Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Bachelorette: Monkeys, Fisherman, Salt Water, and Fish

This is entirely too much Bachelorette. In the final weeks I’ve watched two hours on Monday, two hours tonight, three hours next Monday, and another two hours the following Tuesday for the start of Bachelor in Paradise. That’s nine hours of Bachelor related programming in eight days. I’m starting to use terms like “Fantasy Suite” and “Right Reasons” and “Chad” in everyday life. Someone please come save me from myself.

Me in an alternate timeline.

Fresh off of last week's cliffhanger, last night's episode of The Bachelorette began with JoJo still reeling from Luke's confession of love. Normally, an "I love you" from the broody lil’ cowboy would have excited JoJo, but she had just publically decided to send him home. Holding her head in her hands, JoJo desperately tried to come up with a way to send the one normal human male home and not look like a complete and total asshole. She doesn't succeed, by the way.

After a halfhearted attempt to explain her decision to Luke, JoJo gives up and opts to instead watch him look hurt and flounder for words. Up until this point, I really liked how down to earth and genuine Luke was. Unfortunately, the breakup completely shuts down the part of Luke's brain responsible for words and how to use them. "I thought she knew how I felt," Luke says, forgetting that she definitely knows how he feels because he literally just told her. He also leaves by saying, "I miss you already," which is both literally impossible and figuratively what that gross couple from your high school said to each other every afternoon when school let out.

Good Lord. It's like an open faced sandwich.

With Luke gone, the three remaining guys and JoJo all travel to Thailand for the overnight dates. In case anyone doesn't know what an overnight date is, it's the one time each remaining guy will get to sleep in the same bed as JoJo before getting down on one knee and proposing to her a week later. If this seems like an insane and frankly bad idea, that's because it is. This show is basically a series of things you should never do in a relationship under any circumstances. 

For the first date of the evening, Robbie rides up to JoJo in the middle of a Thai marketplace on a motorized rickshaw. Upon seeing him, JoJo exclaims, "What is that?" apparently unfamiliar with the concept of paid transportation. The two tour the market which mostly consisted of pointing at small business owners and yelling, "Oh that's weird!" as if they weren't people with dignity. JoJo and Robbie even find a way to make getting caught in a rainstorm unsexy when Robbie hands JoJo a note from his dad. How these two are currently or have ever been a couple is beyond me.

It might be beyond JoJo as well.

After the couple finishes dinner, they are presented with an overnight date card allowing them the option of sharing a room sans camera for one night. JoJo is nervous for the opportunity because Robbie may not be over his ex girlfriend whom he constantly talks about. Robbie responds by saying that he is over his ex and talks about how he’s been over her since before they broke up. This recounting of an incredibly unhealthy relationship somehow soothes JoJo and she accepts the overnight date card with Robbie.

The next morning, JoJo leaves Robbie’s apartment and decides not to say she is in love with him. According to JoJo, it was very painful to hear Ben say he loved her and then not pick her last season, and she doesn’t want to put Robbie through that as well. Either JoJo has already decided that Robbie is going home, or she is employing some pretty odd logic. You shouldn’t avoid doing things just because Ben Higgins did them. Ben did a lot of great things during his season, including… umm…

Well shit, maybe it’s not such bad logic after all.

Case in point. All bad decisions.

Jordan’s date was next. As he approached on a small schooner JoJo yelled, “What is that?!” First it was rickshaws, now its boats, what don’t you get about basic transportation JoJo? These can’t all be completely foreign concepts to you.

JoJo takes Jordan on a hike through the Thai countryside. The two spend minutes braving the “wild jungle” that was a series of steps to a nearby Buddhist temple. Once outside the temple, JoJo puts on a cardigan and says that there will be no kissing allowed in the temple.

Why on earth does The Bachelorette make a point of going to these “no kissing” locations every season? First, I would be surprised if any of these places actually had a “no kissing rule,” because that is an oddly specific rule to have in a place traditionally inhabited by only men. Second, I am sure the idea behind this rule is to try to force some sexual tension between the couples, but all that happens instead is their talking about wanting to make out. The only thing worse than watching two people make out is hearing them talk about it.

"Remember when I stuck my tongue in your mouth?"

Once they left the temple, JoJo and Jordan sat down to dinner. JoJo immediately expressed her concerns about how their relationship would work in the real world, and if Jordan is actually ready for long-term love. Sensing her uncertainty, Jordan tells JoJo that she shouldn’t worry and then stares blankly at her. For once, this strategy doesn’t work for Jordan and JoJo presses him on the issue. Desperate, Jordan tries to remember what worked for past contestants and blurts out, “I have a feeling with you that I’ve never had before!” Depressingly, this works and JoJo offers Jordan an overnight date card.

After leaving Jordan the next morning, JoJo waits for her final date on some docks near a fish market. She only had to wait for a few moments though before Chase rode up on a moped. Again, the sight of a moped blew JoJo’s mind as she yelled, “What is this thing?!” Ok, a rickshaw and a schooner I can understand a person not having seen before, but a moped? They’re everywhere and even if by some miracle a person had never seen a moped before they shouldn’t be blown away by the technology, like JoJo. What is happening on this show?

Holy Shit! Is that a Ford Focus?!

Chase and JoJo explore a local fish market at a picnic on a nearby beach. Throughout the date, Chase smiles, engages in conversation, and even cracks a joke or two. It blew my mind. Where was this Chase all season? Where was the affable, laid back goofball and why did we have to watch a moody, soulless goon in his place for eight episodes prior to tonight? Why would you do this to me Chase? Answer me!

The two have a wonderful time together and enjoy some quality conversation/making out at both the beach and dinner later that evening. JoJo is so excited about how well the date is going, she prematurely gives Chase their fantasy suite card. He celebrates this step in their relationship by telling JoJo that he loves her. Instead of saying anything in return, JoJo panics and runs away from Chase.

She takes several minutes to compose herself and returns to tell Chase that while she appreciates his love, she does not feel the same. JoJo then retracts her Fantasy Suite offer and breaks up with Chase. Dumbfounded, Chase storms off, but not before chastising JoJo for leading him on with the promise of a fantasy suite and asking if, “Love equals get the fuck out?” Say what you will about Chase, but the dude knows how to make an exit.

"Chase? Never heard of him. My name is...Cha-nge... Yeah, Change."

With Chase’s departure, only Robbie and Jordan were set to attend the rose ceremony. No sooner had the ceremony begun, than Chase interrupted and asked to speak to JoJo privately. This was the first, and likely only, “Oh shit!” moment of the season for me.

But my “Oh shit!” quickly turned to “oh… shit…” when Chase made it clear that all he wanted was to apologize for his earlier outburst. He and JoJo share a few kind words before he leaves and she returns to give roses to both Robbie and Jordan the final roses. In all, it was a pretty massive letdown.

I’ll be back tomorrow night for a recap of the perennial favorite Men Tell All episode. See you then!

Gossip Squirrel

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