Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Bachelor: Women Tell All

How do I keep fooling myself like this? Every year I get it in my head that The Bachelor: Women Tell All is some lascivious expose about life on the show. I expect a grand spectacle on par with the Roman Senate; I expect grand speeches, personal attacks, and maybe even a stabbing or two. Instead what we are left with much more closely resembled the American Senate as opposed to the Roman one. Women thanked the troops, defended the heroic nature of all mothers, and were generally ignorant of racial and misogynist comments they were making. I'm actually surprised The Bachelor doesn't air on CSPAN.

Who has smaller hands? Donald Trump? Or this guy?

The show opens with Chris Harrison and Bachelor Ben crashing The Bachelor viewing parties around Los Angeles. It is frankly amazing that neither Chris nor Ben were shot considering what they were doing is just a filmed version of a B&E. This is America, after all. You can't look at someone the wrong way without giving them probable cause.

Watching women after women squeal at the very idea of Ben being in the same room gave me a sudden realization; they never do this shit with The Bachelorette. Kaitlyn and Andi never had to pile into a van with Chris Harrison and surprise local viewers. I suspect this is because viewers wouldn't scream with glee for Kaitlyn as much as they would judge her outfit. Women! Am I right?

I'm sorry, has some terrible comedian already covered that point before?

Back in the studio, Chris Harrison introduces the women of season 20. Among the contestants were Lace (the human disaster), Olivia (the psychotic), Jubilee (the complicated human), as well as several other women I don’t remember seeing at any point during the show. Also present was “chicken enthusiast” Tiara, with her chicken, Sheila. I’d call this a ploy for attention, but Tiara didn’t actually say anything and seemed perfectly content to sit there with a chicken in her lap. Congratulations to you and your cock, Tiara.

I've never seen a woman hold a cock so comfortably on national TV before.

Chris then opens the floor to the women to discuss their time on the show. Olivia begins lamenting her pariah status before being interrupted by Sheila the chicken, squawking and generally making a ruckus. Boy, if I had a nickel for every time a cock distracted a woman… Actually I’m not going to finish that thought.

Leah takes advantage of the cock-straction and tries to defend herself against the idea that she plotted against Lauren B. “I didn’t intentionally lie,” she says, apparently forgetting that there is video footage of her doing exactly that. Unfortunately for her, no one buys this excuse, and Leah fades back into obscurity before our very eyes.

Seizing upon Leah’s non-momentum, Jubilee jumps in to say she feels misunderstood by the other women in the house. According to her, no one ever said they had a problem with her, and she was unaware of how she was being perceived in the house. In response, both Jami and Amber (who are both mixed race) accused Jubilee of saying, “She would be the first black woman to go far on the show.” After flip-flopping on whether or not she actually made the comment, Jubilee eventually would offer a somewhat half-hearted apology. The show moved on from there, but the fact that this discussion was afforded a grand total of six minutes was a huge disappointment.

Keeping in mind that I am neither black nor a woman, I’m going to do the white male thing and comment on this anyway. I have no idea what it is like to be black, mixed race, or a woman. Barring any shocking developments, I will probably never know what their lives are like. That being said, there is something sinister about two sets of traditionally disenfranchised people being pitted against each other in front of a predominately white audience and white male host. The easier, and frankly more fruitful, conversation to have would be, “What role did race play in your lives and on the show?” Instead we were treated to a parade of, “Who is more black?”

Sam Jackson is more black. Always.

After the most unfulfilling conversation in the world wraps up, Lace joins Chris Harrison in the hot seat. She is immediately treated to a near Jackass level series of clips detailing her drunken bad decisions. Lace responds to this public humiliation by saying that she is currently working to better and love herself to avoid these mistakes in the future. She then agrees to go on Bachelor in Paradise, proving that she hasn’t actually bettered herself at all.

Also, some staged idiot from the audience surprisingly interrupts the show to show her the fake tattoo he got of her face. Men of the world, please remember that if you do this in real life you will be arrested for stalking.

We can all pretend this isn't Sharpie right?

Olivia was next in the hot seat and boy was it a doozy. Chris treats her to yet another video package designed to highlight her “craziness.” Olivia says that the video was, “brutal to watch” (So close!) and that she isn’t proud of who she was on the show.  She also claims to have been unaware about how she was viewed by the other women on the show, a point that is quickly pounced upon by several women.

The twins, Emily and Hayley, had the most to say about Olivia’s perceived faux-sincerity. They recount the time Olivia referred to fellow contestant Amanda as a “Teen Mom,” and the numerous times they felt slut shamed by her. Olivia responds by saying she felt bullied by them as well, and if she came across as aggressive it was only because they were mean to her. The twins claim that their rudeness is beside the point and Olivia is the real bully. In reality, this entire problem could have been solved if both parties had just announced, “We are all terrible people!” and let it go.

Not one to take my advice, Olivia presses on. Jennifer (a woman whom I honestly don’t remember being on the show) accuses Olivia of being elitist while claiming, “We like to talk smart things too!” Several other women jump on this bandwagon repeating Olivia’s now infamous phrase, “Talk smart things,” back at her. As a staunch proponent for female empowerment, it completely shattered my heart to see these women repeating the dumbest statement I have ever heard in an attempt to make their point.

I expect nothing and I'm still disappointed.

Olivia ended her time in the hot seat by claiming she had never been bullied this badly since grade school. Considering the level of dialogue on The Women Tell All, that is an entirely believable point except for one thing. Not even grade school children are so grammatically inept to say they, “also like to talk smart things.”

Caila is the final woman of the evening to join Chris Harrison in the hot seat. Unlike the hyper and smiley Caila we have seen to date, Caila tonight was a calm, measured, anti-Muppet. She claims to have never seen the breakup coming and was devastated by the entire affair. I would have had a lot more emotional attachment to her entire appearance if it weren’t so obvious that she was being set up to be the next Bachelorette.

Finally, after much ado about quite literally nothing, Ben Higgins comes to the hot seat. Chris Harrison shows yet another video package which I would like to make a joke about, but seeing as there have been upwards of five video packages tonight alone, will refrain from. No one enjoys hearing the same joke over and over, save for Jeff Foxworthy fans.

Immediately after sitting down, Ben is “confronted” by Amanda and Caila. Amanda reinforces the Bachelor narrative by thanking Ben for his time with her and commending his time with her children. Caila also says she was appreciative of her time with Ben, presumably because if she didn’t she would lose her shot at being the next Bachelorette. Ben then thanks Caila for her time and reminisces about their time together in the Bahamas, saying, “We just explored life to a level I never experienced.” I can only assume this means Caila put her finger in Ben’s butt.

Happy International Women's Day!

As the night came to a close, Ben spoke with several other Bachelor women. His main goal seemed to be assuring them that they were not solely at fault for the failed relationship. Nice though that thought might be, it would have been a lot nicer if he weren’t the person with all the power in each of their respective relationships.

Chris Harrison ends the show with a blooper reel, introduced by the phrase, “I’ve got bloopers!” I’d be lying if I didn’t initially think he was announcing that he shit his pants on national TV.

There’s one disaster of an episode left, everyone. I hope you’ll join me next week to see Ben Higgins absolutely devastate a grown woman in prime time.

No comments:

Post a Comment