January 2, 2012
I never want to go around exclaiming that anyone of any importance actually reads anything I write because, come on. Who are we kidding. Nor do I want to make this all about me (I mean, aside from the part where I totally do). But anyone who has read any of the past year’s worth of my Bachelor-related blogs knows that I have advocated that there are two things one needs to survive any season of The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette; and DOUBLY so for Bachelor Pad): A great deal of booze, and a strong course of antibiotics. So many of the antibiotics.
So you can’t blame me for thinking that this season of The Bachelor is, if not an acknowledgement of my own, comparatively meager contributions to the online conversation about The Bachelor, at least a nod to the universe of snark out there on the intertoobz about this ridiculous, ridiculous show. Case in point:
- This season’s Bachelor is Ben the Wine Dude. AS IN BOOZE.
- One of the bachelorettes is working on her Ph.D. in epidemiology. AS IN DISEASES.
- So far the biggest crazy on the show is a blogger. AS IN BLOGGING.
So, well done, Bachelor Producers! You’ve finally become self-aware, and managed to find a way to respond to your armies of mockers! This is progress. Of sorts.
So, Ben the Wine Dude.
Look, I never thought that I was ever going to have to come up with a better name for this guy, because I was fairly certain he was going to be eliminated after the first few dates with Dr. Tube Socks. The only reason he even warranted a nickname in the first place was to distinguish him from that other guy who needed a haircut on The Bachelorette, Constantine the Uninterested:
I never thought I’d be stuck with Mr. Ben “I Make the Wine in My Backyard and OH BY THE WAY MY DAD DIED” Boringpants for an entire season of The Bachelor. I just did not see that coming. And so he has a lame nickname. But then, “Dr. Tube Socks” was no great shakes, either, and for similar reasons. What I’m saying is, we are stuck with “Ben the Wine Dude” for another 12 weeks, unless you guys come up with something catchier. AND GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, because geez, he’s boring/needs a haircut.
So, right, last we saw of Boring Ben the Wine Dude, he was puttering off in the Rowboat of Sadness following Dr. Tube Sock’s humiliating rejection of his marriage proposal in favor of that bald guy because, seriously, that hair, Ben. But he assures us that this was totally OK because his dad died? Several years ago? And so while some wannabe dentist with an irritating habit of pulling on her hair and constantly making jazz hands because she is a DANCER! might have dumped him, it was a good thing that he proposed? Because it means he’s over his dad’s death. Or something. I am not really sure.
To make this point clear, Ben the Wine Dude marches out of a traditional San Francisco house that I’m not sure he lives in and stares contemplatively off into the distance before donning a weird tank top and sailing some giant boat I’m not sure he owns and staring contemplatively off into the distance before driving up to Sonoma to the winery and puttering around in a tractor that I’m not entirely sure he has a license for and staring contemplatively off into the distance before heading down to Los Angeles and fake playing a piano that most certainly does not belong to him while he stares contemplatively off into the distance.
FACT: Ben the Wine Dude has “never juggled 25 women” before. Well, I’d like to know who has, Ben the Wine Dude, because that would be one helluva act, not to mention a feat of remarkable upper body strength.
Chris Harrison is released from his do-gooder show, the one that he does so he can sleep at night believing that he has done something worthwhile in his life, so as to introduce us to this season’s Most Notable Crazies/The Only Ladies Really Worth Paying Attention To:
Lindzi C. (27, Business developer — whatever that means, WA): HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES. HORSE METAPHOR. PATHETIC STORY ABOUT BEING DUMPED VIA TEXT MESSAGE (“Welcome to Dumpsville! Population: You.”). HORSE. HORSE METAPHOR. HORSE.
Amber T. (29, Critical care nurse, NE): Let’s put on a bunch of camo and shoot things and eat bull testicles! And groom our eyebrows like a stripper! SO FUN!
Kacie (24, Administrative assistant, TN): She is sweet and giggly and talks about her grandparents writing love letters to one another during World War II while she reads something in a Hello Kitty notebook — which I hope she doesn’t think are her grandparents’ correspondence because that would just be pitiful/hilarious — and then she does that heart thing with her hands that Crazy Ryan the Solar Panel Guy did on The Bachelorette? The one who talked endlessly about water heaters until Dr. Tube Socks was all OH SWEET JEEBUS GO HOME, I CAN’T TAKE ANY MORE TALK ABOUT WATER HEATERS, YOU NERD, UGH.
And so my point here is that I think Kacie is adorable and is absolutely in my top five to make it all the way, but I put 5-2 odds on the fact that she thought or hoped Ryan (or maybe Fivehead) was going to be the next Bachelor and was perhaps surprised by Señor Needsahaircut.
Courtney (28, Model, CA): THE VILLAINESS IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE VILLAINESS! Courtney is a model. Courtney is used to women hating her on account of her beauty. Courtney deserves a 2 carat engagement ring. HAVE YOU SEEN HOW BEAUTIFUL COURTNEY IS? (Oh, I think I’m going to like you, Courtney. NAY! I think I’m going to love you.)
Jamie (25, Registered nurse, NY): Jamie and her giant teeth are good people, y’all. After her mother had some sort of nervous breakdown/came-to-her-senses after being a single mother to 18 children, she just up and left and Jamie was left to raise all 93 of her siblings in a two-bedroom trailer. It was very hard and they couldn’t wear the fancy Guess? jeans or whatever and she is a hero and she is very excited to have Ben the Wine Dude’s babies as is her reward.
Lyndsie (29, Internet entrepreneur — whatever that means AZ): daughter of a British diplomat and if you give ‘er ah moment, guvnuh, she’ll put on all ‘er ethnic garb and do impersonations of all the brown peoples she once lived amongst! Adorable! And not racist at all!
Jenna (27, Blogger, NYC): And here she is, the Producer’s Revenge on Bloggers. Jenna is a Carrie Bradshaw wannabe, which in and of itself is hilarious. Her blog is called The Over-Analyst, because according to her “blog,” she “enjoy[s] analyzing. It’s one of the things people may consider a problem, yet it’s one of the things I really like to do. I think it makes us more interesting and leads us to new discoveries. Overanalyzing happens because you really have a deep interest in learning about life, the good and the bad. I embrace my desires, I feel inspired and I witness the beauty.” To this end, she writes — in the middle of the day at a sidewalk cafe while drinking large glasses of red wine, because that’s what we bloggers do — such ground-breaking things like: “What does love really mean?” and “Do I believe in soul mates? No. But do I believe in true love?” (WELL, DON’T LEAVE US HANGING, JENNA, DO YOU? DO YOU BELIEVE IN TRUE LOVE?) And as if all of that wasn’t enough hilarity, she then starts talking about her panic attacks and how she wants someone to be with her FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER and by the time she starts the water to boil the bunny in, we all get it, PRODUCERS. You win this round. Bloggers be crazy.
But let’s talk about that “blog,” for a moment, yes? What is this thing? A couple of hastily thrown together “entries” about how awesome Gwyneth Paltrow is or trite musings on how “the struggle” defines us, or FREAKING FANNY PACKS? This blog is not a job, this is a hobby — and a half-attended-to one at that. How on Earth is she supporting herself in New York City writing crap like, “Think about where you were a year ago. Think about where you are today. Imagine what can happen in just one year. It’s pretty amazing.” IT IS PRETTY AMAZING, JENNA! YOU ARE AN OVER-ANALYZER! YOU JUST BLEW MY BRAIN WITH THAT OVER-ANALYSIS! Great blog! Such a good, good blog and not something cobbled together by the Producers at the last minute so that they can claim this trust fund baby or whatever is a “blogger,” and take a dig at all the bloggers out there who poke fun at their ridiculous, ridiculous show.
BUT STILL, slow clap, Producers. Well done:
Shawn (28, Financial analyst, AZ): She is a super important businesslady, which we know because she puts on her very best blue satin blouse and goes into her spare dining room where she keeps her computer and telephone into which randomly yells, “THE MARKET IS PRETTY FLAT!” at no one in particular. Important business things! She is also a single mother to a boy named Gavin whom I will not make fun of because it was not his choice to be on this dumb show, but I do think it is sad for him that his mother thinks she needs to hussy it up on an asinine dating series to find this poor little boy a father. Also, she doesn’t have a chance.
Nicki (26, Dental hygienist, TX): First of all, 3 points for being from Texas. Second of all, 2 points for being a divorcée. This issue of divorce is a curious one on The Bachelor. They both make a big deal out of it, as if it is some sort of scarlet letter, AND act as though it makes the women somehow more virtuous; that because they have been divorced, they truly understand what it is to love, unlike the other maidens in the competition or something. Whatever, as long as she doesn’t have a crazy, I see Nicki going to the top 5. Probably a home visit. SO GET READY, HURST, TEXAS.
And then it’s time for the Ladies in Limos. BUT FIRST! Chris Harrison has to chat with Ben the Wine Dude about his feelings and dead father and hummingbirds and how they are a symbol of something or other and YES, WE GET IT, BEN THE WINE DUDE HAZ DADDY ISSUEZ. Let’s get on with it already!
Limo #1 arrives and deposits:
Rachel, (27, Fashion sales rep, NYC): Rachel is cute and sweet and bares a resemblance to that actress with the one brown eye and the one blue eye, or maybe Anna Faris, I can’t decide, but otherwise is remarkably unremarkable.
Erika, (23, Law student, Chicago): Is guilty of wearing a slutty dress. Seriously, Erika, your law professors are watching. Put something on that covers up your belly button.
Amber B. Canadian Bacon (23, Labor and delivery nurse, Canada): HER LAST NAME IS BACON! DO YOU GET IT? WELL, DO YOU? BACON! LIKE THE DELICIOUS MEAT TREAT!! BACON!
Elyse (24, Personal trainer, Chicago): This one marches out of the limo, threatens to make Ben the Wine Dude do push-ups. No thank you!
Jenna, (See Above: 27, blogger, NYC): I mean, the crazy just radiates off this one! Upon leaving the limo, she attempts to quote something at Ben the Wine Dude that he once said about how all good things end badly, and he’s like, “Uh, that’s not what I said … ” and she freaks out and scurries into the Bachelor house squealing about how she has RUINED! EVERYTHING! and I am going to have to work on my meditative breathing techniques/buy more bourbon because this is going to be a long, long season.
Limo #2 arrives and burps out:
Courtney (28, Model, CA): La Villainessa arrives; villainesses.
Emily (27, Ph.D. Student, NC): OH HONEY, GO BACK TO THE LAB. IT IS SAFER THERE. But no, Emily the epidemiology student, she wipes Ben the Wine Dude down with hand sanitizer and sprays anitbiotics all over his face (both smart moves) before kissing him and just, no. NO! Unless! UNLESS, this is all actually a part of some sort of doctoral thesis in which she’s going to take samples from the Bachelor hot tub and cross breed them with samples from the Jersey Shore hot tub and attempt to find a cure to ALL MANKIND’S DISEASES! Or kill us all. Still! If it’s in the name of science, go forth, Dr. Disease! Cure (or kill) us! It’s madness, perhaps, but if it cures Ebola and herpes, it will all be worth it.
Samantha (26, Advertising account manager, CA): Arrives wearing her 2010 Miss Pacific Palisades beauty pageant sash which isn’t pathetic at all.
Casey S. (26, Trading clerk, KS): ALERT: You are not wearing any clothes! I know you think you are wearing clothes because the hem of your “dress” is at your ankles, but, in fact, this is not a clothes! You should put on clothes before the other “trading clerks” see you!
Amber T. (29, Nurse, NE): Nurse “I Eat Cow Testicles, Which, Biologically Speaking, Are Not a Thing!” Amber T. pulls a super-clever little trick where after meeting Ben the Wine Dude on the Driveway of Love, she doesn’t immediately go inside, but instead makes a loop around the garden to re-meet him. Ben the Wine Dude obviously thinks this is the Dumbest Thing Ever, but, to his credit doesn’t just tell her to keep on going right on back inside that limo, which I would have totally done, so points to Ben the Wine Dude for being a nicer person than me. Because that is a very hard accomplishment, clearly.
Limo #3 pulls up and out come:
Holly (24, Pharmaceutical rep, KY): Lady Hattington of Hattingvale in her giant stupid “LOOK AT ME!!!” hat arrives and hats.
Jamie (25 RN, NY): The Dickensian character who raised all 200 of her orphaned siblings from above arrives, acts nervous.
But after she heads inside, Ben the Wine Dude mutters about how much he’s loving the brunettes. Noted!
Shira (NO AGE GIVEN, Actress, Los Angeles): You are very clever, “Shira!” You clearly have a plan:
- Move to Los Angeles from Whereveresville.
- Make up dumb new name.
- Get on The Bachelor.
- Refuse to tell Producers age, lest IMDB dig it up and post it once you get your inevitable IMDB page.
- BECOME SUPERSTAR.
Blakeley (34, VIP Cocktail waitress, NC): She is not merely a cocktail waitress, y’all. She is a VIP cocktail waitress. So she’s important. And this is not code for some sort of strip club shenanigans, why would you even think that, gah.
Grandma Sheryl (72, Retiree, CO): And out comes Grandma Sheryl. Look, when the Producers slipped that promo with Grandma Sheryl hobbling over to Ben the Wine Dude on her crutches (And really, Ben the Wine Dude? Could you have not gone over to Grandma Sheryl once you saw those crutches come out of the limo? Rude.) and declaring her love for him, we all knew this was some sort of ruse. There was no way the Producers were going to include a septuagenerian in the bachelorettes, because HOW PAINFUL/AWESOME WOULD THAT BE? Too painful and way too awesome. And so, yes, this is all a clever trick by the granddaughter of Grandma Sheryl:
Brittney (26, Medical sales rep, CO): Who has exactly nothing to say to Ben the Wine Dude. Good thing she brought along a prop!
Limo #4 brings us:
Nicki, (26 Dental hygienist, TX): Our very cute and very Texas divorcée is happy that Ben the Wine Dude is the Bachelor! That makes one of us, honey.
Dianna (30, Non-profit director, CA): Completely forgets what she was going to say to Ben the Wine Dude. Which is fine, because we will shortly completely forget her.
Jennifer (28, Accountant, OK): Her gimmick is that she is an accountant, and so she rattles a bunch of numbers at him, including the number of dresses she tried on before settling on this blue sparkly thing. (54) Great?
Lyndsie J. (29, Internet entrepreneur, AZ) “‘ALLO! CHEERIO, CHAP! AH WROTE YEH A POEM, GUVNUH, IN WHICH I CALL YEH A FAHMAH! WELL, AH MUST BE GOIN INSIDE, THEN, TA-TA!”
FINALLY, Limo #5 arrives and dumps out:
Monica (33, Dental consultant, UT): She confesses that she misses her dog. This will not be her only confession of the evening.
Jaclyn (27, Advertising account manager, MA): ALRIGHT, LISTEN. This is mean, I KNOW THIS IS MEAN, and that doesn’t make it any less mean. But, seriously, what is wrong with her face? It looks like someone else’s much smaller face was put on her head? Or that she was drawn by Picasso? I TOLD YOU IT WAS GOING TO BE MEAN, but seriously? What is up with her weird wrong face?
Shawn (28, Financial advisor, AZ): Gavin’s mom slugs Ben the Wine Dude in the arm. Because every man wants his love interest to remind him of his brother, or uncle.
Kacie B. (24, Administrative assistant, TN): Our front-runner from the earlier profiles arrives and is all sweet tea and magnolias and you can see Ben the Wine Dude booking his ticket for Tennessee already.
Finally, Lindzie the Horse Girl (27, Business development manager, WA) comes clomping up on her horse because this is the Season of the Prop.
Inside the Hen House, there is much clucking and hissing about the Girl Who Rode in on a Horse and how THEY ALL HATE HER, which, wow? Really? Already? What about Grandma? Or Miss Reliving Her Former Glory? Or Lady Hattington?
Chris Harrison reminds Ben the Wine Dude that there will be a First Impression Rose before shoving him inside the Hen House. Ben the Wine Dude makes a stumbling toast about knowing that the process works (O RLY?) before announcing that all the blondes can just go ahead and show themselves out. NOT REALLY. But it would have saved us all a lot of time if he had.
No, instead he begins the long, tedious and extraordinarily boring “cocktail party,” in which he makes a bunch of small talk with women about his heritage and his job and tries to look interested when they burble about how everything happens for a reason and how they once made wine in their bathroom and how REALLY, FOR SERIOUS, their granddaughter is AWESOME. And with that, Grandma Sheryl sees herself out and back into a limousine where she bursts into tears because that’s what one does in limousines on this show. You clearly are a big fan of the show, Grandma Sheryl.
Chris Harrison carefully lowers the First Impression Rose into this mess and then has the Producers remove him back to safety.
Important Businesslady Gavin’s Mom kicks a soccer ball at Ben the Wine Dude’s head, and Scary Trainer makes Ben the Wine Dude do pushups, which, if I were Ben the Wine Dude would earn them both early exits. (“GET OUT. JUST LEAVE. AND TAKE THAT G-D SOCCER BALL WITH YOU.” — Me, as Ben the Wine Dude.) Blakeley the Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress shows him her regrettable lower arm tattoo, Kacie makes him Boot Scoot Boogie, which, awesome. Dianna, the Forgetter, shoves a bunch of candy in his mouth, and, then, Dr. Disease, she raps for him. SHE RAPS FOR HIM. Some of her dope rhymes? “Love is like disease, it is always spreadin’. You can get it from a friend, you can get it at a weddin’.” DROPPING SOME SCIENCE, INDEED, M.C. INFECTIOUS.
Courtney the Villainess then pulls Ben the Wine Dude aside and tells him all about her very glamorous model life and her hair. Ben the Wine Dude: You’ve been Kaa’d!
MEANWHILE. Inside, Blogessa is UPSET! because Monica in the purple dress has announced that she is, in fact, not interested in Ben the Wine Dude. Blogessa is fairly certain that Monica in the Purple Dress SHOULD JUST LEAVE THEN. But, instead, Monica in the Purple Dress laughs and laughs and laughs in Blogessa’s face before she stumbles over to Blakeley the Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress and begins making noises about how she loves Blakeley and that Monica’s not just here for friendship, she’s here for experiences. Like lady experiences, IF YOU CATCH MONICA’S LADY DRIFT.
This all makes Blogessa have a panic attack for some reason. And instead of letting it go and realizing that if Monica and Blakeley the Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress were to get their sappho on, there would be two fewer serious competitors to deal with, Blogessa marches around the cocktail party squealing about how Monica made her cry and how Monica is “brilliant” (??), which, in turn, makes Monica threaten to beat her up. So, in other words everyone is being very reasonable and sane. Rachel attempts to mediate the situation and brings Monica over to talk to Blogessa, but this only leads to Blogessa sniping at Monica that they could share a tampon sometime, which 1. Gross, and 2. What? What does that even mean?
And then Blogessa begins sobbing. Sobbing sobbing sobbing. Ben the Wine Dude notices Blogessa crying and she’s all NOPE. Not crying! HOW DO YOU FEEL? How do you feel, Ben the Wine Dude? He explains that he’s calm, and Blogessa is all, WELL, SURE. NO ONE CAN DISMISS YOU. She then announces that she is really stressed by this process and that sometimes everything goes all black for her, and even if you hadn’t ever heard the term “red flag” before, you would instinctively know that this was one, right? When a woman whom you just met an hour ago is suddenly sobbing over you and snapping at you about being “dismissed” and talking about everything going “all black,” that’s when you know it’s time to walk away, but backwards, so as to keep an eye on her, right?
Instead, Ben the Wine Dude is all, “You’ll be fine.”
And so Blogessa excuses herself to the bathroom for the rest of the night so as to keen and wail and sob and pull her hair out and sob.
Ben the Wine Dude has a First Impression Rose to give, and so he wanders around the Hen House for a while before giving up and handing it to Lindzie the Horse Girl who Doesn’t Know How to Spell Her Name.
And with that, Chris Harrison reappears to announce that it’s Rose Ceremony Time, and that Ben the Wine Dude must head into the Glamour Shots Alcove of Contemplation, while the Producers pry Blogessa out of the bathroom, and shove her into the lineup. Chris Harrison then explains that 17 roses will be handed out tonight, which means 7 of them are getting into the Limos of Sadness. SO GET READY, CRAZIES.
Ben the Wine Dude emerges and mumbles something or other about them all being beautiful and how difficult and emotional this whole business is. Especially for those among us who forgot their meds back in New York City, Jenna.
Rose #1: Jamie, the nurse who raised all 67 of her siblings
Rose #2: Rachel
Rose #3: Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley
Rose #4: M.C. Infectious
Rose #5: Kacie B. (St. Kacie)
Rose #6: Casey S. WHO NEEDS TO FIND A SKIRT
Rose #7: Granddaughter Brittney
Rose #8: Erica, the law student
Rose #9: Shawn, Gavin’s mom
Rose #10: Texan Nicki
Rose #11: Jennifer, the Accountant
Rose #12: Elyse, the Terrifying Trainer
Rose #13: Miss Pageant
Rose #14: Kaa, Jr. Courtney
Rose #15: Picasso Face Jaclyn
Rose #16: Monica
16 17: Blogessa
BE GONE WITH THE REST OF YOU. Be gone, Not!Shayne Lamas! Be gone, Ageless Actress! And you, Candy Lady! Be gone, Canadian Bacon! Be gone, British Lyndsie and your bad poetry! Be gone, Lady Hattington and take your stupid hat with you back to Hattingvale! And be gone, Nurse “Put Me in Some Camo and Gimme a Gun, I Got Some Deer Babies to Kill” Amber! Be gone in the Limo of Spinsterdom to weep ridiculous tears from beneath your over-plucked eyebrows. Be gone back to Nebraska to eat testicles and take out your bitterness on all the small woodland creatures that roam the woods near your home. Be gone to spend your days watching The Bachelor now and next year and the next year after that, alone, all alone, and wonder if maybe, just maybe when you stepped out of the limousine, if you hadn’t done that dumb thing where you didn’t just go immediately inside the house, maybe, maybe it could have been you.
This season on The Bachelor: Crying. Some wailing, but mostly just crying.
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 7 p.m.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.