Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bachelorette Kaitlyn: Ep 3 (Memorial Day Madness)

Monday night's Memorial Day episode of The Bachelorette involved boxing and stand up comedy--have the producers of this show been haunting my dreams?  I was just waiting for a group date to a hockey rink or a screening of GOON and my fantasies would have all become realities!

This episode starts off with Kaitlyn and Britt adjusting to her new statuses as THE BACHELORETTE and THE REJECT.  Britt attempts to cry as she tells someone on the phone (her mom?) that she'll be coming home but the tears just won't come.  But ya know who WILL come? BRADY!  The bizarro singer/songwriter who had a "real connection" with Britt and is knocking on her door and trying to make love happen.  Good luck, losers.  Meanwhile, Kaitlyn has a heart-to-heart with her new BFF Chris Harrison and before you know it, group dates are starting!

The boys have moved into the "Mansion" (can it still be called a mansion if it's filled with bunk beds?) and do the obligatory group shout with arms outstretched (there must be one instance per episode, ideally 2-3) then learn about the week's date schedule: 2 group dates and a 1:1 date.

The first group date will be Daniel (Drunk Face), Justin (resembles a thumb who hits the gym a lot), Jared (RI's finest restaurant manager), Corey (investment banker dude who resembles a hot Rick Perry), Tanner (sharp nose), Kupah (poor man's LL Cool J), Ben H. (button nose bland), and Ben Z. (brick shithouse HOTTIE).  The gang arrives at a warehouse last seen in the video for Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations" and are taught how to box by Laila Ali. I'm loving the feminist slant of this season! The guys train and Laila informs them that the day will end with a boxing tournament where weight classes don't exist.  Sounds both safe and fun! A guy who is 195 lbs attempting to fight a guy who weighs in at 225 pounds--what could go wrong!? Tanner admits that he has never been in a fight in his life (oh I believe you, guy), Kupah focuses a little bit too much on training and not enough on Kaitlyn (this isn't The Contender, Masshole, but that show DID rule), and Ben Z. reveals some nice tattoos.  Soon it's time for the bouts and lawdy lawdy that's some sloppy boxing.  I've never been in a boxing ring myself (other than this time I hosted a standup show in a boxing ring--no joke), but I did used to kick it with a film maker who covers boxing all over the globe and he got me into Team Pacquiao, so I'm pretty much a professional boxing commentator now.  And wow those brawls were hard to watch.  The final card was the David and Goliath pairing of Jared vs. Ben Z. that ended with Jared taking a hard punch to the ear/temple and Bachelor Nation watching a slow motion shot of a restaurant manager getting a concussion.
Welcome to TGIFridays, where every day is Friday! 
Jared is shuttled away by a doctor/union grip and everyone feigns surprise that a 170 lb guy just got pummeled by a 225 lb beefcake.  At the after party, Kaitlyn and Ben Z. bond over a shared love of food (you can't make this shit up), Drunk Face/Designer Daniel does a Miami Vice impression in a white suit and no socks, and Jared makes a cameo to get a pity kiss on the street. Ben Z. scores a rose from Kaitlyn proving that the way to a lady's heart is through your fat, bloody fists (AMEN).

Meanwhile, back the house JJ is feeling stunningly confident for a guy who has a crappy personality, bad sense of humor, and perpetual red wine teeth.

The next day is the first 1:1 date and who is the lucky lad? Clint, the long haired Jake Pavelka. Kaitlyn and Clint cruise the Cali coast in a classic Mercedes convertible (top up to protect the hair--good girl) and Kaitlyn says that she CAN drive stick (damn straight, girl) then they arrive at a gorgeous villa where they'll get dressed up for an underwater photo shoot.  Apparently photos of couples underwater are all the rage with engagement photos these days. Good God.  I find the concept of engagement photos to be unnecessary enough, but friggin' underwater engagement photos? When will it end!? The wedding industrial complex is unstoppable and all I want is a small wedding in a steak house. Am I a meat eating simpleton? The photos are surprisingly cool, despite the America's Next Top Model degree of difficulty.  Clint and Kaitlyn dry off and share a lovely dinner and intense make out.  Clint gets a rose.

Meanwhile, back at the house Tony (the "healer") has a major problem with the boxing challenge, spouting off proclamations that love shouldn't be about competition or fisticuffs.  Did no one tell him that he's on The Bachelorette?  He then mixes up the names Britt and Kaitlyn as he declares that he's into HER, but is she into him?  Sounds like Tony is already breaking down and it's only week 1! If only the healer could heal himself.

The next day is the final group date of the week and the crew is JJ (arrogant loser who comes off as rapey-er than a rapier), Jonathan (arm tats, casual style), Joshua (redheaded sweetheart), Chris (cupcake guy whose appeal continues to elude me), Ian (HOTTIE WHO I WILL NEVER STOP LOVING), Joe (BYO-Whiskey hot redneck), and Tony (healer who STILL has a black eye, despite his hatred of fisticuffs).  JJ is hoping that their challenge will involve stand up comedy because he's always wanted to try standup and OF COURSE HE HAS! It's always the most clueless, insufferable guys who approach me after a show and say that they have "always wanted to try standup" and they assume it's easy but they have never actually gathered the nerve to DO IT.

The boys get a lesson in standup comedy by none other than Amy Schumer, whose eponymous television show is absolutely perfect.  She has a stacked crew with her--the hilarious and lovely Rachel Feinstein, the riotous and kind Nikki Glaser, and the brilliantly bonkers Bridget Everett. Holy talent explosion, Batman! In his meeting with Amy Schumer, JJ tells her that his pick-up line is "I'm divorced, have a kid, and live with my parents" and Amy attempts to teach him what a pick-up line is and also what COMEDY is, to no avail.  He insists that he's smarter than the audience and THAT is what gets him in trouble (spoken like every sucky comedian who bombs because he's smug and unlikeable) and Amy assures him that he's not that smart.  Thank you, Amy.

The ladies try to school the boys, but these boys don't have the funniest instincts.  Ian makes fun of Juan Pablo (nice work), Tony rambles and fails to land a single punchline, and Chris the dentist makes jokes about how the only thing he has to offer is a good body. Hey, at least he's self aware!

At the after party Kaitlyn rocks a fierce, metallic, retro short dress and canoodles with the guys.  Joshua admits that he's never been in love before, Tony rambles narcissistically about love, and Joe pulls Kaitlyn aside for a hot make out.  JJ and Kaitlyn have an intense conversation and for whatever reason, Kaitlyn doesn't hate this shitbag.  JJ talks about his daughter and attempts to sprout crocodile tears as he says that "it's killing me" to be away from her.  Yeah I bet, buddy.  It's killing you to be on vacation in Los Angeles living in an open bar mansion and going on dates with a woman who is completely out of your league.  I can only imagine how hard it must be for you.  Then, because nothing in life is fair or makes sense, Kaitlyn gives JJ a rose.

It's a mystery of science: How a man can lack both charisma
and good looks and yet somehow STILL be a smug prick. 
Finally it's cocktail party time and Kaitlyn is sporting yet another killer, sparkly dress. In a super sweet maneuver of team work, the guys in the house have agreed to let the few suitors who didn't get dates this week have first crack at conversation with Kaitlyn.  Solid move, boys.  But JJ has other plans and he says "sorry not sorry" as he grabs Kaitlyn the moment she walks in the house.  When the guys give him grief for being a pushy prick, he says that he reminded Kaitlyn of what husband material is (someone who will force you to talk to him and rob you of your agency? SWEET HUSBAND, BRO!).  Ian is pure class (hot class) and he takes Kaitlyn out to the front driveway and tells her about his single mother, Princeton, his running career, car accident, and recovery then says that he believes in putting his mind to things and he's putting his mind to Kaitlyn.  He's talking like he's reciting dialogue from a good rom-com and I LOVE IT.  They share a hot kiss.

Tony makes the only logical comment that has emerged from his lips all season: that JJ acts like he's never been around a pretty girl before.  HA!  Weirdo healer is dropping truth bombs!

Kupah is feeling agitated and he confronts Kaitlyn about whether or not she "sees" him but their conversation feels more like a work review than a conversation about a romantic connection.  He's very mindful of tokenism and I appreciate that, but he comes off as defensive and uninterested in Kaitlyn. She explains that she DID feel a connection with him up until this conversation and then Kupah starts backpedaling.  To make matters worse, later she overhears Kupah admitting that he was backpedaling and pouring on the charm and then she escorts him to the front door and asks him to leave.  Then this happens:
Kupah: I don’t want to go home.  I think you’re hot, sexy
Kaitlyn: There’s more to me than that.
HELL YES, KAITLYN!  He then repeatedly says "that's pretty f-ed" as if swearing at the bachelorette will keep him in the game. She doesn’t like you, buddy—time to go!! Finally, he walks out and proceeds to snap at the producers as they try to get his parting remarks.  Kaitlyn overhears the brawl in the front driveway and that's where ABC left Bachelor Nation.  

Question for my beloved readers: Does this season feel different than previous seasons to you? The producers are more willing to break the 4th wall and show you how the show runs, I think. There's a heightened awareness of the show or at least an increased willingness to keep those moments and comments in the final cut, ya know?

I'll close with 2 crucial take aways:
1. If JJ lasts much longer, I will lose my faith in Kaitlyn and humanity, and
2. If Ian doesn't win this thing, I would like to end up with him, please. Where do I send my headshot?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Bachelorette - 2 Night Season Premiere

Lovebugs!  As always, my recap is a touch late.  Apologies--I had a show Monday night then a friend's book release party last night.  I'm just too darn popular and my friends are too damn successful! 

Before I start ragging on the guys for looking like a poor man's Wayne Arnold from "The Wonder Years" (I'm looking at you, lawyer stripper Josh from Chicago) or being fratty booze hounds (Ryan M.), I'd like to address this season's format, which pits Kaitlyn against Britt and allows the 25 suitors to vote for their preferred bachelorette.  

This is some bullshit.  

How is this The Bachelorette, which is ostensibly about a WOMAN doing the picking, and yet here we are with 25 men in the driver's seat.  Huh? Over the course of this franchise there have been 19 seasons of The Bachelor and only 11 of The Bachelorette and ABC only started going boy-girl-boy-girl within the past few years.  Before that it was season after season of a guy picking girls.  It's too bad that in a rare season when it's the girl's turn to pick the guys, the producers have set up a competitive dynamic between two girls and then put the control into the guy's hands and THEY get to select the bachelorette.  Chris Harrison's introductory remarks said that "change is never easy" (this isn't rolling out the Affordable Care Act, buddy) and that this season they have chosen to "let the men decide" are laughable and ridiculous. The men decide in almost EVERY OTHER SEASON! How about ONE friggin' season in which the WOMAN decides from start to finish?  I'll get off my soap box soon and get down to the business of mocking D list, reality TV contestants, but this gimmick leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  It disempowers the chosen bachelorette in that she knows that some of her suitors did not vote for her.  It leaves her feeling LUCKY to be chosen rather than empowered and in possession of agency over her life and the show!  Blech. I just hope that we don't end up with the dynamic that pervaded Ashley's season, when she often thanked the suitors and seemed overly appreciative that ANYONE wanted to date her.  Blech.  We'll see how it shakes out.  

Time to talk some smack. 

Change is hard, ratings are good, yadda yadda yadda.  The ladies vying for the role of The Bachelorette are Kaitlyn Bristow (who the show describes as "funny, sexy, inappropriate" which is damn right) and Britt Nielsen (who the show describes as "sincere, emotional, very loving" which is damn wrong. I can think of no less appropriate adjective than SINCERE for that girl.)  Britt looks like she may have gotten some facial fillers during the off season but maybe it's just contouring.  They take their marks outside the Bachelor manse, Kaitlyn looking gorgeous in a black (navy?) sparkly dress and Britt in a fantastic flawy white dress with studded belt.  Let's bring in the boyz.  

Who will I be mocking this season or at least this episode? 
-Ben H: software salesman from Colorado with a button nose and a gimmick to connect with Britt--sponsor children. Use whatever ya got, kid! 
-Jonathan: Detroit guy in a red suit with a silver chain which is a lil too Color Me Badd for my taste.  He has a cute kiddo at home and prefers Britt.  
-Clint: blonde tank engine from IL who looks like a long haired Jake Pavelka.  No thanks.  
-Ryan B: realtor, grey suit, lots of volume in the hair. 
-Jared: restaurant manager from Warwick, RI (the little state that CAN!) with super angular features who says that "Love Man" is his alter ego. Barf. 
-Kupah: a Boston boy (I gotta love him for that!) who resembles a young LL Cool J. He's an "entrepreneur" and I just hope that his buddies can keep his Oxy business going while he's out of town.     
-Brady: corny songwriter from Tennessee (wrong reasons alert!). 
-Cory: residential developer from TX who feels pretty boring and we only just met him. 
-Ian: HOTTIE executive recruiter who ran track at Princeton then got hit by a car (sob story alert!) but now can walk again.  He whispers to Kaitlyn that he hopes she's the chosen one and I am on TEAM IAN!!!
-JJ: former investment banker (so... just a freelance American Psycho now?) from CO who shows a little personality with his hockey puck joke, but strikes me as a little corny. 
-Ryan M.: whose job is "junkyard specialist" (like the ladies who dig through my apartment building's trash to get cans? I appreciate their environmentalism) who proceeds to get drunk, naked, gross, and kicked out. See ya in hell, psycho.  
-Bradley: forgettable dude from ATL who enters in sweat band with a tennis racket.
-Daniel: fashion designer from TN who dances in and has a sorta constant drunk face. 
-Josh: the aforementioned stripper lawyer (I'm sorry, stripper law STUDENT which proves my theory that WAY TOO MANY Americans are going to law school just to go to law school and the proliferation of sub-par law schools is truly dangerous) who enters while dancing sexily.  Who LEADS with the fact that he's a stripper?  Oh also, Stripper Lawyer has that the word "JUSTICE" tattooed on your stomach? Are you serious? You make TuPac's "THUG LIFE" tattoo seem positively classy (RIP TuPac, you are appreciated.) 
-Joe: insurance agent from KY who brought homemade moonshine (a boy after my heart) and is hella sweet and charming.  Mama likes. 
-Justin: trainer from Naperville IL who enters with balloons and has a son at home. 
-Tanner: auto finance manager who mocks Britt for crying last season. Ouch. 
-Shawn B: blonde personal trainer from CT who calls for a group hug (cute move). After picking up Britt he tells Kaitlyn that he is there for her.  BOLD! 
-David: dude from Orlando, FL who is Team Britt. 
-Corey: investment banker from NYC who says to Kaitlyn, “I was hoping that he offer to plow your field was still on the table." Hilarious, and I usually hate banker types! Nice work, my friend.  
-Tony: TOTALY FRIGGIN' WEIRDO "healer" with sorta long hair (and I normally love long hair on dudes) who says the exact same line to Britt and then to Kaitlyn. Also, he has remnants of a black eye. There were so many questions left unanswered with that guy! 
-Shawn E: arrives in a hot tub convertible and says his job is "amateur sex coach" and who has a Canadian accent straight out of The Trailer Park Boys. At the close of the episode he clarifies that basically he thinks he's a good lay and isn't too shy to give tips to his partners. Women must LOVE you, buddy. 
-Chris: dentist who arrives in a tiny cupcake that's a car. Hella masculine and sexy, bro! 
-Joshua: sincere welder from Idaho who gives off good vibes.  
-Ben Z: fitness coach from San Jose, CA who we heard about earlier (mother died when he was a teen) and who cleans up NICE. 

I'm exhausted already!  I won't bore you with the cocktail party standards--there's a lot of drinking, a lot of interrupting conversations to "steal away" the lucky lady, and far too many quotations from Swingers (Ryan M, have you seen a movie since 1998?). JJ calls Britt a "smoke show" and I had to mention it because that is straight up my favorite compliment (am I lame? Yes? OK.)  During all of this, the guys hem and haw about whether they prefer Britt or Kaitlyn and each goes into a private room to vote with a rose.  Meanwhile, Ryan M. is losing his grip on reality and he is removed from the mansion, but not before he can threaten to rape JJ (that wasn't a "rape joke" that was a bizarre threat) and blame everyone ELSE in the house for being "on his case." His parents must be so proud.  

The episode ends with a "to be continued" message and then Tuesday night's episode begins with Bachelor Nation's BFF, Chris Harrison, giving Britt the news that she is being sent home and will not be the bachelorette.  Halleluiah!!  Go sleep in your make-up at home, girl.  Kaitlyn will be finding love in this hopeless place called The Bachelorette and I'm PSYCHED! Kaitlyn is elated and her bachelorette duties start immediately with a rose ceremony.  I'll try to keep this quick: Brady excuses himself mid-rose ceremony because he felt super connected to Britt (insincere dummies love insincere dummies), Shawn B. gets a first impression rose and the first real kiss from Kaitlyn, and the guys can barely keep their eyes open (seriously--that might be the LONGEST night in Bachelor/Bachelorette HISTORY and I'm not trying to be Chris Harrison dramatic here).  

Who gets sent home? 
-Hottie Latino guy David 
-Canadian hot tub sex machine Shawn E. 
-Stripper lawyer aka poor man's Wayne Arnold aka Justice Abs aka Josh (I could have had a FIELD DAY with you this season, kid).  
-Bradley with the tennis racket (snooze) 

Who am I expecting big things from this season? Ian, Shawn, and--I shudder to admit--Jared the angular feature/rat-like RI guy.  Also, apparently Nick (Andi's cast off) is going to show up and hump down? It will be an exciting season!  Good luck, Kaitlyn! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I was on Huffington Post Live

Yesterday I was on Cocktail Chatter with Josh Zepps on Huffington Post Live and we had a lovely roundtable conversation!  Check it out here:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Aww thanks, The Frisky!

The wonderful people at TheFrisky wrote up a list of the 25 of the Funniest Feminists to Follow On Twitter and I'm on it!  Isn't that rad?  Check it out here.

And yes, I am counting down the days until May 18th when The Bachelorette returns and Bachelor Nation rejoices!