Monday, July 18, 2011

Week 8: A less enticing ending

Are we running out of steam this season? For the first time in a long time, there were no comments to last week's post. We're only eight weeks in. Is this season less juicy than others? Did their one-week hiatus for the July 4th holiday take everyone out of their routine? Did the new look mesmerize you? Or did I just nail it and nothing more need be said?

Regardless, I will see the season through! The hometown visits are always fun just to see some of the pieces of work these people come from. Every man and woman in the history of this show has parroted the belief that extended families are a very important gauge to a relationship. This week, in fact, Little Ben went so far as to say that if his mom and sister didn't approve of a girl, he couldn't marry her. He said this three times.

If families are important, all four have red flags but none so red or flaggy it couldn't be overcome. Let's go through them in order.

As I mentioned last week, Constantine's Greekness could be problematic if his parents want their son to marry a nice Greek girl, which Ashley definitely isn't. They seemed super friendly and welcoming, but Elleni, the mom, let slip that if an outsider were to infiltrate the clan, she'd make sure a conversion took place. She said, "I think we'll have a little meeting to turn her into an honorary Greek. Pull her into the club." Vindication of sorts for me!

We know by now everyone's favourite oddball intellectual, Ames, was the odd man out and didn't move on, so there's little point discussing his hometown visit. But being a big NBA fan I was thrilled he was from a place called Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania (I won't explain it. That'll be a little gift to any other NBA fan out there). Ames' sister raved about her younger brother, saying he was the most loyal and honest person anyone could meet. And, curiously, she also said he's romantic. Um, red flag anyone? Then she relayed her reconnaissance mission to Ames in a strategy session. Her suggestion: Up the romance. My suggestion would have been: Tuck in your underpants. But that's just me. So to prove he's not a robot, he took Ashley to his favourite tree. C'mon, cut him some slack. It's what the Italian renaissance thinkers would have done.

Next up was the frontrunner, Little Ben, who had previously only ever brought one date back to the homestead to meet mom. First he takes her on a picnic to his winery where she tastes Ben's wines, if you get what I'm saying. Actually, that's exactly what they did. But don't you think it sounds like a great euphemism? Let's all try to adapt that to our lives.

Ben's family made Ames' bookish clan look positively hot-blooded and carefree. What a morose twosome his mom and sister made. And then it was Ben's turn, getting all emotional talking to the camera. What a barrel o' fun holidays in Sonoma must be.

Finally it was on to Long Island where Ashley could meet the family of last week's pout-fest. JP took Ashley roller skating because... he's retro? No, because he's just old and that's what he did in his youth. They edited out what came next: a trip to the drug store for a cherry sarsaparilla soda. When they got to JP's home, everyone was overly concerned about his fragile psyche, not wanting him to get his heart broken again. This guy gets in deep, apparently. I don't look forward to the moment he gets dropped by Ashley. It could be ugly.

Turns out JP is Jewish. Who knew? The skinhead haircut threw me. At one point, his mom brought out a huge photo of a 13-year-old JP taken at his bar mitzvah. It was very cute, but it gave me the same pause as with Constantine. I know every mother's dream is for her son to find the woman of his dreams and live happily ever after, but many a Jewish mother want that woman to be a nice Jewish girl. And fair enough, maybe that isn't the case in this situation. I'm just saying Ashley should get that cleared up before she goes any further and deeper with Japes, for both their sakes.

Out of those four, it was clear Ames was the one to go just because there was no spark there. But who didn't like the guy? Of the remaining three, we've got the Greek family man, the Jewish family man, and the brooding family man. All signs point to Big Ben. Back at the mansion, talking to Chris Harrison, Ashley told him that "Ben surprised me. He planned such a good date." I'm sure that took quite a lot of planning to grab a couple sandwiches and sit on the grass on his own property sipping wine that very property makes. So you know she's smitten when that little effort gets blown out of proportion.

Chris Harrison continues to amuse. He offered up the second-best line of the night: "So you left Sonoma. Where did you go from there?" What does he have to do all week but track her every move then sit down for two minutes and talk to her? How could he not know her itinerary? Don't they brief him? If he was doing it for our sake, don't bother, dude. We were watching, unlike you.

An aside here: Ashley, as cute as she is, shouldn't wear make-up. She's more the natural type. She looks like a little girl playing make-up when she cakes it on.

Anyway, the usual suspects got roses and Ames didn't. He stood there with that patented confused/bemused look on his face. They sat down briefly and he was intelligent, as usual, and gracious then demonstrated why he wasn't selected when he actually shook her hand. Classic! And when he took his limo ride of shame, he offered up the best line of the night:
I was just hoping to share a lifetime of adventures with this beautiful woman and now I'm back to sharing a lifetime of adventures with myself, which is... less enticing.
Oh, man, I laughed. Not at Ames, whom I like, but that pause before the last two words coupled with the tilt of the head. So beautifully detached and intellectual.

If the last couple of weeks have lacked in drama, it looks like next week should make up for it. It looks like (if the upcoming highlights are any indication and are they ever misleading?) JP's on the outs. Then a flip-flopped man of mystery returns. Who could it be? Certainly not Bentley. I doubt Ames has the passion to return. Whoever it is, when she opens the door she looks happily shocked. Hey, maybe it's Brad Womack! That makes sense.

Then in two weeks her ink-stained sister tells her what she really thinks, which doesn't sit well with Ashley, who calls her a bitch.

Speaking of failed series relationships, I trust you all saw the ad for the upcoming season of Bachelor Pad. They've reunited Jake and Vienna! Oh, they look so happy, don't they? When they showed her saying, "I hate him," you could totally tell she still really loved him.