Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Bachelorette: Surrounded By Care Bears

If I told you that last night I spent two hours watching an egomaniacal douchebag spout off half formed metaphors and incoherent insults about everyone who opposed him, all while inexplicably remaining in contention for the top prize for which he is competing, you might rightly think I watched half of a Donald Trump rally. Luckily for myself, I was only subjected to an evening of The Bachelorette’s new super villain, Chad, who to this point has received the endorsement of zero white supremacist groups. So all in all, it was a pretty good evening.


The show opens with a rare appearance from host and reality TV yenta, Chris Harrison, who drops off a group date card. No sooner is he gone than there arose such a clatter, and the contestants sprang from their couch to see what was the matter. Instead of St. Nicholas, the guys find a limousine on fire, which seems much closer to what Christmas looks like in Los Angeles. The car smolders for several seconds before JoJo arrives in a fire truck and haphazardly puts out the fire.

If, like me, you were wondering why the producers deemed it necessary to set an actual limousine on fire, I can only offer speculation. Perhaps that was an NBC limo Mike Fleiss stole and burned in prime time to send a message. Perhaps it ran out of gas, was left there last week, and the producers thought “fuck it” before setting it ablaze. Or perhaps America is so far out of the recession that we now have limos to burn. Either way, it was confusing.

Once the limousine fire was extinguished, JoJo took the men to a fire fighting training course for their date. Everyone was put through the paces via an actual fire fighting obstacle course and immediately two things became very clear. Wells, a radio DJ, was completely unprepared for this (or any) level of physical activity, so much so that just wearing the suit made him dizzy and in need of medical attention. On the flip side, Grant, a professional firefighter and human being incapable of expressing emotion, stood basically zero chance of losing the race. True to form, Grant won handily and joyfully solemnly carried JoJo into the sunset.

Courtesty of r/TheBachelor

Later on the group date’s cocktail party, Grant makes use of his time with JoJo by pointing out that as a firefighter he could die at any moment. JoJo rewards this uncomfortable bit of over sharing with a kiss, because saying “Dang man, that sucks!” would just be rude.

The date ends with Wells receiving the date rose for his heroics in the face of unbreathing fabrics in the hot sun. If this wasn’t the definition of “pity rose” I don’t know what is.

Still struggling under the weight of a cotton tee

Derek, who looks like a very poor man’s Ryan Reynolds, received the only one on one date of the evening. He and JoJo were forced to make a series of “choices” meant to test their status as a couple. The two had to pick between “sea or sky” then “north or south” and then upon arriving in San Francisco, “Lombard St or the Golden Gate Bridge.” As the two picnicked on the bay in sight of the bridge, JoJo reflected on what a good couple they were, not realizing that if you make decisions like that in a real relationship you’ll end up either divorced or lost in the woods.

During their post-date dinner, Derek admits to JoJo that he has trouble opening himself up and is afraid of being hurt. To this day, I have no idea what contestants mean when they say this. I understand the nervous fear that can come with committing yourself to another person because it’s easy to second guess yourself and wonder if you’re making the right decision. To say you have trouble opening yourself up to someone on a first date sounds like you have trouble remembering basic facts about yourself. No one is expecting you to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets on the first date. Just talk about your hobbies, listen, and try to make a joke or two. It’s not rocket science.

"You know I could die at any moment right?"


The final group date took another group of guys to ESPN headquarters, where Chad really kicked off his villainy. The guys competed against each other in a variety of very loosely termed “sporting events” with the hosts of Sports Nation. I assume if I didn’t have a full time job and/or had any passing interest in 24-hour sports reporting this would have been interesting to me. As I am lacking both, this entire segment was painfully boring.

Like myself, Chad was not amused by the event as a whole. He criticized the other guys for simultaneously taking the date too seriously and not seriously enough. After pointing out that it was stupid for everyone to be so quick to talk about all the things they love about a girl they don’t actually know, Chad then mocked them for not taking the event seriously enough. “I feel like the guys are playing games here,” Chad said in what he meant to be an insult but was actually just an accurate representation of the date itself. To seal it off, he called JoJo “naggy” and then acted surprised when she got offended.

"I know he called me 'naggy' but there's something so interesting about him."

In the end, James was picked as having won the date by the Sports Nation hosts. True to form, all he won was bragging rights because that’s all sports really is… bragging rights.

Later, when asked about the games played during the date, Chad claimed that “all of them lied to her!” I want to take my usual cynical asshole role and defend Chad here, but not even I can do the mental gymnastics necessary to confuse lying with games. Even children understand that when playing Candy Land, Grandma Nutt isn’t their actual grandma,

Has there ever been a more sexually suggestive children's character name? Probably.

James ends up getting the date rose, despite saying the most adorably simple thing I have ever heard in my life. When JoJo asks James why he is so positive, James says, “A smile is the only thing that comes from the inside that you can see on the outside.” At this point, telling James how impossibly stupid this idea is would only crush his loveable little spirit so I’ll just let this go. Godspeed, James.

Later at the rose ceremony, Chad gives a very long speech to very Canadian Daniel about how very important it is to be very much an asshole. Being the Canadian that he is, Daniel politely agrees even though he clearly doesn’t understand what is happening. Armed with a single person’s approval, Chad puts his “Assholes are really good guys” theory to the test by interrupting three different guys during their time with JoJo. Each guy immediately backs down, mostly out of politeness but also because Chad is essentially a drunken Silverback Gorilla at this point and challenging him could lose you an arm.

Don't let any children around Chad or we'll have to put him down.

After much silent complaining, the guys band together to confront Chad about his douchebaggery. As self-appointed group leader, Alex begins listing their grievances when Chad, bored and with a mouthful of deli meat, wanders off. The rest of the guys stand around as shocked as I was that Chad effectively disarmed their complaints by getting bored with the conversation and leaving. Why have I never thought to do this before? The Bachelorette annoys the shit out of me yet I keep engaging when I could just walk away and be better off because of it. There might be something to Chad after all…

As the night ended, we were forced to say goodbye to “Bachelor Superfan” James, “Hipster” Brandon, and “Third person” Will. I really wish I could remember a single thing about Will, but I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever seen him before. Oh well. Good night, boring prince.

There are two episodes next week, which I can only assume will mean two times as many half-formed thoughts and bro-tastic references. I actually can’t wait.


Gossip Squirrel.

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