My Monday nights have 2 diametrically opposed shows; Monday Night Raw and the Bachelor, and only one of them can I talk about out loud with my friends…strong hint the one I can proudly talk about has men dressed in tights, who spend a lot of time in close quarters with each other. Raw for me is nostalgia, I watched wrestling with my dad as a kid so I watch wrestling now as an adult, and a few times it can still hit me in the ‘feels’. Last night was one of those times: Shane-O-Mac returned and while it was spoiled by Twitter, Facebook, Deadspin and even the bloody show I was watching at the gym, it still left me giggling with joy when I finally got to see it for myself…I cannot always articulate why I still love and watch wrestling but the moments when it can get me to show real emotion those are the moments when it really works!
On to Love and Ratchet (the white people edition, [seriously when this show points to Caila to claim diversity, I can honestly call it that edition]):
We start the show in Orange County, CA. with Ben sitting on some rocks looking out to the ocean trying to act like he is deeply contemplating his fate.
Hometown 1, Amanda:
Turns out Amanda’s hometown is Laguna Beach, this is the least surprising thing to me. She has radiated OC all season so it is nice to see it validated. Amanda is giving Ben a quick rundown on how to handle her kids. Amanda’s kids show up and she reacts as if she has not seen them in forever…that is not good. One of her daughters looks directly into the camera constantly - she refuses to act like this is normal and that stare makes me think she is looking deep into my soul and judging me. The girls are initially very hesitant to interact with Ben and I wonder if they are thinking “Are you my daddy”
Apparently Amanda’s kids like to chase after things, probably a psychological thing, they have been chasing her affection all of their lives. (Screw you I can hear your booing from here).
The insta-family drives to Amanda’s home and there is some fussing by the kids in the back seat just the first taste for Ben. John, Amanda’s dad says Ben “looks a bit like a deer caught in the headlights,” the mom wonders if Ben is ready to be an instant dad. I like their home, it seems chill and not too ostentatious like so many of the homes I see on this show…I would love to get on this show if just to have them have the professional designers come in and spruce up the home of my parents, nothing like free interior designing.
Amanda asks her mom if Ben is someone she could see her ending up with, the mom equivocates and says “eventually.” Ben talks to Amanda’s dad and the dad tries to point out to Ben that thinking about kids is different from having kids.
Ben reads the kids a bedtime story, it is based on the Bachelor, these kids are scarred for life and this is the moment we can point to!
Amanda “I can honestly say that I would be heartbroken if I was sent home after this week” yeah you know it sucks to be sent back home to YOUR KIDS “I would be completely crushed.”
Hometown 2, Lauren:
We are now in Portland, Oregon so of course Lauren has flannel on and a jacket - that is the Northwest uniform of choice! Lauren has to explain “these are Portland’s food trucks” I am guessing she just ran out of things to say. She takes Ben to the ‘Multnomah Whisky library’ which she describes as very romantic; I think it is very cool, romantic? Not so much. “I could sit in a room with Ben and not speak a word and feel more fulfilled more content than any other situation I have ever felt in my entire life” DREAM BIG! Based on her scintillating discussion about food trucks and the boring conversation here I realize maybe staying quiet is her best move.
Lauren says if I get my family’s approval I will tell Ben I love him, her sister Mollie looks like she could have been a contestant on the show. Lauren’s dad calls her Lolo hahaha I do not know why but it did not seem like something that should come from him, ‘you go gangsta!’ Mollie ‘grills’ Ben first, she asks good questions of Ben his response “there is something about your sister, that I cannot put words to…I don’t know, I feel very lucky.” This bothers me to NO END: Look it is different if a girl springs her parents on you, say you go to her house for dinner and she goes “Hey meet my folks” but when you are going into the home for a planned meeting and know that there will be questions what in the blue hell is “I don’t know” as a response to “why do you like her?” Ben looks away and feigns tears, it works on Mollie (whose name I had to adjust since prior I was typing it as Molly like 99% of people would upon hearing the name, but the show typed it as Mollie so I am going to trust them).
Lauren talks to Mollie and they say she has only just gotten over the relationship that ended a YEAR AGO. I think I love hard…I get hung up on my significant others; I know that when I am already dating someone else I no longer pine for the former ‘love of my life.’
Lauren’s dad asks Ben how he is coping and Ben responds with “Not well.” Maybe that is a moment of honesty but Ben seems so ill-prepared for this I keep wondering if he thought he was initially going to a different girl’s house and prepped for that instead.
Lauren’s dad reminds her that Ben is still dating 3 other girls - Lauren tells us that she now cannot tell Ben that she is in love with him.
Hometown 3, Caila:
Hudson, Ohio never heard of it that is rare for me on this show – I googled it and it turns out it is a suburb of Akron, in the Wikipedia section for Notable People: “Carla Quinn – Contestant on Season 20 of the Bachelor” yup, that is why I have never heard of it.
Caila takes Ben to see her high school, what is with this show always taking peeps to high school, is that the last place they felt special? She confesses that she always dreamt of taking someone special to a bench in a park, they dream so big on this show. Caila’s dad is the CEO of a toy company; none of these girls come from poor homes? They design a toy home on paper, and then she takes him into the actual Toy factory to create an actual toy house. The date started off softer than ice cream on a hot day but this is a step up! I would love to have done a date like this…she almost seems to have an unfair advantage…I also think (cynic in me) Ben is just sitting here and calculating how much money Caila’s family must have! He sweeps her off her feet to take her off the factory floor and the factory workers clap…maybe because they can finally get back to real work and stop pretending to like the Boss’ daughter.
Caila’s mom asks Ben “have you ever met Filipinos before?” I was thinking in my head “What a crazy question everyone has met Filipinos before!” but Ben answers “I don’t think so.” Huh, where are you hanging out? He is given all Pinoy food – lucky bastard. Caila’s dad starts to ask questions at dinner and Caila immediately jumps in to avoid her dad asking Ben about “microwaved fame.” The Dad says “I had no idea what I was getting into when I married Caila’s mother.” I leave that with no comment.
The mom pulls Ben aside and asks “what is it that has sparked your interest in Caila?” Ben is only slightly more prepared for it this time; “joyful, cute and bubbly” Caila or a puppy? He then repeats that Caila said to him in the Bahamas that she “was not sure that she could love” and Ben says that made him think she was real, funnily I thought that was her fakest moment. Just like I thought Ben’s whole “I am unlovable” shtick is fakeness personified.
Caila’s dad tells her he doesn’t want to ask her hard questions because he does not want to hurt her? Maybe you guys need to be tougher with your daughter. She is the girl that broke up with her boyfriend because she saw someone on TV! She starts crying, telling her dad that she wants his validation (validation is the buzzword of this season it is repeated so much). The dad is worried that “she is in for a huge let down and she is going to be crushed.” The mom asks her “is this real for you?” I think the whole family knows that she lives her life like a story book. Hmm, I wonder if this has to do with the dad’s job. I should have kept up with my psychology studies.
Caila asks her mom “but do you think he is in love with me?” That is not a question for your mom, child that is a question for yourself and your man. The mom tells her to go jump in Ben’s arms, this family is what ‘The Notebook’ is marketed towards. Caila makes out with Ben and in her voiceover tells us that “all I want to do is tell him ‘I love you’.” She does not however, say it out loud to Ben.
Hometown 4, JoJo:
Even before seeing this hometown date in Dallas, TX I know that JoJo’s home is going to be lavish since E texted me a screen shot with the words “The front of JoJo’s home looks like a Mormon temple” JoJo walks up and sees a bouquet of flowers and a card, she begins to read it and thinks the note is for her from Ben, she gets almost to the end and then starts yelling “No, No, I don’t want to read this”…because the note is from her ex Chris. Why did it take you so long to figure this out? She calls her ex who tries to get her back via the phone. These girls are the type of emotionally damaged that plays like this while ‘hail Marys’ always have a shot. “If you are done with me, tell me right now” and as that is said Ben walks up to the front door and knocks. This was all clearly producer driven, how does the ex-bf know when she will be back? How does he know when/where to send the flowers? Was he just waiting by the phone? So many questions that can only be answered with – The producers!
JoJo answers Ben’s knock with tears and starts to tell him about the situation. JoJo claims that she is only upset about the letter because she is “the happiest” she has ever been thanks to Ben. Again none of this is suspicious…all the other girls were met outside of their homes, Amanda at the beach; Caila the park; Lauren the streets of Portland but JoJo, Ben has to pick up? Sure producers, we cannot see the strings on that puppetry.
JoJo’s brothers greet her boisterously; they seem like ‘Bros’ in the truest sense of the rough housing term that connotes. JoJo’s mom while still at the table asks the important words “what sets her apart from the other girls” Ben chuckles “that is easy” sure because by now you have had practice “I am more myself around her, immediately, more than anyone else in my life.” The bros use “y’all” a lot, oh I miss Texas. The family asks Ben where he seems himself down the road, he says he is open to moving (I know this makes him sound flexible, but I just think he means to Los Angeles, namely a neighborhood known as Hollywood).
JoJo’s bros take Ben aside, the first bro says they are worried that she will get hurt and Ben mensa member that he is responds with from “[my] perspective there is still plenty of time”, because that is what concerned bros want to hear, ‘I have options.’ Ben has the face of a goober as he says this, it is such a goofy face I screen shot it and sent it to my coworker immediately. “JoJo and I will be having some really good conversations…we are in a really good place.”
JoJo tells her mom that she is so scared that she is falling in love with Ben her mom tells her to go for it. In the conversation with the Dad, Ben seems almost half asleep at the start, he by the way is wearing his ‘formal T-shirt’ the dad is wearing a Sports Coat, the contrast is stark. JoJo meets up with her bros and they seem very serious. JoJo does the foolish thing of telling them that she has only been on 2 single dates with Ben, the bros recognize the ludicrousness of that statement.
One of the bros while circling the kitchen as Ben walks down the hallway; “Ben you brainwash these girls way too much man, to see my sister like that after just two dates” Ben responds with “there is a lot of noise in here.” Bro points out to Ben that he carries too much power in the situation, the girls are attracted to him because he is the prize, and he does not have to fight for them or their affection. One Bro points out that his intuition tells him that Ben is not right for JoJo while he is talking the other Bro has a dead stare of intensity, he accuses Ben of being coached in what to say. The mom still thinks that JoJo should show more emotion intense Bro says “you need to take a step back” I cannot tell if this was to the mom or to Ben because of the camera sleight of hand.
Ben tells JoJo that the brothers grilled him; he appears to be afraid of them.
Lauren gets the first rose, Caila gets the second and as we knew it would be, it is down to JoJo and Amanda. OMCH shows up to do math for us and JoJo gets the final rose. As E pointed out to me via text, Amanda had a very classy exit. Ben takes her to the exit-bench of doom where you get to face the cameras and each other. Amanda brings up the logical question, “why fly me all the way to LA to then boot me?” that question however carries more depth if we then realize that maybe Amanda is not living in OC where she had the hometown date because OC is only 30 minutes drive from LA…just saying. In the limo driving away Amanda voices the common single parent lament of this show “I wouldn’t have introduced him to my kids if I wasn’t falling for him.” Just once I would love a single parent on this show to say, “No I am not ready for you to meet my kids.”
Amanda continues “I mean I have never brought someone home to meet my kids…but I have never met someone like him.” “He is an amazing guy, he seemed like he was ready to come into our lives…I don’t know if I will ever find somebody like that.” Ben “I would like her to know that I cared a lot… [Then breaks down crying]” JoJo’s bros are going to have a field day with this.
The previews for next week: WHOA WHOA WHOA, “JAMAICA HERE WE COME” My island is about to have an outbreak of Bachelor? Have they been reading my blog for the last four years???????????? Readers I am taking credit for this! We have done it!
Blooper reel – Lauren’s little brother asks Ben his thoughts on the fantasy suite, Ben stutters, drinks some wine and then says “I respect your sister a lot…I am not going to put her in a position that is degrading at all [emphasis mine]”