Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bachelorette JoJo: Groundhog Day all over again

Hey folks. Welcome back. Not sure I wanted to be here again but after watching the first episode... nothing's changed! Not a fan of JoJo and this group of suitors looks like the worst on record. More gimmicky guys than ever before. A guy dressed as Santa Claus – throughout the whole episode yet! – in late May! A guy in a kilt not wearing any "panties"! A guy with an a cappella quartet that follows him wherever he goes – throughout the whole episode yet! A guy on a horse dressed as a unicorn (the horse, not the guy. And it's not a real unicorn, he assured Jojo)! A guy who does the splits! A guy on a motorbike! Ugh!

And there are more unemployed guys, too. Usually there's one "creative" description in place of an occupation in the group. This season? We've got a "Hipster," a "Canadian," "Bachelor Superfan," "Former professional football player," "Former competitive swimmer," "War veteran," and, of course, "Father Christmas." There might be more but I wasn't paying as close attention as past seasons because see above.

Let's talk about some of these dudes. Unlikable almost to a man. No obvious frontrunner that I can see. I got a bad feeling about Bad Chad from the moment he stepped out of the limo and fingerlocked JoJo's ten digits. And then he started trash-talking everyone. Not in a fun way, either. He looks and sounds vaguely evil. The upcoming highlights paint that picture, too. Who knows what will really happen? We've been burned by misleading highlights once too often. But he will be Bad Chad all season as far as I'm concerned.

What's with the Bachelor Superfan? How is this not stalking? Is he there to find love or to be around the famous JoJo and even famouser Chris Harrison?

The weasly looking man is a former pastor who now works helping other men with their erectile dysfunction. Somehow he was selected to continue next week. Then again, so was jolly old Saint Nick. I'm sure it's a case of her liking maybe 3 guys but she has to play the game and select 20.

The professional Canadian, Daniel from Vancouver, it turns out is a male model, according to the official website. Why don't they say that instead of "Canadian"? The guy got drunk, took off his clothes, jumped in the pool, and poked people in their belly buttons. He was selected, too.

The former professional quarterback is the brother of a current professional quarterback. Jordan used to play in the NFL but I take it he didn't play much. He certainly doesn't look like an NFL player. The guy may be able to throw but he's got chicken legs.

The former competitive swimmer brought a bottle of wine and opened it when he met JoJo, getting her to swig some before he swigged some himself. As he walked off, JoJo said, "My mom will like him." Of course we all remember Jojo's mom swigging hooch from the bottle last season.

James F. is listed as a "Boxing club owner." That may be true, but in his questionnaire online, it asked what the most outrageous thing he'd ever done was. His answer: "Left the safety of chiropractic to pursue my fitness and acting dreams." So another guy there for totally the right reasons.

How about Ali's eyebrows?! Those things are serious! The guy gets 5 o'clock shadow by noon, yet his legs are completely hairless. I guess all the hair has been redirected to his face. Or he shaves his legs. But he seems sweet. Plays the piano, too. But please, for the love of God, no more Für Elise. That is the most over-played song in Beethoven's canon. Plus anybody can play it whether they play the piano or not. It fooled the country-music-lovin' JoJo, though. She thought it was beautiful.

Jonathan, the half-Chinese, half-Scottish, kilt-wearing Vancouverite told JoJo he's not wearing any "panties." That sealed his fate right there. Not because he was going commando, but because he usually wears "panties." Buh-bye. But as bad as that was, we didn't need fellow Vancouverite Daniel talking trash about him. Bad form, buddy. But I think it was Daniel's strategy coming in to get as much screen time as possible by being opinionated and loutish. Worked for him.

How long do you think the Santa Claus thing is going to go on for? I guess the guy's name is Nick and he probably considers himself a saint, but it was a tad far-fetched, don't you think? And enough with the lame "jo-jo-jo" Santa laugh. I loved it when he sat down with Jojo and took off his red hat. Then off came the beard. JoJo took one look and quickly covered up that ugly mug with the beard again.

While we got more bogus occupations, like those listed above, we also got a singer-songwriter who got both names listed. James Taylor is his name and bad country singing is his game. Is it because he shares a name with an actual musical talent and the producers thought it would be cute to have a guy named James Taylor? Are they banking on viewers not knowing what the real James Taylor looks like and are hoping they'll believe the real McCoy is slumming it on The Bachelorette? Or is it because there was already a James F and a James S? But last I checked, Taylor doesn't begin with an F or S. Why not James T?

Oh, and the "landscape architect" (fancy term for gardener) told JoJo he was an "architect." He should have just said he was a "liar." He didn't stick around, though, so no biggie.

The professional "hipster" told Jojo he didn't watch last season and knows nothing about her. I think he meant it in a positive way, but he came off sounding rude and... hipsterish. I guess he is a professional, after all.

Wells is the name of the guy who brought the a cappella group. And that quartet hung around all night, serenading Wells wherever he went. He's a radio deejay so he needs all the help he can get.

So yeah, the worst cast ever, in my opinion. Bad Chad actually made a good point. He said he expected to come there and be up against the best guys from every state but discovered just a bunch of dudes who couldn't get a date back home. That's probably true. I think he also stumbled on to a spin-off reality show. Let's get the best contestants. Have a competition. Obviously you can't have 50 of them, but if the producers went to 25 different regions and held a contest on who should be selected to go on to meet the Bachelor/ette, that would be a hit, I'm sure. And the person who was to be the Bachelor/ette could watch and get to know who they were going to meet ahead of time. That way you get some decent candidates who are screened by the viewing public, not just selected by the producers because they're going to provide good drama.

What's worst about the whole episode is that this franchise is just becoming Groundhog Day all over again. It's the same old situations and reactions. The producers are on auto-pilot. Make sure we get a real jerk. Make sure we get some doofuses. Make sure one of them get stupid drunk and makes an ass of him/herself the first night. Make sure somebody returns or comes late to the party and the others get upset. Make sure one or more of them doesn't come by limo but on a motorbike or horse or some other form transportation. Just plug in different faces. They could Jib-Jab they're way through each season using past episodes.

Will, who did the awkward fake card drop that JoJo didn't even understand, got the first kiss when he forced Jojo into that origami finger counting thing all kids do. I say "force" because I'm sure no matter which number she chose, the instructions would be to kiss. But it was quick and uneventful. Still probably the best kiss of Will's life. The first real kiss, though, went to old Chicken Legs QB, who also, not coincidentally, got the first impression rose.

At the rose ceremony, Jake Pavelka, showed up. We got all the angst we always get when someone from a past season makes an appearance. But this was 100 percent misdirection. He just showed up to tell Jojo he hopes she finds love. Couldn't he have texted her that? Man, the guy was desperate to hang on to his 15 minutes of fame.

After Jordan's rose, the roses went in order to:
  1. Luke, the Texan who gave fellow Texan Jojo some cowboy boots because... I'm not sure. She's already from Texas and probably owns several pairs.
  2. Wells, the desperate radio deejay
  3. James Taylor, the country singer, not the folk-pop singer
  4. Grant, the biracial firefighter/male model
  5. Derek, the commercial banker (read: teller)
  6. Christian
  7. Bad Chad, a "luxury real estate agent"
  8. Chase
  9. Alex, the mini-marine with a twin
  10. Robby, the former competitive swimmer. Not sure what he currently is.
  11. Brandon, the hipster
  12. James F., the boxing club owner/former chiropractor/wannabe actor
  13. Ali and his eyebrows. (Sounds like Ollie)
  14. Saint Nick
  15. Will, he of the awkward kiss
  16. James S., the stalker. All three Jameses advanced.
  17. Vinny, the barber with the bad haircut
  18. Evan, the erectile dysfunction expert
  19. Daniel, the drunken Canadian male model
That left five out in the cold. No kilt, no fake architect, no Coley, no Peter, no Nick S., no Sal, whoever they were. Hey, that's six, which adds up to 26. I just confirmed with the official website and that's accurate.

After the 11th rose was handed out, James F. said, "My name still hasn't been called. It's scary." I always wonder how long these things take to shoot. Are they stopping after every few roses to record snippets with people so they can intersperse them during the playback?

Jojo's drink-game phrase was either "You look good/great!" or "Y'all." I have nothing against Southerners (I'm one, too, afterall, just from another country), but I dread having to hear "y'all" for the whole season at every turn. If you're basing a drinking game on either of these phrases, make sure you drink straight from the bottle.