Introspection and commercials: The Bachelorette Episodes 1 and 2 recap

12 Jun

Time for another season of the Bachelorette! After the sanctimonious season featuring odious Emily I’m hopeful for a return to form as Desiree becomes the object of 25 guys’ desires.

We begin with Desiree pulling up to the plush house where she’ll be living, driving a compact car that looks like it has many a mile on it. A “plucky single girl-mobile” straight out of a romantic comedy! After showing Des the new digs, Chris Harrison also hands her the key to some sort of spiffy new pale-blue car with white seats. She doesn’t seem too surprised, probably because she had to sign some 30-page document of waivers that says she has to hand it back in without a scratch.

Des heads for the beach, since that’s the best place to walk down a boardwalk in heavy contemplation while sporting a bare midriff. The producers want to remind America about our heroine’s ridiculously hot body, and on the off-chance that anyone might miss the point, they play a song with the chorus “isn’t she crazy beautiful.” True, but… isn’t she crazy hungry?

After 24 minutes of empty conversation with Chris Harrison, introspection, and commercials, they’re ready to introduce some of the guys, including:

Will, a black banker from Chicago. We see his banker’s office, which oddly enough is the size of a child’s bedroom, and also is painted like a child’s bedroom. Will likes high-fiving strangers on the street, and also likes doing Bikram yoga. And he points out, “A lot of black guys don’t do Bikram yoga.” Hmm, I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama has done Bikram yoga. Maybe it’s a Chicago thing.

Robert, an entrepreneur whose company makes large arrow-shaped signs and who claims “If you see guys on the corner spinning a sign, we invented that.” It’s very reminiscent of the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry claims to have invented sidewalk umbrella-twirling. On the positive side, Robert has a one-eyed dog who’s pretty lovable-looking.

Mike, a dentist from Dallas who appears to me to be firmly in the closet.

Time for the limos to pull up and the guys to introduce themselves. We meet Mikey, the contractor who tells Des he’s an older brother too. You might recall the antics of Desiree’s boorish older brother on The Bachelor last season… in fact I hate to say it but I’m praying for the brother to show up this season! I’m sad that the producers didn’t take my idea of having her brother stationed at every rose ceremony and tell each guy who’s sent home “I think you’re just a playboy” on his way out.

Then we’re introduced to Jonathan, who hands Desiree a note asking if she’ll forgo meeting the other guys to join him in the fantasy suite. Kind of cute until you realize this means he’s asking her to have sex with him before they have even had a date. She does realize this immediately, and is visibly turned off. By the way, he already has his tie loosened when he gets out of the limo! Sort of defeats the purpose of wearing a tie.

Then there’s Zak, a wild man from the Texas Hill Country who steps out of the limo shirtless and asks “Will you accept these abs?” Admittedly, the guy is ripped. However, this is The Bachelor, so joining that group and saying your abs are ripped is like joining the NBA and saying you’re 6’6″. Not a huge deal in that company. Zak is entertaining, not least because he has a crazed look on his face much of the time.

Robert, the genius mind behind sign-spinning, puts in an appearance too, and his main shtick is to say he’s not really a necktie guy and quickly discard his. What a bold innovator! Oh wait, this isn’t 1983? Never mind then.

Then there’s a guy who gets out of the limo wearing a suit of armor (think Sir Gawain, not Iron Man). He clunks over to Desiree and lifts up his mask… and he’s Hispanic! I was not expecting that. Anyway, his name’s Diogo and he goes inside the house only to be ridiculed by everyone… including the shirtless guy! Diogo’s shtick was not the worst of the night, by a long shot. I would have to give that award to Kasey, the social media specialist who puts “hashtags” on spoken sentences. Hashtag annoying!

And speaking of hashtags, it looks like something that began at the end of the previous Bachelor season might be here to stay, namely real-time tweets from fans flashing on screen during the show. So I guess now nobody is keeping up the pretense that this show doesn’t have lots of boring parts? It’s two hours per episode, by the way.

Time for the mix and mingle session. Back to Jonathan, the fantasy suite guy. The way his initial act fizzled, most guys would take the approach of saying “Hey, I was just joking around, I’m actually a great guy.” Not Jonathan, who keeps hammering away at his fantasy suite idea with all the charm of a date rapist. Plus, he’s obviously drunk. Desiree goes from somewhat turned off to revolted in pretty short order and sends him home.

At the rose ceremony, the following people are sent home: Mike the secretly gay (according to me) dentist, Nick the bespoke clothier and part-time magician, Diogo the suit of armor guy, Micah who designed his own outlandish suit (a nod to Desiree designing one of her own dresses on The Bachelor), and Larry the ER doctor from Berkeley. Larry’s opening shtick was to try a dance move where he “dips” Desiree, unfortunately her dress was so tight she could barely move. Larry, a very funny guy,  thought that awkward moment did him in, I think it’s more likely the fact that he’s billed as being 34 and looks 44.

In Episode Two, things focus in on a quasi-villain in Ben. Now, Ben was the last person to get out of the limo in the first episode, after first sending out his young son to greet Desiree. Pretty cute, actually. However, not every guy who has a child is automatically a great guy, a fact that men are much quicker to pick up on than women. Ben gets on the bad side of the other guys of the house PDQ for being too aggressive and a phony.

Getting the ouster in Episode Two are Will (black Bikram), Robert (the man behind an invention on a par with the polio vaccine, namely sign-spinning) and a guy I hadn’t even noticed in the previous four hours.

Let’s come full circle to talk about Desiree. When Sean sent her home on the Bachelor everyone blamed the uncomfortable “brother” incident, but I ascribe it more to his realizing that she may be a great-looking girl, but she just doesn’t have much of a personality. That same realization is dimming my enthusiasm for this season.

Well “Bachelorette” Season 9,  I don’t think I’m ready to commit to you for the whole season. I want to keep seeing other shows too. But let’s see where our journey takes us.

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