Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bachelor Episode 8: Women Tell All

Well, it’s Episode 8 and the women are ready to tell all. Assuming that “tell all” means “talk sh*t about each other,” I agree. Let’s get to it.

We begin as always with gentle sunsets on the beach and romantic background music leading into a montage of the season’s most memorable moments. Yes, Jake is a pilot and he’s searching for love. He’s narrowed the field from 25 “beautiful women” down to two, but first, the grievances have to be aired, the curtain drawn back, and the turd must be purged from the punch bowl. Yes, before love can truly blossom, the women must tell all.

Harrison shows up in his usual tailored yet understated hosting suit with an off white shirt and no tie. The collar on that thing looked like a weapon. Elvis would have thought it was big. That thing was as stiff as Jake’s demeanor. Nonetheless, Harrison looks Money. He’s ready to earn his paycheck. He sets up the evening as only Chris Harrison can. He’s come a long way from HGTV and damn it, he wants us to know he means business. He’s affable, approachable, and he’s ready to dish.

Harrison enters to the deafening cheers of an all female audience—all of whom are undoubtedly disappointed that the online application they filled out for ABC in order to get on the Bachelor was not accepted. But hey, there’s always next season, right? Maybe they’ll get discovered on the show? Perhaps Harrison will notice them? Maybe there’s another horny producer with marital trouble waiting in the wings. Fat chance. Harrison is all business. He has two items on his Swarmy Host To Do List: Kick Ass and Take Names.

Harrison pulls Jake aside to a top secret location. He sets up the biggest controversy in Bachelor history (at least until next season) and tells us that Roz will be confronted for her “affair” with their “staffer.” And to think, I thought she just made out with a Producer. We cut to a shot of Roz being scolded by Harrison and we see Harrison and Jake in a zen-like peacefulness among the scented candles and carefully placed roses trying to make sense of it all. Harrison has his muted orange shirt beneath his tailored yet understated host suit now and Jake tells us that the news of Rozlyn’s harlotry “knocked him off his high horse.” What the hell does that mean? For God’s sake, is Jake that much of a dud or is he just a bad actor? I assume it’s a bit of both. Oh, and why was he wearing French blue? That is so Andrew Firestone Season Three. Yes, purple is the new black but it’s also the new French blue. I was annoyed already.

In a brilliant display of his chameleon-like ability to relate to his guests, Harrison borrows from the Jake Pavelka Aw Shucks Expressions Manual and asks Jake if he was “nervous as heck” when he found out about Rozlyn’s less than savory behavior. Jake wonders if there were any other women involved. Frankly, so did I, but not in the same way Jake did I’m betting. Rozlyn’s alleged whoring around the mansion served only to strengthen Jake’s resolve he tells us. It wasn’t bad for ratings either. At this point, I was begging for Harrison to ask the “how does it feel to be cheated on because you’re too boring to keep a beautiful woman’s attention” question. Put that in your pipe on your high horse and smoke it, Jake. Some fat guy with a wife and a propensity to sneak around rented mansions in the middle of the night just took you to school. It’s a good thing they fired that guy. He might have made a run through the entire cast—including Jake.

Sick of Jake’s lack of imagination, Harrison moves next to this season’s “game player,” Elizabeth. Jake lets us know how “bold” she was to pretend to kiss him and put her face so close to his after swearing off kissing. She’s “too caught up in her own game” and she “exceeded a boundary.” For a moment, I thought I was watching the Olympics. I believe men with testicles refer to that behavior as flirting. Those gestures are what salesmen call “buying signals.” Look, I have to admit that she was a bit forward but I’ll give her credit for planning her work and working her plan. In the end, it just didn’t work for her. Jake should have stuck with that instead of making it more than it was. In the end, Elizabeth defended her strategy but admitted she looked stupid doing it. If only Roz would have been allowed out of her soundproof sequestration booth of shame to see Liz diffuse the bomb that is Bachelor gossip. If only, indeed. Elizabeth looked a little nuts, but followed some good PR advice. Own the behavior, relate to the audience, and move on. Nice job, Liz.

Next, we cut to the “when did you fall for Tenley/Vienna” scenes. We are forced to relive Jake’s crying on the bridge in fear of bungee jumping incident. I was more embarrassed for him than I was the first time. Lord, I hope his children never see that video. We move from that scene to Jake’s dinner with Tenley above the Coit Tower in San Francisco. Even more pathetic than the crying in fear on the bridge is Jake’s skin tight Euro turtle neck. I found myself wondering if he was going to put on white face paint and a beret and pretend to be trapped in a box. We see Jake’s glib, senseless grin in a picture in picture shot. I wonder if he realized what a cheesebag he is?

After some fake giggling and scrunchy forehead shots of Jake on the field of battle in various states of pre-coitus with the women, we cut to Ali’s “surprise” departure from the show and her drive of regret in the limo. Considering she’s going to be our next Bachelorette, there were some extremely unflattering shots of Ali and her split ends in the limo. Not even her Bubba Gump-ish pouty lower lip could hide the atrocity that was her hair.

Note to Ali: Avoid vent brushes with plastic bristles as they can cause significant damage by ripping through your hair. For dry hair, use a wide brush with a foam pad that allows more give. The Warren-Tricomi Nylon/Boar Bristle Cushion Brush is an excellent and affordable choice. Also, since wet hair is more susceptible to tearing, comb it gently with a wide-tooth comb shortly after exiting the shower while your hair is still moist and pliable. Finally, apply a leave-in conditioner. The botanical-based Aveda Elixir Daily Leave-On Conditioner is a good bet. And for crying out loud, keep the blow-dryer at least 4 inches from your hair and use a deep conditioner twice a week to help prevent damage. Finally, if all else fails, don’t agree to back lighting. You’re welcome.

Insert Commercial Break for Effect

We cut back to the studio where Harrison awaits among dim lighting and a bevy of candles. I really think Harrison should wear some kind of flashy jacket for these shows; either that or a cape. At any rate, Harrison sets up the “where are they now” segment and the screen erupts with former contestants from the Bachelor and Bachelorette in what appeared to be a Greek orgy. Everyone had too much to drink and not enough clothes. We see all of the dumpees swimming in alcohol and engaging in debauchery. Jake was thanking his lucky pilot’s shirt that he didn’t have to resort to such pedestrian, immoral behavior. Red Bull and vodka flows more freely than tears at a rose ceremony and the ever-present red plastic cups runneth over with bacchanalia. We are left to wonder why Roz was not invited to THAT party.

Frankly, I was annoyed at this point. The entire segment was boring and predictable. Wes made a brief appearance and owned his villain status, everyone wore a bikini, and I wondered why no one offers me free trips to Vegas or Mexico to make an ass of myself. Such is life, I suppose. Such is life.

After another “most controversial character of 2010” teaser and a well-timed commercial break we go back to the studio. In a shameless effort to justify the show, we next move to “the Bachelor gives back” segment. Even Harrison couldn’t fake this introduction. Apparently, drinking for 28 days at a rented mansion on the outskirts of Los Angeles and attempting to fool someone into loving you in hopes of gaining national notoriety in order to cash in elevates a person into having a “greater obligation” to “give back.” Come on. We cut to the former losers—the same losers we just saw in various stages of undress sucking down energy drinks and free booze—“giving back” by participating in the “Portraits of Hope” project. Their “charity” consists of forcing chubby, indifferent Hispanic children to paint murals on lifeguard stands to be placed on L.A. beaches so thin, athletic white children can enjoy them after the Hispanic kids are bussed back to East L.A. Having Mexican kids spray paint things. Is there really a shortage of that in L.A.? Regardless, everyone powers through their multi-day hangover from the Vegas bender and feels good about making lifeguard stands a more colorful place to work. The children are placed on a bus back to the barrio and Harrison recants his threats of deportation to the parents. People helping people. My heart was smiling.

We cut to a shot of Harrison in a Jeff Probst-esque blue safari shirt handing out leftover promotional crap with Jake at some school in St. Lucia followed by various female contestants sporting the ubiquitous 30 foot scarf and handing out food to more chubby Hispanic people. Man, those scarves are so versatile. The next shot is of the ever-feminine Juan from Jillian’s season pretending to hand out food at some food bank in L.A. I was shocked he was still in the closet. He drops a “Man Code” reference and we are reminded of how stupid it was the first time we heard it. He does his best Mangelina Jolie impression with the poor kids and we move to some more exploitative pictures of poor, hungry minorities before cutting back to the studio for some more teasers about what a tramp Roz was this season.

Harrison introduces us to “the most memorable women” of the season—in other words, all of them except Tenley and Vienna and that fallen strumpet Roz. Gia looks stunning in her purple sequined short dressy thing and shows up equipped with her trademark hair in the face. Apparently, they don’t sell purple sequined hair clips in L.A. Aside from the hair in the face, Gia’s PR machine should be commended for her appearance and demeanor over the past couple of weeks. It’s tough to lose with class and keep it all together. She did. Next, Jessie—who looked a lot more unattractive than she did on the show--speaks in her black cocktail dress accented with a Carmen Miranda rose in the hair thing. Ashley shows up sans stewardess costume and the other Ashleigh shocks us by admitting that her “fall” into Jake’s arms was, in fact, staged. Man, these women are telling all. I was giddy.

Harrison pretends to like the meaningless banter and introduces the next segment with an unbelievable misstatement of fact by referring to the panel as “well-adjusted women.” Right. Well-adjusted. The only things well-adjusted on that stage were the soft lighting and Gia’s nose. Harrison FINALLY uses the word “crazy” to describe the women in the house and we cut to a montage of the women making catty comments about one another while their tantrums and psycho behavior plays out in front of us. We see Tenley interpretive dancing again, Gia telling us that Michelle scares everyone, Roz hussying around the mansion in her bikini, Liz being a black widow(whatever that means), and some of the in-fighting over our dull pilot from somewhere North of Dallas. We end by hearing Ashleigh refer to the future Mrs. Pavelka as a “white trash trailer whore.” It’s officially on.

Harrison slowly but deliberately begins to stir the pot about Vienna and the women take the bait like hungry pigeons to a pile of crackers. Gia jumps in to defend Vienna admitting that she’s immature but “not a bad person.” You know what that means? Vienna is a pain in the a*s but I feel bad for her. Again, Gia showed some restraint and class. Perhaps Jake should have noticed that instead of jumping at Vienna’s boorish behavior. I’m just sayin’.

Harrison puts on his serious host face and again brings up Roz’s Corinthian woman status. I suppose Tenley’s divorce was on vacation this week. Like Joe Friday, Harrison wants the “facts.” Gia does her best Jim Brady impression and leans in front of the gun for Roz, but Asleigh in an obvious quest for attention and Jessie in an obvious attempt to know it all pile on Roz faster than that producer did. Even sweet country girl Ella recounts an incident when Roz got on all fours in her boy shorts when the girls were fixin’ to go to bed and begged for that producer to “put her to bed.” Oh my. I’m certain that guy’s soon-to-be-ex-wife’s lawyer hit rewind on his DVR before refilling his single malt scotch and giggling to himself.

Next up is Gia’s interview. I will say this again. She looked fantastic in her purple sequined dress and looked very nervous in light of the fact that she had to relive the humiliation of getting dumped again. She drops a “Jake and I’s” relationship, but I’ll give her a pass considering the stress. Oscar Wilde once wrote that “crying is the refuge of plain women, but the ruin of pretty ones.” I’m not sure that was the case here. Gia looked vulnerable and sincere. Harrison masters the art of uncomfortable silence and turns the dagger just enough to get Gia to talk but not enough to kick sand in her reconstructed face. Gia takes a playful shot at Michelle—who made a mental note to include Gia on her People I Will Eventually Kill list—and Harrison and his scruffy face have a good laugh before wishing her well and sending her back to the panel. Contractual obligations fulfilled, Gia looks more relaxed and takes comfort in knowing that she’s got a future in television.

We next get to re-experience the erratic, often desperate behavior of Michelle in her quest for a man—any man. Harrison calls her out like only he can do. Michelle does her best to own the behavior but, how far can you run from the intersection of Crazy and Desperate? Liz and Ashleigh pile on unnecessarily and the crowd mocks Michelle with giggles and laughter at her assertions that she’s “stable.” I felt bad for her, but hey, she signed up for the show. Advice to Michelle: if after the second episode you haven’t really put your finger on who the crazy girl is this season, it’s probably you. Just be quiet and cut your losses. Oh, and use an eyelash curler before applying mascara. Twirl, but don't pump, the mascara wand inside the tube to fill it with mascara. You have pretty eyes. There’s no reason to ruin them. You’re welcome.

I found myself wondering why none of her ex-boyfriends came forward with stories about her. Then I realized those guys are probably all buried in her backyard somewhere. Harrison even seemed afraid of her. I wish her well and I hope the next guy she dates does not own a bunny.

Ali is up next. We relive her canary yellow phase, wet suede boots, and make out sessions in the park. We see her in various stages of Gia-esque upsetness, and look at her split ends before Harrison drops the hammer about her leaving Jake for her job. Ali looked great too in her brown dress and minimalist accessories. Harrison tightens the vice a bit about the whole job thing. Ali regrets not taking a chance, and we scratch the surface of her abandonment issues from her absent father. Harrison does his best Dr. Phil impression, Ali distances herself from the Vienna Haters Club, and makes an obligatory apology to Vienna in an attempt to clear the slate before her soon-to-be the next Bachelorette status kicks in next week. She was likeable, but not perky or appealing to me. We can only hope that the 25 guys who pine over her next season will be more interesting than she is. Doubtful.

Finally, we get to Roz and the “cloud of controversy” (another aviation reference, perhaps?) surrounding her this season. To be fair, it was a cloud manufactured and fed by the show, but the audience is ready to pounce and we get backstage shots of Roz being escorted to the stage like Sean Penn to the execution chamber in Dead Man Walking. I wonder if Roz confessed her sins to Susan Sarandon before leaving the Green Room? Roz attempts humor both backstage and when she first arrives. Harrison clearly isn’t amused and neither are the ladies. The tension is thicker than Vienna’s eye shadow and Harrison takes off the gloves. He obviously has an axe to grind on behalf of himself and ABC. Man, the guy is Money. I felt myself wanting to go on an amazing journey in search of a connection with him.

All of the women pile on, Harrison recants fairy tales of unicorns and magicians and poses the question, “isn’t the simplest story the truth?” Applause erupts from the crowd and Roz knows she’s lost. At this point, Roz should have done what Elizabeth and Gia did. Own the behavior, apologize for the misunderstanding, wish everyone well, and move on. Even Tiger Woods played that game last week. Apparently oblivious to that advice, Roz morphs into Bitter Betty, denies everything, and actually accuses Harrison of hitting on the guy she banged in the mansion’s wife in New Zealand. Dude. Attacking Harrison is like spitting in the Holy Grail. No good can come from it.

Harrison pauses momentarily, goes to his safe place, and refuses to take the bait. He wishes Roz well, gives her another chance to fess up, and after it’s clear she won’t play ball; he slams the door in her face with references to the “mountain of evidence” against her. Harrison should run for President. Granted, taking on Roz is like a tiger taking on a mouse, but he did a brilliant job of defending himself, the network, and the show. Maybe that other guy’s wife should have shacked up with him in New Zealand. Roz came across as angry (understandable), bitter, and untruthful. She leaves expecting a call from Playboy and we move to a commercial break so Harrison can take a few hits off the stuff he smuggled stateside from St. Lucia in an effort to lower his heart rate.

When we return, Harrison has regained all of his cool and his make up has been retouched. Finally, we get to bring out Jake in his royal blue 80% rayon 20% polyester skin tight t-shirt and sport coat in order to do his Tom Cruise impression. It “was an honor for him” to have the opportunity. “His heart was crying” when Gia left. He proceeds to use the “F” word on Ali saying that she’ll always have a friend. Overall, the entire segment was dull. Harrison can’t wait until this season is over. We know it, he knows it, and Jake probably knows it too.

For some reason, we cut to Catherine doing her best Roz impression. She’s clearly bitter. I mean the kind of bitter that will make her next boyfriend mis-er-a-bull. Jake makes some corny references to her heart and his heart and then tells us that he regrets not getting to know Christina. What was that Oscar Wilde quote from earlier? I believe it applies now. Oh, and speaking of closeted homosexuals, Jake proceeds to ramble on about his heart and his attraction, blah, blah, blah. Just pick Vienna and get it over with, would you, Jake?

In a move that would make Lady Macbeth envious, Harrison, having purged the show of its spots, moves to the remaining two “incredible women.” He almost choked on that one. His magnanamousness only goes so far. We get a rundown of Vienna’s “journey” and “Tenley’s “journey.” Tenley’s divorce returns from hiatus and Vienna’s crossed eyes and powdered wig make an appearance. I loved her work on the one dollar bill. Fabulous. Incidentally, I believe I read somewhere that Pope Benedict XVI was seriously considering granting Tenley an annulment. Apparently, he’s sick of hearing about her divorce too. Of course he has to run that by God and certain members of the Kennedy family, but I’d be willing to bet it happens.

So there it is, with the Amazing count at 108, Absolutely at 24, and at Journey 31, we are all set to conclude our “amazing journey” on March 1 when Jake will cry on multiple balconies, inevitably use the word “amazing,” discuss what is in his heart, and visit the jewelry sponsor in order to select an engagement ring. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to get a job as a producer.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bachelor Episode 7: Ahoy, Potential Matey!

It’s Episode 7 and Jake is getting down to making it all happen with the remaining three ladies: Tenley, Gia, and Vienna. There’s a lot at stake this episode and there’s a lot of bad editing to prove it. Let’s get to it.

We begin with the usual reminders about last week’s show when Ali faked like her job required her to return to San Francisco and left Jake to sob on the nearest banister despite not directly asking her to stick around. We leave the sunny beaches of California and head to the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean for some, well, sunny beaches. We get a lead in of the many adventures that the ladies will soon be experiencing with Jake. Jake tells us that St. Lucia is the perfect place to fall in love. Apparently, he forgot he said the same thing about San Francisco a few weeks ago. Ah yes, there’s nothing like a quaint Caribbean island that was once a stop over on the slave trade where thousands of men were stolen from their African homeland, stripped from their families, strapped into the hull of a ship, and transported thousands of miles across the ocean to be sold as chattel. Perfect. In spite of this we get a detailed recap from beginning to end of the “courtship” of each lady.

We begin with Gia and her propensity to greet Jake like a rabid monkey by flinging herself at him and wrapping her legs and arms around his manly man shape. We are reminded of the staged game of spin the bottle they played in the vineyard and we revisit the many looks of Jake. Yes, from tattling pilot, to motorcycle tough guy, to boat shoe wearing cruise ship director guy, all the way to the current coral choker necklace guy, we see all of the looks we’ve grown to love. I felt more like I was at Build-A-Bear Workshop rather than watching the Bachelor. Jake tells us that his “chemistry with Gia is electric” and that he is truly falling in love with her. Electric, huh? Ok.

By the way, was there a pilot in the Village People? If not, there should have been. Seeing Jake in his pilot uniform made me realize he would make a good Village Person. I suppose a pilot is a just as valid gay stereotype as a biker or a construction worker. Why was there in Indian in the Village People, though? Does anyone know any gay Indians—I mean beside that guy in the Village People? What was his name, Dances with Cher? Totem Pole? Get it? Alright, enough of that. Back to the show.

Next, we have to hear about Tenley’s divorce again, which is odd because I wasn’t aware she was divorced. I must have missed it the first five thousand times she mentioned it this season. Of course, that number is a rough estimate. It’s probably much higher than that. Tenley re-asserts her angelic, disease-free status and takes a few moments to bash her awful cheating ex-husband again. No wonder that guy is selling his story. You can only kick a dog so many times before it bites back, Tenley. Seriously, we get it. He cheated. Move on and lay off already. Perhaps an interpretive dance illustrating the raw emotion and heartbreak associated with the divorce would provide some healing. Do us a favor and do that off camera, would you? Jake tells us that he and Tenley want the same things out of a marriage. He doesn’t list any of them but we know that they share an unabashed love of the box step. Oh, and he’s truly falling in love with her too.

Next, we move to Vienna. Is there any doubt she’s going to be the one he picks? Jake tells us that even though she’s been the “center of all of the drama” in the house that their “connection is undeniable.” Even though she’s “a little immature” they can work on maturity together. Right. Look, if this guy wants to put his starter home and gazebo at risk by marrying a 23 year old Hooters waitress with a bitter, broke ex-husband and an unhealthy attraction to her own father, so be it. It’s not like he wasn’t warned. Ali practically set herself on fire trying to tell him that Vienna is trashy. He’ll be wiping eye shadow and tanning cream off the Formica counter tops of his single vanity bathroom and pulling bleach blonde, straightening iron-damaged hair from the shower drain in his starter home in Denton until she meets some rich guy in Dallas and splits. To be fair, her degree in Interpersonal Organizational whatever has to be a difficult perk to walk away from, though. He’s also falling in love with her too. Good luck, Jake.

Oh, and by the way, I nailed Vienna’s Hooters waitress status in my first episode blog. I’m not sure if the fact that I can pick a Hooters waitress out of a crowd of 25 women is a good thing or if it’s pathetic. What matters is that I was right. After all, life is about the small victories, isn’t it?

After the initial set up, we cut to a contemplative Jake wading in the ocean in board shorts and a green t-shirt skipping rocks off of the ocean’s surface and wondering about Ali. Miraculously, just as he’s wondering about Ali, she and the camera crew she brought home with her to San Francisco are waking up. Apparently, Ali sleeps in a monogrammed robe and has a stack of 8x10 glossy pictures of Jake on her nightstand. That actually sounds like something Michelle would do, but whatever. Ali does her best “I’m trying out for the Bachelorette” walk, brood, walk, brood move and tells us that she’s made the mistake of her life by leaving the show. Apparently, her job selling ad space for Facebook was not the answer to everything. Go figure. Incidentally, it looked to me like she had plenty of time to brood in the shadows of various San Francisco landmarks. So much for the demands of the office.

We finally get to the first of the three dates and we see that Gia gets the dreaded first date. Getting the first of the three fantasy dates is like being the fat, injured guy in the Donner Party. The end is inevitable, which is a shame considering the fact that I actually started to like Gia despite her fiberglass face and speech impediment. Sure, she’s a bit shallow and high maintenance, but that doesn’t make her a bad person. I felt like sobbing on a banister.

Jake sports his giant new orange sports watch with gray shorts and a t-shirt. For some reason he’s brought a backpack on the date as well. Gia shows up with a striped, oversized, off-the-shoulder sweater thing she stole from the fat, injured guy in the Donner Party paired nicely with a pair of Daisy Dukes. She “surprises” Jake on Pigeon Island, finally remembers to bring a scrunchy, and off they go to Gross Islet in a speedboat to slum it out among the marijuana and rum soaked locals vying for a few bucks of Jake’s hard-earned cargo pilot money. Jake tells us that “Gia and I’s” relationship is growing. What? Didn’t we go through this with Vienna a few weeks ago? “I” is not a possessive pronoun. He apparently forgot the existence of the word “our” when forming that thought. I’m not sure I trust this guy to fly whoopi cushions and Snuggies from one place to another anymore.

Jake lets us know that he wants to see Gia and her $1,000 shoes among “people who try and make an honest living.” Since when do local Caribbean homeless people make an honest living? The last time I checked modeling in New York was an honest living. It just happens to pay better than attempting to bilk tourists out of their money by selling them trinkets and St. Lucia flags at inflated prices or playing tunes on an overturned plastic bucket and then hounding unsuspecting foreigners until they relent by coughing up their money. Besides, Jake lives in Denton. When was the last time he actually saw a minority much less interacted with one?

Gia is happy because “all the natives are hanging out.” Couldn’t she have gone with “locals” or “residents”? It’s not like she’s going to be tied up and placed in a giant pot of boiling water in the center of the tribe and eaten when the bongos stop. She really needs to go north of 125th Street more often. Jake gets ripped off and buys Gia a trinket necklace from one of the honest natives and for some reason Gia puts it on her wrist. Frankly, the entire thing felt staged. Oh wait, it was.

Gia and Jake go to Smuggler’s Cove with their little remaining money in search of dinner and ridiculously repetitive conversation. They find both. Gia’s deep. Jake’s deep. Gia looks great. Jake looks great. The most interesting thing was the bedazzled hair thing Gia was wearing coupled with a stunning sparkly short dress. Jake tells us that he puts everyone before himself (Please) and that her dream is his dream and his dream is her dream. It was good that he dropped that line when he did because it was time for Gia to purge dinner anyway. Presumably, she thanked him for the assist. In perhaps the most vague and meaningless statement ever uttered by, well, anyone, Gia tells Jake that, “it amazes me that you know how you feel about certain things.” Well said, Gia. Well said. She tells Jake that she’s never met guy as deep as him. Considering the fact that she’s from New York and that the dating pool consists of guys like Pauly D and The Situation from Jersey Shore, I actually believed her. By the way, seeing Gia I couldn’t help but think, “what in the hell is SHE going to do in Denton, Texas?” Can you imagine?

After dinner the Fantasy Suite card from Chris Harrison magically appears. Harrison, who much to my chagrin has yet to make an appearance, invites the lovely couple to spend the night together. Jake acts surprised and does a good job at hiding his fear of sexual contact with a woman. Gia lets us know that “she’s ready to go all the way” and off we go to the fantasy suite where Jake and Gia haphazardly shed all of their clothes before carefully double knotting their bathing suits and gently settling into a bubble bath for some make out shots. Gia looked stunning in her black bikini with pearl straps around her neck. The suit was fitting considering the fact that Jake was not about to give her a pearl necklace. You know, because he already bought her a necklace that day. In the end we are left with the sinking feeling that Jake opted out of a roll in the hay with Gia. What a waste of a Fantasy Suite.

We next go to Rodney Bay where Jake waits anxiously by a helicopter with his giant orange watch on his right wrist. In an instant, Tenley’s parents pull up in the SUV to drop her off and the giant orange watch is on his left wrist. Huh? It was like that shot of Lee Harvey Oswald holding a single action Italian rifle in his backyard where the negative was mysteriously turned backward in order to create the illusion that was holding the rifle in the opposite hand. Tenley arrives in her usual green tanktop and denim shorts looking semi-virginal and divorced and promises her dad that there will be no making out before exiting the SUV and meeting Jake. They hug and Jake lets Tenley know that they are going on a helicopter ride despite the presence of a giant helicopter ten feet in front of them. Tenley makes a mental note to perform an interpretive dance about the flight and off they go.

Jake and Tenley arrive at the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse and proceed to share feelings over a lovely picnic in front of the sugar cane processing plant built by slave labor and abandoned long ago in hopes it would never be seen again. So much for that idea. They might as well have gone to Poland and picnicked on the Auschwitz front lawn.

Jake impresses Tenley with talk of spontaneous free vacations to the Cayman Islands because of his job as a pilot. He failed to mention that she would have to ride in the cargo hold of his plane in a crate with a bottle of oxygen, a jug of water, and a milk jug full of urine in order to get there. Who needs details when love is in the air? Tenley buys his bulls*it and they smooch uncomfortably. Jake and his orange sports watch take Tenley to the beach for some gratuitous bikini shots and some From Here to Eternity make out shots in the surf. Jake does his best Burt Lancaster in board shorts impression and Tenley takes a shot at her Deborah Kerr in a much smaller bikini impression.

Tenley and Jake wash the sand out of their rear ends and gussy up for an evening at Le Sport. Tenley looks lovely in her royal blue summer dress with a red and white strip at the bottom. Jake lets us know that he can “be himself” around Tenley. Predictably, they discuss—what else—her damn divorce. Tenley shows Jake the scarlet letter “A” on her chest and Jake tells us that she makes his heart smile. Good Lord. Jake kicks off his two left footed flip flops because he’s ready to take the box step to the next level. They “dance” to no music for what seemed like an eternity. I really wanted Chicago or Jeffery Osborne to show up, but that didn’t happen. Maybe they were booked. Tenley drops a “you can eat my salmon” line telling Jake “you can dip me forever.” Hey now, I thought she wasn’t that kind of girl. To hell with the bossa nova. Blame it on the box step.

After the dancing, Tenley ices her stepped on toes and reads the Fantasy Suite card from Harrison. She immediately ditches her virginal tendencies and agrees to a night in the suite with Jake. Well, to be fair to Tenley, there was no real risk of sex, but I did find myself yelling at the TV like the audience in a Shaft movie for Jake to close the deal. I realize that’s like yelling at the Cubs to win a World Series, but whatever. Jake tells us he loves Tenley’s values, morals, and temperament. Temperament? Tenley confesses to once having had cooties and they make out a lot. At that point, it was time for me to purge.

Next we go back to Rodney Bay (didn’t he play for the Lakers?) for the big date with Vienna. Jake shows up in red board shorts, a brown t-shirt (presumably the third one in the Fruit of the Loom colored undershirt packet he purchased for his three dates), flip flops, and his giant orange sports watch. He’s ready to see Vienna’s “fun, light, and immature” side. Vienna shows up in orange short shorts and a tank top with an owl on it over that same green bathing suit with the hide the junk in my trunk ruffles she wore in the hot tub in L.A. I suppose she was still hoping for a pearl necklace. You know, because Jake hadn’t bought her one yet. Jake and Vienna board the Unicorn pirate ship and Jake proceeds to make an ass of himself by wearing an eye patch and carrying a rubber sword while spouting pirate metaphors at Vienna. He looked like the Flying Doucheman. It was painful to watch and I’m going to just gloss over it. There’s some face licking, some groping of Vienna’s bow and stern, and a new instrumental version of “On the Wings of Love.” Perhaps I purged too early.

Jake and Vienna climb to the top of his mast and we get some incredibly shameless shots of Vienna’s crows nest. Keeping the phallic symbols alive, Jake shoots his cannon while Vienna giggles wildly and we get a voice over of her best valley girl voice telling us how much she loves life. Jake finds her nurturing. Hmmm, I found her to be a selfish brat, but then again, I wasn’t actually there. I take comfort in knowing that if she and Jake don’t work out, she always has the security of returning to Florida to work at Hooters or in the meth lab her parents run out of the swamp they live in.

Jake sends Vienna out on his plank and then tells us he needs to make sure that their relationship is more than sexual because she’s “pretty smokin’ hot.” We all begin to wonder if the Denton Hooters accepts transfers and offers a relocation package. Jake and Vienna towel off and get ready for dinner. They “wow you look great” each other and Vienna is excited about “Jake and I’s relationship.” Again, with that? I suppose their wedding invite will say something like “Come watch us celebrate Jake and I’s Marriage”. Perfect. Vienna stuffs her face with salad and tells Jake she’d like to run off forever with him. Wait, didn’t she try that already before emptying the guy’s bank account for some free boobs before filing for divorce five months later? Again, who needs details when love is in the air?

Jake asks Vienna what type of engagement ring she’d like and she suppresses the desire to say “a big one,” opting for “princess cut and a thin band.” Subtle move, Jake. I wonder how big a diamond he can get on three months’ cargo pilot salary? Perhaps he can build some backyard gazebos for some extra cash. The Fantasy Suite card comes and Vienna reads it . . . slowly and poorly. Of course, Vienna opts for the fantasy suite, dons a white teddy thing with a black g-string underneath (clearly a faux paux), and undoubtedly sluts it up in an attempt to seal the deal. Those French kissing lessons her dad gave her probably began to pay off. I’m sure Jake slept in his t-shirt and tighty whiteys just to make sure his dirty thoughts didn’t overcome him.

We see Jake in his hotel room after he rinsed off all of the Vienna looking in the mirror and moisturizing. The phone rings and Jake immediately puts on his giant orange watch.

Note to the producers: the orange watch messed up all of your editing this week. It might as well have been a live flare. If you’re going to splice all of the “spontaneous” moments together at least go with a more understated piece of jewelry.

Of course, Ali and her oversized bottom lip are on the phone. She wants to come back, made a mistake, loves Jake, hates her job, blah, blah, blah. Jake gets confused again, tells her he’s forgotten about her, lies about trying to process things, and fulfils his contractual obligation to the show by setting Ali up to be the next Bachelorette. Bad choice, by the way. She’s cranky and pouty. They need someone perky and fun like Jillian. Ali begs and pleads some more, drops to the floor near her cherry cabinets and stainless steel appliances and begins to accept (ironically) the reality of the situation. Jake broods out of his window and does some peeping into the rooms across the way.

Ali will eventually realize that she doesn’t have to live in Denton and she gets to travel the world while 25 overly macho, attention seeking, twenty-somethings fawn over her for another eight shows. That’s what they call in the advertising business a win-win situation. Perhaps if she showed up at work more often, she would know that. Good luck, Ali. We look forward to your invite to be the next Bachelorette next week on the Women Tell All Show.

Jake suits up for the rose ceremony and we all know that Gia and her lips are headed for the St. Lucia airport. Harrison shows up looking better than Jake in his understated, yet carefully tailored black suit and pink oxford shirt a la Danny Zuco at the prom with Sandy. He takes Jake to the temporarily relocated Lair of Seclusion for some what ifs and a recap of the dates. Clearly, Harrison is just punching his ticket this season. He’s got nothing to work with when it comes to Jake. He liked Jillian and Jason and that was obvious in his interaction with both of them. You can see the disdain for Jake lurking just behind Harrison’s eyes. Regardless, Harrison is a consummate professional and has clearly been briefed on all the goings on over the week. I’m sure his intern gave him his talking points over a rum runner and a big fatty at the local St. Lucia strip club. Harrison dials up the pressure, states the obvious, and heads for the rose ceremony.

Jake is confused. . . again. Frankly, he’s confused more than Tenley is divorced. How annoying. Jake views the girls’ video messages, which are predictable and boring. Tenley is giggly. She arrives in a black dress with a yellow flower in her hair. She looked great. Gia, who apparently partook in the smoking of the weed with Harrison before filming her video, arrives wearing a blue silky dress and a strategically placed scrunchy. She looked hot. Vienna tells us in her video that she wants to be with Jake for “the next 80 years.” Assuming Jake’s life span is 112 years that will be possible. Idiot. She arrives in a full length red silky no-so-flattering dress with crimped hair and a sh*tload of make up on. She honestly looked trashy.

Harrison sets up the two roses, helps the girls subtract one from three and retires to his penthouse suite to finish his stash. Jake wants to marry all three women and apparently doesn’t realize that he could just move to Utah and do that. Gia looks pouty and modelly as she gets stiff armed out of a rose. Jake pulls her aside and she fulfils her contractual obligation while sweating like a fat kid on a playground. We imagine that her brother Erick is polishing his brass knuckles and booking his flight to Los Angeles. Gia boards the pimped out SUV, cries enough to prove that her reconstructed tear ducts and nostrils still work but not enough to make a fool out of herself.

So there it is. With the Amazing count at 100, Absolutely at 22, and at Journey 27, Tenley and Vienna remain as the two potential Mrs. Denton Housewives and we move toward the big finale. Next week is the Women Tell All, which should prove interesting. We’ll see Harrison earn his paycheck and we’ll see how bitter Michelle and Rozlyn are. In the meantime, I’ll be swabbing my deck. DP

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bachelor Episode 6: Hand Job or Real Job?

Well, it’s Episode six and we’re down to the top four women vying for a shot at the chance to live the luxurious life of a housewife in the city of Denton. We begin with shots of the Golden Gate Bridge reminding us of last week’s venue of love and see Jake contemplating his big choices as he packs his giant plastic suitcase. Isn’t this guy a pilot? Don’t they all carry those strategically sized leather bags so they can be ready at a moment’s notice? Apparently Jake was not present when they issued those at whatever cargo airline he flies for. Jake is excited about the hometown visits because he’s under the illusion that people are “real” when they are around family. Right. There’s no more sincere relationship than the one most people have with their in-laws. Despite the delusion, off Jake goes to meet Gia’s family.

We go from San Francisco to New York City where we see the expected shots of all the familiar New York landmarks. Yes, it’s Gia’s city and she tells us in her Cher from Moonstruck accent and oversized, off-the-shoulder, bedazzled sweater how excited she is to see Jake. Jake pulls up in “his” black SUV limo thing and hops out to experience the Big Apple. Gia—who has obviously studied the tape of Jillian’s season—does her own version of Jillian’s assumptive greeting by leading with her hooha and jumping into Jake’s arms and wrapping her legs around him like a python around a rat. Jake says something boring and Gia lets him know that they are going to a boat ride as Jake does that weird high up hand holding thing that looked more like a police arrest move than a romantic gesture. I found myself worrying about Gia’s rotator cuff. It appeared he might dislocate her shoulder if not yank her arm off. With her free arm, Gia points out the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and the Statue of Liberty; landmarks that real New Yorkers never visit, but thanks to the limited credit the producers give the viewing audience, Gia has to act like she visits them every day. Jake acts like he’s never seen them either and they take pictures aboard the boat with a digital camera provided by whatever sponsor wanted product placement. Oddly enough, they weren’t mugged for it when they got back to shore. By the way, no Ground Zero? Gia is a New Yorker (allegedly) and Jake is a pilot (allegedly). Why in the world would they not visit Ground Zero so Jake could cry on the railing?

We learn that Jake “wants to know Gia’s heart.” In fact, he and his coral choker necklace are bound and determined to find out what’s inside it. Incidentally, that footage was clearly taken from next week’s show in the Caribbean. Is it really that difficult to get enough footage from Jake in New York to air? Apparently, the answer is “yes.” Hey Jake, Gia’s heart is exactly where Tenley’s heart is: beneath a nice set of boobs. Granted, Jake would have to go through about 1400 ccs of saline to get there, but that’s where her heart is. What a tool.

Gia sports an aqua silk scarf with an odd pattern and demonstrates its versatility by wrapping around her neck, her waist, and finally covering up her shoulders with it. She might have blown her nose with it but I don’t think it’s a real working nose anymore since the reconstruction. Jake again kills the moment by asking the past relationship question and we learn that Gia’s ex was an awful person who slept with all of her friends. At least I think that’s what she was saying. Her hair covered her face like Chewbacca. Perhaps the boat was not such a great idea considering Gia’s flowing locks. Where is a scrunchy when you need one? At that moment the ex-boyfriend was receiving high fives in some Midtown dive and reliving the conquest of all of Gia’s friends. I’m sure he felt guilty for a moment or two before accepting the free shots from the strangers at the other end of the bar. Jake lets us know he’s not dirty and slimy like the ex and that he doesn’t resolve conflict violently. He doesn’t let the sun go down without resolving a problem. The other guy didn’t let the sun go down without hooking up with one of Gia’s friends. I found the difference in philosophy fascinating.

After again being reminded that Gia is from New York we go from Midtown to wherever she is really from and meet her parents, Donna and Tony, and her brothers Dylan and Erick. Everyone gets a fake hug, Jake gives Donna a gift bag and, Gia and her mother cry like two gay guys after killing a bottle of wine watching Beaches when Barbara Hershey dies and Bette Midler is forced to cope. After some inane banter at the dinner table, Gia’s mother pulls Jake aside to see if he is going to break Gia’s heart. Gia’s mother and her dyed hair and pointy nose give us an idea of what Gia would look like sans the little tune up she had. She proceeds—to borrow the parlance of New Yorkers—to bust Jake’s balls about his intentions with Gia. “How would you take care of her,” she asks. I was waiting for Jake to respond, “on my cargo pilot salary.” No such luck. Jake gives canned answers and we clearly see where Gia gets her man skills when her mom bites the hook. A not-so-convinced Erick pulls Gia aside and drops a classic understatement. “He seems alright,” he kindly tells Gia. Translation: he’s a fancy boy. Erick warns Gia to “just watch out” as we get a good look at his Pauly D from Jersey Shore Brooklyn Blowout hairstyle. He seemed sincere but looked like Groucho Marx on meth. He eventually threatened to break Jake’s legs if he hurt Gia. Classic. At least we have that to look forward to on the After the Rose show when his baby sister will be contractually obligated to relive the humiliation of being the second runner up. I hope cargo pilots have good disability insurance.

Gia, her mother, and the scarf have a “private” heart to heart and Gia’s mother gives her blessing because she sees the love in Jake’s eyes. She tells Gia to reach for the stars with one foot on the ground. Great advice, Mom. I’m sure that will comfort Gia next week when she gets booted like an illegally parked car. After accepting her mother’s advice and thanking her brother for threatening Jake, the two leave to sit on a stoop and exchange meaningless chatter between kisses. Gia’s botox holds up well and Jake tells us he’s finally seen the “real Gia.” Right. Frankly, that’s not difficult to do. He could have saved himself the airfare and just searched YouTube for “Gia” and “Maxim” if he wanted to see that.

We next go to Williamstown, Massachusetts to see what Ali has in store for Jake. Ali apparently forgot to pack her clothes because she shows up in the white coat Tenley wore last week on the one-on-one, one of Jake’s flannels from week three, Gia’s undershirt, and some stretch pants she found lying around outside Harrison’s hotel room after last episode’s wrap party. For some reason, the entire ensemble was tied together with cowboy boots. I’m not even gay and I know that outfit didn’t work. Jake shows up in anticipation of another boat ride in his Navy pea coat and gloves. Ali gives Jake a less promiscuous greeting as we notice that the flannel shirt she borrowed from Jake’s week three wardrobe is strategically placed over her rear end. In what seemed like endless small talk, Jake and Ali discuss the fact that in Massachusetts the leaves change color on the trees and eventually drop to the ground. I believe people in the rest of the country refer to that as Fall, but what do I know? The conversation is about as forced as a post-surgical bowel movement. I found myself begging for it to end. Ali takes Jake to “like the middle of her town” and brings him into the creepy empty confines of her deceased grandmother’s house to see if flies cover him and tell him to leave. They don’t. Frankly, I felt sorry for Ali that she had to let an entire camera crew and whoever else parade through what was obviously a sacred place for her. She also wasted that moment on a dolt like Jake. That sucks for her and her grandmother.

After touring the Amityville house, Jake and Ali—who invested in the Bump-It in her down time at the mansion—share an intimate moment and some fake laughs on the lawn before heading to meet her mother, sister, and brother. They toast Jake’s arrival and Ali’s mother informs him that she’s done a search for him online. She and her red sweater with the giant Frosty the Snowman buttons interview Jake in the family gazebo and Jake scrunches his forehead and does that fake smirky, wrinkly face thing that makes me want to punch him. Ali’s mom mistakes that look for real sincerity and gives her blessing for Jake to join the family. Ali gushes about her dreams and gives Jake the hard close. In a move demonstrative of how serious he is, Jake pulls off his gloves and moves in for the big kiss. Booooooring. He failed to mention that he too has a gazebo in the backyard of his starter home in Denton.

Frankly, I was so disappointed at this point that neither Ali nor Gia’s families were nuts. They seemed like nice people, damn it. Why did Michelle have to implode so early? However, I was also encouraged that Vienna’s family would pick up the slack or perhaps Tenley’s ex-husband would come back and beat the hell out of Jake. In other words, I had hope.

Next we go to Newberg, Oregon, Tenley’s hometown. Tenley shows up in her seasonally and geographically appropriate polka dot rain boots and blue rain coat. Jake apparently got the memo because his ultra feminine scarf matched Tenley’s get up perfectly. They hug knowingly and proceed to walk through the pine trees in order to discuss—what else—Tenley’s divorce. For God’s sake, enough with the divorce already. It’s like my high school guidance counselor used to tell me between cigarette drags, “the early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese.” I’m not even sure what that means, but I’m sure it applies here.

Tenley has some tough questions for Jake before she shares the interpretive dance number she’s created especially for him. She wants answers. She thinks she’s entitled. She wants the truth. Apparently, she can’t handle the truth. She seems un-phased when she tells Jake that one of her problems with her ex was that his parents made all of his decisions for him and Jake responds by telling her that he runs “pretty much everything” by his parents. I can hear it already.


Mommy? It’s Jakey. Listen, I know it’s really early but I was wondering if I can wear navy socks with khaki pants or should I go with beige?

Oh Jakey, either is fine. Just be sure you wear brown shoes and that your belt is no more than one shade lighter than your shoes. Oh, and that sweater gramma knitted you looks great with those pants.

Gee, thanks mom.

Tenely takes Jake to her dance studio and does some sort of pseudo-ballet thing for him. We learn that her ex-husband—who took more of a beating on the show than Rhianna on Grammy night—just didn’t appreciate her dancing. To be fair, I’m certain he just appreciated a different type of dance than Tenley was used to choreographing---the lap dance. At any rate, Jake pretends to love the dance but fails to pull out a dollar and tip her. He performs his pathetic boxstep again and leaves to meet Mr. and Mrs. Tenley.

We meet Tenley’s parents. Look, I really wanted to make fun of these people. I really did. They just seem so darn genuine and nice. I’ll leave it at that. When Jake dumps Tenely for Vienna she’ll have a great group of people to go home to. Mr. and Mrs. Tenley question Jake, wear purple, and eventually cry because of Jake’s canned and insincere answers. What’s new? He’s been making me cry all season. Jake is eventually pushed by the producers into asking her dad for Tenley’s hand in marriage. In a moment that would make any D.C. press secretary proud, Mr. Tenley let’s Jake know that he “feels like he could give his blessing” for Tenley to marry “a guy like” Jake. Bill Clinton was more forthcoming in his deposition in the Paula Jones case. Solid. Jake drops his third “your family is awesome” and we hop on a plane headed toward the swamps of Florida to meet Vienna and her family.

In a not-so-subtle mockery of Vienna’s swamp roots, we see her meet Jake in the middle of a Florida swamp as banjo music plays in the background. I looked for Burt Reynolds lurking in the woods with a bow and arrow seeking to fend off homosexual hillbillies, but I didn’t see him. Vienna gives Jake a hug amid the rotting cypress trees and mosquitoes in her Olivia Newton John white and green tank tops with her pink swimsuit top underneath and takes Jake on a boat ride on the river to take in all of the wildlife. Jake sports his purple dress shirt and white undershirt as they comment on the bounty of the swamp. In an attempt to one up Gia for her “you can eat my salmon” comment, Vienna asks Jake “have you ever eaten beaver tail?” Jake responds that he has but we all know that’s not true.

The boat moves slowly down the river in a scene reminiscent of Apocalypse Now. It appeared that Jake was headed to seek out Col. Kurtz to end his tour of duty only to find himself seeing the voyage as a journey into Jake's inner self. It would become an exploration of identity and a metaphor for how the outside world may alter and disrupt the inner ideals and morals of even the most incorruptible person. Alright, I’m sure that didn’t go through Jake’s dense head, but it’s not every day reality television shows draw comparisons to Conrad novellas. Sue me.

Vienna shows off the smarts she learned real good at the University of Central Florida by pointing out various wildlife. Man, that Bachelor’s Degree in Interpersonal Organization and Communication sure does come in handy. Jake ditches (well, he probably took it off and gently folded it) the purple shirt in favor of the white undershirt and they discuss what a saint Vienna’s dad is. Jake looks not-so-thrilled but pretends to be up to the challenge of meeting him. Jake loses the undershirt, puts the purple shirt back on and we continue down the Congo in search of the duality of man.

We finally get a shot of Vienna’s dad holding a toy dog with a pink sweater on and pacing nervously. Frankly, that was weird but not as weird as when Vienna sees her father and greets him like her prom date after a half a bottle of Boone’s Farm. Incidentally, the Boone’s Farm Tropical is clearly the best while the Orange Hurricane or Blue Hawaiian have to be the most likely to make someone puke. Vienna’s father, who is apparently in the witness protection program, takes Jake to the shed to show him a real motorcycle and engage in some uncomfortable macho banter. It was a bit anti-climactic. The family grills Jake, confirms that Vienna has always been hated by women but that somehow makes her “honest”, and eventually gives him tacit approval. Her dad “spontaneously” busts into the room where Vienna and her red ruffley shirt are kissing Jake. Again, anti-climactic.

We next see Jake in a t-shirt he apparently washed in hot, looking contemplatively out of his hotel window. Knock, knock. Uh oh. Who could that be? Harrison? Jillian? Wes Hayden? Unfortunately, it’s none of the above. A distraught Ali enters the room and tells Jake that she must choose between him and her career. Jake is a big, fat no help when he gives Ali advice like “life is about minimizing your regrets” and telling her that she’s “really special.” Thanks, Jake.

Jake’s couch pillows match Tenley’s rain boots and Ali drops to the floor and cries. Apparently, there are no phones or internet linking Dallas. . . I mean Denton to San Francisco. All Jake had to do was call Jason and see how the whole dump Melissa and hook up with Molly thing worked. It’s not like Ali was going off to fight the Germans on the Eastern front. All he has to do is pull a Womack and then pick up the phone. Nonetheless, the seed is planted and we see that Ali is on her way out the door . . . forever.

FINALLY, Harrison arrives in his tailored suit and ready-for-action tie ready to get down to the business of the rose ceremony. The guy has progressed in his role to closing pitcher status. He only shows up now when things are on the line. To hell with the first nine and three quarters innings. He’s the guy we need to sort out the mess. He walks meaningfully into the mansion like Batman into a crime scene and quickly seizes control. He takes Jake to the lair of seclusion and dials up the heat by asking Jake “what if you make the wrong decision” questions. Jake looked as if he was sitting on a bike with no seat. He equivocates, scrunches his eyes and forehead, and is summarily dismissed by Harrison. Mission accomplished. Jake leaves the confines of the lair and retires to an anteroom to mull over the pictures of the ladies under soft blue neon lights. Harrison and his expensive suit greet the ladies at the door. Frankly, they all looked stunning. Even Vienna cleaned up nice for this one, and although her purple dress did accent her broad, manly shoulders, her choice of accessories hid her Adam’s apple well. Gia wore an understated red silky thing and actually covered up her shoulders. Tenley looked envious in green and Ali wore a quilt that minimized her can.

Ali eventually cracks under the immense pressure of the line up and pulls Harrison aside. Harrison blindfolds her and escorts her to the picture contemplating room where she meets Jake to discuss leaving forever. Jake is contractually obligated not to give her an answer but blatantly tips his hand telling her she wasn’t “on the line tonight.” Translation: I’ll pick you if you stay and Gia’s going home. Afraid to decide, Ali puts her legs in Jake’s lap and hems and haws for an ungodly amount of time before Harrison busts in and drops the hammer. I love it. Ali leaves. Tenley smiles sweetly, Vienna basks in sweet victory at the elimination of her rival, and Gia attempted to smile before straining a stitch.

Jake sobs on a banister (there wasn’t an available balcony nearby) and announces that the final three will be going to St. Lucia. With the Amazing count at 73, Absolutely at 12, and at Journey 11, we head to the Caribbean. Until next week. Adios. I’ll be unavailable as I will be deep in the swamps of Florida hunting for beaver tail.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Bachelor Episode 5: Salmon Anyone?

Let’s get right to it. Episode 5 of The Bachelor and we’re down to the final five: Ali, Corrie, Gia, Tenley, and Vienna. We begin with our boring Bachelor Jake telling us about how confused he is. He’s second guessing everything. Apparently his identity is included in his Second Guess List because this week, Jake vacillates between his bad guy leather jacket look and his I’m going to play shuffle board at the yacht club look. God bless whoever got the task of getting this guy to look macho. Jake is the type of guy who is allergic to his own allergy medicine. There’s just not a lot to work with.

We begin with panoramic shots of San Francisco with a voice over of Jake telling us that it’s a great place to fall in love. That’s original. By the way, what happened to New Zealand and Hawaii? Perhaps Jake was too boring or perhaps the extra bag fees would have bankrupted the show. Perhaps the shipping fees for Jake’s sissy-cycle were prohibitive or maybe his helmet wouldn’t fit in the cargo hold. Regardless of the reason, we’re now in Northern California searching for love. Jake appears in his black leather Fonzie jacket and Unibomber hoodie and the girls arrive in the bitch bus ready to claim their territory. Thankfully, we’re done with the motorcycle . . . well, at least for now.

After some gratuitous signage shots that the Intercontinental Hotel undoubtedly shelled out some cash in order to get, Jake escorts the girls to the penthouse suit as if he owned the place. “This was all my idea,” his smug look says as he shows the girls the room amid giggles and “oh my goshes.” Juicy warm ups have been phased out in favor of 30 foot long scarves and $300 jeans and the girls scout out the suite like a bunch of quaffed and polished Sacagaweas. In a moment of foreshadowing, Vienna tells us that it was nice to “rough it” but it will be nice to be treated like a princess. Presumably, by “roughing it” she was referring to the excruciating five hour drive and sleeping in the luxury tour bus complete with full sized beds, a bathroom, a shower, a full refrigerator, and unlimited alcohol.
In a Harrison-esque moment, Jake appears to announce the obvious. The RV trip is over and he’s going to “step it up a bit”—whatever that means. By the way, where the hell was Harrison? I suppose his extra appearance last week to comfort a crying and indecisive Jake put him back into the contract negotiations room.

“How about this, Mr. Harrison, you don’t have to make the trip to San Fran this week? We’re really sorry about the mix up.”

“You’re damn right you are.” Harrison—1, Producers—0.

Jake does his best Harrison impression and announces that there will be 3 one-on-one dates and 1 two-on-one date and the over-thinking begins to pour out like free whiskey in Chris Harrison’s hotel room.

Ali insults Vienna in her purple ruffley shirt and despite being from Massachusetts tells us that San Francisco is her town. Huh? Vienna fires back that she’ll be pissed if Ali gets the one-on-one date. Unfortunately for both of them, Tenley gets it and proceeds to jump up and down like a four year old at a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. . . a really hot 4 year old. She’s nervous, she’s sweaty, and she’ll be devastated if she goes home. Vienna attempts to smother her with a pillow but upon realizing the camera is rolling, pretends to fan her in order to cool her engines. Tenley bounces to the next room to get ready.

She emerges more dressed up than a sore finger in a different 30 foot long scarf and a white coat looking a little like Erin Gray from the old Buck Rogers series. For the Tenthly time we hear the ex-husband cheated on me story and we wonder where her heart really is—well, I didn’t. I was too busy thinking about other stuff, but Jake appeared to be wondering. Jake says something boring and we are then subjected to excruciating shots of them snuggling in front of the trolley, in the back of the trolley, inside the trolley, hanging outside of the trolley. I could go on. My San Fran geography is a little off, but I believe that was the Cliché Street trolley that picked them up. We learn that they are going to Chinatown on their date. What? What a ripoff. If Tenley wanted to see a bunch of Asians argue with each other she could have stayed at the hotel and rented Joy Luck Club. Jake could have stayed home and rented Deer Hunter for that matter. No wait, that’s rated R. Maybe he could have watched Mulan or Mulan II. Nice date, Jake.

Jake and Tenley suffer through forced conversation and contrived situations for a while. They mock Chinese culture by trying on racist hats and making their own fortune cookies. Jersey Shore was more politically correct. They watch some Chinese guy play some weird instrument in a urine soaked alley and head off because Jake wants to have some “serious conversation.” He wants to “get in her head” he tells us. Dude, what about applying the same rationale to her pants? He’s like Iceman in Top Gun with Maverick behind him impatiently waiting to take the shot. Kill the Russian Mig, Jake. Mike Brady and the gay Darren from Bewitched were more masculine and decisive than this guy.

Before the serious talk we cut to the ladies-in-waiting sitting back at the suite waiting anxiously for the next date card. Ali and Gia display their right shoulders and wildly speculate about when Tenley will return home. Frankly, I just assumed she’d come home around elevenly or twelvely. That joke just doesn’t get old. At any rate, a knock at the door sends Corrie bounding across the room like Errol Flynn in that Robin Hood movie in order to retrieve the coveted envelope. Gia tells us that she is “about the throw up.” Either she was really anxious or it was just time to regurgitate the potato chip and jelly bean she ate for lunch.

In a rare show of humor, Corrie fools Ali and Vienna by saying that they are on the two-on-one date. A none too pleased Ali makes a jerk out of herself when Corrie lets us know that she’s just kidding. Gia and Vienna get the two-on-one and Vienna confronts Ali who goes into denial. To be fair, Ali was probably tired from putting make up on both of her faces that morning. Ali hems and haws and backpedals in a refusal to own up to what she said about Vienna. Vienna shows us her long face—oh, and she appeared sad too—and we cut to an out of sequence interview with a dolled up Vienna telling us that she’s not going to let Ali “break up Jake and I.” Nice grammar, Vienna.

“I” is the first person singular subject pronoun, which means that it refers to the person performing the action of a verb. For example:

I want to go hot tubbing with Jake or;

Boring, vapid men are the ones I like; or

Ali and I are going to fight to the death.

“Me” is an object pronoun, which means that it refers to the person to which the action of a verb is being done or to which a preposition refers. For example:

When I threw myself at him, Jake told me to leave; or

Ali gave me a dirty look; or

Chris Harrison needs to talk to Ali and me.

And they said my English degree would never come in handy. Take that, people who never hired me.

Jake then uses the points of interest lines that the producers fed him and eventually takes Tenley to the top of Coit Tower for dinner and some buzz-killing discussion about Tenley’s divorce. . .again. Jake again wonders where Tenley’s heart is; apparently ignoring the fact that he has to look past two breasts to find out, and Tenley puts him at ease. After all, this stuff is serious business and Tenley was married before. It was at this point that Jake went from pretty annoying to pissing me off. Looking like a German DJ in his skin tight black turtleneck Jake assures Tenley that his inane divorce questions come “from the heart.” There’s nothing quite like killing a once in a lifetime date by bringing up the most painful memory in a woman’s life. I began rooting for Ali. Judgmental Jake lists out his “expectations” for a wife, Tenley looked as if she was going burst out in laughter, and we learn that “cheating is a choice.” Unfortunately, a lack of personality isn’t. Strong stance, Jake. What a fool.

We cut next to the California Suite where the biggest chest since Rozlyn left the show awaits Vienna and Gia for their double date with Jake. Vienna is excited that she and Gia get to be “Jake’s Queens” for the day. Jake’s Queens, huh? Sounds like a gay dance troupe to me. At any rate, the magical chest is filled with more scarves and accessories for them to wear. Vienna—under the illusion that Jake actually set that up—says it was sweet of him to think about their cold, innocent necks like that. Gia just appears happy to have stuff to try on. Vienna pulls a classic psych out on the intellectually inferior Gia a la Schwarzeneggar did to Ferrigno in Pumping Iron. Gia begins to feel the insecurity and the limo motors on to Castello di Amorosa (the castle of love). We get a voice over from the forlorn, scrunchy foreheaded Jake wondering how to divide his attention between the two ladies. Hey Jake, the French figured that out already. It’s called a ménage a toi. The girls arrive at the castle and Jake walks out like he built the thing. Vienna ponders, “is this an actual castle?” “Yes,” Jake answers. “Twelfth Century Tuscan.” Uh, wait a minute. The last time I checked the only thing running around California in the 12th Century was a bunch of naked Indians and Tuscany was located in Italy. Apparently oblivious to this, the girls take Jake’s answer as gospel and go exploring.

Vienna proceeds to come on stronger than a garlic sandwich and Gia is relegated to third-wheel status. She appears lost in thought—which is clearly unfamiliar territory for her—as Vienna dominates the conversation in an attempt to deliver the knock out punch to Gia. Gia chews on her week old finger Band Aid as Vienna holds nothing back. She was like Muhammad Ali the moment after he comes out of the Rope-a-Dope. Gia might as well have gotten up and refilled their drinks.

Oh, but wait. Jake asks if he can “steal” Gia away for some alone time. In the dirtiest thing said on this show since Channy’s “you can land your plane on my landing strip” line, Gia looks Vienna squarely in the face and says, “you can eat my salmon.” Hey now. Now we’re getting somewhere. Unfortunately, Jake doesn’t get it. Well, either that or he just doesn’t like “salmon.” At this point, I’m beginning to think that either one is just as likely as the other.

Gia—who actually looked very pretty and seemed really sincere—does her best to suppress her Jenny from the Block accent and opens up to Jake before throwing herself at him in an attempt to suck his brain through the back of his throat. Jake drops some really sexually provocative adjectives like, “kind, sweet, generous, and gorgeous,” and Gia feels validated. I was praying for Wes Hayden to burst in, grab Gia, and close the deal. Where is he when you need him? I’ll tell you where he is. He’s in a bar in Austin, Texas laughing. In the meantime, Vienna pretends like the well lit castle is really scary and for some reason carries a lantern in an attempt to find and block the sucking of the faces. In a moment that literally made me choke on my Lone Star beer, Jake lets Gia know “it’s ok to fall.” In love, we presume. Good Lord.

Vienna drops the “boyfriend” word and makes reference to being in the dungeon. Apparently, she is still under the impression that this is a real castle. She and Jake get some alone time before he has the opportunity to wash off all of the excess Gia. Vienna does her best Glen Gary Glen Ross impression despite never having heard of David Mamet and puts the assumptive close on Jake over and over. She changes scarves, talks a little crazy about Jake, and we cut back to the hotel where Ali, Tenley, and Tenley’s twin, Corrie, await the next envelope. We finally get a look at what’s been making Ali so upset for the past two weeks: her large backside. Granted, she’s not overweight and she is lovely; but her trailer is clearly carrying more cargo than Vienna’s. Corrie gets the next date and she and her apricot sweater are relieved. Ali pretends to be happy and leaves the room in search of comfort food and a longer scarf to cover her rear end.

A shirtless Jake gets ready for bed and Vienna ditches her digs with Gia to grab a bottle of wine and surprise Jake in his bedroom. Not surprisingly, Jake is not happy to see an attractive, horny, half-drunk woman with a bottle of free wine in his room. Gia comments, “I mean everyone appreciates someone that’s forward. But I think she’s making a mistake.” Translation: Vienna has probably been on her back more than Michaelangelo. Jake confesses to having “dirty thoughts” but doesn’t want any salmon.

Corrie puts on her blue sweater dress, black leggings, heels, and ties it all together with a Minnie Mouse belt and walks—that’s right, walks—to meet Jake on their date. Where is that stupid motorcycle when you need it? Geez. Jake aggressively runs at Corrie across a field. They hug, take a moment to admire his new boat shoes and knit shirt, and get into a rowboat for a trip around a fake lake with ducks in it. I’m sure that smelled lovely. Corrie wonders if there are gators in California. Jake authoritatively says no but is pretty sure there are sharks but luckily not in the duck pond—we assume he checked. We begin to see The Bachelor date budget dwindle. Let’s recap: Coit Tower, Limo to Castle, Expensive Dinner, Rowboat.
Corrie and Jake have a staring contest on the “lake” because he doesn’t have a ukulele and we begin to realize Corrie is on the chopping block. Jake and Corrie go to dinner and don’t eat salmon. She gains some ground over a glass of apple juice with her “I’m a virgin who won’t live with you until I’m married” speech and Jake about pees on himself with excitement when he realizes there’s no chance she’s going to be seeking sex later. Corrie is a nice, sweet person. I liked her the entire time. Kudos for not appearing desperate or slutty. It’s hard to pull both of those off on this show.

Ali and her caboose get the last one-on-one date and she emerges from her Medusa-like trance. She’s what we used to call “Chicago hot:” great face, large ass. Nonetheless, she conceals it well in her purple stealth dress and suede knee boots. Alright, I’m just being mean. She looked nice. I’m just tired of hearing her whine.

Jake shows up dressed like the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island for a tour of San Francisco. Oh, and by the way, why in the heck was there no Alcatraz on the trip? Odd. Nonetheless, Jake looks natural carrying Ali’s purse and they stop off at Ali’s “favorite” florist. Ali muses that it’s a dream of hers to find a man who enjoys flowers. Yea Ali, I’m sure it’s really difficult to find a sensitive man who loves floral arrangements in downtown San Francisco. To be fair, all of those men already have boyfriends and—thanks to the tireless work of some folks in the Castro—some of them already have hunky husbands like Jake.

Jake sips his frappamochaexpressachino—presumably, it’s a diet. Ali informs us that her family is far from perfect but her mom, sister, and brother would love to meet him. This is what most men would refer to as a Red Flag. Allow me to interpret: I hate Vienna because she’s mentioned that her father treats her like a princess. My father is nowhere in the picture. I have unresolved daddy issues which will be revisited upon you tenfold if you chose me. Oh boy. Jake focuses on Ali’s mistreatment of Vienna, ruins another date with his “serious questions” but does get an opportunity to check out her disproportionate hip to waist ratio when Ali straddles him and they talk in the park. The date ends well as Jake demonstrates the effectiveness of his new boat shoes by “spontaneously” suggesting a run into the water.

We move to the rose ceremony with the tension thicker than a San Francisco tube steak. Vienna shows up for her solo shot with her Lady Gaga make up and her George Washington wig on. Tenley gets some alone time with Jake and he reassures her. She looked pretty. In a weird moment, she asks Jake to dance. He shows her a really poor version of what appeared to be the boxstep. Corrie drops the “just because I’m a virgin doesn’t mean I’m not in touch with my sensual side.” Translation: you can look at the salmon on the menu, you just can’t order it. Jake tells us that sex appeal is not everything. In his case, it’s nothing.

A smoking hot Gia gets Jake alone for some reassurance and discusses having her family meet Jake. Frankly, I’m anxious to see Jake travel up to New York meet Gia’s abrasive, Long Island family. I can only imagine her parents are like Cyndi Lauper and Captain Lou Albano (before he died) and I’d relish the opportunity to see what Gia would have looked like had she not had her face Bondoed and sanded.

In a telling move, Jake takes Vienna to his suite and crosses the Delaware in a make out session on his balcony. Seriously, did she do her hair in the dungeon? She could have used a few more lanterns. I was waiting for Paul Revere to ride by and tell her the Redcoats were coming. Perhaps that's where she got that lantern.

FINALLY, Chris Harrison shows up after getting the stripper glitter off of his black suit, kills the moment with the ubiquitous champagne glass and cocktail fork, and brings Jake back to the lair of seclusion to discuss the women. Jake cliché’s his way through it and Harrison wishes he hadn’t left the stripper party. He leaves in search of a happy ending in East Bay and Jake emerges to do his dirty work. Jake takes the words “amazing” and “absolutely” to a new level by saying the girls are “absolutely amazing.” Alliteration aside, I’ll give him credit for the phrase. It may be his best moment of the season. It’s no, “look, that bird has no foot,” but hey, it’s Jake.

Tenley and her perkiness, Ali and her trailer, Gia and her lip gloss, and Vienna and her rats’ nest get the roses and Corrie and her intact virginity get eliminated. She cried just enough but not too much, said some nice things, and exited with her dignity and her reputation. A teary-eyed Jake completed his apple juice toast and with the “Amazing” count at a mind-blowing 61, the “Abosolutely” count at 7, and the “Journey” count at 5, we end with teasers of what looks like an interesting hometown week. My prediction is that Ali finally melts down and either gets Michelled or leaves on her own accord. Vienna is gonna win. Your comments are welcome below. Let me know that you think. If you need me, I’ll be drinking a glass of wine and eating some salmon.