Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Episode 11: The Men Tell All And Everyone Is Terrible

Good Lord. How many villains can one show have? By my count, there were at least seven throughout this season, not including the handful of new assholes we discovered last night. 

Tonight’s Men Tell All episode begins with a preview of Bachelor in Paradise. Words cannot express my excitement for this show. I basically only write about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette to fill time between seasons of Bachelor in Paradise. If it were up to me, Bachelor in Paradise would win all of the Emmys. It would also win all of the Grammys, Tonys, and maybe even a Teen Choice Award. The show is that good.

 To be fair, anyone can win a Grammy

After a quick re-introduction of this season’s contestants, Tanner wastes no time in calling out Ian for being a douche during his time on the show. The majority of the guys agree with him, except for Kupah and Corey, who both think what he said was correct, despite a graceless delivery. As Corey (who never spoke before tonight) puts it “America will agree that she did not take the responsibility of being The Bachelorette seriously.”

Two things. First, what America agrees on is hardly a metric of success. America gave Nicolas Cage an Oscar, Steve Harvey seven TV shows, and Donald Trump a legitimate chance to be our next president. Clearly our decision-making is not to be trusted. Second, what exactly is the “responsibility of being The Bachelorette?” Is it anything more than being an attractive white woman and staying relatively sober? If so, I haven’t noticed.

Eventually, the focus is shifted back to Ian, who issues an… apology? Monologue? I’m not really sure what to call it. After being asked to explain his actions, Ian removes his suit coat (with his shirt sleeves already rolled up because he had obviously prepared for this moment) and walks in front of the guys. Then he takes a knee to beg for forgiveness like he was a remorseful Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights. Only Ian’s speech was less about football and more about attention seeking.

Ian's unrealistic internal monologue.

Next on the chopping block were Clint and JJ, both of whom a smirking Chris Harrison suggests might be gay. Clearly tired of this question, Clint immediately asserts that he is in fact straight, and that their joking around was meant to be between friends. JJ described their “relationship” and  “friendship” using air quotes, as he was also clearly tired of the issue. When Chris Harrison asked him why he was using so many air quotes, JJ shot back saying, “why don’t you tell me?” Fuck yeah, JJ. Way to call out The Bachelorette for using you as gay bait to create a non-story. Well done.

Instead of responding in any intelligible way, Chris Harrison continues to stare at JJ with a shit-eating grin. As far as I’m concerned, Harrison is a villain now too for participating in this whole “The very idea of gay people is hilarious” storyline. Before he can answer JJ, fellow villain and newcomer to ties, Kupah chimes in and saves him. Kupah wants JJ to stop talking about himself, despite the fact that JJ was answering a question, and start talking about how much everyone hates Nick. Great, now we’ve got villains teaming up to fight other villains. What is this, Suicide Squad?

Did he get dressed in the dark? What is happening? I demand an answer!

Taking Kupah’s bait, the guys proceed to talk about how bad Nick is for Kaitlyn and how wrong she was in keeping him on the show. Joshua, whose hair has grown back quite nicely, thinks that Kaitlyn should not have said her husband was on the show, only to bring on Nick weeks later. Clint makes an excellent counterpoint when he says “saying someone isn’t right for her is valuing your opinion over Kaitlyn’s.” Holy shit. Something shockingly insightful happened on The Bachelorette and it came from one of the biggest “villains” on the show. ABC really needs to evaluate what exactly they think a villain is.

Apparently Chris Harrison did not get enough time talking to JJ earlier, because he invites him to the couch for the next segment. He opens his line of questioning with “as strange as it seemed, Kaitlyn really liked you.” Wow. Fuck you too, Chris. That’s not even a backhanded compliment; it’s just a backhand.

 In what seemed like a legitimately heartfelt apology, JJ apologized for betraying Clint earlier in the season. Fan favorite Jared even comes to his defense saying that he likes JJ. Corey, however, disagrees with Jared because… Wait. Corey is talking again? Who the fuck is this guy? He doesn’t say three words all season and now he won’t shut up. Let it go, Corey. We clearly didn’t need to hear you speak on the show and we certainly don’t need it now.

Corey was so irrelevant I couldn't even find a picture of him.

Even with Corey’s disapproval, it was hard to take this segment too seriously as The Bachelorette producers tried to edit in badly timed looks of disapproval and “boos” from the crowd. If the producers were smart they would let the actual assholes be the villains instead of trying to shoehorn JJ and Clint into the roles.

Ben Z was next to join Chris on the couch. He told Chris that he still hasn’t been able to cry since the death of his mother when Ben was a teenager. Chris takes this moment to mock the emotionally stunted man, saying, “Well.  Inside I’m crying right now.” And yet, somehow, Chris Harrison is not a villain. Fuck everything.

 Side note: Following this segment, I saw a commercial for a show called Dating Naked. The show apparently isn’t a joke? Was this common knowledge, or have I been living under a very fortunate rock?

Me, in regards to reality TV.

The nicest man in the world (and only actual human being on the show) Jared was next on the couch. He tells Chris that he isn’t over Kaitlyn entirely yet, but all break ups are a process and he is doing well. Jared seems to be well adjusted and handling the situation well. None of that is funny or particularly interesting, but Jared is a smart, emotionally stable person. What did you expect?

He did shave his beard at the behest of Harrison though. As much as I hate Chris Harrison, that was good advice. Technically speaking, all facial hair is “pubes,” but Jared’s was especially “pube-y.”

The final contestant on the couch was Ben H, our presumptive Bachelor for next season. Ben tells Chris that he never got closure outside of “saying goodbye.” Of course, that is a literal example of closure, but we’re not here to split hairs. If I corrected every misused word or turn of phrase these monkeys made, this would look more like a dictionary than a blog.

"Wait, so 'for all intensive porpoises' isn't correct?" 

Ben also retells the story of his time with Shawn and Kaitlyn, where he could tell Shawn was one of the frontrunners. This reinforces what I’ve been saying all along and confirms why this season has been so boring. For weeks now, the show has been about Nick, Shawn, and Kaitlyn, and their constant bickering. Honestly, Men Tell All was my favorite episode in a long time, simply for not being entirely about Nick and Shawn.

No. You've had enough. We've had enough.

Finally, after much waiting, Kaitlyn comes out to overwhelming cheers. The joy is short-lived, however, when Chris Harrison shows a series of harassing tweets Kaitlyn received. The surprisingly vitriolic tweets slut shamed her for (in the show’s terms) prematurely sleeping with Nick. Said tweets referred to her as a “slut,” “whore,” “pathetic excuse for a human being,” and “a little bitch.” Kaitlyn also claimed to have received death threats for her past actions. Keep in mind, she hasn’t killed anyone or stolen any money. She’s just a grown woman having sex with a grown man. Happens every day.

Since we saw Kaitlyn sleep with Nick, I have made a concerted effort not to discuss Kaitlyn’s perceived promiscuity. In part, that is because I knew it would come up on the Men Tell All episode, but also because gender politics are a complicated subject. It’s very easy to avoid saying anything of substance and instead rant and rage about how someone is/isn’t a slut and how that is/isn’t a good thing.

That being said, The Bachelorette brought the issue up, so I feel comfortable in at least addressing it.

To harass and wish death upon a woman for sleeping with a man before you wanted her to means one of two things. Either, you are so concerned with preserving the comfortable structure of a reality TV show that you are willing to badger her to the point of tears with threateningly misogynistic tweets, or you’re a member of ISIS. Honestly. Those are the only two types of people I can think of that would so readily wish death upon a woman for engaging in premarital sex. I wish I were joking about this, but not even North Korea, The Westboro Baptist Church, or Medieval Europe was death a punishment for premarital sex.

So, if you feel the need to continue harassing a woman for her sexual activity, just remember. You can always get a one-way ticket to Tikrit and hang out with other assholes that really share your views.

An apostate of The Bachelorette faith.

Things got a little intense there. Thanks for not giving up. I promise I won’t mention ISIS for the rest of the blog.

Next it is time for Kaitlyn’s question time with the guys. Jared is first, but doesn’t ask her any questions. Instead, he talks about how much respect he has for her. Kaitlyn agrees. Nothing funny or interesting happens. Next.

Ben H asks about her relationship with Shawn, and why he was never told that she slept with Nick. It’s a fair question and Kaitlyn responds that she would have told him about Nick had she felt more strongly about their relationship. To be clear, this is not a reason to withhold information like that. It’s not ok to be in a relationship with someone you know you won’t marry, sleep with someone else, and then not tell them because you don’t want to be with them. That would be like me quitting this blog just because I realized The Bachelorette was a pointless show. Wait…

I just had a very sudden realization...

Jonathan also steps forward to question Kaitlyn’s relationship with Nick, reiterating his point that it was unfair to bring him on after previously stating that her future husband was on the show. Kaitlyn responds by saying “didn’t you vote for Britt?” as if that was in any way relevant. Yes he voted for Britt on the first night, but that really has nothing to do with Kaitlyn bringing on a guy she’s had a previous relationship with, does it?

Corey then asks if she could bring Nick on, “why couldn’t they bring other girls on?” Christ! Again with this guy? Who is letting him talk this much, and with such stupid questions? First off, you can’t bring other women onto the show because it’s not your show. It’s not about you, so stop trying to hog the spotlight. Second, shut up. I’m done with you.

I was just too lazy to replace "fetch" with "Corey." You get the idea.

Next, Ryan M made a nice appearance to apologize for his drunken antics on the first episode. He presented Kaitlyn with a rose of her own as a peace offering for the one he smashed. I know I sound like every desperate ex in the world right now, but I think he’s changed for the better. I like Ryan M again.

Ian was the final contestant to talk to Kaitlyn. Again, he got down on one knee to apologize for his behavior. Again, I hated every moment of his time on screen. I’m so happy I’ll never have to see him again. Wait, I don’t think I did that last one right…

As each Gender Specific Pronoun Tell All show does, tonight’s episode ended with a blooper reel consisting of people tripping over their own feet, sets falling down, and bugs flying into mouths. It’s a less entertaining version of America’s Funniest Home Videos with fewer nut shots.

Reality stars, they're just like us!

Chris Harrison closes the show by saying next week’s episode will be “a finale like no other,” though if Nick gets rejected again, that will be literally untrue.

I'll see you next time,

Gossip Squirrel

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