Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bachelor Arie: TRIGGER WARNING: Bumper Car Trauma


I'm late with this recap because I had a standup show on Monday night when the geniuses behind The Bachelor dropped this KILLER episode. On Tuesday morning, a few friends who are fellow Bach-Heads made mention of bumper cars and I wasn't sure what they meant, but I figured, oh a bumper car group date--how weird can it be?


But before we get into flashbacks to childhood bumper car trauma and the PTSD that such events can cause and ripple throughout your adulthood, start from the beginning.

There are 21 ladies in the house and they are all looking gorgeous and sipping mimosas like the walking cliches that they are (as a feminist, I hate to say that b/c I truly LOVE these ladies for being gutsy enough to go on this show and I bet they are almost all super fun and cool but also, I HATE brunch and mimosas are connected to that, so I must throw shade). I am fascinated by the mechanics behind everything and I kept thinking--it was sunrise when the first night rose ceremony finished up and now it's daylight--did this mimosa toast take place mere HOURS after that unending first night cocktail party OR did the ladies get a day to SLEEP, settle in, then kick things off the next day? I feel like it's the former but I wish that it were the latter.

As the ladies sip mimosas, "tough guy" Arie is on the top of a mountain--just him and an eagle hanging loose like two rolling stones who are VERY COOL, right? Extremely cool! I mean, that leather jacket! Those shades! This guy is EXTREMELY COOL, the producers assure you!!

Chris Harrison arrives at the house and hands over a date card for Becca K, the brunette publicist from Minneapolis. Before you can say "Arie is fundamentally NOT HOT. His DNA is ugly--I'm sorry to be so harsh but I am a scientist," Arie rolls up to scoop up Becca K. for a motorcycle ride into the mountains. Like a gaggle of gluttons for punishment, the 18 ladies who are NOT invited on the date assemble in the front driveway to watch Arie and Becca drive off.

As they drive to an anonymous mansion, Becca keeps remarking on how amazing this ride is, that this feels so good, that "we're not in Kansas anymore" (DUMB CHILLS), even though we can't see Arie's face (thank GOD), you just KNOW that he's there underneath his helmet being like, "zip it! Act like you been here! Soak it in, but please don't give me a director's cut of this ride, girl."

They arrive at an offensively modern, sleek mansion where there is lobster, champagne, and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's-bestie-turned-enemy who they nicknamed Raisin Face, RACHEL ZOE!

Brace yourself for some branding partnerships because it's episode 2 and we're already being force fed Rachel Zoe's new fashion line, Louboutin's signature red-soled shoes (did you know you can buy stickers to make ANY soles red? Ha! I'm a trash bag), and Neil Lane.

Becca gets a day of ostentatious indulgence and unrepentant materialism and Arie slides right in the role of Lame Boyfriend Waiting Outside The Fitting Room as Becca tries on gorgeous, metallic, 70s style dress after dress. I'll admit that all of those dresses were very on brand for me (my BRAND is disco queen who has seen  better days) and--get this--Becca gets to keep them all. Lucky lady! After the dress deluge, Arie gets down on one knee to gift Becca a pair of Louboutins and then Neil Lane's enforcer walks up off the beach (very casual) to hand over a box of blood diamonds.  Becca is stunned by the diamond earrings, necklace, and bracelets and Arie says that he's excited to spoil her because she's down to Earth.  You hear that, ladies! Act like you don't NEED diamonds and you will GET diamonds because The Secret does NOT work, in fact the opposite works! Life is crazy!

Lauren pops back to the mansion with her arms full of bags (it's just like "Pretty Woman" except Lauren isn't a woman who is being paid to fuck a stranger--she is NOT being paid and MIGHT fuck a semi-stranger--VERY DIFFERENT) and makes everyone jealous, then changes into a beautiful silver number and heads to downtown LA to meet up with schlubby Arie. He's waiting for her and wearing a suit, but that doesn't make up for his face. Arie AGAIN justifies his CHOICE of leaving professional race car driving (WE GET IT! You're SUPER EXCITED about where your life is heading, which is why you constantly tell everyone that you're super excited about where our life is headed! Totally!), they agree that it's pretty cool that they BOTH have families they don't hate, and Becca scores a rose.  Oh also, they discuss Becca's late father and make out beneath a shower of gold confetti.

Up next is a 1:1 date for the valley girl-iest fan of whispering, Krystal. OK, in episode 1 I really liked Krystal--she seemed like a bubbly, earnest, simple, sweet girl and I was on her side. I liked her throughout most of episode 2 until the cocktail party, but we'll get to that.  Her 1:1 date with Arie is what I call the "Too Much Too Soon Mindfuck Special"--a private flight to Scottsdale, AZ (where he lives and his parents and brother live) where tour around his hometown, high school, and finish it off with a stop in to MEET THE PARENTS! Remember, fellow Bach heads--this is a FIRST DATE.  Krystal and Arie met AT MOST, 48 hours prior.  And now she's watching home video of him and meeting his sweet parents!? HUH?

Everything this season is moving WAY TOO FAST and I'm sure that's by design--there's more drama to be had for producers if you can get the ladies HOOKED QUICKLY. So we are seeing ladies reveal family trauma VERY early on (I'm sure producers are encouraging that), ladies dive into Arie's family and childhood stories much too early (again, no an accident), and just an expedited timeline that pushes them to a level of false familiarity with Arie.  Can you tell that I've become VERY good at sensing false familiarity and a deliberate lack of boundaries in guys? Special thanks to dudes who manipulated me when I was young and naive and foolishly thought that people were all nice and honest!

Krystal falls for it (or wants to believe it? Or just enjoys it? I can't quite tell) and loves the walk down Arie's memory lane (also known as Narcissism Street) and is thrilled to meet his parents, brother, sister-in-law.  They have a nice chat and I'll say this for Krystal, she's a great conversationalist, she's very inclusive of the family, curious about them, asks a lot of questions.  Also I must give props to the fact that all THREE women in the parents' house are BLONDE, so I love it.  If Krystal marries Arie, they'll have a gorgeous extended family of blonde women and men who can easily wear bags over their heads because their heads are all quite small.

That night, over dinner (drinks) at Los Angeles landmark The Bradbury Building, Arie asks Krystal about her childhood and Krystal reveals herself as she seems to choke back tears. Poor thing. She explains that her father walked out, her mother was a single mom and Krystal felt that she and her brother were not wanted (oh Lord how sad is that?), that she essentially raised her little brother, and dealt with very adult things from a very young age.  Before I lambast her for being a weirdo at the cocktail party, I'll say this: I give her SO much credit for having such a positive attitude in spite of that tragic childhood of abandonment.  Arie pulls a Robin Williams from Good Will Hunting and literally says "it's not your fault" then when she asks if this scares him (oh man I was almost crying), he says no, gives her a rose, and they make out HARD.

The next day is a group date for 15 girls (Maquel, Marikh, Tia, Valerie, Annaliese, Lauren G., Kendall, Bekah aka Poor Man's Rizzo aka Braless Nanny, Jenny aka Jenna cause who can tell those blondes apart, Sierre, Jenna aka Jenny because--wait, didn't we already account for her, who knows, Caroline, Brittney, Bibiana aka MIAMI HEAT, Chelsea or something I think? how long does it take to recite 15 names and also who are most of these people.

But before they leave to play real life bumper cars with "shitty cars" that would probably be considered "perfectly good cars" in any country but the United States, Krystal needs to act evasive when the ladies ask her about what her 1:1 date with Arie was. In some ways I get it (BOUNDARIES!) but also, come on, girl. Be friendly, chat a little bit, have fun.

The group date gals head to a mud pit and enter the stadium like a sea of yoga pants, where Chris Harrison and some supposedly famous car person, Robby Gordon, are waiting to do color commentary for the BASHELOR Demolition Derby! Everyone is fired up except for Annaliese who has--and this is where The Bachelor turned into a self-parody--traumatic memories of bumper cars. Annaliese explains to Marikh and Maquel that as a child, she drove bumper cars and was smashed up, felt all alone, was terrified. The brilliant minds behind The Bachelor intercut the footage of Annaliese sharing her trauma and crying with shots of bumper cars and screams of children. I AM NOT KIDDING!!! Scroll back up to see those gems!! It was HILARIOUS. 

Of course, Pasty Arie calms her down, says he'll act as the car Goon to protect her (I gotta get in at least one Goon reference per recap), and the Demolition Derby kicks off!  Everyone is suited up, in helmets and neck guards, but MAN whiplash seems imminent nonetheless.  Sienne wins and later, we learn that not only is she great at demolition derby, she also attended Yale University.

The afterparty is that night and Brittany is too sick to attend (later it sounds like she may have been hospitalized? Dude waaaaah? This pasty snooze is NOT worth it, girl!), which is probably for the best because shit is TENSE.  Everyone looks gorgeous (well, except Arie who is rocking a corny assed cardigan and his face) and after a toast, Single Mother Chelsea pulls Arie away IMMEDIATELY to explain that it's much harder for HER to be there and SHE is really focused on this because she's a single mother and "this is actually really serious to me." Arie has dated numerous single mothers so he's unfazed (which I sort of LOVED b/c she acted like she was about to drop a SUPER UNIQUE BOMB and he was like, OK yeah cool no bigs). Then Chelsea returns to the group and tells them that SHE is really there FOR LOVE because SHE is a mother and it's really, uniquely hard for HER to be there and GOD BLESS, Marikh and Bibiana are both NOT having that and remind her that they ALL have their reasons to be there and they ALL left things behind and they ALL chose this journey.  THANK YOU, ladies! I am never having children and yet, if I went on the show, I'd be "actually really serious" about it also--women who aren't mothers aren't somehow frivolous gals about town--we ALSO want love and partnership.  OK enough of my yakkin!

Slowly, Bibiana is becoming increasingly anxious about things and worried that she won't have 1:1 time with Arie, which she does NOT end up having. That has GOT to be frustrating. Bekah M. aka Poor Man's Rizzo rocks a wildly unflatting, white girl flesh toned turtleneck  (A TURTLENECK) and makes out with Arie just after he does a dorky shoulder shrug. 

Finally the group date is almost over and Arie has to give out a rose.  He fakes out Chelsea (DELICIOUS) and hands it to Sienne.  Nice werk!

The next day is the cocktail party and let me cover it quickly:
-Bibiana looks gorgeous (love that one shoulder thing) and aint got NO TIME for Krystal's fake nicey nicey bullshit and I am Team Bibiana on this one. After Krystal grabs Arie away from other girls TWICE (even though she has a rose), Miami's own Bibiana tells Krystal that "there's a lot of angry people here and I'm just the voice" then legit STAND UP, says "mic drop" and walks out. BIBS RULZ.
-Baby Rizzo Bekah is wearing no bra (lights out NIPS OUT) and a T-shirt material dress, it seems, plus a fur coat (huh) and mid-make out tells Arie "I'm simple, I'm not drama, I'm easy to please" which is a line straight out of the Cool Girl Handbook and it makes me want to puke, but Arie eats it up.
-Sienne informs Arie that she is MUCH smarter and more cultured than he is.
-Krystal tells Arie that she has missed him (they were apart for, what, a day?).

It's rose ceremony time and Becca K., Krystal, and Sienne are safe and have roses. Who else scores flowers that you could buy a corner bodega?
-Maquel - blonde white girl from Utah rocking a dusty rose bandage dress that is too big for her. Bad look.
-Jacqueline - brunette white girl in low cut, 70s style, satin dress and hoops.
-Bekah - tween who resembles an old woman playing a teenager in Grease and recites lines from every dude's dream girl fan fiction. Next up she'll  be like, "I eat SO MUCH and I'm addicted to GIVING HEAD!"
-Jenna - blonde white girl in a green dress with shoulder cut outs SO large that the arms of her dress are straps and wrist pieces--very weird.
-Chelsea - Mom from Hell (Portland, Maine).
-Lauren S. - blonde white girl w/ long hair, cool maroon dress. She has kept a low profile and I can dig it.
-Kendall - faux hipster who is trying MUCH too hard and was apparently featured on a disgusting episode of Fear Factor that never aired! My sweet college friend Zach dug up the clip! Watch it here, if you dare!
-Brittany - black girl who got some major whiplash during the demolition derby, rocking a black dress with cool neckline.
-Ashley - girl who didn't get a date this week so was extremely anxious, but should perhaps "put on a lip" as they say.
-Marikh - girl who owns the Indian restaurant with her mother sporting a SLINKY, metallic dress that looks like it is made of rust-colored latex and I LOVE IT.
-Caroline - brunette white girl in a red dress that's very "Pretty Woman" and looks lovely.
and the last rose goes to.....
-Bibiana - Miami's spiciest export who, I am hoping, will stop being polite (about waiting for her turn with Arie) and start getting real!

So which ladies traveled to LA only to earn a few hundred more Twitter followers from this bizarro experience?
-Valerie - redhead white girl who doesn't seem to understand what it means to find colors that flatter you.
-Lauren G. - black girl with long hair and a RAD, sparkly dress who I seemed super cool AND can spot a pair of Loubouton's at 50 paces
-Jenny - blonde white girl who was SUPER snarky and sarcastic and, in one clip, mocked Arie's age to his face. She walked out without saying goodbye, then when he followed her, she said that she was sad, but NOT sad to leave him, rather, sad to leave her friends! What a shameless burn as you exit. I giver her credit.

When Arie wants a hug but you aint in a hugging mood
I'll watch episode 3 live and I'm bracing myself for more fake nicey antics out of Krystal and even fewer bras out of Baby Rizzo aka Behak M.

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