Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bachelorette Desiree: To B or not to B

These guys would be a better fit for Des
My wife's work has a Bachelorette pool going. Yesterday afternoon she asked me who she should pick. I responded I didn't even know who was in it. Do people actually remember these bozos after one viewing? Hell, it takes me half a season to figure out who's who. I swear I didn't know who at least half the guys were at the final rose ceremony last night.

Last week I said it was a really uninspiring group of guys – perhaps the worst group ever. After week 2, I stand by my opinion. I realize things can change but they didn't last night. Desiree begs to disagree. She said, "I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys!" Maybe that statement was borne out of desperation. She certainly looked desperate the way she was aggressively attacking their tonsils with her tongue at every given opportunity.

Brooks got the first date. He looked marginally better, perhaps because he was more relaxed. And he seemed like a decent enough dude on their date. Des reminded us that she has a "desire and a passion to design wedding dresses." So what better activity than to go out and try on wedding dresses made by other people? Brooks got in on the act, too, and when they were suitably suited, they took to the town.

[cough] Hollywood! [cough]
In "her" baby blue Bentley, they drove to the hills and sat on the Hollywood sign. Looking over Los Angeles, Brooks marvelled that it was "like you're floating on clouds." Uh, that's smog, Country Mouse.

He told her about his last relationship, which didn't end well. Des, proving that when you like someone you see connections that aren't really there, said that what Brooks went through in his last relationship was just like her experience. And any other human being's experience, save for the statistically insignificant proportion of the population who marry their first love and live happily ever after.

At night, Des, who did all the driving, took a wrong turn into a seedy part of the city. There were sirens, graffiti and razor blade wiring. Oh, and a camera crew. Still, Brooks played along like they were at risk. Des saw a road blocked off and decided to move the signs and head on down that lonesome road. I was on the edge of my seat... on the way to turn off the TV for insulting my intelligence like that. Is anyone under the illusion that anything on this show is done in the spur of the moment without months of planning? Didn't think so.

Sure enough, in the middle of a bridge, a fancy table and meal were set up, complete with accompanying chandelier. They sat and got to know each other better. Brooks wanted to know more about her family. Just spit it out, man: "What the hell is up with your brother?!" But no, he left it at a more generic level and Des just talked about her parents. She then turned the tables on him and asked about how his coming from a broken home might affect his family aspirations. He stumbled slightly before figuring out an out: He'd choke up over the time he didn't get to spend with his dad and say he wants to have time with his own family that he didn't get as a kid.

Guaranteed Rose Just Ahead
Brooks got the rose for being "so open and vulnerable." Which is a lesson to future contestants: fake vulnerability. It's a sure-fire guarantee of a rose.

Further down the deserted bridge was a stage and a guy named Andy Grammer, who I'd never heard of but it looked like Des knew because she was singing along. And of all the lousy, gawdawful bands they get to serenade couples with on this show, this guy might be the best. Which isn't to say I'd ever buy his stuff, but he looked great in comparison.

Desiree's dance teacher
As someone who doesn't dance, I may not be in the best position to judge others, but did anyone else think Desiree had the same spasmodic dancing qualities as Elaine Benes?

The funniest line of the episode came from the nebbishy Chris. "I came here to spend time with Des and I've yet to get a date card," he whined precisely one week and one date card into the proceedings. I realize he may very well have said that much later on and this is the fault of the producers/editors, but I'm just going by what they're showing us.

The group date saw 14 guys make a rap video with an artist named Soulja Boi. First they auditioned for the lead roles by doing some freestyling. One guy, I forget who, started his off with "Roses are red, violets are blue" so you know he's got hella street cred. One might assume that Will, the only African-American in the group, might have the upper hand but he performed more like the banker that he is. He said, "I did absolutely terrible."

The guys played caricatures of former Bachelorette contestants, such as Wes, the Wrassler, and Mesnick. Brandon had to do his sans pants. No idea what guy he was supposed to be.

Throughout the show, we were subject to those very distracting Tweets. Look, I like Twitter as much as the next person but I can go there to read if I want. Anything that pulls focus from what's on screen can't help in the long run. If our brains are processing the words we're reading, we may hear what's being said but it's not registering in the same way. Or if my eyes are diverted to the bottom of the screen, I may miss a subtle look or kiss or whatever. I've said from the beginning, if you insist on showing Tweets, do it during the montages of scenery.

But one came through that was an instant classic:

How about we all agree to Tweet variations on that theme for the next show? Inundate them with messages of protest. We can win this battle! Alexa Stout can be the Susan B. Anthony of the anti-Tweet movement!

At the after-rap wrap party, the formerly shirtless Zak W. presented Des with an "antique" journal. I use quotation marks because the inscription, from father to daughter, read fairly modern, as did the penmanship. But I'm nitpicking. The gesture was still hollow.

Everyone had it out for Ben. Now, don't get me wrong, Ben looks smug but it puzzles me how everyone can be so against the guy yet the cameras haven't given us any solid evidence.

Mikey, the Fat Tom Selleck, took Ben outside to raise his concerns about him. He said, "You're nice to us when the cameras are rolling." So that explains some of it. But when everyone's talking about one guy, couldn't the producers go about trying to get some film of him to corroborate the story? Anyway, Ben disarmed Mikey by complimenting him on his shoes. Yeah, that happened.

There was a rose on the line and some said they should just all forget about it and go about having a fun evening. Ben, however, told us he was old-fashioned so he needs to pursue the girl. Not so old-fashioned that he won't have a child out of wedlock, but old-fashioned in the same way the journal was "antique."

Just once...
Ben talked to Des about his son, and Des said all the right things. She's open to all that and a guy with a kid doesn't scare her at all. Just once I'd like to see a Bachelor/ette say that kids are a deal breaker.

Michael G, a federal prosecutor, sat down with her and began with a pet peeve of mine. He talked about "my mother, my sister, my nana." Excuse me? Your what? Nana is a name you call your grandmother. If you're going to use the actual term, i.e. mother, sister, etc., the correct continuation would be "my grandmother" – even if you call your grandmother Nana, Grannie, or Dave. It would be like calling your sister Jane, "my Jane." Got it? Good.

Brandon, who was parading around pantsless a few hours earlier, was stiff and humourless that night... You know what I mean... He needed to talk to Des so he could give her the hard sell: "I'm not an Ivy Leaguer, I don't have a billion dollar business, blah, blah, blah." There had to be a good "but" in there, right? What would it be? But I am the most loyal and loving man you'll ever meet? But I have a huge penis? What? Here's what he said: "But I was born." Actually, it's not as dumb as it sounds because I would have sworn he was a robot the way he was talking.

He went on to talk about his broken home, his mom being a drug addict, and how he had to raise his siblings even though he was only 11. He ended it by saying, "I wanna come home to you and love you." Too soon, buddy. It's only week 2.

It's no wonder she gave the group date rose to Ben. He was the Andy Grammer to the other guys' former bands on the show: only good in comparison.

From left: Brooks, Ben, Bryden
The final date went to Bryden. She clearly likes her B-boys: Brooks, Ben and Bryden. Out came the Bentley and they went on a road trip culminating at a spa in Ojai, California. We saw them briefly on a beach along the way, and driving around. At dinner, she said she "hasn't laughed that hard in so long." I guess the cameras were reloading at that point. They miss a lot, don't they? No Ben misdeeds, no gut-busting laughs.

Bryden, an Iraq war vet, told Des about a horrible car accident he had in his early 20s. Not only that, he showed her photos. Yes, over dinner. But it worked. She gave him a rose for "opening up." See, I told you it works.

At the swimming pool, Bryden kept talking as she stared love daggers at him. There'd be a break in conversation and I said – twice, yet – "Just kiss her already." The third time, Desiree said, "Just kiss me already!" Good on her for taking the bull by the horns instead of doing nothing and then complaining that he didn't act. But I still can't help but think of her brother watching this. I'd watch a whole other season of him watching this series. 

At the cocktail party, Des's hair, kinda puffy and parted in the middle, made her look remarkably like that other cutie, Kacie B. God, I miss her. Can I just take a moment to reflect on how cute she was?...

Ahh, that's better

Thank you.

Michael, the federal prosecutor, had some big news he had to get off his chest. He sat down with Des and said, "There's something I want to tell you." The news was he has had Type I Diabetes since he was 16. How about just bringing it up in conversation so it doesn't sound like such a big deal? I mean, I know it's kind of a big deal, but why play it up?

In the middle of his heartfelt talk, Ben, with his rose clipped to his lapel, interrupts and whisks Des away for a private chat outside. That's the dick move we've been waiting to see to prove he's a scumbag! Finally. Okay, I'm starting to get it. But my question is why would she go with him? How about this, Des?: "Oh, Ben, I'm just talking to Michael right now. And since you have a rose, we'll have lots of time to talk but I just want to make sure everyone else gets a fair chance, too. Thanks."

The other fellas were steaming on behalf of Michael. Several of them give him a stern talking to outside, where he stands with a silly grin and red cheeks. Michael later said he was shocked he didn't have his son go in and interrupt them. Objection, your Honour! Low blow!

Of course, there was other interrupting going on, as there always will be. Shiny Forehead Brian interrupted Sacrificial Will but we didn't see any of the original conversation because the producers didn't want us to get attached to the high-fiving banker.

With Brooks, Ben and Bryden already safe, that left 13 other roses to hand out, while three would be sent home. Moving on are:
  1. Wide James, the intense big guy who wants to grow old and fat (selected 8th last week)
  2. Kasey, the annoying hashtag guy who thankfully was shut out of the final edit this week (selected 7th last week)
  3. Dan. I have no idea who this guy is (selected 11th last week)
  4. Juan Pablo, the soccer pro (selected 5th last week)
  5. Brad, the chicken wishbone guy – that's all I know about him (selected 6th last week)
  6. Nebbishy Chris, who got down on one knee to tie his shoelace (selected 12th last week)
  7. Shiny Forehead Brian, who wears a suit and tie to work every day (selected 10th last week)
  8. Zak W., the formerly shirtless one (pre-selected last week)
  9. Drew, with the manly jaw, alcoholic father and mentally handicapped sister (pre-selected last week)
  10. Mikey, Fat Tom Selleck (selected 13th last week)
  11. Zack K, the book publisher in sneakers (selected 2nd last week)
  12. Michael, the Type I federal prosecutor (pre-selected last week)
  13. Brandon, the adrenaline junkie with the former-junkie mom (selected 1st last week)
If you're keeping score at home, two other B boys went through to next week. That meant good-bye to Sacrificial Will, who got "too far in the friend zone" instead of the end zone, if you know what I'm talking about (selected 3rd last week), Robert, the sign-spinning entrepreneur , who said, "I didn't see it coming" even though we all did (selected 9th last week), and Nick, the horrible poet (pre-selected last week). Neither of the three have names starting with B. Coincidence? Something to watch for, I'd say.

And that's all she wrote. And by "she" I mean "I". I don't often refer to myself in the feminine third person but watch enough of this series and one starts to feel girlish.