Monday, May 16, 2016

Bachelorette JoJo: Some Guy Rates the Dudes.


Well hello, Readers! Welcome back to the beginning of the newest season of our favorite reality show.  As you are probably aware, the dudes have been carefully selected in order to hit every ABC predetermined demographic.  The bios have also been carefully crafted so as not to annoy any potential protestors and in an earnest effort to avoid any micro aggressions.  Just to be safe, let's consider the entire ABC web page dedicated to this show as our own little Trigger Warning, shall we?      

Let's see, there's a Middle Eastern guy, several black guys, hopeless hipsters, grinning guys with jobs, brooding bartenders, a couple of Canadians, and I'm certain that sooner than later it will be revealed which one is the transgender.  Hint:  let's see if he and JoJo use the same bathroom at the cocktail party.  

Conspicuously absent is the usual parade of "Fitness Instructors" and "Personal Trainers," although I suspect that there may be one or two hidden in the bunch.  Maybe there was a protein powder sale at GNC on the day they had the Bachelorette casting call.     

Our Bachelorette has made a semi-strong appearance so far.  

She's fallen in love, been . . . ahem . . . "loved" in the Fantasy Suite, and been dumped the day after the aforementioned coitus in front of the coveted Neil Lane wedding hardware.  She's had a Hometown visit go awry when her testosterone-soaked brothers attempted to out macho each other all in the name of "protecting" their sister's (allegedly) heretofore untarnished reputation.

Yes, folks, she's put herself out there and she's been burned and I'm absolutely certain we'll find out that she's ready to "risk it all again" in the name of finding the potential, soon-to-be almost finance in exchange for attending meaningless red carpet events, appearing in an Arby's commercial or two, and having a complimentary year's supply of AquaNet dropped off on her condo doorstep right where the regretfully lovesick Chad from Dallas "coincidentally" delivered her a dozen roses and his (fake) "I want you back in my life" letter contemporaneous with Ben's visit.  It's Bachelorette Season.  Let's get to it.  

First, she's the prettiest Bachelorette since Emily Maynard.  She looks great, albeit she did seem to pack on a few EL BEES (LBs) toward the end of last season.  Based on the Jessica Rabbit photos; however, she's been in Bachelorette training camp.  She looks great.     

Disclaimer:  I do my best with this post.  It's never that funny because there's too much going on.  My opinions reflect my first impression from the answers to the inane biography questions (e.g., where do you see yourself in 10 years?) and the carefully airbrushed headshots.  

Alex, 26, a U.S. Marine from Oceanside, CA
Bachelorette JoJo
Good looking guy who hasn't lost his penchant for Army green since he left the Marine Corps.  Based on the angry Bruce Banner shirt fit, he apparently washed his cute little oxford in hot water.  He looks a bit too "together" for JoJo.  Then again, she fell for Ben's vanilla charm.  

When asked, "What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done?" he answered, "Ripped the door off a totaled, burning car and pulled the unconscious driver out to safety."

Add "shirtless with my bare hands" after the word "off" and change that unconscious driver to a squealing puppy and you'll breeze past the cocktail party, Alex.  

Ali, 27, a bartender from Santa Monica, CA
Bachelorette JoJo
Looks like he rolled out of bed and picked up that stretched coral v-neck off of his apartment floor.  He's a bartender, which means he smells like limes and stale beer.  He's sufficiently good looking and if he's worth anything as a bartender, he has the gift of gab.  He's not on the chopping block.  

When asked, "Would you describe yourself as “the party-starter,” “the wingman” or “the laid back one”?" he answered "Party-starter with a laid-back attitude."  

If he can't commit to a questionnaire answer, how can he commit to JoJo?  

Brandon, 28, a hipster from Los Angeles, CA
Bachelorette JoJo

Shit.  I don't even know where to start with this guy.  I'd have picked him as one of the Canadians living north of the Arctic Circle based upon his pasty skin.  He's apparently never made it to the beach out there in Los Angeles.  

When asked, "Do you consider yourself a romantic and why?"  He answered, "Yes, hopeless. I see love everywhere. I want to experience someone from the inside out. I want The Notebook-type of experience."

By "Notebook type experience" I assume he means from Noah's perspective and not the poor rich sap who married Allie before she went and cheated on him in a rain storm.  

SGIA Rates The Notebook Click here if you're interested on my take of the entire movie.

This guy is a self proclaimed hipster.  He's bound to be an idiot.  I won't even comment on the Jason Schwartzman haircut.  He should want to experience gainful employment and see job applications everywhere.  
Chad, 28, a luxury real estate agent from Tulsa, OK
Bachelorette JoJo
Speaking of looking like he just woke up.  He should go to a luxury shaving store and buy some luxury shaving cream before the next luxury head shot.  He looks like a "Chad" too.  It appears that the v-neck t-shirt is coming on strong this season with no plans on going away quietly.  It's like Bernie Sanders.  

Chad was asked about his all-time favorite movies.  Any guess what ranked number one?  The Notebook.  At least he and the hipster will have something to discuss in the corner while they're being ignored at the cocktail party.  This guy also inexplicably answered  "alright, alright, alright" to 3 of the 7 bio questions.  Idiot, idiot, idiot.    
Chase, 27, a medical sale representative from Highlands Ranch, CO
Bachelorette JoJo
I'll give him a pass on the long underwear shirt and the fact that he has a verb for a name.  Normal looking guy with a real job and a great place to live.  His bio also proves that he doesn't take himself too seriously.   

When asked, "Meatloaf said he would 'do anything for love, but he won’t do that.' What will you not do?"

He answered,  "Sell my truck."  Solid start, Chase.  He should stick around if JoJo isn't fooled by some of the other Chachies on the list.   

Christian, 26, a telecom consultant from Los Angeles, CA
Bachelorette JoJo
What are your three best attributes? 

Answer?  Work ethic, ability to assimilate and connect with all types of people, ambitious and hungry to learn.  

It's a good thing he didn't put "math," because that's five things, not three.  

Colin “Coley,” 27, a real estate consultant from Chicago, IL
Bachelorette JoJo
Another guy with long underwear on for his head shot.  Perhaps the oddest looking guy in the bunch, he may be out-machoed by some of the alphas in the group.  Unlike ole Chad, "Coley" here sells just plain old real estate.  Perhaps he'll buy a collared shirt when he moves up to luxury real estate sales.  

Daniel, 31, a male model from Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Bachelorette JoJo
The first Canadian in the bunch.  

When asked "Are you comfortable wearing swimwear in public?," he responded, "Very comfortable. Why have a lambo if you park it in the garage?"  

That comment sums it up.  He should fit right in with JoJo's metrosexual Dallas brothers if he can pull himself away from admiring his own reflection long enough to pay attention to JoJo.  Lambo?  Moron.  

Derek, 29, a commercial banker from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Bachelorette JoJo
Aside from apparently showing up after a softball game in his uniform for the photo shoot, Derek here looks like a normal dude and even has a bona fide real job.  He apparently has a sense of humor as well. When asked, "Do you have a serious fear of any kind of animal?," he answered, "Fluffy kittens."  Assuming that's not true, this guy will likely eat narcissists like Daniel for lunch.  

Evan, 33, an erectile dysfunction specialist from Nashville, TN
Bachelorette JoJo
I'm convinced we found the transgender.  The only reason I want this guy to stick around is so that I can learn what it takes to become an expert in Erectile Dysfunction.  That doesn't sound like a very hard job.  Boom.  See what I did there?  

The asked "would you consider yourself a romantic and why?," he answered,  "Yes, I believe I’m in touch with my sexual energy and it’s very powerful and beautiful."  

Ironically, this guy is the biggest hard-on in the bunch.      

Nevermind the sexual energy; he needs to get in touch with his pseudo-beard and his hairline.  Is that shirt lycra?    

Grant, 28, a firefighter from San Francisco, CA
Bachelorette JoJo
Grant's all time favorite move is Ninja Turtles.  As odd as that is coming from a 28-year old guy, he actually specified "the original" Ninja Turtles movie.  First, I had no idea there was more than one.  Second, that comment implies that he's actually taken the time to watch all of the Ninja Turtles movies and has thought about all of them long enough to reach the conclusion that the subsequent Ninja Turtles movies lack some thing substantive that the first one has in spades.  F*cking weird.  
Jake, 26, a landscape architect from Playa Vista, CA
Bachelorette JoJo
Equally as confusing as our animation-loving fireman above is this guy who tells us that his favorite movie is also Ninja Turtles.   However, he actually prefers Ninja Turtles III to the other two.  Me too, Jake.  Frankly, the first two were merely precursors to the action-packed, allegory-filled, avant garde edginess of the third one.  And while I prefer to view all of the Ninja Turtles movies as just one great story, I hear you, man.  Megan Fox is a phenomenal actress.    

Good Lord.  Did these guys think they were applying for a job as a camp counselor or a husband?  Incidentally, I feel the same way about all of the Maeda movies.  If you take them one at a time, they lack the cohesiveness and the sincerity as when viewed as one brilliant statement about a morbidly obese black stereotypes.  

James F., 34, a boxing club owner from Nashville, TN

Bachelorette JoJo
"What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done? Left the safety of chiropractic to pursue my fitness and acting dreams."  

Ahh, another melancholy chiropractor with a fitness and acting dream.   So cliche.  So he's a bullshit artist.  That should play well for a few shows.  Hey, James, let me suggest an opening line out of the limo.

"Plaid to Meet you, JoJo."

James S., 27, a “Bachelor” superfan from Phoenix, AZ
Bachelorette JoJo
Lime green long underwear shirt?  This guy looks like Hugh Jackman's younger homosexual brother.  

As if the "superfan" designation, the shirt, and the perky headshot didn't muddy the waters of his gender identity when asked, "do you consider yourself a romantic and why? ," he answered, "Yes, very much so. I’ve been intimate with very few women because I think sex is very important and not to be taken lightly. Never had a one-night stand or any intimacy with anyone I haven’t gotten to know for a while."

Hike up that red rhinestone dress, kick off your heels, and run like hell, JoJo.  If not, I hope you like show tunes.    

James Taylor, 29, a singer-songwriter from Katy, TX
Bachelorette JoJo
I hate to give a fellow Texan a hard time, but James here needs a stylist, a PR team, and someone to break the news to him that there's a guy named James Taylor that's done pretty well in the music business already.  

Another jackass with a guitar.  Let's give him the benefit of the doubt.  JoJo will like the Texan connection, and the guitar (let's face it) has never hindered anyone from impressing the ladies.  I just hope he learned Wes Hayden's "Love Don't Come Easy."  

Jonathan, 29, a technical sales representative from Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Bachelorette JoJo
"Who is your favorite author? J.D. Salinger or R.L. Stine."  I'm not a huge fan of the former and the latter gives me Goosebumps.  I can't tell if he's wearing one shirt or two in this picture.  And he appears Asian but says he's from Canada.  All in all, Jonathan appears to be a man of many contradictions.  If he has any personality to go with his skin tight shirts and diverse literary preferences, he could be a sleeper.  However, JoJo doesn't strike me as the ethnic type.  She'll likely stick to what she's used to:  "Chads" from Dallas.  

Jordan, 27, a former pro quarterback, Chico, CA
Bachelorette JoJo
This poor guy has Bob's Big boy's haircut and a world famous Super Bowl winning brother (Aaron Rogers).  Let's forget he lives in the meth capital of Northern California.  He's either going to be really awesome or really bitter.  If his bio is telling, he sounds awesome.

When asked, "What’s the wildest thing you’ve done in the bedroom?," he answered, "Try to hang a TV on the wall without directions or a stud finder."  Solid.  I'm rooting for this guy.    
Luke, 31, a war veteran from Burnet, TX
Bachelorette JoJo
Another long underwear shirt that's a few sizes too small.  It appears that the deep-V t-shirt has a competitor.  This guy is from right up the road from SGIA, but his head shot is a bit odd looking, isn't it?  

"What does being married mean to you?" 

Answer?  "It means two people who consider themselves best friends, lovers and soulmates, decide to take on life together and build a life and family of their own." 

Luke, the question implies, at a minimum, some low level introspection.  It didn't literally mean for you to break out Webster's Oxford English Dictionary and copy the definition of the word.  

My guess is that he's boring.  Mostly because of a lack of personality rather that the fact that his shirt is cutting off the circulation to his brain. 

Nick B., 33, an electrical engineer, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Bachelorette JoJo
Nick considers himself the party starter.  Finally, the guy with the best shot of getting hammered and making an ass of himself on night one.  Educated, normal looking guy with a shirt that gives him room to raise his arms over his head.  He has an honest face too.  I think he does well.  

Nick S., 26, a software salesman from San Francisco, CA
Bachelorette JoJo
He should just introduce himself to the Erectile Dysfunction guy and they should skip the season in favor of a romantic trip to Fire Island.  I can hear the Maroon 5 blaring in the background as I look at this picture.  

When asked, "What is your greatest achievement to date?," he answered,  "Eagle Scout."  

That's apparent.  He's wearing his Webolo's kerchief.  

Be more specific, Nick S.  Did you become an Eagle Scout or did you kidnap one?  #creepy.  

When it comes to being asked to pack up your cute little scarf and head to the airport, Be Prepared.  
Peter, 26, a staffing agency manager from Chicago, IL
Bachelorette JoJo

This guy will Peter out before things get interesting.  I wouldn't worry about that, however.  If he does get asked to leave he's got a spot as Bernardo in the Irvine Valley College Theater in the Park production of West Side Story.   Word on the street is that he's a hell of a dance fighter.  

He tells us in his bio that he'd like to see dinosaurs.  He'll see a dinosaur alright.  He'll have a face-to-face encounter with a giant Dump-O-Saurus.

Robert “Robby,” 27, a former competitive swimmer from Jacksonville, FL
Bachelorette JoJo
"Do you like to dress up or do you prefer casual attire as a rule? I love more than anything to dress up!"

Yaaaaay for Robby.  

Sorry, ladies.  I know this guy's got a fan or two out there but he might as well sashay over to Nick S. and James S. at the cocktail party and propose starting a boy band.  A peach V-neck.  If any of you ladies are honest out there, this guy is way too manicured to catch your attention.  

Sal, 28, an operations manager from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Bachelorette JoJo

Normal guy with a normal enough shirt and a normal enough job.  He also hates the Kardashians.  I like him already.  JoJo probably won't.  He appears a bit "safe"
Vincent “Vinny,” 28, a barber from Delray Beach, FL
Bachelorette JoJo
Vinny the Barber from DelRay Beach.  Sounds like a modern day adaptation of a Rossini opera.    

When asked if he had any tattoos he responded, "None, my mom would kill me."  28-year old Italian guy who is still afraid of his mother.  Two words for JoJo:  Red Flag.  Then again, if he actually respects his mother rather than fears her, he may work out just fine.  

Wells, 31, a radio DJ from Nashville, TN
Bachelorette JoJo
Solid bio and a very Pony Boy Curtis headshot.  He's a DJ from Nashville which means he has a personality.  He could run the table if she's not into the meatier meat heads of the bunch.  Let's face it, DJ's aren't really known for their physiques.

"Describe your idea of the ultimate date: Really good tacos, a great live band, a walk around the city, and wine and cheese on my front porch as Otis Redding plays on my turn table."  

Hell, after I read that I wanted to take off my bra and I'm not even wearing one.  
William “Will,” 26, a civil engineer from Jersey City, NJ
Bachelorette JoJo
Will hates it when his date…"Talks about heavy subjects too soon."  Right.  He'll fit in just fine on the show.  We'll see what kind of chops he has, although a guy from Jersey City is going to stick out like a weed in a rose bush in Dallas, Texas.  

Well, there it is.  Comments and Tweets giving me your two cents are always welcome. I, for one, am looking forward to a fun season.  Monday, May 23, on ABC.  See you there.  DP

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bachelor Ben Final Episode: Jamaican a Big Mistake

Wow.  Brutal.  Hello, Readers.  It's South by Southwest time here in Austin.  For those of you unfamiliar with that little festival, it's an event where hundreds of thousands of hipsters who have managed to save $500 from their barista tip jars and by cutting down from two to one and half packs of cigarettes a day travel to Austin, listen to some Ukrainian speed metal band with a good agent, smoke in the streets, don't tip the waitstaff, and generally wander around drunk and stoned while the rest of us try to go about our lives.  

The up side is that every industry in Austin reaps the benefits of their spending.  Well, every industry except the razor and the deodorant industries, but that's neither here nor there.  Welcome to Austin, hipsters.  Spend your money, enjoy the festival, and don't forget to leave.  

And welcome back to all of you for the final installment of my semi-timely recap of Bachelor Ben’s Love Fest.  I think we’d all agree that we should all feel at least a little bit sorry for poor JoJo.  Granted, her alpha-male, testosterone-filled, step brothers didn’t exactly help the situation, but she put up a good fight.   However, I think it’s fair to say that when compared to Lauren B., JoJo clearly earned the Booby Prize. 

Ben loves you both.

Get it? Booby prize.  You’re welcome.  I’ll be here all week. 

This week’s episode—clearly the most (insert provocative adjective here) conclusion of The Bachelor ever—featured a lot of wandering around in sharkskin suits and a lot of Neil Lane’s noticeably more svelte appearance.  Perhaps he and Harrison took advantage of the complimentary pre-dawn Zumba classes over there at the Jamaica Sandals Resort.  Neil Lane certainly took advantage of the beach.  If he were any more tan, he’d be a belt. 

As much as I’d love to recap the episode we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing in the tenth slot during every single season of The Bachelor, I think this post will be more reflective than narrative.  After all, there are only so many helicopter rides, catamarans, and teal blue water shots you can see before it all runs together.  Throw a sweat mustache on Ben and a yellow dress on Lauren and you’d have the Roberto and Ali final episode.

Poor brooding Ben must have walked every inch of the island whining about being in love with two women and equivocating about his choice right up until the moment he chose the ring for the soon-to-be almost Mrs. Ben Higgins.  By the way, d*ck move telling both women you loved them, Ben.  Good luck not getting that thrown in your face and shoved down your throat come the first big argument with Lauren.   

As I write this many of you are watching After the Final Rose.  As is my custom, I refuse to watch it.  I am, however, curious as to who will be the next Bachelorette and I’ll probably fast forward to see if Ben’s Bible-searching preacher was forced to perform a sham wedding or if ABC mercilessly let him off the hook by inventing some excuse for not immediately joining the two lovebirds in holy matrimony mere days after the groom slept with two other women after meeting their families and telling the loser that he loved her 20 minutes before the bride-to-be arrived via helicopter to collect her free giant engagement ring. 

You could literally see that guy sweating as he paged nervously through the Bible looking for a passage that applied to that situation and praying that lightening from above didn’t race through the secret filming location into his skull.  God knows where you are preacher guy.  God knows where you are.  

How about this passage? 

Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.” Leviticus 19:29. 

Or this one?

Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.” Proverbs 7:10

Or this one?

Two women of loose moral character shall appear shabbily dressed in denim garments yet only one will bear the false ring of diamonds generously, albeit self-servingly, donated by Neil Lane.  Harrison 3:16

Oh, and what about JoJo’s poor family?  I prayed that the walls of the Green Room were padded because we all know that Mr. JoJo went berserk after watching his little girl get rolled off the truck like bale of hay at cattle feeding time before being shoved into a limo in her pretty pink dress to cry mercilessly into the camera. 

I suppose Mrs. JoJo probably freaked out too but in light of the fact that she can no longer move her botox-riddled face, her reaction would have been difficult to measure.  She was problaby too busy chugging the free champale on the Green Room buffet out of the bottle to care. 

I suppose that since JoJo is the next Bachelorette (I peeked), it will ease the pain a bit.  Well, until they have to watch their little angel take three more guys to the Fantasy Suite on national television, but we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.  

She has a shot at beating Kaitlyn’s promiscuity record if she mixes in a surreptitous mid-season bang with one of the dudes.  Maybe Nick Viall is available.  If not, we can guarantee Chris Bukowski is free (#chach).  You think her step-brothers will sign up to date her?  Just a thought. 

Let’s talk about what I’ll refer to as “Ben’s Dilemma”.  First, telling two women he loved them—regardless if he felt that way—was an incredibly stupid move.  It was selfish too.  First, it cheapens it for both girls.  Second, I think we’d all agree that it gave JoJo a false sense of security and caused her to let her guard down on the eve of the big decision.  

Recall the “don’t blindside me” chat he had with Becca before he blindsided her?  History repeated itself with JoJo and I suspect Ben has a penchant for causing that kind of pain because he’s afraid to hurt people’s feelings.  Character flaw or not, he should have kept his mouth shut to both women.  

He’s lucky both of them didn’t hit the road when they found out.  Granted, it’s harder to hit the road with a giant Neil Lane creation weighing down your left ring finger and an impending stint on Dancing with the Stars staring you in the face, but still.  

And what’s more is that he told each woman he loved her at least 100 times on each date.  Also selfish.  “I love you” was definitely this season’s “amazing.”  Saying it once in a moment of alcohol-induced poor judgment is one thing but doubling down on it again and again was not a good idea.   

The look on his mother’s face when he told her he was in love with two women was priceless.  His dad looked as if he was teetering between laughter, jealously, and tears.  Then again, that’s how most middle aged married guys go through life, but I think it was especially pronounced upon hearing the big news from Ben.  Also, I need help.  What do you think about the parents’ feedback?  I thought they favored JoJo but friends of mine swear they wanted Lauren. 

So what do I think about the big engagement?  I’m actually cautiously optimistic about this one.  Both of them have a clear path to the requisite number of delegates going into the convention and it doesn’t appear that either one of them is going to go Pavelka and forsake their current lives for a temporary run in a Vegas revue or a shot at a guest appearance on The Bold and the Beautiful.  

Boring translates to Normal here and I think Ben is all in on this one.  She appeared happy too.  We’ll see if they can survive the media maelstrom and transition back into real life when it’s over.  Props to Ben for shutting down his preacher.  Not only did he save himself a lot of embarrassment, he probably saved that guy from eternal damnation.  Can you imagine explaining that one to St. Peter at the Pearly Gates? 

As always, thank you all for reading this season.  My life is hectic and often stressful and simply knowing you’re all out there getting a breather by reading during your own hectic and stressful lives is a real source of joy for me.  Your comments and tweets always bring a smile to my face.  I’ll post in the off season and try and tweet as well.  Send me suggestions, questions, or just drop me a note say hello.  Take care of yourselves and if you get a chance come to Austin for a visit.  It’s wildflower season, the lakes are full, and spring is in the air.  Drop me a line and I’ll try and meet you for a Lone Star. 

In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be contemplating life’s mysteries while wandering around the lakeshore in my shark skin suit.  DP 

Bluebonnets near the Pennybacker Bridge near SGIA's house.