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.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bachelor Episode 3: Crazy Ain't Just for Patsy Cline

My oh My. We have a lot of ground to cover this episode. However, I’d like to begin with two housekeeping items. As of last week the “Absolutely” count was 2. The “Journey” count was 1. The “Amazing” count was 15. After this episode the “Journey” count rose only slightly to 4 and the “Absolutely” count held steady at 2. However, the “Amazing” count exploded to a surprising 33—that’s 18 “amazings” in one episode for those of you without math degrees. The show should provide the contestants with a thesaurus.

Also, the story all over the entertainment sites and shows this week was the over-hyped departure of Rozlyn due to her alleged “affair” with a producer. Did anyone get a look at this guy? He’s not exactly George Clooney. It just goes to show that nothing trumps fat, dumpy, and middle-aged quite like the word “Producer” after your name. Nice job, pal. They should double his unemployment check for hooking up with a woman that far out of his league. Now that we’re clear on that, let’s get to the breakdown.

We begin with the standard promo shots of Jake risk taking by bungee jumping, riding his motorcycle, and attending a John Lovitz comedy show. Yes, the last one is a risk. After a few more teasers we are greeted by our never present host, Chris Harrison. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the guy is Money. Dressed in a gray v-neck and a black sport coat—a subtle harbinger of the controversy and pain to follow—Harrison announces two one-on-one dates and one group date. Everyone’s Juicy warm up suits perk up in anticipation. “Will it be me?” their looks scream as Gia lunges forward and rips the envelope from Harrison’s hand in her oversized fat girl sweater which falls ever so carefully off her shoulder a la Jennifer Beals in Flashdance. I was waiting for her to sit down in a chair and get hit with a bucket of water from above.

Despite Michelle REALLY wanting the date (oh, I’ll get to her later), we learn that Vienna is the lucky girl. Michelle gets in an “I’m really attractive and I consider Vienna my opposite” dig and the crazy fuse is ignited. Vienna does her best not to rub it in everyone’s face and the women do their best to act happy for her. Ali (oh, I’ll get to her later too) feels “betrayed” by Vienna’s date because she and Jake’s date was “so special.” The word “delusional” came to mind.

Jake shows up in his “I’m dangerous” leather coat and the same t-shirt he wore on last week’s date with Ali. He puts on his giant helmet and Vienna puts on Ali’s giant helmet and away they ride on that stupid motorcycle for a dream date. We get a voice over of Jake as we see he and Vienna’s stunt doubles ride down the PCH on Jake’s scooter. Jake tells us that Vienna is “the life of the party” and that he’s never dated anyone like her. He is again “out of his comfort zone.” Something tells me that Jake’s comfort zone when it comes to women consists of hiding beneath his covers in his footed pajamas in his starter home in Denton well past his bedtime with a flashlight and a Playboy. . .make that a Cosmo.

Nonetheless, the editing staff does its best to make him look edgy and daring by giving us a close up of his bad guy from Grease motorcycle boots (which match his belt, by the way) and leather gloves. Jake tells us that he loves adventure dates and he’s ready to see if Vienna can keep up. They get aboard a helicopter and we quickly sense that Jake is beyond nervous. Why? Is it the proximity of a real woman? The anticipation of closeness? Vienna’s eye makeup? Bad gas? No, ladies and gentlemen. Apparently, Jake is afraid of heights and the date he’s “planned” involves bungee jumping off a bridge. Are you kidding me? Note to Jake: it’s not a good idea to include an activity that scares you beyond imagination on a date where you want to impress a woman. I don’t know what was on his Outlook To Do list when he woke up and checked his email but it was not “Kick Ass and Take Names.”

On the way to the big jump the helicopter does a flyover of the mansion and we see Michelle and her tramp stamp laying out at the pool simmering in crazy (oh, I’ll get to her in a bit). Kathryn tells us that Vienna “has ruffled some feathers” at the house. Translation: We hate her and this episode is all about how much we hate her. Michelle keeps cooking up the crazy while the other women plot against Vienna.

In the meantime. . .

Vienna and her version of the off the shoulder Flashdance sweater do their best to convince us that it’s really cute that Jake has made himself vulnerable, blah, blah, blah. We cut to a shot of him whining like a schoolgirl about bungee jumping while Vienna does her best to comfort him. I had a hard time figuring out who was more feminine. I was waiting for him to ask for his mommy. So much for “my office is at 37,000 feet” and “I’m here to take chances.” Jake proved himself to be a word that starts with a “P,” and it’s not “Pilot.” Adventure date, my ass.

After he’s done sobbing on yet another railing, Jake appears in his Garanimals V-neck sweater and compliments Vienna by saying that she rose to the occasion by being there for him in his moment of weakness. Translation: she’s tougher than I am. They discuss his shaking and carrying on over an appropriate glass of white wine—which was probably apple juice—and we wonder just how overprotective and controlling Jake’s mother was when he grew up. Jake fakes like he had fun and pretends to listen to Vienna while he does that annoying raising of the eyebrows and scrunchy forehead thing.

Ding dong. The doorbell rings and the ladies run to see what the magic envelope holds. Carrie, Elizabeth, Ali, Tenley, Ashleigh, Jessie, Kathryn, and Michelle land the group date and Michelle is none too happy. She came to the mansion for a one-on-one. Ella, Gia, Valishia, and Vienna will sit this one out at home. Michelle’s fuse grows shorter and shorter and we all begin to realize that we’re in for something special. We will soon learn that you can’t spell Michelle without hell . . . as in Crazy as. No, this show doesn’t allow fat girls but it has an open door policy on whackos.

Jake and Vienna close their date—how else?—by putting on their bathing suits and going for a let’s talk about our feelings swim. Vienna shows up sporting a green bikini with a frilly hide the junk in my trunk bottom and Jake emerges in his Garanimals swim trunks. He quickly departs the pool area and dons a blue towel that undoubtedly had the same animal on the tag as his swimsuit and, looking like Sparta-wus, he struts to retrieve the rose. Jake articulates his feelings like a drunk person with a speech impediment and presents Vienna with the coveted rose. Vienna clearly earned it. Good for her. Vienna does her best to speak in extreme absolutes by telling us she’s had the “best day ever in her life” and that she is on “Cloud Jake.” She should have had to forfeit the rose for that last comment.

We cut back to the mansion where the close living quarters and all of the binging and purging over the last two weeks have clearly taken their toll. Ashleigh leads off the attack on Vienna by saying she’d rather watch paint dry than hear Vienna talk. To be fair, enjoying the sight of drying paint probably qualifies her to be with Jake.

Michelle takes center stage and the bus leaves the mansion for an on time arrival at the intersection of Crazy Street and Desperation Drive. In a manic rant Michelle tells us that kissing Jake will involve “crazy tongue in the mouth” and “ripping of shirts.” Michelle using the word “crazy” is tantamount to Bigfoot using the word “elusive.” Hell, when he gets home Jake should take some plaster casts of the footprints around his starter home in Denton and see if they match up to Michelle’s shoe size. Michelle is like the Michael Jordan of instability. You can’t stop her; you just hope you can contain her. She’s so nuts squirrels try to bury her. Loopy, I tell you.

Jake shows up for the group date in a plaid button up looking like a big Scotch tape dispenser. Michelle leads the pack of vixens and greets Jake with a big, crazy hug and off they go to the John Lovitz Comedy Club where they learn that they will be doing a comedy routine for a full house. John Lovitz? I’d rather listen to Chicago in the park.

Back at the mansion we learn that Ella has earned the one-on-one date and she shows us her spirit fingers to prove it. Good for her. Vienna reiterated how “amazing” her date was and Gia, whose mouth looks like a sex toy, was irritated. Seriously. Does anyone think that Gia is actually 26 years old? When I look at her face I find myself wondering is she’s going to bust through the doors of an art museum with her henchmen and attempt to kidnap Vicki Vale before being thwarted by Batman. She looks like the freaking Joker. If she’s 26, then I’m Hemmingway.

Ashleigh is more nervous than Jake on a bridge at the prospect of performing in front of a crowd. Jake actually attempts to help her by writing a joke on a piece of paper. I can only imagine it said, “me on my motorcycle.” The nursing home busses offload the “crowd” and each girl takes a turn at comedy. Highlights included Ali looking very Britney Spears-ish telling grade school jokes, Elizabeth horrifying Jake’s virgin ears by working a little blue, Michelle demonstrating her crazy, and Corrie piling on the already battered Vienna. Tenley actually lied on the ground and pulled her legs over her head. If this thing doesn’t work out for her, I’m certain pornography giant Vivid Entertainment will offer her the lead in Schindler’s Fist or Catcher in the Rear. Jake, of course, was unimpressed with Tenley’s talents. Is he a eunuch?

All in all the “comedy” show was painful to watch. All of the girls seemed really uncomfortable on stage. Perhaps if there was a pole and a disco ball in the middle of the stage and some blaring AC/DC music, the show would have been better.

Back at the mansion Vienna and Gia square off as do Ali and Michelle. Elizabeth gets in a priceless jab when she hypothesizes that Michelle needs a therapist rather than a husband. Jake arrives at the cocktail party and wants to take things to a serious note. Congratulations, Jake. You just succeeded in beating Chris Harrison as the top buzz killer on the show. Unafraid, Tenley takes Jake aside to bear her soul. She tells us that Jake knows nothing about her. Well, to be fair, he knows she can lie on her back and pull her legs over her head. Is there really anything else he “needs” to know? The rest is just window dressing, isn’t it? Anyhoooo, she finally gets to tell Jake that annoying “I was a virgin who got married and he cheated on me” story and Jake does that raised eyebrows scrunching of the forehead thing again.

Jake changes his Scotch tape shirt to a V-neck sweater that Harrison loaned him and Ashleigh makes the cardinal sin of Bachelor cocktail parties. Well, there are more than one cardinal sins at cocktail parties, but you get the idea. She pulls Jake aside to tell him that Vienna is despised by all of the women in the house and that she’s just not right for him. Watch the tape, ladies. This strategy never works. All she had to do is ask Jake how badmouthing someone worked out for him on the Bachelorette. He ended up crying on a balcony at the Austin Hyatt and flying alone back to his starter home in Denton. Seriously, it’s like trying to run up the middle on the Ravens or throw to the sideline against Deion Sanders. Or, to put it in female terms: it’s like wearing black underwear with white capris. Bad idea, Asleigh. It’s not your decision.

Vienna continues to get plowed by all of the women in the house and Gia hairlips and botoxes her to death; ultimately concluding that Vienna is somehow “dangerous.” Ok. Vienna cries and retires to her chamber where she pens a missive to Jake reminiscent of Paul to the Corinthians while he was being persecuted. Well, not really, but it was pretty dramatic. Ali gets Jake alone and almost drops the “L” word to an uninterested and bored Jake. She too plays the Vienna is Wrong Card, albeit not as harshly as Ashleigh. Ali leaves Jake and proceeds to ruin her girl next door persona by budding into all of the drama in the house. She reminded me of Lenny in Of Mice and Men when he tries to pet the bunny and ends up squeezing it to death. Don’t squeeze the bunny, Ali. Don’t squeeze the bunny.

We then get a foreboding shot of Michelle lurking on the balcony above impatiently waiting for her opportunity to show Jake just how unstable she really is. Jessie comments that being around Michelle is “like walking on egg shells.” Yea, really, really crazy egg shells. Ali confronts her and Michelle saunters off from the stone throwing hoard in her swashbuckler boots in search of Jake. You could almost hear the producers yell, “get it over with, Jake” as she approached. I’ll shorten this by simply saying that she went even crazier and once he was convinced she wasn’t carrying a sword or a rapier with her swashbuckler outfit, Jake took out the trash. Good luck, Michelle . . . and good riddance. Someone remind Ali to look over her shoulder every time she steps out of her apartment for the rest of her life. You can’t fix crazy.

An upset Jake tells us that he “just wants to go home.” To his mommy and a warm cup of milk, perhaps? Despite Tenley’s heart wrenching confession, Jake chooses not to give anyone a rose and heads back to his sissy lair for some quiet reflection and a stiff glass of Kool-Aid before putting on his footed pj’s and going to bed with his flashlight.

Jake shows up for his date with single mom Ella in a new lumberjack shirt with his leather jacket draped over his shoulder in a move more staged than a five act play. As the helicopter shows up Vienna shows us her long face. Oh, and she seemed sad too. She attempts to apologize to the other women for—well, I’m not really sure what for and they all seem to buy it until Ali squashes the moment along with Vienna’s confidence. Ashleigh piles on and more crying ensues. I’ll give Vienna credit for trying. No good deed goes unpunished. When she gets a big fat engagement ring in a few weeks she can use it to deflect the insults and negativity hurled her way by the Jealous Janes in the house. That’s right. She’s going to win.

Ella and Jake land at Sea World and in a move more telegraphed than Tony Romo’s last interception, her 7 year old son shows up to “surprise” her. Jake acts like he set the entire thing up by himself and attempts to bond with the kid. He actually appeared more awkward than he does with the women and quickly dropped a “ready to find your mom?” after the producers had enough footage to make it work. By the way, doesn’t Jake owe the kid an apology for taking his favorite toy? Remember that Ella highjacked his favorite plane to give to Jake in order to secure a place in the top 15. Instead, Jake gives him a paper plane and a rub on the head. Thanks, “Dad.” I’ll admit that he looked sincere but let’s face it, this guy looks down on single parents and he’s not looking for someone who is divorced and he’s certainly not looking for someone who is divorced with a kid. Congrats on playing ball for the show, Jake. Ella is clearly a nice person and I hope Jake cuts her loose soon so she can go be with her son. Besides, had the date lasted any longer she would have asked the “how much do cargo pilots earn” question. Talk about awkward. The date ends and we assume they got the kid back to the prop department at Universal Studios. I hope the real Ethan enjoyed watching from home in Tennessee.

Jake and Ella go to dinner—apparently at some place really close to a duck farm because that’s all I could hear in the background. Jake tells her that the “only thing he has to offer is honesty.” I guess that answers the “how much do cargo pilots earn” question. She gets a rose and we gear up for the final cocktail party before the dreaded rose ceremony.

Again, Jake takes buzz killing to a new level when he shows up to the party on a mission. Elizabeth is first. He reiterates how “confusing” she is for him and christens her the “Queen of Mixed Signals.” What? She’s been trying to get you to feel her up for two weeks now. It’s as obvious as the zit on Ella’s face. In a contrived for TV moment he calls her a tease and Elizabeth melts down just enough to seal her fate. That’s too bad. I actually liked her. Maybe she and Michelle can share a therapist. Elizabeth is done for sure when Vienna—and her I’m not leaving here tonight rose—show up to steal Jake away. Elizabeth locks herself in the bathroom. Ali buds in to tell Vienna that it was not fair to talk to Jake because she had a rose. Whatever, Ali. This is a competition, not an exhibition. Being assertive is a good thing. In an attempt to save face, Elizabeth composes herself, lets us know that she’s still deciding if she will choose Jake and gives a win one for the Gipper plea to Jake.

Harrison shows up in a muted purple shirt and purple tie complimented by a tailored black suit with his fork and champagne glass and announces the beginning of the carnage. Jake promises to let his heart lead—whatever that means—and stares forlornly at the head shots of the women in his dome of seclusion, or whatever you call that room he goes to in order to stare forlornly at the head shots of the women.

Gia, Corrie, Tenley, Ali, Jessie, Kathryn, Ashleigh, Vienna, and Ella are all safe and Valisha (who said more in her departing speech than she has in the past 4 shows) and Elizabeth are eliminated proving my aforementioned maxim: Desperate and Alone equals Limo Ride Home. In all, Jake eliminated a mute, a certifiably crazy woman, and the Queen of Mixed Signals. I can’t wait until next week. Until then, if you need me I’ll be bungee jumping.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bachlor Episode 2: Jake's a Tool

Let’s get to it. Episode two of what I thought was The Bachelor aired on Monday. I say “thought” because it’s quickly turning into Flavor of Love—well, minus the purple hair extensions. We begin with the usual montage of our bachelor Jake putting his stupid motorcycle and rocking bod through their paces. Yes, he’s footloose and fiancé free and---oh, you know the rest. Chris Harrison tees up the show like Tiger Wood’s rear Escalade window and off we go into Jake’s search for the love of his life . . .or something like that.

Chris Harrison appears at the mansion where all the girls have conveniently gathered for morning coffee. He’s sporting jeans and an untucked and semi-unbuttoned purple button down with stripes. Purple is the new black and Harrison clearly got the memo. He’s casual, but hold the phone. The starch in the collar tells us he means business. He reiterates the rules of the game as if the women on the show hadn’t been studying the tapes of previous seasons like Peyton Manning before a Patriots’ game. The giggles and squeals tell us that it’s first group date time and the envelope is revealed as the camera cuts to Michelle twitching like a World War II Veteran at a fireworks display asking—no, begging--for her name to be on the paper. Fat chance. The producers smelled crazy the second she arrived at the compound and are clearly going to make her sweat. I’m sure they took the precaution of securing all of the sharp objects prior to this episode.

Gia, Roslyn, Felicia (or is it Alicia?), Corrie, Christina, and Ashley H. get the lucky date and Michelle all but comes unglued. It was more painful to watch than Jake on his scooter-cycle with his giant helmet. By the way, what is up with that giant helmet? Seriously. Paint that thing white and he might as well be doing a Jack in the Box commercial. You could serve punch out of that thing. At any rate, Jake shows up looking boring in his solid French blue untucked oxford shirt and jeans. The shirt was unbuttoned just past his testicles. He looked like Tom Jones except without the chest hair, talent, and sex appeal. The women looked past it and they all hop into the extended SUV stretch limo for a “surprise” date. The awkwardness in the limo was palpable. The girls laughed nervously at whatever Jake muttered. He looked about as comfortable as a bastard on Father’s Day.

We cut next to the hotel where the “surprise” is revealed by “Hal” from InStyle Magazine. Apparently, this magazine is to women what pro football is to men. They all go nuts when Hal—who is as gay as pink ink—explains that they will be part of a photo shoot. Well, all except Christina—more about that later.

Roslyn, who is especially determined to win the rose, announces her comfort in front of the camera and the only girl who can even come close to competing with her, Gia, does the same. Roslyn does get in a brutal dig when she claims that she’s been mostly in “bridal magazines while I think Gia does like lingerie stuff.” Classic. Translation: I think Gia’s a dirty tramp. Regardless of the in fighting, Roslyn goes first and shows up the rest of the women as they all sit in awe of her ability to stand and smile. She ends by showing us what she had for breakfast and confidently retires to bask in her hotness. Next, Gia, who looks like the offspring of J. Lo. and Calista Flockhart, hairlips her way through the shoot. During this time Jake is being sufficiently boring and uncharming. This guy kills me. They might as well have put a cardboard cut out next to the girls. Blue steel? Le Tigre? Ferrari? It’s all the same look. Mix it up a little, Jake. The photographer, who looked like a homosexual version of D-Day from Animal House, sensed Jake’s one dimensional-ness and tells him to “think of something kind of dirty.” I’d be willing to bet that Jake thought about the load of laundry he left in his hamper back in Denton or maybe about the improper fractions he was forced to work on in fifth grade despite his protests. Whatever.

In the meantime, Christina and her furry eyebrows were gripping harder than a cat over a bucket of water about the photo shoot. She was intimidated by Roz and Gia and she was worried that she wouldn’t look good and she’d never done this before . . . Thus, the invention of the mute button. Jake apparently wanted her to feel better so he tells her that the dress makes her eyes look nice and a few other contrived and insincere compliments the producers whispered in his ear off camera. He then gives her a fake hug. She buys it and powers through the photo shoot. That hug was one of those only on the neck hugs that you give someone when you’re forced to give a hug. Seriously, Jake, the Venus De Milo could manage a better hug. No wonder you’ve been first dated so many times. I will say that Christina struck me as vulnerable, stressed, and nice. Her hives complimented her furry eyebrows nicely and she actually looked very pretty. I’d rather look at Roz and Gia, but I was impressed with her ability to soldier on. Nice job.

At the end of the arduous photo shoot D-Gay calls it a success and Jake is forced to take a sip of alcohol as he gives a toast to the ladies. He actually went with “the night is still young.” Maybe, but that toast isn’t. What a dial tone. He makes me miss Kiptyn.

In a James Hilton reference that I’m certain was lost on everyone except that smart crew guy on the location team, they end up at the hotel Shangri La for a bit of a pool party. Jake quickly dons his swimsuit and we see him shirtless yet again. The women jockey around the pool for position with the date rose hovering around like a fart in an elevator and Gia opens up her Botox laden lips to Jake . . . well, at least until she almost gets to answer Jake’s undoubtedly fake “tell me where your heart is” question before being punted by Asleigh.

Roslyn makes her move and we quickly learn that Roz has been to the doctor for a boob job. She has all of her gifts on display when she asks Jake up to the roof for some alone time to make her move. The four of them leave the pool and go to a quiet corner. We again get multiple angle shots of Roslyn’s sizeable bust. I mean those things were big. She could shade a 4 year old at high noon. They were huge. It looked like she was stealing ham. Huge, I tell you. She could make a camel blush. Giant. Her cups could hold more water than Jake’s motorcycle helmet. I mean large. After some batting of the eyes and another not so subtle display of her cans, Roslyn moves in for the kiss. It’s too bad Jake looked like he was kissing the bearded lady at the circus. What a waste. I’m beginning to think that Jake would be more comfortable with Hal from InStyle than making out with a hot model in a bikini. If I had a balcony, I would have cried off of it. Letting Jake kiss Roslyn is like letting an 18 year old drink 100 year old single malt scotch. Oh, the humanity. Jake actually tells us that she puts him “out of his comfort zone.” What? A hot model in a bikini pulls him away from 14 other hot women in bikinis drinking alcohol so she can make out with him and show him her fake knockers and he’s out of his comfort zone? Dude, wing it for God’s sake. (Insert Christian Bale meltdown right here. You’re a freaking amateur!). Regardless, Jake gives Roslyn the date rose and she almost spikes it like a football. She and her giant friends are thrilled. The five grand she spent was worth its weight in CC’s. Good for you Roslyn. Good for you.

We then pan to a shot of the girls at the mansion getting a mysterious mail message and a diamond necklace. They drool over it like Pavlov’s dog and Michelle quickly claims it for her own. I alluded to this in my last blog and I’ll reiterate it now: Desperation equals Elimination. They should crochet that on a pillow and leave it on Michelle’s bed at the house. She’s out of her mind.

In order to relieve the stress of being surrounded by hotness, Christina drinks a bunch at the pool and an unimpressed Jake comments on her penchant for hard stuff. I suppose he’s right. The only thing worse than forward, turned on models in bikinis is a less attractive but still cute drunk woman in a size two bikini so anxious to impress you that she’ll do anything to get your attention. It’s tough being a bachelor. Dude. If Wes Hayden had been selected, every one of those girls—except Michelle—would be pregnant. Watching Jake in action is like watching an ape play with a computer.

Next, we find out that Ali is the recipient of the necklace and the coveted one-on-one date. She quickly jumps into the necklace and Channy’s yellow dress from last week in anticipation of a romantic limo ride and a quiet evening with Jake. Tough sh*t, Ali. Jake shows up in a t-shirt and jeans on his scooter-cycle with a matching giant helmet for Ali. Boy, oh boy. Nothing says romance like hopping on the back of an underpowered motorcycle in an expensive dress after smashing a helmet over well-coiffed hair for a dirty ride down the 105. What the hell happened to the limo? Ali is a great sport about the entire thing despite being overdressed. I liked her although she did cry a bit. I’ll chalk that up to stress. She seemed nice.

After she got the gnats out of her teeth and pulled her dress out of her rear end Jake puts her into a Cessna (that’s original) and proceeds to take an hour for a “quick-preflight check.” That’s odd, I had no idea Jake was a pilot. After the pre-flight check and an unexplainable over the shoulder coat throw Jake finally gets the damn plane off the ground and Ali squeals like Ned Beatty in Deliverance. Honey, it’s just a plane ride. The Wright brothers were less excited when they took off.

Then, in a moment to end all moments, we are blessed with a sunset shot of Jake’s plane riding over the horizon as Jeffrey Osborne’s “On the Wings of Love” plays in the background. There’s no joke here. That one speaks for itself. As if that wasn’t enough, Ali says that the plane taking off is symbolic of she and Jake’s relationship taking off. I think Jeffery Osborne wrote that part too.

When Jake lands, we continue with the literary allusions when we see that he and Ali will be spiriting around town in a Great Gatsby 1920’s convertible. Boy, I have to hand it to Jake. Nothing says consideration better than taking a primped and styled woman on the back of your motorcycle, in the cockpit of a Cessna with headphones on, and then on a fast convertible ride. I believe the car was a restored version of the Limited Edition 1924 Ford Cheesebag. They drive around for awhile with Jake looking as polished as the car. Then, for some reason they are “treated” to a private concert by Chicago. Yes, Chicago—the white man’s Earth, Wind, and Fire. Granted, they have sold 120 million records and have been around for like 43 years, but come on. What, was Toto booked? They dance, have dinner, dispense a rose, smile, kiss, and go home. Thank God.

The next group date is won by Elizabeth, Corrie, Ashley E., and Vienna (insert sausage joke here). Uh oh, no Michelle. How could she have been overlooked? Trust me, she wasn’t. After a classic “I’m not ordinary,” “I have a lot of love to give,” tirade the tension continues to build. She’s really out of her mind. We can only pray that her next boyfriend is a mental health professional. Her response to Jake asking her, “how do you like your eggs?” would be “fertilized.” She clearly needs help. I just hope she’s eliminated soon so she can start filming Swimfan II.

Jake treats the girls to a trip to Six Flags and they head to the Goliath roller coaster. I was praying for a diminutive Jew to step out and hit Jake in the head with a rock. No such luck. Elizabeth pulls Jake aside and says some scripted words to him and makes him promise not to kiss her unless she’s The One. Props for that move. She too is aware that purple is the new black. She looks great and comes across as way too cool and together for Jake. Frankly, she deserves better. I know, her boobs are way too fake, yadda, yadda, yadda. She’s too smart to fall for Jake. When she’s eliminated on a later show, she’ll be graceful but thankful.

Vienna pulls Jake aside too and in an emotionally soul bearing moment confesses to having had her heart broken by a young Lothario and eloping to get him back. Alas, her ill-fated marriage lasted but 4 months. Jake seems unimpressed and unsympathetic. She might as well have told the carny working the roller coaster. At least he could have shared a prison rape story with her in an attempt to empathize. Ashley moves in to show Jake her hot pink nail polish and in a move reminiscent of Jillian’s rejection of Reid at the altar Jake then proceeds to hand out the date rose to Elizabeth instead of the Hester Prynned Vienna. Come on, Jake. Fair is fair. Give the girl some credit for going out on a limb and then set Elizabeth up at the rose ceremony. Jake? Oblivious.

Next, in the most brilliant move since Wes distracted Jillian with “look, that bird has no foot,” Elizabeth gets Jake alone and toys with him like a grizzly bear with a bunny. She’s clearly Jake’s superior. She owns him and I was proud of her. She earns the fireworks display that Jake “arranged” and we cut to a shot of the other women pouting in the limo as they realize that Elizabeth has outplayed, outwitted, and outlasted all of them.

In another underly romantic move, Jake decides to give Ella a “birthday gift.” Jake actually shows up with a cupcake with a candle in it. Are you kidding me? Jake reminds Ella of the pain of the separation she suffers from being away from her son on her birthday and we empathize with her like we did when Jason booted the other Southern chick to the curb last season. At least she got to see her kid.

Jake continues to impress when Tenley (bless her wounded, super hot, little heart) pulls him aside to nervously break the news about her divorce and impress him with the fact that she was a virgin before getting married. Tenley is confident. She doesn’t know the meaning of the word “fear.” Then again, she probably doesn’t know the meaning of a lot words, but I digress. An ever perceptive Jake actually drops the you seem like you have a “good and successful dating history.” Kreskin he is not. You’d think the producers might have given him a heads up with that one. “Dewey Beats Truman” was more accurate than that line. What. A. Tool. Tenley’s bid to be honest fails. Next!

Crazy Michelle gets some alone time to bitch and complain about . . . well, everything. I’m certain she’s seen every show prior to this but she still doesn’t seem to get it. I’ll sidestep her tantrum and her “I’m packing and going home” rant. It’s really not worth mentioning. The best part of her rant to Jake was when she was interrupted mid-crazy stream by one of the other girls and actually gave Jake permission to leave before trouncing off to her room. Maxim number two, Michelle: Desperate and Alone equals Limo Ride Home. She’s not going anywhere until the producers say so, but she just might leave on her own. Nitroglycerin is more stable.

Moving on…

In what I believe to be the most overrated moment in Bachelor history (see, I’m starting to talk like Harrison), Roslyn is confronted by Harrison about an “inappropriate relationship” she developed with one of the production crew. Yes, you read that correctly. She and some dude from the production crew saw sparks and got caught. Harrison calls her out, lets her know that the guy has been canned from the show, and then asks her to leave. The implication is that they slept together. No way. Trust me on this one. The show is toeing a very fine line between a defamation lawsuit and maximizing the ratings when it goes with the “inappropriate relationship” talk. Roslyn got bored waiting around for Jake, struck up a conversation with a crew guy, they hit it off, and he got canned. I’m sure that Harrison and the rest of the crew gave him a high five and a slap on the rear end on his way out the door. What does it say about Jake when the hottest girl in the mix is lured away by a production guy in black jean shorts and a Che Gueverra t-shirt holding a microphone on a stick? I’ll tell you what it says: Everything. Dude, you just got c-blocked by a guy in the production crew. I love it. Jake does not.

Roslyn is super hot and super cool. Yes, she’s a bit vain and a tad shallow, but she seemed real and she seemed to respect herself. She’s clearly not convinced that she and Jake could get married right away and live happily ever after sipping non-alcoholic daiquiris in his backyard gazebo in Denton. Oh, and since when is being attracted to another person cheating? Is the fact that Jake is busy sucking face with 14 other women, three of which he will sleep with (well, probably not Jake) in the fantasy suite before maybe possibly proposing a loose sort of engagement thing until the cameras go off and the real work starts lost on everyone but me? Good for you Roslyn, I’m just sorry I don’t get to look at you for the next 10 weeks. Harrison should ditch Jake and follow her and that production guy around for a few weeks. That would undoubtedly be more interesting. Getting booted from the house will be the best thing that ever happened to her. Don’t count her out of the After the Rose episode.

Jake almost cried when he found out. If there had been a balcony handy I’m certain he would have. Where are the flying metaphors now, big shot? After a 45 minute montage of Roslyn packing—which was far more entertaining than anything Jake said all night—we cut to the women with tears on their eyes, flabbergasted at Roslyn’s betrayal. What?

Hey, the hottest girl and your biggest competition just took herself out of the race. Did Maverick cry when Cougar lost it and turned in his wings giving Maverick a shot at Top Gun? Hell no. Jake then feels compelled to make a speech concerning the subject. Jake’s speech was to television what the Gettysburg Address was to television. He actually used the word “affair” to describe her conduct, proving that he’s just a delusional as the remaining women. Tenley hopes he doesn’t “put up a wall” now that he’s been “hurt.” No, Tenley, he won’t put up a wall. He IS a wall. Ali drops an “F her” with respect to Roslyn and we move to the rose ceremony where the biggest highlight was watching Michelle squirm like a fat kid on the playground waiting to be picked for kickball. Ashley lost with class and I was proud of her send off. I hope some deserving guy benefits from the flight attendant costume one day. Christina was booted and gets crushed by the giddy laughter of the remaining 10 women. You’re a sweet girl. Attractive too. Trim your eyebrows and take some self-actualization courses. You’ll be fine.

The remaining girls are Vienna, Gia, Tenley (my predition for the final three. It’s obvious), Ella, Alicia (or is it Felicia?), Corrie, Jessie, Ashley H., Michelle, and Cathryn. Tune in next week. I’m going motorcycle shopping.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The New Season Takes Off. . .Gag

Welcome back! After an all too long hiatus, I’m back in action as everyone’s favorite reality show, The Bachelor, launches another season. I was going to begin with a series of aeronautical metaphors and sexual innuendo but after watching the opening episode, it’s clear that there’s plenty of that to go around. So here we go. My take for the next 13 weeks begins now.

Alright, as predicted, Jake is the new bachelor. Because he’s a pilot—a fact that we are constantly reminded of—the new season has been christened “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love.” Come on.

After lead in after lead in and Jake prancing around in his cute little flight shirt and spouting out things like, “I’ve been in the pilot seat most of my life,” and “my office is at 37,0000 feet,” and “flying is my art,” I literally almost abandoned the blog. “Flying is my art?” Really? The guy is a cargo pilot. That means he flies plane loads full of Chinese junk and rubber dog shit from Dallas to wherever. If that’s art, then this blog is the freaking Mona Lisa. Get over yourself, Jake. And just how many showers does this guy take every day? Seriously, Jersey Shore is more subtle. You’d think he was in a chemical spill.

At the beginning of the episode we are reminded of how Jake got kneed in the crotch last year by Jillian after being out played by Ed. Despite the humiliation, Jillian and Ed’s guest appearance on the show is touted with the standard “they’re still together” shots. Ed looked semi-drunk and contractually obligated. Jillian looked great in her Ann-Margaret dress but her nose was still big and her Canadian accent was still annoying. By the way, why is Ann-Margaret hyphenated?

We then see the gratuitous slow motion shots of a shirtless Jake jogging meaningfully down the beach searching for love beneath every grain of sand (since when is there a beach in Dallas?). Yes ladies, he’s strolling the streets of Dallas contemplating the woman of his dreams. “Oh, if she just appeared my life would be perfect,” Jake’s forlorn and contemplative look screams without saying a word. Yes, he’s walked his way through fire in search of love and, damn it, his pastel colored shirts and scruffy face let us know that. He’s ready for love. Enough already. We get it.

We are then subjected to a series of fake scenes of Jake completing some pseudo pre-flight check list in his cockpit. Please. We’re aware he’s a pilot. Jesus. The next shot is a perplexing one. For some reason we see Jake shirtless in his backyard with power tools constructing what appears to be a gazebo. A gazebo? Apparently, Jake wants teenagers to have sex in his backyard. Either that or he’s having a bake off for the 4th of July. Odd.

After reinforcing that Jake is a pilot from Dallas for another 5 minutes we see Jake looking a lot like Maxwell Caufield from Grease 2 riding his motorcycle down the PCH, presumably in search of love. I was waiting for Michelle Pfeiffer to pop out from behind a car and sing Cool Rider while Jake dodged oncoming thugs. No such luck. During his cycling sojourn for love we hear a voice over of Jake explaining how nice guys like him always finish last. We know. He’s too perfect. Too nice. Nice guys don’t finish last. Cheesy, shallow, insincere ones do, Jake. What a douche.

Look, in the interest of full disclosure, I was willing to let the water run under the balcony he cried over last season and give him another shot. I tried. I can’t stand his Tom Cruise-ish fake charm and stupid “I’m better than you” grin. I hope he picks a crazy one. Jake tells us that he’s looking for a fiancé. I swear I heard a lisp. (More about that later). We also get foreboding shots of him crying on an outdoor balcony—a harbinger of the “most dramatic season ever.” Well, at least until the next season. Incidentally, can someone use WebMD or Wikipedia to find out if crying on a balcony is an actual medical condition? His propensity to cry on balconies might be a medical problem as opposed to him just being a p word. I’m just sayin’.

Finally, Chris Harrison emerges looking swarmy as ever in a noticeably thinner and less colorful tie and black suit. Purple is the new black, but Harrison doesn’t follow the rules. Let’s face it the guy is Money. I wish I had his gig. In one of the two episodes where he actually has to work, Harrison pulls Jake aside for an awkward and forced one on one where Jake mentions his penchant for feeling lonely on “stormy Sundays.” Stop it, Jake.

FINALLY, we get to meet the ladies. I’ve summed them up below as best as I can recall and included their rose/no rose status. Feel free to print this and use it as an impromptu score sheet.

1. Ali—attractive but not too hot. She tells us she’s been dumped for video games and that her ex actually snuck into her roommate’s room to cheat on her while she was sleeping. Hey Ali, you’re bad in bed. Trust me. That’s the problem. Nonetheless, she greets Jake with a peacock feather. Stupid, yes. But props for not going with the flying metaphor. For the intellectuals out there, I’m sure you can appreciate the irony of the peacock being an essentially flightless bird. I’m certain that didn’t dawn on Ali, though. She became the second girl to fall on the first evening when she spirited Jake away for some “private” time. Apparently, someone put too much Everclear in the slut punch. She ripped her dress and laughed it off. It would have been more entertaining if she’d have screamed rape. She also drew the answer of the night when she asked Jake his top priorities. “God, family, friends,” was his answer. What about marriage, you moron? Classic. Despite forgetting her name when it was called, she got a rose.

2. Alexa—The producers need to check this one for an Adam’s apple. Her balls were clearly bigger than Jake’s. Her leather gloves were reminiscent of O.J. and she was about as feminine as Artie Lange. Normal guys are attracted to girls who ride on the back of motorcycles, not the ones who use them as their sole transportation. She scared me. No rose.

3. Tenley—We were treated to a montage of her dancing in a bikini on the beach telling us how she toured the world as Cinderella, Belle, and Ariel. God bless her. It’s moments like these when I love this show. The montage was the only thing more gratuitous than Jake’s shower scenes (all 15 of them). However, it was quickly obvious that Tenley’s IQ was only an eightly or a ninely. She was cute and seemed nice—just not bright. Still, she had the nerve to get Jake alone and ask for a kiss. Jake looked horrified. In looking at Jake she might as well have asked him to pee on her. Dude, lighten up—homo. She earned the first impression rose despite giving Jake cooties. Good for you, Tenely. Stupid is as stupid does.

4. Elizabeth—NORMAL, CONFIDENT, PLEASANT, ATTRACTIVE BUT NOT HOT. She was way too together to last. She probably would have melted down like copper in a smelter anyway. I was rooting for her. Alas, no rose.

5. Rozlyn—Oh, Rozlyn. She tells us that she’s “been a model forever—at least 10 years.” She is clearly the most attractive woman of the bunch and, oddly enough, seems to carry it well. I like her chances, but assume she’ll eventually get ejected like Maverick and Goose over the Pacific Ocean. I look forward to seeing her in Playboy. Of course, she got a rose. Not even Jake is that dense.

6. Christina—Note to Christina: leading with consolation prizes for the ladies and proclaiming “I’m going to win,” is never a good way to make friends. Even the vapid Jake could see through that and the women clearly hated her. Nice move, you type A bitch. My prediction is that they keep her around for awhile for the drama. She could be the new Wes Hayden. I believe it was Dave Barry who said, “a person who is nice to you but mean to the waiter is not a nice person.” Christina should read Dave Barry. She got a rose anyway.

7. Vienna—. She’s unemployed, which is odd considering she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interpersonal Organization and Communication from the University of Central Florida. Whatever. She tells us that she “loves life.” Translation: I drink a lot and I’ll sleep with anyone. I’ll look forward to seeing her from 1-5 at various auto shows signing her Hooter’s calendar. She got a rose.

8. Ashley—She’s an uninteresting teacher whose mom shops for her. Weird. She also showed up in a flight attendant uniform at the cocktail party. More weird. Actually, I take that back. That one is all about poor timing. She should have saved that outfit for the Fantasy Suite. Of course, it would have been wasted on Jake, but you get the point. Nice try, Ashley. Props for running full speed at the end zone. She also claimed to be earning her PhD. In what, desperation? Bravo, Dr. Ashley. You pass. She got a rose.

9. Elizabeth—She’s a nanny who has seen “the ups and downs of love.” I’ll bet. Despite teeing up a filthy comment for me, she’s cool. She’s my front runner. I know, her boobs are really fake, blah, blah, blah. She was easy going, very attractive, fun, and—pay attention female readers—did not ooze desperation. She brought a football and actually threw it better than Jake did. Despite the staged “football game,” I give her credit for standing out without making a fool of herself. I was so rooting for a rolled ankle or a torn ACL in that game. No such luck. Jake will probably be stupid enough to send her home for a much more shallow bimbo, but I liked her. She got a rose.

10. Ella—she’s the hairstylist from Tennessee who stole her 7 year old son’s favorite toy and gave it to Jake in hopes of guilting him into a rose. She makes Glenn Close look stable. Are you kidding me? You can dress it up in pumps and an evening gown but you can’t hide crazy forever. Oddly enough, she’s ranks a distant second on the crazy list this season. She got a rose.

11. Gia—First of all, that’s a stripper’s name. Strike one. She also had a hair lip (look closely). Strike two. She’s very attractive until she opens her hair lip. She’s what my friends and I would have called a “Dropped French Fry” in high school. It’s kind of dirty, but you’d still eat it. She’ll make it far because Jake’s a tool. Predictably, she got a rose.

12. Kimberly—NBA dancer with a doughy face and an outdated haircut. Oh, and she wears too much make up. She’s no Paula Abdul. No rose, no way.

13. Emily—Desperate FIT Model. It was harder to tell what was bigger: the gaps in her teeth or the gaps in her personality. She was clearly a dress filler. Sorry, honey. I’m sure you’re nice. No rose.

14. Tiana—31 year old who looks like an alcoholic Olivia Newton John. Too mature (notice I didn’t say old) and together for Jake to keep. She was, at best, semi-attractive and had chip on her shoulder. See ya. No rose.

15. Cailyn—She’s the pageant girl who proclaimed she was there to “dominate.” That makes no sense. I didn’t expect her to go far. No rose.

16. Kirstin—she’s the unassuming waitress from Colorado. I liked her but she seemed a bit shy. She could have been my sleeper. Why? She’s not as attractive as most of the other girls and doesn’t appear to have the confidence (read “attitude”) as some of the other girls. She’s a blue collar worker who probably doesn’t expect to have her ass kissed 24 hours a day. Any man—except a dial tone like Jake—appreciates those qualities. No Rose.

17. Michelle—she’s “ready to be a wife.” We quickly find out that she’s nuts with a capital U. Even Ed and Jillian seemed horrified. She was like a better looking, younger version of Kathy Bates in Misery. She’s an Office Manager. Clearly, she manages a Post Office. Jillian characterized her as “emotional.” Right, and the Grand Canyon is a hole in the ground. Ed said she was “over sincere.” Translation: she’s off the reservation. She’ll stick around at the producers’ insistence. She got a rose.

18. Jessie—again, a non-event. The best thing she did was to attempt to undermine Rozlyn by saying she doesn’t trust her and pulling out the “not here for the right reasons” card. Translation: Rozlyn is way hotter than me. I hate her. She’ll stick around for an episode or two. Jake will appreciate her attempt to “not here for the right reasons” another superior contestant considering what he did to Wes. She got a rose. Hmmm.

19. Catherine—She’s the air tramp. . .errrr. . . flight attendant that I don’t recall anything about other than the fact that she had an imaginary fiancé and had an imaginary ring to prove it. To be fair, I had an imaginary friend named Carl when I was little. We played a lot of games and—bless his heart---Carl would usually let me win. She got a rose and was way too excited about it. If you get to the end zone, act like you’ve been there.

20. Valisha (sp?)—She gave Jake some dirt from Texas. Boooooo! No rose.

21. Channy—Channy, Channy, Channy. Why make it so easy for me? She was the token minority that Jake’s vanilla self would obviously eliminate. She proclaimed her desire to give Jake a case of “Cambodian Fever.” I had that once after eating at this place in East Austin. I couldn’t sit for a week. In a classic Bachelor moment Channing wasn’t booted until she uttered a secret Cambodian (isn’t that Laos now?) phrase to Jake at the limo intro. We find out later that it means, “Jake, you can land your plane on my landing strip any time.” Wow. That just happened. For once, I shared Jake’s horror. That’s the dirtiest thing said on TV since June Cleaver said, “Ward, I think you were too hard on the Beaver last night.” The good news is that every pilot in America who’s not Jake will be asking her out. No rose.

22. Ashleigh—She’s the leggy (or is it Leighy?) one who showed off her baby maker before taking a staged fall into Jake’s arms at the introduction. My only regret is that Jake didn’t sidestep her and let her taste defeat. Oh well, it’s a long season. She got a rose.

23. Shelia—fellow pilot who showed up in fake Aviator sunglasses. Since when does sharing an occupation qualify two people to be married? Bad play, Shelia. Your chance at love has been delayed. (I had to get in just one aviation metaphor). No rose.

24. Stephanie—Note to Stephanie—Short evening dress plus pom pom coaching career equals tramp. Stick to ruining teenage girl’s self esteem by creating anxiety about their weight and appearance. No rose.

25. Corrie—she got a rose but did it under the radar. She’s cute but didn’t get any screen time. She might be the sleeper.

In sum, it was an interesting start to the season. There were 4 “amazings,” 2 “journeys” and 5 “absolutelys”—which is the new “amazing” which, of course, was last season’s new “journey.” There were 2 criers—not counting Jake. There were strained exchanges, awkward smiles, pathetic attempts for attention, and sufficient teasers to keep us interested. I, for one, am absolutely looking forward to an amazing journey this season. Fasten your seatbelts and stow away your baggage. I just hope there’s a barf bag on this plane.