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!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Bachelor/Bachelorette analysis--Before DeAnna spills


I think the time is ripe to take a cold hard look at the "reality show" we've all been watching called the Bachelor. The internet is rife with rumors and speculations about the show. There's nothing new in that. This show franchise has been a staple of internet boards since its inception. Whats different is the nature of these rumors. Countless former contestants, now far less terrified of ABC and the draconian gag order it imposes and the serf-like contract they're forced to sign, are spilling about the show. And what's spilling is not only illuminating, its downright seedy. Rumors have swirled for years that this show is largely scripted but for the first time we are getting first hand testimonies from insiders that what we've all been watching is just as scripted as we've all suspected. The sole remaining question seems to be: where does the scripting end and where does the (if any) romance actually begin?

The first thing we need to look at is the latest installment of the Bachelor. Bachelor Matt Grant, from London and the movie Firedrake, romanced 25 women and ended up picking Shayne Lamas, the daughter of 80's TV star Lorenzo Lamas. Grant, billed as a international financier, expressed nothing but skepticism about the true motives of the lovely Lamas during the show. However, two of the lady contestants who dared mention the fact that Grant himself was an acting wannabe and had made the film Firedrake, were unceremoniously dumped the first night. Grant was, after all, a financier who "worked with the rich and powerful of London", not an actor wannabe. Right.

When she was dismissed as the last girl to be dumped, Chelsea threw a fit and scoffed at Grant is disbelief about Lamas. Inside sources inform this old pirate that Grant spent much of his time with Chelsea, and her fellow final 3 member, Amanda, making disparaging remarks about Lamas and her singular lack of an I.Q. Wonder how this lovestory is going to work out? Find out here: http://www.nationalledger.com/artman/publish/article_272621006.shtml

And another one bites the dust.

Listen. I have no pretense about being a "journalist". I write this blog to make fun of people I think need it and to be a smartass but I think we owe it to ourselves to be honest about what we're watching. Truth is some people get powerfully drawn into this show and root for their favorites and hate on those they don't like. Nobody enjoys this vicarious pleasure more than your ol redbeard here but I think its time we took a reality check together. So lets see what we know and what we can piece together.

How do people get on this show? Well that varies. The show would love you to believe that people nominate worthy candidates who are really nice people who deserve love despite being wonderful and beautiful but just haven't met the right person yet. Some actually do get on the show like that, but most get recruited via the internet. Ok, not a problem. The internet is filled with lonely hearts sites trying to match up desperate singles. Uh, no. The most common route to get contestants on the show is by being recruited off their MySpaces. Hmmm? Why? Simple. Hottie's put their photos on their MySpaces and producers and the recruiting services they employ find them there. A great majority of the women who appear on this show have aspirations to be actors or performers. What better way to land a commercial or soap opera or whatever than to get some free face time on network TV? This is half of the reason this show never (or hardly never) produces a true love match.

The other half? Well that one's obvious, isn't it? The Bachelor's themselves, of course. Since this show first aired in 2002, there have been 12 Bachelors and now, two Bachelorette spin offs. (We'll leave current Bachelorette, DeAnna Pappas out of this for the moment.) That means: Alex Michel, Aaron Buerge, Andrew Firestone, Bob (blob) Guiney, Jesse Palmer, Byron Velvick, Charlie O'Connell, Dr. Travis Stork, "Prince" Lorenzo Borghese, Lieutenant Dr. Andy Baldwin, USN, Brad Womack, and Matt Grant have all tried their luck at this televised love lottery. Of these 12 men only two, (And I'm counting c-list actor Charlie O'Connell here--because at least he tried and had some luck) and pro fisherman Byron Velvick and his Rockyesque, perpetual fiance, Mary Delgado, have actually found love on the show. (Say what you want about the Velvick's but they have stuck it out when most couples would have quit.)

Taking a good-looking, successful, well-educated man and pairing him with twenty-five beauties of similar education and intelligence and seeing something develop shouldn't be this spectacularly unsuccessful. So why has it failed? Some people will whine now that marriage is hard; that finding the "one" is terribly difficult! Barbarossa, you're being unfair! First of all, kiss my ass. Next, lets take stock of what we know about marriage. Take a good look around you. How many people do you honestly know who reached their thirtieth, let alone fortieth, birthdays without hooking a spouse? C'mon, I'm not talking about your Uncle Bob, who wears the "I only came for the beer" t-shirt at family gatherings or your Aunt Bev who lives with twenty-six cats and has a 6 foot-tall bulldyke named Rose who is her "Best friend." I mean normal people. Yes, dear readers, even in this age of universal acceptance of everything including cannibals as an "oppressed minority' there is such a thing as normal. (If you don't agree with this; see my first point.)

We know these bachelors I listed failed to find love on the show, but just how many of them have not only found love, but have taken it to the next logical step of marriage in real life? Well out of these 12 puffed up popinjays one, only one, the notorious Blob Guiney, has actually gotten married. Blob married actress Rebeccca Budig in 2004. Of all twelve men, only Velvick had been married before he did the show and all of these men except Palmer are well over thirty and he's twenty-nine. That's twelve guys, combined age of almost 400 years, and a grand total of two marriages and one long engagement (two of them by Velvick). Wow, no wonder this shit doesn't work! My two sisters and I have been married more than all 12 of these jackoffs combined. My dad, Greybeard Barbarossa, 76 years-old, ties the whole bunch. He remarried after my mum died and managed both of them without the help of Chris Harrison. Wow, Pops Barbarossa 2; all Bachelor's combined 2. Lets all smirk at once, shall we? And this is supposed to be a show about marriage? Ha!

As I think we can see the truth is this show is about everything in the universe except marriage. It's about drama and its about entertainment...and thats fine. But I think the anecdotal evidence I looked up proves something else. The Bachelors are all from disparate backgrounds: One is a Italian "Prince" sort of, one is a pro fisherman, one a tire heir, two are M.D.'s, and one of those was an active duty serviceman. There are a couple of businessmen-types and one, Blob, is a 'character' about like Ace Ventura, I think. But there is one thing they all share in common: Commitment Phobia!

Mamma Barbarossa once told me that, "Any man not married by the age of thirty is a fairy!" That's a stereotype and like all stereotypes, it's unfair. But stereotypes are all grounded in about 85% truth as well. Mamma B's stereotype applied to the time she lived in and no longer applies now; people avoid marriage for a host of reasons today, not just homosexuality. Hell, homosexuals are the one clamoring to get married these days! But marriage, passe dinosaur that it is, hasn't really changed since ancient times. Its still a pledge and leap of faith to build a life with another person. The way we see marriage has changed however. Marriage now comes with an easy escape hatch if you're unhappy; a phone call to your lawyer generally does the trick. With Hollywood giving us all a shining example, people now change spouses like they change underwear--when they bother with either. Ancient Romans would fall down laughing at our rationale for marriage. They got married but would laugh if you told them they should be in love before they did it. They expected to be matched up by their parents, and then fall in love. Many did, many didn't but marriage has always been about commitment; something no Bachelor seems to possess. Lets face it, if you're young, pretty/handsome, educated, glib and successful, finding a spouse is about as hard as falling and actually hitting the ground.

I am afraid that in the final analysis it is we viewers who have the problem. Although I left behind any romantic notions about this show years ago, many haven't. We could still try romance if the producers wanted to, but they obviously don't. They would recruit more divorced people with proven records of commitment and they wouldn't arrange sham outcomes like Grant/Lamas if they really cared about love. They care about ratings. If we, the viewer, are aware of caveat emptor, then this is all about fun. When they start recruiting contestants off of match.com instead of MySpace maybe we can believe the producers are serious. Until then just know you're watching a pimped up soap opera and not reality and we can all enjoy.

Until next week when DeAnna explains why she dumped the guy she picked (yes, I have heard it from strong inside sources that this one is already over as well) Argh! If you'd like to dump on me or tell me I'm full of shit or whatever, leave a comment or let me have it at blastbarbarossa@gmail.com

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bachelorette Recap June 9th

Well, dear friends, tonight we continue on DeAnna Pappas's quest to get rid of every guy who really likes her. Last week, Richard--Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Paul, the Lilliputian Midget both got their walking papers. Dee covered this act under the guise of a mercy killing--although in the case of Bill Nye it was done with all the compassion of a gut shot, and finally Dee dismissed the resident alpha male, Ron, the pissed off divorced guy. Or more accurately, Ron refused to be a suck ass and dismissed himself. Regardless, after eliminating what was arguably the two nicest guys in the house, Dee is left with:
1) Fred, Da Bears!
2) Robert, the Chef
3) Twilley, the weirdo
4) Sean, the karate boy
5) Jason, the babydady
6) Jeremy, the orphan
7) Brian, the football coach
8) Jesse, the stoned snowboarder
9) Graham, the Confused

The wingman leads off the show by telling the boys about the dates for this week. A one-on-one date, a two person date where someone gets dumped, and a group date at a racetrack. But before the dates, the wingman tells the boys that they will have to earn the one-on-date with Dee by competing in a songwriting contest. Huh? What the hell is this supposed to prove? The same thing as when the women on the Bachelor are expected to sing, twirl batons, and eat aluminum cans I suppose. Anyway the boys all spread out and try to write down their thoughts and compose their feelings. Jesse, the baked snowboarder, says he hates to write and hates to sing. This should be wondrous.

Several of the boys actually seem excited and decide to try their best. Robert, the chef and Brian, the football coach both actually work on their music and try to perform--Robert's actually pretty good. In all fairness, most of them did at least respectable. Performing can be hard and they all seemed to come off as decent...at least all of them but the baked snowboarder who busted out a rhyme that could have been written by a five year-old. But, he did it on his knees. I guess thats important...somehow...I think. What? What the hell does that have to do with anything? Nevermind. She picked the bakehead. Maybe she didn't understand the wingman's directions. Who cares.

DeAnna then takes 'ol bonghit to a theater where they smoke a bowl. No, I'm kidding...I think. She does take him to a theater and then tells him to perform his godawful warbling again like he's a trained seal. When he's done singing I'm the one who needs the bonghit. Auuugggh, my ears! Anyway, he performs like a toadie and covers her shapely ass in kisses so the rose is secured.

Next Dee takes her remaining boys stockcar racing at a track and has them race to determine who gets private time with her. Despite the fact he didn't win, she hauls Graham away for some quiet time and basically orders him to kiss her. Graham demurs, uncomfortable with having to share her with other guys. This is normal. There is a suitor in every one of these shows who's having trouble with "process" of dating one person while they date about thirty others. You know the process I'm talking about--the premise of the freaking show they signed up for! It's always hard to sympathize with this person but not impossible to empathize a little. What's not normal is how Dee reacts to his hesitancy. All previous Bachelor's I've ever seen turn the charm on for their reluctant suitor and assure them. DeAnna, however, gets royally pissed! Diva much? Answer this question, dear reader: How would it look if a male Bachelor threw a major shitfit when one of his lady harem didn't want to smooch? "She puts out or she's out!" The guy would be pilloried, deservedly so I might add. He'd be called a wolf, a goon, or worse. Well Dee acted like a goon here. Graham needs to decide if he wants to stay and participate but DeAnna needs to get off her high horse. Sean, the karate boy also got some alone time and gave Dee some long winded speech that sounded as scripted as a presidential address, but Dee apparently isn't interested in sincerity and he scores a rose for his speech writer.

With the date over, the boys living in the outhouse decide to throw a party and invite Dee and this week's mansion-dwellers down for a bar-b-q. Fred Da Bears, Jeremy the babydady, and Robert the Chef all meander unhappily down to the outhouse with Dee so the other guys can pick on them. Dee sees she has a problem almost at once. Graham is avoiding her and Robert, after just earning his way out of the outhouse last week, disappears inside and hides. Dee then confronts everybody about their behavior but she seems to forget that this is all her fault. The boys lost their alpha male leader last week and look listless and confused. Also her insistence in putting Jeremy in the big house twice is coming back to bite her. A bunch of these guys have obviously concluded that she doesn't care much for them so they've started hanging out together and ignoring her. Hard to blame them on this one too. It's easy to say the same thing happened to Dee on the Bachelor when Brad was out romancing other girls but I don't remember Dee sleeping in a crappy bunkhouse on bunk beds and showering outside. If you foster a bunker mentality among guys you're going to get that behavior. They've been put in a bootcamp setting and are acting like men do in such settings: they're bonding. Don't be shocked. Dee was. She throws a five-star hissy fit, cries, screams, and raises hell like a princess denied her toys. Do the producers hate her? I'm starting to wonder.

This leads us to the two-on-one date for the week featuring the arrogant, collar-popping chef, Robert and Fred, Da Bears from Chicago. This date was one of the most difficult to decipher of any I've seen. The editing here was done with a battleaxe so timing is hard to read. Dee takes Robert for some private time and he tries to kiss her. She offers nothing but her cheek, then a private interview with Robert is shown and he talks about their major connection. Ok, either Robert is so delusional he's in need of therapy or this was taken out of order. An eighth grader would get the message from that. If I had been Robert, when she offered her cheek I would have just smiled at her and said, "Ok, I get it." then I would have gotten up and walked out. It was humiliating. Robert's far from the nicest guy I've ever met but this was brutal...and we're just getting started on that score.

Dee then speaks with Fred and he really lays it out for her. He's eloquent, apparently sincere and seems to really dig her. They all get together for the awarding of the rose and to no one's surprise she dumps Robert. No one except Robert apparently. He's shocked and she walks him out while Fred, da Bears sits exultant and waits for his rose. The producers now decide that Robert hasn't suffered enough and start some more editing tricks. When Dee deposits him into the limo he looks upset but stone-cold sober, but when he's interviewed the guy looks falling down drunk. How long did they ride him around in that limo and just how much liquor did they pump into him before they filmed him? He cries a little but is so drunk at that point he probably would have cried about a dog he had as a kid. Man, these producers are brutal.

Dee now joins in the brutality and also dumps the once exultant Fred, Da Bears! Fred then performs the classiest exit I've ever seen on this show. He's sensitive, normal, and very magnanimous in rejection. Fred seems like one of the only normal people with no ulterior motives I've ever seen on this show. He seems to have no pretenses about a show business career and he's not trying to pimp dog shampoo or a website or anything. He also didn't seem like a famewhore. The only reason I'm not going to go on and on about how sorry I am for Fred is because of my certain knowledge that when this airs this guy will be fending off more quality tail than anyone in Chicago. This guy will have to hide from screaming crowds of women like he's one of the Beatles. Good luck Fred and argh! to you!

Well in the last two weeks Dee has subsequently dumped the three nicest guys in the house. Whatever happens now, be it good or bad, it's Dee's fault. She's made her bed, time to start lying in it. The bed starts at the rose ceremony where she takes the boys swimming. Graham, whom she digs, plays a little kissy make up and he's secure. The only drama was whether or not Twilley the weirdo would live to be strange another day. And he does! Yes, Twilley will be around to...to do whatever the hell he does. Ok. Nice. Sure. Twilley over Fred...or Bill Nye...or the midget. That makes sense.

Ok, next week it looks like Dee takes the boys into the desert and kisses everyone apparently and I'm starting to wonder if Brad wasn't onto something.

Until then.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bachelorette Recap June 2nd

Ok, first up--Mrs. B. is home from the hospital and doing well. So well in fact that we watched the bachelorette and I've got warn you in advance that some of my takes on this episode probably won't be with the majority. This blog is a guy's take, keep that in mind.

With that said, lets begin. Harrison greets the boys and reminds them that there is a rose on the line for each and every date this week. The boys, in a rare moment for this show, have actually come up with a good name for their house. The call their living quarters outside Dee's mansion The Outhouse. Ok, I can go with that. The Outhouse it is.

The first date is Richard, Bill Nye the Science Guy. He gets a one-on-one. DeAnna takes him to dinner and he makes some intelligent-sounding chat and they seem to have a nice time. But constant voice overs and private interviews all but telegraph the fact that Dee thinks this guy is friend material only. A final ride in Cinderella's coach cements the deal and halfway to their destination Dee orders the coach to the side of the road and performs the atomic mega-dump on Bill Nye. The only way this could have been worse is if Dee had shoved him out onto the pavement. She turns on some eye-rain while she does it but the guy truly looks shocked and blindsided. This guy actually looks really hurt at being dumped. Gotta feel for him. Dee assures us that after what happened to her, she wasn't going to string someone along. Hey, if she wasn't feeling it, what can you do? But I get the sneaking suspicion that this is one dump she will later say was the right thing to do, but will probably regret it. Bill Nye seemed a nice fella--and those are at a premium. He made her laugh. He was good looking. You gotta feel for the guy.

The next date box arrives and all the remaining guys get called out and fitted with cowboy boots. All except Jason the babydaddy. He knows he's the other one-on-one of the week and looks nervous at the thought. The remaining lads go line-dancing with Dee and look pretty goofy learning the 'ol ho down. Dee, of course, looks like a beautiful, in-shape woman in tight jeans--in other words: GREAT! The guys then do some bull-riding and fall on their asses a bunch. Jesse, the stoned snowboarder manages to hang on the longest and gets some private time with Dee. He pulls out his serious side by talking about farting under the covers. Very serious stuff is cutting one under the blankets, but only if you trap the lady under the blanket and make her inhale it like I do with Mrs. B. Anyway, Dee appears charmed at his bravery to admit he farts--a rose is all but assured. Ah, true wuv!

It's at this point that the most controversial stuff occurs. Dee takes Ron, the pissed off divorced guy for a walk and confronts him about getting on Jeremy the Orphans ass for getting two consecutive weeks in the mansion with her. Whoa! Hold on! Dee says "I heard..." Ok, from where?! Who ratted? Did Jeremy go crying to her or was this producer interference? We never find out. But here's your double standard folks. Last season on the Bachelor did Matt ever go run interference to Shayne or any of the other girls about Robin, who was being mercilessly picked on? Nope. As a matter of fact, we have never been given any inkling that any of the Bachelors ever know what cattiness is afoot unless a suitor tells them. Dee's sudden knowledge is never explained. And Ron the pissed-off divorced guy doesn't appreciate her interference either. Neither would I. Although editing makes Ron look like a goon with a temper problem I notice that all the other lads seem to think he's right that Jeremy is an arrogant candy ass. Jesse even gives him a bump when he tells Jeremy he's 'lacking'. This smells like more than cattiness, folks. Let me give a caveat to my next observation: I do not know Ron anymore than I actually know DeAnna. He may be a saint or a wife-beater, I have no idea. But I'm sending him some props. He didn't try and smooth it to Dee over this. He basically told it was none of her damn business--which it wasn't. He didn't smarm her or kiss her ass--he told her it was between Jeremy and himself. Props to Ron the pissed-off divorced dude! It was refreshing to see a suitor on this series actually let the Bachlor(ette) know that the sun does not rise and set out the crack of their ass.

Then in another moment of non-doormat behavior, Robert the Chef tells the boys if he doesn't get private time, skip the rose, he'll head home. He actually seems to mean it too. He was drunk but he seemed sincere. Props to the Chef! He may wear polo shirts like he's about to audition for a George Michael video but the boy called his shot. He then gets Dee alone and makes his pitch. He gets the cowboy date rose. Bully and argh!

This all leads us to a yet another reminder that Jason the babydaddy has a son. Ok, we get it. This is the equivalent of someone announcing they are a virgin--we're going to be reminded of it every five seconds. We even see him on the phone with his son. This is a first in my memory--a suitor actually gets to contact a loved one. This takes us to the one-on-one date. Dee takes Jason by helicopter to a dinner-date where Jason finally tells her he has a kid. Dee, to her credit, doesn't even hesitate. She takes the news well and they look at pictures. He asks her about her mom and Dee practically takes us through a blow-by-blow recap of her mother's death. It's one of the more real moments in the history of this franchise and bodes very well for Jason's future here. A rose is a certainty and he gets it.

the second group date has the men traveling to meet Ellen Degeneres and not to outdone by the Bachelor, the Bachelorette now insists on humiliating the suitors by having them drop trou in front of a lesbian talk show host. If the producers told me to do that I would have flashed her my nads. She wouldn't have been impressed or even appreciative but if I'm going to humiliate myself like a real Bachelor candidate I'll do it on my own terms, thank you very much. The guys all dance (badly) and Ellen pow wows with Dee. Ellen then shows the wisdom of someone who's been in a few relationships by picking out a few details of the guys. The most perceptive one is her observation that Graham the Confused is absolutely terrified. I wonder if Graham tickled Ellen's gaydar like he does mine? She probably has a pretty good one.

Ellen then tells the boys that she's handing out the rose and makes them wait for it before she hands it over to Fred, the ugly dude. Now Fred's not really ugly exactly but he...well, he looks like a normal guy trapped in moisturizer hell with a parade of male models. So I'm going to call him Fred, Da Bears! to go with his Chicago accent. Anyway, Fred hit Dee with some pretty heartfelt balloon juice about how he feels about her and it was actually pretty good. He gets the rose from Ellen for his troubles.

This leads to the FRC, or as I'll call this one, Ron, the pissed-off divorced dude's last stand. Two pretty significant things happened at this RC. One, Graham the Confused has a talk with Dee about his hesitancy to open up and its obvious this will be a major theme and Ron the divorced dude comes as close to any suitor I've ever seen in bachelor(ette) history to telling the he/she dream that they can keep their rose. This got really hard to decipher with all the editing and you could practically sense a producer dangling a copy of a contract, complete with legal threats, in front of Ron's nose. He started off by telling Dee that he woke up that morning feeling like she wasn't the one for him. He backs off that but does absolutely nothing to back up his insincere words that he has changed his mind. Personally, I thought he was begging to leave and was going to no matter what. The producers, showing a touch as deft as a crowbar, send Jeremy out to steal Dee away. She can be heard(?) muttering "thank you" to Jeremy as he walks her away. Funny though that when Ron gets the inevitable boot, all the other men embrace him like a fallen brother. Could a bunker mentality be starting to take hold of these guys?

Like I said earlier: Ron may be a psycho, I have no idea, but it was pretty damn refreshing to see someone on this series actually behave like they have some self worth. The Ceremony plays out exactly as you would expect...with one exception: Paul from Liliput gets the boot and Twilley the weirdo soldiers on. Didn't see that one coming.

Ok, it looks like next week that DeAnna has a meltdown and accuses the guys of not being serious about her. Bunker mentality? Maybe. Or maybe they were inspired by Ron's refusal to be a doormat? We'll see. But I do want to leave you with this. Jeremy is a smarmy little pansy and I really may be wrong about Graham's gaydar but something damned screwy is going on there. After seeing Bill Nye, a guy Dee said, "Makes me laugh," who is undeniably intelligent, handsome, and deeply committed to his job as a teacher, get dumped on a sidewalk, its hard to feel bad that she thinks the rest aren't trying hard enough.

Oh, are they ever going to let Brian the football coach speak or did that particular Malibu Ken model not come with a voice box? Creepy.

Until next time.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008



Mrs. B. is in the hospital for some elective surgery so this weeks blog on DeAnna and her boy toys will be delayed until she gets home and we can watch it together. (All say "ahhhhhh" together). trust me, I'll be skinned if I watch it alone. The analysis blog will be up just as soon as I can see it.

Captain Barbarossa.