Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bachelorette Jojo Ep 6: Don't Cry for Me, Shiny Jim Halpert

On Monday night, Jojo and her remaining 8 suitors flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina for a group date, 1:1 date, and--in an unprecedented move in Bachelor franchise history--a second 2:1 date! Two 2:1s in 1 season! Jojo likes messing with these boys and I like to watch!

The episode opens with Jojo wearing a beautiful red sheath dress while roaming around Buenos Aires and she pronounces “Buenos Aires” in the style of a smug college junior who just returned from study abroad. She meets up with Chris Harrison to talk about how ironic it would be if she were to fall in love with two people (What irony! The heartbroken becomes the heartbreaker! Aint life funny?) while the guys annoy the sweet people of Argentina with their contractually required “HOLA JOJO” shrieks.  

The first date card says “Besame, Besame Muchacho” (Kiss me, Kiss me, Guy) and it goes to Wells who, we then learn, hasn’t kissed Jojo yet. Wells readily admits this to the other guys (BAD MOVE, bro) and they are incredulous and spend the entirety of Wells and Jojo’s date dissecting this issue.  When Jojo arrives (in a white sweater and grey pants), Luke jokingly asks her if she and Wells are going to kiss today and her response of “Hmm… that’s funny, isn’t it?” is legit the greatest unintentionally HILARIOUS line I have ever seen on Bach. (Oh man, aren’t unintentionally funny things just THE GREATEST?). Then some loser says “aaaaaawkward” in that obnoxious, high pitched way that makes me want to punch a wall with how lame it is (I thought that whole “aaaawkward” thing was over?) and Jojo and Wells head out to walk around an outdoor market.  

Post-market they walk over to Fuerza Bruta, an “interactive and immersive spectacle” that’s a funky show that happens above you (with people flopping around in shallow water to make cool designs) plus other performance art-y elements (a dude runs on a moving walkway, gets shot, a lady swoops by him). The storyline between Wells and Jojo is that he’s been waiting for the perfect moment to kiss her and he keeps holding out for the right time. Well, Wells, that’s a good way to let life pass you by entirely.  They strip down to minimal clothing and participate in the shallow water/flopping around part and Wells FINALLY musters up the courage to kiss Jojo (to which she exclaims “that was the moment, Wells! We did it!” as if cheering on a toddler who has finally mastered potty training).  The kiss was chaste and too little too late, as we learn over dinner. Wells has been skeptical of “the process” all along and is generally a pretty cynical guy, it seems, so he’s simply not matched for Jojo’s hopeful, upbeat personality. She tells him that she can’t give him the rose and walks him to a car where they hug, Wells says that she deserves true and love and he hopes she finds it. Way to go, Wells. After his graceful exit, Bachelor Producers give us some drama in the form of Jojo walking over to Fuerza Bruta alone to watch the spectacle solo. The voice over reminds us that Jojo wants a partner—someone to accompany her when she watches a guy sprint on a moving platform and get shot, ya know?

Back at the hotel, the guys act shocked as they watch producers remove Wells’ luggage (but wait, weren’t you guys JUST saying how far behind he is?) and prepare for a group date of Luke, Robby, Jordan, James Taylor, and Alex.

The group date is a day of wandering around La Boca District (“we’re tired!” –Segment Producers) and this is when James Taylor begins battle with Imposter Syndrome. Jordan and the other guys are zipping around the soccer field in tight T-shirts while James is hustling around in a sweat-soaked button down when Jojo runs into Jordan and exclaims, “wow your stomach’s so hard!” which has got to be straight out of a movie in which Jack Black plays the lovable loser (the James Taylor character) and the girl LOVES the hot jerk (Jordan).  JT wins the penalty kick off, though (and a kiss from Jojo), and remarks that he’s “on track to I Love JojoVille” which gave me worse dumb chills than I’ve had since Evan left.

That night Jojo rocks a fierce look—little black dress under a black, leather jacket and has alone time with each guy. She and Luke get into some HEAVY PETTING before James Taylor spends his valuable 1:1 time whining that Jordan is a “celebrity” (his bar for “celebrity” is so low I might use it to limbo), he’s hot, has a stud arm, is in magazines, and seems entitled. Oof. But truly, there’s no there there, ya know? This isn’t a case of Jordan having a GF back home or being here for the wrong reasons—he just seems to intimidate James Taylor, but he hasn’t done anything WRONG.  Jojo is the queen of communication (and I love her for it) and she confronts Jordan immediately, asking about what happened when they were playing poker. Jordan laughs it off but gets especially offended by the allegation of “entitlement” the he returns to the waiting suitors where he spooks everyone with his tense silence and wine glass swirling. 
Finally, a confrontation erupts and James cops to what he said to Jojo, but tries to walk back his “entitlement” stuff but he ends up sounding like a paternalistic martyr. Tiny Hero Alex is SOAKING IT IN and Jojo successfully avoids the drama by giving the group date rose to Luke.

Next is the 2:1 between Derek (Shiny Jim Halpert) in a black shirt and Chase (Hottie with Sleepy Eyes) in a white shirt to show how DIFFERENT they are. Jojo is rocking a phenomenal red dress and red lip and they’re ready to Tango for 3! Derek is confident that he’s doing better than Chase because “Chase is in his head and I’m in my heart” but guess what, buddy, Jojo doesn’t want your head OR your heart. After the dance less, the trio has drinks and Derek goes full cheesedick saying, “I felt the passion” as Jojo smiles politely. During their alone time, Jojo gently scolds Chase for not giving her enough words of affirmation and I REALLY appreciate her ability to simply ask for what she wants and needs. Chase seems stunned (which is hard to tell because guy doesn’t have many facial expressions) but basically, takes the note.  Jojo holds up the rose and says nice stuff about Derek, then Chase, then offers Chase the rose, much to Derek’s chagrin.

Then we witness an exit the likes of which Bachelor Nation has never seen—friends, this was goddamn poetry. Jojo walks Derek to a car and they hug goodbye, then as he drives away, he melts, starts crying and speaking in 3rd person about who Derek is (“Derek’s imperfect”), then those shots are intercut with footage of a lovely Artentinian singer belting, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” as Chase and Jojo make out in a candle lit ballroom.  HOW IS THERE NOT AN EMMY FOR BEST EXIT FROM A REALITY TV SHOW, DATING SERIES?

Readers, what was your favorite part of that scene:

(A) Derek saying,  “why am I crying?” and “I don’t…. cry….” and sounding like a robot who somehow grew feelings
(B) The back and forth editing of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” and Derek’s tears
(C) The shot of Chase nibbling at Jojo’s neck as it all went down
(D) All of the above 
[NOTE: Can you tell that I work in Test Prep by day?]

I'm going going back back to Scranton Scranton Scranton
Finally it’s cocktail party/rose ceremony time and Jojo is stunning in a blue dress with gorgeous beading at the chest and a dramatic mermaid bottom. She chats with each guy, getting an “it’s whatever” from Alex (huh?), assurances that he wants to “do life” with her from Jordan (double huh), and illogical rambling about confidence from Robby (whatevz, Human Bump It).  

Luke and Chase already have roses, then she hands them out to…
-Robby (the tide is high and so is that guy’s hair)
-Jordan (fighting to get enough volume in his hair, too)
and then—in a dramatic turn—Jojo says “I’m sorry” and scampers down the stairs where she finds Life Coach Chris Harrison and talks to him. She tells him that she’s confused and doesn’t want to give this rose out and just as Alex and James Taylor think that Jojo is on a fast track to hometown dates, Chris Harrison walks out with a tray holding TWO roses. So everybody gets a rose and this rose ceremony was completely unnecessary, except to show off Jojo’s awesome blue dress (which is reason enough, to me).  Alex looks a gift horse straight in the mouth and whines that he got a “pity rose” but ya know who probably would have loved any rose, even a pity rose? Don’t Cry For Me, Shiny Jim Halpert, that’s who.   

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Bachelorette Jojo Ep 5: Chads Are Evil and an L Bomb Is Dropped

Monday night’s episode opened with a celebration of Chad’s departure the likes of which Bachelor Nation hasn’t witnessed since the Black Widow (Kelsey) was dumped in the Badlands during Farmer Chris’s season or Olivia was deserted on a windswept island during Ben Higgin’s season.  There was cake, there were sparklers, Alex the Tiny Hero got a warm welcome when he returned triumphantly and finally, Wells lead the guys in a symbolic funeral for Chad (as James Taylor played his guitar, of course).  And just as the protein powder had been thrown and its container had been drop kicked into the woods, CHAD REAPPEARED!

Damn Daniel let him into the house just like in those ghost stories where you have to let the evil power into your home in order for it to take hold, ya know? It seemed that Chad wanted a final conversation with the guys and he got it. He trotted out his standard lines, blaming the other guys in the house for HIS anger issues and saying, “I guess Jojo thinks I’m ‘too intense’ or something” which is a hilarious way to backpedal after having challenged the entire house to a fight. Jordan takes the lead and handles it calmly, Wells chimes in with some mature input, and weasel Evan asks for money to replace his crummy T-shirt. Finally the guys walk away because Chad is impossible and Chad wanders off into the woods, never to be seen from again (at least not until Bachelor In Paradise kicks off on August 2nd --SAVE THE DATE).

Soon it’s cocktail party time and Jojo has selected another stunning gown—white with flecks of silver and mermaid-style (my fave). Jojo’s dress selections are replacing Andi Dorfman’s as my favorite Bachelorette style (Kaitlyn was up there, too). 

Jojo says that she’s glad that Chad is gone and she feels like she didn’t know him. Hilariously, Evan says that now he feels like there is an even playing field (HA! Dude—you’re still not hot), and Chase declares that there’s no more negative energy in the house, which is a great way to summon negative energy. Jordan pulls Jojo away for some 1:1 time and they share a HOT kiss a mere WALL away from the other dudes. Oh Jordan, you’re so bad you’re good. Luke says that he’s “going in for seconds” (meaning that Jojo is a meal?) as Evan flails around and claims to be trying to get his time with her, but never DOING anything about it.     

It’s rose ceremony time and 3 guys are already safe: Luke the veteran who wants to sop up Jojo with a biscuit (FOOD JOKES), Alex the Tiny Hero (who will slowly turn into a bizarro mini-Chad this ep), and Jordan (who is HOT but a lil questionable).

Jojo hands out the roses to:
-Derek: Hot John Krasinski (who is quite sensitive)
-Robby: Hot MacGruber
-Chase: I’ve been nicknaming those other dudes “Hot So-and-So” but Chase is legit HOT---just Hot Chase. Independently hot.  
-Wells: Did he only bring one suit to the show? Keep your eyes open—it appears to be the same navy suit, white shirt, black tie EVERY ROSE CEREMONY.
-Grant: No tie, looking niiiiiiiice
-Vinny: Seems like a chill guy, but that George Clooney circa 1999 haircut is sort of killing me
-James Taylor: rocking a bold blood blister
-Evan: who says “my heart is on blast” and I don’t think he knows what “on blast” means.

So Damn Daniel and Robby aka The Count are heading home.  As expected, Robby makes a graceful exit (even after his Hail Mary pass of reciting a poem) and Damn Daniel rambles about having a good body and being hot (errrm… no), then heads back to the land of poutine.

Jojo and the remaining 11 are heading to URUAGUAY and as soon as the guys understand that Uruguay is a country in South America, they are FIRED UP!

Jordan scores the first 1:1 date in Uruguay and it’s a day on a boat, some swimming, and dinner.  While Jordan is flipping his hair around the Isla de Lobos, back at the hotel Vinny is becoming the male Michelle Money and giving out haircuts.  Inside Vinny’s traditional Uruguayan barbershop is a copy of gossip magazine InTouch that features a tell-all story about Jojo (as told by her monster ex Chad—different Chad than meat eater Chad). Jojo wears a knockout white dress to dinner and over drinks, Jojo and Jordan talk exes, trust, and monogamy. Jojo confronts Jordan about his ex (who is VERY outspoken on social media) and Jordan insists that he never cheated, but admits that he was a bad boyfriend to her. The issues of cheating and trust are important to Jojo, as she has alluded to those being issues in her last relationship.

You may recall that this infamous ex, Chad, has cropped up a few times—during Ben’s season, Jojo told Ben that her previous relationship had been marred by cheating and insecurity, then at the end of the season, once Jojo had finally moved on completely, ex-BF Chad sent Jojo flowers and an apology note.  GET LOST! Isn’t that always the way? It’s the Swingers phenomenon—the moment that you finally, TRULY, completely get over an ex, THAT is the moment when they will come calling.  You can’t be bluffing—you must TRULY be over the ex, then he/she will show up on your doorstep. It has happened to me a few times and it’s like these dudes can SMELL that you’re finally feeling happy and confident. Ugh. Dating is hell.

The guys are suspicious of the article and discuss it as Jojo and Jordan dance in the streets with a live band (Jordan is a HORRIBLE DANCER—did anyone else see that? I was having flashbacks to Chris Bukowski). Jojo is floating on air after the date and of course, that’s the exact moment when the producers hand her a copy of the InTouch on camera. MAXIMUM EMOTIONS!!!!! The article upsets her greatly (and is a maneuver straight out of an episode on UnREAL because, as my pal Dava said, art imitates life imitates art) and Jojo goes straight to the guys and explains that Chad’s a bad guy and she’s truly here to find a husband. The guys love her even more after all of that, so EAT IT, CHAD. 

The next day is a group date for Luke, Derek, Chase, Evan, James Taylor, Vinny, Grant, Wells, and Alex and their activity is sand surfing which is mostly “Sand Falling While Derek Mopes Around.” 

At the after party, the guys all want to move forward and forget the InToch incident and Jojo makes a joke that she’s DONE with Chads (and you know that somewhere in America, a sad Chad was like, “Not All Chads!”).  Chase seems to mis-use the word “complicit” (I couldn’t quite hear, but it seemed that way), Alex reveals that he doesn’t like Derek, and Derek pulls Jojo aside and admits that he has been feeling insecure.  During his 1:1 time, Alex says that THIS way of dating is “more real” than the game-playing involved in text messaging and flirting in the real world, which is rich since HE IS LITERALLY ON A SHOW THAT IS A GAME. Oh Alex, you’re a Tiny Hero with the emotional intelligence of an even tinier dum dum. When it’s time for Jojo to hand out the date rose, she gives it to Derek saying that she wants to give him reassurance. Alex thinks Derek’s an “insecure little bitch” (ouch) and says “I don’t need reassurance,” which is ironic thing to say when you’re having a temper tantrum. 

I'm Alex and I don't need any reassurance! Only wimps need reassurance! I AM FINE!
The next day, Robby and Jojo share a 1:1 date during which they eat lunch, try on hats (RIP the volume in Robby’s hair), then jump off a cliff into water. That night they have dinner and Robby pulls a move that Chris Harrison would call UNPRECEDENTED—he says straight up “I love you” so damn early in the season! Usually participants are struggling with those words when it’s down to the Final 3 or so, but dropping the L Bomb when you’re 1 of 11 dudes!?! Wow.  But we learn that Robby makes rash decisions as he shares that his friend died and it inspired him to dump his girlfriend of 3.5 years, quit his job, and move cities.  Very interesting. From the sounds of it, Robby is still in a transitional phase of his life and if I were Jojo, I wouldn’t be looking to join him in that.

It’s time for the 2nd cocktail party/rose ceremony of the episode and once the guys are assembled, Derek pulls aside Robby, Chase, Alex, and Jordan to accuse them of being “Mean Girls.”  I simply LOVE watching men get snippy and petty with each other. Essentially, Derek feels excluded and only further isolates himself by calling it out.

Derek is the Lindsay Lohan before it all went so wrong
Chris Harrison shows up to inform the guys that Jojo has requested no cocktail party because there’s “no reason to delay the inevitable.” Ya hear that, Evan? You can’t weasel your way into a power move to remain safe this week! Evan says, “I want to be a freakin’ front runner” and you almost felt sorry for him, ya know? But also, Jojo is completely out of your league,  buddy, and it’s time to get back to reality and help your limp dicked clients. 

Jojo enters wearing a dark green dress with a high slit (awesome), metallic gold belt (great), and side cut outs (NOT my favorite) and starts handing out the flowers.  The order is:
-Luke (the size of his pecs is becoming gross)
-Chase (looking nice but sometimes those eyes look sleeeepy)
-Alex (who needs to sit down & mind his own business a lil bit)
-James Taylor (who I just can’t quite get on board with) and finally…
-Wells (SuitWatch 2016 continues)

Heading home are Evan, Grant, and barber Vinny. I’m glad those guys got haircuts when they could because Vinny’s heading back to Florida to regale his pals with stories and shape ups. Vinny and Evan cry but Grant holds it together. 

Next week the gang is headed to Buenos Aires, Argentina where Jordan will be in the hot seat, as the other dudes think he’s there for the fame. Ya know who just miiiiiiight also have an agenda and is right under your nose, boys? THE GUY WHO KEEPS PULLING OUT HIS DAMN GUITA-- JAMES TAYLOR!! Don’t let his lumpy look fool you!

Are you exhausted from all that reading, lovebug? Then give your eyes a rest and let your ears have some fun while listening to the latest episode of The Fantasy Suite--the podcast where Dava Krause and I discuss all things Bach. This week we're joined by guest Kim Rittberg! All eps here

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bachelorette Jojo Ep 4: Sometimes hot tubs ARE too hot

Tuesday night was Part II of Chad-Mageddon and the episode opened with Chris Harrison encouraging Chad to address the house and squash things.  Chad’s way of ending the drama was by saying that he hopes they can all be “pretty cool, generally” then by having a back and forth debate with Evan about who pushed who first.  Welcome to everybody’s favorite family road trip back seat game, WHO STARTED IT?   Wells and James Taylor chimed in with some calm advice and the conversation ended.  We got a “to be continued” FOR THAT? Come on!  I wanted blood!  What’s that, I’ll get it later in the episode? OK, you’ve got me.

The pool party kicks off when Jojo arrives in white, jean shorts, fringed tank top, and a black bikini.  Jojo is smart and doesn’t dunk her head underwater (don’t ruin that hair and make-up, girl), but the guys do, performing synchronized swimming dives and tricks. Somehow Evan gets a bloody nose during a dive and I’m stunned by what a delicate flower he is.  Jojo and Jordan have some sexy private time (straddling!) and she tells him that she feels nervous around him (been there a few too many times and hey, sometimes you have a 4 year on-again-off-again thing with an overweight, bearded mountain man who leaves you completely tongue tied, ya know? Just me?). Luke and Jojo have some cute guitar time, Robby’s hair keeps getting higher, and Jojo and Chad have a talk.  Chad says that he made that  mean remark (“are you seriously vibing this guy?”) because he and Evan are so different, asking, “Do you want ice cream or do you want steak?” Well, Chad, perhaps she likes both? A better metaphor would have been a zero sum game where you can only pick ONE thing.  Evan disrupts their conversation because he feels safe while the cameras are rolling (sorry, but Evan’s a chickeshit weasel). 

Chad grabs Derek (Hot Jim Halpern) for a conversation in the foyer and every sentence that Chad uses to ask him what his problem is, Derek then explains is a perfect example OF THE PROBLEM and Derek’s not wrong. Derek contends that Chad is here to get in front of the cameras and that he doesn’t actually like Jojo.

That evening it’s rose ceremony time and Jojo arrives in stunning gunmetal, sparkly separates.  She’s rocking a light lip and sparkly, grey eyeshadow and it’s all amazing.  Chase and Evan already have roses and then she doles them out to…

-Grant (looking NICE in those suspenders and no jacket)
-Derek (looking very Dunder Mifflin in that grey suit)
-Jordan (yeah Jojo—keep him in the middle and keep him humble)
-Luke (tie pins are back! What’s old is new!)
-Robby (do you think he's wearing a BumpIt underneath that hair? Seriously--that volume!)
-Wells (classic look, low key attitude)
-James F. (Cute Count rocking a grey suit, black tie)
-Vinny (he’s still here? Doesn’t he have some fades to buzz back in Florida?)
-Daniel (that stark white shirt and ink black suit is doing nothing to make you look like less of a vampire, Damn Daniel)
 -Alex (tiny hero is HOT and every military dude I know is covered in tats, so it doesn’t scare me)
-Chad (seriously? SERIOULY? Do you WANT Evan to get his ass kicked, Jojo?)

So Ali (handsome Persian), Nick (Santa), and Christian (smiley sweetheart) are heading home and the guy who punches doors and eats potatoes like bananas is still in the running.  That’s got to be a tough pill to swallow—even harder than a mouth full of cold cuts eaten like a Chad Bear.

Jojo tells the guy that she’s ready to leave the drama behind and focus on relationships (easy to say when you aren’t living in the same room as a dozen meatheads, one of whom is a complete sociopath) and TRAVEL! 

Their first stop is everyone’s favorite spring break destination: NEMACOLIN, PENNSYLVANIA!!!! RUSTIC WOODLANDS! GREY SKIES! DAMP WEATHER! Jojo says for the first time this season that she thinks her husband is in this group of guys and the dudes settle into their rustic cabin resort. 

Luke scores a 1:1 date and they go dog sled cruising through a muddy trail! Who knew that you could dog sled without snow? Turns out you can! You just need a random guy to stand behind you while you and your mate snuggle under a blanket and play tonsil hockey directly beneath him!  Wheeee!  They arrive at a clearing where a wood fire Jacuzzi is waiting for them, but first Luke needs to chop the wood to heat the fire that will warm the water. It’s like a goddamn chemistry lesson up in here! They strip down and Jojo is somehow SHOCKED that Luke, a former military guy is in “impeccable shape” (as she calls it).  Jojo dips a toe in the hot tub, finds it to be MUCH too hot, and Luke dutifully holds her suspended above the water, then shares this inspirational gem with Bachelor Nation: 

Sometimes hot tubs are too hot. 

Aint that the truth, Luke. Luke says that he loves Nashville and Austin (oh, you and literally EVERY OTHER RESIDENT OF OUR NATION LIVING HERE CIRCA RIGHT NOW) and they sip champagne. 

Back at the house, Chad is also in a hot tub, but he’s alone and speaking of himself in the 3rd person as “the Chad bear.”

That night Luke and Jojo get dressed up for dinner and Luke talks about serving in Afghanistan, losing his best friend in combat, and appreciating life. I’ll admit, that was  pretty sweet conversation and he seems like a solid dude.  I had to laugh, though, when Luke talked about how he’s an emotional person without registering a SINGLE emotion on his face. Maybe he just has a flat affect? Either way, Luke gets a rose and they then walk to a theater where make out on a platform as hundreds of strangers tape it on their smartphones. Love in the modern age! Behind them, someone furiously cranks a smoke machine as Dan + Shay sing a trite country song. 

The next day is a group date for Derek, James Taylor, Damn Daniel, Chase, Wells, James F., Evan, Grant, Jordan, and Robby and the boys cruise on a steamboat over to Heinz Field where they run football drills with 3 former Pittsurgh Steelers players or coaches or something. They all look like brick shithouses and make Evan look even TINIER than we know he is.  Jordan is throwing killer passes to everyone as they run drills (mama likes) and when Robby smacks into James Taylor, JT stars gushing blood and needs stitches.
This is what happens when a Singer-Songwriter tries to play football 
Finally it’s game time and the guys are split into 2 teams: white and blue, with Jordan playing what he calls “all time Quarterback” and that sounds extremely hot, Jordy.  Evan is pretty excited about the football accessories and ends up looking more like he’s auditioning to replace Left Eye of TLC in that bizarre TV show “R U The Girl.”

"I'm sorry you lost your beloved Left Eye, but I am here to fill those shoes!" -Evan

The blue team wins (but not before Evan gets his SECOND bloody nose of the episode) so they score an after party with Jojo. 

That night, Jojo is looking gorgeous in a tight black dress with a slit up the leg and no sleeves. Robby is rocking a Miami Vice look and he hoists her onto the pool table for a hot make out that is soon followed by her make-outs with Derek, James Taylor, and Jordan.  Jojo tells Jordan that she still can’t read him and that he’s not vocal about how he feels, so he takes her outside and says, “I feel like I’m falling for you, I see someone that I feel like I could fall for” which is the most non-committal way to tell a woman that you maybe, potentially, could possibly date her. What the hell is going on here, Jordan!?  But that almost confession of maybe love seemed to be enough for Jojo, as she gives Jordan the rose. 

The next day is the 2-on-1 between Alex and Chad and pre-date Cro Magnon Chad takes a poll of which guys have a problem with him (multiple guys literally RAISED THEIR HANDS and I exploded in laughter), Chad asks Alex if he’d like to go outside and fight, and Chad threatens to beat up Jordan in his home once the show is over. If someone isn’t making a super cut of Chad’s best Roid Rage lines, then we’re all missing out.  Chad and Alex take a helicopter into the woods where they meet Jojo for a hike and drinks by some rapids. Alex uses the non-word “disingenuine” when he means “disingenuous,” Chad holds Jojo’s hand a LOT, and the trio settles on a blanket by the water. During his 1:1 time, Alex tells Jojo that Chad is terrorizing the house with threats of violence and when Jojo asks Chad about this, he insists that he’s not an aggressive guy but the other guys are pushing him and he says that threats of violence are the ONLY way to handle some people.  Jojo reprimands him saying that he should handle things like an adult and walks off, then he proves that he’s truly a man-child by whipping his cup into the river. 

Then Chad and Alex have bizarre conversational back and forth during which Chad says outright that it’s too bad that he can’t hurt Alex without getting into trouble and we learn that Chad was formerly a Marine. How did I not know this before? This guy is terrifying!

Jojo returns and asks Chad point-blank if he has threatened anyone in the house and Chad trots out the favorite excuse of abusive husbands, that he was MADE to do these things and he had no other option.  Jojo gives Alex the rose and they wander off to a candlelit, cozy drinks date as Chad roams the woods saying, “am I getting pranked right now?” 

Back at the house, a Production Assistant takes Chad’s bag away and the boys toast with bubbly and Fireball Whisky (I’ll probably get Diabetes for saying this, but I love me some Fireball and not just because there’s a corny Top 40 country song about it).  

The voice over we hear as we watch Chad roam the woods is him insisting that Alex lied and that now he must find Alex. Does Chad realize that every word he say is being taped? Because Alex didn’t lie and everyone in Bachelor Nation knows it. 

We’re off next week (who knows why) and back in 2 weeks.  In the meantime, be sure to listen to The Fantasy Suite, the Bachelor podcast that I co-host! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bachelorette Jojo Ep 3: Sex Talks and Mind Games

Monday night’s episode of The Bachelorette was night 1 of 2 in the secondary storyline that is Chad-mageddon. Dear readers, there were mind games and tricky maneuvers going on all over the place at the hands of Jojo, Chad, and I venture to contend, even Erectile Dysfunction Evan! 

But first, Jojo had a 1:1 date with Chase, a suitor who has real potential and who I truly dig. I tuned in 15 minutes late because sometimes you forget to set your DVR and you try to squeeze in a quick workout because bikini season snuck up on you (but HOW could bikini season sneak up on you, Selena? It’s your favorite season of the year! I know, I know, imagery interrogator—but the past few weeks were crazy with shows every night, 2 writing projects for Jezebel (hooray), plus regular work, and attempting to date 3-4 husky civil servants at the same time. It’s a lot of plates to keep spinning!).

Anyhoo, I tuned in once Jojo and Chase were at a winery and hearing about their date without seeing it was a hilarious surprise. I have no idea what “yim yamming” is, but I’m glad to know that Chase went with it and that these two crazy kids finally feel #connected. Chase talked about his parents’ divorce (happened when he was 8 years old) and how he’s a “one and done” guy with marriage. Nothing too outlandish came out, but hey, that’s great! There’s nothing wrong with a solid, steady guy who has big biceps, trims his heard nicely, and goes with the flow.  Chase gets a rose, but Jojo has another surprise up her sleeve and it’s a dude from Lady Antebellum who is promoting his new solo album right in the backyard! The Bachelor sticks with its tradition of having up-and-coming country performers and, as someone who cranks top 40 “bro” country on my iPod on the subway (while praying that no hipsters overhear the sounds of Jason Aldean or Luke Bryan coming from my ear buds), I can dig this music!  It’s silly country that’s not as inspired as Sturgill Simpson or Chris Stapleton, but it’s catchy!  Charles Kelly croons a song about “the one who gets me good” while Jojo and Chase make out directly in front of him.

Meahwile back at the house, a group date card has arrived and the gang is Jordan (HELLO), Grant (GREETINGS), Wells (NOT TOO SHABBY), James F. (eh—I’ll take it), Christian (smiley YET HOT), Ali (HIIIIIIII), Damn Daniel (NO THANK YOU!), Vinny (PASS), Nick (meh), Evan (I hate to agree with Chad’s later comment, but everything about him makes me feel like “is this really happening?”), Alex (Tiny Hero has tattoos and mama likes), and Chad (of course? You think they’re going to let the crazy train leave the station without the conductor?). 

Chad immediately starts bitching that he’d rather be on a 1:1 date with a group date and yeah, buddy, so would everyone there. Evan makes a comment that they should cross his name off the card if he doesn’t want to go and Chad STARES HIM DOWN.  James F. (Count Chocula look-alike) encourages them all to work as a team, Jordan makes a killer joke that if you’re on a team with Chad, you’d better hope the group date is a bench press contest and not spelling bee, and Chad snaps at him that he’s a failed football player who has done nothing with his life. OUCH. Yiiii. Chad feels under attack a lot, and I can see that, but EVERY TIME he takes it too far and gets too personal with his insults.  Tiny Hero Alex comes out swinging and calls Chad a “solid piece of shit,” says “try me bro,” calls him “the biggest pussy I know” and finally gestures for him to walk away. ALEX! Thank you for your service to our country—Bachelor Nation! 

Honestly, sweet readers, I loved this scene for 2 reasons:

1. It's damn good TV and bless Jordan for being called a “failed football player” and just smiling through it (I would absolutely break down if I were him);
2. It shows that WOMEN aren’t the only ones who have tension in the mansion. I’m SO tired of hearing about how women supposedly can’t get along with other women. Not any better or worse than men can get along with other men! Case in point? This scene.

The conversation ends when Chad offers to fight all of them outside and they all decline. I had a flashback to a 30 For 30 Short that I just watched about Bruins Enforcer John Wesnick who, in a heated 1977 game at the old Boston Garden, challenged the ENTIRE Minnesota bench to a fight. Bless his heart. Clip below. 

The next day the boys cruise over to the Atwater Village Theater where they are lucky enough to watch and then participate in my friend Jessie Rosen’s long-running storytelling show SUNDAY NIGHT SEX TALKS!  

The show is based in LA, but had a run in NYC for a little while and I was lucky enough to perform on it.  Jessie is a doll face and the show is SUCH a blast of sex positive storytelling.  My podcast co-host Dava and I interviewed Jessie to hear about her time with the Bachelorette boys and that episode is here: 


(You can also listen on iTunes.) 

So the guys arrived at the theater and watched a few stories, then went to an adjoining theater to work on their own true sex stories for presentation in 45 minutes or so.  There were mixed reactions to this date plan: Evan was “so pumped” because “this is another day at the office,” James F. mentioned his conservative Christian upbringing a few times this episode and asked his mother to turn off the TV, and every guy started drinking heavily.  My wonderful friend Jenna Brister was one of the real storytellers, featured in the clip of her being told to “get face down on the bed” and that those were her favorite instructions of all time.  She’s so damn funny and cool! 

Soon it was time for the guys to perform and some of them were fantastic!  Grant and Nick were silly and lighthearted, Jordan was basically doing standup (which is NOT the same thing as storytelling and the audience at The Moth HATES it when you confuse the two), Vinny took off his shirt (why God why), Damn Daniel roamed the stage and had his back to the audience like a pasty, Canadian Jim Morrison, and Wells told a threesome story (I can only hope that it involved All-4-One).  ED Evan failed to tell a story (I sorta hate it when people don’t follow direxies) but instead warned of the dangers of steroid use and made very specific references to Chad. Oof Evan, maybe don’t poke the bear? I fond this pretty weasel-y on Evan’s part. Sure, Chad’s a dumb lug who can’t just go with the flow and he’s a jerk, but let him dig his own grave.  If there’s one thing that we’ve learned in seasons past, it’s that the person in the house who acts as the town crier that so-and-so is a jerk often ends up with a target on his own back.  As Evan walks back to his seat, Chad pulls his shirt and there’s an altercation like something you would see on an 8th grade field trip school bus.  Dudes. 

Chad is the big finale and rather than tell a story, he calls Jojo onto the stage, says that he doesn’t think about the past, only the future, and "with that said"—then he grabs Jojo and tries to force her to kiss him, but she turns her head to the side then gently pushes him off. Again, Chad, BOUNDARIES!!  Just because Jojo is the Bachelorette doesn’t mean that any time you want, you can simply grab her and shove your lips on hers.  Alex gives this embarrassing display a standing ovation (hilarious) and the men retire back to the adjoining theater where Chad punches a door so the point that his hand bleeds, then says of his self-inflicted injury, “if I can’t lift, I’m going to be pissed.”  THIS IS POETRY! Good God if Chad existed as a character in a written TV show, he’d need to be rewritten because he’s too one-note and simplistic, but no, CHAD IS REAL!

Chad pushes Evan saying, “you’re going to fucking die, dude” (well, aren’t we all, at some point?) and Evan plays a mind game on Chad saying that he should chill out, it’s all in good fun, it’s standup comedy (no, it’s not, it’s storytelling and the two are quite similar, but not the exact same thing). Way to gaslight, Evan! The student becomes the teacher! 

That night the after party is at Big Daddy’s (a rambling warehouse filled with furniture and wall hangings, it seems) and Alex is wearing a super tight, white button down, Jojo is referring to Nick as “Santa” still (ewww), and Jordan is looking hot.  Jojo and Jordan have a good conversation and make-out and she’s definitely putting him on the back burner because she really likes him.  Did anyone notice that at one point, Jojo referred to Jordan as “Jojo” or am I going insane? 

Jojo has good conversations with all of the guys, save for when Chad disrupts her 1:1 time with Nick and then steps aside to give them time, only to walk mere feet away from them and whistle.  His drunken ramblings and aggressive behavior reminded me a lot of Jud Fry from the musical Oklahoma! (holy theater kid, Selena!)—the mysterious and dangerous loner who gave everybody the willies.  Also, didn’t we all think that in Oklahoma!, Ado Annie was ten times more interesting than leading lady Laurey? That’s a discussion for another time, but seriously.

Evan tries to poke the bear more during the cocktail party, asking Chad point blank “why are you here?” and then being at a loss for words when Chad handily accuses Evan of bullying HIM (good move, in the Mind Fuck Olympics). Chad asks Evan to simply leave him alone and mocks the whole process, saying how fake it is to talk about INTENSE FEELINGS this early on in a relationship (not untrue, but you realize that this is a TV show, right, bro?). 

Finally Chad and Jojo get 1:1 time and Chad refers to himself as “the bully being bullied” by Evan, Jojo encourages him to NOT be the bully and says she’s “confused” by him, which is a really tactful way to say “you seem somewhat unstable and unpredictable, but I don’t want to burn this bridge just yet because your body is TIGHT.”   Evan then interrupts Chad and Jojo’s alone time and WOW Evan has got a LOTTA nerve as long as the cameras are rolling producers are there to protect him, ya know?  Evan gives Jojo an ultimatum, saying that he doesn’t want to be here if Chad is going to be here. Jojo wisely says she will think about it. 

The group convenes and Jojo has a rose to give out, but she asks Evan if she can pull him aside to talk.  All of Bachelor Nation was thinking what Jordan predicted, that Jojo pulled him aside to send him home to get back to his ED practice and 3 kids.  BUT NO.  Jojo pulls a page straight out of the UnREAL playbook and shocks everyone by giving the rose TO EVAN.  Evan is elated and makes a gross comment that his kids will be so excited that “Daddy made out with Jojo” (huh? gross) then they walk back to the couches where the group is assembled. Everyone seems surprised, but NO ONE more than Chad, who literally says, “Is this real? Is this real life? You’re actually, right now, vibing this dude?” which is, admittedly, what many of us were thinking, but also SO DAMN RUDE.  Jojo calls him on it and says that he’s being disrespectful and she doesn’t like this side of you.
Wait, Evan's getting the rose? 
I refuse the accept he reality of what is happening because I'm emotionally stunted
 and think that my giant muscles should automatically win me all roses! 

The boys head back to the Bachelor Mansion where Chad falls asleep and dreams of meat and free weights under the watchful eye of a security guard because every other guy in the house is terrified of him.

The next day James Taylor and Jojo get dressed up in vintage clothes (Jojo looks perfect, as always) and take a swing dancing class, then stumble upon a giant, outdoor dance party where they strut their new moves. Jojo’s polka dot dress RULES but I had flashbacks to 1999 when everyone I knew was into swing dancing for a hot minute.  Later that night, James Taylor reveals to Jojo that he used to be teased a lot and it stuck with him and he feels like an underdog who doesn't quite measure up. Oh James Taylor, why you gotta tug on my heartstrings like that? Jojo's response is lovely, but reminded me a bit of the Ben-Jubilee dynamic where it didn't seem to be about romance and love, but rather about a person who needed a cheerleader.  We'll see how that goes.  JT scores a rose (and sings an original song, of course).   

Back at the house, Damn Daniel encourages Chad to use “logic and reasoning” then compares Chad to Hitler, Mussolini, Trump, and George W. Bush (bless you with those last 2 references, my sweet Canadian vampire) as Chad eats a sweet potatoe as if it’s an apple.  The way that Chad eats is really selling his whole “Jud Fry” character and I’m sort of loving it.

We see shots of Chad using 50 pound free weights and groaning, then Chris Harrison arrives to tell the guys that Jojo is scrapping the cocktail party that night in favor of a pool party all day.  Chad chimes in that he doesn't want these OTHER guys seeing Jojo in a bikini (guess what, buddy? YOU DON'T OWN HER, so shut up and keep on doing those bicep curls, weirdo) while everyone else has normal, positive responses to the prospect of a pool party day.

Evan pulls Chris Harrison aside and says that Chad is aggressive, threatening, and toxic, then Chris Harrison pulls Chad aside to ask him about all of it. And they say WOMEN are passive aggressive and create drama!  I think that both parties are at fault--Chad is too aggressive and inflexible and Evan's a weasel.  Chris Harrison plays the role of hands-off manager, telling Chad that he should figure out a way to speak to the entire house in order to settle it, and he'll let Chad decide how to do that. Chad walks off and his voice over says that his preferred plan to settle it would be to cut off all of the arms and legs of everyone, then have torsos in the pool.  Ummm OK.  The producers left us with a "to be continued" and based on the previews for tonight's part 2, there will be blood.