points.  Finally, she describes Nick as sweet and passionate and says that they have a “mental connection.”  

Date #1 goes to passionate Nick and he pops his helicopter cherry as they are whisked away to a private island. Andi and Nick frolic in the ocean while wearing matching light turquoise swimsuits (did you nerds coordinate that?) then sit down to discuss breakups. Nick awkwardly rambles, says “like” a lot, and admits that he was embarrassed when his ex-gf dumped him.  That night, they share dinner on the beach and Andi is dressed in a cute sundress while Nick’s fashion choices look like those of a 6th grader who wants to stand out from the crowd on the first day of school: red pants and a shirt that is grey and blue AND yellow.  My retinas were burned by his outfit (but then again, I live in NYC where I consider wearing a grey shirt to be “majorly lightening things up” from my usual black uniform).  Nick taps into his “childlike sense of wonder” (his corny phrasing, not mine) and shows Andi the book that he wrote about their journey together.  As a former Children’s Editor for Barnes & Noble corporate, let me say that this book needs a lot of work.  The artwork is subpar, the storyline is weird and unrelateable, and there are ZERO talking animals.  COME ON!  I guess we should be happy that Nick is using his free time to be creative instead of scoring room keys off unsuspecting hotel clerks.  He pulls Andi over to a tree where he says “I love you” and “you're it for me—when you know, you know” then they kiss LOUDLY.  (Also, I take issue with “when you know, you know” because I think there are a LOT of people who have thought that they simply “knew” and yet things didn’t work out. Who invited Debbie Downer to this recap?)  They retreat to the fantasy suite where presumably, they do this: 

Date #2 is Josh and his waxed eyebrows in Santa Domingo.  Josh is rocking a blue, plaid shirt and greets Andi with a cringe-worthy, “HOLA!” As usual, he’s grossly touchy-feely with Andi as they explore and shop in the town.  They stumble upon some live music and Josh starts dancing as my eyes bleed from how corny it is.  I thought that I disliked Josh because he wouldn’t shut up about a job he held five (or is it seven?) years ago, but now I dislike him because he is a HORRIBLE dancer.  Wow.  Why is he even TRYING?  Please stop.  Then they stumble upon a baseball diamond (of COURSE they do), where tykes are playing and they let Andi and Josh jump into their game.  Josh gets on the mound and it feels like watching Eastbound & Down, season 2 (in the Dominican Republic instead of Mexico, but nonetheless south of the border).  

Sweet armpit tats, bro
Post-baseball game, Andi and Josh chat about their journey and Josh finally says, “I DO love you” in a tone that sounds like he’s testifying in court.  How romantic!  That night they draw blood from a stone by talking about the difficult prejudgments of professional sports players (it must be SO hard to get paid to do exactly what you love and then be paid in $$ and BJs—I can’t even imagine).  As they walk to the fantasy suite, a display of fireworks go off (and you can practically hear the Bachelorette Producers saying, “GET IT? FIREWORKS? EXPLODING??”) which they enjoy, and then head to Humptown, USA—I mean, their suite.  

Date #3 is Chris and he is cruising in a Jeep that he leaves by the side of the road when he comes upon Andi rocking a gypsy/Coachella look.  Their activity is horse riding and Andi is extremely nervous, but Chris is in his element.  After a terrifying horse experience they sit down for lunch on a tree branch where Andi raves about Chris’s family.  They play a quick round of Ghosts in the Graveyard (cute… but a little bit much) and when Andi finds Chris, he scoops her up and carries her through the field (OK that’s hot).  That night, Andi is rocking a semi-dumpy white dress (but I guess you can’t ALWAYS be wearing your best outfit, right?) and Chris looks sharp in plaid (he seems to have emerged from a plaid cocoon, no?) and they talk about where they are in their shared journey.  Andi starts crying because she’s unsure about their progress and Chris is a complete sweetheart about it, saying that he simply wants to fall in love with her and that’s happening for him.  The tears are now FLOWING out of Andi and she’s switched into high pitched talk mode (I’ve been there, girl) as she tells Chris that she needs to cut him loose.  He handles it with aplomb that I haven’t seen since Desiree’s season when she dumped 1950’s Doo Wop-looking Drew and he said that Des didn’t need to apologize for not being in love with him.  Chris says goodbye to Andi and is whisked away from the DR, but not from our hearts (and if he is the next Bachelor, I might need to throw my hat in the ring).  

Andi and Chris Harrison have a sit down chat the next day and she explains that this is a 2 way street, so there will be a rose ceremony for the 2 remaining guys.  The guys show up (no jackets! Resort casual!) and line up, then are informed that they are the final two.  Andi holds a rose ceremony, giving Nick the first rose (EAT IT, JOSH!), then Josh the 2nd rose (WATCH YOUR BACK, NICK!).  I can only assume that sunglasses aren’t permitted on The Bach because that may have been the squintiest rose ceremony of all time.  

Next week is the men tell all, and you know who I’m excited to see: Boston’s greatest export and the guy who I am hoping will come out to my standup show at Laugh Boston on Tuesday, August 19th at 7:30pm--DYLAN! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bachelorette Andi Ep 8: Give Me Back My Hometown

Yes, this recap is titled after an Eric Church song--deal with it!  (And get jealous because I'm seeing him in concert at Madison Square Garden this fall.  Selena's feeling like a spicy minx today!)

Monday night we experienced an episode that is always a crowd pleaser among Bachelor Nation: HOMETOWNS!  Andi criss-crossed the country, although perhaps "criss-crossing" is a bold term for making 2 stops in the midwest and 2 stops in the south.

Andi's first stop was Nick's hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (more specifically the suburb of Waukesha, recently made famous as the site of the creepy teenage Slenderman stabbings! Way to be relevant and topical, Waukesha!). Before they met Nick's oversized family (as in 10 kids, not as in overweight--I'm not a jerk!) the couple had a very Laverne & Shirley day: they visited a brewery, danced the polka, and wore cheese hats.  That evening they had dinner with Nick's family and Andi tried and failed to explain the concept of "romantic connection" to Nick's kid sister. The family matriarch is a Tabatha Takes Over look alike named "mom" and Nick is very close to her.
There's mom aka Tabatha in the middle

The Real Tabatha is unimpressed (as always) 

Nick tells his mother that he thinks he's Andi's favorite and they both cry. As Andi drives away, Nick says that he doesn't think of her as The Bachelorette--he thinks of her as his girl. Aww Nick--I almost don't completely despise you anymore.

Then Andi heads to Chris's family farm in Arlington, Iowa (population 757 normals, 1 cornfed hottie farmer). Chris revealed his love for indistinctive, overstuffed furniture as he showed Andi around his house, then they rode in his tractor together before having a picnic among the severed corn stalks.  Andi claims to be "not as city as you think I am" and says that she loves hunting and the outdoors. Just then, a small plane flies overhead (and I was thinking, "Attack of the drones? Amazon delivery?") with a sign hanging behind it: CHRIS LOVES ANDI. Aww Chris---you're a good egg. That night Chris's family charms the pants off of Andi and Bachelor Nation with their kind hearts, blonde hair, and love of Ghosts in the Graveyard (seriously--that game is a classic).

Andi journeys from the nicest family in America in Iowa down to the Sporty Spice of families in Tampa, FL. Josh waits for Andi by the beach and claims to be very excited, but I'm still not buying it. They run around a baseball diamond and Josh says that he hasn't been at a ball field in 7 years (which is odd since he also claims to have quit his pro ball career 5 years ago, but hey--I'm not a mathematician--I'm just a hater). When Josh isn't name dropping his sports achievements he's name dropping the sports achievements of his younger brother and we soon learn that it's a family hobby! Over dinner the family fail to ask Andi and Josh any questions about their courtship but instead, discusses Aaron's recent games and draft prospects (and he sits at the head of the table). After football discussion over dinner, the family retires to the backyard for a game of touch football. Good Lord has any one of you picked up a book in the past decade? And NO, a football play book does NOT count!

The last stop on the Meeting Families and Soon Breaking Hearts Express is Dallas, TX where Marcus and his Mercedes are waiting for Andi.  Marcus drives her to a darkened club (very "Varsity Blues") where he re-enacts their stripping date sans alcohol (BAD IDEA).  There's nothing quite like watching a guy strip down and gyrate, then meeting his sweet, immigrant mother mere moments later. Marcus's sister has awesome hair, he and his brother share a heartfelt moment, and he says "I love you" to Andi.  A big night all around.

Then suddenly we're back in LA and Andi and The Boyz are summoned to what is supposedly Chris Harrison's house (but either he HATES person effects/table top decorations or that was a random house that was staged) to learn that Eric "Explorer" Hill died suddenly.  Marcus walks outside, Andi follows him, everyone looks stunned.  Then, Bachelor Nation gets a peek behind the curtain as the producers on site come out from behind the cameras to hug Andi and the gang.  We even caught a glimpse of the infamous Bachelor producer who got into a fake fight with a nonexistent woman for attention!  Yup, this guy! Andi regrets that her last conversation with Eric was so harsh and I feel for her. That's tough.

But this Love Train stops for no man--not even a deceased one--and it's time to make somebody cry. The four men line up (nice pink jacket, Nick--and if you can't tell that I'm kidding and I actually hate your pink jacket, then let me clarify: I hate your pink jacket but you are growing on me in a TINY way) and Andi arrives in a green dress that resembles a Chinese finger trap standing upright.

I'm just a Chinese finger trap standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me. 
Andi's still so emotional and just as she's about to start rejecting men on network television, she has a crisis of conscience because Explorer Eric used to stand in that same room waiting to be negged or loved by her. But Andi's a tough cookie (according to Chris's mom, who rules) and she pulls it together long enough to crush one man's heart.  Whose heart does she crush? Well, the roses are handed out like so...

-JOSH (does she truly want to spend every weekend of her life watching football games?)
-CHRIS (heck yeah--cool family, cool dude, good times)
-NICK (I wonder if his mom whips failing businesses into shape like her look alike? If so, Nick wins some points in my book.)

So sweet Marcus's heart is ripped out of his chest, just above his washboard abs.  He handles it gracefully, though. 

Up next are "fantasy suite dates" (aka 2 tickets to HUMP CITY and there's a carry on luggage fee of $25 and I hope that carry on is filled with condoms IF YA KNOW WHAT I MEAN) in the Dominican Republic. I can't wait to hear more about Josh's failed pro ball career!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bachelorette Andi Recap Ep 7: Mussels and Muscles in Brussels!

Last night Andi clipped the crew of dudes from 6 down to 4 and made me wonder, "what has she got against beefcakes who are most likely Irish Catholic?"  But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The gang was in Brussels, Belgium and Andi had enough bulky ponchos for everyone, though most of the men favored lightweight scarves (WHY?) and Dylan rocked a tiny ponytail (which took some getting used to... but I can dig it... mostly because sweet Dyl Dyl wore it).  Chris Harrison greeted the half dozen hotties and had a big brother-style talk (the family relationship, not the TV show) about this, the week before hometown dates (or as Bach Nation calls them, "HOMETOWNS").  They learned that that this week's activities would include two 1:1 dates (no roses up for grabs) and a group date (with 1 rose on the table) and before we know it, Marcus (good abs, blah everything else) is off for a 1:1 date with Andi.

Andi and Marcus chow on chocolates, mussels, and a sundae, plus take a selfie.  When they are sharing mussels, Marcus talks about how he has been journaling about his feelings. I don't mean to sound like your elementary school gym teacher here ("quit being a pansy!") and it's totally cool to write stuff down and make sense of it, but the gerund form of the word journal gives me wicked dumb chills. What else gives me dumb chills? When Andi tells Marcus, "I'm glad you're a good eater!" Umm, are you on a date with a guy or a tiny baby?

That night, Marcus and Andi get dressed up and have dinner in a castle, where Marcus speaks openly about his family.  It gets a little heavy: his father walked out, his mother was abused and then abused Marcus and his siblings, there was some major abandonment there, but now it's all good. Andi then comforts Marcus with the best line out of Good Will Hunting:

As Marcus explains that he and his mother have a fantastic relationship now, Andi switches from Good Will Hunting to Oprah as she asks when he had his "aha moment" with her. Enough pop psychology, Ombre DA! Andi and Marcus make out on the street and his chances of scoring a hometown date are looking good. Hey, I guess those killer abs are worth something.

That night, smug weirdo Nick is in the hotel suite and he's having a really hard time hearing about Marcus's date with Andi, you guys.  It's really hard FOR HIM to deal with this (cause it isn't for ever other guy there, dude?), so he sneaks off to see Andi.  I guess that's cool and all is fair in love and war...but I just can't dig this guy.  Nick walks to the front desk (camera crew in tow!) where he lies and says that Andi Dorfman is his wife and he forgot what room they are staying in, plus he needs a key.  Security at that Brussels hotel is sketchier than Josh's claims that he has nothing to hide, so the front desk clerk promptly hands him a key to room 207.  This romance is TERRIFYING! He shows up at her door, they go for a walk, Nick fidgets like a drug addict, and they make out against a tree.  Andi says that she and Nick have a passionate relationship that is "so hot."

Back in the suite, a ponytailed Dylan (who strangely resembles John Belushi's Samurai character with that tiny pony) asks the guys, "are you girls ready?" (OMG kid is hilarious and so friggin' Mass), then reads the next date card and the lucky guy is Josh (aka Pretty Boy Kenny Powers).

Josh and Andi explore Gent, Belgium and Josh can't keep his filthy paws off her, which she mistakes for genuine love from him. They stumble upon a clown marching band who are parading ducks through town and Josh pretends to find it hilarious and whimsical, but you can tell he's choking back a cry of "NEEEEERDS!" They eat lunch outside and while stone faced, Josh insists that he has feelings for her. I almost expected him to follow up with, "wait--that's my line, right?"  That night, Andi breaks out leather pants (casual rocker look--mama likes!) and Josh says, "it's not a 'too good to be true' thing" and he's referring to himself. His humility is inspiring.  Later, poker face Josh says that he's falling in love with Andi, but I don't believe it at all.  Andi is elated, saying, "this is real" but girl, this is about as real as the GUCCI purse that I bought on the street in Venice during study abroad.  Then we hear string music coming from outside the castle and as they walk through a stone doorway, Josh pulls Andi in for a kiss and they make out hard while lit from behind and seemingly standing in front of a fog machine. Is this The Bachelorette or an 80s music video?  They walk down to a performance by American Young (who?) who are singing, "sometimes love is war" which feels apt since Josh's "love" is a lot like the Iraq War: lead by an arrogant southerner and founded on lies. Aww snap Selena just got political!  More info here, if you are interested.  Josh and Andi dance on a platform and Josh claims that he's excited, but it has nothing to do with Andi--he just loves flashing his so-white-they're-almost-blue teeth and waxed eyebrows at America.

The next day is a group date for Dylan (rad!), Brian (nice!), Chris (hubba hubba!) and Nick (blech).  Nick is THRILLED that this is the final group date (he says this and the other guys just stare at him-HA!) but will he be thrilled to discover that the date is crawling on ruins then eating cheese cubes on sacred ground (at a working monastery) where they can't kiss? Maybe he will, maybe he won't, either way he'll be weird. Chris and Andi secret off a pottery studio that Andi calls a "pottery barn" (super subtle product placement?) where they re-enact Ghost and friggin' KISS! Is the pottery barn not sacred ground? Who usually makes out in that room? Monks? Is that room ever used for pottery, or only for make outs?

Andi sits down with the crew and informs them that 1 lucky guy will get a rose on this date and he will stay on for dinner while the other 3 losers drive home like a clown car full of rejects. The guys freak out and pull out all the stops: Dylan says that his family is excited to meet Andi, Brian says that he's falling in love, Nick says that he knew there was a catch and "I hate being right." Oh really? I feel like you love it, smug prick.

Finally, the cheese cubes are eaten, the sun has set, and it's rose-giving time.  Andi says that she wants the honor of meeting this guy's family and the guy is Nick.  Oh Andi, in the wise words of Sean Lowe's sister during his season, DO NOT pick the contestant who everybody else in the house hates.  Let me remind you of some of Nick's company in that role:

Courtney, whose catchphrase was stolen
 from Charlie Sheen: WINNING.
Nikki, whose roots were the thing to watch
 during her season.

This mountain man psychopath who was on
Ashley's season--they found him living under a tree stump. 
Vienna, a girl named after a city that no one in her family has ever visited.
The guys who are actually hot strut away and Brian calls it "a kick between the teeth" but I suspect he means a kick in the teeth (who has small enough feet or a big enough gap between teeth for Brian's phrase?).  Nick and Andi flutter about their impending Milwaukee trip and I'll give Nick a single compliment: I like that he intimidates Josh.  Le fin.

The my DVR skipped ahead and I missed the dude fight back at the suite. WHY!? I hate technology! The episode picked up at a key moment, though: Just as Andi (dressed in a ball gown last seen on DYNASTY) arrived at a mansion to send 2 weepy hotties back to Small Town, USA.  But before she could start throwing elbows, Andi made out with Chris ("you go, farmer" -Andi), Nick interrupted Brian's 1:1 time (even though he already had a rose! As my pal Mara Herron would say, SIT DOWN (and I mean that metaphorically, not literally and YES I will use double parens here!)), Dylan tried unsuccessfully to be emotionally vulnerable, and Josh acted obnoxious.

Finally, Andi lined up the dudes and then started in on a monologue that reminded me a lot of America's Next Top Model ("Six hotties stand before me--I'm sorry--5 hotties and a Smug Recovered Nerd Named Nick stand before me...") then she started handing out the roses.  Nick already had one, but who else scored a hometown date?
-Josh (aka Less Jacked Gaston)
-Marcus (Get ready to talk abandonment, Andi!)
-Chris (farmer man seemed shocked).

So Brian and Dylan, two wholesome guy's guys from the northeast were sent packing.  They both hugged Andi goodbye and told her that she deserves the best, which made me love them both even MORE since that's what my ex-boyfriend Ryan (the handsome redneck who drove a truck with a lift and used to play pro hockey... it's like a recipe for hotness...) said to me when we broke up. Andi cries and Dylan says, "I definitely deserve to fall in love again." Yes you do, handsome Masshole! It's NOT YOUR FAULT!

Next week are hometown dates but a more important issue is at hand: who can introduce me to Dylan?