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Bachelorette Des, Ep. 4, on Previously.TV

Here it is, in all its glory.

Bachelorette Des, Ep. 3, on Previously.TV

Here’s the latest piece up on Previously.TV. Enjoy!

Bachelorette Desiree coverage on Previously.TV

Hello, Bach(ette) fans! I’ll be covering this season’s fresh horrors for Previously.TV, an awesome new site about last night’s TV. Here’s my piece on Monday’s season premiere. Two words: FAIRY TALE. Enjoy.

The Bachelorette FINALE!!!

Ugh, you guys, I just got back from a mini-moon to Quebec City with my husband and it was wonderful and lovely and romantic until we had to go through the world’s slowest customs process at the world’s stupidest, slowest, dumbest, worst airport, Dulles. Anyway – we are *finally* back now and I’m starting to blog the Bachelorette an hour late but dammit, it’s gonna get done.  It’s the finale, y’all!!!!

Here we go!

JWOF comes to greet Emily bearing flowers and a freshly combed faux-hawk.  Time to meet Emily’s family! JWOF has a boring, pleasant conversation with them. All in all, Emily’s mom seems pretty on board with her daughter eventually having a lesbian commitment ceremony with him, but Emily’s brother seems skeptical — but may I make a prediction? He will be won over within approximately 5 minutes. Let’s see what happens. [1 minute passes]. Aaand Emily’s brother approves.  Then Emily’s dad is won over within 30 seconds. This is going very smoothly, isn’t it?

Arie’s turn!  I predict that the family won’t be as bowled over by Arie as Emily has been, probably because they won’t get to make out with him.  Immediately, Emily’s  dad is skeptical about how he’ll feel about Arie, given how much he liked JWOF.  Arie sure has some big Birkenstocks to fill.  And right off the bat, things are awk between Arie and the fam.  Arie makes some lame jokes and exactly no one is impressed, including Emily. Her mom wants to make sure Arie is “in it for the right reasons,” unlike a certain other person, who shall go nameless, but whose name rhymes with Machelor Mrad Momack.  I guess they are convinced, and the family grudgingly accepts Arie by the end of the day.  Arie asks Emily’s dad’s blessing and, after a dramatic and rather misleading pause, he grants it.

Emily asks her family for guidance because she is “confused” and doesn’t know who to pick. Which I don’t really buy, by the way, do you? I mean, like she *really* doesn’t know which of these dipshits she likes better at this point?  Emily tells her family that “you can love two people in different ways at the same time.” Emily is frustrated and wants her family to tell her one way or the other who she should pick, but all her mom can tell her is that she should wait to get engaged. Wait, what? She should wait to get engaged to someone she doesn’t really know that well? Does. Not. Compute.

JWOF and Emily have some alone-time and I am sort of going back and forth between this and pinning pictures of puppies and crockpot meals on Pinterest, because this is pretty boring, but the gist is that JWOF wants to meet Lil’ Ricki and Emily is unsure. JWOF says, “You know how I feel about Ricki, and kids,” but Emily seems unconvinced.  JWOF seems bummed.  Sad music plays.  Finally, JWOF succeeds in guilting Emily into introducing him to Lil’ Ricki.  Happy music plays! They go to the resort to meet Ricki, who seems weirded out at first (“Who’s this strange lady, Mom?”) but then warms up to him.  Poor Lil’ Ricki.  She’s met so many random men from TV at this point. Let’s hope this one sticks.  JWOF, predictably, is really good with kids, and waxes just a little *too* effusive about Ricki, calling her “the most beautiful little six year old.” I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant that in a non-creepy, dad-like way.

Later, JWOF and Emily go to dinner and JWOF gives her a book about Curacao. Wait, is this a Blakely-style scrapbook?? Please let it be a Blakely-style scrapbook.  Actually, no, it’s just a regular book about Curacao with some stick figure drawings done by JWOF on some of the pages.  It’s actually pretty cute. Dammit, JWOF, stop making me like you!

Okay, time for Arie’s final date.   But wait!  First Emily has a sit-down chat with Chris Harrison and tells him that she knows that JWOF is the one. Whoa, mama.  Chris Harrison points out that Emily now has to go tell Arie buh-bye and she gets all teary.

Meanwhile, poor, unwitting Arie shows up to his date and says that he and Emily are “perfectly in love with each other.” Cringe.  As he waits for Emily to show up, some nice lady shows Arie how to make a love potion using flowers and herbs. Guess she didn’t get the memo that Emily’s about to dump his ass.   Emily lets Arie put some of the love potion on her arms before finally asking him to “sit down and talk.” Ugh, nervous!  Emily starts bawling and Arie keeps asking her what the matter is, and finally she says, “I don’t know what do do. I don’t know what to say.” At this point, my husband gets up and leaves the room because he can’t take the awkwardness anymore.  It IS bad.  Emily weeps her way through a clumsy breakup with him, telling him she thought it was going to be her and him in the end but now she’s not so sure.  Yeesh.  Now Arie’s crying. This is painful, yo.

Finally, Arie gives her a kiss on the head and gets up to leave.  He kinda bitchily tells her “good luck,” and gets a little angry. Fair enough.  He says, “Thank you for sparing me the embarrassment of tomorrow. I appreciate that.” Eek.  This is so awk, you guys!  Emily walks him out and cries the whole time.  I think she wants Arie to feel bad for her, but she’s the one who just broke up with him, so… no dice, Em.  Arie gets in his pensive SUV and says he feels “stupid and naive” for believing he had a future with Emily.  He sheds some man tears and proves that he is, in fact, a pretty crier, as we long suspected.

K, so that’s done.  Bring on the proposal, JWOF! Oh, wait, we need to hear what Ashley Hebert thinks about all of this.  Blah, I don’t care. I am actually just gonna fast-forward over all this jazz.  Oh, hang on, JWOF has to have the traditional sit-down with Neil Lane to pick out an engagement ring for Emily.  He settles on a big, square number that puts me in mind of Kim Kardashian’s ugly ring, except less ugly, and about 15 carats smaller.


As she prepares for the day, Emily lets us know that she’s not sure she is ready to get engaged, but doesn’t want to reject JWOF, and blah blah blah.  Enough flip-flopping already, Emily.  Who are you, Mitt Romney?  [Rim shot]

Okay, the proposal show’s finally on the road, and JWOF is standing in front of Emily on a podium, and she’s telling him he’s her soul mate.  JWOF starts tearing up and it’s kinda cute.  He gives her a pretty adorable speech about how grateful he is to be with her and stuff. Soaring music plays.  Finally, JWOF gets down on one knee and asks Emily to marry him and she says… YES.

As if that weren’t enough, to top off what shaped up to be a pretty awesome finale, the episode ends with a clip montage of Emily’s and JWOF’s relationship highlights set to Peter Cetera singing “Glory of Love,” which is incredible, maybe even better than when Jeffrey Osborne serenaded Vienna and Jake with “On the Wings of Love.”  Wow.

And that’s all she (me) wrote, guys.  I am not gonna live blog ATFR because, you know, I don’t want to. But I will be watching it.  Thanks for joining me on this incredible JOURNEY, guys.  See you on the next Bachelor season!! Arie 2013?

The Bachelorette Enters the Fantasy Suite

Big episode of the Bachelorette tonight, guys. Dolphins! Fantasy Suites! Helicopters! Tears! I can’t wait!

The gang is in Curacao this week and I am super envious, because I’ve wanted to go there ever since I read The Cay in fifth grade, even though I guess technically that book took place on a cay near Curacao and not on Curacao itself. And technically, the main character was actually escaping Curacao, which is how he ended up on the cay in the first place. But whatever.

Okay, so as I was writing all that about Curacao, I have not been listening at all to Emily summarizing all of her “relationships” with the three remaining men.  And since I already missed her whole description of her “connection” with Sean, I might as well fast-forward over her boring recaps of Arie and Jef with One Eff (JWOF), too.

K, now we’re looking at Emily sitting by herself on a rock, staring wistfully out to sea.  She tells us how she wants a “fairy tale ending” as she writes “Emily + ?” in the sand, and then watches as the tide washes away the “+ ?”.  Shit’s getting deep over here.

Emily’s first date is with Sean, who shows up wearing a deep, DEEP V-neck tee-shirt.  He’s pulling out all the stops now! Maybe he’s hoping the sight of his exposed clavicle will awaken some long-dormant passion in Emily. Emily, meanwhile, points out that Sean hasn’t said “I love you” to her, so she can’t let herself “go there” yet. But she dutifully climbs into the helicopter nonetheless so that she and Sean can take their obligatory helicopter ride around the island as soaring music plays.  Oh and guess what, guys?? They’re going to their own “private island.” Because that’s never been done before on this show! I mean, not since last season, anyway!

They set out a blanket and sit by the water and discuss Emily’s visit with Sean’s family, who apparently told Emily that Sean had treated his ex-girlfriends like “buddies.” Sean admits that this is true, that he wasn’t the most affectionate boyfriend to his ex, but it was only because he wasn’t in love with her. This is not reassuring, Sean. Emily keeps on grilling him about why he is so “detached” in relationships and he tries to convince her that he’s affectionate. But he still can’t say those three little words that she so obviously wants to hear, even though she doesn’t seem that into him. Some little alert light in Sean’s brain is flashing, telling him to do something, anything, but there is a circuit misfire and instead he says, “Um, I forgot what I was gonna say.” Smooth. Emily is clearly not impressed with Sean’s hemming and hawing. In fact, she seems positively underwhelmed by the whole date, even when Sean takes off his shirt.

They snorkel a bit and then go to dinner on the beach. Emily tells Sean she thinks he’s the “perfect man.” When he says he’s not actually perfect, she asks what’s “not perfect” about him. If I were playing a drinking game where you had to drink every time someone said perfect, I’d be deep into alcohol poisoning at this point (assuming I had already been drinking heavily before this scene started). Emily keeps trying to wheedle an “I love you” out of Sean, to no avail.  The best he can do is to reassure her that he won’t get distracted by anyone else. Which I guess is meant to allay Emily’s fears about Sean and Arie running off together? He also tells her that she shouldn’t worry about how he’d fit into her life, and she snaps, “it’s not just me, it’s Ricki and I.” I think she means Ricki and me, but okay, point taken, she’s had it with this guy. He says he’s “ready for that” and he wants to be a “soccer dad.” Blech.

Uh oh, Sean wrote Ricki a letter. Oh, no, and he’s reading it aloud to Emily. It’s too painful to summarize but suffice it to say it uses the words “shower” “God” and “overwhelm.”  Emily thanks Sean and says he “represents what… everybody looks for in a husband and a dad.” Which I think is her way of telling him he’ll be fine after she dumps him on TV.  Sean responds by telling her that he can’t “picture [his] life without” her. Huh. Maybe try picturing your life three weeks ago?

Finally, at the end of this painful conversation, Sean FINALLY tells Emily he has fallen in love with her and they share this awkward, passionless kiss during which neither of them move their heads or mouths but he kneads her thigh with three fingers.  MAKE IT STOP.

After the kiss mercifully sputters to an end, Emily gives Sean a Fantasy Suite card and he accepts. Then, as these contestants are wont to do, Sean makes a ridiculously misguided remark about relationships: “I’m really excited to spend time with her, no distractions, because this is how it’s going to be for the rest of our lives.” Have these people ever not lived on a reality show? What he just said is the exact opposite of how things are going to be for the rest of their lives. No distractions? She has a SIX YEAR OLD, you dingbat!

In the Fantasy Suite, Sean and Emily sit in a hot-tub and make out to break the silence.  Emily says “every fiber” in her body is telling her to let Sean stay the night, but her gut is telling her to call it a night.  Apparently her gut (which is not made of fibers?) wins and she sends Sean packing because she doesn’t want to set a bad example for her daughter. Which I respect, except remember when she accepted Brad’s Fantasy Suite invitation and spent the night and had sex with him and that was televised? Oops. Let’s hope Lil’ Ricki never discovers the internet.

Now it’s JWOF’s turn. He admits there are “some obstacles” left, such as the two other men Emily’s also dating. JWOF and Emily board a boat and rehash Emily’s visit to Utah.  JWOF tells Emily that his family “approves” of her. [Unstated subtext: as long as she converts to Mormonism]. JWOF asks Emily if she thinks he’d be a good parent and she says yes because he’s “fun.” Right, number one criteria for being a good parent. Funness. Which is why drunk people make fantastic parents!

Next, JWOF makes an overwrought metaphor about his relationship with Emily being a “painting” and a “masterpiece” and ugh, come on, JWOF.

They jump into the water a bunch of different times for their obligatory making-out-in-body-of-water shots. Then they get back on the boat and make out some more. See photographic evidence below.

Later, Emily and JWOF go to dinner and he peppers her with questions. He asks her where she’d want to live, and she answers she loves the idea of starting “a whole new life” somewhere else (as long as it’s not Salt Lake City). JWOF says he also wants a “fresh start.” Then he asks her why her past relationships haven’t worked out. Emily says, and I quote: “if you don’t have that unspoken, like, I don’t know, you know what I’m saying?” Yeah, that.

Emily tells JWOF he is perfect on paper but also has qualities that can’t be put on paper, like the physics involved with getting his hair to stay like that, I guess?  They keep telling each other how much they like each other, and making out, and then JWOF asks her whether he is a “good fit” to be Ricki’s stepdad, and whether she can “pitcher” him being a part of Ricki’s life. Emily gives him a long-winded answer that amounts to: yes, she can pitcher it. And honestly, the way these two are talking to each other, I think JWOF is gonna win this thing, despite his stupid pronunciation of the word “picture.”

At the end of dinner, Emily gives JWOF a Fantasy Suite card and he says that “it would be awesome” to have a sleepover, but out of respect for their families, they shouldn’t do it. Oh, whoa. Mind kinda blown right now. Did someone just — gasp! — turn down the FANTASY SUITE?? Emily says she is “thankful that [he] responded that way.” What?? What is happening right now??

Instead of engaging in the dead-eyed, loveless, hot-tub-stinking sex that ensues in the Fantasy Suite, JWOF and Emily decide to use their Fantasy Suite to just hang out. JWOF puts some Indigo Girls on the stereo and they just lie there and talk about their dreams, you know?

Time for Arie’s date. Five seconds into the date and they’re already playing tongue hockey, these crazy kids! They take a  quick break from licking each other’s tonsils to swim with the dolphins, which reminds me of my husband’s favorite New Yorker cartoon ever, by Paul Noth:


Emily is kinda freaked out by the dolphins, which I feel. Let’s be real, dolphins are freaky. They’re smarter than we are, they have sonar, and they weigh like 600 pounds. Arie bravely protects Emily from the murderous dolphins, which proves to her that he would be “a great dad.” Again, I am sort of questioning Emily’s criteria of what makes a great dad. So far, we know that the guy has to be fun and have good dolphin evasion skills.

Meanwhile, Emily says she needs to figure out if there’s more to her relationship with Arie than just chemistry. (Answer: no.) She asks Arie what he does on a typical Tuesday morning and he says when he’s in town and not racing, he gets up at 9 am. Ruh-roh, guys, Emily gets up at 6 am. He also says he eats out almost every meal. Emily sips her wine disapprovingly.

Arie asks Emily where she “pitchers” them living. (Side note: have these people ever seen the word “picture” written out? I am guessing no). Emily answers that she’d move to Scottsdale with him but she has to do what’s best for Ricki. Arie asks what she’s looking for in terms of a “father figure” for Ricki, and she says she just wants someone to love her kid. Arie responds that relationship has to build slowly. Wow, what a sensible conversation. This is weird.

Aaand cue more making out. In a voiceover, Emily says that “as a role model and as a mother,” she can’t give Arie a Fantasy Suite card because she doesn’t trust herself with Arie. Dang.

Emily has some tough decisions to make now. She puts on a sparkly skirt, reminiscent of a mermaid’s tail, and goes to meet Chris Harrison for a fireside chat. The gist of the conversation is that Emily is confused but she has followed her heart. Huh?

Chris Harrison then tells Emily that they’ve added in a new feature to the show in which each guy leaves Emily a “personalized video message” in which they try to emotionally manipulate her into picking them. Oh, boy!

In Sean’s video, he says he came in to this process “so cynical.” I think he doesn’t understand what cynical means. He says he looks forward to being a father to her “dotter” (these people and their diction, cripes) and living the rest of their lives in “pure happiness.” Emily watches this message stone-faced. When JWOF comes on and tells her a bunch of mooshy (but pretty sweet) stuff, she looks like she’s trying not to smile, but she also wipes away a tear. Arie, who is clearly reading from cue cards about his feelings for her, provokes even more tears. She cries about how she feels bad about hurting someone and blah blah, who cares, get to the rose ceremony already. I fast forward over the part where Emily peruses the guys’ photos and I land on Chris Harrison giving the men a somber speech about how one of them will be going home tonight. We know, Chris Harrison.

Finally, Emily emerges. She tells the guys she cares about them and is “sorry.” Then she picks up the first rose, which goes to…


*Dramatic piano music.*

The next rose goes to… [Ugh, I’m actually nervous!]

*Dramatic piano and violin music*


Sean immediately tears up, because he actually thought he was going to marry this lady! Aw, bless. Chris Harrison emerges from his dungeon to tell Sean to say his goodbyes.  Sean exchanges thumpy man hugs with the other two and then Emily walks him out. They sit down on a bench and Emily sniffles and Sean rubs his hands together. Finally, he says “I’m not sure what to say.” Awkward silence. This is bad. Then, finally, he says, “I feel kinda stupid, because I knew with certainty that I was ready to spend forever with you, and I didn’t see this coming.” Ouch — the raw sincerity! Then Emily starts to bawl.

Sean tells her he’s gonna miss her more than she knows but she has to do what’s best for her. Hmm, he’s handling this pretty well. I was hoping for some immature lashing out, Chris Bukowski-style, but Sean’s letting me down by being a grown-up. A stupid grown-up, sure, but a grown-up nonetheless.

Emily packs Sean into his Pensive Limo and he cries and rubs his face. To his credit, he keeps his mouth shut and just looks pained. First rule of the Pensive Limo ride: always keep your mouth shut — stoic silence is ALWAYS the way to go. Oh, no, wait, now he’s talking. Ohhhh no. Here is what he says: “Honestly, when she walked out tonight, I thought, ‘that’s my wife.’ I knew that I was gonna marry her. It hurts. It hurts a lot more than I can probably describe.” Ugh, STOP, Sean. STOP. But he doesn’t stop. He goes on to say that he pitchered himself having a big family with Emily and now the “beautiful pitcher” of their life together is gone. Aw, it’s okay, Sean, you’ll meet someone on the Bachelor Pad.

Emily, meanwhile, sits in her mermaid skirt and sniffles loudly, trying to gather herself for her remaining two suitors.

And that’s it. Kinda anticlimactic, really.

But next week is the big week, guys. Get ready. Get so ready.

The Bachelorette Meets the Famil(ies)

Oh, guys, I have been looking forward to tonight’s B’ette for a whole week!  It’s time for Emily to go on “hometown dates” and meet the absurd families that produced JWOF, Sean, Arie, and Chris. As ever, there is so much potential for awkwardness and humiliation here. Most of all, I hope JWOF’s family tries to convert Emily to Mormonism.  And do we think any of the families will do that thing where they’re initially resistant and then come around 100% within 5 minutes and beg the Bachelorette to marry their child? Let’s find out!

First up is Chris, who is everybody’s least favorite. He is from Chicago, which makes me dislike Chicago a little bit for producing him.  Disappointing, Chicago.  Turns out Chris is a first-generation (half) Polish-American, so he takes Emily to a Polish restaurant.  They sit at the bar and have a very non-festive beer, punctuated with tense silences and sad conversations about Chris’s abysmal behavior from last week.

After the convo about what a whiny baby Chris is, Chris decides to prep Emily for meeting his fam. He tells Emily that his dad should be “pretty easy,” like Emily actually cares about impressing these people. Aw, bless.  Chris says that he’d be “devastated” if his family didn’t think Emily was right for him.  I feel like he should probably be more devastated that Emily doesn’t think Emily is right for him. Does he not realize that this is a total pity hometown date?

Chris’s dad, who looks SUPER Polish, gives a toast and his mother tells Emily how happy they are to have her there. Mom seems kinda drunk and eager to please.  Dad seems on board, too. He takes Emily for a chat and she asks him if Chris is ready to be a step-father to a six year old.  Dad says that Chris “loves kids,” so, QED, he will be able to take care of Ricki and Emily and be a great husband and father.  Dad also says that all it takes to raise a child is “love and support.” Pretty sure that’s not true. Then Dad asks Emily if she loves his kid and she says “absolutely,” with a fake smile.  I can’t imagine having to pretend to love some guy who I don’t love in front of his family. Can you imagine? Horrible.

Chris’s bottle-blonde sister Renee, who is wearing a denim shirt, a la J Lo in 1999, asks Emily what she loves about Chris. Emily gives some evasive answer that’s so vague I can’t even reproduce it here. Something about liking Chris’s personality or something? Renee says that if Chris isn’t going to be The One, Emily should cut him loose sooner rather than later. Fair enough.  I think Renee can read the writing on the wall here. The writing says: “Chris is not going to win.”

After dinner, Emily and Chris spend some alone time, and she gives him a close-mouthed kiss on the lips. Chris, meanwhile, tells her that she makes him feel “crazy good.” Emphasis on the crazy. Then he tells her that he’s in love with her and she makes a little “awww” noise, like she feels sorry for him. I feel like we all kinda feel sorry for him. Emily’s like, his first girlfriend. And she’s gonna break his heart, as first girlfriends are wont to do.  One second after E and C share a lackluster kiss, Chris’s back porch becomes some sort of Polish dance party. These peeps seem to be taking a page out of Constantine’s family’s book, what with the ethnic dancing and the forced festiveness. Too little, too late, Chris.  Also, too many accordions.

Next up is JWOF.  Emily comes to meet him on a ranch, which is pretty impressive. JWOF bundles Emily in to some weird ATV and they proceed to go on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  Next, they shoot clay pigeons.  JWOF is pretty good at shooting and Emily is impressed with his skillz. Then Emily tries and she is also good — oh, hey, turns out she already knows how to shoot. Kinda weird that she pretended not to know how. Is that in The Rules? Always pretend not to know how to shoot a gun?

Emily is nervous to meet JWOF’s family. Who can blame her? She has to meet a horde of JWOF’s relatives, all of whom look like they could crank out a good Mormon housewife blog post or two.  They all sit down to a picnic and toast with lemonade.  BTW, why isn’t there any direct acknowledgement that they’re Mormon? I feel like that’s a pretty critical conversation to have, especially if JWOF’s thinking about marrying Emily, but no one ever mentions it.  It’s like everyone’s politely pretending that it’s just a coincidence that JWOF has a million siblings, none of whom drink, and all of whom are attractive and live in Utah.

Emily chats with JWOF’s brother Steve (who I will hereafter refer to as Stev) and three of JWOF’s pretty, smiling sisters, one of whom is wearing a DENIM SHIRT. Is this a thing now? Denim shirts? Really?

Emily asks the sisters if JWOF is ready to have a six-year-old. They say that he wants a family and if he mets the right girl, he’ll be ready to settle down. Hm.  The sisters ask Emily if she’s falling in love with their brother and she says yes but she also says she doesn’t like to throw that word around. Wow, everyone’s being kinda cagey here.

In the end, JWOF’s sisters decide they like Emily, especially after she proves that she’s good with kids.  Meanwhile, JWOF’s brothers seem less convinced.  JWOF, however, is really REALLY on board.  He takes Emily aside and reads her a letter he wrote her on the plane back from Prague. He tells her how deeply in love with her he is, and I am kinda weirded out by this.  Every single season of the Bachelor(ette), I always marvel at how thoroughly and sincerely some of the contestants convince themselves that they are not just in love but are FATED to marry the lead. It’s like some weird, sad version of Stockholm syndrome.  JWOF comes from what seems like a nice family and owns his own business and seems to have a good, bouffanted head on his shoulders – so how has he come to the conclusion that he is “meant to” marry and reproduce with this rando from TV who was already engaged to another rando from TV and who is also dating three other guys simultaneously? It’s a head scratcher.

Time for Arie’s hometown date, which begins at a racetrack in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Arie drives up in an IndyCar, whatever the hell that is. Apparently an IndyCar is a different thing than a NASCAR? Who knew! Emily jumps into the race-car with Arie and he takes her for a spin around the track. I am pretty sure I would not enjoy this at all, because it seems terrifying, but Emily is braver than I.

Afterwards, Emily and Arie sit on a blanket in the grass and Arie tries to warn Emily that his parents are super European. He should probably specify that they’re super Dutch. In the interest of not creating an international incident, I will leave it at that.

Arie leads Emily into his parents’ Mediterranean style mansion and a lot of Dutch people stand up to greet them. Arie’s mom, Mieke, is glamorous and blonde and wears a tube top with her bra straps sticking out.  Arie’s dad looks like sort of a wilted, older Arie.  Arie’s brothers are handsome and non-descript. They sit down for drinks and after a few minutes, Mieke starts speaking in Dutch about Emily, who looks really uncomfortable.  Actually, I can empathize here.  Sometimes my in-laws speak Canadian in front of me, and it’s always awkward. They know I don’t speak it.

Mieke takes Emily aside for a chat and she lets her know that she watched Emily on the Bachelor with Brad. She asks Emily point-blank what happened to her relationship with Brad. That’s called Dutch subtlety. Emily gives some generic response and she and Mieke chat a bit more. Emily seems to be softening Mieke up.  She asks Mieke if Arie could balance the travel involved with being a race-car driver with being a step-dad, and Arie’s mom says it could work.  By the end of the convo, Mieke is completely won over by Emily’s charms – what a surprise.

Guess what Arie says at the end of the night? That “today was a huge step in Emily and I’s relationship.” Aaaand the night is ruined for me.

Sean’s up next. Here is my prediction for what his “big secret” is (notice time stamp). Let’s see if I’m right!

We’re in Dallas, Sean’s hometown.  Sean shows up to meet Emily in a figure-flattering striped shirt. He also brings along his two dogs.  Emily asks Sean how many girls he has introduced to his parents, and he says he’s only had one serious relationship, with “the sweetest girl,” but he just “couldn’t really reciprocate.” This is straight up virgin talk.  He says he promised he’d never “allow a girl to give herself to [him] unless [he] can reciprocate” and “love her for eternity.” VIRGIN TALK RED ALERT. Not just virgin talk, but weird, Evangelical virgin talk, amirite?

Emily and Sean go to meet Sean’s family, who are all very, VERY white and have names like Jay, Shea, Smith, and Kensington. I am not sure if the little girl or the little boy is Kensington, but it doesn’t matter. Emily says this is “the world’s most perfect family.” I think someone would agree with that… and his name is ADOLF HITLER.

Sean reveals his “big secret” to Emily, which is that… he lives with his family. Oh, noooos! Then he takes Emily into his room and it’s disgusting, with crumbs and stuffed animals strewn about. This has to be a prank, right? There’s no way.

And yes, turns out, Sean punked her – he doesn’t live at home after all. Good one, Sean (not).

So what is his big secret? Is he not a virgin? I feel like he definitely is and he’s just saving that fun tidbit for the Fantasy Suite.

Sean tells his dad, who reminds me of Dana Carvey, that he normally doesn’t “give [him]self” to girls (again with the “giving himself” talk!) but Emily has changed all that.  Sean’s dad sits down with Emily and asks her when she felt the “first connection” with his son. She sidesteps the question but Sean’s dad takes no mind and tells Emily that Sean has talked more about Emily than he’s ever talked about any other girl. Yeesh.

Sean finally bids Emily goodbye and then, a second later, runs after her car to give her another kiss. K, Sean, I think you’re allowed to play the “running after Emily for a kiss” card once. Not twice. You’re done.

Time for the rose ceremony! Emily pores over the guys’ photos, because she forgot what some of them looked like, and then makes her decision. She tells the guys this decision was hard because there wasn’t an obvious choice, although that is a lie, because come on, hello, Chris?? Anyway. Arie gets the first rose (which surprises me, because I thought JWOF had this one in the bag), JWOF gets the second rose, and Sean gets the third rose.

Chris looks devastated/incensed and makes some weird, ragey faces.  Emily tries to walk him out and he kinda jerks his arm away from her. Oof.  They go sit on a bench and he asks — nay, demands — an explanation from her. Their dialogue:

Chris: Well, do you have an explanation?

Emily: No, I don’t have an explanation.

Chris: So it was me.

Emily: No, it wasn’t you, I —

Chris: So what was it?

Emily:  … So many more of my relationships grew so much faster and deeper.

Chris: I don’t understand. How much faster could it possibly move? I told you I loved you. [<– said with undisguised bile]

Yeah, so Chris acts like a grade-A dick, thus proving that Emily made the right choice in sending him packing.  In his pensive limo ride, he says that “everything seemed like it was perfect” and that he was in love and thought Emily loved him too. Whatever. I am having trouble rousing any sympathy for this guy — what a doofus.

Next week, Emily takes the final three to Curacao, where they swim with dolphins and all of the men tell her that they’re in love with her. Meh. See you then!

The Bachelorette Lays the Smack Down

Hi hi! I’m watching and blogging the Bachelorette in real time tonight and I’m actually really looking forward to seeing Emily eliminate at least a couple of the many douches from her man-harem tonight.

The gang is in Dubrovnik, Croatia and oooooh, I’m so envious.  Gonna try to contain my envy to report on this objectively, as my strict journalistic ethical code requires of me.

Emily shows up at the guys’ hotel and hands out the first date card to Travis (Egg).  On their date, Emily and Egg go to Old City Dubrovnik. (Side note: I’ve been there and it’s AWESOME, and I’m reasonably sure these two bumpkins won’t appreciate it. Just saying.)  Their date involves wandering around the walled city, eating ice cream, and awkwardly chatting.  Oh, and awkwardly dancing! They “wander” into a “random” alley and “spontaneously” dance to some atonal, screechy string music played by a man in traditional Croatian dress.  Egg looks wildly uncomfortable as he flails about in a gallant attempt to be spontaneous, but he is not nearly as uncomfortable as the poor Croat man that ABC forced to fiddle in the alley.

For dinner, Emily takes Egg to a candlelit supper and he toasts her as an “amazing lady,” which is something you pretty much can only say about your aunt or your grandma.  Poor Egg, he is trying really hard, and he seems quite sincere.  I don’t think Emily is digging him at all, though.  She seems weirded out that he hasn’t dated at all since his engagement broke off two years ago.  Egg gets all emotional and misty while he’s talking about it and Emily gives him a fakey-fakey smile.  I don’t have a good feeling about this, guys.  Then, Emily asks Egg what type of girl he normally dates and he says someone with a great “attitude,” just like her.  All of Egg’s sucking up is in vain, because at the end of the date, Emily tells him that while they have a “friendship foundation,” they are missing the romance. I can see poor Egg’s heart breaking (much like his ill-fated ostrich egg) as she talks.  He is sent packing and he takes it pretty well, except when he tosses his umbrella away as he is walking through the rain.  A touch dramatic, Egg.

Group date! Emily takes the guys to the theater to see Brave, which is a Disney movie, which is owned by ABC! And all the guys have to talk about the movie! And how awesome it is! No pressure from the network at all!  This is boring, so I fast-forward for a while and when I stop, Emily is telling the guys they have to wear kilts for some reason? Wait, I thought they were in Croatia?  Huh? And why are they riding donkeys?

Once kilted up, the men make a lot of dumb-ass comments about how they’re embarrassed to wear skirts. They clearly don’t know that it takes a real man to rock a kilt.

K, so for some reason, Emily is making the men compete in highland games, because, you know, why not.  The first event is archery.  I am tempted to fast-forward over this, but I’m resisting on the off-chance that someone gets arrowed in the head.  Okay, no luck.  Next is the caber toss. Maybe someone will get cabered? No luck again. Dang.

Most of the guys are pretty good at the caber toss but giant-armed Sean beats everyone when he actually breaks the log.  Yikes.  Next, the guys do some sort of vaguely homoerotic competition where they have to sit facing each other, legs spread, and pull on a bar.  Chris challenges Doug, whose arms are freakishly ginormous, and loses within 5 seconds. Poor Chris. But at least he gets a pity prize out of it in the end; Emily gives him a trophy for being the “bravest,” which is the equivalent of giving the spazzy kid on the soccer team a “good effort” prize just for showing up.

Later, at the cocktail party, Sean puts the moves on, telling Emily about his “fillings” and nervously sticking his tongue out in an off-putting way.  Emily reassures him that he is still in the running for her heart, and they share a chaste kiss.

Meanwhile, Arie is worried about where he and Emily left things in London (i.e., her accusing him of not sticking up for her) and he apologizes to her for that whole kerfuffle.  She forgives him and they make out to the soft strains of guitar.

Now it’s JWOF’s turn. He scores points in my book by immediately offering her his jacket. Aw, JWOF. So chivalrous.  He and Emily sit under a bright orange blanket and he tells her she gives him “the type of feeling people write novels about.” Last week he told her that she was the type of girl people wrote fairy tales about. I can’t help but think this is a downgrade.

Emily asks JWOF what took him so long to kiss her, and he replies that he was scared of her.  Then they make out.

Chris, sensing danger, finds Emily and tells her that he’s “in this forever,” which seems a bit forward.  But apparently, Chris’s pledge of eternal commitment works because Emily gives him a rose. I’m confused by this turn of events. Chris sucks at caber tossing and he looks like Randy Quaid. Am I missing something?

Now it’s time for Creepy Ryan’s second one-on-one date. Chris lets us know that Ryan “shaves his legs and plucks his finger hairs.”  That’s grounds for dumpage right there, in my book.  Rule number 1 for a successful marriage: don’t marry a man who plucks his finger hairs.  That’s just elementary.

Emily comes to pick up Ryan and he says “the world’s our oyster, and you’re the pearl,” and all the dudes hate on him behind his back, which, fair enough.  You know what else sucks about Ryan? He’s this awful combo of pushy and condescending. He talks to Emily like she’s a child and I get that’s his lame way of flirting but yuck, you know? He’s also super arrogant and self-centered. He says that Emily might be the “woman that God has chosen for [him].” Because it’s all about him. Well, God does work in mysterious ways, including through tasteless reality TV, am I right?

Ryan informs Emily, again, that she is gonna make a fabulous trophy of a wife and she doesn’t seem as grossed out by this as she should.  She says she is going “back and forth” on her feelings for Ryan, which is baffling. What is there to go back and forth on? The guy’s terrible and, worst of all, he has a weird shaped head.  Someone needs to make Emily stare at that head long and hard and then ask her if she’s still going back and forth.

At dinner, Ryan turns on the smarm. Emily asks him what role he sees his wife playing in his life and he says “more than a trophy.” Yet, he then asks Emily how she could envision being more than just a trophy wife when she wears such a sexy outfit to dinner. Oh, bluh. Ryan tries to patch things up by saying “the trophy is not what you’re wearing, but who you are.”  Good save, Ryan.  He immediately wrecks everything again when he whips out a handwritten list of 12 things he wants in a woman.  Because we asked!  Some of the qualities that Ryan demands in a wife include: nurturing, encouraging, and loyal. Needy, much?  Another desirable quality, no joke, is “sexy personality.” I can’t even with this one.

Emily tells Ryan that she doesn’t want to have to constantly try to be perfect around him, and she doesn’t want to get married because she fits into someone’s “mold.”  Then, she picks up the rose and tells Ryan that his list of what he wants in a partner doesn’t match up to hers.  At the top of her list would be a “loving family, not a perfect one.” Ooh, burn, Emily!

She doesn’t give him the rose and he sits in stunned silence, and for a second, I’m kinda afraid he’s going to hit her.  Then he says in a weird, choked voice, “That is very shocking.”  He tries to talk her out of her decision and sort of guilt her into giving him a rose, and ew, is he crying?? He tells her, through sniffles, that she’s making the wrong choice. Serial killer music plays.   She seems to waver a little bit and tells him she doesn’t know if she’s making the right choice, and he asks her why he can’t have the opportunity to “show [her] the man that [he is].”

To her credit, Emily sticks to her guns and boots Creepy Ryan. Whew, she had me worried there for a sec.  Ryan, who is not a gracious loser, makes sure to tell Emily that he doesn’t want their time to end and that he is surprised she’s “giving up on the potential that can be here.”  No luck; Emily walks Ryan and his perfectly manicured facial hair out the door.  He shuffles off down the quiet streets of Dubrovnik in his blue suede shoes (really?) and tells the camera that Emily “is making the wrong decision” and that he “doubt[s] she’ll find the right guy for her here.” Way to take the high road, Ryan.  He also says he’s sure the guys are sad to see him go (*cut to shot of the guys boistrously celebrating that Ryan is leaving*).  Ryan gets a pensive taxi ride to the airport and talks a lot of jibberish about the “great men of the world” who have fallen down and got back up and whatever, whatever, whatever. All of this self-aggrandizing jibber jabber is kinda giving me a biiiit of a cult-leader vibe.  I mean, I could see Ryan maybe starting a religious colony in the jungle. Maybe feeding some people some cyanide Koolaid. Maybe gunning down a congressman who has come to rescue his followers. Just saying.

Arie, whose hair is looking very Dragon Ball Z tonight, shows up at Emily’s quarters after her date and she seems psyched to see him. Arie tells Emily that he’s encouraged to see that she’s a good judge of character and that Ryan would be a bad husband.  Not to put too fine a point on it, or anything.  Emily rewards Arie by letting him sit in her bed and giving him a rose.  They make out and their lips make loud smacking sounds. I feel like the sentence I just wrote could have been written by an autistic child.  Not apologizing for it.

Whoa, at the end of this, Arie says he is “definitely in love with Emily.” He skipped right over the “falling for” and “falling in love with” phases. This is serious, you guys. This is really serious.

Rose ceremony. Emily shows up in a dress made out of ice and snow and asks John for some alone time, since he is the one who has impressed her the least so far.  In a desperate move, he shows her his grandparents’ funeral cards, which he carries around in his wallet, and tears up.  I don’t think the guys on this show get that crying is not the quickest way to Emily’s heart.  But they keep on doing it, don’t they?  But wait, now Emily starts crying (yikes) and says how grateful she is that John shared this with her.  Then they make out. Whaaat?  Who knew the ol’ dead grandparents ploy would do the trick?

Now it’s time for Emily to grill Doug, who is also on the chopping block tonight.  He tells Emily he feels like he’s behind the rest of the guys.  She puts his arm around her and he seems uncomfortable and says he’s “shy.”  He’s a grown-ass man and he’s scared to put his arm around her? C’mon, Doug. Just c’mon. Emily tells him to stop being so humble and to be more confident (i.e., stop being a whiny baby).  He fails at this.  I think Doug’s hitting the road tonight.

K, time for Emily to hand out the roses, finally.  It goes: 1) Sean, 2) JWOF, 3) Arie, and 4) …. Emily walks off the set. Huh.  She finds Chris Harrison, who may or may not be smoking a cigarette in the alley, where he lives, and she says she doesn’t know what to do.  After a moment, she goes back in to the room where the guys are waiting and tells John and Doug that she’s second-guessing her decisions and that she’s not going to hand out the final rose.  Then, out of nowhere, Chris Harrison appears with TWO ROSES. Tricky tricky.  She gets to keep both boring men, after all! What an uplifting ending to the past two hours of nonsense.

See you next week in Prague!

The Bachelorette Gets Sassy

This week, Emily and her passel of men are in London and things get heated when one of the men refers to Li’l Ricki as “baggage!!!” Can’t wait to see the Emily smackdown unfold.  We will have to suffer through a solid hour or so of drivel to get to said smackdown, but I have high hopes that it’ll be a good payoff, especially if the man on the receiving end is one of the juicebags that I hate (Ryan, Kalon).

Let’s do this!

The remaining ten men gather in Trafalgar Square for a reminder from Chris Harrison that “only one of you will become Emily’s husband.” Odds of any of these douches becoming Emily’s husband are approximately 1:13994793571092392, but sure.

Sean gets the first one-on-one date. He somehow manages to fit a peacoat over his bulging arm muscles and shows up to meet Emily for their date, which involves riding a double-decker bus around the city.  Emily, clearly reading off of cue cards, pretends to know basic facts about major London landmarks, and Sean, who may or may not know what Big Ben is, seems truly impressed with her vast knowledge.

[Meanwhile, back at the douche ranch, Arie, JWOF, and Kalon are sitting around chatting.  Kalon points out that in real life, any group date with Emily would involve Ricki, and JWOF seems pissed.  I think this is foreshadowing that Kalon is gonna be kicked to the curb, but is pointing out that Emily’s child will be involved in future outings such a terrible thing to say? It’s kinda true – I just think Kalon’s insufferable douchiness is tainting his delivery.]

Back to Emily and Sean: he tells her the last date he went on was 4 to 5 months ago, and the last one before that was a year before that. Whoa, red flag, red flag! He’s either lying or he has some weird thing going on where no woman can ever please him…because he’s secretly gay, mayhaps?  He DOES have good abs, guys.  Emily doesn’t seem concerned by Sean’s revelation but I just don’t think it’s normal for a good-looking guy in his late ’20s to go on one date per year unless he’s a recent widow. What are you hiding underneath those sculpted pecs, Sean??

While walking around London, Emily and Sean “stumble across” some sort of public forum where people are having lively debates about such topics as the protection of freedom of speech, which, by the way, Sean supports “one-hundred percent.”  To prove it, Sean climbs up on a table and begins holding forth about — guess what? — LOVE.  He either wrote down his speech ahead of time and is — surprise — reading it off cue cards, or he is part robot, because wow, is his delivery stiff.  Emily smiles gamely as he rattles on about “an eternal type love” that he’s searching for.

After the speechifying, Sean and Emily (who has inexplicably lost her voice — was she also doing some “spontaneous” public speaking?) go to dinner at the Tower of London and I have to say, this date is legitimately awesome — okay, a bit cheezy but a lot awesome.   Sean tells Emily their date today was the best date he’s ever had and she says “awww.”  They seem like a good match, since they are both blonde and boring. This could work, guys!

Not one to sugarcoat things, Emily tells Sean she wants “a lot of kids” and Sean says he, too, “can’t wait” to have kids.  She asks him how many he wants and he says he wants two and then immediately revises that number upwards when Emily not-so-subtly tells him that she wants a full litter.  Good save, Sean — you get a rose.

Group date time! The men meet Emily at Stratford Upon Avon, which is where Shakespeare was born.  The date involves “doing scenes from Romeo and Juliet.” Hoo boy, this is gonna be bad.  Some unfortunate British woman who is billed as a “Shakespeare expert” is dragged out to add legitimacy to this exercise.  The guys are asked to read some lines from R & J.   They all suck, and some of them seem illiterate (Arie, looking at you).  Since Arie can barely read, he is relegated to playing the (female) nurse and he seems more upset about it than is probably reasonable.  (Side note: what does it say about me that I find Arie hot even dressed as a woman?)

Travis (remember him?) comes out looking good because he is having fun and not taking it too seriously — unlike Kalon, who acts like a pouty child with veneers.  Ryan, meanwhile, uses the play as an excuse to make out with Emily and the toothy British people in the audience are amused at first but quickly grow uncomfortable.  And just when I think Emily has sort of a decent head on her shoulders, she refers to Ryan as “the perfect Romeo.” HUH?

Emily takes the men to a “local pub” (which looks suspiciously like a soundstage) and spends some alone-time with Arie, in which she makes out with him and tells him he’s “the best.”  I’m wondering why they’re setting this up so much with Arie — if he wins, it seems like they’re giving it away, which makes me think maybe he doesn’t win?  I’ve heard people speculate on the interwebs that the producers are spending so much time showcasing how charming Arie is so that people will warm up to the idea of him eventually being the Bachelor. Hmmm….

Ryan gives Emily a necklace and she gushes over it. Wait, are these guys allowed to go out and buy her stuff? If so, why don’t they all do that? Why isn’t Kalon out buying her a Faberge egg? Speaking of Kalon, he calles Emily a “tired, sick mother with a child waiting on her,” which, again, is accurate, but also kinda rude.  And apparently, according to Chris, Kalon said that Emily has a lot of “baggage,” but we don’t actually hear Kalon say that Li’l Ricki  herself is baggage. So, the other guys get all up in arms and pull Kalon aside and ask him if he said that Ricki was baggage and he’s just like, “yeah, I’m not gonna apologize for it,” and tries to spin it like “baggage” is just another word for “responsibility.”

Meanwhile, Doug decides to tell Emily what Kalon said.  Upon receiving the news, Emily says she wants to “rip his limbs off and beat him with them,” which is very specific.  In front of everyone, Doug and Emily confront Kalon about what he said about Li’l Ricki and he tries to backpedal.  Emily’s not buying it.  She asks him if he has anything to say for himself and he says no and she tells him to “get the f*** out.”  She also tells him she’s disappointed in him since he was raised by a single mother.  Kalon is unceremoniously booted from the pub.  In his pensive lorry ride, he says he is a “stand-up guy” but acknowledges he is probably not a man who can make Emily’s life easier.  I dunno.  I mean, if nothing else, they could buy a family plan at the cosmetic dentistry place.

Back at the pub, Emily is upset and wants to be left on her own.  She is questioning why the men didn’t say anything to her earlier about Kalon and now she feels like she can’t trust people.

JWOF and Emily have a one-on-one next.  JWOF shows up wearing some very tight pants, a jacket with leather patches on the elbows, and a bouffant, and Emily takes him to afternoon tea with an etiquette teacher.  Whee! The etiquette teacher, Jean, emphasizes the many rules of British tea etiquette, which will obviously come in handy in Emily’s and JWOF’s daily lives.  Emily and JWOF  are bored and “spontaneously” take off before Jean can come back.  They go to a fish ‘n chips house instead, where JWOF tells Emily that if Li’l Ricki is baggage, she’s a “Chloe handbag that I’ll have forever.” I know JWOF looks like a lesbian but now I’m starting to think he might actually be a lesbian.  He certainly doesn’t help things when he tells Emily that he and Li’l Ricki would have dance parties every night and would sing into their hairbrushes.

Later, Emily and JWOF eat dinner in a ferris wheel and they seem to have a good connection.  JWOF is quite sincere and after dinner, he finally mans up and kisses her.  He comments that Emily is “the kind of girl people write fairy tales about.”   You hear that Hans? Get writing!


Emily seems hung up on the Kalon thing, still.  She asks all the men why they didn’t tell her about Kalon earlier.  Arie seems baffled by Emily’s reaction.  He tells her he doesn’t want to spend their limited time together talking about other people (taking a page from Ben Flajnik’s book, I see) and Emily seems dissatisfied by that answer.  Arie is not used to Emily being upset with him and he doesn’t know how to handle it, other than just continuing to be attractive.  I think that strategy will probably work.

Later, while Emily stands on a balcony, Ryan does a horrid reading from Romeo and Juliet.  She says she “finds [herself] liking him more and more” and makes out with him. Oh, Emily. You’re being dumb.

After making out with Ryan, Emily makes out with Sean and they dance to no music, which makes vomit rise in my throat. Dancing to no music is the worst.

Okay, time for these roses to be doled out.  As a clock chimes ominously in the background, Emily enters and hands out roses to the following: Doug, Ryan (come ON), Chris, John (really?), Travis, and… Arie. Whew! That means poor Alejandro is going home to his mushroom farm.  In his pensive cab ride, Alejandro says he “wasn’t expecting to go home,” which is funny, since he spoke to Emily maybe once, and it was about how they hadn’t really talked, I think?  He definitely cries in the limo, but that’s because he’s Latin.

Next week, the gang is off to Dubrovnik, Croatia. I have been there and I’m kind of grossly envious of these a-holes for getting to go there. Oh, well. I’ll be here to document it anyway. See you then!

The Bachelorette Drags On

Sorry for blogging the Bachelorette late this week – I got home from my awesome Memorial Day trip to Michigan late last night and wasn’t up to the weird combo of boringness and shit-showiness that is the Bachelorette. So, I’ve steeled myself and am ready for it tonight.  I’m just hoping this week won’t be as deadly boring as last week, but I’m not holding my breath.

Chris gets the first one-on-one date with Emily. By the way, Chris wins the prize for most generic job description ever — he’s a “Corporate Sales Director.” What does that even mean? Trying to picture that job is like trying to draw a puff of smoke.  Anyway, for some reason, Emily thinks Chris is really hot and keeps commenting on it, even though he looks like an only-slightly-more-handsome Randy Quaid.

Of course, since it’s the Bachelorette, their dinner date involves, what else, scaling a building in a harness. Which, of course, is promptly compared with love through a tortured metaphor that makes no sense (“scaling a building is like love — you have to start at the bottom and work your way up” — except, no, you don’t have to do that in love, unless you meet in rehab).  Emily freaks out when a lightning/thunder storm starts and Chris “rescues” her in the hopes of “sharing a kiss” at the top but no such luck — Emily high-fives him instead. Ouch.

At dinner, Emily immediately asks Chris about his last relationship, which lasted six years.  She asks how old he is and he tells her he’s 25 and she acts really weird about it.  She says in a voiceover that Chris “has to understand that [she is] a package deal” and that she is a daughter. Emily, I think he knows. I think they all know. Also, kinda judge-y for someone who had a kid when she was 20, no? The rest of the date consists of Chris trying to convince Emily that he is ready to be a husband and father, which is sweet, but probably not true.   By the end, she’s convinced and gives him a rose.  They celebrate by — wait for it — dancing at a country concert, lest we forget that this season of the Bachelorette is taking place in the South.  Hey, at least it’s not Train.  At the end of a song, Emily lets Chris kiss her and he says it was one of the best things he’s ever experienced in life.  Ugh, Chris, why you gotta give me the sads like that?

Time for the group date with a veritable gaggle of men.  Emily has to hug all of them individually, like a receiving line at a polyamorous wedding.  This date involves Emily’s female friends meeting the dudes and grilling them to reveeal their potential as husbands and fathers.  Her friends look like normal suburban moms, which makes me wonder if they’re real or were scouted by the producers ahead of time.  The women ask tough questions such as “are you ready to be a dad?” and all of the guys say “yes.”  Some highlights:  Travis, the dude with the egg, makes a poor impression, because he is pretty weird.  Fair enough.   Sean, a shy, blonde insurance agent who is into God and, apparently body-building, seems very nervous but also earnest and sweet.  Emily’s friends are extremely impressed with Sean and ask him to disrobe.  I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I surmise that these ladies are the type who unironically go to male strip clubs.

Next, a bunch of kids are unleashed on the men and it becomes a manic competition among the guys to see who can be the best dad-type with the kids.  “Let’s race! GO!” one of them yells to a frightened child.

Meanwhile, I’m getting a weird vibe from Ryan.  He seems aggressive and kinda smarmy.  And when Emily’s friends are joking around with her about letting herself go after she gets married, Ryan is all, “I wouldn’t be okay with you getting fat.” He goes on to tell her, in no uncertain terms, that he’d be displeased if she “got lazy” and put on weight.  So, okay, if I were the bachelorette, that guy would be outta there RIGHT THAT SECOND. The fact that he has no problem telling a woman he barely knows that if they were married, she’d need to keep herself thin in order to receive affection from him tells me we’re just hitting the tip of the jerk iceberg with this one. Emily, rightfully, is grossed out, and so are her friends, except for one stupid lady, who still likes him.

At the cocktail party, Emily talks to Sean, who puts his hand on her leg (gasp!).  He tells her he’s “selective” and hasn’t dated anyone in over a year. He wants a confident woman but also someone who wants to be led. Hoo boy, here we go.  I’ll just say this: all of these “old fashioned” Southern men make me SO glad I am married to a new-fangled northerner who doesn’t want to “lead” me in marriage but actually wants to be an equal partner to me.  Imagine that! Anyway.  The retro values on this show squick me out, man.  Anyway, all of the God talk and ab-baring must have worked, because Sean gets the group date rose.

Moving on. Tony tells Emily he talked to his son last night and starts to cry.  Emily reassures him in a mom-like way.  Then, later, Doug reassures him in a dad-like way.  Poor Tony.  I kinda feel like he should be trying to date women in his hometown, and not on TV.  Emily comes out to find Tony crying in an alleyway, and in a roundabout way tells him he should go home and be with his kid, and that’s that, he’s outta there.

Arie has the next one-on-one date.  Emily takes him to Dollywood, which I had always assumed was Dolly Parton’s house but apparently is an amusement park? Huh. They go to the theater and Emily pretends that she doesn’t know Dolly Parton is going to be there but obviously she knows, come on.  Emily and Arie pretend to write a “love song” together when Dolly appears.  Surprise (not).  Dolly sings them a song she wrote and then sits down for a chit-chat with Emily.  I’ve gotta say, Dolly looks and sounds amazing – she’s 66 and looks exactly the same as she did in the ’80s.  I love her!

Hot but shady?

Arie and Emily go to dinner and Emily, as per ush, asks Arie about his ex, who has two children (and, it would seem, is also a Bachelorette producer – see  I want to listen to Arie’s story but I’m too distracted by his handsomeness. He also seems kinda smart — I mean, smart in the context of this show, which means he is able to string two sentences together and hasn’t yet used the term “fairy tale.”

Okay, time for the rose-doling.  Emily pretends like she’s not gonna give it to Arie and then does.  Oh, Emily, what a wit you are.  Later, they ride the carousel and make out while Arie strokes her face, which I find a bit off-putting.  The segment ends with an artistic shot of Emily and Arie sucking face.  Yeah, this guy is gonna be in the final two, I’m calling it now.

At the rose ceremony cocktail party, Emily sits Kalon down for a chit-chat. He’s in full Jude Law douche mode.  He tells Emily that he had always pictured his first child being his own.  Then Emily says something in response and he says “I love it when you talk but I wish you’d let me finish.”  Ick.

Then, egg guy, Travis, decides that it’s time to relinquish the egg, and he lets Emily smash it on the ground.  For all of his weirdness, Travis seems like a nice, if extremely awkward, dude.

Emily and Alessandro, the Brazilian with terrible hair, sit down next.  He tells Emily he doesn’t have experience with kids but he’s willing to “compromise” by marrying her. He tries to convince her that his signing on for her kid would amount to him “compromising,” and Emily is pissed.  She wastes no time and marches Alessandro out the door and tells him tchauzinho. In the cab, he says he couldn’t provide for Emily and her daughter anyway because he is too busy “living like a gypsy king.” Ew.

Emily finds comfort in the arms of Arie by making out with him before the rose ceremony.  Then, Sean sidles up and pulls his go-to move, which is putting his hand on her leg.  He also tells her that he is super psyched to be a dad and could be “the greatest father in the world.” We can get you a mug to that effect, Sean.  Emily and Sean then share an awkward kiss that consists of a lot of pressing their closed lips together and holding still.

Rose ceremony, FINALLY. It’s hard to believe it’s only been two hours since this episode began! Here goes.

JWOF, who I’ve decided looks like a cool lesbian, gets the first rose.  Then Charlie (Brain Injury), Doug (Sleepless in Seattle), Michael (Nerd Hair), Travis (Egg), Alejandro (Token Latino), Ryan (Fatist), John (Wolf), Kalon (Jude Law), and, finally, Nate (who?).  So Stevie, the party DJ, gets sent packing. Bummer!

What a slog.  I will pick this bizz up again next week.

Watching Paint Dry With the Bachelorette

I am blogging this week side by side with my friend Yohanca, who is visiting from the Ukraine, and thus I will only be blogging at half speed so that I can, you know, also half-assedly chat with my friend. Aren’t I a gracious hostess?

Ryan, the former football player, gets the first date. When he finds out, he quotes his pastor and manages to make folksy advice sound dirty: “If you treat a woman like a queen… she’ll treat you like a king,” he says knowingly. Ugh, Ryan, gross.

Emily, wearing some weird burlap sack of a shirt, crashes a sexy all-male pool party to pick Ryan up for his date. Ryan refers to Emily as his potential “future wife,” which makes me cringe, because YOU JUST MET HER ONE DAY AGO. Side note: at some angles, Ryan looks like a pre-fat Luke Wilson. Which is a plus. But then from other angles, his head looks oddly shaped.  Which is a minus.

On their date, Emily and Ryan bake cookies for Lil’ Ricki’s “soccer practice” (fake) and Ryan makes noise about having to wear a flowery apron because it’s not “manly.” I hate it when dudes on this show protest about that type of thing.  Hey, part of being married is wearing stuff that isn’t manly sometimes.  I mean, my husband wears my shorty terry cloth robe sometimes when he’s cold and I’m sure he doesn’t mind me telling everyone that.  Right, honey?

Anyway, as they’re driving around, Ryan says that “this is what life could be like” with Emily, which is the only time on this show that statement has ever been even remotely true. Normally, people  on this show say that while they’re floating in an infinity pool.

Cut to a gratuitous shirtless short of Ryan — and he gets dressed verrrry slowly.  This one’s for you, ladies.  Once he is clothed, Emily picks him up for their evening date in a fancy car and they drive to a restaurant where they’re mobbed by adoring crowds of local bumpkins.  They sit down and Emily brings up Ryan’s ex girlfriend, like, two seconds into dinner, and he gives her an evasive answer about wanting to pursue someone and play cat ‘n mouse or something. But Emily wants to make sure Ryan doesn’t see the show as “a competition.” Because this show, in which men compete to win a woman, is not a competition. Okay?

The soft guitar music that signifies a burgeoning emotional connection starts playing and I glaze over.  Finally, after a tortured exchange about “the chase” and “running,” Emily gives Ryan a rose.  Then, they go and see a band and dance on a raised stage in the middle of crowds of people who take iPhone pictures of them.  Just like real life!

Group date time, and the men get to meet the Muppets.  One of them says: “We didn’t expect Muppets.” Which begs the question of when, exactly, does one expect Muppets. Also, are the Muppets so hard up that they need to be doing this?  Sad.

Charlie, the cute one with the traumatic brain injury, has a mini breakdown at the possibility of having to perform in front of people, since apparently his brain is still healing and he don’t talk so good. I genuinely feel badly for him, actually.  He asks Emily if he can do something that doesn’t involve speaking and she says yes (whew), but then later she does make him talk on stage. Not cool, Emily, holy crap.  Charlie handled it well, though. I think he’s my favorite, personality-wise.  Don’t screw this up, Charlie.

After the painful revue performed by the men, Emily brings Ricki on stage. CHILD ABUSE.

— Note: I stopped watching at this point because it was boring and I wanted to have an actual conversation with my friend and then restarted blogging two days later. So. Here we go again.

We’re at the cocktail party and Emily is chit-chatting with the dudes and it’s boring. Because Emily is boring.  And the men are boring.  And this show is boring.  The most interesting part of the show so far is Jef with one eff (who shall henceforth be known as JWOF) being kinda chilly towards Emily. You can tell she’s not used to dudes failing to fawn all over her and I think JWOF is totes playing hard to get here. It works, because he gets the rose. Nicely played, JWOF.

There’s some awk exchanges during the cocktail party, like when Kalon won’t surrender Emily to Aaron, who stands his ground and demands that Kalon surrender Emily, as Emily sits silently and does not offer any opinion about who she, the object of the argument, would like to speak with.   Then there’s some bitchiness between Kalon and Stevie.  Obviously Kalon is supposed to be the villain of the season, but I’m just not interested in his brand of villainy. He’s just a garden variety douche in a white cardigan with veneers who calls people “bro.”  Big whoop. He’s no Bentley, okay?

Kalon also manages to get under Doug’s skin, prompting Doug to lecture Kalon about the ginormous burden of being a dad.   Kalon had suggested that it was possible to put being a dad “on hold” or something? I dunno, I wasn’t listening. Anyway, Doug delivers Kalon a blistering lecture about how he gave up all his dreams when he found out he was going to be a dad.  I’m sure Doug’s kid is thrilled to hear that.

Joe (McConaghey McWannabe) gets the one-on-one date with Emily, leading to even more angst among the other men.  For their date, Joe and Emily get in an impractical vintage car to drive to West Virginia, which is Emily’s home state.  Emily brings Joe to a “resort” that looks like something you’d find at Disney: Appalachia. It’s sort of a cross between Cinderella’s castle, a HoJo, and the hotel from The Shining.

Meanwhile, Joe and Emily have no chemistry. This may be because Joe ALSO has no personality.  Their dinner conversation seems to consist of Joe telling Emily how pretty she is and how psyched he is to be with her in the fancy hotel and Emily saying thank you.  Eventually, Emily asks him where he sees himself in five years and he answers that he sees himself “happy.” When she asks him what that means, he basically says being happy means… being happy. And then he asks her what it means to her.  Touche, Joe.  He asks her if she wants more kids and she tells him she wants a million babies and he says “I don’t want to get married and have kids, like, textbook,” and says that a lot of these things “can’t be planned out.”  Oh, Joe. That was a really stupid answer.

After dinner, Emily and Joe indulge in an uncomfortable local ritual that involves writing down “love wishes” and putting them in a “love clock.”  (By the way, this is suspiciously similar to when Ashley and Constantine, in Taiwan, engaged in a local ritual of writing down love wishes and sending them off in love balloons.  A love clock is somehow sadder, though.).  Joe’s wish is to come back to the hotel with Emily and Ricki and meet Emily’s parents. Her wish was not a wish but was actually a series of platitudes about love.

Turns out, Emily’s not feeling Joe, and at the end of dinner he looks so excited and hopeful and she starts crying and tells him he’s not getting a rose.  He takes it well but she seems really upset.  It’s weird to see a contestant on this show expressing genuine emotion, so I am confused and do not know how to be snarky about this.

After Emily sends Joe packing, she stands on a balcony by herself and watches the fireworks that had been purchased by the producers to celebrate her romantic, successful date with Joe. Oops.

Cocktail party. Arie — hot, hot Arie — gets some alone time with Emily and he seems very personable. And hot.  He’s also laying it on pretty thick with the “I love kids” schtick, which is a good tactic with this one, methinks.   Also, his face.

Then, Ryan gives Emily a letter that is written on a scroll, and makes her read it out loud in a monotone in front of Tony, who is hovering awkwardly on the edge of the room.  The letter is approximately 90 pages long.  This is weird.

Finally, it’s Tony’s turn.  Oh, hey, he shaved his weird facial hair! Good move, Tony.  He tells Emily about his five-year-old son and they actually have a nice conversation.  I like Tony a bit better now that he’s not rocking the soul patch and is being sincere and stuff.

Next, Kalon creeps in and tells Emily how mature he is.  For a 26-year-old.  Blah blah, don’t care, let’s go to the rose ceremony already.

ROSE CEREMONY.  Emily saunters in wearing a purple, one-shouldered Greek goddess style gown that I actually really like, which is why I’m describing it, I guess.  Kalon gets the first rose. I can’t decide if the producers made Emily do that or not. I am going to deny her the benefit of the doubt and say no.  Arie gets the second rose.  More roses are handed out to boring men until finally only THREE boring men are left (and one rose). The last rose goes to Stevie, which means  that Aaron (who looks exactly like Frank from Ali’s season, right?) and Kyle (who?) have to go home.  We’ll all miss them so much.

Real quick, can we talk about the fact that Emily gets to meet Dolly Parton next week?? NO FAIR.

See you next week.