Saturday, February 28, 2009

3/3--Some Dastardly Evening

The Lord of the Douche Bags!

Take a bow, you asshole.

Well, wasn't that special? Melissa Rycroft, meet THE BUS! BUS, meet Melissa. BOOM!

Well, well, well. Turns out Reality Steve couldn't have been more right, could he? In golf parlance, you refer to that one as 'center-cut'. On every substantial point of this season's 'shocking ending', Reality Steve turned out to be 100% correct. Steve's sources and the man himself turn out to be totally vindicated and you know what that means, my friends. It means that the sources that came forward to feed Reality Steve this story way back in late January had it pegged to the wall--including the part that says this emotional evisceration of Melissa was a planned ambush designed to pimp ratings and reduce Ms. Rycroft to a quivering mass of jelly. All while Producer/Asshole Supreme, Mike Fleiss and his wingman/stooge, Chris Harrison sat in the control truck beating their meats like the emotional sadists they are. And Jason Mesnick? Well let's just say you could put this guy's balls and sense of decency in the same thimble--which is undoubtedly where that bug-eyed tramp he ended up with keeps them.

Recap: No one gives a shit.

But Barbarossa, how can you say it was all staged?

Because I have a higher I.Q. than your average refrigerator magnet, that's why. Let's look at the facts, shall we?

  • Reality Steve got his scoop in late January. Sources came forward and told Steve what happened at FRC # 1. Why? Steve says this had never happened before. Was if for the money? The Fame? The Notoriety? No on all counts. Steve is a salesman, he doesn't have any money and wouldn't pay for info if he did. Fame, notoriety? Puhhllleeze. Leaking information of this nature opens the leaker up to punitive legal action. The only way Steve could protect his sources was to guard their anonymity. So why did they (I use the plural) come forward? Because they were sickened to their core about what had happened.That's why they leaked it to begin with. No other reason is credible. Would Jason changing his mind sicken them? Shock them maybe, perhaps even surprise them. But sicken them? Hardly.
  • Almost simultaneously to the leaks Steve got, someone leaked the ending (including the scripting) to a reporter at Access Hollywood. Did they get paid? Hardly. The woman spiked the story as to not spoil the fans. They aren't going to pay for what they're not gonna' use. Both Steve and the reporter "quadruple checked" the sources and found them completely accurate. Later on the tabloids would get a hold of this and do the same damn thing. All verified, all checked and double-checked, and all saying the exact same thing: the whole thing was staged.
  • The sources have been completely correct--six weeks before the airing of the finale--and they were totally vindicated. Why doubt one part of their story when the rest turned out correct?
  • The 'acting' of Jason and Molly at the FRC. When Jason had demolished Melissa, Molly was brought out to talk with Harrison. Unlike almost every Bachette in history Molly had not 'moved on.' "I still love him." Nerves? Are you kidding? She was as cool as a cucumber. No eye-blinking, swallowing or any sign of distress--just as robotic as ever. You might even think she knew what was coming. Snort! And when Jason took her back? Oh, man! She hedged and agonized over that decision. I mean, until the commercial break ended, then she crammed her tongue down his throat and made sure to do it on camera. Ahh, twu wuv! It took her nearly two whole minutes to not only forgive him but to suck his face off. Yeah, she was on the edge of her seat all right. Jason's tears? (sighs) whether crying over his son, or falling over the edge of the balcony after sending Molly home or dumping Melissa--this guy's balls must be the size of a gnats. The good news is that Molly will be able to store them in a petri dish. I can just see Jason padding around on the floor on all fours with a black collar on his neck while Molly feeds him his dinner out of a dog dish. What a life!
The Producers

These guys are soul-less monsters, we all know that. But they have violated the covenant they have with viewers with this stunt. We expect staging, hell, we look forward to parts of it. Women singing, eating beer cans and performing all sorts of stunts to entertain us. Bachelors like Brad Womack having heart to heart advice talks with professional football players they've just met or the required use of the words "amazing' and 'journey". But the understanding has always been: "you don't mess with the love." Well they finally had a lovestory...maybe. Ok, ok, I admit, Jason and Molly? Bland meets bland. If I saw those two lying on a beach and walked past with my kids I'd slap my boy's hand away, "Don't touch them son! The dullness rubs off!" But that's hardly our fault. They cast these two bags of fertilizer. We've been violated almost as badly as Melissa. I always knew these guys would pimp their grandmothers for ratings...now I think they'd shoot them.

Jason Mesnick

Ah, at last. Even if every leak is wrong and it wasn't scripted and designed to destroy an innocent woman, Mesnick would be revealed as an emotional retard. What 32 year-old, divorced father would find himself torn between two women and then suddenly propose to one of them? Even if he's innocent (and he's not) what the hell could you have been thinking? But that's beside the point, because he did this on purpose, with malice and aforethought. Before I unload both barrels into this guy I'm going to anticipate some of the whiners who are already posting around the net.

But Barbarossa, he was under contract! He had to do what he was told!

Bullshit! I guess I need to get me one of them contracts. I'm going to have everyone I know sign it and soon I'll have my own slave army! Jesus, will you people listen to this? Let me point out a few things to the slower among the flock. Bachelors have power! Before you roll your eyes, think about this: If Eva Longoria Parker had a problem with a script on Desperate Housewives and was throwing a diva-tantrum over it do you think the director would phone the legal department and call for the lawyers? "Listen, Mrs. Parker. You've got a contract and if you don't get back on that set, we're gonna' sue your ass off!" Hahahahahah! They wouldn"t dare! Eva would haul ass off that set like a rocket...and when she did, the entire production would come to a screeching halt. No, the director would call the producer, the writer and anyone else he needed and they would schmooze Eva's shapely bottom and make whatever changes to the script was required to get her back to work. What makes you think the Bachelor is any different? From the first second the Bachelor is publicly announced, he has power. He's the STAR for shits sake! Just like Lovely Eva and any of her Desperate Sisters!

And three months into a shoot? OMG! Production is in motion: houses rented, product promos set up, a crew and team is on the payroll, and they have three weeks of footage in the can. They are, to say the least, invested in the STAR to the hilt! ABC is waiting for the product they ordered and the producers had damn well better deliver. Now, replay the scenario that almost certainly happened, but instead of a spineless pustule like Jason, insert a real man into the scenario:
Producers: "So, you've settled on Molly, eh? Cool, Great to hear it. We need a different ending--something new and different for ratings, babe. Here's what we want you to do: you seem to like Melissa ok too, so take her to the end and propose to her--then we'll film the break up after filming wraps and then you and Molly can be together. What do you say?"

Bach: That's the most horrible thing I've ever heard! You want me to get engaged to a girl and then dump her just so you can film it?! I won't do anything that shameful!"

P: "Listen, bub, you've got a contract and you're gonna' open yourself up to some tough legal action unless you do what we say!"

B: "Blood from a turnip...and the next one of you sons-a-bitches even breaths the word 'lawsuit' I'm walking off this fucking set, finding the nearest reporter and telling 'em what you asked me to do!"

A chill would fill the room cold enough to freeze an Eskimo's balls. Millions of dollars into production you think they're going try and run their STAR off?! But of course, that's not how the conversation went, is it? Here is probably what it sounded like with Jason:

Producers: "So, you've settled on Molly, eh? Cool, Great to hear it. We need a different ending--something new and different for ratings, babe. Here's what we want you to do: you seem to like Melissa ok too, so take her to the end and propose to her. Then we'll film the break up after filming wraps and then you and Molly can be together. What do you say?"

Tranny-man: (Whines and rubs his two-inch dick) "Oh, ok, Mike. Whatever you want." Disgusting!

This guy's a walking shitstain! How amoral do you have to be to willfully agree to a stunt like this? Melissa was demolished by this, humiliated and laid bare all on National Television. This wasn't the normal lead-on we see every season where the Bachelor leads on two or three extra chicks so the show won't lose it's drama. No, this went well outside the show.

But Barbarossa, it's not really an engagement. It's just TV

Skip it! He got down on a knee, slipped a ring on her finger and asked: "Will you marry me?" That's an engagement and I don't give a shit if he asked her on top of the Matterhorn, the surface of the moon or anywhere else. Slide the ring on and pop the question and it counts. I can barely fathom the moral depravity required to ask a gal to marry you, cheat on her, and then dump her on National Television as part of a plan! Had he just changed his mind, I would have doubted his sanity for asking when he was less than sure, but I understand people can change their minds. But to do this on purpose!? I hope Molly gives him the crabs!

The only people pleased by this are all the other men who were The Bachelor. Andy Baldwin, Bob Guiney, Jesse Palmer--they're sitting around toasting anyone who will still get near them and singing the praises of Jason Mesnick. "We're off the hook!" But I seriously doubt that will console Melissa Rycroft...or us. Shamelessness defined.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2/24--The Women Tell Nothing

Oh, man. Damn, my head hurts! I feel like I've been poisoned with vicodin and whiskey. Staying awake through that snorefest was all I could manage. And the kid-glove editing? What, no hot seat for Jason? No pin-him-to-the-ground toughies from the ladies or the wingman? That would have been tolerable--if they didn't do it every single year to every single Bachelor(ette) and now Jason gets a free pass and it's on to sunflowers and birds frolicking in a spring meadow? Crap! It looked like Operation: Protect Jason is already in full swing. Speaking of our Bachelor, didn't Curious George look about as animated as a piece of plastic last night? In between softball questions the wingman was pitching him Jason looked damn near surly. Here's what I saw as I blasted through this:

Things that stood out:

1. Natalie the Barbiedoll looked like a total ass. The wingman, sensing a dumb victim, egged her on and Natalie, looking as vapid and clueless as ever, jumped at every piece of bait he tossed. What a moron.

2. The Candidacy of Jillian the Canuck: I like Jillian--liked her all season. But I have never heard the wingman asking any reject about whether or not they'd like to come back and do the show again. Just odd. Maybe the wingman always asked that question and with a ridiculous two hour hole to fill they finally showed it. Just strange though.

3) We got to meet Molly: Nice. We got to see more of Molly (the Bland) Mallaney last night than at anytime during the whole season. Thanks for the intro. Huh?

4) The outtakes were really lame-o! The season's outtakes can sometimes be funny and are usually revealing. Not this time. The outtakes were ridiculous and even the sight of Jason nearly getting trampled by an irate horse couldn't save the proceedings either.

5) Booooorring! Even fast-forwarding through this mess at lightspeed didn't keep it tolerable. Nothing of any real interest was revealed except...

6) Fred, Da Bears! and Noelle the Normal. Two of my favorite all-time contestants met at last year's M.T.A. and hooked up. They not only hooked up they both looked pretty damn serious about it too. Wouldn't that just be irony in it's most delicious form if two 'rejects' like Fred and Noelle headed down the aisle while 'hotties' and 'real catches' like DeYawna and Andy Baldwin spend their spare time on match.com and hanging out at single's clubs getting bombed all alone on sloe gin fizzes? Call it Fleiss-irony.

7) Charlie and Sarah: The reunited couple were trundled out for the first time as proof that every now and again some people from this show actually shack-up or whatever. Charlie got to admit he was a drunk on national TV (not exactly Alcoholic's Anonymous, is it?) and Sarah got to admit she's turned on by men in Garfield costumes. Charlie defended himself against the drinking charge by saying, "I haven't had a drink in two years." Since when is this a problem on the Bachelor? Anyway, the wingman pressed about "just where is this heading?"
Charlie had an answer too: "We're working on a relationship. There might be an engagement." Translation: It's heading nowhere and where's our check?"

8) Trista and Ryan's yearly visit: Bachelorette Queen, Trista Sutter and her practically mute hubby, Ryan, made their yearly visit and we got to see that she and her husband have been playing 'hide the fire hose' again to good effect. Trista was pregnant...very pregnant. She also opined on this season: "Based on what I've seen, he picks Melissa, I believe." The Queen hath spoken.

9) Byron and Mary are personas non-gratis: Yeah, yeah, I know. Mary has been hitting the sauce (and Byron) too much to have them on. I thought it sucked though. They are a real couple, which is what this show was supposed to be all about. So Mary gets drunk and goes on an occasional rampage? Her and Byron are still together aren't they? Byron competed in a Bassmaster tourney this last weekend and Mary was there, just like always. Would have been a nice touch to welcome them back anyway. I guess Fleiss was too fraidy cat that the wingman would start pressing Byron for a wedding date again and Mary would knock his block off this time. Frankly, I respect the Velvick's. They've stuck it out and had to do it with their dirty laundry flapping in the wind for the world to see. Mary needs to follow Charlie's example of sobriety but it can't be easy to have your every misstep reported by CNN. Next year, I'd like them back.

9) Chelsea posed naked for Playboy: Woo Hoo!

Ok, enough of this stupid recap no one cares about. It's time to look at what we're all still watching this crapsack for. The battle lines have now clearly been drawn. Two warring camps have formed and as of this writing (2/24) the two sides are diametrically opposed. There is no way one side is not DEAD WRONG!

Camp Matrimony versus Camp Reality Steve

Leakers to both camps are insisting that they have the 'real inside scoop'. It's taken ten days or so but there is no more gray areas left. One side insists that Jason and Melissa are still together and a wedding is in the works. That's a good thing too. When this is over next week there won't be any, "Well, I was sorta right about blah, blah, blah." One side will be right and other completely wrong.

Camp Matrimony: Insiders and even a woman purporting to be Jason's mother are posting on various chatrooms and boards that Reality Steve has been Fleissed. They say that a disgruntled former contestant or someone close to the show with an axe to grind has been feeding Reality Steve false info and he's going to look like a world class dupe. These folks insist that Jason and Melissa are still together and the second ATFR is actually an engagement party. Bully! My heart is with you guys 100%! My head? Eh...not so much.

My problems with Camp Matrimony:

1) Did we hear the word 'engagement' last night? I admit I fast-forwarded through that bore-a-thon like a meth freak drinking Red Bull but I never heard the word 'engagement'. I'm sure someone will correct me in the comments if I'm wrong but I never heard any such word or suggestion. The wingman's questioning of Jason was as bland and generic as can be imagined. Jason stated in his very first round of media interviews he was engaged. In previous seasons (think Baldwin) the coming engagement was hyped to the rooftops. Last night? Nada. Not even a question on the topic.

2) What's 'freakish' about an engagement party? The official hype-machine (i.e. Fleiss) has said the last hour of the finale is 'freakish' and 'Chayefsky-esque'. Is there something about a happily engaged couple that should remind me of "Network"? Does the thought of an engagement party make you want to run to your window and scream: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna' take it anymore!" Sorry, not buying.

3) "An ending so shocking, so dramatic that out of respect for the participants involved, we've filmed this in the most intimate way possible?" Party hats and joy buzzers anyone? This sounds more like an invitation to a wake than an engagement party. Sorry, "Happy Ending" does not add up to me.

Ok, Reality Steve has leveled his charges and we shall see. Next Monday, if, I say "IF" Jason dumps Melissa on ATFR and starts up with Molly, then I will believe every single word Reality Steve has said with no reservations. If he's right about all of this then there is no reason to doubt his sources, their motives, or their story. If I'm wrong, well, it won't be the first time. But I can guarantee you this. I will come right here on the Blast and perform a complete mea culpa and it will be with joy and excitement. Team Matrimony, I challenge you to do the same. If you are wrong, it's time to fess up. Your leak guru got Fleissed, and you need to admit it. No hedging or rationalizing. If my source, R.S., is wrong, you won't get any out of me.

P.S. Medianet just released some FRC pics and someone has been playing with their Photoshop program. Melissa is pictured in the caps with a bright yellow dress. Either the original pics or these newest ones have been tampered with...ARGH! The plot thickens.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2/16--It's All About Steve

Does anybody really want me to recap this shit? Really? Ok, here goes:

(Begin recap:) The Bachelor goes to the land where they filmed Lord of the Rings and frankly, I'm pissed I didn't get to see Gandalf. But I did get see Frodo. He was the hairy little guy dragging three babes around to various scenic spots, necking with them, staring at them and barely talking, yanking them into hot tubes, bubble baths, and anything with water in it besides a mud puddle, and then dumping the one with the Canadian accent. In between he managed to put enough heat on them to get them all to admit they were 'in-love' with him and got the chance to whip out the 'ol sexcard and warm his bed with all three. Not a bad week for a hobbit. (End recap)

As if anyone gives a shit what happened. This entire season has been hijacked by my fellow blogger, Reality Steve. Steve has been cackling like the wicked witch for the last several weeks; letting everyone know he has a secret--nah, nah, nah, nah, nah! And according to his latest missive, he's going to drop that bomb tomorrow morning at 8:30 am CST. Because of Steve's threats and clues, this entire season has come down to one individual and the insider info he says he has. Even the most naive rooter seems to have figured out that Steve isn't lying. Bachelor producer/human turd, Mike Fleiss, spent all weekend going into full hype mode about the finale, and today, his weak wingman, Chris Harrison spent the better part of his own sucky blog defending himself and the show against the charges Steve hasn't even leveled yet. Gone was the wingman's normal jocularity and bombastic homilies, replaced by by an air of whistling past the graveyard. Harrison sounded like the Captain of a battleship who can see the torpedo wakes heading at him and there's not a damn thing he can do.

I have no idea what Steve has but I'm looking forward to it like everyone else. There's little more to say at this point. Nobody ever gives a shit about the women tell all show coming next week and maybe I was watching last night with an extra-cynical eye, but Jason and the women generated zero heat in my eyes. The show was as boring as any they've ever produced. If that was scripted, well, they need to get a new writer then. Endless shots of Jason and his hairy-assed face, staring wordlessly at the girls while they gave little or no information about themselves. Riveting stuff. The only revelation of the night was a comment I saw from some poster on one of the boards. They stated that Jason looked like Curious George. Bingo! I've been trying to decide for two seasons who (or what) Jason looks like and damn if that isn't it. I liked Curious George when I was a kid. Cute books. Last night, it looked like Curious George Triple Dips! I'm pretty sure I would have loved that book as a kid too. Shame.

Ok, until Steve launches the torpedo of death and Steve, Argh! to you! Fire when ready!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Time for a Re-Run

Ah, that Reality Steve; love him, hate him, it doesn't matter. The question is: do you believe him? I've steered clear of the controversy he's caused and will continue to do so, but I think it's time, based on his recent revelations/accusations, to revisit a blog I posted back in December, well before Bachelor 13 premiered. I haven't changed a word of it. See what you think now?

Saturday, December 13th, 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, February 10, 2009

Cue: "Falling in Love," Take 1--Roll 'Em!

Well, it's been one whole month of the girls being locked inside their gilded cage, cut off from friends, family, MySpaces's and Ipods. In the Bachelor-universe that means that two dates, most of them with other women present, (and a camera, sound crew, and production staff present on ALL of them), is more than enough time for these damsels of the Stockholm Syndrome to find themselves falling "in love" with Jason Mesnick and ready to share a short engagement with him. This week it's Jason's turn to be on the move to head across continent to meet the families of the women he's not gonna marry. It's going to be an eclectic week of travel too, covering nearly all parts of North America except the northeast and southeastern parts of the United States. His first trip is his most "exotic" too, since he traveled to a foreign country. Ok, ok, I admit Canada isn't really a foreign country but they do have round bacon so I guess that makes them exotic. Unless it doesn't. I've often wondered when we're all going to stop kidding ourselves and tell the Canadians they're "in" and let them know they're our newest and most frozenly-gigantic state. It's not like they'd put up a fight. Three troops of Boy Scouts could take the place. But I guess it also begs the bigger question: "Why the hell would we want to?" Which is why, I suppose, we haven't already. Besides, I get too damn much of their tin money in change down at the convenience store anyway. (Note to Canadians: If you want be taken seriously as a country, stop making your money out of recycled beer cans.) I'll ignore the fact that these days that's about what American money is worth. On second thought though, they sicced William Shatner on us in 1966 and obviously refuse to take him back, don't they? An affront like that deserves some kind of violent response, doesn't it? Nevermind.

British Columbia, Canada--A Cool Evening

Jason, our blandest Bachelor EVER!, makes his way northward and lo and behold he managed to land on one of the only thirty-odd days of the year that the place isn't frozen up like a brick. It's raining instead. Bully. Lucky for him (and us) he's got a hot babe with a cool family to see. Jillian the Canuck meets Jason in a cold, freezing rain and she hops on him hoping to share some warmth I guess. The she breaks into a story about a Canadian Loch Ness Monster named Oingo Boingo or something. That's original. Come on, Canada, try a little harder--knock off money and now knockoff monsters? Come up with one of your own. How about the "Abominable Hockey Goalie" or something? Anyway, their first stop is a winery, where Jill pulls out the big guns of seriousness and tells him her mom went through a long spell of depression that involved suicide attempts. Whoa. Hey, who injected all the reality into my reality show? Nevertheless, the tough, spunky gal breaks down and boo-hoo's and Jason gets a chance to use his B.A. in psychology. (And there are those that told him he couldn't do anything with that degree.) He gives her some warm, dweeby cheese and she melts. Cha-ching! Le Bandito strikes early.

Then it's off to Jillian's folks' house for some pretty fun times. The family all seem pretty cool and also act like they're no stranger to beer either. Jill's mom, Peggy, makes a toast to her daughter that I don't remember a single word of except one: Dove. Judging from the previews, I'd say that's the word of the night. But amidst the goofy fun Jason has a serious talk with Jill's mom about her mental illness and even cracks some jokes on herself. Cool. Mom's got a sense of humor. Dad also cracks a few in between draping Jason with a Canadian flag and later breaks down bawling when talking about his daughter. I made a promise I wasn't going to make any cracks about the Canadian accent this week and turns out, I don't have to. Jillian takes care of that herself: "They all kidded me because I say PRO-cess instead of 'process.' Ha. Ha. How dare they? Most hometown visits are total disasters but this one goes as smooth as cream cheese...but then Jill drops a few broad hints about her Gran arriving and I start to sweat. Oldsters usually mean it's time for some rudeness disguised as "Cuteness", but Jillian's Gran displays some coolness instead. She's nice, warm, friendly and funny too. She says she already told Jillian to get on the stick about marriage or she is gonna' marry her off to some smelly Ukrainian or something. Pretty formidable combo: Jill's hot, older, and obviously sane, and if you married the family and not the gal, Jason should have proposed. If he's expecting the rest of the visits to go this smoothly, he's got another thing coming. Actually if the rest of the visits had even started to look this smooth, Fleiss would have set fire to someone's house. Turns out, that won't be necessary.

Grand Rapids, Michigan--Bland meets the bland

Molly the Bland awaits Jason the Bland-Bandito on that scene of suburban, high-end earners paradise: a golf course at a Country Club. Jason comes wandering up in dress casual but Molly soon has him shifted into a Golfer's Uniform of khakis and collared shirt. They talk about her family and she dropped this sophomoric bomb a few times: "I can't love any man my parent's don't love too!" (Rolls eyes) Yeah, men often love their mothers-in-laws to death. Hey, Molly, why do you think there's jokes about it? Because families of married daughters almost always hate the guy she hitches her wagon to, that's why. And why shouldn't they? What guy would want to hang out with a gal when the parent's take him into another room for a serious talk and warn him he's too good for their little girl? That would mean you're a maniac dad is dying to get off his hands. Any guy hearing that speech would run the other way like his balls were on fire. Parent's and sons-in-laws are supposed to hate each other--they're like dogs and cats or something. What old man worth his snot doesn't resent the hell out of the guy who stole his little girl from him...unless you really are a maniac he can't wait to get rid of? (Besides, no matter how big a dork your dad is, he knows what we're doing to you. Relax). She also drops this depth charge: "My last relationship...my parents wouldn't let me bring him into the house." Yikes! Was the guy a meth dealer or something? Did he beat you, Molly? We never get to hear although I'm sure she expounded on this tale or Jason would have never left the putting green, but Fleiss decides we don't need anymore info about that. (Thanks Asshole).

Molly then takes Jason over to meet her folks and they are...well, they're, strange. Upright Republican Country Clubbers mixed with...hell, I'm not sure. One minute Molly's dad was sitting there like a fat chunk of granite and the next he had a hat on that looked like a mug of brewski. (I was expecting a glass of chardonnay at least.) Tough vibe to read. I think it was Molly's mom who threw me. She was a nut. And a bossy, controlling nut too. Jason, being a doormat, let's her order him around like he's a showdog. First he dons a Indian Chief headdress and then she's ordering him to paint a picture of Molly. Jason, who draws about as well as I do, which is to say: Bad! , immediately gets to work and produces a watercolor of Molly that would have ended any engagement if there'd been one. She looks like Heath Ledger in his last, greatest role. He also insists he drew straight hair on the Molly-pic because every picture he draws looks like a dude. (Let's hope it's a complete lack of art talent and not something Freudian in that statement.) Dad then hauls Molly off and shows some serious Stepford-Dad. He wants Molly's word that when she gets dumped that she won't bawl. Wow. Thanks, dad. He doesn't care if she gets gutted on National TV, he just wants to make sure he doesn't get embarrassed by her kiss off. Don't go making a fool of your dad on National TV, dear, that's your mother's job! Cool, dad's a douche bag. (Told you these people were weirdos.) Date over. Time for serious weirdness. Or not.

California--Thank you, Mr. President!

Due to the speechifying of our new president and a balky DVR, I missed nearly all of Naomi the Spicy's date. And they say there's no god. Hah! I don't like Obama but boy do I owe him one. My pre-recorder kicked off while he was making like a big windbag and when it caught back in, Naomi was walking Jason to the car and slobbering all over him. The last thing I saw was the hula-hoop madness but previews (and the stupid recap filler) showed that if Jason was considering having children with Naomi (which he wasn't) he should be aware that madness is often hereditary. Forget about Jillian's mom's depression, some true California madness was at work here, but lucky me, I missed it! I want to be fair though. After all, I ragged on the Canadians pretty hard earlier and hell, I liked them. Ok, here goes and I'll try and be as fair as possible and not put on a show on American Nationalism. Ok, well: Naomi's mom is well and truly f*cked up! There. Was she? I have no idea but the previews made her look that way, and well, to be honest, I'd rather get drunk with Canadian hicks than stoned with California odd-balls anyway. (Not to mention Michigan douche bags and their callow daughter). Scores even now. Time for Texas Buddies.

Dallas, Texas--A Very 'Friendly' Visit.

Melissa the Ridiculously-Cute-Cheerleader awaits Jason beside some pond somewhere in Dallas, Texas and when Le Bandito emerges she attacks him with such zest I think they're gonna' drop down on the grass and do the nasty right there. Chemistry? Check. She's wearing her standard issue black top and super short-shorts too. Ah, what a view. Anyway, they sit on a blankie and sip some grape juice and Melissa tells him her parents are no shows and he'll have to settle for meeting her best friends. This whole thing puzzled me and could go a twenty zillion different ways. Are her parents nutjobs or too classy to take part in this national embarrassment? Later she says they are so private they never even came to a Cowboy game when she was cheering? Now we're getting odd. Her friends show up and confirm that they've never really met the mysterious Rycroft's either. Ok, is Melissa's real name Melissa Munster or something? Does she have an Uncle Herman and an Aunt Lilly? Jason swallows unhappily but goes with her to some friends for a cook out. Melissa's friends are all cool and they tell a tale of a gal who was pretty much abused and treated like shit by her former boyfriends. Huh? A Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader who allows herself to be doormatted? What's missing here? I'll tell you this much though, being a guy, I picked up on something most females probably missed after dinner. Melissa's married guy friend (Joe?) takes Jason down for some billiards and despite El Dweebos recent experiments in A-Rod's medicine cabinet the guy towers over Jason and you can feel he will be only too happy to kick Jason's ass if he mistreats Melissa. He hovered over and near Jason to make sure Le Bandito got the message. Gotta' like that in a friend even if Melissa is related to Uncle Fester. Dallas date over.

Wingman Grows Stronger

Defying convention, Wingman Harrison, seeming determined to lose his "Weak" moniker from me, crashes Jason's house-BOOT (sorry Jillian) again and starts guarding Jason's six again. A rambling talk reveals nothing in particular and it's time for the Rose Ceremony that even casual viewers can guess the outcome of.

Jason comes stumbling out from where the wingman had him stashed, starts dropping 'amazing' bombs like a B-52, and then hands out some flowers.

1) Molly the Bland--Meh.

2) Jillian the Canuck--Damn straight!

3) Melissa the cheerleader--Damn straight...I think.

Spoiler Alert!

Do I have a spoiler? No. Well, maybe yeah. I've been doing my best to ignore my fellow blogger Reality Steve but I don't think it can be avoided anymore. Steve's became as big as the show to people in fandom. You see, the sleuthers that I used to be one of, have had this season tagged and bagged from the get go. Even though I don't sleuth anymore I do look at their work and to this point in the season, it's not been just good, but flawless. They have the girls exits matched out to a "T" at this point and the screencaps they study all forecast the same ending: f3--Jillian, f2--Molly, f1--Melissa. (If you didn't want to be spoiled, don't read that last sentence). But 'spoiled' may have taken on a new meaning this year. Steve is hinting that something big is up. He hasn't said that the f1 is wrong but he's predicting a mighty shocker at the end. I have no idea what he's got up his sleeve but I do know this: Steve is a heavyweight. He's blogged about this crap for years. I have no idea what he has but expect something pretty good. I make it a point never to read him (or Chancelucky or Lincee) or any of my fellow bloggers until mine is finished so I don't accidentally 'lift' their wit. So, I'm heading to Steve to see what the new clue is, just keep in mind, we might all be wrong. Makes it fun, doesn't it?

Next week: New Zealand. See ya then!

Monday, February 2, 2009

2/2--You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

Just damn. All these seasons of the Bachelor, all the columns I've wrote and Fleiss has suddenly become the next Bert Blyleven; the curve balls are flying at us like a hail storm. An entire two hour episode without one catfight, one private interview where one Bachelorette referred to another as a "bitch" or made one of those famous Bachelor statements like, "I'm not here to make friends"? As a matter of fact, there was no drama, no signs of anyone needing mental counseling and no one appeared even slightly tipsy, let alone drunk. What the hell is going on here? But there was (dare I say it) plenty of suspense, private dates that appeared nearly organic, and lots of serious-sounding talks. Has Fleiss lost his mind? The tears appeared genuine and heartfelt and the five remaining women Jason took to Seattle acted like a close-knit sorority instead of the vicious would-be-wives club we always see. Some may complain this makes for boring TV, but this is the kind of Bachelor I've been arguing for for years. It actually looked like a dating show instead of the usual Soap Opera. Now this might make for an attempt at true love and for this the audience may be happy, but it sure sucks for blogging. How the hell am I supposed to make this shit funny? Jason has women falling around him in tears and I'm reduced to making fun of Jillian the Canuck and her Canadian accent? Sucks to be me.

The episode opens with the wingman lining the women up for an intel-briefing like always but then the guy starts pimping for Jason again. What the hell has gotten into Mr. Leprechaun all of a sudden? Every time I turn around this guy is acting like a...well, a wingman! And it gets worse by the end of night, But for now, he settles for asking them all to pity Jason before he informs them that this week there will be 2, one-on-one dates, 2 group dates, and zero roses. But before they can even ponder what this all means and why Harrison is acting so damn weird, he tells them it's off to Seattle to be wined and dined by Jason in his hometown. The first Fleiss-curve ball of the night--more to come.

Beautiful, sunny Seattle

The Seattle portion opens with Jason getting his reunion with his son and they do their run and hug but Jason manages not to roll all over the ground in ecstasy. Quick as a flash we're at the hotel and the girls are arriving. They all stampede Jason and he leads them up into a swank hotel and deposits them in a sweet suite before he tells them that Melissa the cheerleader will be getting the first one on one. He hauls ass and she gets ready for the date. The other girls are a little bummed, especially Naomi the Spicy, who hasn't had a 1 on 1 yet. But stiff upper lip is the order of the day and she soldiers through the disappointment and her and her sister-ettes all crowd around the table waiting with Melissa. Time for Jason to arrive comes and goes while Mel sits there cooling her well-dressed heels and she starts to act like she's afraid she's been stood up. "Has he forgotten me?" Thank god, some Bachelor-normal stupidity! (There will be scarce amounts of it this night). Yeah, he's forgotten you, Melissa. The camera crew, make-up and wardrobe people, and producers in his house forgot to remind him. A cutaway shows Jason and Ty rummaging around his bedroom and the little Mesnick don't want the big Mesnick going out to play hide the sausage with the cheerleader. After a bunch of whining and complaining from Ty, who clearly wants dad at home, Jason picks up the blower and calls Melissa. The ads made it look like he blew her off entirely but instead he invites her over for a quiet night at home in his house. Melissa, instead of threatening to wring his neck like a real girlfriend would for waiting an hour after he was supposed to pick her up to call, giggles and happily accepts. The other girls get attacks of nerves that Melissa is going to be under the same roof with Jason and his sanctified son, and do what the women will do for the rest of the night: they sit and share like it's a Dr. Phil therapy session. Although all voice fears Melissa will get to see Ty, they all stay respectful and not one of them damn Melissa to Satan's pit like we usually see. Either it was all edited out or maybe they don't like Jason all that much. (Maybe they finally found some mature, sane women for this show? Nah!) Melissa shows up at Jason's house or houseboat or whatever the hell it is, and I see Jason has moved his brother Larry, whom he lives with, out. Shame. If Jason really wanted Melissa to get a dose of what living with him would be like he should have left the remnants of Larry's toenail clippings on the coffee table like real guys do.

Melissa arrives and seeing the mess Jason and Ty managed to make in the few short hours since Jason's been home, claims it must have been "a guy's day." No, Melissa. I know you're practically a virgin and all but if it had been a guys day, there would have been three feet of dirty clothes on the floor and the place would've smelled like beer vomit. This is called a dad and his kid on their very best behavior day because Jason knew you were coming. Obediently, Melissa cleans it up...unlike a real girlfriend. She also pours a couple of glasses of whatever non-alcoholic beverage Fleiss has them all on this week and waits on the couch in her cocktail dress while Jason reads Ty a story. Jason then comes downstairs and Melissa finally gets out of her dress once Jason has seen her in it and switches to "stretchy pants" that look remarkably like shorts. She then tells Jason about her family and says she's "the black sheep". Of what, perkiness? Black sheep? Yeah, that Melissa, selling crack at Cowboys games and dating two guys in her entire life. Ho. Jason looks as flummoxed at that announcement as I do but he rings her up anyway and they do some serious making out. He also lets her creep up to Ty's room to see the sleeping tot. They also kiss a bunch more and Melissa smiles like only she can and shows off those enormous bathroom tiles of hers she calls teeth.

Group Date: House-BOOTS and radio silliness

Jason takes his 3 group date groupies out on a houseboat so I can make fun of Jillian the Canucks Canadian accent--"Look, it's a house-BOOT!"--had to get that in since it's all I got. Catwoman Stephanie, dressed in some beaver pelt vest like she just escaped from Ted Nugent's hunting cabin, gets some special quality time that ain't too special. They talk about guess what?! Her daughter. Yeah, no shit. She's the only one of the five he doesn't mouth-rape either. (Guess what that means?) They generate about as much heat as Donny and Marie and the friend-vibe practically shakes the boat apart. A cutaway shows Molly the Bland and Jillian talking about dealing with jealousy and once again they sound like adults and not pissed off teenagers like normal. (Shakes head). Jason then hauls them to some radio station and takes his public romance even more public. The guy and gal DJ's take Jason into the booth and lock his mini-harem outside. Little did they know, the producers made damn sure Melissa and Naomi, still sitting at the hotel have the radio on so we can see some rolling eyes and tightened expressions at his revelations.
The DJ's grill him about "Who's the best kisser" and like an idiot he answers them:
Melissa, whose tonsils are still sore from his tongue, looks like she's gonna have a cardiac and her and Naomi share horrified looks and embrace. They do that a lot.
They then ask him "which date has been the most fun?"
Jason, who refused to dodge the last question like anyone with a room temperature I.Q. would have, jumps all over this softball with some pablum. He says it was the Lego date with Stephanie and her daughter. I get one of the few chances of the evening to retch.

The DJ's then bring the women in so they can blindfold Jason and make them all kiss him to see if he can tell who's who. They blindfold him with that notoriously impossible to see-thru mask, a pink boa. Snort. One by one the women all come up and kiss him silently. Stephanie only gives him a tiny peck but it's enough for me to hear the banjo music from Deliverance in the background. Brother-sister smooching is creepy no matter the venue and should be against the law with a pink boa anywhere close by. The DJ's then ask him to I.D. the girls, and Jason, seemingly oblivious to the fact he's on the radio, points at them. Lovely. I get the feeling these two radio jocks have a small audience today...namely Melissa and Naomi. Moving on. Jason takes all three women back to the hotel. Jillian gets the first private time and Jason hauls her into another room and they have a serious talk. Jason wants to know what's changed and Jillian, (another Fleiss curveball) admits she came on the show just for adventure and fun and all of this has surprised her. Jason doesn't bash her for it and rings her up for good measure. The shoe's now on the other foot as Jason starts acting all worried that the women don't have feelings for him. He questions her about having expectations that are "too high." Sounds like Mr. HGH has just figured out that he's shopping way outside his normal league here and he'd be right. Molly goes for a walk with Jason next and goes on and on about her family needing to "approve of the guy." The Bland one finally manages to sound twenty-four with this one. As soon as he marries your dad you can worry about that, Moll. Until then you better make damn sure you can stomach the guy. It's impossible, as a man, to watch this show and not rate the women as if you were in the Bachelor's shoes, and Molly is by far my least favorite of the remaining women, but even she comes across as likable on this weird night.

Naomi and one-on-one at last

Back at the hotel, the card for Naomi's date arrives and Melissa has a mild spark of jealousy. In a private interview, Naomi comes close to the catty edge by saying, "Mel's jealous," but then blows that by adding fairly, "I probably would be too in her shoes." Jesus. The next morning Jason meets the Spicy One for a seaplane ride but dresses like he's going moose hunting. Hey, Jason, it's Naomi, not Jillian. Anyway, they go for a plane ride and I'm expecting disaster to strike. Everything's been so hunky dory all night I'm certain the plane will crash but the flight goes smooth and he takes her rock climbing at a sporting goods store. Surely now, Naomi will screw up. She'll say something dumb or conceited or break out in some weirdness all of a sudden. Negative...on all counts. Her and Jason climb a rock wall and appear to have a great time. He then hauls her over to some fireplace area where they make out like Romeo and Juliet and have a deep talk. Naomi, finally allowed by the god-Fleiss to string more than five words together sounds a lot more intelligent and thoughtful than I was expecting. She talks about her family and a rocky relationship with her mom, who did a runner when Naomi was a teen. This scares Jason but he kisses her more than all the rest of the women combined and I'm ready to throw my hands up.

Jason arrives at the portable harem tent the next morning unannounced and hauls Jillian the Canuck down to a coffee shop to grill her about her intentions and just how much she is into him. Another Fleiss-bender. Bachelor's are supposed to be impervious gods, fearless in their quest for love and absolutely certain that any woman on the show will bow down to him if only he'll have her. Hahaha. Jason sounds like the local nerd trying to woo the prom queen. Jillian seems sincere but in a private interview Jason says he can't risk getting a broken heart like last time and fears Jillian is the one who can do it to him. The girls club meets in a bubble bath to compare insecurities and keep on bonding. The spinning in my head grows worse.

Rose Ceremony...with one or ten delays

Jason is seen dressing and the doorbell rings and I'm expecting some sickly sweet Ty-interlude but in marches the wingman looking to pow wow before the big moment. Time out! Or as Jillian would say, "Time OOOT!" WTF is this about?! Strike three and I'm out! Can't hit the deuce when you're not expecting it. Chris Harrison, who's hosted this shitfest for sixteen seasons has never done anything but provide hyperbolic voice overs, walked contestants to their doom, and counted roses, is now Jason's main man when the heat is on? Hey, Fleiss, I think you need to do a piss test on Harrison; he's been sniffing glue or something. Harrison barges into Jason's house-homeboat or whatever the f*ck it is and starts a therapy session with him. My jaw hits the floor. Jason, as it turns out, is completely confused and the wingman edges in close and guards his six. Good god, I've got a migraine!

Harrison finally puts me out of my misery and leaves, but when he arrives at the house he lines the women up and basically tells them they better be nice to Jason. OMG. Anyway, out comes the Bachelor looking like he's gonna have a cigar and listen to Vivaldi in his smoking jacket--Harrison, will you get this guys a decent suit! Grrr. Anyway Jason staggers out and then stops the whole thing and hauls Naomi the Spicy away for a talk. They vanish and Molly the Bland mumbles, "It's gonna' be me." and the other woman, instead of smirking and cackling at her, all close in to assure her it's not the case. My eyes flutter and I'm near passing out as the four remaining sisters all reassure one another. Jason gets Naomi alone and asks her if his life is something she can deal with? She reassures him and Catwoman Stephanie hovers near the edge of the Bachelor-abyss.

Jason lines 'em back up and finally gets on with it:

1) Jillian the Canuck--How a-BOOT that!

2) Melissa the Cheerleader--Still the overwhelming favorite and if not for the damn leaks this one would have been shaping up into a real barn-burner.

3) Molly the Bland--ok.

Enter wingman. "Ladies this is the last rose of the evening. Get 'em, Maverick!"

Jason drags this one out and then:

4) Naomi the Spicy--this weeks make-out queen gets the last flower, but before she can get back to her spot and join hands with Stephanie all the women in the camera shot are already crying. Jason then insists on announcing how wonderfully-awesomely-stupendous-Stephanie is. She hugs all four women and then displaying formidable class tells them "which ever of you who is the lucky women make this wonderful man a great wife!"

Jason walks her out but before they can clear the room Naomi falls apart completely and Melissa has to catch her before she collapses on the floor in a torrent of tears. Molly and Jillian, both crying their eyes out, join the group-hug like Jason kneecapped Stephanie instead of dumping her. Jason leads the classy one out and they talk briefly before he puts her in the limo while a voice-over tells us he'd love to be friends with Stephanie for the rest of her life. Friends. Yep, and you knew it too, Jason. Why didn't you send her home last week? Now you've torn yourself, Stephanie, and the remaining four women all to hell for nothing. Think it would have hurt that bad to dump Nikki? Dumb move, Jason, very dumb.

Next week: Hometown time.

Now let's all go read Reality Steve and find out what the hell actually happened.