Wednesday, July 19, 2017

the bachelorette & the BLOW OFF: episode 8

In all honesty, ABC should have spent a total of five minutes on the first three hometown dates that were featured in this episode, and two hours on Dean's family. I'm talking a commercial free two hours. Fuck it. I'm talking limited series on FX produced by Ryan Murphy and starring Dean's family. I have so many mixed emotions about the very awkward meet and greet, but we'll get to it shortly. Here's all you need to know about the other hometown dates.

#1 Eric from Baltimore

Eric is the last African-American contestant standing and even though I worry that he's probably in the friend zone, I'm rooting for him to get the final rose. He's charming and lively and has more personality in his pinky finger than the other three guys put together. The hometown date in Baltimore begins with Rachel & Eric playing basketball-- which I found a tad stereotypical. That said, Love & Basketball is probably the best movie ever made, so I'm willing to forgive it. Rachel also proves that she is Wonder Woman, because she can play sports in five inch wedges. In the middle of the game, the Jazzy Jeff to Eric's Fresh Prince shows up, merely to tell Rachel that Eric is a great guy.

Eric's family was probably my favorite, mainly because I developed a total girl crush on his aunt. She was a ray of sunshine. Not only was she beautiful, but I really liked her perspective on Rachel being the first black bachelorette, and the advice that she gave her about not succumbing to societal pressures. Unfortunately, Chris Harrison will for sure sabotage this relationship, because no one officiates a Bachelorette wedding except him, and Eric's aunt is the obvious choice to marry these two. I like her so much that I want to invent a time machine, go to the year 2011, and ask her to officiate my wedding.

#2 Was Bryan or Peter next? I can't even remember. Let's go with...

Bryan from Miami. I'm still convinced that Bryan and Rachel are engaged. She's obviously crazy about him and I have no idea why. Aside from the fact that he can speak Spanish and knows that Ocho Calle means eighth street, I'm not sure what's so great about Bryan. To make matters worse, his mother seems like a total nightmare. She's like right out of a Pedro Almodovar movie except that she would be the character who torments the young ingenue and throws her off a cliff in dramatic fashion.
A picture I found of Bryan's mom from when she was younger
She's OBSESSED with Bryan. We learn that his previous girlfriend and him broke up, because Mama Bry was not a fan. Rachel, if you're reading this-- give him back that Neil Lane diamond ring, stat! Trust me. This woman is going to make your life a living hell. There's a very good chance you may walk in on her breastfeeding your future children. There's a very good chance she's still breastfeeding Bryan. She tells Rachel that if she hurts Bryan, she will kill Rachel! We can all pretend it was some sort of a twisted joke, but can someone please confirm whether or not all of Bryan's previous girlfriends were poisoned with anti-freeze??

Side note, Bryan still eats Rachel's face every time they kiss and it has made me wonder whether mouths and tongues touching is an obscene act that should be punishable by castration. If you showed me a video of Bryan's aggressive boca, then I would probably be the first to champion that we go all Handmaid's Tale up in this country, and will start asking people to refer to me as "Aunt Sara."

#3 Peter from Madison, Wisconsin
Peter's outfit was a bit controversial for the two dudes I watched this episode with, but it didn't really bother me because... who cares what he's wearing just look at him he's perfect. The takeaways from this hometown date are that eight out of ten of Peter's friends are black. I actually really enjoyed meeting Peter's friends because they seemed so nice and normal that it made me like Peter even more. His parents were lovely, but his mom's hairstyle was straight out of this SNL sketch:
The drama from this hometown date was that Peter may not be ready to get married at the end of this journey. According to his mom, he'll be ready to commit to Rachel (i.e. go steady), but he might not put a ring on it. Rachel says that it's important for her to come out of this experience with a husband. To that I say: ARE YOU INSANE, WOMAN??? She could do so much better than the guys she has left. At this point, I'm hoping that we'll all be stunned when a hot ABC exec gets down on one knee and proposes to Rachel and we realize she's been wooed by someone who's not a personal trainer this entire time.

Warning: the following paragraphs are not going to be funny. The last time I felt this uncomfortable watching television was all three of the last presidential debates multiplied by every episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Suddenly, we were no longer watching a reality show about finding love. We were watching a painful family saga about people who were ripped apart by the death of their loving matriarch, and still struggling to heal and emerge from the pain. I felt awful for Dean. Every fiber of his being did not want to be on camera with his family. He told Rachel-- I'm not nervous, I'm TERRIFIED. How did they convince him that this was a good idea? Did the producers lie and tell him he was the frontrunner? Did they guarantee that he'd get to be the next bachelor? Did they tell him they found the cure for cancer, but they were going to let him take all the credit once this was all over? Someone please find out!

Prior to arriving at his dad's house (which gave me Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibes), Dean tells Rachel that his dad recently converted to being a Sikh and changed his name from Chip to Paramroop. He explains that his father will be wearing a turban and has a long beard. Rachel seems nonplussed by the whole thing. It doesn't seem to bother her at all that Dean hasn't seen or spoken to his father in two years. On a show that's had a serious diversity problem-- and where almost every contestant has been a Christian-- part of me appreciated seeing a different religion featured. Another part of me felt like it was presented to us as "look at these fucking weirdos." Admittedly, Dean's father did seem a bit... off or unwell. And that made the segment even more unbearable to watch. The pain and dysfunction of this family should not be exploited for purposes of entertainment. Paramroop cried when he spoke about Dean's mom (which made me feel a little bad for his new wife, if I was her, I'd probably be like-- I GET IT, SHE WAS PERFECT, LET'S MOVE ON), and Dean's sister also burst into tears when discussing the loss of her mother. This is still obviously a very raw wound. But I digress...

After asking his children to lay on the ground, Paramroop played the gong while Rachel pretended that she was really enjoying the energy in the room... when... dare I say, she was actually very complicit in this whole charade? Even after the very tense fight between Dean and his dad that ends with Dean's dad storming out and yelling at the cameras and producers to leave, it's Rachel who tries to coax Paramroop into talking to her. He starts opening up to her, until he notices it's all for the purposes of a television show, and then he starts to (understandably) lose his shit and shutdown the conversation.

Maybe there wasn't much else Rachel could have done, but we've seen her put her foot down before in the DeMario situation. Could she have requested a conversation with Dean's father off camera? I'm not sure. I've just seen too many episodes of Unreal to not wonder whether she was willingly the bait to try to get this guy more screen time.

The hometown date ends with Rachel and Dean making out on the floor of his dad's house, while Rachel consoles him and tells him that she's falling in love with him. Meanwhile, a freaked out Paramroop keeps peering through the window. I think I speak for all of America when I say I was so happy when this date was over. Dean's father is obviously a complicated person, and I wish he was more receptive to his son's turmoil and need for closure, BUT I also can't blame the guy for not being receptive after a two year hiatus from his son ended with reality TV cameras.
 Some of you may have been surprised that Rachel poured salt in Dean's wound by not giving him a rose at the end of this episode. Not me. Here's a text conversation between me and my brother to prove it:
My heart went out to Dean, because the show strung him along,. They needed something explosive for their hometown episode and they knew he had the craziest family. I'm not sure why Rachel told him she was falling in love with him when she probably knew she was going to send him home. Dean will get a good chunk of the Men Tell All special devoted to his story, and he will probably get a spot on Bachelor in Paradise. He might even be the next Bachelor. After everything this show put him through, I think he should be rewarded with his own late night talk show or a starring role on Grey's Anatomy or he should take over once Bob Iger steps down as CEO of the Walt Disney Company.

But I don't really give a fuck cause I'm getting a free dinner out of it. Thanks bro!


  1. "she's probably still breastfeeding him" 😂
    ""Eric is the only one with a personality"
    As always you're spot on and hilarious. Yet superbly awesome for recognizing that Dean's home town was no laughing matter. It all broke my heart.
    Bravo as always. Myself and a bunch of my friends adore these recaps and check regularly to see when they're up. Thank you!!!!

  2. Great recap as always. I agree with everything Christina said above. Hope you'll consider continuing these recaps or start again if you find you have the time for future seasons. Or.... you could even have a paid members area with these recaps to compensate you for some of the time it takes to watch and write. I know I'd pay for these. 😊