Monday, January 2, 2012

Bachelor Ben: A blogger's shame

Happy New Year, Bachelor friends. We are back. Let's see if I remember how to do this.

And while I feel a certain amount of shame for blogging about this ridiculous show, my title refers to another blogger. But we'll get to her.

Ben is back. And unlike every Bachelorette in franchise history, there was no make-over on his return. Although maybe it looks like he's worked out in the weight room. Seems a bit more buff. In catching up with him, he let us know he got over his heartbreak by focussing on work in the, what?, three days he had between seasons. Ah, minutes into the show and we're reminded how full of it everyone involved with it is.

At least we got to relive his humiliating defeat from last season one more time, when he got down on one knee and asked Ashley to marry him before being denied. So he was buffed then rebuffed. Oh, I never tire of seeing that epic, awkward fail. Will someone please add a laugh track to it and send it to America's Funniest Home Videos. Please? And judging from the upcoming season highlights, that might not be his last public humiliation. But we know how the editors love to tease us. Hell, they almost had me thinking a limping grandmother was one of the contestants this time around. Turns out she was just the chaperone for her grand-daughter, Brittney.

But Brittney wasn't the only one with a gimmicky entrance. Lindzi went one step further than the already gimmicky spelling of her pedestrian name: She passed up a ride in the limo for an easy amble onto the property atop Levi, her horse. I don't know if the gimmicky entrances work but they're no worse than the painful rehearsed opening lines. My favourite unique entrance was from the sultry student Anna, who was the first in history to walk right by without saying a word. Gutsy move, as Ben yelled at her. She's the Suzanne Somers in American Grafitti of The Bachelor.

In that hilariously humiliating clip from last season, we heard what I think might be the best quote in franchise history, when Ben said, "Good things don't end unless they end badly." That quote has it all: heart, depth, philosophy, good grammar. So it was nice to hear Jenna, a freelance writer (or "blogger", as the graphics put it), mention it in her opening words to Ben. She put her own stamp on it, though: "Good things end badly." Hey, she's a writer, not a talker.

Or rather, she's a blogger. And the star of the show so far. By far. Before we met all 25 of the ladies, we were shown vignettes of nine of them. I made snap decisions on your behalf so you'll know who to cheer for. In the 'check' column, I put Lindzi the Lippizzaner, Kacie the Knoxville Kutie, Jamie the Rock, and Nicki the Divorcée. For the record, all four advanced to the next round. The Blogger (pictured above, I'm guessing, as it's the lead image on her blog) was not on this list.

In the 'cross' column, I put Amber T for Tomboy, Courtney the Sexy Model, Lyndsie the London Derrière, Shawn the Phoenix Phinancial Planner, and, yes, Jenna the Carrie Bradshaw Wannabe. And two of those didn't advance. Out of the other five that were sent packing, I only regret Dianna, a funny and cute gal from somewhere in California. And maybe Anna because I liked her walk-by of Ben.

I was disappointed in the only Canadian. Amber Bacon was a little too brash, a little too Wrassler. The two Canucks would make a good team. Maybe she could be his wrestling manager. Once eliminated, though, she lost the crazy eyes and her soft side shone through.

I've got an early morning ahead of me so I'll keep this short. The highlights centred around Jenna, who is the designated unstable kook. When I saw her vignette, something seemed off but I couldn't put my finger on it. Oh yeah, she's a writer. Nuff said. She was attractive but that means nothing on this show. Or, I guess, in life. Turns out my spidey senses were bang on. She's certifiable. This is a woman who apparently gives relationship advice on her blog The Over-Analyst. I wonder how that will work out for her now. Night One and she's a total wreck, sobbing uncontrollably because one of the girls doesn't like her. Okay, I'm pretty sure alcohol played a sizable role in it, but that in itself is another big ole red flag.

She had some great lines, but what else would you expect from a woman of letters? Try these on for size:
  • To Monica: "Maybe we can share a tampon sometime."
  • Ben: "It's nerve-wracking. Trust me, I get it." Jenna: "Do you really?"
  • "I don't want him to think I'm a mess." (Yeah, best to save that for later.)
Jenna's arch-nemisis was Monica, a 33-year-old dental hygienist from Santa Monica. The cackling blonde was unflappable in the face of the overwrought Blogger. It was quite funny, actually. And so was her gutter mouth. Add to all this her lesbian tendencies and what's not to love? She snuggled up to the womanly Blakely, a VIP cocktail waitress (nudge nudge, wink wink), and whispered sweet somethings into her ear: "I love girls... You're in my life forever... You're beautiful, you're amazing... You know I need your number, right?..." That's what I'm tawkin' abowt!

It's clear the producers are still advising the Bachelor on who to pick. After the first impression rose (to Lindzi), Ben handed out 17 roses. An odd number, no? My guess is he got to choose 15 of them and the producers told him to select Monica and Jenna. There's no other rational explanation. I'm against this practice 100%, let me make that perfectly clear. But in this case, I secretly am giddy about it.

So that's about it. It looks like we'll have lots of high drama and unintentional comedy this season. See you here next week.