Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bachelorette Jojo Ep 2: FIRE IN THE DRIVEWAY!

Over this past Memorial Day weekend, Americas thought of our fallen soldiers and on Monday night, Jojo continued her journey to find love among an assortment of former military men (Alex, Luke) and at least one guy who has a LOT of opinions about what it means to be a man (chode—I mean, Chad). 

The episode kicked off with some B roll of Jojo walking around the Westlake Village Inns and Bachelor Nation wondered whatever happened to the lovely house where the Bachelor or Bachelorette lives alone for the season? Why is Jojo crashing in a rich man’s Holiday Inn Express?

The guys scream “JOJO” off a patio toward the heavens, as they are contractually obligated to do, and Chris Harrison arrives to inform them that this week’s activities include 2 group dates and a 1:1 date with roses are up for grabs on all. 

The first group date will be Luke (cowboy serving up Lyle Lovett realness), Grant (hot firefighter), Will (bland), Evan (extremely expressive), Daniel (Canadian cheesedick), Vinny (turns out he’s a BARBER not a DJ but like, same thing?), Ali (hottie flying under the radar), James F. (Spooky Count look-alike), Robby (poor man’s Will Forte) and the card says “let’s heat things up.”  That morning, the guys hear a crash in the driveway and run outside to see a limo engulfed in flames, as a meaningful symbol that THEY AREN’T GETTING OUT OF HERE ALIVE (or something).  A fire truck pulls up and out jumps Jojo in fireman pants, overalls, and a snug tank top!  No helmet for hottie Jojo—that would crush her perfect curls! 

The Bachelorette becomes a Whitesnake music video and I'm not mad at it

Jojo and the Boyz leave for their “hot date” and Chad heads to the backyard to fashion a weight belt out of a suitcase filled with protein shake powder (no seriously) and do pull ups as the other guys laugh and call him “meathead to the max.”  It felt a little bit like the pot calling the kettle black, but also I agreed with the non-Chads.  (Random aside: HOT DATE is the name of my lovely pal Katina Corrao’s new standup album and it is hilarious—take a listen and buy it!) 

The group date rolls up to a fire academy which will be today’s activity and emotional Evan is NOT excited.  All 10 guys will train as firefighters, the top 3 will compete in a final challenge, and the final winner will get more alone time with Jojo.  Jojo repeatedly says that firefighters are HOT and I agree (shout out to my on-again-off-again dinner date partner Joe, the driver of FDNY Engine 24).  The guys tackle the challenges and gentle soul Wells nearly dies of heat stroke, which wins him some alone time with Jojo (oldest trick in the Bachelor book).  The top 3 are Grant, Luke, and Wells (huh?) so they compete in the final challenge, which Grant wins handily. 

Meanwhile back at the house James Taylor is strumming his 6 string (because OF COURSE HE IS) and leading a sing-along as Chad scowls nearby.  A date care arrives for Derek (dorky looking, sorta large ears) and he’ll be embarking on a 1:1 with Jojo that is all about CHOICES (or as my Bachelorette podcast co-host Dava Krause put it, the segment producers are tired, so figure our your own date, contestants!). 

At the “hot date” after party, Jojo wears a gorgeous 2 piece white dress with cut-outs and reminds us that her taste in fashion is dreamy.  Daniel continues to try to make “Damn Daniel” happen, Grant makes a great impression, Wells is goofy and brings along photos of his dog, effusive Evan admits that he has children, Jojo repeatedly tells the guys “you did good” and brings shame to the Language Arts teachers of her youth, Luke says that his last breakup was 2013 and then shoves his tongue down Jojo’s throat.  After all that, Wells scores the rose, much to Luke’s surprise. 

The next day is Jojo and Derek's 1:1 date and they hop in Jojo’s vintage convertible to launch into a day of choices.  Every choice they make is one I would NOT have made, but what do I know? I’m just a gal who has been in the dating pool about 8-10 years longer than they have! Hahhahhah [tears].  They choose “sky” (over sea), “north” (over south), “dressed down” (over dressed up), and “Golden Gate Bridge” (over Lombard Street) and end up drinking and making out by the bridge. 

That night Jojo rocks a sparkly cocktail dress (perfection) and she and Derek eat dinner by the water.  Derek speaks briefly about his last relationship, saying that it was a long relationship and they were both ready to get married but “there was another person.”  WHY does it seem like on this show, nobody is allowed to say “my partner cheated”?  This has come up a few times and there’s always a strange song and dance about “another person”—is it because this airs primetime and ABC prefers to speak in euphemisms at that time? Seems unlikely since the show after The Bachelorette is called MISTRESSES but who knows?  They make out by a fountain (did anyone else have Carrie + Aiden break-up flashbacks from that fountain scene?) and Derek scores a rose. 

Oh man I wish we had gotten a Trigger Warning for that fountain kiss scene
because all I could think of was Aiden saying "if you don't want to
marry me right now, you'll never want to marry me."

While Jojo and Derek were busy talking about “other people,” back at the Bachelor mansion a bromance was blossoming between Chad and Damn Daniel!  I can only guess that they bonded over their shared love of tank tops, excessive bicep workouts, and protein shake metaphors.  The other guys continue a sing-along (which is, admittedly, extremely corny, but also, how else do you pass the time in that weird poolside jail?) while Chad and Daniel agree that perceived “good guys” are actually bad dudes (I hate that I’m agreeing with these two jags, but I MUST agree with them on this).

Date #3 will take place at Los Angeles ESPN office and the lucky crew is Jordan (not husky, but still a hottie), Christian (smiley), Nick (bland), James Taylor (STOP CALLING YOURSELF THAT), Alex (tiny hero), Chad (complete psychopath). 

Jojo and the hosts of Sports Nation (Max and Marcellus) greet the guys and inform them that today’s date will be 3 challenges: a celebratory dance with a rose, a dizzy bat proposal, and a press conference.  Every guy has fun with it and acts goofy and appropriate except for Chad, who has NO boundaries (how about you don’t PICK UP a girl who you can’t stop reminding us you HARDLY KNOW) and says that she’s “a little naggy.” Ohh you really know how to sweet talk a lady, don’t you, Chad?

After the challenges, Max and Marcellus release their power rankings and they are:

#3 – Alex (tiny hero who had a good comment with regard to Chad, “just because you’re being honest doesn’t mean you’re right”)
#2 – Chad (they hosts said they appreciate his “emotional honesty” BARF)
#1 – James Taylor (a broken clock is right twice a day and I guess that you can always find a new audience who will find your “spontaneous” singing interesting that first time)

The guys sit down and Chad reprimands them for fawning all over Jojo when they hardly even know her. A few guys say that they’re just having fun, going with the activities, and Chad then says, “oh so this is all a JOKE to you?”  Oh man Chad.  Wow.  You’re a real basket case.  Either you’re unstable enough to not understand what you are doing, or you’re going to scold everyone for being TOO INTO IT one moment, then NOT TAKING IT SERIOUSLY enough the next moment.  I pity your co-workers, family, and friends.

The after party happens at the Houdini Estate and Jojo rocks a fringed, white top, black pants and boots, and never makes a single joke about disappearing.  Lost opportunity right there.  James Taylor tells Jojo that “a smile is the only thing you can see on the outside that come from the inside” (huh?) then reads her a note about how much he loves God and her. Chad spends the after party serving as a Roman Chorus and judging/commenting on every person and the specific ways in which they are ALL doing everything wrong (oh Chad, read some Pema Chodron, would ya?) before getting his alone time with Jojo.  He says that his last relationship was 4 years ago and he’s been too busy working over the past 4 years to find love. He admits that his mother died 6 MONTHS ago and everyone in Bachelor Nation gasped because he is NOT READY to be on a reality TV show right now, it’s so damn obvious.  He’s SO angry and doesn’t seem to have properly mourned his mother and processed his grief (but again, I’m merely a self help book addict and not a trained professional).  Thankfully, Jojo’s heart strings aren’t tugged THAT HARD by Chad and she gives the rose to James Taylor who is probably going to Carolina in his mind, ya know? 

The next evening it’s cocktail party/rose ceremony time and Jojo arrives at the mansion wearing a maroon, sequined gown to find Chad waiting for her on the stairs.  They don’t seem to have much of a connection beyond him being VERY INTENT on talking to her (which is flattering, I suppose) and her finding him strange (and jacked).  Jojo enters the house WITH Chad which inspires Alex to start grilling him on what happened in the driveway.  Oh Alex, don’t you have bigger fish to fry? (That was NOT a short joke.) 

During the cocktail party Chase takes Jojo on a mini-date (snow, mittens, conversation), Chad puts back enough deli meat to feed a Superbowl Party, Jojo and some anonymous looking white guy toilet paper the house (huh?), Chad says that the guys are “butt hurt” (holy homophobic language, Batman) then attempts to craft metaphors about the other guys as Care Bears and West Side Story gang (Jets or Sharks, dude?). Alex finally confronts Chad and Chad, ever the poet says “fuck you for real” and threatens to knock his teeth out. Somebody get this guy a therapist FOR REAL.  Props to Alex for standing up to Chad, though.  

Finally it’s rose ceremony time. James Taylor, nerdy Derek, and Wells have roses already.  Who scores a lapel flower?

-Alex (tiny hero and Chad says that Jojo is only keeping him around “so that America won’t think that she hates short people” which is completely inappropriate but also hilarious)
-Christian (nice light suit)
-Robby (I was NOT feeling the bow tie, but I respect him for trying)
-Luke (cowboy who can look really hot or really ugly depending on the angle)
-Chase (cute dude, no tie, good look)
-Jordan (she ignored him during week 1—GOOD WORK, JOJO!)
-Grant (firefighter in vest, I’m not loving that look)
-Ali (looking great in vest AND jacket)
-Daniel (vampire dweeb)
-James F. (handsome Count Chocula)
-Nick (lil boring but harmless)
-Vinny (his life is one big Shape Up and yes, that’s a barber joke NOT A SHOE JOKE)
-Evan (overly emotional erectile dysfunction dude will live to see another week)
-Chad (I would hope that his last place finish would inspire some self-reflection, but probably not)

So who is hopping in a limo to LAX where they’ll wait in a TSA line for 4-5 hours?
-Hipster guy (snooze)
-James the Bachelor superfan who seemed to wear white eyeliner
-Will (boring and lumpy)

Next week’s episode is a 2 night event and I’m on it!

Question for you, dear readers: how many weeks do you think we have left of Chad before he self-destructs? 2 or 3, max? Place your bets in the comments!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bachelorette Jojo: SEASON PREMIERE!

Monday night was the night that Bachelor Nation has been waiting for since we received the thrilling news that the next Bachelorette would be beautiful Jojo (over boring Caila)---the season premier of The Bachelorette featuring Jojo and the Boyz.  This season the Marketing staff got a friggin’ clue (after the mess that was “the perfect Ben” ad campaign last season) and are using the Demi Lovato song “Confident” as their signature jam. Hell yes!

In the premiere, Jojo showed us just how confident she is---encouraging the guys to RELAX (yes yes yes girl, gaslight these beefcakes!), repeatedly saying that they’re going to have so much fun, and making some decisive calls (sorry, Coley with the weird shaped head). 

The episode opened up with a montage of reminders about what lead Jojo to this—a shot of Ben telling Jojo that he loves her while they sit in a sit in a waterfall, then a shot of Ben telling Jojo that he loves somebody else more while they stand on a platform above a brook.  Heartbreak and assorted waterways don’t mix.  But Jojo has learned a lot, she’s grateful for that experience, and now it’s her turn! 

Who better to advise her than 3 ladies who have been through this gauntlet before: Ali Fedetowsky (who has somehow become an Instagram “celebrity” from what I can tell and yes, I follow her Instagram (but hey, I also follow LukePerryDaily and an IG account is random pictures from 2009, so my taste is horrible)), Desiree (snooze), and Kaitlyn (HOLY BRONZER OVERLOAD WHAT WAS GOING ON THERE?). They give her the obvious advice—think about compatibility, take a step back every so often, don’t fuck Nick Vialli, and put the guys you like first on the back burner. Desiree tells Jojo that this is “one of the hardest things you’ll do, but one of the most rewarding.” REALLY?  Is this an 8 week vacation of tonsil hockey with assorted hotties or is this Teach for America?

Before we know it, Jojo is getting dolled up for the suitors arrivals and standing outside the Bachelor Manse, ready to meet her fate.  We all know that I generally HATE any flesh toned clothing (no matter what your flesh tone), but I must say that I LOVED Jojo’s dress.  Fantastic sparkles, great neckline, flattering mermaid cut—all good, all around. 

Then it was time to, as Jojo said, “bring on the men!” And so we met…

-Jordan, former professional football player who is a HOTTIE. Wow. He makes a great impression on Jojo throughout the night and they have instant chemistry.
-Derek, commercial banker with big ears, no tie. No thank you.
-Grant, 28, firefighter from San Fran who is HOT, but probably shouldn’t have lead with last season’s Ben “I love you”-gate. 
-James F., boxing club owner in a black suit, red tie. His outfit is a lil bit 1990s Mafioso but I can dig it. I like this one--he seems funny and smart. 
-Robby, 27, Floridian former competitive swimmer who rolls up with a bottle of wine for them to drink and Jojo makes a great joke about her mother.
-Alex, 25, tiny U.S. Marine guy who is hot, but whose suit is much too small. Did anyone else notice it? Jacket was about to bust off of him and the pants were very short—no thank you.
-Will, Jersey City, NJ, 26, who gets out of the limo with notecards (lines?) and they are out of order and he does an overwrought bit about mixing up the order and saying something funny. Stop trying to hard, Will.
-Chad, luxury real estate agent from Tulsa OK who is WAY TOO MUCH TOO SOON. He intertwines his fingers with Jojo and is much too physical. Get some boundaries, kid.
-Daniel, 31, Canada. Another dark suit, dark tie, which is a pretty severe look. He says “Damn Jojo, back at it again as the next Bachelorette” and somehow expects her to know that it’s based on a quote from a video that went viral for about 3 days back in the spring. Don’t you realize that when that video was going viral, Jojo was busy at the gym getting in friggin’ SHAPE for this season?  
-Ali, 27, Persian piano player who has a sort of rumpled look about him, but mama likes it.
-James Taylor, 27, a singer-songwriter who OPTS TO GO BY JAMES TAYLOR even though there’s already a PREEEETTY successful singer-songwriter named James Taylor on the scene. Anyone with half a brain would go by Jim or James T. or maybe his middle name, but not JAMES TAYLOR! I hate this guy already. Also, please stop serenading everyone in the house—it’s tedious as hell.
-Jonathan, 27, Canadian dude who is half Chinese, half Scottish and rolls up in a suit jacket and kilt then makes a joke about penis size. Yikes!
-Santa – who knows who this guy is, but I think his name is Nick and apparently he needed to sweat off some weight because he kept that damn Santa suit and beard on ALL NIGHT LONG (all night). 
-Chase, 27, Colorado, medical sales guy who wore sunglasses with a moustache attached and made pun jokes (the worst). He revealed himself to be hot later, though, so I like him, because looks are all I care about.
-Jake, 27, landscape architect from CA – didn’t leave much of an impression.
-Sal, FL, 28, gives her blue balls and makes a blue balls joke. Eww.
-Coley, 27, Chicago. When you have a misshapen head, maybe DON’T slick your hair back to highlight how pointy it is, mmmK?
-Brandon, 28, “hipster” (don’t you mean “rich kid”?) from LA. Long, floppy hair and a blasé attitude, but at least he’s familiar with the “Damn Daniel” viral video, so there’s that.
-James S., 27, Bachelor Superfan from Arizona who resembles Mr. Potato Head wearing white eyeliner (sorry so harsh but I AM CORRECT IN THIS APPRAISAL, AM I NOT?).
-Nick S., 26, San Fran, light suit, made ZERO impression.
-Vinny, a walking stereotype: he’s 28, a DJ, and lives in Florida. OF COURSE HE IS ALL OF THESE THINGS AND ALSO NAMED VINNY!!!!
-Peter, 26, light suit, gives her a stuffed heart, makes no impression at all.
-Evan, 33, Erectile Dysfunction Doctor (seriously) who says “God bless America” upon seeing Jojo. Maybe calm it down a smidge, guy?
-Wells, 31, radio DJ who says “you are so out of my league it’s ridiculous” which is cute, but not especially appealing to hear, then he pulls the singing group All-4-One out of his limo (have they been back there all these years? Also, why are they using a numeral and a spelled out number in their name? Consistency is key! Who owns their band Style Guide? Ugh I'm such an Editor). They serenade Jojo with their hit “I Swear.” A strange moment, but Wells seems like a unique, cool dude.
-Christian, 26, telecom consultant with a great smile drives in on a motorcycle. Not too shabby.
-Luke, 31, war veteran from small town TX trots up on a horse (or rather, a unicorn). Later on, as the guys are saying how cool and pretty Jojo is, Luke says “she’s in the unicorn section—not crazy and hot.” WOW I HATE YOU. Blerg. There’s nothing more tired than the trope that “bitches be crazy!” and I was disappointed to hear Luke say that. We’ll see if he can redeem himself.

And those are her suitors!  Jojo enters the house for a cocktail party and tiny Alex swoops her away for some push ups and alone time. Jordan makes great use of his 1:1 time, offering Jojo his suit jacket (I am a feminist but goddamn I love shit like that!). Jojo spars with James F., the boxing club owner (who my podcast co-host and I have decided looks like The Count from Sesame Street, but like, a hot Count).  Will makes a paper Cooty Catcher (remember those from 5th grade?) that ends in Jojo being obligated to kiss him and they have the most chaste, awkward kiss I’ve seen since Juan Pablo and Sharleen.

During the cocktail party excitement, we get a better sense of what the guys are like, as Chad lives up to his name (sorry, Chad I dated briefly in HS) by mocking every single guy there and bragging about being emotionless; Daniel pokes Evan in the belly button, strips down, then dives into the pool; Nick S. disrupts Jojo’s interview with super drunken antics; and Luke gives her a gift of cowboy boots.  The first impression rose goes to Jordan, predictably, and the couple shares a hot kiss. Ali plays the piano for Jojo, James Taylor makes a good impression on her, against all odds, and before we know it, it’s rose ceremony time (probably 5:00 am or so). 

BUT WAIT, a limo is pulling up and a guy in a suit wants to interrupt the rose ceremony—who can it be now?

Jake “on the wings of love” Pavelka, the dolt of a former Bachelor who chose the most hated participant of his season—Vienna. He shows up because he’s family friends with Jojo and like a brother to her and for a moment, Bachelor Nation wonders if this big brother is trying to get into her dating pool (eww), but no, big bro is there to share his GEMS of advice: stay open, don’t zero in, and don’t put your walls up. Wow Jake, thanks so much for that advice.  (ASIDE: Jake seems like a star fucker/attention whore for sure, but I’ll admit that it seems like he’s able to laugh at himself a bit, which I find refreshing. He had a brief cameo in a comedy show I saw recently—was it BurningLove, the fake Bachelor show?—and he was really funny and cool about it. )

OK, it’s FINALLY time for the most important flower these losers will ever receive.  Jordan “my brother is Green Bay QB Aaron Rogers and it’s hard for me to deal with his success” Rogers already has the first impression rose, so he’s safe (and extremely handsome and appealing). 

Who gets roses from Jojo next?

-Luke – silent cowboy
-Wells – CUTIE who has a very different energy about him and might be a sort of Nick V. character (minus the desperation)
-James Taylor – I aint down on Copperline, but Jojo is
-Grant – hot firefighter yesssss
-Derek – corny dude with big ears (won’t last long)
-Christian – smiley hottie who addressed his biracial heritage head-on and it was a refreshing moment for the Bachelor franchise
-Chad – ugh. This guy. You can already tell that Producers are keeping him around to stir the pot. In his conversation with Jojo he said that it’s hard to find girls who are confident and comfortable with themselves and I HATE that kind of talk. Sorry that you are surrounding yourself with shitty people—don’t blame WOMEN in general. Good luck, asshole—you’ll need it.
-Chase – Colorado hottie with good hair (facial and head)
-Alex – tiny military man. Let’s hope he has some larger suits packed.  
-Robby – congratulations, Blonde Will Forte
-Brandon – the floppy haired hipster made it through and I hope he packed some sunscreen! 
-James F. – Boxing Gym owner/Hot Count

This season has some serious look-alikes
-Ali – handsome piano player who seems very nice
-Santa – ugh, who IS that guy?
-Will – I guess Jojo is a sucker for Cootie Catchers and bad kissers
-James S. – Bachelor Superfan gets to move into the house. Enjoy these next 2 weeks, buddy.  
-Vinny – slimy DJ who literally said “I’m a good judgment of character.” Keep on telling yourself that, Vin. And here’s hoping that your buddy Pauly can cover you on the 1s and 2s while you’re in LA getting famous on TV.
-Evan – very expressive floppy haired nerd who exclaimed “I got one” after getting a rose. I understand that you’re happy and I don’t mean to Emotion Shame you, but get it together.
-Daniel – DAMN DANIEL! The drunk Canadian moron gets a rose!? That struck me as a power move to make the rejects feel like REAL crap. 

So who is heading home and most likely pleading with his boss to get his old job back?
-Jonathan the kilt wearing hottie. A few idiots in the house took issue with his kilt and I was thinking, do they not know that a jacket and a kilt is traditional formalwear? My friggin’ uncle wears one to all our family weddings—get a clue, boys!
-Coley the weird shaped head guy. Maybe wear a hat on the first date next time?
-Peter in the light suit who we barely knew anything about.
-Nick S. also in a light suit who was much too drunk.
-Jake, who we learned less-than-nothing about.

And now our journey begins. Based on the previews, it looks like Chad is going to terrorize the entire house, Jordan is going to have a target on his back, Robby will keep up his Will Forte impression and MAY have a girlfriend, and there will be tears.  HERE WE GO!!

(As always, I'll be recapping here and my pal Dava Krauss and I will be talking about every episode on our podcast, The Fantasy Suite.)