Monday, July 29, 2013

Bachelorette Recap- Covering Antigua in Snot

2 hours of this.

If Mongols were to storm the set of ABC’s ‘The Bachelorette’ during tonight’s episode and murder the cast and crew, I shall not be surprised. The teaser footage suggests that anything can happen. Dez could find love, Dez could get rejected, Dez might even find a renewable energy source. This show has no rules. We’re crawling to the finish line like a snail in the desert and our slime trail stretches back for miles. It’s time for Dez to have sex with three men and then dump one of them. It’s Fantasy Suite week.  It’s the Bachelorette.

I’m not going to lie to you guys, I thought the finale was tonight. ABC keeps branding this as a 2-part finale. So, there’s this part and then next week’s part. Why stop there, ABC? Why not call the season a 10-part finale? Jerks. Did you know that the word ‘jerks’ could be a sentence on its own? My computer doesn’t.

Dez (she’s Dez now) has narrowed down her husband hunt to three forgettable contestants; what’s his name, Brooks and that guy. If you’ve ever spent time in an Emergency Room waiting area, or attended a lecture on Art History, you know how long 2 hours can be. While physically impossible, this show stretches 2 hours into 4 or 5 hours. This show has no rules; therefore, rules of nature also do not apply.

We begin the night with lots ‘o’ footage of stuff we’ve already seen. ABC continues the anticipation of terrible things to come by showing the terrible things that have happened this season; Dez getting dumped by the nice Army guy, Dez dumping some of her boyfriends, people being there for the wrong reasons.

This is what thinking looks like.

We get footage of Dez at her luxury resort thinking about these moments while staring off into the ocean. I wasn’t positive that Dez was going to think this week but, we get proof. I’m grateful to the ABC camera people for capturing the thinking. Dez says, “I’m so excited to stay at the Veranda resort in Antigua”. That was my yearbook quote.

Dez thinks about Drew, Chris, and Brooks. You see and hear her thoughts because she tells them to Bachelorette producers. These producers are taping the whole thing. They show us it.

We cut from Dez thinking to Brooks talking. Keep up! Brooks hasn’t told Dez he loves her (gasp). She says that they have the sort of love that is unspoken. Whatever gets you through the day, Dez. She says, “I picture him as that fun-loving goofy father”. Who the hell has a fun father? Father’s shouldn’t be fun. Fathers need to make sure that you do your Math homework. Kids don’t need goofy. Serial killers have goofy Dads.

Drew gets the first date in Antigua. They’re in Antigua. ABC makes sure everyone is constantly saying ‘Antigua’, because that’s where they are. They’re in Antigua. They drive an Antigua jeep. They make out in their jeep.

The jeep pulls up to a prearranged Antigua party. Drew says, “These are the kinds of things we’d do if we were married”. That’s right, Drew. Marriage is all about calypso drums and parties. That’s all marriage is. You never spend 17 minutes in a your car, parked in front of a Walmart, arguing about whether or not kitchen molding has to be the same color as the kitchen floor (it doesn't).  There’s none of that. It’s all hot tubs and oceans. Marriage is easy. You never walk extra slow to take out the garbage, just for the quiet.

When they’re done having fun, Dez and Drew talk about the fun time they’ve had. Then, they make out. There is Antiguan slurping. Drew thinks that he has found his soul mate. What are the odds? She was on TV and he found her!

When we come back from commercial, ABC puts a banner at the bottom of the screen to remind us that Dez and Drew are in Antigua. I had almost forgotten. The couple makes out in the rain, by the fire. They made the poor Bachelorette interns make a fire in the rain. I'll bet Adele is all, "Damn straight!" Dez and Drew can’t eat dinner outside by their intern-made fire, so they go inside to show how flexible they are, rain-wise.

Dez and Drew escape to their Fantasy Suite. Um… Dez hands Drew the Fantasy Suite card while they’re in the Fantasy Suite. It’s a strong move by Dez. Get him there first, then hand him the card. Drew agrees to have sex with Dez.

Drew wants to be Dez’s husband. He says, “I’ve spent what feels like an eternity with her”. It hasn’t quite been an eternity. It’s been 9 weeks. We’re 18 minutes into this episode and it feels like an eternity so I don’t argue.

Dez and Drew go into the bedroom in which they will have sex. They’re followed by a couple of camera guys and a boom mic guy. They remark how romantic the bed is, covered in rose pedals. These interns had to start a fire, cover the bed in roses, AND light 600 candles. As Drew and Dez slurp very loudly on the bed, Drew tells the camera guys to leave so that he can have sex with Dez. The camera guys leave. Dez and Drew have sex.

Brooks is going to have the final date of the evening, but ABC skips ahead for a bit because Brooks isn’t ready to confront Dez on some doubts he’s having. He goes back to his family to talk to them about Dez and love and Antigua. Brooks’ Mom and sister nod a lot as Brooks talks. It seems to be helping.

Brooks doesn’t want to propose to Dez if he isn’t sure that he loves her. Brooks’ sister says, “At this point, you should know if you love her”. So, if you’re keeping score at home, 9 weeks of dating a woman who is also dating dozens of other men is the correct amount of time in which to determine whether or not they are your future wife.

When it is determined that Brooks doesn’t love Dez yet, his family convinces him to dump her on National Television. They say that it’s the right thing to do. I agree. I nod my head at home.

Chris has the next date. They meet on a beach in Antigua. They’re picked up IN A HELICOPTER!!!!!!  The helicopter flies over Antigua. We see it. Chris says, “Dez and I are living on top of the world”. It’s not even a metaphor because the helicopter is up really high. Of course, Chris could have been referring to his feelings. I’m not sure, now. Chris is hard to read. If only he presented his statement in ‘poem’ form.

Chris and Dez land on an island to drink giant fruity drinks. They talk about Chris’ family and how much they love Dez. That’s amazing. Chris' family loved Dez 3 hours after meeting her! What the hell is Brooks’ problem?

Chris and Dez lay on the beach to make out. Producers make sure that they’re properly positioned on the beach to have the waves wash over them as they slurp. I can see the production playing out; Chris and Dez make out, some guy with a clipboard taps Dez on the shoulder and says, “Can you guys scoot down a few feet so the waves can wash over you?”

When they’re done slurping in the ocean, ABC sits them down at a table near the loudest bugs on planet Earth. Chris begins a serious discussion about his future in Seattle while bugs or frogs have loud, screechy sex in the background. Chris asks Dez if she’d move to Seattle with him if he wins the Game Show. Dez says that she likes living in San Diego. It’s uncomfortable. Eventually, Dez agrees to move to Seattle. Then, they make out. Keep up!

We’re almost through the date and Chris hasn’t read a poem yet. I tried not to mention it. It’s like talking to a pitcher about a no hitter (sports quota filled). Dez pulls out the Fantasy Suite card and hands it to Chris. He reads Chris Harrison’s invitation for the two of them to have sex in a really nice room that interns have littered with rose pedals. Chris accepts Chris Harrison’s invitation to have sex with Dez. I grab a tissue because this romantic crap always makes me cry.

On the way to Romper Room, Chris pulls out a poem. He reads it. We hear it. His poem doesn’t even really rhyme. I’m willing to consider that women like poetry but, I’m pretty sure that the poetry has to not suck. At least, while Chris reads his poem, the bugs screech loudly in the background. These Antiguan bugs, they’re tough poetry critics. After the poem, Chris and Dez make out in a pool. Jesus, this show is an hour and fifteen minutes of making out. It’s like super-edited porno.

Brooks has the next date. We’ve been warned that this will be dramatic and painful. Dez spends some time on her balcony thinking about her man before the date. While her voice extolls the virtues of Brooks, ABC shows her putting clothes on. It’s… really awkward. I get that sex sells but, why do they need to show her putting on shorts? Is she cool with this? Did she have to sign a form, agreeing to put on shorts in front of sweaty camera guys and America if she were to become the next Bachelorette? We’ll never know… or care.

Before Brooks picks Dez up to dump her, he stops by Chris Harrison’s hotel room to talk about the best strategy in dumping his Reality TV girlfriend. The hotel room is in Antigua. Harrison steps up his game with some serious head-nodding. He’s a pro’s pro.

I’ll warn you now not to read any of this. There is no content. It’s horrendous television.

Brooks lays out that he’s not sure if he’s in love with Dez. Harrison nods. Brooks is close to deciding that he won’t take this any further. Harrison nods some more. It’s gripping. I grip. Chris Harrison asks Brooks to describe love. Brooks says, “I don’t know how to describe it, Chris”. We go another week without having love described for us.

Finally, Brooks agrees to dump Dez on TV. Harrison confirms the dumping. It is to be. Brooks will dump Dez. Even though the dumping has been confirmed, Harrison continues to beat a dead horse with more questions about love and dumping. He asks Brooks how he feels about dumping Dez. Brooks cries and talks. There is crying and talking. Keep up! The music selected for this boring scene is random piano key banging. This segment of television is 12 minutes too long. Here’s an idea, ABC, make the show an hour long so you don’t have to torture us with pointless ‘Chris Harrison’ interviews.

After Brooks decides to dump Dez, we get video footage of him sitting on a chair and thinking about how he’s about to dump Dez. He fixes his hair and thinks. There’s a ton of thinking, guys. You have no idea.
Next comes the dramatic nightmare we’ve been teased about the entire season. Dez is about to cry more than a 3-month old baby with an empty stomach and wet shorts.

Before Dez arrives, we get a little more ‘Brooks Thinking’ footage. This guy just thinks constantly. Dez tells the camera how excited she is for her date with Brooks. Her friends at ABC do a good job of not warning her at all that she’s about to have her rib cage split open, followed by her heart being ripped out her chest. ABC is a real pal.

Brooks hugs Dez and cries because he’s going to dump her. Dez knows something is up. He practically drags her over to a pier so that he can dump her on a bench by the water. It’s a good place to dump a girl. That must have been what he was thinking of.

The dumping is not quick. Apparently, ABC’s editor is on vacation. There is mindless rambling from Chris and head-nodding from Dez. He talks for 3 minutes before he even gets to the dump part. Brooks tells Dez that she’s everything he wants and that he’s happy to have met her. I’m guessing he’s never dumped anyone before. That's not a good start.

Brooks admits that he doesn’t love Dez when Dez isn’t there. Dez cries. Brooks cries. There’s crying. No one finishes their sentences. Snot starts coming out of noses. No one can talk because everyone is crying. ABC doesn’t pause their cameras because we are forced to see snot and tears and whispery apologies for dumping people who date 24 additional people.

Dez gets mad at Brooks for dumping her. It’s a natural reaction. She hides her face and cries some more. Now there is snot all over her hands. We’re seriously 14 minutes into this dumping and ABC is not letting us off the hook. It’s so painful. It’s just crying jags. They’re in Antigua, by the way.

Dez tells Brooks that she loves him and that he was the one who was going to win the Game show. He’s all, “Dude! Why didn’t you tell me?” I immediately think of the other two boyfriends and how, after they win the Game Show, they’re going to watch this entire scene with their new fiancĂ© and ask, “Hey, what was that whole ‘I love you Brooks’ thing?”

ABC goes to commercial and comes back with the same camera shot of two vapid people on a bench in Antigua, crying about getting dumped on TV. There’s more “Why did you dump me?” and “Sorry I dumped you”. Brooks sits weird while dumping Dez. He sits so his body is almost horizontal. Dez swears. ABC bleeps it. That was close.

Horizontal Dumping.

I can’t really type everything said but, it sounds like this, “Words, sniff, sniff, love, words, sniff, sniff, sniff, love, words”. We’re now 34 minutes into the worst thing to ever happen. I could have spent this time sanding a cabinet or learning to kick box or eating a bowl of aspirin.

When the dumping is done, Brooks holds Dez while piano guy bangs away at some ‘Dez got Dumped’ music. Brooks cries into the camera and apologizes about breaking Dez’ heart. There’s a lot more snot.

There’s another commercial break but they’re still not done! Brooks walks Dez down the beach so we can hear more sniffling. This is torture. ABC gives us subtitles of their post-dumped relationship talk. Dez breaks down again so we get more snot and crying. Brooks’ shirt is basically ruined. They hug one last time and ABC microphones pick up their heart beats, or producers added synthetic heart beats in post-production. I wouldn’t put that above them.

Because one of the contestants dumped the star of our show, there is no Rose Ceremony. It’s just Dez walking away and crying. She produced enough snot in the one-hour dump scene to insulate a 4-bedroom house. I guess Dez did find a renewable energy source!

Brooks talks to himself about how bad he feels. If he really felt that bad, he could have just hired a fake girlfriend to come onto the show and yell at him about a fake relationship that never happened. That way, no one would get hurt. Brooks gets into his confessional limo to repeat the things he said during the dumping.

Dez tells the camera that she can’t give the other two Game Show contestants the love that they deserve. She tells the camera that it’s over. I wish so badly that she was telling the truth and that I didn’t have to watch a 3-hour finale next week.

The scene closes with Dez on a pier, thinking about being dumped. The last sound we hear is snot being sucked back into a nose by Dez’s lungs. I never thought I’d say this but, I don’t want to hear that sound again.

Next week, I get to recap the 3-hour finale, unless a cable holding a traffic light snaps and the light swings down through my windshield and smashes my skull through the car seat. Here’s hoping!

Greg Bauch is the author of ‘Frank Dates’ which isn’t one of Chris’ poems so, what’s the point?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Bachelorette Recap- The Men Tell All

I’m not going to lie to you guys. My work Golf Tournament was today and I killed a lot of brain cells. Luckily, you only need two brain cells to watch ‘The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All’ episode. It’s terrible.

‘The Men Tell All’ episode of the Bachelorette is a chance for America to hear things that have not been told. The men tell all. Nothing is not told. I’m eager to hear the men tell me how lawn sprinklers work and why ‘Parker Lewis Can’t Lose’ got cancelled.

ABC doesn’t like you, so they bring out all of their contestants for a final chance at being in front of the camera. Chris Harrison will interview people like it’s his job. Audience members will cheer and boo. And there will be footage. There will be so much footage of things you’ve already seen. It’s amazing to me that a show with so much to tell would waste time telling things they’ve already told but, that’s the Bachelorette.

This show has no rules.

There are 4 million candles on the set of ‘The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All’. We begin the worst episode of the worst show with a great quote from Chris Harrison that just about sums it all up, “Dez has had to handle guys with secret girlfriends and men who are clearly not on the show for the right reasons. But, despite all of the drama, Desiree has found 3 guys who she thinks could be her next husband.”
Nothing I type could say it any better than that.

Next comes some pre-taped fun. Chris Harrison and Dez take a camera crew to sneak up on random houses filled with women watching the Bachelorette. It’s a lot like ‘To Catch a Predator’. It’s super fun to watch people’s surprised reactions to Chris Harrison starring at them through their living room window. In every other house in America, people should the people who randomly burst their doors. On this show, people just excitedly scream.

ABC hates me so they bring back Ashley H. and her forehead to run around to random homes so People can scream. There’s screaming. This segment is 10 minutes of washed up reality TV stars opening doors, followed by screaming. It’s like a demonic Jack-in-the-Box.

Another horrible former Bachelorette Trista helps crash parties. Trista and Ashley H. constantly steal votes from each other in my weekly Coaches Poll of ‘Top Hated People’. (Sports quote kind of filled)

Because we have two hours to fill and zero content, ABC allows Ashley H., Alli, and Emily Maynard to sit in a semi-circle with Dez to talk about the correct way to choose a man on television. This is valuable information for Dez, considering two of the women broke up with their Game show contestants four seconds after getting engaged and the other girl, Ashley H., was dumped three times in the course of her season.

They talk and there’s talking. ABC plays footage we’ve seen thousands of times. One important lesson is learned; men are scumbags and they can’t be trusted. It’s important, when dating 24 men at once, to weed out the ones who are just looking to be on television. The girls clink their giant wine glasses and say, “Here’s to putting guys in their place!” I wish my place was the bottom of a ravine covered with jagged rocks.

Next, the studio audience welcomes the men who have been charged with telling all. The studio audience consists of 299 women and 1 guy. They cheer for nice guys and boo the ones who were there for the wrong reasons. They cheer extra loud for the men who they wish to sleep with.  I don’t remember most of the men introduced.

The guys talk about the friendships they’ve former with the other men who were dating their girlfriend. ABC plays clips from the season. We see Hashtag guy say ‘Hashtag’. We see the fake girlfriend come out to fake yell at a fake guy. We see dramatic footage of ‘Ben hating’. I’d apologize to you if this is your first time reading my recap and you didn’t know what ‘Ben Hating’ was but, you’re reading a Bachelorette recap. Did you really expect to understand any of this?

Brian was the guy with the fake, secret girlfriend. He skipped out on the ‘Bachelorette: The Men Tell All’ episode. I respect that because, he was not prepared to tell all and, if this episode is about anything, it’s about telling all.

29 minutes in, absolutely nothing has happened. Chris Harrison says, “This is just the tip of the iceberg”. This iceberg Chris Harrison refers to is worse than the one that sank the titanic.

The ‘hot seat’ portion of our show is next. The ‘Hot Seat’ is the chair next to Chris Harrison. It’s hot because the men sitting in it are exposed to tough questions and forced to tell all. It’s incredibly hot. It’s like sitting on an aluminum chair in July while wearing really high-cut jorts.

Ben is the first guy on the hot seat. Ben was on the show for the wrong reasons. Ben used his cute son to slurp with Dez and acted like a jerk. After he was dumped by Dez, Ben exclaimed that he was going to sleep with women who aren’t Dez. The audience boos. Ben’s seat is indeed hot.

Ben explains that he is not a bad guy. The disapproving looks shot out by the other men could scorch wood. The audience joins in with disapproving looks. You guys, no one approves. We all disapprove. As a journalist, I don’t like to take sides but, I’m on the side of good her. I don’t approve.

This woman does not approve.
Next, James is placed upon the hot seat. As Chris Harrison introduces James, they show a woman shaking her head in disapproval. This woman does not at all approve of James and his being in places for reasons which are wrong. This woman is a defender of all that is good. This woman will not let you be in places for reasons that are not right without you suffering through a harsh head-shake. This woman tells all with her shaking head. When I’m murdered, I hope this woman serves on the jury.

ABC replays James being there for the wrong reasons. We see it… again. Chris Harrison asks James, to explain his wrong-reasonedness. James explains it. There are more women disapprovingly shaking their heads and also raising their eyebrows. We’re seconds away from women storming the hot seat with torches and pitch forks. America, in case you thought it was okay to go on a Reality Television show and date a woman who is also dating 24 other men, and not be there for the right reasons, you cannot. You will be put in a hot seat and be inundated with vicious, judgmental head shakes. They might take our guns, but they will have to pry our disapproving head shakes from our cold, dead … heads.

I’m going to jump ahead because there’s a ton of talking. At one point, Hashtag Casey says, “I swear to God, on my family, that I did not say any of that”. I’m sure God didn’t ask to be put into the middle of this. He probably has bigger things to deal with than whether or not some of Dez’s 24 boyfriends are there for the right reasons. I can’t be sure, though. I’m not God.

There’s an hour left in the show and I want someone to break into my house to steal my television.
There’s an open discussion about whether or not a guy is allowed to think about being the next Bachelor while being a current contestant on the Bachelorette. Keep up! The final verdict is… I don’t know. There was so much talking.

I pass out for a second and wake to hear Juan Pablo say, “My daughter or my sister, I do not want to date James right now. If he becomes a good James, I’m happy but, now, no my daughter. No my sister”. So, if you’re keeping score at home, no Juan Pablo’s daughter or sister dating James.

Chris Harrison asks the audience if James should be the next Bachelor. Women shout ‘No’ and pump their thumbs down. It’s a lot like the movie Gladiator.

The next segment is sponsored by Clorox. They call it ‘Bleachable Moments’. Get it? Moments you’d like to eliminate? Get it? Do you guys even get comedy? You’re all stupid.

We come back to Chris Harrison saying, “In the history of this show, no guy has made a greater impact with less screen time than Juan Pablo”. Chris Harrison brings Juan Pablo up to the ‘Hot Seat’. This time the seat is hot because Juan Pablo is hot. The women in the audience scream because they want parts of Juan Pablo rubbed up against their parts. ABC shows parts of Juan Pablo’s parts. There is soccer and talk of butts. All of the heads in this studio are nodding approval. Juan Pablo is approved.

“I love Juan Pablo. He has a daughter”- A guy who didn’t where a shirt.

Chris Harrison asks Juan Pablo what brought him on the show. Juan Pablo says that he wants a nice girl to be a mother for his daughter. He mentions his daughter a couple hundred times. They show us footage of Juan Pablo not wearing a shirt. Juan Pablo has gained a ton of steam and is angling to be a future Bachelor. There are women in the studio audience wearing ‘I love Juan Pablo’ t-shirts. I hope the guy at the kiosk in the mall laughed at them.

Shirtless Zak is on the ‘Hot Seat’ next. Zak is wearing a shirt. Zak was super goofy. You have no idea. ABC shows us Zak footage in case we forgot how goofy he is. I didn’t forget. I notice, in the subtitles of Zak’s journey, that ABC spells Dez ‘Des’. Have I been wrong this entire season? I’m not changing it. She’s Dez now and she’ll always be Dez.

Zak cries after watching footage of his crying. Chris Harrison asks him to talk about his crying. Zak talks about his crying. Zak also talks about his emotions.

Chris Harrison asks Zak to talk about his dark places. Zak says that he has trouble meeting women because he works on an oil rig. He should date Liv Tyler.

Chris Harrison pulls out Zak’s ‘black light’ journal and reads Zak’s poem out loud. Women in the audience make faces like they’re being made pregnant by Zak’s romantic journal words. Zak admits that he still loves Dez and Chris Harrison tells Zak he can say things to Dez.

Dez comes out and the audience goes ape-poop. Dez is wearing chain maille. Dez talks about the guys she has dumped. She disapprovingly shakes her head over a few of them. Dez yells at Ben for wrong-reasonedness. The audience claps because justice is being served; street justice.

Chris Harrison points at James and says, “What about James? Say bad things about James!” and Dez yells at James for his appearance on the show with intentions that were not right. Dez yells at James for wanting to meet women after she dumped him. James says, “You’re dating 25 guys!” Someone said it.

Chris Harrison makes Dez talk to Zak, so we all have a final chance to cry. Zak is tan. Zak starts talking and tells America that he wrote a song. Bachelorette interns bring Zak a guitar. He sings his song. We are all forced to listen to his sad song about the woman he dated on TV who was also dating 24 other guys. Dez cries. Zak doesn’t cry because it’s his big chance to sing on TV and get a record deal. Zak’s song is about moving on. He’s moving on all right. He’s moving on to be a Bachelor! Zing!

Next, ABC rolls out the LOL bloopers. Dez hits her head on a lamp and falls down while roller skating. A grasshopper lands on a guy. Things get set on fire. A child swings a bat and accidentally hits a guy in the crotch.

It’s over. Next week is the season finale with an ending that Chris Harrison promises we will not see coming. Normally, the finale consists of 2 contestants and a Bachelor/Bachelorette. This season, three guys remain. I see nothing coming. This show has no rules. Actually, they’re calling it a 2-part finale event which, I think, means it’s just going to be two more episodes. That’s what you do when you put out a horrible television show with no content. You re-brand your finale to make it sound like it matters.

There will be horses, canoes, HELICOPTERS, promises of forever, slurping, drama, heartbreak, tears, tear gas, fake preview scenes of things that won’t happen, nothing, stuff, ducks, bloopers, fantasy suites, intrigue, and no studio audience so, what’s the point? I can’t believe Microsoft didn’t underline that last sentence with a red, squiggly line.

When ABC cuts from the finale preview to the studio audience, they show this woman and I laugh so hard my dog runs into the other room.

Betrayed by a Bachelorette Promo
While the credits roll, studio audience members make comments about who they would like to win the Game Show. One woman says, “I’m on Team Drew so, I feel emotionally connected to him”. I love the idea of ‘Team Drew’. Do you think that Buffalo might get an expansion ‘Team Drew’? Did you even read down this far?

Greg Bauch is the author of ‘Frank Dates’ and is shaking his head at you.