Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bachelorette Andi: An embarrassment of riches is half right

Look who's back! Yes, I capitulated. At the end of last season, I was so disgusted with the pile-on of Juan Pablo, instigated largely by Andi, that I declared if she were chosen as the next Bachelorette, I would sit the season out. It was rash.

Then I decided to tweet under my own name the blog entries of my defence of Juan Pablo. Turns out Juan Pablo himself liked them and retweeted to his fans. It also turns out I wasn't alone and I received many nice comments from people who'd never seen this blog before. (And why should they have? In all the years writing it, I never once publicized it anywhere. I just figured I do it for fun and whoever stumbles across it, stumbles across it.)

It occurred to me after that brief flurry of tweets and retweets that I could make a Twitter account for this very blog. I have the technology! So I did. You can follow it, too, if you like. As of this writing, I have a grand total of three followers. But it'll grow, I'm sure. Maybe by the end of the week, I'll be up to five. From there, maybe even double digits! I'm at @BachelorBlogger. I'll tweet whenever I post a new blog entry and if I ever think of anything between posts. So hop on the Twitter bandwagon. One thing I won't do, however, is tweet during the show. One, because with kid's bedtimes and the occassional night playing basketball, I usually watch the show after the fact. And two, because I was such a vocal opponent of the distracting Twitter scroll the show used to run at the bottom of the screen. (I'm taking partial credit that they no longer employ this annoying practice.)

Okay, with all that out of the way, let's get on with the show.

Only 90 minutes? How many seasons has it been since an episode has been under two hours? Does this single the end of the storied franchise? Is the network tiring of the premise? Is it a knock on Andi? Is it a knock on the dullards they selected to court her? Hard to tell. Maybe it's a one-off and we'll be back to the 2-hour marathon sessions next week.

We opened with a sombre Chris Harrison. I hadn't heard the news about Eric Hill. Didn't even know who he was. But Harrison informed us he died after the filming of this season, which puts a bit of a damper on everything, for sure. Especially seeing his smiling face and seeing him selected to carry on. Google tells me it was a paragliding accident. Sad.

In the abbreviated 90-minute episode, we didn't get the usual filmed segments of various wannabes. We caught up with Andi, though, and any new viewers were introduced to her. We saw her in action in an almost empty courtroom. I'm sure the sitting judge was thrilled to allow the Bachelorette cameras in. They always lend a touch of class and heft to court proceedings, I find.

Andi said she puts "the bad guys away." Implied in that statement is "and the occasional wrongly accused." I know law enforcement likes to use the cartoon-like notions of good vs evil. It's their certainty that is most troubling. It's that kind of black & white thinking that led her to paint Juan Pablo as a "bad" guy rather than simply a guy who wasn't suited for her.

We saw her taking down her diploma. I missed why. Presumably her job wouldn't give her another few months off work to go galavanting around the globe kissing guys when she should be concentrating on putting more of the general population behind bars. But surely she's not giving up her career and this is just a temporary setback. I'm sure she can find another job in her area when her 15 minutes of fame runs out.

And Georgia, too, apparently
In each season there's usually one phrase that pops up over and over again. The jury's still out on this season. What will it be? My money was on "gosh" as Andi uttered it four times in quick succession. But then that fizzled out. "Literally" was only used two or three times that I counted. It's still in the running. "At the end of the day" is another possibility. But last night it was "y'all". Andi said it six times. Figures, since she's from Atlanta and all, but she's lost her southern accent so why not lose the redundant affectation, too? For the record, "y'all", like "youse", is unnecessary. "You" suffices for both singular and plural. Context does the heavy lifting for us. It's amazing how our brains can differentiate between singular and plural using the same word in different contexts. Do y'all get it?

I used the term "dullards" above to describe the suitors this season. Sure, I'm being hard on them and rushing to judgment. But my judgments are fluid. They can change from week to week. Based on their limo exits and greetings, I assigned only six check marks out of 25 possibilities. On first glance, I thought these guys showed promise:

  • Marcus, the baby of the group at 25 years of age (although I wasn't impressed with his overly earnest "I have a lot to give and offer" he told her right off the top),
  • Marquel, the 26-year-old sponsorship salesman from Las Vegas, who was trying to bring his "A game"
  • Dylan, the 26-year-old accountant who needed some space to warm up to her a little bit
  • Josh B, the 29-year-old telecommunications marketer (who's since been shown the door)
  • Brian, the 27-year-old basketball coach (who must have been a weak player since he'd still be in his prime playing)
  • Josh M, the 29-year-old former pro baseball player. 
That's it. Not a good slugging percentage but as I say, scores may improve over the coming weeks. And these guys may prove to be duds themselves. Funny how over-the-moon happy Andi seemed to be considering how notoriously picky she is. And Chris Harrison called the group "an embarrassment of riches." Maybe he's half right. To me, they seemed like boys. But maybe it was just in comparison to Andi's domineering personality.

At one point in the evening, the mansion went on high-alert as security intercepted an interloper who had been camping outside for the past seven days and who needed to see Andi. Boy, that guy looked familiar. I immediately knew he was a former contestant but I couldn't remember who. Turns out it was Chris from Emily's season. He was also on a season of Bachelor Pad. I just checked my back-issues of the blog and found that I referred to him as Creepy Chris. Boy, I got that wrong, didn't I?! Nothing creepy about stalking someone you could easily meet at any of the many Bachelor reunion shenanigans. Since it's one big incestuous family, there had to be more to it. I think it was less about wanting to connect with Andi as it was about clawing his way back into primetime television.

We'll find out more about the fellas as the season progresses but we can talk about a few of them now.

  • Josh M. sure was humble, handsome and hunky. He's got to be the front-runner. 
  • Comedians love to joke that African-American men love overweight white women. Marquel looked like he was trying to beef up Andi with that cookie tasting.
  • Nick V. has ten siblings. 10! Please let him have a hometown visit. He got the first impression rose for not realizing how cute and sweet he is.
  • Fresh off the success of Canada's darling, Sharleen, the opera queen, the producers selected another opera singer, Bradley. The big difference is that Shar-Shar didn't trumpet her abilities. Even if she was, she never appeared to be on the show just to further her career. Bradley was quick to bring up "talent" and promised to serenade her.
  • Patrick and Andrew may strike out with Andi but they have a budding bromance of their own brewing, thanks to a shared interest in car racing.
  • Credit to Andi for calling out Steven, a snowboard developer, who said he was "stoked" to be there and later described something as "rad." Not coincidentally, she dropped him at the rose ceremony.
  • Marcus was quick to bring up his European upbringing and multilinguistic abilities, but when pushed revealed he only knows how to say "I can speak a little German" in German, and "I can't speak Polish" in Polish.
  • JJ has three strikes in the affectations department: 1. the name "JJ", 2. occupation "pantsapreneur, 3. he wears a bow tie. Can you say "hipster"?
Nineteen of the 25 men were given roses. Odd number but whatever. (Anyone else notice how oddly she gripped each rose?) The six who got the boot were Snowboarding Steven, Attorney Rudie (too much competition for Miss Smarty-Pants), Dr. Jason, Anal Emil, Dull Ron, Telemarketing Josh B., and Bartending Mike.

Dr. Jason, who reminded me a bit of a blond Crispen Glover, sounded depressed saying he wasn't "going back to a whole lot." Yeah, saving lives sucks. Rudie thought he was going to "hit it out of the park" but struck out. But perhaps the greatest exit interview in the history of first-night exit interviews went to Josh B., who said he was "super disappointed. ... Whatever. It's embarrassing is what it is. This was something that a friend put me up to and I showed up and said, 'Oh, this is great. Yeah, sure, let's give it a try. Let's embarrass the fuck out of myself for one night, to do absolutely nothing, to accomplish nothing.' And then I'm going to call my parents tomorrow and be like, 'Yeah, that sucked. I'm coming home.' I'm gonna face reality and be embarrassed as fuck. Cool. It is what it is... This is stupid."


The upcoming highlights were interesting, no? I know they always want to stress the drama and make it seem like the worst happened so we don't know for sure, but it wouldn't surprise me if Andi's id reared its ugly head again and she started finding fault with everyone who didn't exactly adhere to how life is supposed to be. Remember when she said how "offensive" Juan Pablo was? Now the upcoming highlights show her saying that the "fact that people think this is a joke is so offensive to me." She gets offended easily. We also saw her crying, saying, "It's a fairy tale for a reason because it doesn't happen."

I guess we'll have to wait and see. Or I suppose you could just search for spoilers. But you won't find them here. I like watching things unfold.

Until next week.