Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bachelor Episode 4: Plaid is the New Black

Episode 4 of the Bachelor. We begin with our usual recap of the “most dramatic season ever” keeping in mind that the press machine in front of this show has done its best to parade our lucky guy onto every talk show in prime time this week to plant mysterious seeds and promises of dramatic events to follow. On a side note, I did a little research into Jake’s family name, Pavelka. Interestingly enough, Pavelka is a traditional Croatian name stemming from two distinct roots: Pavel—from Pavellion, meaning satchel or bag and Elka—from Elkan, meaning cleansing stream or river. Literally translated into English it means “cleansing satchel,” or in the parlance of our times, “douchebag.”

Alright, let’s get to this week’s episode.

Harrison emerges from the nether regions of his custom trailer decked out in a gray v-neck sweater with a green undershirt. He’s as casual as ever, leaving us to wonder if we are bound to depart the stuffy confines of the mansion in search of more relaxed surroundings for love to blossom. Indeed we are. Harrison informs the anxious velour-clad, giant coffee cup holding ladies that this week’s one-on-one, group date, and two-on-one date will take place on the road. Two giant tour busses pull up and everyone proceeds to refer to them as RV’s for some reason. Cathryn tells us that she’s excited to go somewhere and off we go to meet Jake at the first mysterious stop. Ella does her best to dispel hillbilly from Appalachia stereotypes by telling us that she’s “a fixin’ to get on the RV” while Gia finally shows how high maintenance she is by telling us she’s never been on an RV but really hopes it has a good shower. To be fair, I’m sure Gia is used to showering after she rides something for a long time.

Ali, Jessie, Cathryn, Ella, and Tenley draw the first bus and celebrate by thanking their lucky stars that Vienna is not riding with them. Gia, Corrie, Asleigh, and the shunned Vienna get the second bus and the tension begins to build. Vienna shows us her long face. Oh, and she seemed sad too. I thought when a bunch of women get together in their pajamas they have pillow fights and paint each other’s toes. I’m so distraught to learn that I am wrong. Finding out Santa didn’t exist was arguably just as traumatic for me. I digress. Besides, I don’t want to take the chance that Jake may read this. I’d hate to ruin the Santa thing for him.

Ella drops the first bad metaphor by saying that she and Jake’s relationship is now rolling down the highway of love. This made we want to vomit down the porcelain tunnel of the American Standard. We cut to a shot of Ali playfully filming Tenley with a video camera aboard the love coach. Tenley looked as comfortable in front of the hand held video camera as she was the first time she was filmed with a video camera aboard a bus. The only difference is that the first bus had “Girls Gone Wild” painted on the side of it and she had to sign a release to do it.

We next cut to the first of many shots of what is supposed to be the daring, rugged Jake motoring his way up the PCH on his scooter-cycle with his giant helmet on. Does anyone really believe this is Jake? God bless the stunt guy they talked into putting on that satellite of a helmet and tempting death by riding that moped up the coast pretending to be in search of love or whatever. If anyone still actually believes that Jake is all about taking chances, then you also believe that Tenley hasn’t kissed anyone since her awful ex-husband cheated on her and kicked her to the curb before she learned to pull her legs over her head and left to tour the country as Ariel, Belle, and Cinderella. Jake is about as dangerous as a butter knife. He’s as edgy as a sphere.

Jake’s voiceover tells us that the girls will be “camping”—(read, parking the RV’s next to a fire) in a vineyard. Has anyone been to a vineyard? It’s all romantic and picturesque, true. But nothing smells worse than wet, rotting grape leaves. Nonetheless, Jake can’t think of a better place to fall in love. I swear I could see some of the grapes rolling their eyes. They park and begin to wonder about the dreaded two-on-one Beyond Thunderdome date—two women enter, one woman leaves. It would have been more interesting if a drunken Mel Gibson would have showed up and hit on the unsuspecting loser.

Jake then shows up in his latest plaid flannel “I’m all about the outdoors” shirt and regales the ladies with tales of his wilderness prowess. Translation: I’ve camped outside once in the gazebo I built in the backyard of my starter home in Denton. Oh Producers, why must you lie to us like this? Why? Jake leaves to “get ready” for the big date on his go anywhere motorcycle as Gia gets the date card and proceeds to read the “over the moon and under the stars” message. Gia discovers that she is the lucky winner of the one-on-one date and attempts to tell us through her botox lips and synthetically taut facial muscles that she’s ecstatic about the opportunity. She’s so excited that her forehead almost wrinkled. Whatever.

Vienna voices her concern for Gia because Gia is from New York and apparently has never been outside before. Strangely, I believed her. Gia proceeds to get ready for her outdoor date with Jake by selecting her best pair of outdoor hiking stilettos, stretch pants, and off the shoulder Jennifer Beals oversized shirt with a belt around it outfit. We again see just how rugged and outdoorsy Jake is when we get a shot of him trimming his sideburns outdoors with a battery operated trimmer. To be fair, it was a really rugged looking battery operated trimmer and his sideburns looked as if they hadn’t been trimmed for at least 12 hours. I don’t think the mirror had been cleaned either.

Jake drives the entire 150 yards from his tent to the “camp” on his homo-cycle. He shows up dressed like Melissa Etheridge in flannel and denim, presents Gia with a purple version of his giant helmet, and spirits her and her stilettos away for an exciting evening. They arrive at what we assume is a far away vineyard and proceed to play a game of hide and seek. I can only imagine they were both seeking their dignity. Jake miraculously finds Gia and her heels “hiding” between a row of grapes and proceeds to carry her through the vineyard where Gia opens up to Jake sharing horror stories of how she was picked on in school, her book bag stolen, and shunned by the other kids. Obviously, that was before she had her face transplant. Oh, the horror. Oh, the humanity. Jake empathizes by sharing his 9th grade nickname of “Mr. Dateless” and telling her it wasn’t until 11th grade that he kissed a girl. In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes. The last two sentences were far more interesting to read than this pathetic exchange was to watch. It made me want to steal Gia’s book bag and club Mr. Dateless over the head with it.

In an attempt as subtle as her plastic surgery, Gia suggests a game of spin the bottle in order to kiss Jake—yes, there were only the two of them there, but follow me. Jake shocks us by telling us he’s never played spin the bottle. I would have never guessed, Jake. After realizing that the bottle rarely ends up pointing to either one of them they share what Gia characterizes as “the best kiss of her life” under the stars before Jake provides a romantic piggy back ride to his tent where he plans to show her his hot dog. In the most pathetic attempt to start a fire since that guy tried to light his shoes on that plane, Jake demonstrates his survival skills, eventually igniting the logs and making fire with a lighter. Gia—despite the agony we all feel—is impressed since she’s “never seen stars” because they apparently don’t have them in New York. To be fair, I guess when you’re face and neck skin are pulled so tight you can’t look up it’s really difficult to see stars. Gia shares her dream of moving to Texas, having two kids, and adopting a girl from China. What? Jake pretends to be “open to it” as the agony continues.

In the meantime, the rest of the girls howl like coyotes toward Jake’s campsite in a vain attempt to discourage Chinese adoption. Ashleigh returns to the fire presumably after dropping a deuce in the bus and announces she’s discovered the next date card on the windshield of the bus. The tension is palpable as the girls get ready to exercise their powers of deduction by determining who gets the dreaded two-on-one date after the group date is announced. Jessie, Asleigh, Tenley, Ali, Vienna, and Corrie get the group date, leaving Ella and Cathryn to slut it out for the two-on-one date rose. I have to admit that I saw the double elimination coming like Jake’s giant helmet down the PCH. Ella has a son and is clearly too grown up for Jake. Cathryn, the commercial flight attendant from no one remembers where, has been a dress filler this season. It was time for both of them to go.

Gia and Jake finally end their vacuous date with some fireside smooching and meaningless banter. In a classic Bachelor moment Gia tells us that she hasn’t felt love like she feels for Jake “in over a year and a half.” At that moment some dude got a high five from all of his buddies in some smoky bar in New York. Jake appears in yet another flannel shirt and matching black Jon Bon Jovi jeans and motorcycle boots leaving us to wonder if he’s leaving shortly for an Indigo Girls concert. He presents Gia with a rose because, after all, she’s a complex city girl who showed she’s able to enjoy a simple date. Please. Good for you, Gia. Maybe you and Bear Grylls can climb Everest if this doesn’t work out for you. She’s no Jane Goodall.

The group date girls pile on the busses on their way to Pismo Beach and Ella and Kathryn begin to sweat back at base camp. I assume that the now empty mansion is being thoroughly fumigated and scrubbed in anticipation of the big finale. It would be impossible to build a foot bridge over the pool with all of the making out and carrying on in the water.

Vienna voices her displeasure with the group date. She actually does the finger quotes around “group date” meaning she is either quoting it from the date card or she meant it ironically. Ali continues her downhill spiral by letting Vienna get under her skin. She tells us that she “struggles that Vienna is still here.” Focus, Ali. Focus. Corrie tells us that she doesn’t thrive in group settings and she will do her best to be alone with Jake. Meanwhile, Cathryn, Ella, and Gia are left to stew together on the beach. I can only imagine it was about as awkward as the “Hello, Rachel? This is Elin Woods, Tiger’s wife” phone call.

Jake tells us that he wants the girls to get “extremely dirty” on this date. Sadly, dune buggies came to my mind. Ali and her off the shoulder sweater carry on about Vienna and she eventually nudges Vienna out of the way earning the coveted spot inside Jake’s dune buggy. Vienna muses that Ali can have her 30 minutes with Jake since she’s going to win the pot of gold. I’ll go on record as saying she’s right. Provided she doesn’t melt down like Velveeta in a microwave, she’s got this in the bag.

After some fake fun in the sand, some canned dialogue from Jake, and a roll down the hill with Corrie, Jake and the girls head for the Madonna Inn for some fun. Jake clichés his way through get dirty jokes and we get some magical fairy tale references from some of the ladies. Jake tells us he likes dirty girls. Right, just like he loves bungee jumping. Ashleigh has a few too many pulls from the champagne bottle and does her best cheap and easy impression by draping herself all over a clearly uncomfortable Jake. We get some gratuitous shots of her whatnot and her gold Grace Jones pumps as she rests on top of Jake like grease in the Jersey Shore hot tub. We get some creative camera angles and a clear view of Ashleigh’s unmentionables and begin to realize that she too is close to the drive of shame. The producers even saw fit to compliment Asleigh’s behavior by playing some vintage 70’s Money Shot music during the scene. Bravo. Despite the booze and slutty behavior, the sexless Jake tells us that he just doesn’t feel the chemistry. See ya, Ashleigh.

In a Surivior-like moment of strategy Vienna brilliantly turns down Jakes request for immediate alone time opting to take the last 1 on 1 of the evening. It’s clear why the girls hate her. Granted, she’s not the most attractive cow in the barn, but she’s smart. Ali seethes with anger in the soft candle light. Vienna has clearly gotten into her head. Ali thinks real hard and decides that Vienna is going home soon. Really? Maybe she should talk to Jake about that. I’m telling you. She’s going to win.

Ali and Jake spend some alone time in soft lighting. Jake dodges questions by stating he’s “caught in the moment” and Ali does her best to look pouty and sexy in her tweety bird costume. Who told her to wear canary yellow all the time? Is she a bachelorette or a crossing guard?

Back to the beach. Gia—who can read real good—assumes her role of date card reader and states the obvious to Ella and Cathryn. Two girls. One rose. One stays. One goes. Clever. Ella, who honestly could care less, pretends to be anxious and ponders woefully in the sand waiting for Jake to arrive and praying Cathryn gets the stiff arm instead of her.

Jake goes in search of Tenley to “find out where her heart is?” What does that even mean? I’ll tell you where it is, you asexual tool, it’s right under her left breast, which is right next to her right breast. Check those out, would you. For God’s sake. For the ninthly or tenthly time, Tenley tells us the story of her cheating ex-husband and how she “longs to be desired.” She confirms that she’s only kissed one man—Jake—since the awful demise of her virgin-ruining marriage. Jake should have asked her if she slept with anyone. I’m just sayin’. Technically, you could not kiss someone and. . . oh, nevermind. Jake lies in Tenley’s lap, fails to notice her boobs again and says “it’s a first for me.” Well, if you don’t count the last time he talked to his mommy about life and stuff.

Vienna rubs Ali’s canary yellow dress into the dirt when her last date, last kiss strategy pans out. Jake accuses Vienna of egging on the girls (was that a veiled canary reference to Ali?) but lets her off easy. She’s going to win.

Tenley FINALLY gets a rose for her my husband deflowered me then cheated story. Corrie is upset. A still drunk Asleigh is shocked and actually uses the word “psychotic.” Jake dons a new plaid flannel shirt and a vest showing that apparently his torso was cold but his arms were not. The Indigo Girls don’t show up, Vienna uses the word “like” like 5 times in one sentence and we get ready for the two-on-one date in Big Sur by watching Jake brooding by the fire in his plaid shirt talking to his motorcycle. Ella packs her sh*t into her pink plastic suitcase, Cathryn uses the word “soulmate,” and Tenley reminds both of them that they have a onely in twoley chance of returning from Beyond Thunderdome.

Ella dominates the conversation with Jake saying that “she’s more than just a mom.” Translation: I’m just as dirty as the rest of the girls. Cathryn drinks alone, whines about the lack of attention, does her own version of the raised eyebrow scrunchy forehead thing, and Jake sends them both mercifully home. Jake’s lawyers will probably send Cathryn a cease and desist letter for the scrunchy forehead thing, as he patented that move prior to filming. He did put on a special black plaid flannel for the dismissal. Nice touch, wardrobe guy. Nice touch. In a rare moment of compassion I will say that I was glad that both of these women went home. Ella seemed like a nice person and now she’ll get to cash in a bit and spend time with her son. Cathryn can go back to pointing out the six exits on the plane and telling people turn off their iPods before take off. The good news is that she will now actually get to sleep with a pilot. Jake continues to do his Jack London impression and symbolically throws the date rose in the fire. Cathryn muses, “I thought I had the rose. Did anyone see that coming at all?” I suppose she meant anyone besides the producers, the limo company, the crew, the guy who loaded her bag, and the person who wrote it into the script.

The girls continue to plot against Vienna in their Ugh boots, stretch pants, and scooped necklines. Gia and Tenley revel in their safeness, clutching tightly onto their well-earned roses (take that cheating, deflowering ex-husband!). Corrie looks smoking hot in her teal short short after five thing and makes a final run at Jake to secure the rose. Any normal guy would have seen that dress and given her a pass. Jake—oh, Jake—tells her to keep opening up in the most non-dirty puritan way and sends her and her skimpy dress on her way back into the shark tank. The Indigo Girls still do not show up.

Ali dresses like a canary again, Jessie the make-up artist tempts irony by putting on teal eye shadow, Ashleigh sobers up, and the tension begins. In a move that seals her fate (as if the green eye shadow didn’t), Jessie badmouths Vienna to Jake. She actually leads with “I’m not a gossiper, but . . .”. She reveals that Vienna has a rich dad—Oh, stop it, Jessie! How horrible. Vienna has family money and if I marry into it on my cargo pilot salary her rich father will be forced to pay the mortgage on my starter home in Denton so I can adequately take care of his daughter. Like I said, Jessie didn’t do herself any favors. She might as well have brought Jake a hammer and the last nail for her coffin.

Harrison checks in wearing his usual understated dark suit, states the obvious, and then retires to his trailer. Jake stands before the girls in his black suit with a gray double Windsor knotted tie. He looked like a limo driver. I actually missed the flannel shirts. Jake gives a half-assed speech about getting dirty and says that the rose ceremonies “happen too often.” What? Apparently not. He’s sent more women packing than The Indian Removal Act of 1830 (see, Trail of Tears); most of them without a rose ceremony. Someone needs to write this guy better speeches.

Ok, here is my favorite part.

With Ali, Ashleigh, Corrie, Gia, Jessie, Tenley, Vienna (notice I listed them alphabetically so as not to show favoritism—Vienna’s gonna win) in front of him Jake gives the first two roses to Corrie and Ali. With Jessie, Vienna, and Ashleigh on the chopping block Jake begins to sob and runs away. We hear a producer’s voice say, “get Chris Harrison.” I think I heard Jake asking for his mommy too, but I couldn’t be sure with all of the tension in the air. I can just see Harrison in his trailer with his necktie loosened and a bottle of gin in one hand getting ready to break out the blow and party with some strippers when the knock on the door comes. “Uh, Jake is crying. He wants to talk to you.” Classic.

Harrison composes himself and emerges to comfort a crying Jake. “We’ll take care of it,” he says unequivocally. Harrison emerges, grabs a rose and goes back to his trailer party. Vienna bags the final rose, Jessie and her green eye shadow leave and Asleigh drops the “Vienna over me, are you f**king kidding me?” There’s nothing quite like sour grapes. See how I tied that all together?

With the Amazing count at 43, the Journey count at 5, and the Absolutely count at 5, we move toward the next episode with Ali, Corrie, Gia, Tenley, and Vienna still in the running. I can’t wait.

1 comment:

  1. DP - I'm not so convinced it will be Vienna. With daddy's $$ and all, she still is extremely immature and doesn't play well with others...a golden rule Jake learned early on in Sunday school (despite that no one wanted to play with him). The latter is sure to ruffle Jake's even keel - ok, boring - personality which could drive him to another tearful spill over the balcony. My bet-ly is on Tenley.
    Is my flight instrument skewed?