Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bachelor in Paradise: I Can't Compete With a Cake

You've seen fireworks before, right? Of course you have, this is America. They always start out great, but within a few minutes you've pretty much got the idea. Unless something is going to get blown up, or a firework gets shot into the crowd, there's not much point in sticking around. Bachelor in Paradise¸ and more specifically Ashley, is that fireworks show. It's a lot of fun to watch for a minute, but it doesn't take long to become both boring and a complete waste of my time.

A waste of everyone's time.

Ashley began last night's episode as she has a dozen episodes before it: crying about her lack of a relationship with Jared. After several minutes of incomprehensible bawling and Jared repeatedly threatening to leave Paradise, Ashley admits that the sole reason she came on the show was to get over Jared. Keep in mind that to this point, the only other men she has spoken to are Daniel and Chris Harrison, so she's obviously not trying that hard.

As the conversation wears on, it becomes painfully obvious that Ashley is not willing to give up on Jared despite his giving up on her. In a desperate attempt to win him back, she says two of the strangest things I've heard on this show in a while. First, Ashley sobs and says, "Nothing makes me happier than being with you!" without even a hint of irony. After Jared rolls his eyes and walks away, Ashley continues sobbing and claims, "seeing the person you love with someone else is probably the greatest pain you could experience." She's close on this point, but just a little off. The greatest pain you could experience is watching Ashley watch the person she loves with someone else. Seriously, that bawling is grating on my soul.

As I quickly lose any sense of self...

The contestants begin preparing for the rose ceremony when Daniel realizes that his is the only rose not already spoken for. It's a good thing that no one has given Daniel any real power because even something as menial as handing out a rose immediately goes to his head. Daniel starts calling himself, "Papa Bear" and lounges on the beach, waiting for the lowly peasant women to try and win his favor. I honestly can't believe I'm saying this, but his strategy worked.

Sarah is the first to pay homage to the Rose King, Daniel. She brings him half a cake for his half-birthday, which was a sweet (if you'll pardon the pun) gesture. Daniel eats most of the cake in a matter of seconds, and then proceeds to make oddly sexual comments about Sarah, who is still eating the cake like a normal human being. Sarah simultaneously tries to laugh Daniel off and pretend she isn't witnessing the death of feminism. She fails at both.

Shockingly not the cause of the downfall of feminism.

No sooner is Sarah gone, than twins Haley and Emily begin devising a plan to win over Daniel. To this point, Daniel has had no substantial conversation with either of the twins, so it was hard to see how they could possibly get a rose. The twins try to overcome these odds by having Haley kiss Daniel. Much as he did with Sarah, after receiving the kiss, Daniel immediately begins talking about how hot Haley's butt and boobs are. Haley responds with a "thank you" through gritted teeth.

There remained one single woman who had not yet attempted to curry favor with Daniel, mostly because she was too busy crying to Jorge the bartender about her dismissal by Jared. That's right, Daniel's favorite virgin, Ashley was sobbing into what was at least her fifth drink of the evening when Daniel found her in order to extract tribute from her. Instead of trying to win Daniel over, Ashley corners him for several minutes in order to complain about Jared. Daniel hurriedly tries to change the conversation back to her virginity and suggests she fucks both himself and as many other guys as she can find. Ashley gives him a blank stare while Daniel proudly declares that, "Sleeping with a virgin is like winning a battle in Vietnam." He's actually not wrong. Both Vietnam veterans and Daniel's sex partners experience a loss of innocence, a lifelong series of terrible flashbacks, and an unmoving, existential horror from the atrocities they committed.

How I imagine anyone having sex with Daniel must look.

As the rose ceremony begins, the usual couples hand out their roses. Grant picks Lace, Josh picks Amanda, Nick picks Jen, and Vinny picks Izzy. For the new couples, Evan picked Carly, which seemed to surprise Evan, Carly, and the entire viewing audience. Jared picked Caila, which was a surprise to Ashley and literally no one else. Ashley is furious at this, saying, “Caila is fake. She smiles when she doesn’t have to smile.” Fair point, Ashley, but you cry twice as often as Caila smiles, so what does that make you?

Finally it is Daniel’s turn to hand out a rose. He picks Haley over Ashley and Sarah, presumably because kisses trump virgins and cake. Sarah leaves quietly, pausing only to say that she feels let down once again. Ashley I, on the other hand, throws a tantrum in the leaving car before getting out and running back to the beach to ask everyone if she can stay at least one more week. Obviously this is a stupid plan, because the contestants don’t have that authority. If they did, no one would ever leave and the whole show would turn into MTV’s Spring Break. What a dumb plan.

And yet, somehow it works. The cast is guilt tripped into letting her stay, and with Chris Harrison off hitting on locals or whatever it is he does, no one is around to stop this from happening. Chris Harrison has let me down many times, but none more so than tonight.

Ashley, asking politely to come back.

The next morning sees two new guys arrive in Paradise. The first is Carl, a heavily tattooed firefighter who is basically a white version of Grant. The second is Brett, a somewhat quiet hairdresser who is basically a fancy version of Vinny. In case you were wondering, yes, the show does just cast different version of the same people every season.

Both guys look for dates and Carl quickly sets his sights on Emily who immediately agrees to go out with him. Brett, on the other hand, asks Caila to go with him. Caila is initially hesitant to go with Brett since she already has feelings for Jared, but agrees out of politeness. Then she changes her mind and decides not to go, then to go, then not to go, then to go, then not to go, then, finally, to go. This was honestly taxing to watch and really made Caila’s whole “I’m adorable” act start to wear thin.

The date itself saw the four couples meet up on a booze cruise. Emily and Carl immediately begin groping, licking, and honestly probably fingering each other within minutes. The two took every available moment to turn the boat into their own personal couples strip club. Intrigued by their disgusting sexuality, Brett tries to dance with Caila, only to be immediately shut down and told “I shouldn’t have come on this date.” That is some cold shit, Caila. Thank you for putting a stop to whatever Emily and Carl were doing though. You’re a true American hero.

When Ashley realizes that Caila is still into Jared.

Once back in Paradise, Caila immediately pulls Jared aside to let him know how shitty the date was and how much she wants to date him. Jared lets her know that he was worried, but is happy to hear that she is still interested in him. Meanwhile, Ashley spies on them in the bushes and eventually wanders off muttering to herself, “He doesn’t want to be with me… He doesn’t want to be with me… He doesn’t want to be with me…” If this were The Shining, Ashley would have axed Scatman Crothers in the chest.

Later, someone named Ryan from Kaitlyn’s season shows up, though I suspect he was just a better than average looking hobo. The handsome hobo asks Haley out on a date, much to the excitement of Haley and chagrin of Daniel. “Silver Fox Ryan is trying to steal Haley the Pigeon away from Papa Bear,” said Daniel either in an attempt to describe the situation or in the midst of having a stroke. It’s hard to know for sure these days.

This is just to keep the joke going.

On their date, Ryan and Haley rode horses. That is honestly the most interesting thing I can think to say about the date. There is just something about watching two people slowly ride horses for the third times in as many weeks that really makes you give up on attempting to describe it.

Back in Paradise, Izzy is beginning to have some severe doubts about her relationship with Vinny. Her doubts began the moment Brett arrived in Paradise when Izzy realized he was really, really hot. She spends several minutes talking to Brett to be sure he is as hot as she first thought before pulling Vinny aside to talk about how hot Brett is.

It would seem Izzy is caught between a barber and a hairdresser. On one hand, she is 75% sure about Vinny, which is actually pretty remarkable considering they have known each other for less than a week. On the other, Brett is really, really hot. What’s a girl to do?

If you're Ashley, the answer is cry.

Well, if you’re Izzy, you tell Vinny all of your fears in a way that sounds like you’re dumping him for a hot guy you barely know. Then, when he questions you just keep repeating, “I don’t know,” as if you hadn’t actually thought any of this through.

The episode ends with Vinny waiting outside of Izzy’s room for answers he won't get until tomorrow. To be continued.

Gossip Squirrel

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