Wednesday, July 29, 2009

After the final rose... it still sucks

We’re done. I’ll just have to live with it, for however long it lasts.

Jillian is still with Dead Ed. They seem happy. Say they’re going to get married within the year. I’m so happy for them. But let’s go through the After the Final Rose episode.

At the mere mention that Jillian accepted Ed’s proposal, the live studio audience goes wild... Sorry. Typo. I meant ‘goes mild.’ That was the kind of response you give to your best friend when they tell you they’re marrying a dullard. Feigned joy. It’s hard to do. Well done, studio audience.

First out is the ever-adorable Melissa. God, she’s cute. She talked of being embarrassed at how last season played out. Chris admitted stalking her on the set of Dancing with the Stars where he met some dude named Todd, who has since gone on to become her best friend. Or something like that. But she’s happy and that’s all that matters. The process was one of the best things that ever happened to her in her entire life, she says. Jason Mesnick made the right choice. Meow!

Next up is Kiptyn, who still looks like a broken man. No embarrassed smiles from him. Just a heavy sigh after watching what transpired at the final rose ceremony. The wind is still knocked out of him, he admits. He says he clearly fell in love and was real all the way through. He meant what he said. And he’s still got love for Jillian. And... sorry, I dozed off there.

They meet again for the first time since that fateful day. Jillian tells him he didn’t do anything wrong. He says no hard feelings. He’ll never stop appreciating the woman she is. He’s all class, that guy. Boring but classy.

That was a short segment. Reid stole Kiptyn’s thunder. Clearly Reid is a fan favourite. He’d make a most entertaining Bachelor, unlike Kiptyn.

Chris announces, “America was shocked by Reid’s unexpected return.” Only brain-injured Americans with short-term memory problems who didn’t watch the previews the previous week. Who was shocked? We all knew it was happening.

Reid enters with a big smile. He is Mr. Popularity. But I was surprised that during the clips of his embarrassing return, he didn’t give any wiseguy smiles while watching. He sat there and bit his lip. He told Chris that he was experiencing the same emotions that he felt at the time. We can only assume those were emotions of love followed by heartbreak.

Lots of people in cyberspace say Reid looks like Chandler on Friends. Not at all. He reminds me so much of Michael Keaton, as I wrote at the beginning of this season. His mannerisms, everything. Seriously. And Michael Keaton will always be way cooler (and funnier) than Greg Brady (Ed).

He says he didn’t think he had too much competition. I’m with him. I hope Jillian was listening backstage.

When she enters, they embrace and he’s all flirty. Every time she looks at him, he gives her a knowing smile with a twinkle in his eye. I think he still thinks he could get her.

He asks her if she was really confused that day he returned to profess his love. Jill started talking, but didn’t answer the question. She eventually got to the same line she told Kiptyn about wanting him to be happy.

That was about it as far as questions for her. Reid says, “You made your decision. That’s how it works. I’ve got to accept that. There are no questions that are going to change anything.” Yes, there are, Reid! Jillian is speechless. She’s still looking like she just needs to be asked. Ask her, Reid! Ask her now! Ask her to leave Ed! Do it for us!

Not gonna happen. He admits that he still loves her and her look seems to say she realizes she made a mistake. Ah, sweet regret. But she says she feels like she’s with the person she’s meant to be with now. She will not pull a Mesnick on poor, simple Ed.

Reid won’t ask any more questions (“it’s not right”), but one of them would have been about the fantasy suite. The crowd laughs. He got in a good dig while maintaining some dignity. Well played, good sir.

He says, “You seem happy.” Key word “seem”. “There’s no need to poke and prod and try to figure out what happened when you chose Ed and I shouldn’t even have...” There’s the classic Reid neuroses. He downplays himself constantly. He even said the ring he bought wasn’t very good, which elicited sympathetic ahs from the ladies. They were in love with the guy. One of them even asked him if he’d go out with her. She looked to be about 14. That was the only question they showed. Are the setting him up to be the new Bachelor? Let’s hope.

Finally Ed and Jillian are together on stage. They kiss. They kiss some more. Are they told to, I wonder? Because didn’t they just see each other back stage? Even if they didn’t, couldn’t it wait? Whenever I see overly affectionate couples in public, I always think that’s a sign of a troubled relationship. Like, “Look how deliriously happy we are! We can’t keep our hands off each other! No problems here! None whatsoever!”

We learn that Jill will be moving in with Ed on September 1. They plan on marrying within the next twelve months. “Why take it slow?” Jillian said. “We haven’t taken it slow from the start. We’re gonna have fun with this.” i.e. more drinking. Lots more.

One of the questions was about Ed’s “mankini” green swimtrunks. This may be a sign of my age, but they looked perfectly normal to me. Sure, most of my shorts now hang down by my knees, but those things are hard to swim in. Why is it all of a sudden verboten that any guy show off his thighs? Jill, to her credit, said she liked the shorts. Chris was aghast. He can’t believe it. Then again, Chris is a bit of a fop.

The last question had to do with Ed’s abilities in the bedroom. Jillian assures us that there are definitely no bedroom problems. The only problem, she says, is that they can’t get enough of the bedroom. Okay, okay, geez, did you need to go there? But that’s our Jill. Always classing up the proceedings.

Gotta love her. If only she’d get rid of that dud.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The final rose: Noooooo!!!!!!

How about that season finale?! It was, I understand, the most emotional one in Bachelorette history.

The show is set on the big island of Hawaii. Doesn’t it have a name? (That was honestly my thought at the time. Later in the show, the graphics said, “Big Island, Hawaii”, so the joke’s on me. And they say Americans don’t know geography!)

We all know how it ended by this point, so what’s the point in keeping up the suspense. But I’ll still go through as I saw it because the producers were once again toying with us. Judging by what we saw in the episode, I think everyone would have guessed that Kiptyn would have been the one. Let’s look at the evidence.

Jillian has one last date with each of the two remaining bachelors, Ed and Kiptyn, and they meet her family. She tells us that her fantasy suite date with Ed “messed with both of our heads.”

Ed arrives in a pink shirt. It looks good, actually. Is that so wrong to say? He’s wearing long shorts, though. I’d have loved to seen the pink shirt with the short green swim trunks he favours.

Grandma, the darling of last season, is a bit player this time around. She opines that Ed is terrifically good looking. And he is, I’ll grant you. But he’s as dull as a board. Glenn, the dad, says, “Obviously there’s been a little bit of magic happening here.” Uh, not so much, dad. But dad doesn’t need to find out about the fantasy suite misfire just yet.

Ed tells the family that he was married to his jahb, tells them how he left Jillian and that he could naht stahp thinking about this woman. They sat and nodded, pretending to understand his midwestern dialect.

Then Ma Peggy rattles off a bunch of written out questions. Jillian certainly comes by her job interview style of dating honestly. We learn that Ed wants to have three kids, he sees themselves retired in Hawaii in 30 or 40 years, and that if you have honesty and love between two people, nothing can go wrong in a relationship. I guess we can take from this that Ed doesn’t really have a girlfriend back in Chi-town. I guess we’ll eventually find out. Regardless, Peg is pleased with Ed’s dull, rehearsed answers.

Yes, we get hints that Ed might be the one when Jillian says she’s not scared of engagement with him or a proposal. In fact, she’s excited about it. Go figure. Still, there's way more excitement with Kiptyn.

Ed then sucks up to Glenn by asking him how he’d feel if he (Ed) asked him to marry his daughter. Glenn says he’d be so happy he’d be doing somersaults. My stomach is doing somersaults at the thought of Jillian picking this ho-hum hunk.

Then the family invites Ed for a faux-hula dance. They all dress up in grass skirts and coconut shell boobies. Oh what fun. Ed says he’d love to be part of that family. But remember his parents? The Harris clan must seem exotic compared to the Swiderskis. You heard me. Swiderski. Jillian Swiderski. Rolls right off the tongue, don’t it?

Next up is Kiptyn, whom Jillian can’t wait to hug and kiss. Way, way more chemistry (i.e. tonsil hockey a-plenty). They didn’t show this kind of action with Ed which led us to believe it wasn’t there. But it must have been. There must have been something there besides what we saw with Ed. For their sake, I hope there was.

I loved Peggy’s line: “There’s excitement today knowing that Jill is bringing home another guy.” What a liberal family.

Jillian says Kip is a guy she can picture spending the rest of her life with... if he aces this day. And he does. With flying colours.

Peggy nabs Kiptyn for the same questions. We learn that Kiptyn wants at least two kids, that communication is if not number one, then really close to it, and that he visualizes his and Jill’s relationship in 30 or 40 years as best friends. Peg thinks Kiptyn is more like Jillian. They have a similar energy. She thinks he seems like a free spirit. That right there tells you just how dull Ed is. Only Ed could make a tight ass like Kiptyn seem like a free spirit.

Grandma weighs in: Kiptyn is “very, very, very, very nice.” Okay, someone put grandma away. She’s done for the episode.

Glenn asks Kiptyn if he’s in love. Kiptyn starts talking as a way to avoid the question. “I’m getting there a lot quicker than I thought I would,” he says. “I can see myself with Jill. She’s incredible. I can see myself marrying her.” He says he’d never propose without being sure. Dad says that if you can win over his daughter, you’ve got a partner for life. I believe that. I think the world of Jillian. All along, though, I’ve questioned her taste in men (and music). And tonight only confirmed that. Still, she’d make a great partner.

Then we get more scenes of them making out. She says, “When we’re together, I just never want him to leave.” Man, I thought at the time, if she picks Ed he is not going to like seeing this. No wonder these relationships rarely work out. The couple has to stay apart until the airing of the series and by that time they see their future wife shacking up with all the other guys.

Now Jillian gets some alone time with her family to pick their brains about the two guys. Peggy is drawn to Kiptyn’s energy. She thought Ed seemed quite in control and reserved. Boring is the word you’re looking for, mum. Glenn says they’re both gentlemen. Jill’s cousin seemed to like Kiptyn a lot better. Glenn thought Ed was deeper. Yeah, insipid people can often appear to be deep.

Then Jill takes her cousin out back to fill her in on the overnight dates. The cousin listens silently, either completely shocked at her loose cousin or just shocked that she’d be admitting it all to the world. Jillian says there was passion with Kiptyn and she wanted to rip his clothes off. She says it wasn’t there with Ed. And so, once again, we’re led to believe Ed is toast. But apparently Jillian likes dry whitebread toast.

Ed is back, this time with a different pink shirt. Okay, Ed, we get it, you’re comfortable with your sexuality. Bully for you. He piles it on with Jillian. She remarks on the beautiful scenery and he’s in her face telling her she’s beautiful. What a suck.

Hey look! A helicopter! Did not see that coming. The couple fly over a volcano which is spewing more than Ed did the other night.

On the ground, Ed tells Jillian that she looks really haht in the rain. Well, she is from Vancouver. She’s had lots of practice.

Ed gives her the it’s-tough-for-me-to-open-up speech. Uh, Ed, you were the only guy to utter those three little words to Jillian in the personal video. Nice try. This guy is all about rehearsed speeches. Jejune ones at that.

They kiss but it really looks to me like he’s feeling them more than she is. Maybe I just don’t want to see it. He tells her, “I will never leave you again.” God, he’s like a junior high Casanova.

He then invites Jillian back to “his” place. “I want tonight to be the perfect night. I’m ready to take this to the next level.” I hope he remembered the Cialis.

Again, he tells her, “I would like to be with you forever.” God, he’s cloying. As they lie on the bed, her body language is not suggesting that this is the guy. She just lies there placid. She’s not even wrapping her legs around him. You know it’s a bad sign when the patented Harris leg-wrap isn’t there.

We never find out how this evening to remember went. Did she rip his clothes off? Was there passion? Could Ed get it up? Instead, we’re on to Kiptyn.

More intense kisses for Kiptyn. And what’s more, she tells us she’s in love with Kiptyn. Remember that later when she tells him at the altar that she’s fallen in love with somebody else.

They paddle a surfboard to a private beach for a picnic. Kiptyn’s got more of a ripped body than Ed, that’s for sure. Ed, at 29, is starting to show a little pudge. And you only need to look at his dad to peer into his future. That Chicago diet doesn’t do wonders for a boy’s figure.

Jillian is doing all the moves with Kiptyn that aren’t there with Ed. She even straddles him on the surfboard. That’s what I’m talking about!

Now it’s Kiptyn’s turn for the lame speech, in his case the I-move-slower-than-other-people- in-this-process talk. He says he’d be really hurt if he lost her, and Jillian’s eyes light up. All this time she was worried that Kiptyn never had his heart broken. He was always the dumper, not the dumpee. This was the beginning of the end for Kiptyn. He tells her he’s falling in love with her, he’s ready to commit, he wants her to move down to San Diego and meet all his friends. But Jillian has other thoughts. She must do this for all women.

On the morning of the final rose ceremony, a camera is there to greet Jillian as she arises from her bed. That’s a little creepy, no? Is someone in there watching her sleep?

Her thoughts on the two gentlemen are that Kiptyn is the perfect package for her, yet she loves Ed’s aura and energy. She obviously mixed up the message her mom gave her. Peggy loved Kiptyn’s energy.

Jillian also says here that she “definitely love[s] both guys, 100 percent.” So what’s this nonsense about her falling in love with another guy (Ed)? She loves them both.

We see and hear the bachelors. Kiptyn jogs pigeon-toed along the beach, saying he wants to be the last man standing with Jillian by his side. Ed sees them being husband and wife. Kiptyn and Ed both shop for rings at the same shop. What a coincky-dink!

Ed says he would be devastated if Jillian didn’t pick him and he’s never been this in love in his life. His girlfriends back home in Chicago won’t be too thrilled with that.

Jillian walks the plank to her spot. We know ahead of time that the first guy is a goner because she’s telling us that she’s got to tell him he’s incredible but not the one. Kiptyn steps from the limo and I'm flummoxed. Damn you, producers! Why do you trifle with our emotions like that?

But Kiptyn is oblivious. They greet. She smiles. He tells her how nervous and excited he is. Stop talking, Kiptyn. Please. C’mon, Jillian, interrupt him for once. This is the equivalent of DeAnna letting Jason get down on one knee. It’s painful. He keeps talking. Shut up, already! “I don’t know what to say... I love you and I want to spend this life with you.” You idiot!

Finally Jillian speaks. She tells him how incredible he is, he’s all the things she’s always dreamed of. Now the tears start and Kiptyn gets a clue something’s not right. “I’ve fallen in love with somebody else.” Liar!

Okay, that’s technically true, but that shouldn’t discount the love she said she felt for Kiptyn. She should just tell him the truth, that she needs a karaoke-singing hunky nerd with no personality to offset her magnetism and larger-than-life personality. And Kiptyn was just too much free spirit for her.

Kiptyn says it hurts a lot, but “I’m a man and I’ll have to get through this.” He wants her to be happy. They embrace. “You’re incredible and Ed’s a lucky man.” Is he ever.

Jill sees him to the limo. Kiptyn says – and this is key – “I’ve never had my heart broken before.” She got you! She got you good! Now you’re finally perfect, Kiptyn. Ironically, she can’t have you. This is a real O. Henry story.

As Jill is focussing all her energy on Ed, a cab rolls up. Who could it be? Someone in sneakers has crashed the party. Why, look, it’s Reid! Here he comes to save the day! Oh, please, Lord, let him save the day.

Chris Harrison tells Reid that he doesn’t have much time because Ed is on his way. So out he goes to see Jillian. “Oh... my... God,” says Jillian. She looks happy. And surprised. As they hug, she looks extremely worried, like she’s thinking ahead to what she must do.

“I had to come back,” he tells her. Reid pulls an Ed on Ed! Priceless. “I was an idiot this entire time. I know you felt how I felt. I came back to tell you that, and to tell you that I love you and hopefully you feel the same way,” he says with rising intonation on the last word, like it’s a question.

“Oh, my God,” says Jillian. “I don’t know what to think right now. Letting you go was the hardest thing I had to do.” Uh, remember Kiptyn? Hello? That was about, what, 15 minutes ago?

“I had a pit in my stomach the last few days,” he tells her. “The last time I had a feeling like that was when I was in love. I told you I like you this much; I love you this much.”

He also tells her that he doesn’t see her with either Ed or Kiptyn. “I only see you with me.” So do I, Reid, so do I. Unfortunately, Chris Harrison doesn’t want it to be.

Reid gets down on one knee and kind of proposes. “I love you and you’re somebody I could spend the rest of my life with.” She smiles. Then heaves a sigh with a furrowed brow. She gets him up. “I don’t know,” she says. “I have missed you so much, but I need to think about this.”

“What is there to think about?” Reid asks.

“I don’t know. I don’t know.” She’s tormented. “Let me think about this. And wait for me, okay?” She smiles.

While she was back in the house thinking, I was hoping Ed would show up and the two boys would duke it out. Instead Chris Harrison plants seeds in her head, leading her to choose the dull one over funny Reid.

Jillian: “How am I supposed to make a decision?”
Chris: “It’s still up to you. If you are in love with Ed, you can stand by your convictions. But are you in love with Reid?”
Jillian: “How is somebody supposed to make a decision like this?”
Chris: “Because you know, right? Are you excited about the prospect of Ed proposing?”
Jillian: “Yes.”
Chris: “Then there’s no question what you need to do.”

No, no, no! There’s plenty of question, Chris! Of course she was excited about Ed proposing. She had made her decision between the two dull guys and the duller one won out. That feeling doesn’t just disappear in a matter of minutes. That’s no reason to send her out there to give Reid the boot.

Jillian says, “I know my heart is with Ed.” Dumb girl. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

I think Jillian felt more a sense of responsibility to Ed than anything. “I still don’t know what to think,” she tells Reid. “You’re not crazy. We do have that connection. It’s fun and it’s what I was looking for. And it was hard to let you go. I guess I just... I don’t know. I love the situation I’m in. I really, truly have fallen in love with somebody since. I can’t let him go now.” And there you have it. She is loyal, that girl.

Reid says, “It just doesn’t make sense.”

“This is not easy. At all. That’s why I was trying to get you to open up.”

Okay, but now he has. Don’t let Ed ruin this season for me, you selfish little harlot!

“Some people are better [at it] than others,” Reid explains about his reluctance to open up. “I was trying but my fears got in my way.”

She then talks into his shoulder, thanking him for what he did. I needed subtitles to catch all she said. None were forthcoming.

He gets in the cab and completes his drive of shame. Reid says he has no regrets about going back and professing his love.

Jillian says, “I know for sure now, 110 percent, that Ed is the person I want to be with.” Whatever. Then, on the altar (or whatever that platform is), “Ed better not fucking disappoint me.” Why not? He disappointed me long ago.

With all this drama unfolding, and Kiptyn completely out of the picture, it made me think of Farrah Fawcett, who would never know that Michael Jackson would die just hours after her. Kiptyn in the role of Farrah, while Reid played Jacko.

Ed is the person I’m meant to be with. I can see him in my life long term. Forever. Fifty years down the road. We are best friends. We have that laughter. We have that spark and that chemistry.” Uh, need I remind you of the fantasy suite? I think Ed won her over the night he got drunk and was a loveable lush. No doubt he’d be more forgiving of her drunken episodes than uptight Kiptyn.

Ed arrives and starts in on another rehearsed speech. Blah, blah, blah. I’m not even paying attention. Dullsville, daddy-o. What a huge disappointment. “I love you so much,” he says. Blech.

He gets down on one knee. “I wanna be with you forever. I want you to give me a hard time when we’re 80 years old. Jillian, will you marry me?”

“Absolutely!” she squeals, and does the patented Harris leg-wrap.

A musical montage plays over video of Jillian and Ed: “They say, they say that love don’t come easy...”

Nah, that would have been too perfect.

Take a look at last week's poll, over there on the left: Who will get the final rose? I asked. Sixty-one percent of you said Reid. Thirty percent said Kiptyn. Only seven percent said Ed. Sure, only 13 people voted, but I think that's representative. At least, I choose to believe it.

I have come full circle on this season. Jillian remains one of my all-time favourites, but I started out thinking this was the worst season ever. Then it grew on me. I liked enough of the players and things got going. Guys came and went (and didn’t come). We had David the psycho, Wes the cad, Jake the hero, Tanner the foot freak. Good stuff. Sure, she got rid of Reid in the penultimate episode, but we all knew he was coming back. With two dullards left, he was a cinch to sweep Jillian off her beautiful feet. And then... and then... she chooses Ed, who fits his name like nobody else. What can I say?

Worst. Season. Ever.

Case closed.

I can only hope that with the passage of time to real time tomorrow night Jillian pulls her own version of a Mesnick and professes her love for Reid. I'm not holding my breath.

And to make matters even worse, Kiptyn will most likely be the next Bachelor. Snore.