Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jason and the Baby-Mamas

Jason Mesnick and His Harem

The time has nearly arrived. ABC premieres it's latest edition of The Bachelor, next Monday, January 5th. This time, former MeAnna Pappas reject, Jason Mesnick is going to romance some babes and look for true love on his own. For those of you who have not already spoiled yourselves (yes, most of the top sleuther sights are now commenting that the winner has indeed leaked out even before the show airs) I present:

Barbarossa's First Annual List of Shit to Look For!

Now if you're one of those people who saves screen captures and voice recordings and then goes over them with an electron microscope and a seeing-eye dog, this list is not for you. This list is for people who actually just watch the stupid show...you know, like normal human beings. Ok, first up is Night One. That may seem obvious but the truth is that Night One shows you who the final 4 are if you just pay attention. Here's how: On the first night there are 25 women all running around getting bombed, playing the clarinet, eating beer cans, singing, twirling batons, and taking turns stealing The Bachelor away from each other. That is the part of the show that most people watch for: the bimbo parade. But that isn't where the your real competitors are hiding. With 25 women, one guy, and about an hour and a half, the truth is that there is only so much time for talking...you know, like on a real date.

With such a small amount of time and so many women for the viewer to get to know, producers/losers Mike Fleiss and Lisa Levenson have only a narrow window of time to introduce the women who are important for the arc of the season. Fleiss camouflages this under heaping layers of Circus Activity designed to both entertain and confuse, but do it he must. Viewers have no emotional stake in the show's outcome if the don't feel like they're sharing the journey with the contestants, and nobody would feel that if we were never shown anything about them. And that becomes the clearest marker as to which girls will be around for a while. Yes, I know, I know, Jason will talk with a heap of women; just don't let yourself be confused. Fleiss is like a magician--a half-trained, half-assed clown of a magician you wouldn't hire for a child's birthday party, but a magician nonetheless. He relies on distraction to divert the attention of the audience away from the real contenders by showing desperate women, who have already been fingered as losers, actress wanna-bes, and psychotics , turn themselves into Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not freaks to divert your attention from the girls who actually have a chance.

The key is simply to pay attention to any girl shown talking to Jason (not in a private interview) that sounds sweet and sane. She may relate a personal anecdote about her life, childhood, parents or some other relevant experience. Fleiss just handed you a contender on a silver platter. He took the time from a tight edit to show you someone you can relate to. (Note: this does not include girls showing Jason their bunions or an "I Got Hammered in Key West" tattoo. Only personal anecdotes.) They should be fairly easy to spot since the rest of the women will be behaving with the decorum normally seen in a chimp cage at the local zoo. That alone should give you a handful you can follow. Now, there's no guaranteeing that the girl you spot is going to be in the final 2, but it's a reasonable marker that she is going to go deep into the final 6 at least. Also, anyone seen behaving as if they need a 12-step program, dancing lessons, music lessons, a pro bono visit from Dr. Phil, or their very own Restraining Order can be summarily dismissed (or better yet, enjoyed for pure entertainment value). They won't make it into the top 8.

Remember, pay absolutely no attention to what order Jason calls out the girl's names at this or any other Rose Ceremony. This, even the soul-less Producers admit, is all rigged for maximum drama. Also disregard any bachelorette who grimaces, scowls, sneers, or pulls a face during the ceremony when a competitor gets her name called for a rose. These girls have been standing around in high heels with hangovers and aching feet for twelve hours while they filmed this bullshit; of course they sneer and grimace.

The Season Previews

Ok, if you're still confused as to which women are worth watching at this point, Fleiss is about to help you. At the end of each and every Night One Episode, they show a series of Highlights from the upcoming season. Most homes in America are now equipped with High Definition TV's and video recorders of some sort (Tivo, DVR). If you tape the previews and watch them in slow motion you will see a good number of the women you just saw survive Night One on a variety of dates with Jason. And if you watch very carefully, you'll see a few in more-exotic locations, one-on-one with Jason. There's your top 3 or even top2. Now I warn you: this is a slippery slope. You see, Fleiss wants you to buy an electron microscope and a seeing-eye dog. He knows this crap can be addictive and habit-forming, that's why he gives out the answers if you really want to look for them. He knows some people will get hooked on cracking the case and will spend their free time discussing and pimping his worthless reality show to others (like I do). Bachelor Sleuthing becomes a sport that has virtually nothing to do with the show. A new generation of Sherlock Holmes' run around examining screen captures, serial numbers on helicopters, calling potential Final 3 date location hotels and pestering the staff for information on filming dates. For people who have no life (like me) and have no interest in Star Trek Conventions, this is how we wile away our limited time on Planet Earth. Beware, you don't want to become one of us.

If All Else Fails:

Well, if you truly can't stand the suspense you can go out onto the internet and find out who won. "Barbarossa, do you mean they already know????" Uh, yeah, it would seem so. Normally sleuthers pick the winner from the methods stated above, but sometimes the sleuthing itself is spoiled because someone spills the beans. The National Enquirer used to bust it sometimes and off-shore gambling sites used to get flooded with the real winners and had to halt gambling on Reality Shows because of it. But some years some idiot just talks out of turn. Relax, dear readers, your Faithful Ship Captain won't reveal the secret here or in any other future columns. First of all: they may be wrong, (It's happened before.) but most importantly you, dear reader, may not wish to be spoiled. Far be it from me to take away your joy and delight at seeing true love develop on National TV.

Besides, you really want that electron microscope and seeing-eye dog, don't you?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"He's In Love! He's Engaged!"....OK, whatever you say, Chum.

ABC just released the pre-show press release assuring fans of Jason and of The Bachelor, that the show formula worked and Jason is head-over-heels in love with the "girl of his dreams." Ok, ok, whatever you say. But before the partying begins in earnest, my friends, it's time for a quick reality check before any of you start confusing Reality TV with Reality. I can hear some of you grumbling already. Oh, Barbarossa! We just got the news! Let us enjoy it a while before you take a giant crap on our romantic dreams! It's just a show, after all! Sorry, my friends. I can see and practically hear the swooning going on in online Bachelor-land and before that gets too far out of control it's your friendly Captains job to piss directly into your porridge. I am already hearing disturbing rumblings about people picking "favorites" and the girls pics haven't even been officially released yet. I'm also hearing (even from veteran fans) that this time is different because "Jason is really sincere!" Besides, as a veteran watcher and writer about this particular crapsack, I am charged with dousing your unrealistic expectations with a bucket of ice water. It's for your own good after all. Trust me.

An article has recently resurfaced that was originally written five years ago (complete with insider interviews of shocking honesty) that definitely should be reviewed. I'll save you the time by quoting from it directly. This article, written by Alessandra Stanley of TV Watch, was written in 2003, when the first spate of Reality TV programs were becoming astoundingly popular. It's a rare look behind the curtain of just what it is we're all still ingesting. I'll start the review with this quote, which should put your romantic ideas into proper perspective:

''We wanted to shoot the show like a soap opera,'' explained Lisa Levenson, the co-executive producer of ''The Bachelor'' series and a former producer of ''General Hospital,'' an ABC daytime soap opera. ''The principal ingredient is developing characters that viewers can relate to, or watch and think, 'At least I am not as screwed up as that person.' '' (Ms. Levenson also worked on the ''Jerry Springer Show.'')

If that last bit doesn't warn you about the nature of what we're all watching, I'll be damned if I know what will. That's right, Lisa Levenson, Bachelor co-producer, used to spend her time arranging onstage fist fights between incestuous families, trailer-trash lesbians, and perverted dwarfs. Jerry! Jerry! Quite a resume builder that is. Especially when you're also producing a dating show that requires everyone to swallow what they're seeing wholesale. Soap Operas and Springer--god, what a combo! This folks, is the same person who is trying to get you to buy that Jason Mesnick, average joe from Kirkland, Washington, has found love on her TV show and it's the real deal!

True, people have fallen in love on The Bachelor and it's sister show, The Bachelorette. But unfortunately for Levenson, and her partner in crime, Mike Fleiss, it's been a while. What this article makes so clear is just what the focus and point of this show is. (Hint: It's not people falling in love) Fleiss made it clear, they could care less about that

''If the couples break up, viewers will find that interesting, too,'' said Mike Fleiss, Ms. Levenson's co-executive producer on ''The Bachelor'' series. ''It's storytelling, and viewers are more satisfied when we work the spin.''

"The spin". Yeah. They are producing a Soap Opera-like piece of entertainment. Their goal is to craft a story that draws you into the emotional journey about the quest for love, not to pair up lonely singles. In other words, it's about as real as a pro wrestling match, and if anyone falls in love during rehearsals, well, that's just fine. But if they don't, that's fine too, just as long as they produce good drama and ratings. Barbarossa, that's fine. But this is about the people, people like Jason, and he's really sincere! Maybe, maybe not. Let's see what the icon of the this series has to say about sincerity. Trista Sutter is the poster child for this franchise. She married Colorado fireman Ryan Sutter in her own incarnation of the Bachelorette and she is the lone peg on which Fleiss and Levenson hang their coat and point to every time someone tells them their show is a pile of faked shit that never works. Let's see what Trista has to say about those smashed and broken hearts every Bachlor(ette) contestant invariably leave in their wakes:

Ms. Rehn, perhaps having snapped out of ''The Bachelorette'' trance, had a prosaic explanation for why she appeared so enamored of Charlie, the man she rejected for the poetry-writing fireman, Ryan, in the finale. ''They need to make the audience believe it is going to go a certain way,'' she told reporters on Thursday, ''so they can have a shocking ending.''

Yikes! Even saintly Trista, who followed through and actually married her fireman and procreated with him just admitted she led some poor shlub along and make sure he got blind-sided so the producers could have some drama. Holy crack smoking, Batman! You mean Trista shamelessly led some poor bastard on and then trashed him on national TV just to make the producers happy? Yep, that's exactly what that means. And that's exactly what Jason Mesnick is going to do too. He's going to encourage a set of women to fall for him, so he can slam them down. Oh, Barbarossa, not Jason! He wouldn't do that! He has a son! Really? Have they changed the premise of the show? The press release says he's gonna' start out with 25 women all trying to be the last one standing. That means that 24 women are going to be unceremoniously dumped by Mr. Wonderful. But Barbarossa, Jason will be kind about it. He won't give those bad old producer's what they want. He has too much respect for women!

Uh huh. Ok, lets see what the producers say about that:

Ms. Levenson explained that even the most unpracticed contestants go into what she calls ''The Bachelor bubble.'' Isolated from newspapers, friends, television or any other distraction from the show, participants develop ''Stockholm syndrome,'' and identify with the producers' goals. ''They do not want to screw up, and they want it to be as dramatic for the viewers as it is for them,'' Ms. Levenson explained

Hehehe. Yep. They deliberately isolate the contestants so the can promote a Stockholm Syndrome among them. No wonder Jason always grimaces like he's making a hostage tape; he is. If Jason has so much respect for women (and himself) why is he doing this show? So he can fall in love--squeeee! Uh, no. He can do that at home. Jason has chosen to do this on national television with about 7 million people watching. He is no rube either. As a previous contestant on the MeAnna Pappas Bachelorette, he knows the ropes. He has agreed to take part in a show that you have just seen the producers refer to as a Soap Opera. He knows most of his fellow cast members want careers in show biz and that they came on the show for exposure. What does Jason hope to gain by this? I have no idea, but the fact there is more to this than just falling in love is what I just called it: a fact! What his true motivations are, I neither know nor care. I just know he has them and the fact he is going to drag his three year-old son into this is nothing short of loathsome, in my opinion...but that's his business.

I'm not trying to put people off watching this show. As you all know, I'm about as sanctimonious as someone on death row. If Jason wants to run his life this way fine by me. I'm just trying to make sure that my faithful readership (that would be both of you) keeps in mind just what we are watching. If this thing works at all, it will be as a happy byproduct of the process of creating Soap Opera quality entertainment. And know that many of you will soon sour on Jason Mesnick. You will start to like some contestant and then see Jason dump her. Popularity as a contestant on this show is one thing; popularity as the Bachelor himself? Ah, that's another. Meanwhile, caveat emptor, my friends.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Big Fat Greek Wedding That Isn't!

How out of it have I been? I just got some of the least shocking news since I heard Obama won the election: DeAnna Pappas put the dump job on 'ol Bonghit Spicoli. Wow! How amazingly unsuprising that was.There I was sailing through the Caribbean planning my next round of looting and pillaging when a seagull arrived with a letter announcing the news of their break-up. After I stopped laughing and picked myself up off the deck, I actually experienced a moments surprise when I realized that the faux couple weren't going to keep this up so they could cash in on the 'wedding'. But I don't think its from a lack of shamelessness however.

The seagull carried several articles including one where Chris "Wingman" Harrison actually took Jesse's side. Hmmm, must be an additional duty of romance reality TV hosts I wasn't aware of: refereeing break-ups. Anyway, rumors (and our own eyes) told you the fact that DeAnna was one world-class bitch, so the fact that Harrison and the Bachelor powers-that-be were only too happy to toss her under the nearest Greyhound should come as no surprise. Every reliable rumor from members of the production staff made it pretty plain that the picture we got to see of DeAnna on the show was no illusion.

Adding fuel to the soap opera fire, Jesse posted a whiny, tear-filled video on Youtube about the break-up.

Reality Check: A blind person could plainly see (even me!) that DeAnna had a serious case of the hots for just one person on her Bachelorette show: Graham Bunn. Graham left (or was dismissed, depending on who you believe) in position number 4. Three guys remained when Graham left and everything after that was anticlimax. As slim as the chance is that this show could actually produce a real romance, that small chance died when Graham left. Jeremy, Jason, and Jesse Csini...Csini...Cszin...the snowboarder were all left there like table scraps for a dog. The show had to continue, of course, no surprise there. But the fact that DeAnna dumped Jeremy and took the single dad to the finals so she could dump him for the snowboarding stonehead was a shock. Was it a diabolical plan from the producers? If it was, it was a dumb one. Once the show was over, numerous ass kissers came flooding out of the woodwork claiming to be "Jesse Fans". You know the fans I mean, the ones who were nonexistent during the show.

Regardless, the moment the show ended DeAnna "I want three kids by the age of thirty" Pappas and Jesse "I want three bags of weed by this weekend" Csin...Czini...The Snowboarder were selling items on Ebay, doing photo-ops nationwide and were driving a leased Maserati. Now word comes that DeAnna has "auditions" in California. Jesse insisted this wasn't what he wanted. (This from a guy who went on a reality show to sell his ex-girlfriends clothing line?) Sounds to me like the wingman has some more refereeing to do on this one.

Or better yet, lets let this whole mess die as quietly as possible, like it should have in the beginning. After all, a new Bachelor starring Jason is due to air in January and word has just confirmed that Charlie and B. are back together and Byron and Mary are making like crabgrass and refusing to die. Hope springs eternal.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Baby-Daddy is On!

Ok, ok, enough with the e-mails, I got it already! Yes, ABC has announced Jason "the Baby-Daddy" Mesnick, so viciously dumped by MeAnna Pappas on last season's Bachelorette, will be back as the prime object of female desire when the Bachelor comes back on in January for it's 13th installment. While MeAnna found the man of her dreams with 'ol Bonghit Spicoli and is now spending her quality family time in L.A. doing photo-ops, driving a leased Maserati, and auctioning off items on Ebay, just like she promised she would on the show, Jason was sent back to Seattle causing women everywhere to cry a river.

As the dust settled and people gnashed their teeth at DeAnna for breaking Mr. Nice-guy's heart so she could go be famous with her new "fiancee", they took out their frustrations by burying ABC under an avalanche of e-mails and phone calls demanding Jason be made the new Bachelor. The e-mails must have hit home because ABC's president of programming sounded a lot like he might just shelve the Bachelor for a while back in interviews in July. But hope, if not common sense, springs eternal for Romance Reality Television with principal shooting now rumored to begin in October.

As I blogged just after Jason was given the most brutal kiss-off in Bach history, the next slot was his for the taking. I said that I both "hoped and thought he would not." Silly me. Both Jason and ABC have both evidently enjoyed a huge gulp of Producer Mike Fleiss' infamous kool-aid and are now on board for what fans hope will be the lucky 13th try. We'll see about that. But you can't say that Jason, with his cute three year-old son and general, all around nice-guy earnestness isn't going to attract a different caliber of woman to this show. I am 100% positive they will get applicants who wouldn't have gotten near this clunker in a million years otherwise. Whether Fleiss and partner in crime, Lisa Levenson, will actually cast any of them is another matter. After 7 years of casting famewhores, drama-queens, and Hollywood wanna-be's, I expect old habits will be hard to break. They actually think stalkers, psychos, and actress wanna-be's are really entertaining. Even Weak Wingman-host, Chris Harrison has given interviews equating tears with ratings.


Casting: Duh. This is where this chance can be absolutely wrecked. If any of you can picture Jason proposing to the likes of Shayne Lamas, please send me what you're taking because I want some. This is probably this shows last chance to actually deliver upon the premise it promises. If they can't pull this one off; they can't pull it off. Because of Jason's fanbase and his reputation, I actually expect there to be some buzz about this premiere. That hasn't been the case for this franchise for a long time. Suffice it to say, if they cant deliver the goods with this guy, women around the country (who make up an enormous majority of viewers) will get the message that this will never work. I predict this series will live and die on this season. Fleiss had better pay attention if he likes cashing ABC's checks.

Jason: Ok, time to break this guy down a little. Now, I know that I'll be seeing so much of little Ty that I'll be hugged around the closest commode like a diabetic with a empty box of Whitman's Sampler in my arms, but I also know that women will love that new aspect of the show; especially if reports are right and they will be filming in Seattle. With that said, this show always comes down to how well the lead can carry it and Ty not withstanding, this is up to Jason--his interaction with the women and the way he treats him. ABC had "hotter" choices here. With all due respect to Jason's mob of female swooners, there were hotter guys available. Jeremy-Bot Anderson has washboard abs and a leading man chin. Jason, in contrast, is in good shape, fairly nice-looking, a little thin of hair and grimaces like he's being held captive when he smiles. Does this guy have the chops to carry this show on his shoulders? I honestly don't know. If you remember the Prince Lorenzo Borghesi or Travis Stork seasons, you saw two better-looking men stumble around the women like two guys who had just escaped from their mom's basements.

Now Jason's army of female myrmidons will disagree with that assessment, but I'm sorry, he is a nice-looking, in-shape guy, who seems to be really nice. He is not model-hot. And not the entire audience will be made of women who are in-love with his niceness and commitment to his kid. If it were, Jeremy would not have received so much support in his candidacy to the next Bachelor. That guy was shown, unfairly in my opinion, to be a arrogant moper, yet he had a huge fanbase of his own. Just because Jason appears to be so damn nice should you, dear readers, expect the old pirate here to give him a free pass? Ha, you are kidding. I'll be just as hard on this guy as I think he warrants. I'm gonna call him when I think he needs it and I'll search slang-dictionaries for new ways to describe "vomit" for all the saccharin-sweet Jason loves Ty scenes we are going to be subjected to. I don't give free passes.

The good news is that there is soon to be another shot for me to be a wise-ass and I can't wait. I can practically hear Harrison practicing in front of the mirror right now: "Our most romantic season ever!"

Yeah, I like it. Argh!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Kudos To Reality Steve and Jeremy Anderson

Reality Steve is at it again; doing not only a funny column but acting like a "journalist". Well "La-tee-dah". Yeah, he is the real deal; unlike me, who just sits around bitching. Steve landed an interview with the Jeremy-bot and its a humdinger too. The most revealing aspects of the audio is not the fact that many show secrets are revealed, it's that Anderson actually seems like a pretty sincere guy who went on the show for the right reasons; no endorsement deals, going to Hollywood or any of that. The schlub actually believed he had a shot at love. (Shakes head) Poor idiot.

Anyway, the interview is good, it's also very long: about an hour and a half. If that's too much for you, I'll try and recap what I thought were the the most important parts here:

DeAnna: Although Jeremy mouthed all the necessary platitudes about her reading between the lines wasn't very difficult. Some memorable quotes:

R.S.: "Whatever happened between Dee and Jesse, I guess we viewers just never got to see it."

J.A.: (Laughing) You're not the only one!"

J.A.: "There were a lot more picnic blow-ups from her than you ever saw." "By the time we walked on the beach during the last chance date; she was different. The whole refrain from her had been: If it's you, I'm moving to Dallas or to Washington if it's Jason or whatever. That changed when we were on the beach. She wasn't so sure anymore. She's been the Princess for a year now; I think she may have been bitten by the Hollywood bug."

"Jason and I are best friends. We talk almost every day."

Suffice it to say, I was pretty hard on Jeremy this season. I went so far as calling the guy "fake" and a "robot". I should have been more cognizant of the editing bug. Jeremy wasn't really happy he was shown as a morose, depressed person. He said there were a lot of light moments that never got shown. This shouldn't surprise me or you either, dear reader. Trying to recap this is pointless because it robs you of his voice inflections and laughter he joined in with Steve when he agreed but had too much class to say so. You need to listen to it.

Barbarossa's Conclusions: Ok, the biggest news of the interview is that Jason and Jeremy are being considered as the next Bachelor's. It sounded like the focus is solely on them as well. Neither have heard from ABC as of August 4th. Ok, I went so far as to swear that I wouldn't watch the Bachelor, let alone blog about it, if Jeremy were selected. I'm officially changing my position after this interview. Mind you, its with reservations. Like Reality Steve, I'm willing to admit I was fooled by some of the edit and admit Jeremy is indeed in this "for the right reasons". That does not answer the charisma problem for me. But I realize that charisma, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but I'm not sure this guy has the chops to carry this show off as it's lead. But...this was BIG...Reality Steve floated an idea that's been around for weeks now on the boards and its a gem and Jeremy readily agreed! He proposed two Bachelors: Jason and Jeremy, along with some revolutionary changes to the show. Maybe Jeremy and ten girls and Jason and ten girls. If Jason cuts a girl, Jeremy has the chance to try her out before dumpsville. Not everyone meshes with each other and Jason and Jeremy are fairly different guys. I think this idea is nothing short of terrific! This is the type of changes I'm talking about. Jason and Jeremy seem like truly sincere guys, but both only appeal to part of the Bachelor viewership. People will get sick of seeing Ty is its Jason alone, and Jeremy might whine and mewl a bit without Jason's smile backing him up. They also sound like Best Friends who could help each other and talk stuff out about the women. I like this. No, I love it!

Now, Fleiss just needs to leave the drunken fame-whore and actress-wanna-be's at home and pick some decent women, not a bevy of unstable drama queens and I predict ABC will buy this in a second. I wouldn't have the women do a vote-off like they did in Byron's season either. Let both guys stay and work over the lovely's until we get a match. This might actually work, maybe even twice. This idea is a winner and if any of Fleiss' troglodytes read this blog they need to snatch it up and run with it.

'Nuff said. And Argh!

Friday, July 25, 2008

No Surprises in Bachelor-Land

ABC's, The Bachelor can be many things; surprising, however, is not one of them. Finally ending what everyone has known for an eon, Bachelor Matt Grant and his ersatz-fiancee, Shayne Dalai Lamas, have apparently grown tired of having to explain to reporters why they are always in someone other than each others company and announced that they are indeed Splitsville!

Thank you. As you were told here by your humble pirate when this travesty ended, this sucker was faked from the get go. The Dalai Lamas, looking more and more like the potted-palm plant-job that she was, apparently got what she wanted out of the deal: the chance to pose scantily-clad on numerous, crappy Men's Magazine covers and the delectable attention she so obviously craves. What does British dweeb Matt Grant get out of the deal? Well, since he obviously spilled to the reporter first: he gets to blame her. The story says she dumped him via cell phone and he is reported to be "devastated." Sure. He's probably devastated he has to take his skinhead-looking ass back to merry Olde England and get a real job.

Anybody feeling "devastated" by their break up needs some medication and a nice, safe rubber room to sleep in. (They also need to contact me so I can sell them some swampland.) The only thing remarkable about any of this is that this version of the Bachelor signaled the moment when Producer Mike Fleiss moved from trying to stage the show to actually staging it. The early years of the Bachelor, when Satan Fleiss was but a lad in the land of reality TV manipulation, actually had some sense of realism. True, this now makes 10 of 11 Bachelors who have dumped their sweeties, but those earlier ones actually made some pretense of giving it a go. Well that all stopped when Brad Womack made his heroic stand and dumped everyone. ABC had just come off a banner year when Lt. Andy Baldwin, (now revealed as a world class douche) dated and picked Tessa Horst. That romance was still supposedly on-going when the Womack debacle occurred. One supposes ABC was less than thrilled and Fleiss panicked. "No more Reality!"

You see, Fleiss is actually a kind-hearted person with sound judgment. Remember that on the night Brad Womack dumped Jenni Croft and DeAnna Pappas, leaving both women in tears and at least one them(Pappas) psychologically scarred, Fleiss' idea of "funny" was to the end the show with Womack sitting on his couch eating a Subway and watching TV. While Bachelor America gnashed its teeth and damned Brad Womack to hell; Fleiss thought it would be a riot to show Womack eatin' a sammitch and watching the boob tube. (Thankfully, mercifully, ABC stepped in and stopped him). How can we doubt the priceless judgment of such a man?

Well Fleiss learned his lesson: No More Reality! Rumors in the bloggersphere hint ABC is considering shelving the show. Others counter than since the Bachelor still gets good ratings that that will never happen. But it's happened before. Most of you are probably too young to remember 1969 so I shall provide a lesson: At that time CBS had a load of top-rated shows--many of them in the top 10 but they were all hick-coms; in other words, shows about Hillbilly's. You may have heard of several of them: The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction. All of these shows were in the top 15 at the time of their cancellations. CBS axed them because they were embarrassed. Do you think ABC execs are embarrassed that their flagship dating program has become a joke? Maybe, maybe not but one thing is certain: This show needs to be desperately re-tooled. It needs to actually try and fulfill the premise it was supposed to meet in the first place. If you had a show that actually showed interested people falling in love and committing to each other instead of Hollywood wanna-be's and desperate fame-whores trying to pimp careers, this show could run until 2100. Ever heard of Romeo and Juliet? Love is a universal theme just like Shakespeare knew.

ABC has an easy answer too: FIRE FLEISS! Give Lisa Levenson a shot or hire someone else who will recruit people off Match.com instead of MySpace and give us back some "reality."

I'm for it.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Bachelorette Finale---Fake Times at Ridgemont High

She picked the stoner! Ha Ha! Oh, man I don't believe it! She picked Spicoli! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! That's right, the same character created by Sean Penn in the 80's cult movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The only thing missing was the wingman morphing into Mr. Hand and eating Spicoli's pizza because he didn't order enough for the whole class. Somebody call Ray Walston! Ha, ha! Wonder what Spicoli the snowboarder plans to do with the big cash reward he won for being the f1? He'll probably do what Spicoli did and blow the whole wad hiring Van Halen to play at this birthday party. Can you see Dee riding around in the back of a micro bus following Jesse to snowboarding events; smokin' the wheat and drinking bongwater? Ha, ha. Me neither.

The bigger question is: Just how stupid is this girl!? Now, I don't think she's in love with this guy in the least. She was in love with Graham three weeks previously. No, the question of her stupidity that this begs is that since she didn't love either man, why did she take the one man who was the most earnest of the bunch to the final 2 so she could dump him for a stoned-out teen-aged wanna be? Why not take Jeremy-bot? Or Richard, the Chef? Or (gasp) The Grahamster!? You remember him Dee; you know, the guy you actually loved? He wouldn't have cared. Jesus, why take the nice guy to the dump farm? Why not anyone but the one guy who had a kid!? Especially when you were going to dump him for a guy whose ideas of fun are trying to destroy the English language and dressing up like a circus clown? And then to let the equivalent of the All-American guy get all the way down on one knee before you stop him?! Was this her idea of a joke!? And please be sure to give him a beaming smile when he's walking up to you. We wouldn't want him to see that big axe in your hands now would we? Think the villagers aren't up in arms about this? They're carrying torches and heading to the castle gates as we speak. Ha Ha! DeAnna now lives in a castle folks. Unfortunately for her it's guarded by flying monkeys, and no, they're not the result of those dubious-looking mushrooms your new "fiancee" fed you either, dear. They're the result of your seeming need to be elected Queen Bitch of the Universe. Stay out of the water, Dee; you'll melt.

Somewhere in Texas, Brad Womack just wiped his brow and did a shot. Or three.

Recap: (As if it matters now.) A long series of needless recaps showing the men's "journey's" with her. ZZZZZZZZZ. Then the two dwarfs head to Newnan, Ga. to meet Dee's family; so naturally it's time to trash Brad Womack again. The whole family piles on and Brad is again dismissed as a douche. Jason, the baby daddy, (hereafter known as the sacrificial lamb), is up first. Jason handles the whole thing very well. His dweebish nice guy bit goes over as well as it should. Dad questions whether Dee is ready to move into a ready-made family. Ya think? Anyway, sis takes the lamb outside and asks him about his true feelings for Dee. Unless Jason is a terrific actor, and he's not shown that ability to this point, he actually is in love with Dee. The brother asks the big question and we never see Dee answer it: "What's the wow factor?" We don't see the answer because there isn't one. Dee keeps making statement after statement about how "He's a good father; he wants to get married!" Even if leaks hadn't told the whole online world last week that she picks Jesse, this should have. The lamb is toast. Exciting guy versus stable guy. Most young women don't make the right choice on this one. They wait until the next time, when they're in their thirties, and learn that marriage is a long-term commitment, to make the correct pick. Dee, at 26, doesn't disappoint either. Jason asks dad's permission to marry Dee. The lamb is prepped for slaughter.

Jesse, the stoned snowboarder shows up next looking like, well looking like a skater boi. Baggy-assed pants and that "Rad" talk all going on. Tuck your shirt in, you douche. This one is kept short and Jesse is made to look scared, frightened and looking to escape. Dad's shown grilling Jesse and the edit makes it look like he has no answers for dad. More tellingly, Dee sits inside with her sis and pouts the entire time that Jesse is getting it too hard and won't do well. No clues needed here. Jesse is quickly shown the door, "I blew it." Ha, ha. Dee and dad talk and it looks like dad tried to talk her out of what she's about to do. Give dad some credit; he tried. But Dee's pouting gets huge when pops refuses to wholeheartedly endorse Jesse like he did Jason and the writing is even more on the wall.

Next, the producers pull one of their weird, pointless exercises that shows they don't really have a clue about what they're doing. In an effort to "up the drama" they bring both guys back to an extended family party. Unsurprisingly this produces a freeze from both guys and wads of discomfort all around. What was Fleiss expecting; a food fight! Sometimes Satan is a full blown moron! The two guys shuffle around uncomfortably and Jason easily wins over the family while Jesse teaches people how to "nug". Jesus. Grandma Zsa Zsa wins props, and an argument to bring back arranged marriages, by picking Jason, by what looks like a country mile. Grandpa tries to remind her that it's Dee's choice and Grandma rolls her eyes at him. Grandpa then scores some props by cracking on Zsa Zsa about how her dad's shotgun was the only reason her married her. Ha. Ha. Cool. The old duffers actually understand marriage. It's a remarkable contrast between their wisdom and their granddaughter's idiocy. No wonder the divorce rate is over 50% these days. Both guys are booted out and the family is shown (as always) to be absolutely no help in aiding the Bachelor(ette) whatsoever. The producers get into the act and prompt Jesse to get his ass in gear and ask Dad for his daughter's hand. Ha, ha. Very subtle. Dad grimaces like a man who can see the edge of the abyss heading his way and surrenders to the inevitable.

The producers then lose their collective minds. For some reason (time filler, an attempt to humanize Dee? Who knows?) they stage some fake interviews with Dee and try to make us believe she actually flew back to Grand Bahama to have a conversation with the Jeremy-bot. This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. I think Jesse wasn't the only one of this show taking bong hits. They don't even try very hard to fool us. The Jeremy-bot comes walking up to Dee's pad wearing the exact same clothes he was wearing at the rose ceremony the week before to talk to her. Dee greets him, at night, in a robe, and he whines and mewls to get her to change her mind. If anyone ever has the temerity to suggest this show isn't one huge pile of faked shit, just point them at this scene. Pro wrestling is more believable than what Fleiss is asking the audience to swallow here. I was expecting Hulk Hogan to come jumping out of the closet and elbow the Jeremy-bot on the noggin. Jesus, Fleiss, insult my intelligence, why don't you. The only thing worth noting here is that the Jeremy-bot tells the crowd that I have been completely accurate in my assessment of him. "I've...I've been a statue." Close enough for government work. Statue, robot; same thing. We get to see her dump his ass all over again. Yes she's looking like Rebbecca of Sunnybrooke Farm all right.

Back to some semblance of "reality". Back to Grand Bahama for real and Dee and the dweebs are ready for the last chance dates and the Final Lamb Slaughter. First, she and bowl-smoke go for a seaplane ride to a tiny island. They are clearly very comfortable with each other and they frolic around in the surf. In between frolicking there are voice overs where Jesse swears his true and unflinching love. Heh. Then its back to the hotel where Jesse presents her with a "gift." It's a book filled with still shots Jesse would have no chance of ever getting his hands on without the producers help, but in keeping with Jesse's 'character' it looks like a pop-up book. Very impressive. If Jesse had actually made the thing it would have been filled with drawings of hemp leaves and pen scrawled sayings like "Led Zeppelin Rulz!" so I think we can safely assume he didn't make it.

Now its the lamb's turn. He greets Dee in his usual dweeby run and hug method and she takes him scuba diving with sharks. Careful Jason, the Great White is closer than you think. They do go down to the bottom of the sea floor and there are real sharks around. Dee tells us Jason was "very manly and she feels safe and protected with him." This also is a refrain we have heard a thousand times. "Safe, protected," Read BORING! And just like we've seen between them every time he moves to kiss her she hesitates, kisses, then pulls back abruptly. Hard to believe the guy can't feel it but evidently he can't. It's then back to the lamb's room where he gives her a board game. It should have been Clue, Jason. But it isn't. She picks chance cards, etc. and looks uncomfy kissing him again. Voice overs tell us she's falling love with him. Heh, too funny. He tells her in apparent earnestness that he loves her. Narcissist that she is, she smiles and laps it up. The sharpening of knives can be heard in the background.

DeAnna wants us to believe she woke up the next morning and had an epiphany. After slobbering about how much she loves both guys she wakes up the next morning and suddenly is positive about who she will choose. Ok. The lamb, desperately needing a shave, goes ring shopping first and marches directly into the store with blind confidence and picks out a ring. Spicoli, however, nearly vomits on the sidewalk before he could get into the store. He tells us this means he "must love her?" The question in the tone is clearly audible. Ha, ha. He finally gets inside, picks out a ring, and then launches into a commercial: "This Decory ring to me, symbolizes forever." Ha, Ha, ha! Shamelessness is not an issue here folks.

With strains of classical music blaring in the background, voice overs tell us just how kooky this all is. Stoner boi finally uses the term, "Soulmate." We'll hear that a couple of billion times in the next few seconds. On to the slaughter. The wingman walks Dee out to her plinth of pain and she assures us she is 100% sure of her choice. Out of the two that are left, we are too, Dee. But the ominous shadows on Brad Womack and Graham Bunn rise up behind her as we hear this like storm clouds in Oz.

The first limo pulls out and out steps the lamb. Women all over the country who do not follow this crap on the Internet gasp in horror. The lamb, the stale breath of the producers still filling his ears ("You got it, man! There's no way she's gonna' pick that stoned loser over you! She wants a family; that loser doesn't even have a real job! Go for it buddy!) comes bounding happily down the walkway to his doom. DeAnna, just to make sure the coming ambush is as bloody and horrifying as humanly possible, beams at him like his blushing bride awaiting him at the alter. The next part...(sighs, shakes head) I'm afraid the next part defies my abilities as a writer. We pirates loot and pillage, we don't normally transcribe horror films, and before anyone tells me this happened quickly, I will remind you that descending down to one knee dressed in a suit, is not a one-step process. The lamb pulls back his jacket coat, steps back and slowly descends to one knee. Just as his knee is touching concrete she says "No, I can't."

The look he gives her carries in it about a thousand different emotions. He knows what it means when she stops him but the overriding look in his eyes is a question of" "How could you!?" She let him absolutely humiliate himself before she stopped him. It is akin to watching a disemboweling. Beatings of baby seals are tame in comparison. Horror is not nearly a strong enough word. The man is reduced to smoldering embers and DeAnna is unmasked as a sociopath. He is in such shock for the rest of the time it doesn't really need describing. She peddles him some balloon-juice and he just wants to drop into a hole and die. Fleiss should have provided him one. One thing I can't figure out is why these suitors allow the dumpers to allow them to walk them to the car. I remember Baldwin's season and I was hoping Bevin would pick him up and throw him in the ocean, and during the Grant/Lamas fiasco Chelsea nearly did--which is one reason I like her so much. I would have let her say two words and then snapped. "Got it!" and made a beeline for the limo, but the lamb is in too much shock to do anything but gape at her. Either he has more class than me (a definite possibility) or he is in too much shock to resist. Either way, for all the bullshit this show peddles the guy was blind sided by an all-time dirty blow. Fleiss will have to work hard to ever top this beating. She guides him back to the car and he sits in shock and breaks down on the way out.

Spicoli shows up and proposes. BFD. She didn't love either of these clods but this one wins the cake-topper as most bizarre Bachelor(ette) I have ever watched. The most frequent posts I saw on the board that night from fans was "Gross!" I think that will about cover it.

After The Final Rose: You're going to get a quickie version of this because I'm not going back to re-watch this pablum. Suffice it to say, Jason comes out looking hurt; is forced to watch his humiliation all over again and is interviewed by the wingman. Edits show Harrison nodding a lot and Jason hesitantly agreeing to talk. The wingman does his usual good job and the story finally comes out. He wants most to know why she let him down on one knee before she stopped him. Because she's a psycho, Jason, that's why. Anyway, the paid audience is obviously told to cheer and buck Jason up as much as possible and its now apparent why a paid audience was used. A real audience of fans would have booed Dee's ass off the second she came out but the paid seals all clap like they've been told. Dee comes out and Jason asks her some tough, probing questions. This isn't a surprise. Jason seemed intelligent and well-educated; the surprise is that we were allowed to see it. Jason's best line is when he said: "Watching the show, I realized you never looked at me the same way you looked at Jesse, or to be fair, Graham." Ouch! Right in the 'ol psyche with that one! Dee pulls back and tried to deflect it but Jason scored major carnage of his own on that one. Conclusion: Jason is the next Bachelor if he's dumb enough to take it. I both hope and think he will not.

Bong hit comes out and and tries to recreate his infamous over the couch entrance from night one but only succeeds in stirring memories of Tom Cruise on Oprah. The creepiness meter goes higher. Dee then tries wayyyyyy too hard to show how much she loves him. "Forced" is a good word for it actually. They announce their wedding date and Harrison tells them Fleiss is going to send them to Greece. Heh, heh. Are they going to pay for the divorce too? The only stick of anything useful comes when Harrison questions Dee's dad. Dad says he knew it would be Jesse in Atlanta. No surprise, but it gives light to all of Dee's lies to Jason. It's also said through a grimace masquerading as a smile. Yeah, be proud dad, your daughter is engaged to a loser. Fathers everywhere glow with pride.

Oh yeah. Matt and Shayne show up to try and convince everyone they are actually still a couple, (or ever were). That's pretty hard to do when Matt's already confirmed to a reporter that he's moved out of Shayne's apartment and media reports have Shayne out of drunken dates with other men. Just in case any of you are still feeling gullible, you will notice that Fleiss isn't paying for any damn thing for these two.

And that will do it, matey's. Another failed romance in the books. I will see you when next the wingman announces "Our most romantic season ever!" or when I decide to write something else on here. Until then remember: Argh!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

6/30--The Men Tell You Nothing You're Not Supposed To Hear

Normally the only good thing about these Tell-All shows is the chance to watch Bachelor Women make even bigger asses of themselves than they did on the actual show, and to see Chris Harrison actually demonstrate why he is paid a load of pelf to host this travesty. It certainly isn't because viewers are going to learn anything substantive about what really happened behind the scenes. This season has already morphed into the biggest train-wreck of all the Bachelor seasons this pirate has seen. I guess the only shocking thing is just how transparently (and early) the failure has been shown. Fleiss and his editing machine have been pulverized. He just couldn't pass up the drama of the Graham storyline and its come back to bite him on his soft, pimply ass. Got your own damned fingers burned, didn't you, Satan? Haha, well no one deserves it more, except maybe his own lovely Bachelorette Goddess, DeAnna (Victim) Pappas, who is exposed in this townhall format as one colossal, self-absorbed bitch of biblical proportions. The leaking in the dam had already started to be apparent to any but the most casual viewer anyway, and since Satan can't say no to drama, he inadvertently (Or deliberately?) gave Dee plenty of rope to hang herself and she happily obliged.

The shows first fifteen minutes were snoozeville. The only good thing about was Harrison, who showed his characteristic quick wit amidst the piles of scripted hyperbole he's required to bark out every fifteen seconds: "Our most dramatic and talked about season EVER!" Jeez, Chris, what would your momma say? I'm sure the huge bankroll he earns is enough for his wife and kids to enjoy the fruits of this nonsense and pretend Dad has a job near his level of ability, but there must be times it still burns to have to admit to it in public. This guy is actually a first-rate interviewer: intelligent, quick, funny and glib. As far as I'm concerned he could take over Meet The Press. It's a damn shame he's been reduced to this but I, for one, am grateful he's around so these Tell-All shows approach watchable. And he does get to write dirty sex notes, let's not forget that?

Anyway, Harrison does his best to bait us with the twenty-two minutes of this shitfest that at least threaten to be entertaining. The rest of the hour is scuttled with needless recaps we have all seen and about five seconds of outtakes they should have included in the broadcast originally, and usually turn out to be damn funny. Unsurprisingly, Harrison is the star of the outtakes too. He's shown baiting DeAnna about Sean, the karate-boys ridiculous mullet. Heh-heh. As if everyone in America was thinking that already. The twenty-two minutes of half-interesting stuff involves the main players from the season's shows. The biggest ovations from the female audience are reserved for The Grahamster, Jeremy-bot, and Fred, Da Bears! There is also a shout out for Richard, Bill Nye Science-guy.

Harrison asked the boys about their experiences and just why everyone hated the Jeremy-bot. An eclectic bunch ranging from Ron, the pissed off Divorced Guy to Twilley, the Weirdo, and Ryan, the pain-in-the-ass virgin attempt to expound. Ron mentions that the other guys were there to see if there was chemistry while Jeremy seemed to want to win a competition. They ALL rag him as a douchebag. But you don't honestly think the producers have edited an entire 8 week story to have these guys trash the whole script with honesty, do you? The edit cuts start coming so fast and furious you can't tell if they are answering Harrison's actual question you saw or whether or not he asked them if they farted in the shower before the show. The audience, presumable pre-tested to make sure they were sub-normal I.Q., "ohhhhs" and "ahhhhs" in disbelief that the other men weren't jealous of the Jeremy-bot. The near unanimity of these guys should show what I have been saying about Jeremy-bot is true: The guys is as fake as the day is long. He's a famewhore who's been handed a golden opportunity to dredge sympathy from the gullible and maybe get himself named the next Bachelor. I can tell you right now, my friends, if that sorry event occurs you can count me out! I have no intention of watching, let alone blogging about, this mannequin in anyway.

Harrison finally drags the Jeremy-bot into the "hotseat" and lets him mewl and whine about how tough he got it. Finally he's dismissed and the only important thing is this sets up his 'confrontation' with DeAnna, that's still to come. Harrison finally gets in on Graham and we see basically nothing, except that Graham is funny and smart--he also tries to defend himself against the edit. But the editing axe was at work again so who knows?

The good stuff is when DeAnna comes out....and she's orange? What the hell was that about? Harrison, all the boys, their make-up looked normal, but Dee looks like a jack-o-lantern, and a damn scary one it turns out too. And I'm not raggin here; just observing, but has Dee stopped going to the gym? Somebody looked a good fifteen lbs. heavier than the last time we saw her. First the Jeremy-bot asks her "When did you know it wasn't me?" Dee could have said "When we talked; you seemed hesitant--changed. My heart just didn't follow my head." That would have been ok. But she basically tells him he lost the sack race to Jason and Jesse. "Ouch," Jeremy says. Plastic or not, it had to hurt when she basically told him he sucked in the rack on National TV. It was indelicate to say the least and probably gives us a clue about her nature and where this is heading.

But the real illumination is saved for Graham. Harrison prompts her and she blatantly disagrees that Graham ever opened up to her and then lands this needless punch into his codpiece: "We all saw the show where I sent you home and I was, at the time, second-guessing my decision, but I don't anymore!" the audience even gasped at that one. Graham had the look of a man who just wants to be done with this and tried to call her off repeatedly. "Hey, this doesn't need to be an argument. Good luck, you're the greatest." Dee turns burnt-orange and even Harrison says: "You are pissed!" it wasn't a question. She turns to Graham, whose obviously violated celestial law by not groveling at her feet and scalds. "I don't like the way you're here today acting like it didn't mean anything to you!" Ha HA! Woman, are you engaged or not!? What a beyotch!What woman, who is engaged, would be having this talk with a former beau?! She is vindictive and looking to wound him. Grahams moved on (happily I'll wager too) and she's acting like he needs to fall apart and grovel like the Jeremy-bot, whom she has just chopped to shreds! You just know that if Graham had snapped his fingers and ordered "Lips!" she would have run across that stage and jumped into his lap, fake-gagement or no. This is hysterical! I hope whichever of the remaining dweebs she's engaged to was watching this. If Graham had pulled his unit out on stage she would have been chasing it like a cat after a mouse. God this girl is bitter! I was hoping Brad Womack would come walking out and give Graham a high five.

Dee then announces she's "in-love, and engaged!" Jeremy-bot feigns more pain. Listen folks, if you're a fan of Jeremy's: Reality Steve, who lives in Dallas just like Jeremy, has been reporting since forever that Jeremy is a frequenter at Dallas' hottest nite spots where he's been seen dancing away his sorrow with an entire bevy of comely wenches. This is ALL an act! The only thing that wasn't was Graham's refusal to be her doormat and the subsequent anger it engendered in her.

Previews show that both douches will be needlessly forced down on one knee to actually propose to her, so she can dump one of them? This show is always harsh at the end but this begs imagination. She couldn't just do like Brad did to her and dump them? DeAnna (and Fleiss) had better pray she chooses Jason. If she's led on the baby-daddy and his three year-old to pick a stoner, the boards will explode! She's spent the entire season taking out her bitterness at being led on by Brad and swearing never to do any such thing. If she's led on a dweeby, but seemingly sincere man with a three year-old, just to dump him AFTER he proposes to her, she'll be hanged in effigy.

Let's see what happens my friends...let's just see.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

June 30th--Going Through the Motions

Argh and Argh! I'm late again. Well don't blame me this time. Mrs. Barbarossa wanted the entire pirate ship cleaned, half the crew executed, and I had to pilot the young scalawags all over the seven continents of the world. But now, alas, the ship is cleaned, the crew disposed of, and the young swabbies are all (thankfully) at their relatives ports and its finally time to riff on DeAnna Pappas and her quest for "True Love". (She loves Graham) Damnit, I'm going to have to watch this the next couple of entries. Mr Subliminal from Saturday Night Live fame has been poking his pointed head into my computer and talking trash of late. We'll just have to ignore him.

This weeks recap actually mentions the Grahamster, (I guess that couldn't really be ignored, could it?) and Deanna decides to damn him with the ultimate curse too! "He's another Brad." Ouch, ewww, argh! That must have really hurt, Dee. You just compared the Grahamster to another folksy, tall, stone-bellied, shadow-faced commitment-phobe who doesn't give a shit about you. (You wouldn't think anyone would need to connect the dots for her now would you?) Man, that's rough. That'll bring that bastard to his knees, I'll tell ya! What she didn't add was "Bastard! How dare you not kiss the ass of your goddess! I'm the fu****g Bachelorette! Hasn't anyone told you!? Didn't Ellen tell you how wonderful I am!?" But I don't know why not. It would have been more honest (and damn funny too). Anyhow, you would think people would be laughing as they watch this farce but a quick check of the posting boards reveals another story. Here's a sample of about ten billion like it I found:

"Good, now Graham is gone it clears the way for Jason and DeAnna to discover true love! Sqeeeeee!"

Jesus Christ, are these women sniffing glue? How out to lunch do you have to be to believe a woman could so demonstrably fall in love with one man and then, two weeks later, get engaged to one she wasn't as fond of and believe its real? Whatever these people on those boards are smoking; I want some.

(She loves Graham)

DeAnna hauls The Three Dwarves to Grand Bahama for three remarkably similar dates. First up Is Jeremy, the candy-assed orphan robot. Ugh. Well at least we can get this one out of the way right away. But before I describe the date I should send out props to the Honda Corporation. Man, those little devils have sure come a long way in robotics haven't they? He sure looks and almost acts lifelike doesn't he? As Dee greets him on the beach I could swear he's a real human being. Regardless, Dee tells us Jeremy is "Perfect! I'd have a perfect life--a perfect marriage." He's toast. We all know perfection and happiness are the last thing Deanna wants in life. Perfect like your Stepford Husband, eh Dee? Anyway, they go jet skiing and WHOA! Did you see that!? He dove in the water!? He's even watertight! More props to Mr. Takimoto. Anyway they go to a sandbar and Jeremy-bot starts acting all timid and frightened.

This turns out to be the prelude for the theme of their date. Jeremy-bot tells her "I would tell you I'm falling in love with you...but it's already happened." Takimoto needs to work on the Jeremy-bot's acting skills if he ever wants to mass market it to the public. A woman would have to falling down drunk to believe that delivery and Dee isn't...yet. She is horny, however, and pulls out the dreaded date card and tells the bot, "We got a card from Chris." Chris? Chris who? Oh, yeah, the wingman actually works on this show doesn't he? Glad the producers have found a useful outlet for his talents: writing smutty sex cards. Anyway, Dee takes the bot upstairs and (presumably) finds out how human/cyborg sexual relations in the coming decades is going to go. From the results, I'd say its back to the old drawing board for that aspect of the creation.

(She loves Graham)

For her second, virtually indistinguishable date, Dee takes Dwarf 2, Jason, the Baby-Daddy, kayaking in that notoriously romantic enclave, a mosquito-infested mangrove swamp. Calm my beating heart. But before they can get there, Jason takes her for a ride in a jeep, and since he nearly crashed and killed them both, Dee starts heavy breathing. "I was glad not to see Jason playing it safe." Yeah, first thing I look for in a mate is their callous disregard for their safety and mine. God, Dee, grow up a little will you? Whatever. They ferry across to an even more mosquito-infested part of the swamp, drench themselves with Deep Woods OFF! and eat. They feed some trained fish and seem to have an almost Ty-free date. They then go kayaking. Well, no, not really. They went canoeing in a kayak. You can't go kayaking in a swamp. And it's clear that neither of them have even been canoeing before either. It looks like a wind sprints at an old folks home. Then on the dinner portion of the date...well they talked and looked fairly normal and only mentioned Jason's son six or a dozen times and then Jason takes Dee upstairs and shows her how he became a baby-daddy. I've been pretty easy on Jason to this point but its no more Mr. Nice Pirate now. Doesn't this guy's smile look creepy? It isn't even a smile--more like a painful grimace--like Dee is grinding her spiked heel into the top of his foot (Knowing her she might be.) The guys on a date and supposed to be falling in love. He shouldn't look like he's making a hostage tape, but with these producers he might be.

(She loves Graham)

Next up is dwarf 3, Jesse, the loaded stonehead. He comes tippy-toeing down the beach on his tiny little feet and Dee also takes him into the surf--except instead of Jet skis they ride horsies. C'mon Fleiss, pump the budget here a little bit! Even that loser Prince Lorenzo got to take his failed dates to different places. You bunked these guys in a shithouse! Surely there's a few bucks left over for something!? Anyway, Dee seems more at ease with 'ol bonghit than she did with either Jason or Jeremy-bot. The beach portion of the date goes pretty well and they show a lot of physical affection. You'd think Dee would be exhausted by now, but evidently not. At dinner Dee finally prods the eternal teenager to talk about "his life after snowboarding." Translation: When are you going to get a real job? Ouch! Right in the 'ol Achilles Heel. Jesse hems and haws about needing to slowly withdraw from snowboarding. Hah-hah. Yeah, this will work out. But Dee's hormones are screaming now so she whips out the 'ol sexcard anyway and probably gets the boning of her life. Hey, eternal teenagers must be good for something.

Rose ceremony time and Dee looks pretty good for a woman whose been having sex with more men than Jenna Jameson and she starts it off with this whopper: "I thought after Graham that I wouldn't fall in love, but I have--with all three of these guys." Yeah, DeAnna the fundamentalist Mormom. Anyway she arrives at the ceremony and the guys are looking dress casual--all except Jason, who is wearing the most hideous beard I have ever seen! I want to attack him with a belt sander! It's not even a beard; its a Graham-disguise and its the worst one I have ever seen. This is a Rose Ceremony, Jason, not Halloween; shave that damn thing off before you frighten your kid! Dee then gives them the standard blather, "My heart is breaking right now!" By my count that's the forty-sixth time in the last eight weeks that DeAnna has gotten a broken heart. It must be in shards by now or maybe even dust. What a steaming load!

(She loves Graham)

Dee: "Jesse will you accept this rose...grow three inches and get a job?"

Stoner: "Uh, uh, yeah, I guess so, Man."

Dee: "Jason, will you accept this rose...grow three inches and shave that hideous creature off your face and swear to god you will never, ever grow it again!"

Jason: "Yes, Mistress!"

Whoops! Somebody hit the meltdown switch on the Jeremy-bot and it starts to sing "If you only had a heart!" No, not really. But it does whine, mewl, and act even more depressed than usual. Dee walks him to the car, manages to work up a crocodile tear and slams the door on Pinocchio. She immediately heads back to her two remaining dwarfs smiling like she just won the lottery and starts hitting the booze. The producers have slipped in a new directive chip and the Jeremy-bot becomes a Pussy-bot! It orders the limo stopped so it can wander around on the grass and act all put out. Meryl Streep has nothing to fear. Work on it, Honda.

Okay, tomorrow (I promise) a special blog on The Men Tell All, which should actually be named The Men Tells Us Nothing Because the Producers Won't Let Them but I guess that's too long to put on the commercial.

Monday, June 23, 2008

June 23, You Can Turn Out the Lights; The Parties Over!

How weird is it to watch a dating show and see the entire thing already over with two weeks of dating to go? Now I normally leave the psychobabble to Oprah and Dr. Phil (I must have left my psychobabble diploma on the other wall.) but this is a blog about opinion and since you are reading this, you must want my opinion. Ok, fair enough. Dr. Sigmund Barbarossa is in the house. Besides, like some wiseman once said "Opinions are like belly buttons; everybody has one and they're all useless." Or as my old ship matey "Baffling" Bob Yanchuck was fond of saying in his Brooklyn honk "Opinions are like assholes; everybody's got one and they all stink!" every time we tried to get him to put down the grog jug. Be that as it may; my opinion? Its simple, just like your faithful ship captain here: Shows over.

What? Barbarossa, how can you say that!? We haven't even got to the fantasy dates yet! Right. All that means, folks is that unless somebody was creeping up the backstairs of Dee's mansion nobody has yet had the chance to lay pipe in her. Now laying pipe is a mighty important thing to most men and nearly all women but that act with the remaining men (hereafter known as The Three Dwarves) is as worthless as it will probably be boring. I know. I know. How can laying pipe in someone as hot as DeAnna Pappas be boring? Believe me, if anyone can manage to make it boring it'll be these three dweebs. I say the show is over because it is. For two reasons: first, the only guy out of this cast of thousands that Dee was ever going to fall in love with is gone, and second...Dee has one or a thousand things to learn about love and marriage. I shall endeavor to explain in good time, my friends. I've been told that the good writer should 'show' not 'tell', so I shall 'show'.

The episode opens with an insufferably long montage of past events that were no less exciting that they were the first time around, but it does, in all fairness, give the viewer a chance to remember just who this cast of forgettables actually are. We need that unfortunately. When Chris Harrison's melodramatic voice overs finally end the actual show begins and we get a memory jog that this week DeAnna is the one doing the traveling--its Hometown Date Week, for the fab 4. This gives Dee the first (of about a million) chances to tell us just how strong her feelings are for these four guys. (You may enjoy your first guffaw of the evening).

We are shown a brief recap of the four men in question, starting with Jeremy, the candy-assed orphan. And its a painful reminder of just what a mannequin this guy is too. I've seen better acting by William Shatner. This guy is so fake and plastic its hard to put into words. I wonder if he could dial 911 without a cue card. Dee, however, assures us that her and Jeremy have "so much in common." Yeah, they sure do. Jeremy is a shitty actor and Dee has several more months to act like she cares about any of these guys besides Graham. (Let's hope she's better than he is. Ellen will disown her if she can't pull off this charade.) One other thing they have in common that she forgets to mention is: dead parents. Don't worry, she'll get to it. And get to it. And get to it.

Next up is Jesse, the Baked Snowboarding Dude. I had forgotten just how much this guy looked like a circus clown the first night too. Between his Porter Waggoner jacket, pint-sized stature, and curtains of long greasy hair, I'd forgotten the obvious reasons Dee considered this guy such a catch. I'm glad they reminded me. We get to see a recap of Jesse acting, like well...a stoned teenager. And we get our first measured dose of DeAnna's well-honed narcissism too. "Jesse was the first guy who didn't jump at the first chance to kiss me." She relates in a shocked voice. Yes, our Greek goddess has been basically ordering these clods to smooch her like she's the second coming of the Fonz. More on that later.

First we need to be reminded of just who Jason, the Baby Daddy, is. It takes nearly ten seconds too. "I have a three year-old son." Whoa, you heard that right folks. Jason has procreated. He's shootin' live bullets too, so watch out Dee! Now I'm being a little hard on Jason here...but not much. True, he's done as most normal men of the age of thirty have done, he's taken the leap of faith with a woman and downloaded a copy of himself and appears to have taken responsibility for the boy when the ex-wife either couldn't or wouldn't. (Reality check: no woman loses custody of her infant son unless she's a member of the Manson Family, uses meth or both; unless she doesn't want custody. Save the crap about 'the better lawyer' business.) But he's also taken a voluntarily six weeks vacation from that responsibility to do a cheesy dating show, hidden behind the child like he's an atomic sock puppet and shamelessly allowed the child to be filmed for said reality show. The Bachelorette and its more familiar mainstay will only have done something noble in including parents in their line up when the fact a suitor has a child or has actually committed to marriage in the past and not make it the sum total of that person's life. It's called normal people, Mr. Fleiss. And 'normal' means you don't have to talk about every five seconds.

Lecture over...the next one about to begin. Next up is the focus of this episode, and to be honest, this entire season, Graham, the Confused. And the recap is a vivid reminder of just why this show was doomed from the start. Why? Well, in rare honesty for this show, Dee all but tells us what's so painfully obvious: she is hot for him. In that way men and women are sometimes hot for each other that can't really be explained. Its called the first step in love. That in itself shouldn't be problematic. It is the whole stated point of this show anyway. But Graham, confused, shy, uncommunicative, gay, or just not interested in Dee is the problem. Along with Dee her own wonderful self. She has chosen the one guy here who is undeniably 100% not interested in a relationship with her. This probably says more about Dee than it does about Graham. But this should prove a invaluable teaching tool to anyone who really wants to understand some of the seamier things about this 'Reality' show. A lot more on this to come.

First we have to wade through the chaff and window dressing of the other dates. And what a journey through a House of Horrors it is too. First Dee travels to Columbian Gold, Colorado or whatever slacker heaven Jesse, the stonehead resides in. Ignoring the scripted preamble and Jesse flipping around on his snowboard like a teenager, he promptly takes her snowboarding. They do duet snowboarding, hand-in hand, where Dee, showing her propensity for not listening to anyone else, ignores what he tells her, and promptly crashes face first into three feet of hardpack. Ouch. Mild props to Dee; she does pop back up and that looked like it hurt. (For all the beating I'm going to give her this episode, the girl is a tough little redneck.) Jesse, however, proves that hyperbole isn't limited to sober people by saying, "DeAnna killed it!" Actually, Jesse it looked more like she practically killed herself. Whatever. Snowboarding is over.

Jesse now takes her to a place with a gorgeous view and they trade awkward talk. It is here, however, that a rare moment of honesty invades the scripting. Jesse is describing his blunt-talking dad and Dee admits, "I need someone like that because I believe I am always right." Ya think? This is the second time we've seen Dee and even with all the hamfisted editing a fairly clear picture of her is starting to emerge. Isn't it funny how it usually takes two incarnations of this show to see someone's true personality. (Think Blob or Jen Schefft) During the Brad Womack show, (we might as well mention him since he's loomed over this series like a shadow twice the size of Texas anyway) Dee was not the most subtle girl in the house. She was on the outside and saddled up with the carnivorous MacCarten. She also didn't hesitate to use the long stem roses Brad gave her as weapons of mass humiliation; constantly ramming it up some other suitors nose as a symbol of her wonderfulness or doing that funky neck-popping thing when she had a private interview like some tough-talking street-sister. This is not a wan and fragile beauty folks. And despite the misconception given on every sitcom on television, most men do not get off on being bossed around by women they're dating. We expect them to wait until we're married before they do that. The proprieties must be observed.

Anyway the moment passes and Jesse takes her to his chalet. This gives Jesse the chance to show us why he is actually on the show. A mural hanging in his living room that looks like it was painted by Cheech and Chong gives him a chance to talk about his 'foundation' for underprivileged snowboarders. Thank God, we need one of those! Once the public service announcement stops we do actually get a shock. Not only is the place not littered with empty Freetos bags, Dr. Pepper cans and three freeloading buddies, Jesse actually turns out to be a neat freak--an obsessive compulsive neat freak. He even put his bong in the closet. Jee-zuz! Do men now label their cabinets to make sure they dishes go in the right spot? What's this world coming to? He also shows Dee his hallway decorated with snowboards. Huh? Heh-heh, if Dee (or any other sober woman) stays there more than 12 hours you can kiss those suckers goodbye. Jesse's parents come over and dad is wearing a "mullet hat" with fake hair in the back. Ha, what a card. (Dad must like burning one too). Jesse's parents seem nice enough and read their lines with that look on their faces that tell you they know this is a show. Cool. They go for a carriage ride and he finally kisses her.

Next, Jeremy, the candy ass, meets Dee in Dallas, and takes her for a ride on his Suzuki Shadow...a very longggg ride apparently. Knowing Dee and her penchant for gas engines, you'd expect her to be heavy breathing after this but Jeremy took her around like a Farsi-speaking cabdriver. Yeah, the exciting sights of downtown Dallas. That'll win her over. He finally stops the tour and takes her back to his apartment where we see that Jeremy is as obsessive compulsive as Jesse. Man. Anyway, he takes her around his apartment and into his bedroom and I'm afraid its time to call Bullshit here. On the walls are enormous papers of each and ever single thing Jeremy needed to study to pass the bar exam. Was the exam yesterday, Jeremy? Do you intend to wall paper your house with these? The room looked like Barney Goes to Law School! You're a lawyer, we get it. Cut the shit, Jeremy, and go shave your chest again. Hard to believe but this is the highlight of the trip.

He then introduces her to his dog, Chemo. What!? The dog's name is "Chemo"? I guess thats fitting because the theme of the remainder of the date is "DEATH" as in Dead Relatives. God this was a bummer! Dee and him spend a long time going through photo albums remembering their dead parents. The producers do everything to increase the funereal pall but pipe in Mozart's Requiem Mass on the stereo and hire the Grim Reaper as the waiter too. Boy do these two need to move on in a big way. Thankfully a couple of live relatives do show up and bust up this cheery clambake. Jeremy's two normal-guy brothers and his normal-girl sister-in-law show up and prove you don't need to work out four hours a day to hook a spouse. After a quick meal the brothers question Dee. "They grilled me!" she screamed. Uh, no. The previews made it look like they put Dee on the rack and then insisted on sleeping with her as well, but all they really did was ask her a few simple questions that demonstrated that they care about their brother, despite his being an android. Date over. Thankfully.

If death was the theme of Dee's date with Jeremy then "Cheese" is the theme of her date with Jason, the Baby Daddy. They try and hold the Velveeta for a few minutes by having Jason take her up on the spaceneedle roof where they are both nearly blown off. He finally takes her in out of the gale and they talk about--kids. Surprise! Dee tells him she wants three kids "before the age of thirty." Whoa, she's twenty-six; better get hopping Jason, you've got the live bullets after all and Dee has a schedule to keep.

He then takes her to the park and I've got to call Bullshit again. Actually, Size-of-Jupiter- Mega-Bullshit! Jason, who has been home waiting for Dee, acts like he hasn't been allowed to see his son?! All this so the show can film the staged reunion!? This wins it. The most creepy, shameless thing this show has ever pulled. Dee is introduced to young Ty, who will probably need therapy for this later in life, and they all cavort playfully and feed ducks. "R@A())URX$#Q^&!!!!!" Pardon me, I just projectile vomited. Hold on while I clean this up.

Okay, I'm back. The rest of the date is exactly the same with the exception that Jason's family, who are apparently channeling Johnny Cash, all wear black at dinner and have a penchant for playing leap frog for dessert, are there. Sorry, I can't watch anymore and fast forward.

Now we get to it; Raleigh, North Carolina, home of Graham Bunn, and this season's Waterloo. The only thing missing is Napoleon, (the wingman must have another day off). Graham meets Dee at a basketball gym and much to her surprise he's open and cheerful, and affectionate with her. He takes her inside for some basketball and they have a good talk. Graham takes her home to the folks for dinner where Mom tells Dee the truth about Graham as a deeply insular man. The editing then takes over here big time. The five minutes shown of them from here on out are spliced and diced to death. Graham is made to look like an uncommunicative rock. Maybe he is, I have no idea but beware the editing demon here. By the time he walked her to the car, Graham wants NOTHING to do with her. Maybe Graham's nuts or maybe something happened we never saw? Did Dee say something rude? Is Graham bat-shit crazy? We'll probably never know the truth.

The Rose Ceremony and the mystery only deepens. What exactly happened here? With Fleiss making like Houdini we're never gonna' know. But we can try. The first thing is that Graham KNEW he was leaving. How do we know this? First of all Graham is dressed for a plane flight not a Rose Ceremony. he's always been impeccably dressed before and stood and waited with a neutral expression like everyone else. This time, however, he's wearing ratty jeans and a pull over sweater; his hands in his pockets rocking back and forth with an absurd grin on his face the entire time as if to say, "What a farce this is!" Dee even pauses at one point in her rose giving to glare at him like, "You bastard! How dare you do this!?" He's also prepared with a going away card for her. Graham, in my opinion, asked to leave.

The rest? I have no idea. There were times when Graham looked ready to crack up laughing, frankly.

Any way, show over. Everything I see from here on out is just cheap soap opera--a charade necessary to produce the required episodes. No dating or engagement or whatever that comes from this will be in any way genuine. Nothing matters as far as real life the only question left is just how ashamedly will the producers (and Dee) bother to use Jason and his son for our entertainment value?

My, I have gone on, haven't I? I better learn to shut up or I'll start sounding like Reality Steve.

Until next time, when DeAnna is forced to prove her acting chops once and for all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bachelorette June 16--ZZZZZZZZZ...oh dates.

Good Lord that was boring! Man, come on, ABC don't you have an old copy of Beastmaster or some other crappy movie to show? Where's Valerie Bertinelli when we need her? She's overdue for a crappy TV movie, isn't she? Anyway DeAnna's tell-all hour was a complete snoozefest. She gave the exact same rationale for dumping the guys she dumped when she dumped then--big deal. The only spark of illumination (other than the already-proven fact that Chris Harrison is the Lord of Schmaltz) was the profiles that were done on a couple of the guys.

A brief effort to make Twilley look a little less weird was a bust. He still looked weird. We find out he likes to draw...badly! But other than that he's still a weirdo with zero chance of escaping elimination. We do get inarguable proof that Jeremy, the candy-assed orphan isn't just a whiner, but a complete liar to boot. Jeremy tell us he's a real estate attorney and the reason he has no one in his his life is because he gets home at, "9:30-10:00 at night and there's no time to socialize." Right. Check. Gotcha. But then in the next breath he tells us how much he likes "Bungee jumping, motorcycle racing," and basically has plenty of time to be the next Evel Knievel. He also, from the look of his 1/2 of 1% body-fat abs, has at least four spare hours a day to hang around the gym. LIAR. Oh, and his dog is his best friend. Jesus Christ! Can't this show get better writers?

But the biggest chunk of illumination was the fact that Sean, the karate boy, is not only just as bad as I feared but that he is the living embodiment of the word, "Nancy Boy!" He's also ass-deep in debt unless his Hummer, house, and clothes were all bought for him by his doting mama or being a karate teacher pays a hell of a lot better than I've ever heard. He has a closet full of designer-only "name brands." He tans in his own booth because a tan makes you "look thinner." He also talks with his mom "at least three times a day," and mom lives one street over from him. Was this a pilot episode for Everybody Loves Sean or just an effort to locate America's Next Male Bimbo? Was anyone else strongly reminded of Norman Bates here? Sean, please gel your hair and never say another word again, thank you.

Well there was an hour of my life I'll never get back. and here comes another hour I'll never get back either. The wingman plants his leprechaun-ass in front of the boys and tells them all dates this week will be sans roses, and reminds them all that the final four will be taking DeAnna home with them...and DeAnna is taking them all to Palm Springs. The first date is...AAAUGHHHHH.. the male bimbo. Yuck! Anyway I can only watch through one eye as Dee and Nancy have a date. They ate food and he talked about guns or something. I do remember Dee saying that if she'd had a rose to give , Sean would definitely get one. (As it turns out, HA!) he lip-locks her in a hammock. Damn, do the producers of this crap love hammocks or what?

The date box arrives at the Palm Springs pad and it turns out all the boys hear their name called for the group date except Jeremy. Twilley looks pissed off--still no one-on-one for him--and I'm waiting for him to go postal. The producers seem to be worried about this as well because when Dee arrives to pick up all the boys, they sport for an extra helicopter so Dee can have five minutes alone with Twilley. Graham, in a inserted interview, says Twilley gets motion sick real bad. Har,Har. Twilley spends the entire five minute flight turning green and threatening to puke on Dee. The producers also make certain to play circus music every time Twilley is shown. My keen powers of deduction aren't needed to figure out that Twilley is toast.

Dee is taking the boys 4-wheeling in the desert where she goes at it in the exact same way we've seen her go at any gas piston engine since Brad's season--like a sixteen year-old with competitiveness issues. She is most impressed with the performance of Jesse, the pint-sized, fried snowboarder, who recklessly flies around on his 4-wheeler, crashing and popping wheelies and raising hell. I would expect this to impress a 17 year-old girl not a 26 year-old woman in the husband market. Nothing says "immature boy" more loudly than a wound-out 4-wheeler careening wildly down a sand dune. You also get the feeling this was an average weekend for Jesse, all except the missing case of warm Budweiser he normally funnels before going for a drive. This is the man you want to father your children? But apparently this turns DeAnna on. (I think she normally dates high schoolers.) Dee corners him back at the Palm Springs pad and basically drools all over him but he doesn't kiss her. He was probably too baked to notice how horny she was.

The other one-on-one date this week is with Jeremy because she hasn't seen enough of this guy. I can't tell you much about the date because they start singing some Sinatra tunes karaoke and I had to mute the TV. If 'Ol Blue Eyes was still alive, he'd have shot them both. They make out some and thats about all I remember.

The Rose Ceremony this week features no cocktail party because Dee says she doesn't need it. (Goodbye, Twilley.) Harrison wanders out and tells the boys they won't have the opportunity to get liquored up because Dee has already made her mind up. Twilley asks for a cigarette and blindfold and Harrison lines them up. Dee gives them some weak crap and then cuts Twilley (surprise) and Sean (Psyche!) . Both guys act like they were tipped of in advance or neither gave one single shit about DeAnna. I'm betting the latter.

Next week: Hometown dates. The previews show Graham's mom tossing him gently under a passing Greyhound and we are reminded, for the one billionth time, that Jason has a son. We do get to see a bawling Dee say she now "Questions her decision." Rumors are flying that Graham, for some reason yet as unexplained, left by his own volition but it will be presented as a normal kiss-off. We'll see but I will say this; after watching this show I see one, and only one, deep connection between Dee and one of these men...and that man is Graham. If he leaves or she boots him, well, Jason or Jeremy are fall back targets. If she picks one of them there will be no lovematch this season. As usual.

Dee is crazy for Graham and its easy to see why. Graham is: a southern folksy guy, tall, lanky, with washboard abs, and a permanent five o'clock shadow, who apparently wants nothing to do with Dee. Does this sound familiar? It should. It's an verbatim description of Brad Womack. I think Dee has some leftover Brad issues. Dee, take the Brad Womack posters down from your bedroom wall before you sign up for anymore reality shows.

Until Graham gets hit by a bus, Argh!