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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bachelorette recap or How to turn a death into a positive ratings grab.

My friend and I just took advantage of TGIF’s new all you can eat Appetizers, it was my first time in a TGIF in 6 years, we drank a tonne we ate a tonne and it will probably be another 6 years before I am hungry again.

Hometown dates:
Nick in Wisconsin is first:

Andi meets Nick in the Milwaukee public market. Nick calls it his favorite place in the city. Nick clearly has the bar put a new tap on with Nick and Andi beer “the Perfect brew”. It is probably sour.
Andi asks “what is a polka?” is she an attorney?
This is about as fun as Andi gets.
They finally meet Nick’s family...he has 10 siblings it is like so many stereotypes I have heard of Wisconsin. NO BUT SERIOUSLY LOOK AT THEM.
Nick’s dad pulls Andi aside but we never see the conversation. Instead we see the conversation with Andi and Nick’s closest sibling who brings up that Nick has had his heart broken before.
Andi also gets questioned by Nick’s 9 year old little sister Bella and Andi tries to explain what a “mental connection” is to her - run little girl, do not get dating advice from this woman. Nick then grills Bella for her questions and Andi’s answers (methinks he gave her the questions) she tells him that Andi really likes him. I find the age gap between Nick and his sister a bit strange, he is 33...I have a huge age gap in my family but this seems extraordinary especially since Nick does not seem like he is the oldest. My ex teases me constantly about the age difference between my brother and I, she hates me, but her mom is hot.

Nick gives a very creepy stare into the camera and says “I will never get enough Andi, I just want it to be us”. Nick does not tell her he loves her.

We go to Arlington, Iowa:
It is Chris’ hometown date and we get the obligatory shot of him walking alone in a huge field. Chris has a house and this impresses Andi, she keeps missing his hints that maybe the family paid for it he uses “ours” and “we” alot when talking about the home and property.

They take a tractor out into the field and Chris lets Andi drive, she pretends to panic like there could ever be an accident while they are out in acres and acres of property. THE BACHELORETTE - "Episode 1008" - Andi travels to Arlington, Iowa -- population less than 800 -- to visit Chris, the handsome and extremely successful farmer whose charming manner has proved an aphrodisiac to the Bachelorette. Andi is enchanted by the serene beauty of the Iowa countryside and the pair enjoy a tractor ride and a romantic picnic in the middle of a cornfield. There, they discuss what their future might be like together. Chris has a wonderful surprise for Andi to confirm his feelings for her. This bachelor's fun-loving family envelopes her with small town hospitality, sharing a laugh-filled evening of childhood memories and a game of hide and seek. Chris' family is more than Andi could have hoped for, but what does she really feel about swapping city life for country living? - on "The Bachelorette," MONDAY, JULY 7 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Matthew Putney) ANDI DORFMAN, CHRIS
Andi pretends that she could be happy in Iowa, Chris thinks Andi is excited about Iowa...Chris is wrong. Chris tells Andi that she could be a homemaker, she is less than pleased. He has a plane fly by with a banner ‘Chris loves Andi’, andi-dorfman-the-bachelorette-season-10-69
I know it is supposed to be cute but I get the feeling that life with Chris is filled with kitschy stuff that would just drive me nuts.

Chris' mom asks Chris if Andi could live in is not a good sign that everyone knows this could be a concern. Andi is NOT I repeat NOT moving to Iowa - She while talking to Nick’s mom says “I love my career” and we have to wonder “What career?”, reality TV? Because clearly she is not trying to be an attorney. Chris’ mom is very sweet. Daggum it.

To end the night they play “Ghost in the graveyard” and of course Andi finds Chris (they make out) because hey this is not scripted.

Tampa Florida:
Josh’s hometown:
Josh takes her to a baseball field and claims that it is tough for him to take anyone there that might be true, if I tried hard to make a team and it did not work out that might crush me. THE BACHELORETTE - "Episode 1008" - Andi heads south to Tampa to visit Josh's family. They enjoy a flirtatious afternoon playing baseball at his childhood field that was filled with future championship dreams. However, Andi learns that underneath that confidence Josh seems to exude, is pain from unfulfilled dreams. After five years of struggling, Josh quit professional sports to devote more time to his family - and in particular his younger brother, who now has been drafted into the NFL. Although she is touched by his commitment to his brother, Andi is concerned that he might not make the time necessary to make a relationship his number one priority. That anxiety deepens when she meets his family who is clearly dedicated to the pro football career of Josh's brother. Where does Andi fit into this family picture and Josh's life? - on "The Bachelorette," MONDAY, JULY 7 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Marc Edwards) JOSH M., ANDI DORFMAN
He throws Andi some soft pitches and she crushes them, she even breaks a bat...Great form: Andi stepped up to the plate and was smacking baseballs pitched by Josh
I keep staring at her shorts.
Josh makes it seem that he chose to give up baseball, not the other way around. He is now focused on his brother Aaron Murray (I am surprised that it took me this long to make the connection - I liked his brother in college) former QB at Georgia the kid was tough and good.

Apparently Josh is in love with his dog Sable. Aaron leads the toast at the table (and looks directly into the camera) Andi appears to be very jealous of the attention that Aaron is receiving. Josh’s sister tells Andi that she and Josh might fight over Andi’s desire to separate him from the family.

They play a game of backyard football, since I know he has been safely drafted I chuckle at the thought of Aaron getting injured in this game and having to explain this to teams.

Dallas Texas:
Marcus’ hometown:

He picks Andi up and this feels like it was done just to show off his Mercedes.  
THE BACHELORETTE - "Episode 1008" - Andi journeys to Dallas, where Marcus has a special surprise waiting for her upon her arrival. Marcus' loving and supportive family is anxious for Andi to join them. For her part, Andi is wondering if she will be able to catch up with the deep feelings Marcus has showed her, making it clear that she is the love of his life, on "The Bachelorette," MONDAY, JULY 7 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Bill Matlock) MARCUS, ANDI DORFMAN
He takes her to a club that is so blatantly a set up and yup he reenacts his stripping from the first group date he was on...
Striptease dance: Marcus stripped down for Andi as he tried to woo her
his dancing is terrible - but Andi is intrigued.Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 10.14.17 AM
All of these hometown dates have been terrible.

Andi meets Marcus’ family and his niece presents them with bracelets, all these kids tonight have been so much more confident than I ever was as a kid. I do wonder if social media and the openness of information makes kids less concerned about cameras and strangers in their home nowadays...or maybe I was just a wuss.

Marcus’ sister does him no favors and makes him sound like he is clingy. Marcus starts crying when talking to his brother about their dad leaving and his brother being a father figure and yup his sister is right - he is very sensitive.  

All of these dates seem very truncated and I suspect there was some editing done to get them down to a small size so that more time could be spent on the death of Eric, or maybe they were the usual length and I did not notice it because I am digesting 18lbs of chicken wings.

We go to Chris Harrison’s home in Los Angeles, CA:
No really we are at Chris’ home...and of course his home is laid out like a Bachelor/Bachelorette set - All the guys able to sit facing the camera. And arrives and everyone looks nervous, Chris proceeds to tell them that Eric has died. The room goes appropriately quiet. Marcus walks outside, Andi follows him and they sit on the porch with Marcus’ arm around her (grief can be sexy?). The production crew comes in and starts to hug Andi and the guys, the camera is perfectly placed to capture the reactions - I know that I am very cynical in this blog, but as someone who has worked with people in film I can vouch for them that even in moments of genuine emotion/grief on their part, they would still be professional enough like this group to keep filming.

BUT...this whole moment feels gross and unnecessary, we already knew that Eric had died, it was impressed upon us the very first night of this show, it was rehashed the night he left we did not need to see this, we did not need to know how they reacted, it felt staged and it felt forced.

Andi and Chris sit down for their fireside chat, and Andi cries alot about the responsibility she now bears, yes Andi has made Eric’s death about her.

Nick busts out a gorgeously cocky pastel jacket...that is the jacket you wear when you think you are winning the show. Final four: Nick, Marcus, Chris and Josh wait to see if they'll get a rose from Andi
I also love that he is clearly not wearing an “I came to mourn jacket”. Andi picks up the first rose, holds it like a chalice, pauses and then says “I am sorry” and walks off crying; I want to believe it is genuine.

Josh gets the first rose when Andi returns...have to fulfill that contract. Chris gets the 2nd rose and I am surprised. Nick gets the final rose and there is no surprise there. Once Chris got the rose Marcus was done for. Andi tells Marcus he did everything right...oh really?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Bachelorette Review - Scarfing time in Brussels

This week we travel to Brussels (it would be so awesome if Jean Claude Van Damme just randomly showed up). Before starting the show I did 143 push-ups, I think that will cancel out whatever this show does to my masculinity...okay I just wanted to boast that I did that many push-ups.
Chris Hanson meets the guys in the hotel room to I guess teach them about numbers? “There are 6 of you guys here”. Slight change in plans, no roses on the one on one dates. 3 of the 6 are wearing scarves indoors, the others are wearing hoodies, is there a dressing draw they do before each episode short stick you get a hoodie, long one a scarf?

Marcus gets the one on one:
Immediately I notice something that E texted me about, Andi keeps her mouth wide open a lot...I will not type what E said it should be filled with. Marcus and Andi talk about his plans of leaving; he claims that it was because he was afraid of his feelings for her - Andi falls for it. Again this woman is a lawyer…

The evening portion is at the Academy Palace a beautiful setting but the mood turns dark quickly, Andi asks Marcus whose house they would go to if she went on the hometown date Marcus says his sister's. Marcus describes the brutal childhood his mom grew up in. Since this is a dating show, let me break it down dispassionately, if I had my pick of 6 good candidates (not sure these 6 are, but lets pretend for the hypo) there is no way I am picking the candidate that has come from a damaged home, especially since psychology typically points to persons coming from troubled backgrounds having troubles themselves...He could turn out to be completely fine...but why risk it? Andi finds his opening up sexy, they noisily kiss alot.

When Marcus returns from his date Nick sneaks out and decides to try and go up to Andi’s room. We are supposed to believe that the front desk at this hotel is so unbelievably stupid that Nick can get not only the number of Andi’s room but a key to it simply by telling the front desk that he lost his key, forgot his room number and that the room is in his wife’s name. YUP sure that plan worked, 
I am also sure that the cameras following you into the lobby did not clue the desk clerk into the fact that you are part of the production that is shooting in their hotel.
(doesn't Andi kind of look scared for a second?)

Easily impressed Andi goes for a walk with Nick. They make out, because that is the easiest thing to do rather than continue the boring convo they were having.

Josh and Andi start their one on one:
I miss the first part because my ex is threatening to call my Dad’s advice line and expose some of the stuff we talk about...I act brave, and call her bluff, inside I am quaking.
Andi is mad that Josh will not open up to her. I am not sure Josh is articulate enough. Andi is also worried that Josh is not falling in love with her (even if that would be a normal thing).

A group date card arrives and Nick immediately spouts off about his confidence, I love that the producers are painting him as a villain since I already think he has such a punchable face.

Josh finally gets the hint that Andi really wants him to say he loves her so he feels contrived. But of course he gets the kiss. Andi says that his saying it lets her know “that this is real” - even though in a normal setting it would be the least real thing ever. They really turned up the kissing mic tonight. Andi has to tell us the name of tonight’s musical guest (oh what you say this is not a talk show?) she looks into the camera and I think she had to do multiple takes before getting the name of the band right “American Young”.

An ad for ABC’s music competition show pops up, my ex and I had been talking about it and neither of us could remember the name and even with the ad I have forgotten the name because all I keep doing is yelling at Ludacris on my screen with “pay your child support homie”. If you are rich, you should never ever end up in the public eye for ‘failure to pay’ on child support (if you are poor that should not happen either) there is no excuse for that level of slackness.

Group date time - aka time for forced puns
Dylan “These ruins stood the test of time, and I am hoping that Andi and I’s relationship can also stand the test of time”...RUINS Dylan, that what you want your relationship to be in?
The guys start to pedal a cart along a track, they are all connected to the same cart yet it looks like they are trying to race each other. Andi takes the guys to a monastery, and I lose respect for the monks. There is no kissing allowed within the grounds - how are they going to survive?

Chris gets the first solo interaction and Andi takes him to a pottery barn that is outside the walls, so you know there is kissing. And a mimic of the scene in ‘Ghost’.
Brian the coach keeps freaking out at the rose sitting on the table. Nick approaches it as if he has already won it. The dates are booooooorrrinnnnggg. Nick gets the rose like we all knew he would, the other 3 guys look murderous. Andi is boring, Nick is boring it just makes sense.

The 3 guys that have to leave are stuck on the same seat of a small van, these are not tiny guys. The initial shot of them in the van shows them struggling to figure out room and how to get their seat belts on.
bachelorette-dylan(are tin Sardines originally from Brussels?)

I do not call Andi and Nick boring together to bash them, I mean that when I watch them I am fully bored, I started talking wrestling via chat with my old roomie while they were doing their date, I barely followed what was going on. The producers try to shoehorn in a trope with having fireworks going off while they kiss.

Nick returns to the hotel room to awkward silence and finally the guys go in on him. 
Nick starts to reveal more and more about his strategy, the guys are mad that he came in with a plan - while I dislike him, that is just smart. The back and forth is really just one extended hissy fit.

Cocktail party time:
The guys without roses are all scrambling to impress Andi and to spend time with her. Brian is talking to Andi and Nick interrupts him, again remember Nick has his rose already. Brian like a chump immediately acquiesces to Nick’s request. If Nick does not win, he cannot become the next Bachelor that season would be impossible to watch - then again for my sanity maybe that would be the best thing to happen.

Rose ceremony:
Josh gets rose1, Marcus gets rose2 and now the important rose - Chris gets it, I guess pulling her outside to make out with her was a good decision. Josh kisses Brian goodbye!
Is it wrong that this is the most emotion he has shown all season? And that I imagine him saying this "Screw her bro, I love you man, I know I could barely say it to her but I LOVE YOU, see you after the show" Compare his kiss to Brian with his kiss with Andi

Brian has to do his goodbye confessional outside of the castle and hears the laughing of the guys inside, he reacts like anyone would...angrily.

The previews for next week shows Andi dealing with the death of Eric...yup they used the dead guy as the teaser for next week...tacky.

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Cali-J ueber alles in der Welt. Some think that I am mean; (I call them friends), in fact I am not that mean. What I am is sarcastic and dry to the sandpaper level. I have friends that I have never said a kind word to their face, but I praise to the ends of the earth to anyone I know and will defend them to the end. That’s just how I roll! My boys know that I am down for them, my girls know that no matter what I will keep them safe (and occasionally flirt with them [If you are a female friend of mine and think I haven’t flirted with you it just means you didn’t notice, it was extremely subtle or…not yet ]). No one is safe from my sarcasm even my own parents; hence of course as a kid I spent a significant amount of time in punishment. I treat people with respect if I think they deserve it – everyone starts off with the same amount of respect from me (a lot). You don’t need to earn my respect; you have to keep my respect.