Going into the "Men Tell All" show this week, I had mistakenly assumed it would be primarily about the men telling all about their experiences on the show. How wrong I was. Given that I have seen every episode of this season I should have realized that it would primarily be non sequiturs, with a hefty chunk of recaps, and dash of creepy thrown on top. Shame on me for not learning.
This week, the show opens with the host doing something he has never actually done before. He hosts the show. Up until this point I had assumed he was a host in the way that Steven Tyler was a doctoral graduate, in the honorary way. That is true by the way. Berklee College of Music (yes that is spelled correctly) gave Steven Tyler an honorary degree back in 2003.
Strange. He looks more like a Women's Studies major.
Right out of the gate, the show gets off to perhaps its weirdest start ever, and parades a pregnant woman out on the stage. Apparently at one point this woman (Ashley) was a bachelorette, which means that we all should care about her very much. She proves that we all should care about her very much by announcing that she will have a sonogram on TV to find out the sex of her unborn child in front of America. This is definitely for our own benefit and not because she is a sad person pleading for attention.
I blame her entirely for this by the way, because her husband (JP) cannot stop talking about how he has no autonomy in this relationship. From baby names to pooping schedules, this guy is basically just a small dog being carried around in a purse. Yeah, they are there together, but he isn't exactly the decision maker.
Setting aside the fact that Ashley's decision to use her body to make money is only one small step away from prostitution, I can't figure out who would possibly care about this. I don't care about my own friends' kids, much less a former faux-celebrity. Also, why was the audience cooing and awwing about that fetus? It's a sonogram, no one can make out those things. For all you know there was a cat in that uterus.
What a cute fetus/monster/unresolved poop.
After a potential future child was exploited on national TV, ABC made us all sit through another Bachelor in Paradise preview. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't grateful for this, because up until tonight I had no idea what this show was. From what I can tell the show could also be called "Fuck or Die" since the central idea is you either need to go on a date or you get sent home. The show's contestants also seem to be in constant dunken flux between unhappy and horny, which really speaks to me. If anyone is going to watch this show, I might actually blog it. I might also regret these words.
Immediately following The Bachelor in Paradise segment is a commercial for Red Lobster's Crabfest, a title that describes both seafood and skanks on an island. Well done.
Given the contestants, I honestly don't know which crabs these are.
At this point it's been half an hour, and no one from the current season has shown up, which makes me think the title "Men Tell All" might be misleading. The audience is also reacting like the people on the show have any significance in life. Oh and guess what happens after this? A 5 minute season recap.
Finally the guys show up, and they're all wearing scarves. I'll admit, they got me with this gag as Host Chris reveals they were just playing on the fact that so many guys this season wore scarves. Realistically though, that is so much worse than if the guys did all wear scarves by accident. In making fun of themselves, The Bachelorette crew showed that they are self aware and could have stopped this garbage TV show at any point. Are you kidding me? You picked up on the scarf trend but not the fact that this show gets dumber every week? Am I the only one missing out on something here?
It's not a gif. That's video of me watching the show.
Eventually something happens. In this case, it's a revisitation of the "blackie" comment from several weeks ago. Marquel is still awesome and gets a huge ovation for basically not murdering Andrew, who immediately confuses Ron and Marquel, the only two black guys on the show. In his defense this was probably filmed long after everyone had last seen each other so he could have legitimately forgotten their names, but it still looks bad. Really bad.
JJ the Pantsapreneur wants everyone to know he is a staunch defender of black people, to the point where he stops the show to make sure we all get the idea. He really seems to want some recognition for not being racist, although that is more of a "basic standard of human decency" type achievement. Lucky for him he befriended one of the two black guys on the show.
It's a white privilege Where's Waldo?
Not to make the same point again, but ABC spent the same amount of time on the racism segment as they did the sonogram segment. I know they have other things to get to, but 15 minutes isn't really enough to solve a problem like that. That being said, I'm sure it felt like an eternity to the eight white guys sitting between Marquel and Andrew.
Next up are the hot seat interviews, with Marquel up first. We see his season recap (again) while he rocks a dope cookie pin, because that is all that defines him as a person. Ultimately, Marquel is criticized for going too slowly with Andi because he didn't kiss her on the first date. Eventually the show is just going to become suggested fucking, as opposed to the emotional porn that it is now.
Marcus then gets on the hot seat, where Host Chris asks him "how do you think you screwed up during your time here?" for 15 minutes. I want to defend him, but Host Chris is right. Marcus was just way too obsessed with Andi. He basically said that he would do anything for her within the first week of meeting, and didn't find that weird. Marcus is just so into her it felt creepy, and like someone who was incapable of having a life on their own. At one point he also says "If you love someone you tell them every day." Well sure, in a normal/hanging up the phone "Talk to you later. Love you." kind of way. Not in his insane unblinking eye contact/every-moment-is-the-most-important-of-my-life kind of way. Take it easy guy.
Basically Marcus' personality.
Finally, Chris comes to the hot seat. He's not on BiP, so it's probably safe to assume that he will be the next bachelor. In watching his recap I also got the impression that he thinks this show is real. Poor guy. If only they had the internet in Iowa, he could look all this up and see how staged it all is. What an adorable simpleton.
At one point a woman named Ketra (fake) stormed the stage to talk to Chris (fake) and get his number (fake). It's lucky for the producers that this woman's hair and makeup was TV ready, that she didn't say any weird shit, and that she was affable and attractive. Can you imagine if she was overweight or (god forbid) unattractive? Editing her out would have been a nightmare! Everyone really dodged a bullet there.
Also, she said she was from a small town, then later said she was from Toronto. The city isn't so much small, as it is run by a cartoonish drug addict. Six-in-one though...
At least he's trying to get better. Take note ABC.
After what feels like the longest waking dream of my life, Andi comes out. The guys all give her a standing ovation and not, as I expected, the finger. She somewhat generously refers to everyone on stage as her exes, and talks about her personal journey. Meanwhile, every guy on stage is thinking about the Fantasy Suite and if staying on the show a few more weeks would have been worth it.
Host Chris opens the floor to the guys to ask questions, none of which have any significance or contribute anything to the show. For some reason the stalker from the first episode was INVITED to this show, because ABC apparently does not know anything about women's safety. That guy is also being placed onto an island with a group of women for BiP. Let the pepper spray fly I say.
A good way to ruin your selfies.
Around this point, Host Chris makes a joke about Andi being pregnant. It wasn't actually a joke apparently, but instead a falsely reported tabloid article. This didn't make me laugh, mostly because it didn't make sense. Seeing Chris Harrison's "face in uterus" gag didn't make me laugh either, because it wasn't a joke so much as it was a thing I didn't expect to see. He also was way too excited about the blooper reel, and said "Daddy's got some!" in reference to lie detector results. If this episode taught me one thing it is that this man is dead inside.
The lie detector results were next and completely pointless by the way. Marcus is a horn dog and and Dylan likes blondes. These are so inconsequential I can't even begin to compare them to anything. Well that isn't entirely true. I can compare them with the end of the show, which consisted of another ten minute recap of the remaining two contestants. Equally inconsequential. Equally pointless.
ABC's method for writing shows.
I think by this point, and by virtue of this being a recap show, everyone knows what I would say here. Don't have sonograms on TV because it's media whorish and exploits a possible child for your own ego. Don't treat racism like it isn't an issue just because it doesn't affect you personally. Don't use the struggles of others to get attention for yourself. Don't base your self worth on relationships with others and miss out on your own intrinsic value. Basically, don't do most of the things people do on the show.
With that in mind, reading twitter tonight was a real bummer because I saw hundreds of people who were treating this show as if it was either real or important. It's individuals who take 100% of their social cues from shows like this, or sports, or any other sole form of media that freak me out. To develop your personhood entirely from one thing really limits the scope of what you can both do and perceive in the world. They are weirdos whom I would never say shouldn't watch whatever they want, but also shouldn't be upset if I make fun of them for it. Hopefully they don't read this.
Thanks for reading.