July 7, 2014
Brian Williams wants my job, y’all:
And you know what? He can have it.
But until I set him up with a password to Tubular’s dashboard, you’re stuck with me, I’m afraid. And we’re stuck with The Dreaded Hometowns this week.
We begin in Milwaukee which is one of those words that looks so weird when you actually spell it out and you’re pretty sure you have misspelled it, but nope, that’s how white people decided that particular Native American word was spelled, so that’s what we’re stuck with. Anyway, Milwaukee. Wesley Snipes is from Milwaukee, land of beer and Catholics and polka, and he is not here to disabuse you of the notion. Wesley Snipes meets Andi at some food market, before taking her to a brewery where they taste their “very own beer” which is definitely not just a random tap with sticker of their names slapped on it, definitely not.
And that’s when the polka band starts up, and Wesley Snipes asks Andi if she’s ever polka’d. “What’s a polka?” Asks Andi.
“WHAT’S A POLKA,” ASKS ANDI.
“It’s a Wisconsin dance,” answers Wesley Snipes.
“IT’S. A. WISCONSIN. DANCE,” ANSWERS WESLEY SNIPES.
The two then begin to “polka,” and by “polka” I mean “hop up and down while holding hands.”
Having desecrated polka, the pair then drive to Wesley Snipes’ suburban family home where Andi is introduced to Wesley Snipes’ parents and nineteen jagillion siblings and I’m not watching one of those Duggar shows, am I? BECAUSE I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR ONE OF THOSE DUGGAR SHOWS.
After the obligatory dinner, we have the obligatory talks with the family: Wesley Snipes chats with one of his sisters, who even knows what her name is, and she worries about his previous “heartache” and that he might be making himself vulnerable to having his heart broken again, concerns that she also shares with Andi. And that is the extent of the disapproval that Andi will face from the Snipes Family.
Andi then faces questions from Wesley Snipes’ youngest sister, whom I mistook for a niece because COME ON, IT’S TIME TO CLOSE UP SHOP, MOM. Baby Sister is not kidding around, asking such hard questions as: “What do you like best about my brother?” and “If you had to choose between a handsome guy with a bad personality and an ugly guy with a good personality, who would you pick?” and “Are you in love with my brother?” Andi goes through a laborious explanation to a 8-year-old of what it means to have a “mental connection” with someone, which said 8-year-old most certainly does not care about, before evading the whole “love” question because thems the Bachelor rules.
Wesley Snipes and his mother then talk and he begins crying for some reason? And then she’s crying? And everyone is crying? SO MUCH CRYING, STOP CRYING, THIS IS STUPID.
And then Andi is brought back into the living room where she is forced to name all the nineteen jagillion children in the pictures before she is allowed to leave. She succeeds, and hurriedly makes her escape.
Next stop: Arlington, Iowa, where she meets Farmer Teeth at what he describes as “the house [he] is going to die in,” so I guess he’s open to moving to Atlanta? (He is not open to moving to Atlanta.) Still, Andi is impressed that Farmer Teeth has a house, as most of the people she sees live in apartments and condos and even a house in the middle of thousands of miles of corn is still a house, right?
Because there is literally nothing else to do in Nowhere, Iowa, they take a tractor ride. After that excitement, they have a picnic and Andi expresses her legitimate concerns about what, exactly, she would do in Iowa were she to choose him. Prosecute corn crimes? Defend tractor thieves? Hang out at the courthouse in a seersucker suit, doling out country wisdom? Farmer Teeth suggests that there is an “opportunity to be a homemaker” and immediately tries to claim he was being sarcastic. He was not being sarcastic. In response, Andi tries to claim that she’s not a city girl because when she was growing up, her family had a lake house in Alabama, which is totally the same thing as making your life on the set of Field of Dreams.
And then a plane flies by with a banner that reads: “FARMER TEETH LOVES ANDI” which absolutely is worth giving up your education and career to become a farm frau.
The pair then meet Farmer Teeth’s giant blond farmer family, his three sisters and their husbands, his formidable mother, and in theory his father is there, too, I assume outside somewhere playing ghost baseball. The sisters are all Very Nice but things take a turn for the scatological when they begin making fart jokes and telling Andi about how Farmer Teeth didn’t like to wear underwear as a child.
Meanwhile, Farmer Teeth chats with Mother Teeth about his feelings and Andi’s concerns about her career, a worry that Mother Teeth poo-poos. Why, she was born “in town” herself and had never driven a tractor before she became a farm wife, and now look at her! Because being born “in town” and moving to a farm is exactly the same thing as being a federal prosecutor in Atlanta and giving that up to move to a farm in Iowa to be a “homemaker.” (“Sarcastically.”)
After she puts some pies on the windowsill to cool, Mother Teeth traps Andi and proceeds to compliment Andi’s “gumption” about thirty times before she sets in on Andi’s breeding potential, because Mother Teeth is a walking bosomy cliché.
And then the family plays something that they call “ghost in the graveyard” which I guess is what they call Hide and Go Seek in Iowa?
TIME TO GO, ANDI.
Next up: Tampa, Florida to hang out with
her future in-laws Winner Josh’s family. Winner Josh first takes her to a baseball field to play some baseball because OF COURSE he does. That said, Andi has a wicked swing and manages to break the bat on one pitch. Winner Josh somehow resists pulling a Clemens and hurling the shard of the bat at her ankles. I am certain I would have had no such restraint.
There is then so much boring talk about Winner Josh’s boring feelings about his aborted baseball career and how he “realized what was important in life” i.e., was never actually brought up to the big leagues, and how he had to help his younger brother, Aaron, realize his football dreams. Seems his brother Aaron is a fairly good football player with the University of Georgia, who at the time this was shot, was preparing for the NFL draft. His Wikipedia page informs me that he was drafted by Kansas City in the fifth round. Winner Josh does not have a Wikipedia page.
The two finally meet the family: Winner Josh’s mother and his father and his brother The Chosen One and his sister Oh Right You’re Still Here and his dog Sable. They sit down to dinner where The Chosen One settles into a long boring tale of his draft experience that everyone is expected to listen to raptly. Nightmare. This is a nightmare!
But wait! It gets worse! Winner Mother sits Andi down to explain that their entire family, including Winner Josh, and by extension Andi, if she chooses Winner Josh, is expected to construct their lives around The Chosen Ones’ career. Winner Father also stresses the point that The Family is going to be attending all of The Chosen One’s games, is that something that Andi is willing to do? And Oh Right You’re Still Here warns Andi that she and Winner Josh will definitely fight about this particular issue, so get ready for that.
But wait! There’s more! Winner Mother makes Winner Josh cry when she reminds him that he’s put himself last for so long, that he deserves this happiness. As long as it doesn’t interfere with The Chosen One’s schedule, of course. SO MUCH CRYING, STOP CRYING, THIS IS STUPID.
Andi also chats with The Chosen One who grants his brother permission to have his own life and be with Andi, because The Chosen One is generous like that.
And then they all play football because OF COURSE THEY ALL PLAY FOOTBALL. Fun family.
Finally: Dallas, TX, to meet the Texan Pole’s family and what do you know, but The Producers actually manage to use shots of Real Dallas this time and not Other Dallas like they did last season:
Texas tells Andi they are going to spend a day in his life, which apparently mostly involves driving around Highland Park Village and talking about “trollies.” Texas then brings Andi to a nightclub where he pops some champagne and proceeds to perform the same strip tease that he did for her on their first date, and unless there was something fairly important that he left off of his official bio, I am failing to see how this is a typical day in Texas’ life. Also, let’s return you to your pants, Texas, before you begin chewing on Andi’s face, you’re making everyone uncomfortable.
Fortunately, Texas puts his clothes back on before bringing Andi to his family’s house, where Andi meets his mother, sister, brother, niece and nephew, with whom, Andi reminds us about 30 times, he has had his share of “struggles.” Sister is the first to take Andi aside to talk and Andi goes on and on about how wonderful Texas is, how open he is with his feelings before basically telling Sister that she’s about to dump her brother. Not in so many words, of course, but Andi basically is like, “Texas is moving really fast and I’m not there yet and I’d like to catch up but I probably won’t, so be ready when I send his blond self home next week, cool?”
Texas, meanwhile, chats with his brother and is like, “I’m totally in love with her and she’s in love with me and we are going to get married, for reals,” before bursting into tears because Brother served as a father figure to him after their father left. SO MUCH CRYING, STOP CRYING, THIS IS STUPID. SERIOUSLY, NO MORE MAN CRYING.
Andi visits with Texas’ Polish mother and they discuss
polka how open Texas has been with Andi, which surprises Polish Mother. Later, she gives Texas her blessing if anything goes further with Andi. Remarkably, Texas manages to not cry about it. And then Andi leaves. BYE TEXAS BYE.
But we don’t go to the rose ceremony. Instead, we are invited into Chris Harrison’s home which bears a remarkable resemblance to the Bachelor Mansion, leaving me wondering if Chris Harrison has his own Glamour Shots Alcove of Contemplation and stash of rose boutonnieres somewhere where he acts out his own Bachelor fanfic. The four remaining men are sitting on his couch when Andi arrives, and everyone is confused. Chris Harrison finally explains that he knows this is weird, but something really terrible happened: that one Eric guy was in a paragliding accident and he died that morning. Everyone is shocked and stunned and don’t know what, exactly, they are supposed to say or do with their hands, and it’s awkward and painful and perhaps one of the most real moments on this ridiculous “reality” show.
Andi walks away for a moment, only to return and recite some platitudes about how Eric R.I.P.’s death puts everything in perspective, real people, real lives, yadda yadda yadda. And then the crew puts down the cameras and break the fourth wall by joining the cast and hugging them. What is unclear is whether or not Andi realized they were still filming her while she cried that she kicked Eric R.I.P. out, and that she was brutal in her last conversation with him. It’s an honest moment that is genuinely heartbreaking and terribly voyeuristic and I hate The Producers for showing it but at the same time it might be the catharsis we all needed.
So on with the show! It’s time for the rose ceremony, but not before Chris Harrison takes Andi aside for some more feelings talk. She’s really upset and there’s more crying, of course there’s more crying, but this is “life” and “life happened” last night (although technically it was kind of the exact opposite of life happening if you want to get all technical about it).
And so Andi marches out to the men who are all lined up and is like, “Listen, this is sad, but we have to keep doing this thing apparently.”
Rose #1: Andi leaves to have a cry break.
Cry cry cry … and we’re back.
Rose #1: Winner Josh
Rose #2: Farmer Teeth
Rose #3: Wesley Snipes
So, goodbye, Texas Pole. You were inoffensive and pretty, but I never came up with a good name for you, so I can’t say that I’m that sad to see you go. That said, methinks we haven’t seen the last of you or your multitude of issues yet.
Or at least pack your emotional baggage and head on over to Bachelor in Paradise.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC.