Monday, November 9, 2020

Bachelorette Clare Ep 4: Blown Up


This entry is very belated, as ABC aired The Bachelorette on Thursday instead of Tuesday due to the election and then we learned the results of the election on Saturday and I've mostly been drunk and dancing ever since!  So I'm late with this and honestly, Thursday night's episode of the feels like it happened a million years ago! 

I watched Thursday night's episode live and to be honest, I don't remember much of it.  I remember Chris Harrison going to Clare's hotel room to do a Love Intervention of sorts.  Then she goes on a 1:1 date with Dale while the rest of the guys sit around their hotel suite assuring one another that Clare still has an open heart.  Oh you poor, poor fools.  Meanwhile Dale and Clare have dinner and it's a very standard 1st date in that they discuss their parents' courtships and get to know VERY BASIC things about one another, but also, before all that, Clare tells Dale that he's the one and she is ending this season to run off into the sunset with him.  At first he seemed a little bit thrown off and I got definite "too  much too soon" vibes off him, but he seems to be into it, based on how the rest of the episode played out. 

The next day, Chris Harrison goes back to Clare's room for Love Intervention: Part II during which he asks Clare if they have said I love you, if they are both 100% into this, and if he can basically declare her time as The Bachelorette over.  She says yes to all this, then goes to say goodbye to the guys. 

It was stunning how much one women dumping 15ish guys at the same time really felt like watching a breakup, ya know? I thought it would feel formal and workplace presentation-like, but it actually felt like watching a couple talk through a breakup. And I appreciate that a few of the guys were a bit defensive or doubtful of Dale's intentions (BLAKE), but most were just happy that Clare accomplished what she came there to do: find love.  

Then we cut to Dale proposing to Clare (who is wearing a gorgeous white dress) and her accepting, and the next thing we know, Chris Harrison is informing the guys that a new bachelorette will be arriving TONIGHT and here comes Tayshia!! 

I'm glad that Clare found love and I TRULY TRULY hope that she and Dale are in it together forever.  But it all feels a LITTLE quick, no?? But then again, who knows?  There's no right or wrong timeline!  My parents dated 2 months then got engaged and were married within 6 months and their 50th wedding anniversary is coming up!  I KNOW!!  

I'm really glad for the remaining guys that they get another chance at competitive, reality TV love and I think Tayshia is a perfect pick.  She's gorgeous, smart, and eager to TRULY do this thing.  I think she'll be a fantastic Bachelorette.  What do yo think, fellow Bach fans??? 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Bachelorette Clare Ep 3: Tunnel Vision

In Bachelor Nation, we like to joke that Chris Harrison claims that THIS SEASON is the most dramatic season yet and he says that EVERY SEASON but THIS time around, he might be right. 

I don't think I quite have it in me to write a traditional recap (general Pandy Times anxiety, weird tension I have had in my neck and calf since early voting started, my personal worry that I'll have to wait in line 3.5 hours to vote--the standard time at my polling place--and won't have access to a bathroom at all) SO, I'll just share my hot takes with you, dear reader. 


Oh dude, fuck you. Fuuuuck you. As of this episode, Yosef has attended 2 pre-rose ceremony cocktail parties and he has completely derailed each one.  He approaches Clare looking for a fight (which is always a bad look and a style of engagement that truly makes me fearful of the guy), demands an audience with her, then trots out his prepared remarks about the strip dodgeball game (an activity that he DID NOT DO! He was not on that date! And THIS is why! Producers actually DO pay attention to who will enjoy what date activity).  He says how this experience is so hard for him BECAUSE HE HAS A DAUGHTER and ever moment he is in Palm Springs, he is not with his daughter.  Yes, that is how time works, guy.  EVERYONE left their lives behind for this and you don't have any MORE important or worthy things that you are missing than anyone else does.  If you feel like this is a waste of time, you can bounce!  You don't need to ream Clare out for some BIG, TRIUMPHANT exit.  Because it may be big, but it's not triumphant.  Every sentence he said came off as needlessly cruel and VERY angry.  He strikes me as a guy who is unhappy with his own life choices and he can't bring himself to look inward, so he lashes out at others, and, specifically, at women.  I can't wait to see if they do a MEN TELL ALL special and the way that this guy shows his face in public again. 

He says "remember, you're almost 40, Clare" and makes repeated snide comments that she's THE OLDEST BACHELORETTE EVER as if that's something to be ashamed off.  Men like him, when scared, will always fall back on the standard misogyny insult line: she's old, she's crazy.  He taps into a major insecurity ("everyone here is just appeasing you") and essentially gets chased out by the other men--men who are gentlemen and all say that he was out-of-line and completely inappropriate.  My heart really went out to Clare as she was fighting with Yosef--that argument got DIRTY and MEAN and I know how it feels to be completely ON YOUR OWN and you have to defend yourself to a grown man who is screaming at you and insulting you.  It's terrifying.  

After all that, Dale comforts Clare especially well, and of course he does: he has 4 sisters and was raised by women!  Honestly, dudes like that are usually SUPER perceptive to how a woman might be feeling.  Throughout the episode, Dale refers to "verbal abuse" and the way those insults stay on your mind and leave scars and I was screaming, "YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT, DALE!"  More on Dale later. 

Worth noting: Riley knew that Yosef sucked from the start and was vocal that Yosef sucks.  Points for Riley. 

Clare goes away for a while to collect herself, then conducts a delayed rose ceremony that is pretty standard stuff.  Three guys are sent home: a dude with very tall hair, a guy with a sorta snake-ish look, and Garin, college Professor (USC!) and journalist who I have been rooting for because he seems super solid and his Instagram is lovely.  What a loss! 

Throughout this episode, things didn't run on schedule--did you notice that as a recurring theme?  The rose ceremony was LATE at night b/c of the Yosef drama. Then the next day, a crew of guys are ready to go for a daytime group date and they are given NO information on when they will be leaving, so are stuck waiting in the living room, "ready to go" for HOURS!  Finally Clare shows up and is like, "we'll just do a cocktail party, OK?"  Why not tell them that hours back?  Dudes could nap or chill or swim!  

While the dudes were stuck waiting around, Clare and DeAnna (former Bachelorette 12 years back) chat about the guys and Clare is ALL DALE, ALL DAY.  Normally these "look, we're friends!" conversations happen, and the protagonist will gush over a few of the guys, plus DeAnna might have a chance to hang out with them poolside.  But instead, Clare talks about how it was love-at-first-sight with Dale, how she sleeps with his pants over her face (I AM NOT KIDDING), and mentions no one else in the harem of dudes. 

At the start of the group date that night, Dale gives a semi-patronizing speech (which Riley hilariously calls a "Band of Brothers" speech) and initiates a group hug and it all just feels like, dude are you a fellow contestant here or are you the new Chris Harrison?  I think that Dale IS smart about how people are feeling and he's attempting to create a feeling of community BUT it's not his job to do that, it sorta usurps Clare's position, and it's condescending as hell to the other guys! 

Clare and Dale walk off hand-in-hand to talk ("just 5 minutes!" Dale had claimed) and rather than remaining in the outdoor area on a bench or something, they go off TO HER PLACE and, specifically, to her BEDROOM for ALMOST AN HOUR.  ALMOST AN HOUR!! Good Lord!  Look, I am a Bachelor die-hard and I waste SO much brain space with stupid minutiae about this damn franchise, its traditions and characters, but this is not OK and not normal.  YET ALSO I can totally get why Clare is falling for Dale so hard!  He is super handsome but more than that, he's supportive, thoughtful, and tender with her.  For many, many years I dated so many dudes and casual dating, or even not-so-casual dating can leave you defensive and lonely.  I got stood up a few times, insulted, ghosted, mislead, and humiliated and it really made me defensive toward ANY guy, which made it even harder to let a good one in.  So when you find a good one and he serves up the catnip of "I'm proud of you" and "I have your back," you're going to jump in HARD.  BUT I wish that Clare had a bit more confidence in herself, which I think would enable her to appreciate Dale's affection, but also keep DALE on his toes by flirting with and paying attention to the other men.  

I blame the destruction of this season on 2 things: Clare and The Producers.  Clare is off-the-rails, never seemed to have a fully open mind and open heart to non-Dale participants, and she is being disrespectful to these guys who left a lot back at home to be here (you still suck, though, Yosef).  And The Producers aren't wrangling her well enough. Dates are running late or not even happening and the Bachelorette is wandering off for hours at a time.  This season is difficult and unprecedented: they are stuck at this resort and really cannot GO anywhere, DO anything, or interact with other people, so I have sympathy for how the team behind the show is SCRAMBLING and dealing with unpredictable issues. That said, the Producers need to control this and force Clare to spend more time with each guy.  I felt like Chris Harrison talking with Clare 1:1 (start of episode) and DeAnna talking to her were moves to try and get a sense of WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? 

Once the other guys on the group date pried Clare and Dale apart, some guys started having 1:1 time with her and then we see a clip of Clare asking the Producers, "can we kind hurry the rest along?" which is a BAD LOOK for Clare, and very duplicitous of the show to air (so, par for the course).  I think that the show wants to expose Clare at this point.  During Jojo's season, they were able to sort of hide Jojo's obvious crush on Jordan because Jojo had SOME interest in the other guys. With Clare, the Producers can't hide it b/c Clare talks about Dale constantly.  

Riley, Eazy, Chasen, and Jason all gave Dale some grief for how he behaved and I appreciate those guys for it.  Jason went FULL LONG ISLAND when he literally said, "you think you're better than me?" to Dale and flipped off the camera.  Jason, are you sure you're from Long Island and not Boston?? 

The next day, Zach J. (aka FART BOX) has a 1:1 date and it's hard to watch because he's so hopeful and naive.  Gosh this season has SO MANY additional, odd layers happening and it's FASCINATING to watch and keeps the franchise fresh and unpredictable, but it's truly VERY cruel to these men.  Zach J. comes off as very sweet and likable during this date, if a bit simple?  They get pedicures, Clare reveals that she's not at all ticklish (weird?), then they go swimming and KISSGATE goes down.  Lord did you see that bizarro kiss attempt/abort?? They were swimming and Clare went to get out of the pool and leaned in to kiss Zach J and she leaned in 80% toward him and I expected him to pop up that last 20% but he just STOOD THERE and did NOTHING, so Clare high-tailed it outta there in a cloud of uncomfortable giggles and "let's get ready for dinner" requests.  Again, and I DO feel bad for Clare here as she navigate these feelings, but when you aren't just relaxed and curious about a guy, but rather feeling a bit wounded or defensive or unexcited, then you take a chance like leaning in for a kiss, it makes the perceived rejection TEN TIMES WORSE.  Oh man I have walked this road.  My old roommate Liz used to tell me that I had a tendency to perceive EVERYTHING as rejection (and then she handed me START WHERE YOU ARE by Pema Chodron and saved my life) and I see Clare doing there here, too, somewhat.  

I think that Clare is feeling wounded by a few of the men and she perceives Dale as her supportive, safe place to land, and all of the other guys are just collateral damage. 

Of course, there IS no dinner after all.  Poor Fart Box gets cleaned up and then sits there waiting for Clare to arrive for diner, but Chris Harrison shows up and sends him home instead.  Again, UNPRECEDENTED.  I don't think that Chris has EVER doing the sending home in this way.  I would think that it's a breach of contract, to be specific.  And that leads me to the end of this show/season: I think the issue ends up being that by disregarding the other men and not participating in many dates and such, Clare is breaching her contract with ABC.  And my hunch is that while she WANTS to simply be with Dale, she ends up being upset when Chris Harrison/the Producers are like, "we cannot continue this season and you are breaching your contract."  

The back half of this episode features a Bachelorette Roast (with guest star Margaret Cho who RULES) during which, every guy GOES IN ON Dale (who is in the audience since they are all trapped in this bonkers hellscape resort) but no one goes in harder than Old Timey Oil Baron, Bennett.  Bennett KILLED me here!  Way to go, dude.  You're more than just a Harvard jag! 

In a move that we standups call "every bachelorette party who shows up at a comedy show," Clare insists that she wants the guys to "come at me with some good material" then leaves the show practically in tears.  She feels defensive for Dale over all those roast jokes and then refers to him as her "fiancee" to Producers and I thiiiiink we're done here.  During the afterparty, Clare spends the entire night asking each non-Dale guy what they think of Dale and the guys are finally seeing the writing on the wall and are understandably pissed.  Well, everyone sees it except for Bennett who talks to Boy Band Manager Kenny (does Kenny own a single shirt that isn't open to his belly button??) and he insists that, "No, no, Clare is open to us!  She has an open heart."  Oh Bennett--you're that classic dude who is book smart but real world DUMB.  Not everything is a theoretical construct to be studied abstractly--some things are FELT and just perceived, if you have the skills to do so.  

Clare and her yellow, sparkly dress sit there among the guys and she clutches the date rose at a bizarrely high height (eye line for the camera I guess?), but Clare opts NOT TO GIVE IT TO ANY OF THEM, saying that they didn't give her QUITE what she needed that night and PLEASE JUST MAKE IT STOP!! My heart is breaking for ALL of these guys, even dolt Bennett!! 

In a clip that will be used for generations to come as an example of the extreme danger of excessive self-love, Clare then does a talking head clip in which she PRESENTS THE ROSE TO HERSELF and is proud of herself for loving herself or not accepting bad treatment or some other such slight that she has convinced herself is happening, even though every guy there WANTED to treat her right and be with her, but she wouldn't let them.  It's a fascinating thing to watch, the way that people craft a narrative for who they are and how they get treated, and process every moment or interaction through that lens.  Perception is reality, baby, and if you are convinced that every guy is no good and doing you wrong, then, well, every guy will be no good and do you wrong.  

Next Tuesday, the shit goes down on The Bachelorette (to say nothing of the Presidential election) and I won't be watching until Wednesday because my BF and I are going out for his birthday that Tue.  My BF is the Dale to my Clare, ya know?  Hahaha what a bad metaphor!  

So the episode ends with Chris Harrison telling Clare that she blew up The Bachelorette, Clare being kicked out of the resort (it seems?), and Bachelor all-star knockout rad chick TAYSHIA springing out of a pool in a bikini!!! 


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Bachelorette Clare Ep 2: Too Much Too Soon!

Hello, lovebugs! 

I'm back but late with this recap.  But what is "late" really? I write these for fun! There's no deadline! 

OK anyhoo. Last night's episode of The Bachelorette was... very intense.  We are only on WEEK 2 and already, Clare is trying to dig up HEAVY duty childhood trauma out of Jason (poor guy), encouraging competitiveness among the men, and processing a lot of her own issues on TV.  I don't think all of this is BAD, per se, it's just intense and somewhat unprecedented. 

Clare and the Boyz are at their resort in Palm Springs and most of the date and challenges take place during the nighttime, I imagine, because it's just so damn hot and bright out there in the daytime. I give the Producers a lot of credit--they are somewhat limited in date activities because of the pandemic, and they get creative with the spaces they have.  

The first date is a group date and the crew is Riley (yes!), Jordan, Yosef (woof), Ivan (cute), Ben (also cute), Bennett (50-something oil baron posing as a single, 30-something), Zach C (is growing on me somehow?), Zach J (Fart Ring), and Dale (of course).  The date is all about Love Languages, so the boys and Clare (who is in heels and shorts which is a CLUTCH look) say words of affirmation, explore physical touch, and gifts. Not a bad afternoon! 

Clare is thrilled to hear all of these kind words from the guys (she stands on a bizarro indoor Juliet balcony and they compliment her from below which was odd) but the whole exercise felt like "too much too soon" which I suppose is a theme for this entire season.  

The funniest scene of the show had to be when the group date guys BOLTED back to their rooms to get gifts for Clare and the rest of the crew playfully mocked them from the pool.  Dale's pants ripped, Bennett got made fun of, Garin imitated a funny walk, and Easy makes everything so much fun. 

At the Love Language Group Date afterparty, Clare was rocking a blue, one strap dress with an exposed zipper in the back and what is it about an exposed zipper!? I love them so! She did the classic Bachelorette arrival, plop down among the guys, have a toast, talk about the day, and then everyone sort of sat there until she PRODDED one of the guys to grab her and take her away for 1:1 conversation.  Of all people, Old Timey Tycoon BENNETT stepped up to the plate (God bless) and they walked away, but after just a few moments, Clare asked him to sit tight so that she could go back to the crew and dress them down for not grabbing her!! GIRL!  What is going on here?  This is NOT a good look and here are my thoughts: 

1. This show JUST started. This was group date #1 and I think these guys aren't fully into "man against man" stuff right now. They are all psyched to be AMONG OTHER GUY after weeks and weeks of quarantining. Don't take it personally if they aren't stabbing one another in the back just yet! 

2. When you talk about how awkward things are, you make them more awkward, Clare. Instead of being like, "is someone going to grab me?" you could have kept a group conversation going, asked some questions to the guys. 

3. That whole incident made Clare seem difficult and a lil dramatic, to be honest. And I hate to say that b/c I really dig her, but I think she should let the guys dive in when they feel comfortable pulling her aside. No guy wants to be TOLD "come after me," ya know? 

So she yells at the guys and then gets her wish (Dale whisks her away for 1:1 make-out time) and POOR BENNETT!! Is the dude sitting on a couch somewhere being like, "is Clare coming back?" hahhahah! What a mess. 

Oh, before Dale takes her away, some of the guys chime in and Yosef (who sucks) says that Clare is "crazy to think" that they aren't into her. Pro Tip, Yosef: don't call a woman crazy. Calling women "crazy" or "psycho" is the most favorite move of awful men. Avoid it. And don't "speak for the group" either. 

Oh also, Clare talks about how she went on Juan Pablo's season of The Bachelor to escape an abusive relationship and that in telling off Juan Pablo at the end of that nightmarish season (nightmarish because Juan Pablo SUUUUUCKS), she found herself.  She and Riley have a super cute dance and he lands the group date rose. 

The next day is the first 1:1 and Jason is the man of the hour. He's the dude who wore a fake pregnancy stomach on the first night and who has an "exotic" Long Island/New Hampshire accent, whatever that is.  She asks him to write a letter to his younger self before their FIRST DATE and HOLY MOLY what is going on here!?! I am a BIG fan of therapy and have processed a lot of shame, trauma, life stuff with 3 different therapists over the years, but I do NOT think that a FIRST DATE is the time to dive into family issues, trauma, and shame. And definitely not a first date that is ON TELEVISION. Yiiii.  Jason handled everything beautifully, though, rolling with the punches of the date and being vulnerable.  Bravo, Jason!  I hope your parents don't disown you after you told all of America that their marriage is NOT healthy and that you sleep around to avoid vulnerability! 

The Forced Intimacy In Joshua Tree tour wraps up with Clare BURNING the dress that she wore when Juan Pablo sent her home from his season of The Bachelor 6 years ago and I can see why this is cathartic for Clare, but why is Jason even present for this!? So much of this date felt like closure exercises FOR CLARE. For his evening spent screaming into the void in Joshua Tree National Park, Jason got a rose. 

The next day is a Strip Dodgeball game group date and COULD SOMEONE PLEASE GET SOME HEALTHY BOUNDARIES AROUND HERE? The whole thing was "sweaty fun" and by that I mean, "somewhat humiliating for everyone involved" and that includes the guys NOT on the date! When the blue team returned to the suite, defeated and holding their dicks, the rest of the guys had to sit with them and watch the throw pillows get covered in dick sweat. What is going on here!? 

Meanwhile the red team gets quality time with Clare, during which Chasen convinces me that he's a martian. He refers to himself in high school as a "hermit crab" and then says that he has "the goosebumps." Dude, the saying is a "hermit" and "goosebumps" (no THE). Are you an alien? 

Blake has finally stopped holding his dick long enough to shower, get dressed, comb his too-long beard, and show up at the afterparty that he's not invited to. Showing up at a party you weren't invited to? What are you, ME and SUZANNE during high school summers at backyard parties throughout Wayland??? ZIIIING US!! When you're hot, they let you do it! Wheeeee!!! Blake pisses off the dudes WHO ACTUALLY WON, get negged by Clare, and wanders off. 

Brandon, the bland but traditionally hot dude from Cleveland OH, attempts to talk to Clare but his claims that he went on the show "for her" ring false when the ONLY thing he knows about her is that she's beautiful.  I understand Clare's annoyance at that, but AGAIN, it felt like she made a mountain out of a molehill and made shit weird by sending him home! I get that she doesn't want to waste time and she knows what she wants, but why not learn a bit more about him before you decide he sucks? I dunno. Chasen, the alien attempting to learn about Earthling culture, gets the rose and his alien overlords back on Mars must be THRILLED!! 

Back at the suite, Yosef is referring to a date he wasn't on as "classless" and saying that it "left a bad taste in my mouth" which is rich coming from a dude who was macking on Insta chicks mere weeks ago. Yosef seems like a profoundly angry person who was probably a total womanizer, louse in his younger days but NOW THAT HE HAS A DAUGHTER he is ALL righteousness, all the time.  Do you know the type of guy I mean?  I think he will show his entire ass next week (METAPHORICALLY) and try to age shame Clare. 

But before this episode can end with a cliffhanger, we have a cocktail party to start!  Blake has cut his beard somewhat, so he looks less Amish and more "I'm living in my van for a couple a weeks while I get some shit sorted" and Clare pulls him aside to give him a rose after negging him HARD a mere night before. Clare looks gorgeous, as usual, in a sparkly floor-length silver dress, big earrings, and cleavage for days.  

So now the men with roses are Chasen (alien here to gain data on humans), Jason (open wound of newfound vulnerability), Riley (Boys II Men superfan but if only the show had licensed their music), and Beard Boi Blake. 

Tragically, the episode ends there and leaves us wondering WHO screams at Clare about being the oldest Bachelorette ever (probably Yosef b/c he's unhappy with his life choices and he's wading through some major self hatred and projecting it onto the men and Clare), and who will be Clare's next candidate for fireside therapy! We'll find out next week as Palm Springs Therapy House continues!! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Bachelorette Clare: Ep 1: Nasal Swabs + Bare Ankles


I just finished watching an episode of The Bachelorette and tweeting some tweets while drinking wine and laughing and for 2 hours, it almost felt as if we aren't living through a global pandemic!!  Life felt somewhat normal!  It wasn't a show filmed via Zoom!!  There was not a mask in sight!  I am truly FLOATING right now!  

Obviously, the current global pandemic was mentioned throughout the show and we watched these sweet guys quarantine solo in Palm Springs for 14 damn days, get Covid tested, and while away the boredom, but after that, it felt like any old Bachelorette season and I'm so glad. 

Speaking of "old," I am bracing myself for a season of ageism because Clare Crawley, the brave smoke show who will date 30+ men at one time while living in a Palm Springs bungalow (MY DREAM) is 39, so this is what Bachelor Nation meanies might call a "geriatric season." I, for one, am THRILLED to have a grown woman in the driver's seat: she has been around the block with this franchise (Juan Pablo's season, 2 season of Bachelor In Paradise), has a fantastic career as a colorist, has gobs of friends and interests, and truly wants love and marriage soon.  YES!  

Clare moves to Pam Springs, has a few Covid tests and isolation time, and before we know it, she is all dressed up and chatting with Chris Harrison in a candle-filled room just before the 1st night. WE ARE BACK, BABY! 

Real quick: I LOVED Clare's look. Gunmetal is one of my favorite dress colors and the reflective, textured beads at the top which faded down to a filmy bottom with a slit up the side--it was dreamy. 

I loved this conversation: they spoke candidly about who she was when she dated infamous Bachelor cad Juan Pablo, how she has grown, the hardships she has faced and her ability to stay hopeful through it all.  She reveals that when she joined the cast of The Bachelor that first go-round, she had just left an abusive relationship. Chris asks if Clare has anything to say to that young girl getting out of the limo to meet Juan Pablo all those years ago and she says, "I'm proud of you for trying again." I LOVE THIS. I suspect this overarching theme will be beaten like a dead horse this season, but for now I really love the spirit of finding PRIDE in taking some licks, having some disappointments, and showing up anyway. It reminded me of 2003 when I lived in Chicago and worked as a paralegal at a law firm where my attorney would scream swears at me throughout the day. I was broke, young, depressed, and literally AFRAID of this attorney.  I'd cry in the bathroom at work at least 1x/day but every day, I showed up. My parents were so proud of me--they knew that I was going through an awful situation and the job was such an abusive place, but that I showed up. In retrospect, this is a story about workplace abuse and I HAD to show up b/c I was broke as HELL which is a sad state of events, BUT THE POINT IS: there's power in showing up.  Clare's "showing up" is like previous Bachelorette Rachel's "keeping it 100." I love pithy, motivational phrases! 

Let's get down to the dudes and the DRAMZ! 

We had immediate drama between Tyler C. (dude who rolled up in a station wagon saying he wants to fill up the station wagon with kids which is sweet, I guess, but felt a little Try-Hard for my taste) and Yosef (who mentioned that he has a daughter and it has given him a better perspective on/more tenderness for women which is a RED FLAG that stupid, bad guys always think is smart thing to say).  Tyler should have held his tongue about this situation until later in the season. And what even WAS the thing he was talking about? Yosef reached out to a girl Tyler knows and sent a video that was friendly but a cheesedick move b/c it seemed like a mass text video? And this video was sent recently, so it seems like Yosef isn't "here for the right reasons" (copyright Bachelor Nation)?  Either way, in a situation like this, the 'ole "whoever smelt it, dealt it" rule usually applies which is that whoever introduces the tension/drama (Tyler) is somehow blamed for it and sent home. And so it went! Let this be a lesson to you would-be Bach contestants at home!! 

Clare has some HOTTIES in the mix, and strangely, 2 different guys named Blake M. which feels like a joke written by a statistician.  Truly, what are the chances?  In the mix, she has quite a few former pro football players (ummm hi), some SUPER chic, tailored suits, and we saw SO many bare ankles! I was LOVING these lewks! 

The entrances were the usual mix of straightforward dudes coming out of limos like a damn clown car of hotties, plus some fun ones: Eazy jumped through a "Your Future Husband" sign which was so cute and hilarious and I adore him already; Jay a Fitness Instructor wore a straighjacket to show that he's "crazy about Clare (woof) and KEPT IT ON THE ENITRE NIGHT LIKE A COMPLETE... well... crazy person. Props to you for staying SO on-brand, Jay! Bennett (who mentioned that he's a Harvard grad within his first 30 seconds on-screen) rolled up in a Rolls Royce wearing a long, white scarf with a suit that is popular with old timey titans of industry.  

Before I tally off who be remaining in the Bachelor Bubble and who was sent home to quarantine for another however-many months then move to Nashville, TN, as every Bach reject is required to do, let's talk about timing. 

From articles I have read online, it seems as if they started filming the show in SOME way before they had to halt production because of Covid. Had Clare met a bunch of the guys? Had they already done first-night arrivals at the old Bachelor mansion? But wait, wasn't the old Bachelor mansion burned in the California wildfires!?!? I cannot keep up with the twists and turns! 

But here is my theory: they had started filming and maybe even gotten through a few days worth, then had to halt. I suspect that Clare had really connected with Dale and Blake Moynes already, based on her interaction with them this go-round.  They halted for a while but then came up with the Palm Springs, 2-weeks-isolation plan and not every guy who had started could make it back to California. SO, rather than attempt to cobble together a Frankenstein version of a season or a cast, they asked anyone from Cast #1 to just launch into the Palm Springs filming as if it was THE FIRST TIME!! Just act as if you have never met Clare, start fresh, and THIS is the season.  Is my theory insane?  I just feel like with a few of the guys tonight, there was a familiarity already. Blake messaged her on FB during quarantine (even though it was against the rules) and I just wonder, would he have done that if he didn't know her AT ALL yet? Also her conversation with Dale felt VERY familiar. Dale seemed to be asking about Clare's mother but he already knew about her, ya know? Anyway--that is my theory but I don't think that ABC or Bachelor producers would want to reveal THAT much of a "behind-the-curtain" breakdown, ya know? So everyone just acts like they are meeting for the first time! 

OK so who was given a rose and who spent 2 weeks in a Palm Springs motel room for no reason? The 1st impression rose was given to Dale (SEE MY THEORY ABOVE) and then the flowers were doled out as follows: 

-Blake Moynes: The guy who messaged her illegally and who I'm convinced was part of Ghost Season Never To Be Discussed. Dude has an Amish looking beard thing going on, but that's not awful?

-Eazy: I LOVE this guy. His pink, 3-piece suit was a bold and sexy choice, his body is fantastic, and he seems extremely real, self-effacing, cool.  I hope he goes far. 

-Ben: Forgettable white guy who was 1st out of the limo and they took a breath together. Fine, I guess. 

-Riley: I don't recall much about him except a grey suit.

-Zach J: Or as I call him "butt thing in a box." When he first met Clare, he got down on one knee and held up a ring box that, upon opening, reveals a tiny ceramic butt and fart noises. Dude, grow up. I know that you think this is funny and memorable and I guess it IS memorable, but it's just too crass for my taste. I could get on board with a ceramic butt in a ring box (don't ask), but the fart noise is just GROSS. She seems to like 'ole Butt Thing In a Box, though! 

-Tyler S: My notes say "nerdy looking white dude." 

-Joe: Bowtie-wearing origami maker who seems very fun and silly and sweet. Thumbs up. 

-Jason: Dude who explained his accent as though he was from some far-off, exotic land and not LONG ISLAND. Has Clare seriously never met a guy from Long Island? Could be. He's energetic and fun, though, so I give him credit. 

-Demar: A handsome, warm guy who ONLY had their straight-outta-the-limo interaction so I'm impressed he's still here! Dude makes a great first impression! 

-Jason: Dude in a striped tie who arrived via giant bubble ball. I wish I were kidding. 

-Jordan C: glasses, no drama. 

-Blake Menard: The 2nd Blake M. of the show and I can't believe both Blakes are like, "sure--I guess on this trash TV show I will go by MY FULL NAME. Want my Soc Security to post in the lower 3rd, too?" Ha! Guy was in a black shirt, black tie, and was SHOWING CHEST like woa. 

-Ken: Boy Band Manager who has TALL hair and, well, looks like a Boy Band Manager. If I were him, I'd say that I'm just a "Band Manager" so people might mistakenly think I'm cool. 

-Brandon: Roof Contractor from Mass who won't be around long, but I'm pulling for him because he's a Masshole and so am I. 

-Garit: Red, 3 piece suit sweetheart. He brought a drawing of Clare made by his niece and won my heart. I hope he goes far! 

-Ed: Guido-style dude who is husky and sweaty and if Selena Circa 2006 were The Bachelorette, this guy would have won on night 1. I KNOW! My taste has matured and so have I! 

-Bennett: I hate to hate someone solely because he's a Wealth Manager who went to Harvard, but it just comes so naturally! On Twitter last night, my old high school pal Jimbo (a Harvard alum) informed me that in the world of finance/being rich, apparently Wealth Managers are a JOKE, which made me laugh. I doubt Bennett will be around too long. 

-Zach C: Light grey suit, sweet guy. Sometimes my notes are useless. 

-Jay: Straightjacket guy!! I wish she had sent him home because watching a guy cry during his exit interview in a straightjacket is just AMAZING TELEVISION!  Check him out serving creepy lewks: 

-Brandon: conventionally attractive guy with a strong jawline, nice suit. Hot Boring. 

-Ivan: cutie who made a wonderful first impression by quoting his mother. 

-Yosef: Ugh. So I guess we have found the Parian of the season, or at least the house shit-stirrer. I can't wait to hear more about how he respects women now that he financially supports one! 

So who went home? 

-Jeremy: banker from DC who seemed VERY earnest and sweet. 

-Page: guy with strange facial hair and SO MANY TATTOOS which I can dig but combined with his frame and facial hair, it felt very Carnival Worker. 

-Tyler: dude who introduced the drama with Yosef. Sorry, man. "When you point out drama in someone else, you have 3 fingers pointing back at YOU and saying that YOU are drama" as the old saying goes. 

-AJ: Software salesman who wore a red suit and made Clare twirl as soon as he met her, then gripped her hands so hard that she writhed in pain. He gave me REAL Mystery (the Pick Up Artist) vibes. He said that his friends joke that he makes a bad first impression and WOW his friends are right! 

-Chasen: walked up in a suit of armor and a layer of sweat. It's Palm Springs, man! This place is HOT! 

-Jordan M: What a loss! This dude rocked a perfectly-tailored, blue suit and was showing ankles for DAYS! He seemed really lovely and I'm disappointed he didn't go farther. 

A few others may have gotten the boot (the dude who brought her cute sandals? Maybe a few other Insurance Brokers from UT or FL?) but it's hard to keep track.  And I'm out of practice with these recaps, pussycats! 

This looks like it will be a drama-filled season and not a standard-length season, either. We shall see. I'm just excited to feel a bit normal for 2 hours on Tuesday (or Monday?) nights. What are your thoughts, dear readers? 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Anybody out there?

 Greetings, readers/friends/enemies/lurkers/jazzy cats! 

It has been EONS since I last posted.  I used to CRANK out Bachelor and Bachelorette recaps religiously and eventually, I just sorta ran out of steam.  This blog has done so many amazing things for me--it's how I got my book deal, it's how many people have found me, it's how I had enough friends know that I'm a part of Bachelor Nation to refer Bachelor-related writing my way and thus I had my work on Gawker (RIP I MISS YOU SO MUCH)--but I put it down for a bit because I was just exhausted.  And the recaps started to feel like an obligation and I felt like my writing was becoming formulaic and predictable.  

And now we're in a nightmare global pandemic and I'm working from the corner of my bedroom and feeling despondent and depressed some days, hopeful and calm other days.  It's all just a lot.  I'm sure it has been for you, dear reader.  I look forward to someday having something to look forward to. 

In early 2020 I was cranking on season 2 of my candle podcast, Two Wick Minimum.  I taught myself how to edit episodes and add opening music, I interviewed a bunch of wonderful candleheads, and I had an episode in the can that I still haven't released.  But then the Covid-19 pandemic hit and I just let myself STOP.  Stop creating, stop brainstorming, stop hustling.  I know many people who have simply been awash in such anxiety and fear, that any creative instinct is just GONE.  Completely.  I spent late March/April/May just trying to get through the day and do my job from this corner of my bedroom.  I have tried to focus on what I can control and not spiral too badly.  I've been doing lots of home improvement projects, cooking a bunch, and burning tons and tons of my beloved candles.  I started dating a wonderful guy in late January and we've been spending tons of time together, which has been a lifesaver.  

I have had no desire to do Zoom standup shows or create ANYTHING.  And I let myself feel those feelings.  I'm a big believer that you need to listen to your instincts and you need fallow periods to slow down and give yourself a break.  I have been running around the streets of NYC from comedy show to comedy show at night while working full time all day since I was 26.  In April, I turned 40 and it feels like a perfect time to switch gears and step away from the performing world (not that there IS performing world right now, but you know what I mean).  I'm proud of the how hard I hustled all those years and all the wonderful shows I created and contributed to and people I met.  

And all of this blathering and navel gazing brings us to: The Bachelorette returns tomorrow night! Yes, it's starting the season on a Tuesday which is BIZARRE because Bach has been my Monday night date for years and years, but whatever--embrace this change, Selena! Roll with it!  The Bachelorette this go-round is Clare and I dig her: she was on Juan Pablo's season and dealt with that louse, so she deserves this!  She's a knockout with a kind heart and she's at the age where she is likely TRULY looking to get married and settle down.  Oh yeah, that's another reason I stopped watching or writing about the show: I just couldn't stomach watching 24-year-olds claim that they are eager to get married.  Give me a break! Your 20s are a time to move around, work a few different jobs, date some ill-advised people, make mistakes, explore, fuck around and find out (am I even using that phrase right? No? OK, thanks).  

I'm going to watch this season and it sounds like there is DRAMA already and I am STARVED for drama these days!  I have no Hot Goss! I have no drama! I need more data for trash talking!! 

And in an effort to gently prod myself back into being creative or just creating, I'm going to plan to write recaps on here.  I'm trying to be gentle with myself about it, but I think that I NEED to give myself some projects and plans.  Maybe I'll write stuff on here just about life, too? This is life now.  We're stuck at home and we have no idea when this will end.  We live a strange limbo and need to do whatever we can to hold tight to hope or enjoy slivers of happiness. And creating makes me happy.  So I'm saying this here for the sake of accountability: I'm going to write recaps here AND even try to get Two Wick Minimum back on track.  We're all doing the best we can and it's important to "set yourself up for success" as my old boss used to say.  I think that creating will make me happy and help me emotionally.  

So, without further ado, let's get back to snarking on reality TV contestants who are clearly never there for the right reasons!! THE BITCH IS BACK (AND THE BITCH IS ME)!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

I WISH I COULD QUIT YOU: Let's talk Pilot Pete


Remember a few seasons back when I decided to stop writing recaps of THE BACHELOR and THE BACHELORETTE because it eats up hours of time and I lost the inspiration and also I felt weird about watching 22 year-olds who are like, "I AM A SHRIVELED CRONE AND NEED TO BE MARRIED TOMORROW" date one another, as a woman who is pushing 40?

Well, I have tried to quit Bachelor Nation but IT ALWAYS PULLS ME BACK IN!!!

Somehow, this season I am watching again (blame Dry January) and, sweet sweet readers, I'm falling back in love with the franchise.  It feels like the first time and I have THOUGHTS on it and I can't resist sharing them.

I can't be bothered to dive back into the super detailed, comprehensive recaps that I used to write.  Who has the time for those!? We aren't kids anymore! Often at work, I need to WORK!!! And so I cannot dedicate 3-4 hours of every Tuesday selecting the perfect Guns N Roses lyric to act as a metaphor for how this insane brunette needs to SIT DOWN or the perfect story from my own dating life that draws a parallel to how this Bachelor is so obtuse I wonder if he knows how to wipe his own rump properly. 

BUT, I shall simply share my quick thoughts.  And this may be a one-off or it may be a THING.  Who knows!?!? Let's let 2020 unfold and just do what feels good when it feels good, OK? 

-Pilot Pete is a perfectly acceptable looking human (symmetrical, bland, acceptable, nondescript) but his pants are just too tight for my taste. 
-Cleveland's Board of Tourism must have LOVED last night's episode! But for real, it made me want to do a romantic getaway to Cleveland.  What have I become!??!?! 
-Mykenna (yes that is the actual spelling of her actual name) has eyebrows that remind me of that Massachusetts monster who encouraged her boyfriend to kill himself. 

-When Victoria F. and Pete went on that date and danced to a live concert by country "celebrity" Chase Rice, Pete truly showed how clueless and unaware of others' emotions he is. Victoria F. was VISIBLY anxious: WE, as the viewers, knew thanks to a voice over, that the country crooner Chase Rice is her ex-boyfriend (I KNOW!! Those Producers are GENIUSES and MONSTERS) but Pete had no idea and I give him some leeway for that.  But DUDE–she looked VERY uncomfortable and even went off with Chase Rice alone for a 1:1 talk that looked wildly awkward. Did Peter pick up on NONE of this!?!? No, no he did not.  Dude floated along and was like, "maybe Chase Rice could sing at our wedding!"  That night, when Victoria F. revealed the truth to Pete, he was flabbergasted but the part that I hated was that she kept APOLOGIZING. Apologizing!? For what!? No apology needed!  The PRODUCERS created an uncomfortable situation that was humiliating for everyone involved, but Victoria, girl, you did nothing wrong!  

-I REALLY like Sydney for telling it like it is without losing her cool when doing so.  Way to go, girl. 

-Alayah is Satan and not pretty enough to have this much attitude. 

-The Alayah vs. Victoria P. drama is profoundly stupid and Peter is a moron for indulging it and exacerbating it.  The crux of the issue is this: Alayah and Victoria P. knew each other before THE  BACHELOR because they both do pageants.  OK.  Alayah asked Victoria P. to LIE to Peter and Producers and claim that they did NOT know each other before the show, as she thought that somehow them knowing each other would be a bad thing.  Umm OK?  No wait, actually, no, NOT OK. I do NOT understand this line of reasoning AT ALL and I think that it reflects poorly on ALAYAH only.  SHE cooked up this dumb scheme that is grounded in misleading people. The crux of the issue is that Alayah feels comfortable lying to people and put Victoria P. in a crappy situation by asking her to do the same.  From that, somehow, myriad other issues have cropped up and in last night's episode Alaya returned to the show after being sent home and Peter, she, and Victoria P. had a sit-down, Oprah Winfrey-style conversation about [checks notes] WHETHER THEY WERE GOOD FRIENDS BEFORE THE SHOW OR SIMPLY ACQUAINTANCES. 

YES, dear reader. 

Somehow, this issue has devolved from it's core: Alayah is a person who lies easily, to the bizarro spin-off non-issue of, were Alayah and Victoria SUPER TIGHT PALS or just social friends. WHO the fuck cares!? How are we even having this conversation?  How is Peter dead set on CRACKING THIS CASE, the most boring mystery in the world, while a dozen gorgeous, age-appropriate women who are eager to MARRY HIM, wait in the other room. 

Truly, Peter is not seeing the forest for the trees and he's letting himself get distracted by stupid minutiae to the detriment of the show, the other women on the show, and his own love life. 

I WISH that Natasha or Sydney or Shiann (thee of my faves) would take control and organize a mass walk-out of the other women on the show. But also I know that Peter needs to clean up his own damn mess. 

Peter is making a larger version of a mistake that some other Bachelors have stumbled upon: getting caught up in stupid drama and forgetting that this show is, in theory, about romance, sexiness, hooking up, and heavy petting.  Hell, it's eventually about "riding the D train" in the fantasy suite, if you catch my drift!! Focus on THAT, Pilot Pete!  Not on Nancy Drew's worst-selling book, "The Case of the Unclear Friendship."  Because I'll tell you exactly what is going on here, guy: Alayah is, in my estimation, a self-described "guy's girl" who hates other women because she claims they are all  bitchy to her (SHE has done nothing wrong, ever, she thinks). She has NO boundaries and makes juvenile attempts at friendships with acquaintances by creating a sense of false familiarity, as evidenced by her obsession with referring to her friends in the house as "bitches." Haven't we all met people like this?  So that is what Alayah is, and Victoria P. is a normal person with appropriate boundaries who sees Alayah as a social friend/acquaintance she knows via their shared hobby, pageants.  And Peter is on a fool's errand to figure out HOW CLOSE they really are, for some reason? 

Peter has successfully removed the parts of dating that are FUN and exciting (making out, being playful, flirting, having inside jokes, doing bits) and made it a Debate Club that sucks and is a DRAG.  

What do you all think?  Are you excited for next Monday's episode, when more ladies will read him the riot act!? I CANNOT WAIT!!