‘The Bachelorette’: Luck be a Lady Tonight

The Bachelorette
May 30, 2011

Chris Harrison begins the night by explaining to our men that there will be what are called individual dates, and there will be what are known as group dates.  Some men will get roses, others will not. (Feel free stop Chris Harrison at any time if he’s going too fast or you need him to use smaller words). HAVE YOUR BAGS PACKED AND READY TO GO, DUDES. The men then individually explain to the audience just how important it is to get one of these “individual” dates: VERY.

The first date card reads: “William, Want to make a splash in Vegas? I do. Love, Dr. Tube Socks.” When asked what he thinks this cryptic message might possibly mean, William worries that it might be some sort of “race.” Clearly we need Chris Harrison to come back here and explain to William what the word “individual” means.

One of the Ryans (which one? who cares?) has some half-baked worry that Dr. Tube Socks might actually go and marry this cell phone salesman with whom she spent 15 minutes at a cocktail party a few nights earlier because this is a possibility.

Dr. Tube Socks arrives at the Men’s Quarantined Area to pick up William in her borrowed Maserati, and to stomach the catcalls from the rest of the men: “HEEEEEYYYY!” “WOW! WOW! WOW!” “SIZZZZZZZLIN’!” “BOILIN’!!” Like I always tell my young sons, there’s nothing women enjoy more than to be hooted at by a pack of men.

As Dr. Tube Socks and William head off to a private plane for their date, Ames asks Zorro when he’s planning on taking the mask off already because COME ON. Dr. Doom explains that he’s operating some sort of stealth operation. STEALTH = wearing a creepy sex mask and hovering silently in the corners and on balconies, watching everyone else with your laser-beam eyeballs.

Over in Las Vegas, Dr. Tube Socks explains that her plan for this individual date is to test William and his willingness to actually get married at this end of this ridiculous circus perfectly realistic test of a relationship. Which is every man’s ideal first date, true story. To this end, she shoves some wedding cake into William’s face and forces him to look at some rings and drags him off to be questioned by a minister at a chapel and wearing his marryin’ robes, and there is some very light tension that O NOES! DR. TUBE SOCKS MIGHT ACTUALLY PLAN ON MARRYING THIS NITWIT IN THE SECOND EPISODE, THEREBY FLUSHING AN ENTIRE 13-EPISODE SERIES DOWN THE TOILET IN ONE FELL SWOOP! WHATEVER SHALL HAPPEN?! But then, HA HA, they don’t get married, not really, because come on. Use your brain.

The two of them then paddle a rowboat out onto the one-foot deep lake in front of the Bellagio to a table that some poor schmoes had to set up for them so they can eat dinner and fend off drunken screaming blonds who LOVE YOU, DR. TUBE SOCKS!!! and talk about William’s dead alcoholic father and deal with Williams’ defensiveness that he is NOT a lawyer NOR a doctor BUT MERELY a salesman SO GET OFF HIS CASE ALREADY and she offers him a rose because what else is she going to do? Not give him a rose after he talked about his dead father? Then the Bellagio fountains begin their amazing display, and one by one, the members of Oceans Eleven peel away from the banister, with a silent nod to one another, a quiet acknowledgement of a job well done.

Pour one out for Bernie Mac, y’all.

Back at the Men’s Quarantine Area, the group date card arrives: “Constantine, Ryan M., Chris, Ben F., Nick, Bentley, West, Lucas, Stephen, Blake, Matt and Ames: In Sin City, boys will be boys. Love, Dr. Tube Socks.”

Now, wait. What? I know what happens on the group date because SURPRISE! I am not blogging this live. Hate to destroy any sort of illusions you might have been harboring about my very elaborate process here at Tubluar HQ. BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT. The point is, what does this message — “In Sin City, boys will be boys!”  — have to do with what the men do in Las Vegas on this group date? These things, they are unrelated.

You might not be able to tell it with the mask and all, but V for Vendetta over here is sad he wasn’t chosen for the group date.

The group date arrives at the Monte Carlo hotel, where Dr. Tube Socks explains that she is going to test the men’s ability to move. (Gross.) Because you know what they say about a man who can dance, right? (Gross.) Dr. Tube Socks leads all 98 men into a theater where the JabbawockeeZ (the upper case Z is for extra wockee) perform. For those of you over the age of 13, JabbawockeeZ is a hip hop dance “crew” (as the kidZ these days call dance groups) who wear creepy masks. They once won a show called America’s Best Dance Crew, which is a real thing, and then managed to parlay that into an actual honest-to-goodness Las Vegas gig, and what I’m saying is, whatever happened to Neal E. Boyd? Hmm?

As the men watch these guys pop and lock for a while, Dr. Tube Socks manages to slip away without them noticing and then appear on the stage in a mask to the shock and amazement of nobody. SO. The deal is this: the men will be divided into two teams crews and given 30 minutes to choreograph a dance routine. Whomever wins gets to dance with the JabbathehutZ on stage that night, and whomever loses is sent home on a jet plane. Don’t know when they’ll be back again. REFERENCE WIN.

One team crew calls themselves “No Rhythm Nation” and come up with a rose ceremony pantomime. Clever.

The other team crew calls themselves “The Best Men,” and come up with a whole wedding ceremony dance which is loosely based on a super-relevant youtube video that everyone’s aunt forwarded to everyone they knew 2 years ago. And I’d tell you who was on which team but I neither know nor care. Bottom line: the guys with the rose ceremony pantomime win it, the other ones go home. Kbai.

But the truth is, really, it’s not entirely clear who the winners are in all this. On the one hand, “The Best Men” have to spend practically an entire day in an airport being molested by the TSA. On the other, “No Rhythm Nation” are forced to put on spandex unitards, creepy white masks and awkwardly hop around on a stage in front of a bunch of septuagenarians who were pretty sure they bought tickets to see Lance Burton and don’t understand what is going on with all these fruity mimes on the stage already. So who really wins, really?

After their big dance debut, the “winning” team crew and Dr. Tube Socks head outside to the pool to get their drink on, and learn a little bit more about one another. NOW WAIT A MINUTE. This is the part on The Bachelor when the ladies are all forced to strip down into bikinis and pound pinot grigio and get into hair-pulling fights, and all I’m seeing here are a bunch of dudes still in their pants, sipping their drinks nervously. DOUBLE STANDARDS, WHAT?

Whatever. Blake the Boring Dentist bores everyone with how boring he is.

West, the lawyer from South Carolina tells his dead wife sob story: which is very sad, and I’m feeling for West, and even liking him? despite myself? maybe because he, like one of my children, is named for a cardinal direction? but the awful person inside of me wonders if they will force poor West to participate in whatever the equivalent of St. Emily driving a race car would be, and the thing is I already know the answer is no because: DOUBLE STANDARDS. (See above.)

Elsewhere, Bentley the Villain continues to be villainous. See, Bentley is here for the wrong reasons, which Dr. Tube Socks has been warned about and is perfectly aware of, and Bentley has explicitly told us. But, because Dr. Tube Socks’ brain is very very tiny and doesn’t work right, she has decided to keep him around. Bentley the Villain explains that while Dr. Tube Socks is “obviously a beautiful girl, has a great body, great butt, and rocking legs” and having her do “something” to his “somethings” would be amazing (the “somethings” were fortunately bleeped; and while it is entirely possible for me to speculate on what he said, I don’t actually believe any of us want me to do so), she’s not his type. But so what, who cares. Bentley the Villain is here to be the villain and will pursue her for a spot on next season’s Bachelor Pad laffs.

Sure enough, when Dr. Tube Socks takes him aside to speak to him alone, Bentley the Villain doesn’t have to make any effort at all; he barely mentions his young daughter and before you know it, Dum-Dum is in a tizzy of BEGGING HIM TO STAY ON THE SHOW. Oy. AND THEN she hauls off and gives Bentley the Villain the group date rose, and he twirls his mustache and scurries off to buy some train track rope for next week’s group date.

The next morning, at the Men’s Quarantine Area, another date card arrives. The men appear to have been hustled out of their beds and forced to wait on the couch for this moment, which is obvious because Rorschach has come downstairs wrapped in his comforter, and wearing a sleeping mask. Now, this presents so many questions: what happens if, for instance, his name were mentioned in the date card? It’s not, but hypothetically, what if it were? Would he have had his regular day mask underneath the sleeping mask? Would he have to replace the sleeping mask with his daywear mask, thereby revealing his secret identity? Does his sleeping mask turn into his daytime mask via a system of levers and pulleys? I need schematics, or should I say, SCHEMASKTICS? Puns. High five.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know, because instead, J.P. and Mickey are forced to toss a coin to determine who is headed to Vegas for the one-on-one date. J.P. loses and then proceeds to mope around the quarantine area talking about how “deflated” he is. Gross.

Dr. Tube Socks, in the meantime, is REALLY EXCITED to see that Mickey won the date because he’s SO GORGEOUS, even better looking than she is. I refuse to comment.

The two of them have a date at the Mandalay Bay Hotel which is entirely and irritatingly determined by a series of coin tosses, and ends with them drinking wine in the aquarium while Dr. Tube Socks whines about how hard it is to have strangers judge her on every little thing, like what clothes she wears, etc. LISTEN, LADY. NO ONE PUT A GUN TO YOUR HEAD AND MADE YOU COME INTO MY LIVING ROOM EVERY WEEK WITH YOUR DUMB HOT PANTS AND TUBE SOCKS. THAT WAS YOUR CHOICE.

~deep breath~

The two of them pretend to get cleaned up and changed for the remainder of their date, but so far as I can tell they are wearing the exact same clothes they were wearing before the commercial break and I am very confused/tired now and someone needs to fetch me a drink, thank you, and wake me when the world’s most boring date is over, goodbye.

Blah blah blah, private suite dinner, blah blah dead mother lots of step-siblings blah blah blah blah rose! blah blah blah dancing at the pool while that lady in the cotton commercials sings some song no one recognizes.

Time for the rose ceremony! Hooray! And y’all? IT’S GETTING FOR REAL NOW. We can tell this because it is raining and everyone is wearing their serious faces.

J.P., who is in a full-throttle panic about not getting a date this week, spirits Dr. Tube Socks away at the first opportunity, and manages to finagle a kiss. I spend the scene desperately hoping that the producers have invested heavily in Abreva, and that the medicine cabinets are fully stocked.

Nick (who?) teaches Dr. Tube Socks a line dance, which distracts William from his terrible, terrible, very horrible George W. impersonation, sending him, almost involuntarily, into the room to interrupt the moment. As you might recall, William has already received a rose, and therefore should just be sitting in a corner quietly somewhere, enjoying an adult beverage. Instead, he manages to alienate all the other men, and earn a nickname, “Ding Dong,” which I will most certainly be using from here on out. Well played, Ding Dong.

OH HEY, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA WANTS TO CHAT. Dr. Tube Socks sits on the stairs with Jigsaw, who explains that he has had a rough go of it in recent years: massive brain hemorrhage, divorce, pathological reliance on ridiculous masks to deal with the stresses of normal human interaction. And just as he’s about to take off his mask (!) the producers shove Matt appears out of nowhere and ruins the moment. WAY TO GO, MATT.

Ben C., a.k.a. Pepe Le Pew, Esq., reeks of desperation and compares Dr. Tube Socks to inanimate objects, which she thinks is hilarious. It is not.

Meanwhile, Ding Dong brags to the other men about his fake-out wedding date with Dr. Tube Socks. Bentley the Villain explains that he’d rather be “swimming in pee” than plan a wedding with the good doctor, because, and I am not sure if you’ve picked up on this or not, he’s here for all the wrong reasons. STILL, that doesn’t mean Bentley the Villain isn’t competitive. And so upon learning that someone else had a good date with Dr. Tube Socks, Bentley the Villain marches in, picks her up and deposits her on his lap by a fire where they proceed to make out and gross and oh my goodness, Abreva. Let’s hope there’s A LOT OF IT IN THIS HOUSE.

Chris Harrison is released from his closet to retrieve Dr. Tube Socks, smear her face in antibiotics and force her to make her rose choices. Ding Dong, Bentley the Villain and Mickey already have roses, leaving:

Rose #1 West
Rose#2 Constantine (whom I wish we could force to get a haircut as a condition of receiving a rose)
Rose#3 Ryan P.
Rose#4 Pepe Le Pew, Esq.
Rose#5 Nick
Rose#6 Ames, a.k.a. Dr. No Socks, a.k.a. TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT, DUDE
Rose#7 Lucas (Who?)
Rose#8 Batman (WAIT, WHAT? HOW? HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? The producers are making her keep him, right? RIGHT? PArt of her contract requires that for at least three weeks she has to put up with this freakshow and then she can dump him, amirite?)
Rose#9 J.P.
Rose#10 Chris
Rose#11 Ben F.
Rose#12 Blake, the boring dentist

Matt is bummed that he was eliminated before a weirdo in a sex mask, which I totally get. But then? Matt has to go and call his mommy and leave a pathetic message, and suddenly I feel a lot less sympathy for Norman Bates.

Stephen, the hairdresser who is fairly certain he is Jason Schwartzman, seems completely ambivalent about being cut, as does Ryan M. who seems to understand that there is only room for one Ryan on the show, and he’s not it. ~whatevs, dudes~

Then Dr. Tube Socks toasts the remaining men: My husband is in here! CHEERS!

However! The most genius moment of the entire episode occurs as the credits roll, and Lucha Libre explains to us that the mask is “only 20% of the equation.” He does a lot of things around the Men’s Quarantine Area to help out, like clean up and vacuum. WHICH THEY SHOW HIM DOING ALL WHILE WEARING THE MASK. And I am not even kidding: I wish they’d give Mr. Incredible his own show, just doing normal things while wearing that mask; swimming or walking the dog or sorting his mail or loading the dishwasher or having brunch with his mom. And I would watch every single minute of it, because that is made of GENIUS. Seriously. Make this happen, ABC. Cancel that Tim Allen sitcom you’ve got cued up for the fall and give The Green Hornet his own show. Ratings gold, right there.

The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC whether we like it or not.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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