Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Bachelor Ben Episode 5: Todos Estan Locos

Hello, Readers.  Welcome back to this week's installation of my take on The Bachelor.  Yea, I know.  I skipped last week.  I'd apologize, but the job I have that actually pays the bills had me busier than a Bachelor cameraman running down all of the drama this week.  I regret not recapping, but trust me, my sanity remained in tact when I was able to check a few things off my long To Do List.  

I'm thrilled to be back.  Let's get to it.

While all of Chris Soules' (former) neighbors were busy caucusing in corn country, the girls have a caucus of their own on the sectional couch before leaving one Spanish-speaking, polluted metropolis and heading to another one for some sun and fun with Ben in Mexico City, Mexico.  

Sunrise.  Ahh, the layer of smog enveloping the city turns the loveliest colors during sunrise, doesn't it?  We get some standard Mayan images and some Mexico City aerial shots while Spanish guitar gently serenades us in the background.  We are, of course, setting the stage for our wayward Bachelor to educate the Little People about his deep knowledge of the Mexican culture.    

Ben reads his talking points containing various historical tidbits before hitting the street in his standard issue grey/black outerwear and wandering around in search of his destiny.  

He christens Mexico City a “really good place” to fall in love.  That’s certainly a downgrade from "the perfect place to fall in love" or "the best place on earth to find my wife", but it will have to do.  

The remaining Haley talks as we begin to realize that she'll have a lot of speaking parts in this episode.  She is, after all, the one with the initial responsibility of ratting out Olivia for being certifiably whacko.  We'll get to all that in a bit. 

Amanda talks about the Four Seasons and the rest of the girls pimp the hotel out per ABC's contractual obligations.  You don't think they just hand Harrison the keys to The Rainman suite for nothing, do you?   

Date Card.  Did I mention that Olivia is nuts?  I can't figure out if she's crazier than she is pretty or prettier than she is crazy.  That is, I suppose, a meaningless distinction.  She actually brought up the "love language" that she believes she shares with Ben.  Right.  And all of John Lennon's songs were written for Mark David Chapman to decipher.  It find it ironic that her chosen profession has the word "anchor" in it because she's clearly not tethered to reality.    

Becca reads the pre-placed Date Card.  “Amanda, let’s put all our eggs in one basket.  Ben."  Amanda is what's commonly known as a MILF.  My impression of her actually changed this week.  She came across as level headed, mature, and stable.  I suppose all three of those things tend to happen when you're a single mother to two toddlers, but it was nice to see it. I didn't think she was a bad choice before, but she scored some points this week with Ben as well.  Sadly, I think Olivia is correct about the two kids being a "if all else is even" deal breaker for Ben, however.  

Upon hearing that Amanda gets the date, Olivia eats sour grapes through that gaping hole in her face otherwise known as her constantly open mouth.  

Ben "spontaneously" wakes the girls up at 4:20 a.m.  You know, I often wake Mrs. Some Guy up like an alarm clock:  with a big dong. She loves that joke.  I'm even more certain she'll love that I've chosen to share it here in perpetuity. 

Ben's khaki jeans were so tight you could tell what religion he is.  Lauren H. had a retainer and another one of the girls had a teddy bear.  I sure we missed the part where they ate ice cream, painted each other's nails, and had a pillow fight before Harrison busted in and told them to shut it down or he was calling their mothers.  I'm forgetting that many of these women are less than 5 years out of high school.  

Speaking of sleepover pillow fights, did anyone happen to watch Grease Live the other night?  Yea, I know, you're all shocked that I did.  Keep in mind that Mrs. SGIA controls the remote in the house and that I'm often passively subjected to whatever nonsense she happens to find amusing.  At any given time my DVR has about 14 hours of junk on it right next to the one WWII documentary and Vision Quest that I recorded.  The guy who played Danny Zuco was at least 40 years old and the T-Birds looked more like the Sharks in West Side Story than anything else.  Back to The Bachelor.  

Props to Amanda's handler for tipping her off about Ben's panty raid.  She was clearly prepared for her pre-dawn date in full make up and perfectly coiffed hair.  She and Ben make the 10 hour drive to the outskirts of the city for a hot air ballon ride.

Hot air balloon ride?  There's nothing quite like engaging in a super risky activity in a foreign country when you're solely responsible for two small kids waiting for you back home.  I'm sure that was incredibly relaxing for her. 

Amanda might have set a record (even on this show) for saying “Amazing” on her date with Ben.  She was honest and open and Ben appeared pleasantly surprised.  She took full advantage of the quality alone time on the ground once their lives weren't precariously dangling from a wicker basket suspended beneath a giant propane tank with a flame attached to it.  Let’s face it though, folks:  Ben is boring with a capital Ben. 

Meanwhile, back at the swanky hotel. . . 

Jubilee and Olivia edge toward insanity while the others coif wine and keep it together.  It almost felt like they were feeling each other out to see who could be more irrational.  I'd have to give that one to Olivia for her propensity to be crazy 100% of the time.  Jubilee seemed to vacillate between periods of complete, albeit somewhat insecure, normalcy and bona fide rage.  

Group Date Card.  Jubilee, Becca, JoJo, Caila, Emily, Lauren B., Jennifer, Leah, Olivia.

Lauren H. gets the one-on-one and Jubilee starts complaining right before Olivia starts complaining as an oblivious Ben peruses his Pocket Spanish book. 

Spanish class.  The remaining Haley comes out of her shell and makes it clear that she has no discernible life skills.  What was going on with Becca’s hair, by the way?  I don't even have a name for that top of the head hair style thing she tried to pull off.   

Jubilee ruins the moment in one of her rage repressing moments and Olivia tells us that she “knows” Spanish.  I wonder how you say “cankles” in Spanish?

They do some open air market walking and find Chef Nico and Lula at Carbon, which is undoubtedly the place where Harrison and Neil Lane knocked back a few bottles of tequila before knocking up a few cocktail waitresses the night before.  

Cook off.  The remaining Haley is upset about cooking for some reason and Olivia and Jubilee team up to cancel each other’s crazy out.  I think we all saw the issues bubbling beneath the surface with both of these women and, at times, it was difficult to watch.  Between Jubilee's haunted past and Olivia's present delusions it was impossible to not wonder if one of them was going to grab a kitchen knife and narrow the competition.    

Jennifer had the best quote of the season about the remaining Haley:  “Emily was trying to help out but I don’t think her palate has expanded past the kid’s menu yet.”  Classic.  

Cooking class.  Jubilee withdraws into a culinary cocoon.  She’s clearly incapable of swallowing her emotions but not incapable of regurgitating them.  Poor thing.  Externally, she’s the opposite of Olivia although their internal dialogue is probably similar. 

JoJo talks about her taco and even the most conservative viewers in the room had to grin.  Solid editing. 

Jubilee wins with some kind of mole salmon dish and Olivia hates it. 

Cocktail party.  Olivia jumps in over the opening toast to talk to Ben and the women begin to squirm like earthworms after a rainstorm.  Why can’t the women have faith in Ben’s judgment that he’s going to see through her act?  Presumably, if he's as wonderful and level headed as they constantly give him credit for being he'll figure it out.  Oddly enough, the remaining Haley summed it up best when she said that if he continues to choose Olivia then he's clearly not the person for her.  Amen.  

Ben has some one-on-one and kissing time with everyone, including the entire crew it seemed.  Jubilee sweats and bites her lip ready to explode. 

As Ben goes for a walk on the street with Lauren B. JoJo drinks beer.  I knew I liked her.  They all chat while Ben is busy making out with Lauren B. and her Fay Wray in King Kong outfit in front of giant wooden doors.  Jubilee melts down like her namesake dessert. 

When Ben (finally) comes to put an end to her lip biting, she refuses to hold his hand.  “How’s everything going?” is his half-hearted attempt to get to the bottom of the problem.  

He was immediately over it.  She gives him the “you’re not looking at me” speech that Lace invented on night one.  Who knew that speech would survive Lace's departure?  Jubilee is not unattractive and she actually has some depth to her.  It's too bad her other issues outweigh all of that. 

I think we’d agree that their conversation was one of the most uncomfortable ones we’ve seen on this show in a very long time.   He dumps her because she gave him no other choice.  At least he was honest.  She seemed like a nice person but she’s got to get a hold of her emotional issues.  When she left it was hard to tell if he was genuinely upset or just very relieved it was over.  I think he liked her but he just couldn’t see a future with her and her baggage.    

JoJo takes an opportune moment to steal him.  She butters him up.  Solid move.  She could peak over the next couple of weeks.  I think she's a Fantasy Suite finalist.  

Date Rose.  How bad did Olivia want that Date Rose?  Olivia got it.  Two words:  Set up. 

The other Haley is upset.  Really upset. 


Lauren Date.  “Lauren H., Let’s design a life together.  Ben.”

Lauren’s date outfit was rather interesting.  The good news is that it's Mexican Fashion Week.  Lauren H. acts like she's won the lottery when she hears about it.  

Lauren H. and Ben mull around some clothes racks before being told that they get to be in the fashion show.  That whole walking down the runway thing looked really hard.   Sigh . . .   

Diner with Lauren.  She’s way too “friendy” and goofy.  I said the same thing about Kaitlyn when she got banged and then dumped by the Farmer too.  The big difference between Lauren and Kaitlyn is that Lauren H. is not going to sleep around in order to stick around.  She’s a nice person but it’s difficult to think about someone like her in a romantic way.  She wouldn't shut up but she manages to do enough to earn the Date Rose and stick around another week.  I think that one could have gone either way.  Nice save, Lauren H. 

Cocktail party.  All done up.  JoJo gets some more good one-on-one time and in the meantime Olivia drops “I feel like it’s an epidose of teen mom,” on Amanda.  Wow.  

Amanda reacted as well as can be expected.  Olivia gets disarmed and semi-cries about it when she realizes how offensive her comment came across.  Primed after Olivia's Date Rose and emotionally raw without the first Haley at her side, the other Haley gets ready to commit the Cardinal Bachelor Sin:  ratting out one of the other girls.  She cries and tattles on Olivia while Ben sits there looking flabbergasted and exhausted.  She calls her sister and cries to her about her free trip the the Four Seasons in Mexico City while her sister is sitting home with her mother after getting dumped the week before. 

Then EVERYONE lines up against Olivia.  Time to pile on.  

Harrison made the trip.  Ding, Ding, Ding . . .

Ben breaks form and pulls Olivia aside before his chat with Harrison.  To be continued….

Current Roses in Hand:

Amanda
Olivia
Lauren H.


Gone

Jubilee

Well, there it is.  I think we all know that Olivia is going to talk her way back on to the show for at least another week.  Ben couldn't pry that Rose from her tightly clenched hand if he tried.  

Thanks for sticking around for yet another week.  We will see what happens next week.  Enjoy the Superbowl.  In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be covering up my cankles.  DP







Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bachelor Ben Episode 3: Olivia Toes the Line


You know Mark Twain once said, “To get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.”  Of course, the same sentiment holds true when discussing marital property, but that’s not important right now.  What IS important is that it’s Week 3 in Ben’s search for the woman who will probably become his conditional fiancĂ© for an indeterminate period of time . . . maybe.  

Hello, Readers.  Welcome back to this week’s installment of my painfully mediocre recap of an even more mediocre show.  Our Bachelor Ben has clearly shown himself to be a decent, thoughtful, and painfully patient guy (so far); however, I think we’d all like to see a little more edginess from our portending prince charming. 

Regardless of his inability to shake things up in the Mansion, the women seemed to enjoy their fair share of drama this week.  Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert) was far from Jubilant; Olivia was a study in Obnoxiousness; and Lace?  Well, Lace Left.  

I’m certain the overwhelming gravitational pull of unlimited, judgment free chardonnay and attention seeking sycophants back in her home town were too much to pass up in light of her poor showing over the past couple of weeks.  More about all of that later, however.  Like Olivia, I’m getting a tad ahead of myself. 

Let’s get to it. 

We begin with the standard drone-filmed reminder that we’re still wallowing in the L.A. cesspool awaiting the time when enough of the dead weight can be chopped like blubber from a beached whale in order to send the real meat across the ocean to an exotic location pre-chosen for it’s stunning vistas, it’s perfect love germination powers, and the finely sharpened S.P.I.N. selling skills of some underpaid and overworked event planner at whatever resort happened to have the sky suite and a case of Harrison’s favorite bourbon available the week he was free to film.  Ahhh, grift.  Sweet grift. 

Now I know I’m delaying getting to the action; however, I’m certain that most of you missed the following statement made in an almost flippant manner by our Bachelor:  

“I’m responsible for the emotions and feelings in this house.” 

SGIA: (sip Lone Star while shaking head) “Dude, don’t put THAT on yourself.”

Mrs. SGIA:  What?  That’s sweet.

SGIA:  There’s nothing sweet about that.  He’s 26.  He doesn’t know any better. That’s like him saying he’s responsible for the relieving the diarrhea and cramping outside of the local Chipotle.  He can’t fix that mess.      

I know we all remember when Juan Pablo left that drunk girl in the sh*tter and went back to his room for a good night’s rest before canning her in her hotel room the next morning.  Hell, that was the only good choice he made all season and it stemmed from the fact that he was over 30 and had tried his hand at drunk girl pacification before.  Ben?  He’s 26 and from Warsaw, Indiana.  He has a lot to learn in that category.   

At the Mansion . . .

Lauren B. and Amanda discuss how Olivia claims to own $40,000 in clothing.  We’d later learn that the great majority of that nut was spent on eye makeup and cankle-hiding garments.  She still looks like Ricky Schroder when she takes off her make up.  And not loveable, hanging out with Jon Voigt in The Champ Ricky Schroder.  She looks more like the edgy NYPD Blue Ricky Schroder. 

I hate my toes and cankles.

Look, Champ.  Olivia has bad toes and cankles.

A cosmetic is a boon to every woman, but a girl’s best friend is still a near-sighted man.  Incidentally, I have a very odd connection to Ricky Schroder.  Remind me to tell that story sometime. 

Harrison glides into the sunken living room in rolled cuffs to briefly wallow amongst the Lululemon spring collection. 

“Big week”—not really

“I feel heaviness in room”—I don’t know why, the heaviest girl in the room is 108 pounds. 

“3 dates: 2 one-on-ones and a group date”—now we’re talking. 

Harrison out and undoubtedly to the ABC Payroll Department to pick up that fat check he just “earned.”  I think we’d all agree that we’d take his job over ours.    

Date Card:  Lauren B.  “The sky’s the limit.  Ben.” I’m telling you, she’s a front runner now.  I’m convinced.  Unless she’s got some deep, dark secret like giant toes or she’s “struggled” to accept that God hates her and gave her cankles, she’s a top 3 finisher. 

Simple is what he’s looking for and she’s very uncomplicated.  Compare her to . . . oh, I don’t know . . . Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert), Lace, Olivia, Amber, or any of the others--save Becca--and she’s margarine next to hard butter.  She’s got a better personality than Becca, she’s likely not a virgin, and she gets to fly for free whenever she wants to.  Done. Deal.    

They take a drive in “his” convertible with no scrunchy thing to hold her hair.  Poor planning, ABC intern.  She’s “so so so so so so excited but it’s also so scary to be with someone you like think you could be totally falling for.”  A grammarian, she’s not.  

She’s been on a lot of planes (she’s a stewardess, remember) but surprisingly she’s never seen a bi-plane.  For crying out loud, she gets to work by walking through airports.  Snoopy drove a bi-plane and so did Super Grover on occasion.  You can’t convince me she’s never seen Peanuts or Sesame Street.   That’s an odd thing to never see.    

I think I see Lauren B. down there.  

I won’t belabor the Jacuzzi in the middle of nowhere date other than to say congrats to the dude who dropped a new one of those off in the field and then a matching one off at Fleiss’s girlfriend’s house.  The word “gratuitous” came to mind, but then again so did “capitalism” and “America.”  

Solid work, Jacuzzi sales guy.  Enjoy blowing that hefty commission check at Outback Steakhouse.  Don’t waste your time with the Bloomin’ Onion.  It’s intentionally huge and overfilling because the profit margin on it is so large.  It’s easier to raise and kill an onion than a cow.  They want you to eat it as an appetizer and order a smaller steak because the food prep costs on the steak are high.  It’s the same reason buffets load the cheap food on the front end and move the expensive to the back.  Don’t play their damn game.  Skip the onion and order the porterhouse. 

After dinner and a rose, Ben and Lauren B. hit a Barn Party.  Lucy Angel—who is basically Olivia with a pop country band behind her --sings a medley of her greatest hit.  This is why people say they hate “country” music.  Lucy Angel?  I suppose Jeffrey Osborn was booked. 

 . . . on the wings of love . . .

Back at the mansion, Caila laments the fact that she’s not been afforded the opportunity to properly identify a bi-plane.  Was it me or do any of you agree that Caila looks a lot more Asian when she’s upset?  She’s a good person but it was clear that she was emotional due to being over tired.  Maybe give her a pacifier and pat her bottom a little after she finishes her milk.  She'll sleep a few hours and then they can worry about getting her back on schedule.  

Date Card:  Amanda, Haley, Jennifer, Shushana, Leah, Amber, Lauren H., Olivia, Jami, Rachel, Lace, and Emily.  “Love is the goal.  Ben.”

Soccer date at L.A. Coliseum.  An alternate colored v-neck is Ben's predictable attire.  There was a sale on multicolored 4 packs of those somewhere near the mansion.  

Sports have always been a big part of his life Ben tells us.  Well, not soccer, but whatever.  Lauren H. tells us that she has “zero ball handling skills.”  The good news is that she still has some time to practice before Fantasy Suite week.   

JoJo and Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert) feel sorry for each other back at the mansion.  Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert) sees herself as “complicated” and Ben as attracted to “simple”.  She’s very perceptive, albeit a huge buzz kill.  She has more issues than she does visible tattoos.

Worst soccer game ever.  The only thing I got out of the standard “Competition Date” was that one of the Haleys has better skin than the other Haley and that Shushana is strong enough to carry Rachel up a flight of stairs. 

What, you didn’t think she was capable?  Shush. 



Ben arrives at the cocktail party in his Fonzie jacket.  Olivia immediately asks for time alone.  Good for her.  Although, her anxiousness is quickly moving toward aggressiveness.  Not a good idea.  

I don’t know why the others can’t figure it out.  Rather than being as assertive as Olivia, Amber, Lace, Jami, and one of the Haleys talk about Olivia’s big toes and simple chronic halitosis.  “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world,” said Marilyn Monroe.  I suppose in Olivia’s case that would be a pair of close-toed shoes. 

Clearly, that entire line of attack was fed to them by whoever had access to the "name three things you don't like about yourself" notes in Olivia’s casting file.  We’ve all seen UnReal, right?  Jami confides in Olivia about the loose talk amongst the others about Olivia’s bad toes and Olivia, clearly shaken (who among us wouldn’t be?), mentions her horrible struggle with . . .give me a second . . . cankles.  Oh, the horror.  

"I've seen horrors... horrors that you've seen. . . It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror... Horror has a face... and that face is Cankles."  --Col. Kurtz

Amber got the Date Rose for some reason.      

Date Card.  Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert) becomes Jubilant.  Becca and JoJo fail to realize that they’re Benless this week because he wants them around down the road.    

Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert) gets ready for her date and brings down her green canvas army duffle bag just In case the Fat Guy in the leather hat who helped Roz pack her sh*t after she cheated on Jake Pavelka at his own cocktail party had to throw it in the van if the date didn’t work out.  

She’s super nervous to the point of being weird.  Awkward.  The Bachelor-copter trashes the landscaping at the mansion and Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert) offers up her date to the other women in order to avoid her fear of heights.

She’s a little rough around the edges.  Like broken glass on the bottom of a swimming pool rough.

I’ll paraphrase in the interest of brevity.  Lord knows you’ve wasted enough of your employer’s time reading this. 

“Hey, let’s play shuffleboard.”

“Ok.”

“My family died, I’m the only one left, and I carry that guilt with me everywhere I go.  It pervades every aspect of my life.  Did I mention I'm honest and I don't sugarcoat anything?” 

Wow.  That was a bomb, was it not?  Clearly (and understandably), Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert), has issues way beyond the scope of Ben’s ability to digest or fix them.  Props to her for putting herself out there, but I think we all know she’ll be taking huge steps backward when Ben sends her home in a week or two.  Bummer.  

For now, she gets the Date Rose and didn’t have to listen to Lucy Angel in order to get it.  That, indeed, calls for a jubilee (either the celebration or the flaming dessert, not the woman).

Then it got a little weird at the mansion.  Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert), cried in the bathroom, Amber tried to make peace, Ben tried to sort it out but regretted it.  

A foolish man tells a woman to stop talking, Ben.  A wise man tells her that her mouth is extremely beautiful when her lips are closed.  You’re welcome.

Exhausted and confused he sat down in exasperation.  That’s what happens when you try to corral a room full of women in their early 20’s, Ben.  Welcome to the party.  They all grew up being told how special they are and being given a trophy whether they won or lost.  Those spoiled chickens are coming home to roost. 

Ben sighs.  But wait, Lace wants some time to talk.  His expression spoke volumes and so did hers.  “A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction,” said Oscar Wilde.  He certainly watches The Bachelor. 

Poor timing, Lace.  Asking Ben to engage in some needy relationship talk at that moment was like asking someone suffering a heart attack if they want to try bacon cheesburger you just made. 

I will, however, give Lace credit for taking responsibility for “working on herself” as her reason for leaving.  Of course, the cynic in me says she knew she was headed for the door if she stuck around for the Rose Ceremony and hightailed it to save whatever face she had left, but I’ll let my more optimistic self win this time.  

Frankly, I respect her more than I did last week.   I’m not sure if any of you caught it but she actually dropped, “like my tattoo says, you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.”  Ben was relieved.  Bullet dodged.  He’d have made the same decision for her in about 10 minutes anyway. 

Harrison shows up.  Ding, ding, ding.    

Rose Ceremony

Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert)
Amber
Lauren B. 
Lauren H.
Amanda (one more week without her kids)
Becca
Haley
The Other Haley
Rachel
Caila
JoJo
Jennifer
Leah
Olivia and her giant, malformed toes and calves

Gone.

Lace
Shushana
The Other Amber

Well, there it is.  It looks like we’re headed for more crying and a little twin rivalry next week.  Where will the stewardess stand?  Will Jubilee (the woman, not the celebration or the flaming dessert) shank anyone in the ladies’ room?  Will JoJo and Becca get to leave the mansion?  And what color V-necks will Ben wear?  So many questions. 

Enjoy the rest of your week.  Some Guy is off to South Beach for work.  I’ve packed my white belt and my pastel colored sport coats.  I’ll be back next week.  Tweet me @someguyinaustin or comment below.  In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be covering my cankles.  DP