June 2, 2014
We need to talk about cynicism.
Yesterday, I pulled my hair and stomped my feet and cursed and shook my fist at the Television Gods for ABC’s seemingly unnecessary scheduling of two episodes of The Bachelorette this week: one episode on Sunday and one on Monday, and calling it an “event.” WHY? WHAT WAS THE POINT?
The point was cynicism. What I didn’t know yesterday while I was ranting and stomping and pulling my hair was that this, the second episode of the so-called Bachelorette “event” was SPOILER ALERT! the episode that featured the departure of Eric Hill, the contestant who died shortly after being on The Bachelorette. And here is where the cynicism comes to play: the reason ABC pushed the schedule up and aired two episodes of The Bachelorette this week instead of just maintaining their normal schedule was because following this episode of The Bachelorette was the premiere of ABC’s summer series, Mistresses. So they used Eric (R.I.P.)’s big goodbye episode, with bonus “emotional” footage of Andi and Chris Harrison talking about what a bummer it is that he died, to lead in their summer premiere of Alyssa Milano’s dumb soap opera.
Now, of course they didn’t promote this episode as being Eric’s (R.I.P.) last one; if only because that would give away who was eliminated before it happened. Instead, they packaged the two episodes together, teased that Andi was going to kick someone off the show and have a meltdown and called it an “event.” Add all of this to the fact that there isn’t even going to be a new episode of The Bachelorette at all next week because we burned through two episodes this week and that’s what we call cynical, ladies and gentlemen.
This show. This network.
The Bachelorette begins its exciting “journey around the world” in exotic Connecticut. Visit! Indian casinos! Eat! Chowder! Meet! White people!
The men are delivered to the Mohegan Sun casino, and I know this only speaks to a combination of my age and my privilege, but one of the men declares “This is the nicest hotel I’ve ever been to!” and it breaks my heart for him a little.
The men explore their suite and somehow this happens:
- That is a bathtub, gentlemen, not a hot tub.
- Where are all your legs going, exactly?
- Is D-Bag Twin #1 pretending to clink a beer glass?
- Is Farmer Teeth throwing his imaginary champagne over his head?
- Are we sure Winner Josh knows how to drink from a glass?
- I’m pretty sure this is the exact moment Eric (R.I.P.) planned his escape from the show. LOOK AT HIS FACE.
I could watch this GIF for hours, y’all. HOURS.
The men manage to unwedge themselves from the bathtub to receive the date card:
“Gordon Gekko: Our relationship is picking up steam. Andi.”
As Gordon goes get ready for his date where, to his great relief, he can finally — FINALLY — tell Andi his sob story, D-Bag Twin #1 gives us his thoughts on Gordon Gekko’s chances: they are about 50/50, according to D-Bag. But if Gordon Gekko doesn’t really open up to Andi or if he approaches the date with any hesitation, he will miss out on an opportunity to get that rose. Thanks for your thoughts, but WHO ASKED YOU, DR. PHIL?
Andi meets Gordon Gekko at an old-fashioned steam train that they try to tell us is “amazing” and “nuts.” It is neither. Their date is, apparently, to ride on this train through the Connecticut countryside in awkward silence, and my apologies to Wesley Snipes for saying that Sunday night’s date was the most boring in Bachelor history, I spoke too soon. Gordon Gekko explains to us in his talking head that he wants very much to tell Andi about losing both his siblings to drug overdoses, but for some reason, he thinks this is a more appropriate conversation to have over dinner than on this interminable train ride where they LITERALLY HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO TALK ABOUT. So instead they just stare out the window in silence that is only broken by Gordon Gekko pointing out that he swam in the Connecticut River once. Cool story.
At one point, Andi asks Gordon about his past relationships and he tells her some story about how he dated someone for 8 years, but that it ended in a messy breakup. Gordon gets close to approaching the elephant in the train car when he tells Andi that his ex got engaged the day after his brother’s funeral, but then he just leaves it there, unaddressed. Which is so much worse than just talking about it! Or not bringing it up in the first place! Either of those would be better options than dropping this emotional turd in her lap and leaving it there! LEARN HOW TO BE A GROWN-UP WHO CAN TALK TO OTHER GROWN-UPS.
Instead, Gordon Gekko waits until dinner — which is held in a train car restaurant because the Producer who planned this date was a three-year-old with a Thomas the Tank Engine obsession — to elaborate on his personal tragedy. Andi, realizing that she’s going to have to pull out of Gordon Gekko whatever it is that’s haunting him, notes that he seems “nervous” and reminds him that he began to tell her something about his family on the first night … did he want to elaborate? Or did he want to morosely stare out the window some more?
Gordon Gekko finally tells her the story we heard the night before: sister had a drug problem, overdosed; brother, upset that sister died of an overdose, developed his own drug habit, overdosed. This is a sad story! But Gordon Gekko doesn’t want to win the date rose because he has two dead siblings — he wants to win it for his personality and sparkling conversation. Andi wipes tears away as she apologizes to Gordon for bringing him on a date that might have brought back painful memories for him, she didn’t know his past was so emotionally fraught. But The Producers did. And that’s why they almost certainly: 1. encouraged Andi to keep Gordon Gekko around until the Connecticut dates and 2. choose him for this particular 1-on-1 date.
Gordon Gekko informs Andi that he has just told her about the worst part of his life, adding that most of his friends don’t even know this story, which is funny since he told Farmer Teeth AND EVERYONE IN AMERICA all about it the night before. Andi offers him the pity rose, all the while insisting that it’s not a pity rose even though we all know it’s a pity rose. Gordon Gekko insists that this is one of the happiest moments in his life. He is totally convincing.
At the hotel, the men receive the most unoriginal group date card ever:
“Who’s got game? Bill the Pants Guy, Farmer Teeth, D-Bag Twin #1, Eric (R.I.P.), Wesley Snipes, Cookie Monster, CODY!, Franck Eggelhoffer, Someone Named Brian, D-Bag Twin #2, and Winner Josh.”
The men are brought to a basketball court there in the hotel, where Andi explains they are about to be humiliated by a bunch of MVP WNBA players for her amusement. Said humiliation occurs until the WNBA players take mercy on them, stop the “game” such as it is, and inform the men that they are going to split into teams and play each other. Winners get to hang with Andi afterwards, losers go back to the hotel and sit in the bathtub together some more, drink imaginary champagne.
Bill the Pants Guy, Winner Josh, D-Bag Twin #2, Franck Eggelhoffer and Farmer Teeth make up the “Five of Hearts.”
Eric (R.I.P.), Wesley Snipes, CODY!, Someone Named Brian, D-Bag Twin #1, and Cookie Monster are the “Rosebuds.” And I am deeply embarrassed at how long, exactly, it took me to get that team name.
So anyway, they play the sportsball, and there’s a lot of talk about their “intensity” and how they are “alpha males” but at halftime they are tied at an improbable 6 to 6. 6? 6? Are you telling me that neither side has scored more than 6?! Are they playing with a deflated ball? Did they impose a rule where they had to tie one hand behind their backs? Did disreputable carnies install these basketball hoops?
But Someone Named Brian is actually a basketball coach in real life, and when the game resumes, he leads the Rosebuds to what is described as a resounding victory by making more than three 2-pointers in the half. The Rosebuds celebrate in the locker room by carefully spraying champagne only in the shower area, while the Five of Hearts frown and pout and stomp and Winner Josh, as it turns out, is something of a Sore Loser.
At the afterparty, Andi decides that she’s developing some pretty strong feelings for some of the men, and she has the self-awareness to realize that Eric (R.I.P.) is not one of them. So she takes him aside to see what he thinks of the process so far, and explains that the only thing she really knows about him is that he travels a lot before complaining that he hasn’t opened up to her about his family or anything else that is important to him. Eric (R.I.P.) gives her what she wants and proceeds to tell her that he just took a trip across the country to visit his siblings, before explaining that while his family is Mormon, he made the decision to leave the church. This satisfies Andi who decides that they are back on track again and she dismisses him.
Coach Brian brings Andi back to the basketball court where she challenges him to make a half-court basket. And he does! And it is impressive! Less impressive, however, is how he doesn’t then just kiss her then and there, despite all of Andi’s blatant go signals. Sad for you, Coach, but hey! At least you have a nickname now!
But Andi gives Coach the date rose despite having absolutely no game because ENOUGH WITH THIS DATE ALREADY.
The final 1-on-1 date is with the Texan Pole, who’s date card read: “The sky’s the limit,” apparently. Andi collects him and leads him up a hotel staircase that goes to the roof, where she explains that they are going to rappel down the side of the building so that they can face their fear of heights together.
This nonsense again.
LOOK. FOR THE KABILLIONTH TIME. When you apply for The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, they are going to ask you what your greatest fears are. DO NOT PUT DOWN HEIGHTS. OR SPIDERS. OR HEIGHTS.
Suggestions for your greatest fears when applying for The Bachelor or The Bachelorette:
- Drowning in a bubble bath
- Being mauled by puppies
- Being strangled by a Swedish masseuse
- Crashing an Italian sports car
- Choking on a filet mignon, maybe caviar
But because these dummies put down “heights” instead of “puppies” on their applications, Andi and the Texan Pole find themselves being fitted for helmets and attached to all sorts of rigging and ropes and then shoved off the roof of the hotel by a bunch of dudes who are not interested in their whinging.
Andi, whose brilliant idea this was (or so she keeps insisting) completely shuts down once she is shoved off the roof, and Texan Pole, whose idea this most certainly WAS NOT, has to maintain a constant flow of chatter to distract her and help her down the building. At one point, they go past the suite where the rest of the men pound on the windows and yell incoherently at the pair, which I’m sure helped calm their nerves.
But eventually they make it past the hooting man-apes and down to solid ground and they are really proud of themselves for “conquering their fears” as if being lowered down the side of a building is some sort of huge life accomplishment and not just a pointless dare.
The pair then have dinner at what Andi describes as “the oldest working inn in America” which depends on your definition, but sure, it’s old. There, the Texan Pole covers the date rose with his napkin because looking at it makes him too nervous. He explains over dinner that he hasn’t dated anyone for 3 years, ever since his last girlfriend dumped him out of the blue, and that Andi is the first person he’s opened up to since.
So Texan Pole here is handsome — he’s a good-looking guy, and he seems nice enough — but there’s something about him that is setting every alarm bell in my head off all at once. He is just a little too intense and fixated on Andi and 3 years just seems like an awfully long time to mourn a relationship. I don’t know, Andi, but I have a bad feeling about this guy.
But Andi doesn’t listen to me, and she gives him the date rose and then they return to the casino where they dance to some country singer I’ve never heard of, who cares, and the Texan Pole leans in to tell Andi that he’s falling in love with her.
The day of the rose ceremony, an anonymous love letter is delivered to Andi from her “secret admirer” which makes NO SENSE, as technically all these men are supposed to be her admirers, what’s the point of keeping your identity secret? And anyway, my money is on Wesley Snipes because he’s been proven to pull stunts like these. It could also be from the Texan Pole whose name might soon be changed to Swimfan if, indeed, he is the author.
That evening at the rose ceremony cocktail party, Franck Eggelhoffer is the first to leap up to steal some time with Andi, and he explains that he wanted to do something different during his time with her. But then Andi proceeds to yammer over him how great! it is that he wants to do something different! and she looks forward to see a different! side of him and it’s all about the small things not the grand gestures! and so she’s really looking forward to seeing what it is that he is going to do which is when Coach — who already has a rose — swoops in, steals Andi and shoves her back out onto the basketball court so that he can finally kiss her the way he should have when he made that half-court basket, the big dummy.
Andi also visits with Cookie Monster who steals the show every time the camera turns on him and who, if The Producers have a brain between them, will be the first African-American Bachelor next season, because people are loving them some Cookie Monster, and let’s be honest, he’s not going to win this thing. DON’T LOOK AT ME THAT WAY, WE AGREED TO BE HONEST.
That’s when Eric (R.I.P.) steals Andi away to chat. Eric (R.I.P.), he’s been thinking about the other day when Andi suggested that he wasn’t giving much of himself to her, and he thinks that actually it’s the opposite: Andi’s the one who isn’t being open with him. He told her about his family! And he told her about his religion! But he hasn’t seen the Andi that he built sandcastles with since that first date, and he didn’t come on this show to meet an actress.
That’s when the rage begins.
ARE YOU CALLING ANDI AN ACTRESS? ARE YOU SAYING THAT SHE HAS A POKER FACE? ARE YOU CALLING HER FAKE? BECAUSE ANDI WILL HAVE YOU KNOW, ERIC (R.I.P.), THAT SHE IS TRYING REALLY HARD HERE, AND ERIC (R.I.P.) HAS NO IDEA HOW TIRING IT IS TO GO ON A SERIES OF UNREALISTIC, EXOTIC DATES WITH A COLLECTION OF DIFFERENT MEN HAND-PICKED FOR HER. IT IS EXHAUSTING! IT IS EXHAUSTING TO BE AN OBJECT OF WORSHIP AND DESIRE! SHE HAS TO PUT ON MAKE-UP AND WEAR HIGH HEELS AND BRUSH HER HAIR! AND FOR ERIC (R.I.P.) TO COME HERE AND SAY THAT SHE HAS A POKER FACE WHEN SHE HAS TO LOOK THESE MEN IN THE FACE AND SEND THEM HOME, HOW DARE HE.
Eric (R.I.P.) tries to say that he doesn’t think she’s acting now, for instance, but Andi is all SAY ACTRESS ONE MORE TIME, DO IT before she points him in the direction of the exit.
Andi storms back into the pack of men and yells at them that THIS IS NOT A JOKE and if they THINK SHE HAS A POKER FACE they BETTER SAY IT NOW and SHE IS EXHAUSTED SO EXHAUSTED and that this is VERY REAL TO HER EVERY DAY.
Meanwhile, Eric (R.I.P.) heads out to a waiting cab and he says a bunch of heartbreaking things about how love is the reason to live (oof) and that love leads to family (ugh) and how he’s more ready than ever to settle down (oy) and that there is nothing more important than a strong relationship (ouch). And he drives off into the night and towards his tragic fate.
And then that’s it, there’s no rose ceremony. Instead Chris Harrison is back in our faces reminding us that after this, Eric (R.I.P.) went home and died in a paragliding accident. And because Eric’s (R.I.P.) exit from the show was so dramatic and tense and hard, The Producers didn’t think it would be cool to go ahead and air the rose ceremony — which did happen — as if it weren’t weird that Eric (R.I.P.) left the show under this dark cloud and then went on to die in a horrible accident. So, instead of the rose ceremony, they have dragged Andi out to sit with Chris Harrison and agree that the whole thing was so sad and so hard and so weird. She she basically says that there are no hard feelings, and that she wishes that he could have been at the Men Tell All special so that they could have a laugh about his departure, but whaddya gonna do? Other than dedicate the season to his memory, and be a little embarrassed that the last time we saw the dead guy, she was shrieking in his face, there is not a whole lot to do.
And then Chris Harrison informs us that Franck Eggelhoffer was sent home during the rose ceremony which did happen. But since he didn’t die in a horrific paragliding accident, who really cares.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC. Except next week when there won’t be a new episode because as we’ve covered, ABC is horrible and cynical.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.