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!
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.
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?