Tuesday, July 8, 2014

the bachelorette & the BLOW OFF: episode 8

I really have no words for the last half hour of this episode.  Who am I kidding?  I have SO many words.  But before shit gets real, let's take some time to rip the show to shreds and make fun of it like we always do.  Hometown dates are generally my favorite episodes, but par for the course, I found them to be extremely uneventful this season.  Where's the crazy Cape Fear brother with sleeve tattoos that asks Andi if she's really in this for the right reasons?  Where's the overweight sister with a Maltipoo who tells Andi that her brother will never love anyone more than himself?  It's around this time that I get really sad that Marquel is no longer on the show, because it would be an unprecedented event for the Bachelorette to meet an African-American family.  It's NEVER happened before.  I mean, it could be the entire plot of the next Tyler Perry Presents... movie.  Way to drop the ball on that one, ABC.

Hometown #1: Our first stop is Milwaukee, Wisconsin to meet Slick Nick's family.  Was it just me or did Nick seem super hot in this episode?  Maybe it was his hair, maybe it was seeing a little less of him in that fitted leather jacket, maybe it was his Midwestern flair, but all of a sudden, he got smoking hot.  Move over Sexy Mugshot guy, we've got a sexy serial killer in the house!  For the first item on their agenda, frontrunner Nick takes Blandi to a brewery where he presents her with a beer called "Nick & Andi" that's "perfectly brewed."  Well, he scores zero points for originality on that one.  For some inexplicable reason, they decide to do the polka and though I was only half paying attention, I'm willing to bet that Andi made some reference to the fact that she can't dance.

Have you guys noticed that this season?  Blandi continuously references the fact that she has two left feet. Obviously, this is all just a shameless plug for her future stint on Dancing with the Stars.  I will cut a bitch if Maks Chmerkovskiy is her partner.

Nick then takes Andi to some town I've never heard of so she can meet his family.  We learn that Nick has ten brothers and sisters.  SAY WHAT?  Was this ever mentioned on the show up until now?  This would be an immediate deal breaker for me, purely because I would not want to buy Christmas presents for that many people.  Ain't nobody got time for that.   Also, why would anyone have that many kids and not get a TLC reality show out of it?  And why aren't they all wearing different versions of the same outfits sewn from patterened drapes?

Since Nick has so many siblings, there's an entire wall with picture frames of each kid so that no one forgets they exist.  Kind of like when the Bachelorette has to look at pictures of the dudes before handing out roses.  Part of me also wonders if Nick has the same wall in his basement with framed photos of all the women he's murdered. Probs.  Another thing we learn about Nick during his hometown date is that he got seriously burned in a previous relationship.  Like, it was SO bad that when Nick's sister talks to Blandi about it, she tears up.  Clearly, Nick Bundy Dahmer Manson murdered his ex-girlfriend.

That same sister asks Nick if Blandi makes him laugh and he responds with: "She makes me smile."  Puppies make me smile.  Those new Always ads make me smile.  Call me crazy, but I'd kind of want a spouse that had a sense of humor and could make me laugh.  Unless of course I was a serial killer and laughing wasn't all that important to me.

The best part of the hometown date is watching Andi try to explain to Bella (Nick's sister who look like she's about 6 years old) that she and Nick have a mental connection.  I'm fairly certain that Bella doesn't even know what french kissing is or how babies are made or the meaning of the word "mental."  And sorry, Andi but I only believe you if by "mental connection" you mean that you both know how to sport a scarf.  The last thing I will say about this hometown date is that if Nick's mom isn't already fronting up a Eurythmics tribute band, then she's sitting on a goldmine.

Hometown #2: Time to go visit Farmer Chris in Iowa.  Get this ladies, Chris has his own HOUSE.  Which would be really cool except for the fact that this is Iowa and he probably paid $5 for it.  Blandi is very impressed that he lives on acres and acres of land and she especially loves the fact that he drives a tractor.  She keeps saying that he is "hot" and that he is a "man" blah blah blah.  They ride around in the tractor together and she sits on his lap and...well, it could have been the perfect beginning to a Cinemax soft porn, but instead they decide to have a picnic.

I'm always stunned by some of the conversations that take place on the hometown date.  Like, when Andi asks Old Macdonald what it would be like if she lived in Iowa.  Shouldn't they have had this conversation on their one on one date at the horse tracks six weeks ago?  It also really pisses me off that there's always this assumption that she would have to move to Iowa.  Why couldn't he sell his farm and move to Hotlanta with the $8 he makes off of it?  Shouldn't the rule be that if you win you move wherever the bachelorette wants to live?  Suddenly, I have to pause my TV to contemplate a very important question.  Is this show more racist or sexist? Hmmmmm, after two seconds of thought, I'm going to go with racist.

Anyway.  The previews made a way bigger deal of Chris telling Andi that there's the opportunity to be a home-maker in Iowa.  Especially since the next sentence out of his mouth is that she could be a DA there.  Okay....but first of all-- who would her clients be?  Wilbur?  Charlotte?  Charlotte's Web?  Second of all, bitch doesn't want to practice law.  She wants to be FAMOUS.  The only place she can live after the show ends is Los Angeles where the closest she'll get to being a farmer is sipping on her venti frappucino as she strolls around the Farmer's Market at the Grove. 

In a very lame romantic move, Chris gets some plane to fly around with a banner that reads "Chris Loves Andi." You guys, I'm willing to bet that Chris Harrison actually arranged this in a last ditch effort to win Andi over and Farmer Chris took all the credit for it. What a dick.

Overall, Farmer Chris's family seems really nice.  He's got three sisters who don't do anything controversial except tell Andi that growing up, Chris never wore underwear on the weekends.  Ugh.  Is this the best you can do ABC?  I need more conflict!  I need a father who's into taxidermy or nose adjustments.  Instead, all we get is Chris's mom with her long grey braid and her intense affinity for tractors.  She seems nice, but slightly cray-cray when she tells Blandi that she loves her.  I feel like she's the type of mom who's fun to hang out with one time at dinner, but would be way too in your face as a permanent mother-in-law.  Like, one day Andi might walk into the nursery to find Chris's mom breast-feeding their baby.  At the end of the hometown, Chris's family plays some graveyard game which is also known as hide and go seek.

Side note: There's no way in hell that Farmer Chris won't be the next bachelor.  It's a done deal as far as I'm concerned. 

Hometown #3: Next, Awful Andi travels to Tampla, FL to hang out with Josh.  In a sad attempt to relive his glory days, Josh the Jock and Andi meet up at a baseball field.  OH HELL NO.  The only thing more pathetic than this is if Josh invited Andi to hang out with him in his high school parking lot.  Blandi says that it's really nice to see Josh in his element.  Uh, he hasn't played baseball in SEVEN years.  If you really want to see the guy in his element, why don't the two of you go on a quick jaunt to the local unemployment office??

That said, Andi can really pull off short shorts and knowing this just makes me hate her more.

After tossing around the ball, Josh and Andi chillax in the dug out and Josh explains to Blandi that he quit baseball to be there for his little brother.  I know what you're thinking-- does his little brother have cancer?  Does he need a kidney or bone marrow transplant?  Did he get into a really bad car accident and now he's brain damaged?  NO.  He simply plays college football and is going to be drafted by the pros.  Uh-kay.  Let's all take a step back.  For starters, there is NO way Jock-Strap quit baseball.  Second of all, why are you so obsessed with your more athletic little brother?  Don't you know that in every good dramatic piece of fiction it's the younger brother who's obsessed with the older brother?! 

Annoying Andi is also very concerned about all of this, because she worries that when she meets Josh's family, all they'll care about is what's going on with Aaron's football career.  Translation: This is my moment with Josh and if we're not the center of attention, then fuck this family.  Josh's family  kind of reminds me of a brunette version of Village of the Damned. They all look identical.  My heart melts a little bit when Josh tears up after seeing his family and when he's reunited with his dog Sabel.  It's in this moment that I realize he loves his pooch about ten times more than he loves Andi.  This is what I call a genuine moment.  In contrast, whenever he talks about how he's falling in love with Andi, I get the feeling that he's reading from cue cards.

So, it turns out Andi is actually right.  Everyone in this family is WAY TOO obsessed with Josh's brother and his football prospects.  They even ask Andi if she'd be willing to go Aaron's games every weekend.  Um, you couldn't drag me to a football game every weekend even if Tim Riggins was on the team.  (That's a lie.  I would agree to be the freaking mascot if that were the case).  The dynamic is a little sad and awkward (i.e. Jock Strap will never be as good as his baby brother) and I'm starting to think that Andi may have asked the producers off-camera if it would be weird if in a crazy turn of events she gave the fantasy suite rose to Josh's brother instead of him.  It turns out Aaron gets drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the draft (is the 5th round kind of late? Is that like being last picked for dodge ball in second grade or is it different?)

The last strange thing about this date is that I really think Josh's mom looks like Andi in thirty years.
Hometown Date #4: You guys, I honestly missed where Marcus was from and I was too lazy to go back and rewind it so I have no idea.  Was it St. Louis?  Scottsdale? Indianapolis?  It really doesn't matter.  Marcus takes Blandi on a boring drive around his mysterious hometown and then takes her to a club in the middle of the day so he can strip for her all over again.  Weirdly, Andi's really into it and doesn't find it at all odd that he's taking this opportunity to shake his man-buns on camera.  Penis Face is totally hoping that some Hollywood exec is watching and will decide to cast him in the Magic Mike sequel.  Except instead of Mike, they'll call it Magic Marcus.  Because his name is Marcus.  Get it? 

After the humiliating display, Marcus takes Andi to meet his family.  So....according to the way he described them and all the abuse/dysfunction, I'm fully expecting that we're going to arrive at a log cabin in the Appalachians where things get really awkward for Andi when she's asked to skin a rabbit (or not awkward since bitch hunts) BUT that doesn't happen at all.  The strangest thing about Marcus's family is that someone decided it was a good idea to name his brother Conrad and to keep calling him that instead of giving him a way better nickname.

At this point, Awful Andi starts to express some concerns that she's not as in love with Marcus as he is with her-- but none of that matters because Marcus's mom has an accent!?!!  She's either Polish or Russian or something that's not American-- which is totally the kiss of death on the hometown dates.  Remember when Emily Maynard met Chris's Polish family?  She totes gave him the boot.  I'm not exactly sure why Marcus made it sound like his mom was some crackhead, toothless, child abuser, because she actually seems really kind and thoughtful.  I'm pretty sure this was all a story he made up hoping he would win a little sympathy from Blandi.

The best moment of Marcus's family date is when he and Conradical have a moment in the yard and Marcus thanks his older brother for being a father figure and they cry and hug.  If only there were more moments like this.  Moments where Andi wasn't even on camera.  The show would be SO much more watchable. 

I now interrupt the regularly scheduled recap to get to what for once actually was the most dramatic moment in Bachelorette history.

The four male contestants arrive at Chris Harrison's house where they know they're going to be given some piece of bad news.  Andi arrives shortly after and without wasting much time, Harrison tells them that Eric Hill was in a paragliding accident and they found out that morning that he passed away.  SO Sad.  Andi immediately breaks down and starts crying.  Which was a relief, because part of me was genuinely worried she'd say "STOP!"  Marcus leaves the room-- and Andi follows him.  At first, I expect her to find him sobbing, but he just says "this is so weird" and she encourages him to return so they can all be on camera together.

I have very mixed feelings about this entire sequence.  On one hand, it's pretty fucked up and exploitative of ABC to break the news of someone's death while cameras are rolling.  On the other hand, I'm not changing the channel because I can't tear myself away.  (I will admit, there's also a tiny part of me that wonders why Chris Harrison doesn't live in a nicer house).  Suddenly, the camera is shakily placed on the ground and the crew walks into frame as they console and hug the contestants.  I could write a million term papers on what an authentically inauthentic moment it is.  And how it's more than just a little cruel to capitalize on these people's pain and then hug it out with them immediately afterwards.  Andi cries over the fact that she kicked Eric Hill off of the show and then the scene ends.  It's sad and uncomfortable and gut-wrenching.

The only thing worse than witnessing this is that ABC and Sauve still insist on asking us what we think the most bleachable moment of the episode is.  Um, how about that moment where you told five people on camera that someone they knew just died?  

Considering the circumstances, it would have been nice if the show dealt with the ending of the episode a little differently.  It was a bit too "business as usual" for my taste.  I know it's totally outrageous to suggest this, but couldn't they have skipped the whole rose ceremony?  Or gave Andi a toned down look for this one?  You know, like at the Emmy's after 9/11 when everyone wore pant suits instead of evening gowns?  Instead, 24 hours later, Andi shows up at the house in full hair and make up, wearing a bright green ball gown.  Before the rose ceremony, she sits down to talk to Chris Harrison and explains how difficult this all is.  She has to go in the room that Eric stood in and hand out roses.  I do feel kind of awful for her that she has to continue with the BS of the show merely one day after the death of a contestant. If Eric's death reminds us of anything, it's that life is short.  Which makes me feel that much guiltier for A. Watching the Bachelorette and B. Staying up till midnight to write this recap.

The worst part about all of this is when Marcus doesn't get a rose (because of his foreign mother) we are still forced to watch him cry and whine about it in the limo.   I get that he's upset and probably very sexually frustrated, but I do think he could use a little perspective on the issue.  Like...for instance....HE'S ALIVE.  Forgive me if I find it a little hard to muster any sympathy for you buddy when Eric Hill passed away the day before.  It would have been SO much more appropriate if he said he was sad BUT at least he's alive and will meet someone else someday.  I don't know if the remaining guys didn't want to be interviewed about Eric's death or if the show is waiting for the Men Tell All to hear their perspectives, but I would have preferred to hear from them on the topic instead of Andi.  Purely because they probably knew him better than she did. 

Well, at least they're going to spend next week's episode doing a two hour tribute to Eric.  Oh wait.  Nevermind.  Next week is all about boning in the fantasy suite and Blandi feeling like her head and heart are not in the same place.  Don't worry, Blandi.  There's no obstacle you won't be able to get through...without the unwavering support of Chris "I always look like I'm about to smile when something serious is going down" Harrison.
               

3 comments:

  1. Hey now! I'm a lawyer in Iowa, my clients aren't farm animals, and my house is worth more than $8! :)

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    1. OMG, this might be my favorite comment ever! Hope I didn't offend, thanks for keeping me in check. ALSO, if you are single, you should definitely audition for the next bachelor because it's totally going to be farmer Chris!

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    2. Haha no offense taken! I think the Iowa Justice system is just fine without Blandi. Unfortunately I have a boyfriend and can't fall madly in love with farmer Chris next season. Actually my boyfriend likes reading your recaps too! And he'd probably kill me for sharing that not only does he watch the show, but reads a blog about it. But thanks for the entertainment each week!

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