Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bacherlor Ben: The marble statue

Before we get to this week's episode, I'm assuming everyone heard the news that the Bachelor franchise is coming to Canada. My first thought was, "Please don't let Ben Mulroney host it." Then I remembered he's with another network. Thank God. That would have been the tipping point for me and I'd have run away in horror. My second thought was, "Will I have to blog two versions of the show? Or three, if you count Bachelor Pad!" I know, no one's forcing me to do any of it. My gut reaction was hell no, I'm not doing another one. But then I thought this one kind of gets lost in the hundreds of blogs devoted to the American version. Maybe I'll be a bigger fish in the Canadian blog pond. Being Canadians, we'll probably scoff at it and no one will watch, so I'm back to square one.

And finally I wondered about the Canadianness of the production. Television here is notoriously cheap. Back when we used to produce the odd game show, the prizes were hilariously insignificant, although occasionally they could creep up to the hundreds of dollars range. So I envision a Bachelor Canada where the participants are whisked away by Greyhound to such exotic locales as... whatever's within a 50-mile radius of Toronto. Okay, Niagara Falls is nice and within budget, but what then? That embarrassing trainwreck (or bus wreck) aspect to it might make our version worth watching. That and the fact maybe one of our neighbours will be on the show. Although I live in the same city as Jillian Harris and have never encountered her.

Speaking of weak locations, that brings us back to the current season. So far, we've seen Sonoma, San Francisco and this week they're in Park City, Utah, a place so famous it elicited hoots and screams from the gals last week when they announced it.

Ben wanted to take them there because he wanted his harem to experience the outdoors. And everybody knows that Park City, Utah, is the only place in the contiguous 48 where there's outdoors. So we were treated to many a swooping shot of trees. Because trees grow outdoors. You wouldn't know that because you're stuck inside somewhere other than Park City, Utah. Let's hope there some outdoors in that 50-mile radius outside of Toronto. Johnny, tell them where they stayed. "While in Park City, Utah, contestants of the Bachelor stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, Park City... Guy?" Thanks Johnny. That place looked like a complete dump. And on top of it all, it rained the whole time.

The first one-on-one date went to the dull but beautiful Rachel. And by "beautiful", I think, Ben meant "big knockers." There was the gratuitous helicopter shot (something I'm betting we won't see in the Canadian version) before the two went canoeing in a lake. Just the two of them. And about a billion flying insects. (Remember, that's Park City, Utah, you want to avoid.) Lakeside, the two potential lovebirds sipped champagne and shared their innermost secrets... Nah! It was Rachel, remember?! They shared awkward conversation. In her defense, Ben said the conversation was lagging but it's not like he did anything to perk it up or spur it on. "She tells me she's interested but I just don't see it," he parrotted (he's seen past seasons; he knows what he's supposed to say). Because anyone who is the least bit reserved or shy is thought to be uninterested and shown the door in short order. Unless they have big boobs.

Ben said they had a "good little vibe" at dinner, as they sat stiffly across from each other. He described her as beautiful and said he likes kissing her. So spark or connection be damned, he offered her a rose. You can teach conversation; you can't teach big boobs.

Back at the hotel, Kacie B. was the DC – or designated crier. She confided in Monica about her anxieties because presumably Monica had no chance with Ben. And maybe no interest, either, in any man.

The group date featured Jamie, Casey, Blakely, Lindzi, Samantha, Courtney, Kacie B., and Nicki. The eight of them were walking outdoors (because that's where it is, remember) when Ben rode up all alone on a horse. He looked like a natural, too, which got Lindzi all hot and bothered. As a horsewoman herself, she was confident. "This is my date," she said. "I got this one in the bag." Then, miraculously, eight horses appeared and the girls were in the saddle and walking off. Not a single horse wigged out. They must have been drugged because that just doesn't happen. The horses, I mean. Courtney was the only human who was drugged up.

Then they went fly fishing in a river. The ever-tearful Kacie B. was given the lines, "It's hard to share Ben with everybody else because Ben and I have a connection." The producers have to write some new lines. These are getting old. Maybe the Canadian version will be way different. They'll say instead, "It's hard to share _______ with everybody else because _______ and I have a connection, eh?"

I never noticed before but the model Courtney has a huge forehead. She must be, like, so smart. And that yellow loose knit hat she was wearing made her look like a Manson girl. But Ben's face totally lights up when he talks about her. She must have something because she certainly doesn't have big boobs. Although I'm pretty sure she has implants in those calves.

She's also pretty handy with a rod, if you get my drift. She was the only one who caught a fish. As she admired her catch, she said, "It's so cute!" Then she snuffed the life out of it and proudly showed off her limp, lifeless trophy.

At the gathering back indoors (still in Park City, Utah, though; don't be confused), Nicki confided that a week before she came on the show, her 49-year-old boss died. Tragic, right? Yes. But Ben one-ups her, telling Nicki that two days after arriving in LA for the taping, one of his friends died. It's good to see them honouring their memories by appearing on reality television.

Samantha made a tactical error by confronting Ben about being taken on three straight group dates when what she really wants is a one-on-one. Because she is neither a model nor has big boobs, Ben decided to make an example of her. Refusing to consider Sam's true intent, he sternly told her to get the hell out of his life. The other women sat up and noticed. This is getting serious.

Courtney said Sam rubbed her the wrong way so she had to go. "Another one bites the dust," she said. She made no mention of just which way she likes to be rubbed.

I can't decide whether Courtney is just a horrendous actress with those overblown facial expressions or if she's a sociopath with no empathy. One the one hand, she is a model so it very well could be the former. On the other hand, she does frequently quote Charlie Sheen's "winning!" Tough call.

Ben takes some time to calm Kacie B's frazzled nerves by telling her he so wanted to kiss her in the river earlier that day but couldn't because the other girls were there. So they make up for lost time and Kacie B is putty in his hands. Ben says, "I'm in trouble with Kacie B... I might end up with her." Not sure why that would be trouble, except that he'd always be having to reassure her he's not cheating on her with a model.

Courtney sees the connection Ben and Kacie B have so she gets to work. She makes a brave choice by emulating the recently departed Samantha and whining to Ben about her experience. But she's a model so she's not being sent home. In fact, Ben decides to give Courtney the rose. Maybe she's not such a bad actress afterall. Of course, that leaves the alternative: sociopath.

The last one-on-one date went to the super-attractive-for-an-accountant Jennifer. Hey, just thought of something. If Ben can describe cute Jennifer that way, how about Courtney being super ordinary for a model?

Anyway, Jenn-Ben went hiking (outdoors), hopping a fence that posted a sign that read No Trespassing. The Ben half of Jenn-Ben hopped the fence, much to the consternation of the by-the-book accountant. They reach a hole in the ground. It's a cavern. Three hundred feet below is water. Now, don't get ahead of me here, but it turns out the Jenn half of Jenn-Ben is afraid of heights so of course the challenge is to rappel halfway down the crater, dangle for a bit, then cut rope and fall in the water. I saw this in 127 Hours, which also took place in Utah. It didn't end well. (Actually, that dropping into water ended fine. But I love extrapolating to the point where Jenn-Ben would then go on to get trapped by a boulder and they'd have to saw their arms off to escape.) My question after watching both this episode and 127 Hours was how they got back up to land. I guess I'll never find out because I sure as hell ain't doing it.

Jenn confronted her fears so she'll make an excellent wife. That's how that works, remember. At some point on their date, she said, "I never thought Utah would be so pretty." Yeah, well that's exactly what Ben thought about accountants, too.

Then it was time to talk about past romances. Jenn walked away from her 4.5-year relationship because the guy wasn't going to marry her. I think she also admitted that she still loved him, but maybe that's just the way it came across. Whatever it was, she seems like a really nice, normal gal. Or "easy, go-with-the-flow," as Ben describes her. He gives her the rose.

Then they walk down a hill to some country dude giving a concert. Jenn only had eyes for Ben so she didn't even see the hundreds of extras all pretending to like the awful music. She thought it was a concert just for her and Ben. Not only did they pretend to know the warbler, they pretended to know the song by singing along. But I know how country songs work. They repeat the chorus about 20 times. By the end of the song, it's ingrained in your brain so you find yourself reflexively singing along. That's when the cameras captured them.

What I'm wondering is what would have happened if he hadn't given her the rose? He himself said he wasn't sure about her before the date. If he sent her home, would the concert be cancelled? Pay the anonymous country crooner but give him no air time? If I were Ben, and I knew a country singer was waiting to perform for me if I gave my date a rose, I think I might just sacrifice her.

Cold & hard
At the cocktail party, Emily, the PhD student, has the line of the show in describing the psychotic Courtney, comparing her to a "statue made of marble: It's beautiful but it's cold and it's hard on the inside." Poetic. She's too smart for this show.

Which raises the question: If she's so smart, why, oh why, did she accept the role of rat? Has it ever worked in the history of the show? She took Ben aside and told her that there might be a girl there who's different around everyone else than she is with Ben. You could see Ben tensing up. He doesn't take kindly to be questioned. He told her that he doesn't expect Emily to throw anyone under the bus but he's always watchful of everyone's interactions with each other so not to worry. Well, that's just it, said Emily. This particular girl, who shall go nameless because she, too, wouldn't want to throw anyone under the bus, went on the group date and came back with the rose. Not saying who, though. Because that would be wrong.

When Courtney gets wind of this, through her one friend, Casey S., her full-on crazy comes out. "I'm a nice person; don't fuck with me." See? And then there's this: "I want to shave her eyebrows off." Methinks she might start with her own Brooke Shields-like brows.

Emily was rightfully worried that she was going to be sent home. But while I was watching I knew she'd get the producer's rose, which always goes to the person who needs to stick around for dramatic purposes. And I called it. Instead, Ben sent Monica home. She handled her exit nicely, too, saying, "It was good to get to know you." She kept her poise... until she got to the limo, where she started crying. But it wasn't clear if she was crying for Ben or Blakely.

Speaking of Blakely, what the hell happened? Did she pay off the producers? She went from villain to softie faster than anyone in franchise history. Goes to show what editing can do. She can't have changed substantially herself since two weeks ago. So is Courtney just getting a bad edit? Clearly, but she's still making all those crazy faces and taunts and quoting Charlie Sheen. It would be hard to edit her any other way.

With his downsized harem, Ben announced that next week they'd be off to Puerto Rico. Cue: screams of delight. For Puerto Rico. Well, everyone except Courtney, who said she was just there two months ago. Oh, it's gonna be fun.


Bachelor Betty said...

I am so excited about the Canadian Bachelor I can barely contain myself! It almost makes me wish I didn't get married, but that almost wish quickly disappeared after watching last night's episode of the Bachelor. There are so many things I don’t understand about these women.
For example, after Lindzi announces that this is "her date" the next shot is of her on a horse at the very END of the line of horses (with Ben at the front). Why wouldn't she use her horsey skills to get her gallop on and saddle up to Ben? Sometimes I can really understand what Courtney says about these ladies not knowing how to "to play the game"... hmmm… wonder what that said about me... I wouldn't want to ask Emily...
Speaking of Emily did you also catch the shot of Fakely highlighting Emily's hair? It’s obvious that Fakely has some kind of professional training by the way she was working with Emily’s hair - WTF? Why oh why would you then fill out the profession box on the bachelor form to read VIP COCKtail Waitress?? Wouldn't “hairdresser” be a million times better? Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't think the perfect wife includes being a professional COCKtail Waitress - VIP or not....

Karen said...

I'm really curious if the old adage is true: why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free? Since we know Courtney is going to throw her nakedness at Ben, what are the chances he's going to keep her until the end? He already knows she'll put out without any real effort, so is that a plus or a deterrent if your goal is to find a long term partner/wife? Can you shed some light from a male perspective?

Guy MacPherson said...

I don't think Ben is seriously looking for his wife. So yeah, if you see the milk and you like what it looks like, you're going to want to taste it, too, right? Especially if that milk has modeled in some milk commercials. He'll eventually realize it's sour, but it sure looks tasty now.

Jenn said...

I know I am adding nothing new to this conversation, but, hooray for blogging all 3! Yours is the first (okay, only... there is only so much time that can be spent on this subject each week) bach. blog my friends and I frequent. Thanks for keeping it up. :)