Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Episode seven: Mr. Ed reconsiders; Jake to the rescue

Last week I got a quote wrong and was corrected by a faithful reader. There were no excuses, even though I made one. This week, I’ve got a good excuse for what could well be many mistakes. You see, dear reader, we are away from home, in the land of Jason and Molly. We haven’t seen the lovely couple roaming the streets of Seattle during our visit, but we’ve got two more days. One can only dream.

So we’re in a cramped hotel room. No PVR to replay what was missed. Having to tell my 4-year-old son I’ll deal with him on commercials doesn’t quite fly. But he was pretty good about it, actually. Still, I might have missed a bit. Feel free to correct anything in the comments section.

Speaking of comments, thanks for the ones I’ve been getting. It’s good to know there are a few readers out there. Lord knows there’s competition. Blogging about the show has become quite the cottage industry. I might have to give it up since so many others do it so well. Problem is, there’s no other show I watch religiously that I could blog about so it would leave a void in my life the size of Wes’s balls.

Tonight Jillian went on the hometown visits to meet five families. This episode in every season is always a treat because there’s always some embarrassing family member. This season is no exception.

First off was a visit to Filthydelphia. The Canadian ingénue says she had no idea that the City of Brotherly Love was so beautiful and she could easily see herself living there. She admits to some nerves worrying about whether Reid’s parents will like her and approve of her. First off: who cares? What is this obsession on this series with families? Yeah, it’s a bonus if you mesh with your spouses family, but if you don’t you’ve got lots of company. I can’t count the number of friends who barely tolerate their in-laws. Thankfully, my in-laws are all peachy. And I’m not just saying that. I’m also typing it. Second off: Who's not going to fall immediately in love with adorable Jillian?

Reid’s parents, Rhonda and Larry, seem like good people, but I was a little concerned with the dollar signs in Rhonda’s eyes. She saw Jillian not as a person but as a designer. She said they would love a designer in their family because then the condos they hawk would sell faster. So welcome to the family, dear designer person. What was your name again?

The family doesn’t exactly give Reid a ringing endorsement. His brothers say Reid has commitment problems and the sister-in-law says they don’t usually see him being affectionate with people. Rhonda agrees that it’s a little shocking to see him that cuddly. Thanks for the support, family! At least Rhonda had the good sense to tell Jill that Reid has been hurt once. She must have been tipped off that that’s a turn-on for Jillian.

And she was indeed turned on, judging by the extend-o-smooch on the porch.

Next she visited Michael’s family in Valencia, California. Michael, as we all know, is a breakdance teacher in New York and his hometown is Tacoma, Washington. But Tacoma’s a hole so he rented out a family in California, including an “identical” twin that looks only marginally like himself. But he made sure to slip everyone uppers so Jill would be fooled into thinking they were related.

In a classic move, Michael and his “twin” decide to switch clothes. Michael shaves, too, to really pull the whole thing off. He’s going to find out what Jillian really thinks. So he enters the kitchen and asks to speak to her. Without skipping a beat, Jill asks, “So what did you do with the scruff?” Damn, foiled again! Maybe his parents just told the boys they were twins and they grew to believe it.

Jillian tells the family that on her list of non-negotiables is someone who makes her laugh. You know, like that card Wes. Golly, that good ol’ boy is hysterical! But obviously she loves that about Michael, too. For weeks I’ve been saying I have yet to see any evidence that Michael is funny. Tonight, Jillian explained it to my satisfaction. She said she has the ability to laugh at just about anything. I get it now. Kinda makes that non-negotiable list item superfluous, doesn’t it?

During dinner, Michael’s sister Jenna surprises him by returning from Australia. The opportunity for even the briefest bit of national TV exposure was worth the 20-hour flight. Then his parents cut a rug followed by everyone else getting in on the act. “Am I nuts or does that girl just fit right in?” marvelled Michael. The post-visit kiss was postively Jake-esque in its awkwardness.

While in California, she zips down to San Diego for a visit with Kiptyn’s family. I thought for sure we’d get an explanation for his ridiculous name, but no such luck. Pre-visit, Kiptyn told her that he has two dads and was so lucky. Knowing how homophobic Jillian was over the gay cowboy scene, I was kinda hoping Kiptyn had two dads in that sense. Again, no such luck.

His mom and step-dad’s house, though, was “beautiful and breathtaking”, according to Jillian. Indeed, it could sub for the series mansion any time they need a fill-in. Kiptyn obviously comes from money. Judging from his step-dad’s ‘stache, my guess is the money comes from the porn industry.

Frankly, I didn’t see Kiptyn’s parents coming. He seems so normal. His mom, who has the kind of face money can buy, seems like a real ballbreaker. In her heart-to-heart with Jillian, she speaks her mind. With every empty platitude Jill offered about love, Eve called her on it. Jillian believes in unconditional love. Not old Eve. Well, I guess having the second husband pretty much says that anyway. Jillian says she wants to work for her happiness. Uh-uh, says Eve. That’s a contradiction in terms. “How do you deal with an overbearing mother-in-law?” asks the potential mother-in-law. Run, Jill, run!

On the plus side, Eve does look drunk and says they love to drink fine wine. So I think Jill will fit in just fine.

On to wine country, where Jill meets up with Jesse the winemaker. Hmm, all this time we thought Wes wasn’t here for the right reasons, just to further his fledgling career as an godawful country warbler. Well, the first thing Jesse does is get in a plug for his family’s winery. I missed the name, though. No doubt Eve took note of it back in San Diego, though.

We meet Jesse’s mountain man of a brother, Jacob. Jill asks if he’s dating anyone and he says no. His mother jumps in, trying to protect her child on national television, saying, “Not at the moment anyway.” Jacob has nothing to hide, however. He says, “Not at the last moment and not in the moment from now.” He says women are expensive. Yeah, that’s the reason he’s not dating. I love that line. Why doesn’t he just say there are no womenfolk on the mountain he lives on?

Jacob tells Jillian that Jesse is like an “emotional ice cube” sometimes. He hasn’t seen anyone who’s been able to crack him. Thanks for my back, big brother! Then he says Jill’s a lot better than any other girl he’s brought around. Quit while you’re behind.

I don’t know if the show’s producers recommend that families put on a talent show for every hometown visit, but this one ends with the brothers rockin’ it out with Jacob on electric axe and Jesse banging on the skins. On one flourish, a drumstick slips out of Jesse’s hands and impales itself in Jacob’s hair. At least that’s the story he’d tell the cops if his plan had worked to stab Jacob in the head for ruining his chance with Jillian.

Last but certainly least is Wes’s family visit in Austin, Texas. But first, Wes would like us all... er, he’d like Jillian, that is, to meet his band. Ladies and gentlemen, Wes and the Weasels! I think that’s the name of his band, anyway. Did you know they have a new CD coming out? Everyone’s talking about it!... No wait, just Wes is talking about it.

Jillian, sporting her slutty red cowboy boots, is loving it. She feels he’s singing just for her, not the millions of potential customers at home. Her heart, she says, is going a mile a minute. She says she can’t help but feel she could be a real happy girl spending her life with Wes. I'm not making that up.

Thankfully, Gentleman Jake comes to her rescue. He says he’s not there to get a rose back, but I’m sure he would have liked one. Rather, he’s there to warn Jillian about the snake oil salesman that is Wes, who’s a deceiver, according to Jake... and just about everyone else. “It’s not fair,” says the all-American reject. “Wes has been playing with Jillian’s heart. I’m going to put a stop to it today.”

Meanwhile Jill is saying things like Wes is the most incredible, most talented guy she’s ever dated. Seriously. She said that.

But Jake struggles to tell her what no one else had the guts to say. That Wes has a girlfriend. I thought that would be it, but he actually names names. He says Wes told him more than three times that he has a girlfriend and her name is Laurel. Jillian tears up, bravely saying that’s okay. But she also says she wonders if she should call it quits now. Oh, that would have been divine, wouldn't it? Just walk away from it all, leaving ABC in the lurch.

All this happened before the family visit. Jillian says Wes has been talking about his family since the moment she met him, which only gives ammunition to those who think that Wes is getting the bad-guy edit from the show’s producers. Why haven’t we seen this? Why haven’t we seen one of his more than three admissions to Jake that he has a girlfriend? Surely the guy must have some redeeming qualities. Jillian can't be that gullible.

Then again, when she confronts him, Wes hardly is convincing in assuaging any fears. At least for the viewers. Jillian seems to buy the bullshit. When she asks him point blank about having a girlfriend, he literally hems and haws and says, “Um... that’s... crazy.” Then this telling sentence: “I’m being as honest with you as I possibly can.” Perfect! Jillian gets to hear what she wants to hear, and he can go on continuing to technically not lie. What does that even mean? As honest as he possibly can? Guys everywhere are going to be using this line for generations to come.

Jillian places a call to Jake, who conveniently happens to have a cameraman in his hotel room with him, and Jake hurries over to confront Wes. Wes sarcastically calls Jake a “man of character” and talks about Jake’s “shit-eating grin.” Everyone knows the best defense is a good offense, right?

Jake asks Wes to look him in the eye and tell him he didn’t say on multiple occasions that he has a girlfriend. Even though Wes didn’t, I thought it was a tactical error on Jake's part since I’m sure Wes could easily look anyone in the eye and tell them whatever they wanted to hear.

Jillian, stuck in the middle, has to figure out what she’s going to do and then just follow her gut. And I think we all know where that will lead. Does she trust the all-American perfect guy or the all-Texas bad-boy, she wondered? Wes practically admits all when he says he doesn’t want to drag something out if it’s not going to come to something, and he doesn’t want to put her through something, either. That’s as best as he can do without screaming, “Yes, I have a girlfriend! Get rid of me!”

Meanwhile, Jake bends over the railing in the hotel and cries, as per Bachelor etiquette.

So off to Wes’s family Jillian goes. She meets his step-mom, mother and three sisters. They all gush over him like he’s the only boy in the family... Oh yeah, he is. His step-mom says Wes is so straight-up and will always tell you the truth. Parents are so naive, aren’t they?

And then this: Jillian tells them, “You guys should be very proud of this one here. He’s a very special person.” You can’t write this stuff! What are we missing here?! C'mon, producers, 'fess up. Give us at least a glimpse into the Wes that Jillian sees. I'll hate him anyway, I promise.

Then this very special person ends the segment saying, “Jake is who Jake is – a backstabbing piece of shit.”

Back at the hotel, Jillian tells us she can’t handle any more surprises... Knock-knock-knock... Greg Brady walks into the room. He was just in the neighbourhood. Ed tells her he made a bad choice and wants back in. He says a couple guys would be compatible with her, but nobody would be more compatible and he wants another shot. So Jillian invites him to the rose ceremony. I guess that means he’s getting a rose... unless she has a wicked sense of humour and just wants to dispose of him properly this time around. I can dream, can’t I?

So now she has to get rid of two fellas instead of just the one. There are only four roses with now six bachelors. Going into the “borderline excrutiating” rose ceremony, I thought maybe Michael and Wes would be sent home. Then I remembered Kiptyn’s domineering mother, Jesse’s mountain-man brother, and Ed’s non-existant family. The only sure thing, I thought, was Reid.

With the five guys lined up, Chris reintroduces Ed into the mix. I’m sure Wes thought it would be Jake, but you can never tell what’s going on behind Wes’s vacant eyes. Michael, on the other hand, is an open book. He can't hide any emotion that courses through his veins. I’d love to play poker with that guy.

The roses are handed out. First one goes to Reid, who I thought had the best hometown date. Next up, somewhat surprisingly, is Kiptyn. But maybe not surprisingly, afterall. What girl wouldn’t want to marry into that kind of money, even if it does come from porn? Third rose goes to Ed. I would have thought they would save him till last. And the final rose goes to... Wes. Nothing to say here. I'm numb.

I’m really, really hoping that was the producer’s pick. If not, I’m pulling for a Wes-Jillian trainwreck of a final rose because she deserves what she gets. Maybe, though, she’s now just stringing him along so she can reel him in and then cut him loose. Trouble is, he’s unreelable.

On his way out, Jesse hugs Jillian without saying a word. Just leaves. He says, “I feel like shit right now. It sucks. It’s a tough pill to swallow.” He also says Wes is here for the wrong reasons. True, but Wes didn’t wear a dorky vest to the final rose ceremony at least.

Michael whispers that she’s got good guys “back there.” Then tells us, “For a girl that just dumped me, that just broke my heart, I could not say a bad thing about her.” The three things he wishes he could tell her: she’s beautiful, he’s going to miss her, and be happy. It was touching. I think that was his audition tape for the next Bachelor.

Next week they go to Spain. Looks like Ed came back just in time. Got to skip most of the stupid shenanigans and goes directly to Europe. He's a bright one, that Ed.

In the upcoming highlights package, Wes mentions his “girlfriend... I mean ex-girlfriend.” You see why the producers keep bringing him back? That is gold!

See you next week. Or, as Kiptyn's cultured parents would say, "A demain!"

Keep those comments coming.


Anonymous said...

Can't believe Jill is that DUMB...she totally deserves to be w. Wes. I hope those two wind up together in the end~!

Anonymous said...

Your blog cracks me up, especially your comments about Wes. Oh, to answer your question, " Who's not going to fall immediately in love with adorable Jillian"....ME, and anyone else who is annoyed by constant squealing. Other than that, she's ok.