Monday, June 16, 2014

Episode 5: The Gang Gets Racist

Welcome back all! This was a bit weird for me trying to not only get back into the swing of writing after taking a week off, but also trying to pay attention to this insane show. Luckily I didn't have to remember too much because the show immediately gave me a four minute recap and flash forward segment up top, as well as before and after each commercial break. At what point does this show just stop having any content and transition into just being 50% recap and 50% flash forward with nothing ever happening?

Anyways, the group travels to Marseille for their first overseas adventure. Host Chris meets up with Bachelorette Andi to discuss the Contestants Meathead. He asks Andi, who appears to be wearing a trash bag for a skirt, if she is falling in love. Her reply is a shit eating grin and to say "Staaaaahp," which judging from her interactions with contestants is a word she has never said to a guy before.

I will fuck anything that moves.

Josh gets the first solo date, which means that I am just destined to be unhappy watching this show. This guy is so stupid. Also, how are none of the other contestants complaining about what a cocky prick this guy is? He claims he quit baseball after five years because he wanted to start a family, and then promptly didn't date anyone for another five years? That just reeks of inauthenticity and desperation. Also, the average call up time from minors to majors is four years, so maybe it's not that Josh quit but he just realized that he wasn't very good at baseball. I wish that boat they were on sank.

The two continue their date at Palais Longchamp, while French monarchs spin in their graves. Josh proves he is not a dumb jock by telling a story about an ex that kissed another guy, "which was like woah." He follows that up with a brave statement like "cheating should never happen." It's like his sound bites are pulled directly from a Miss Teen USA pageant. The date ends with the pair going to a private concert, because being in a French palace isn't enough. I really could not wait for this to end.

This is how I feel watching Josh.

Oh. While they are dancing, Josh says "This is aswesome," to which Andi replies "Good." I guess that is a bro version of being Han Solo'd?

At the house, it comes out that Andrew may have referred to Marquel and Ron as "blackies." I actually don't believe that he ever said that, in part because it shocks me that someone could sit on that information for so long without saying anything. But also, there are mic's literally everywhere on this show. How would the producers not have caught that? Props to whoever started that lie though, because "blackies" has to be the weirdest choice for a slur I can imagine. Saying "blackies" sounds like a regular guy pretending to be racist.

Apparently this is a real place, which makes me feel better about my Google searches.

Eventually Marquel calls out Andrew, who makes the unfortunate decision to smirk throughout the entire segment. It's like he is trying to be the most evil person imaginable. He seems like the kind of guy who carries roofies with him just in case...

Andrew's terribleness aside, the segment does lend itself to a good little speech by Marquel who is able to pretty effectively humanize the effects of racism. I was a little blown away by his recognition of the fact that there will always be racism in the world. It was really well done. Somebody get him a cookie.

Speaking of stereotyping an entire group of people based on irrelevant facts, Andi and some of the guys went miming in Marseille immediately after. Seriously ABC? How do you not see the irony in this? You even dropped the guy experiencing racism into a mime outfit and made him dance around. And you wonder why people just stared and didn't enjoy the show.

How the entire nation of France reacted to this segment.

The miming itself wasn't even good, and looked more like pedophiles on parade than any form of cultural expression. It ended mercifully with Andi miming that the group was going to go get drinks, which I am sure sent the guy's dopamine receptors through the roof. In the evening, Mackelmore and Nick finally get in the fight I have been waiting for since episode one, but I don't think I realized just how boozy the fight was. Mackelmore is mad because Nick thinks he is going to win and because Nick hurt his feelings. That's it. Both are clearly drunk, but not jumping into pools drunk, which makes it ok. This has the stink of alcohol and producers all over it, as their slurred words and backwards arguments will attest to.

At one point, Andi wants in on the goings on and asks Nick. He doesn't want to tell her for obvious reasons, but she finally gets him with the "Would you tell me if I was your wife?" play. That is fucking nuts. First off, the question is stupid because she's not his wife. Discussion over. He can say yes or no, but it doesn't matter because she's not his wife. Second, that really is using these guys emotions against them, especially considering she still hasn't opened up emotionally to any of them.

Dylan was involved in both fights somehow but still proved to be boring, even in a fight about racism. How does that even happen? A tree would be more interesting by virtue of photosynthesis alone.

 Dylan, or Will Friedle, or whatever.

Next Andi goes on her date with Brian, which proves that nothing on this show matters at all. They go and watch a movie (which requires no interaction of any kind) and then cook while Brian is a complete turd. Like a child who doesn't get to do exactly what he wants all of the time, Brian gets the grumps because he's not a good cook and shuts down. Andi complains about this to the camera, and says there's no real progression in the relationship. THEN SHE GIVES HIM A ROSE TO SYMBOLIZE THEIR RELATIONSHIP'S PROGRESSION.


So I guess everything that happened didn't matter then? This is like that first story you ever read that ended with "It was all just a dream." You remember that pissed off feeling you had, as if the author has just wasted your time, while avoiding making any point? That is the exact feeling I had watching this. Oh, and remember how Juan Pablo was criticized for just making out with girls and not doing anything of substance? Well that is exactly what Andi is doing as well. Brian got to stay because he kissed her even though he's a sack of shit. Congrats on finding human garbage ABC!

There were some great quotes that came out of this segment though. One being when Andi said she felt like "a character in a movie," which is surprisingly accurate considering she is a character on a TV show. Seriously, last week you kicked a guy off for saying you were like an actress, and now you are talking about how much you are like an actress. Andi is the worst, and this isn't even her at her worst. My favorite Andi quote from the segment though, was in reference to the movie 100 Foot Journey when Andi said "It's about cooking, but it's also romantic." If they don't use that as a plug on the poster, the studio is really missing a golden opportunity. Also, Gordon Ramsay would shit his pants at that statement. Then he would take that shit and hold it up to Andi, pointing out that even that tasted better than her cooking.

How is this guy not The Bachelor?

We come back from commercial and Andi is looking a lot like Miss Congeniality when she drops what she thinks is a bombshell. No cocktail party tonight, just a rose ceremony. Initially when she said this I got really excited because it seemed like 20 fewer minutes of bullshit that I had to watch, but of course ABC had a plan. What is this promo for "Rising Star" and how sad is it? We are already fast-tracking singers to fame in 8 weeks, now we have to do it in three minutes? And the judges are Ke$ha, Brad Paisley, and Ludacris? None of them can even sing! What is happening here? It takes 70% of people voting to raise the wall? But that will let in White Walkers! Josh Groban and Jon Snow must protect the seven kingdoms from White Walkers and shitty promos.

Also, Bachelor in Paradise. All I got from this was boobs.

Andi votes off Andrew, Patrick, and Marquel, which genuinely surprised me. Andrew I get, because he is evil and has no place outside the gates of Hell. Even Patrick makes sense to me, because he just seems like a more boring version of Andrew. But Marquel? How bad of a day can one guy have? First he gets called "blackie" and then gets rejected on national TV. Poor guy. He was really growing on me and it's too bad he got sent off. Congrats to ABC though, the show is all whiteys now.

I'm not sure if it is my rustiness or the show in general, but this was a real slog to get through. In part this is because the show gave a lot of time to boring people, but also because the show skimmed over a major social issue. Ultimately they gave the "racist argument" the same amount of time as the "Nick is a dick" argument. I suppose that means in ABC's eyes the two issues are equal, but unless Nick is currently owning other humans, that is going to be a hard case to make. This isn't just a problem here but in all aspects of network TV, where argument is valued over truth. The truth is, there was a very interesting and socially provocative storyline tonight that got equal time with a drunken bitchfest. None of this is to say that ABC is racist, but it did choose to say that racism was on par with cockiness tonight. Just something to consider going forward.

Thanks for reading.

Gossip Squirrel

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