Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bachelorette Andi Recap Ep 6: Andi Drops The Dead Weight

My recap is days and days late, dear reader.  My apologies.  I watched The Bachelorette when I was in LA this week then the next morning I hopped a flight back to NYC and I've been running around like a kookoo bird ever since.  My apologies.  Next week I'll be quicker, I promise! 

This week, The Bachelorette was like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves except Andi is pretty tan and there were 8 remaining suitors.  But pretty close!  And when Cody isn't busy doing his best impression of Macklemore on Roids, he'd probably make a good Doc.  The crew was in beautiful Venice, the city where I was once pulled aside on public transportation (a boat) and brought to the captain's quarters so that 3 handsome Italian men could stare at me and exclaim "Bella! Belissima!" as I stood there awkwardly. (The situation sounds like a creepy humblebrag, I know, but Italian men just have a way of being sexy and non-creepy and it's a straight-up BRAG!)  

Andi snaps up Nick for the first 1:1 date (sorry, Cody!) and they hop in a gondola that is adorned with a plaque that says "don't fall in love with the most beautiful woman in the world, but with the woman who  makes the world more beautiful" which Nick calls "apropos."  Not to sound like a shit stirring member of the MAURY audience, but did he just call Andi ugly? Are you going to let him disrespect you like that, girl? [takes off hoop earrings, removes shoes] Andi confronts Nick about how many of the guys hate him (turn off), saying that she doesn't find it attractive for someone to have enemies that easily.  Amen, girl! Also, dude kinda suxxx.  

That night Andi & Nick get decked out in their black tie best, rock some creepy Venetian style masks, and make out in front of a trio of musicians.  They have undeniable chemistry and Andi says that when she's with him, she feels like she's either "in a dream or on another planet" because space travel comments are hella romantic. Ya know who is interested in planets? Townie Martian.  Nick scores a rose.  

The next day, Andi receives yet another note from her "secret admirer" and I'm hoping that he turns out to be Chris Harrison.  Wouldn't that be UNPRECEDENTED!? 

It's group date time and Josh (former baseball player who needs to Let It Go), Brian (a man made of corned beef), Dylan (the greatest guy in the world, despite the pink shorts he wore earlier in the episode.  Little Dyl Dyl can do no wrong!), Marcus (snooze), JJ (pantsapreneur wackadoo), and Chris (cornbred hottie) are going to take lie detector tests administered by a guy who barely speaks English! (Kinda reminds me of this.)  Andi goes first, Dylan admits that he doesn't wash his hands post-bathroom (that's cool with me, lover), and Josh is very vocal about how much he HATES taking a lie detector test despite YET he has NOTHING to hide.  Dylan leaves the date (sick from E. coli?) and doesn't attend the cocktail party that night. Brian acts super cute and fun, Josh remains super sketchy, and Marcus tells Andi that he's in love with her.  Chris admits that he's the secret admirer then he scores a rose (which upsets Josh greatly, despite the fact that he's a STANDUP guy who has NO skeletons in his closet, you guys!).  JJ kvetches about the odd dynamic of guys congratulating other guys for making progress with Andi and Chris says, "you do you--let him do him" which is genius advice (and sounds like dialogue from an episode of Living Single).  

The next day, Cody (aka Giant Albino Gorilla Baby, according to my pal Lauren) finally gets a 1:1 date with Andi, but all of Bachelor Nation knows that it's too little too late, in the immortal words of a 12 year old Masshole.  Andi and Cody explore Verona (of Romeo & Juliet fame), then visit the Club Di Giuliette, a place where lovelorn idiots send letters asking for advice from a dead fictional character who needlessly killed herself for her teen boyfriend.  Let me guess the "advice" that these faux Juliets dole out: chug some poison then chill in a deathlike coma for 42 hours! Cody tries to relate to the letters, then over dinner he reads Andi a letter that he wrote all by himself.  She pumps the brakes, starts crying, and explains that she's just not that into him. Ouch. Macklemore on Roids bounces.  

The next night is the rose ceremony and there's side boob, Chris saying that Nick made a "jackass move" (truth), bad poetry, and Josh now claiming that lie detector tests are "SO FUN!"  Nick and Chris have roses, but the rest of the boys line up and the lucky rose recipients are...
-Dylan (heck yeah! Top dog despite being sick as a dog! DOGS!) 
-Brian (you know he loved House of Pain during high school) 
-Marcus (I find him so uninteresting that I can't be bothered to craft a witty barb)
-Josh (I pray that she drops him before hometowns) 

So JJ, our intrepid pantsapreneur is heaving home.  That's a real kick in the pants, huh? (I RULE!)  He leaves gracefully and says that it "hurts for your heart to be wrong" which is a good call.  Up next, Andi and the 6 guys head to Belgium! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bachelorette Andi Recap Ep 5: Miming in Marseille

After suffering through the withdrawal symptoms of life sans Bachelorette for 2 weeks (shakes, night sweats, pondering what "the right reasons" are to willingly make out in front of TV cameras), last night ABC gave us a fix in the form of Andi and her 11 remaining suitors in Marseille, France.  Marseille is a quaint city known for its waterfront, cobblestone streets,  and ability to make American men get into arguments.  It was like Fight Club last night, if the first rule of Fight Club were "one person must debate another person and that person #2 must seem wholly uninterested." EXCITING! 

Andi and her leather skirt (not doing anyone any favors) have a quick chat with Chris Harrison and his turtleneck (trying to go for a French look, no?) during which Chris asks Andi if she's in love.  She responds with her signature line, 

Oh, but we just getting STARTED! 

Jason (former pro baseball player who apparently hasn't done anything since retiring from the Myrtle Beach Mermen) gets his first one-on-one and guy is touchy-feely like he's a 12 year old boy on his first PG-13 movie date.  Andi and Jason walk around Marseille then board a boat (cue signature Bachelor boast music!) where they snuggle, canoodle, and talk about the most important thing in Jason's life: his failed pro ball career. The boat takes them to The Calanques, a mountainous island, where they disembark for cocktails and more flirting.  They talk about traveling but somehow the conversation ends up back on his pro ball career.  Jason sure loves talking about a job that he held from ages 17-22.  To adopt Jason's style, let me regale you, dear readers, with stories of my summer temp jobs—those faxes weren't about to send themselves!  I got paper cuts all the time!  I had to wear pantyhose in the summertime and everybody knows that nobody wears pantyhose anymore! 

That night Andi and Pretty Boy Kenny Powers clean up and eat dinner at Palais Longchamp (named after the bland bag that is somehow fashionable, I'm sure).  
Hi! I'm boring! 

Over "dinner" (wine) they discuss infidelity, exes, and the repercussions of his pro ball career.  After that, Jason and Andi get a private concert from Ben Fields who is apparently a musician and yet not Ben Folds (Five?). Where DO they find these people?  I don't mean to judge Jason based on his good looks and waxed eyebrows, but umm…. F off, pretty boy ball player.  Jason scores a rose.  

Meanwhile, back the house, JJ (Pantsapreneur), Nick (slow burn front runner who has gotten a bit smug), Marquel (playful hottie), and Brian (coach who is always in coach mode) talk about Andrew (black sheep of the season for scoring a hostess's digits and generally being a snake) and JJ says that in the first rose ceremony, Andrew referred to Marquel and Ron (the two black guys in the contest) as "blackies."  Ooof. That's super messed up, but I hope that JJ heard that correctly because that's a pretty bold assertion. Marquel  talks about how he feels and we have a pretty unprecedented moment for The Bach franchise: This show, which has been widely derided for its lack of diversity gives the lone remaining black suitor a soap box to talk about how it feels.  It was an intriguingly real and candid moment for a TV program that is mostly fluff.  

But before we solve racial bias on The Bachelorette, it's time for some WHITEFACE because the group date activity is MIMING! Is there anything more stereotypically French than that?  What's the next group date, bicycling around the countryside while toting baguettes, smoking Gauloises, and rolling over to German invasion real quick?  A mime teacher (the only one in whiteface) instructs the gang about the ins and outs of miming, they suit up (stripes and suspenders!), and then they take their exaggerated moves to the street. Cody (Macklemore on Roids) makes a miming/Snoop Dogg joke, Marquel makes a baby cry, Nick sulks, JJ acts weird, and people of France hate the entire display (of COURSE they do).  I haven't seen a Bachelorette activity as corny as miming since the time when Emily and Jef put on a marionette show (and yes, everything about that sentence is sad. I'm like a Bach Encyclopedia over here.)

That night at the cocktail party Cody tells Nick that he's smug and arrogant (truth) and Nick acts as such.  Andi can feel the tension through her turtleneck and sparkly, white miniskirt and she discusses the house dynamics with a few men.  Chris and Cody are the 2 nicest guys in the house and they tell Andi that Nick's a bit of a prick, which must mean that he's a real jerk.  Andi confronts Nick and he owns up to being mean spirited (RED FLAG) then reads her a poem that he probably bought off a 6th grade boy with its repetitive structure and juvenile tone. Nonetheless, Andi kisses him and teases him for "causing a ruckus in my mind." Huh/blech.  

Marquel calmly confronts Andrew about Blackie-gate and Andrew denies everything, saying that he would never say such a thing and he's being set up. JJ sits there and doesn't admit that he's the one who shared this information, then later he gets a rose because the rewards system on The Bachelorette is illogical and crazy!  Nick feels defeated and looks sad, which is a look that I love to see on a previously smug face. 

Finally it's Brian's turn to get a one-on-one and their date is dinner and a movie, which Brian says is his favorite thing (and I believe him).  They watch The 100 Foot Journey and we watch them watch it, so we are in effect watching a commercial for this flick (in addition to the multiple actual commercials for this flick).  We get beaten down with metaphors about food, love, and memories as we watch Andi and Brian grocery shop after the film.  They head to her apartment where they cook and Brian stiffens up because he doesn't know how to cook.  The Bachelorette producers must have been hard up for drama (was 2 arguments not enough in this episode?) because they craft Brian's kitchen cluelessness as a major plot point and insinuate that Andi might eliminate him because he can't cook.  They sit down to eat the frogs' legs that Andi cooked and the food is awful, so they go out to dinner. Holy romantic comedy trope!  At dinner, Brian admits that he was feeling self-conscious and not confident, but he regains his swagger over beer and leads Andi into an industrial kitchen for a hot make out.  Not so scared of kitchens anymore, are ya,  Coach?  Brian scores a rose.   

The next night it's cocktail party/rose ceremony time, but Andi vetoes the cocktail party.  She's rocking a seriously textured fishtail braid with some great volume and she's made up her mind.  Chris Harrison informs the posse that Andi will be sending 3 guys home and there will be no cocktail party.  Patrick refers to this as "devastating news" but it's probably most devastating to HIM, since all I know about him as of now is that he has slicked back hair and thinks that miming is hard.  

The boys line up for the elimination ceremony—I mean, rose ceremony—and Josh, JJ, and Brian already have roses from their respective dates.  Who is safe this week? 

-Marcus (he's nerdy but has great abs, which brings him back to zero) 
-Nick (Who can resist a smug guy who writes bad poetry? EVERYBODY except Andi?)
-Chris (I adore the Iowa farmer and yes, I think his tractor's sexy
-Dylan (You know it! He's handsome, easygoing, friendly, charming, and I'd like to see him in swim trunks a lil bit more please) 
-Cody (Macklemore on Roids lives to see another week! I'm just as shocked as he is!) 

So who is "hopping on a plane back to the U.S.A. that night" according to Chris Harrison (though we know the truth—those poor rejects will be stuck in a hotel killing time for another week or two at least)?  
-Andrew (snake in the grass slithers off. Who will the remaining guys hate on NOW?) 
-Marquel (super handsome, fun guy but he and Andi didn't seem to have a romantic spark) 
-Patrick (about as interesting as a vanilla ice cream cone on a cold day)

Next week our crew of 8 guys and Andi travel to Venice where they encounter boats, lie detectors, and tears!  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bachelorette Andi Recap Eps 3 + 4: I've Overdosed on Bach

Last night I burned through two, 2 hour episode of The Bachelorette, which is more time looking at Andi's myriad dresses than the duration of Lord of the Rings (though a good Bach franchise nickname would be Lord of the Rings -- Neil Lane diamond rings!).  I'm going to try to keep this 2 episode recap from going on too long.  Let's dive in!

Sunday's episode has Andi and the Boyz in Santa Barbara (home to my namesake, Selena McKinley! Contrary to popular belief, I was NOT named after the Latina Sensation!) where they'll have 2 one-on-one dates and a group date.

Nick (formerly "Nick V.") scores a date and Andi slowly "makes him a believer" (as she says repeatedly), though Andrew doubts that Nick "believes in the process." It's rich to hear a forgettable sleaze like Andrew trump the virtues of this "process."  Nick and Andi ride bikes around Santa Barbara, hike, drink wine, and bask in the evening light known as the "magic hour." (I went on a date with a filmmaker recently--can you tell? I'm droppin' JARGON like I dropped his ass after a few dates! If he's reading this, I'm just being playful! I'm not evil, I swear!)  Over dinner, Nick reveals that he was engaged once and the failure of that relationship took him down a peg. He mentions his theory on love (that there isn't one star-crossed love of a lifetime for each person, but rather that you pick the person you want to be with and you work through inevitable challenges as a team) and suddenly I don't want to mock his short pants so much anymore. Dude scores a rose.

Up next is a group date and the dudes think that they are going to be singing karaoke (what is this, The Bachelorette: Japan Edition? HONK!) but instead, they get private singing lessons from Boys II Men (those Motownphilly royalties aint what they used to be, huh?) then perform in a live concert!  Opera Man Bradley thinks he's got this group date in the bag, but unfortunately laying on the vibrato while singing "I'll Make Love To You" is the opposite of sexy.  The guys absolutely butcher the song as Boys II Men look on and wince.  I wish they had done a rendition of a deeper cut from Boys II Men--maybe some "Water Runs Dry" or "On Bended Knee" for the lovers?

At the after party Andi rocks a gorgeous, 1 shoulder pink dress and has some sweet moments with the guys.  She teases Cody (Macklemore on Roids), tells Marcus that her favorite color is black, which makes him smile mischeviously (can we cut it with the racial allusions?), and has an awkward conversation with Eric during which he basically asks her if he's special and she says no (in so many words).  She chats with master manipulator (and proud owner of 2 under bicep tattoos) Josh and the BS that he spews somehow charms Andi--he scores a rose.  (Andi girl, you're creating a monster!)

Up next JJ (the Pantsapreneur) gets a 1:1 and their "fun activity" is sitting through hours of hair and make-up to be made into old people, then walking around a park!  Apparently elderly people LOVE super short pants.  I hope that the Pantsapreneur took note!  That night they revert back to being late 20 somethings who are way too eager to get married and talk over wine.  JJ finally gets on my good side by sharing that he was bullied as a kid (stories of childhood sadness put you on the fast track to my heart) and calls himself a "quirky individual." Aww JJ, your self awareness is really endearing.  He wins a rose.

Oh, in the midst of all that, Ron (handsome dude, flying under the radar) gets a phone call that a good friend died and he leaves immediately.  Sorry, buddy, but props to you for jetting and not dragging out the exit.

Finally it's rose ceremony time Andi is looking amazing, as ever.  Andi and Eric are chatting alone when flowers from Nick are delivered to her ("I got cockblocked by a bouquet of flowers!" -Eric).  JJ and Josh confront Andrew about how he got the phone number off a restaurant hostess a few days after filming started and Andrew runs away like a chickenshit.  When he emerges from his hiding place, Andrew is reading to play the victim, calling JJ and Josh "low lifes"(sorry, low lives? What am I supposed to do with that?) and saying that he was simply handed her digits without asking (life is so hard when you're ridiculously good looking--or even when you're average looking, like Andrew).  Bachelor Nation, we have this season's villain, Andrew, and he didn't come here to make friends!

Line 'em up and knock 'em down cause it's rose ceremony time!  Nick, Josh, and JJ are safe.  What's the run down?
-Marcus (dude revealed some SICK abs this episode)
-Brian (basketball coach is authentic and sweet)
-Marquel (he's hilarious and dresses well)
-Tasos (sweet guy, but I don't see Andi connecting with him that well)
-Cody (Macklemore on Roids lives to see another week!)
-Patrick (slicked hair might want to develop a personality one of these days)
-Chris (Iowa farmer gets hotter by the episode--I don't care if he has a personality or not)
-Eric the Explorer (who strikes me as a bit naive)
-Dylan (Boston sweetie showed off a cute cross necklace this episode! Take me on a date to Kelly's Roast Beef, you Masshole Magic Man!)
-Andrew (you gotta keep the villain around to stir it up!)

So Brett the hairdresser (aka Poor Man's Jason Burke) and Bradley (Opera Man) are getting the boot.

Hold up, WE AINT DONE YET!  Chug some gatorade because we still have 2 more hours of BACH!

Now we're down to 13 dudes and 1 lucky Andi. They head east to Connecticut (specifically, the favorite touring stop of C list bands and reunion tours, the Mohegan Sun Casino) and Dylan gets the first 1:1.  Dylan and Andi board a steam train and finally get some private time as they travel along the Connecticut River.  Am I the only one who had flashbacks to Good Will Hunting (when Will sits in the window of the Red Line above ground) as we watched Dylan's unemotional countenance sit in front of the train window?

Oh Boston, how I love you and all your people.  Over dinner that night, Dylan reveals that his sister and brother both died from drugs within the past 4 years and speaks about it candidly. Andi is thrilled that Dylan finally opened up and gives him a rose while insisting it's not a pity rose.  I think it's not--it's a "dude you are HOT and you hail from the greatest state in the union" rose.

Up next is a basketball group date and Andi is rocking some cute high heeled sneakers (this trend is finally growing on me.  Sorry for ragging on it for so long, Laurel).  The guys play against WNBA players who cream them without even trying (hell yeah!), then play some five-on-five among themselves to have a better skills match.  Brian's basketball coaching skills pay off, as the Rosebuds win handily.  The 5 Hearts are sent home right after the game.  Sorry, Josh, Tasos, Chris, Patrick, and JJ.  Go get on the away game bus back to your room.  That night, Andi wears a rocker chic leather dress and chats with the guys.  Brian takes her back to the court and make a basket from center court, then doesn't lean in for a kiss (get a clue, kid!) and Eric continues to kvetch that it's too formal and he doesn't feel special anymore (and slowly reveal that perhaps his constant adventure travel is overcompensation for a lack of personality? Just a theory.)  Despite the fact that he has ZERO game, Brian gets a rose.

Marcus and Andi have a one-on-one date and by this point in the night, I was holding onto my sanity by a thread but those two crazy lovebirds were holding on tight because they were rappelling down the side of the Mohegan Sun Hotel & Casino!  What will these producers think of next?  Apparently nothing, since rappelling comes up every damn season!  They make it to the bottom (thanks to Marcus's paternalistic cries of "trust yourself" and "don't look down") then have dinner at an old inn where Marcus talks about the abrupt break up of his last relationship.  He gets a rose and they wander into a country concert where John Pardi croons while they dance and smooch on an elevated platform.  (If I were John Pardi, my go-to line would be "PARTY is my last name! Well, it's actually a homophone, but seriously I love to party!")

Finally it's cocktail party time and we're in the home stretch of this Bach night that is longer than The Wolf of Wall Street (minus the Quaaludes).  Andi's in a killer gold dress and the guys get to work, with Tasos pulling her aside, Brian finally getting the courage to kiss her, and Marquel cracking jokes.  Eric seeks alone time with Andi and says that he thinks they are "stalled" because SHE is holding back and not revealing herself (great work on the psychological projection, guy! Freud would be so proud!). He says that she is being a TV actress with a poker face, which prompts some pretty expressive faces from Andi as she rips into him then sends him home. It really seemed like he was needling her and only when she was upset did he claim that he was seeing "the real" Andi.  Dudes: If there is one thing that you can learn from that scene it is that you should NEVER claim to know a woman better than she knows herself. It's super manipulative, crummy, and insulting. Eric hops in a cab.

We don't get a rose ceremony after that scene, as I'm sure that Andi and the producers didn't want to have any further negativity in Eric's final episode.  I can't imagine how exhausting it must be to be at the center of the franchise and while Andi got pretty upset and angry at Eric, I think her reasoning was valid.  Overall, he seemed pretty obtuse.

So Tasos left without ceremony (rose or otherwise) and it wasn't a shocker--he and Andi never seemed to have much in common.  In the coming weeks we'll see Andi trim the fat (I'm looking at you, Patrick, Marquel, and Macklemore on Roids) and hone in on serious contenders.  Because ABC likes to keep us on our toes, next week there will be NO BACH (try to make it through by rolling around on a bed filled with print outs of my past Bach recaps) but we'll be back in 2 weeks with some international travel and, no doubt, footage of dudes in swimsuits.

Talk to you then, Bachelor Nation! #TeamDylan