February 19, 2018
This is my 13th season of writing about Bachelor/Bachelorette hometown visits and I’m here to tell you they are all exactly the same.
Every hometown visit:
- Upon meeting the Bachelor/Bachelorette, the family is polite but initially skeptical.
- They have “dinner” and everyone looks grim and drinks a lot of wine.
- The Bachelor/Bachelorette meets with the family members individually and convinces them of their sincerity.
A. Unless, in a very rare circumstance, the family member is not convinced of their sincerity and tells them as much to their face. Note: this only happens on The Bachelor, never on The Bachelorette.
- The contestant meets with her/his family members individually, convinces them that this is “for real” and that they “really care” about the Bachelor/Bachelorette and that while, yes, it’s weird that He/She is dating three other people, they “really believe in [their] connection.”
- The Bachelor/Bachelorette obtains the blessing of the designated patriarch of the family to propose.
A. Unless, in a very rare circumstance, they do not. Note: this only happens on The Bachelor, never on The Bachelorette.
- The contestant escorts the Bachelor/Bachelorette outside to their Uber where they most often tell the Bachelor/Bachelorette that they are falling in love with them. Note: if the contestant does not tell the Bachelor/Bachelorette that they are falling in love with them by this point in the contest, they become racked with doubt and worry.
And hey, guess what, all of these hometowns this week follow THIS EXACT PATTERN.
The editors try their level best to drum up some tension and try to make it seem as though Arie Bobby is going to encounter some actual resistance from these families but he doesn’t and you know why? BECAUSE THESE ARE GROWN-ASS WOMEN WHO CAN MAKE UP THEIR OWN GROWN-ASS MINDS ABOUT WITH WHOM THEY ARE GOING TO BE ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED. THEY DON’T NEED THEIR PARENTS’ PERMISSION TO DATE ANYONE, AND THEIR PARENTS KNOW IT. THERE IS NO REAL TENSION HERE. I AM JUST SCREAMING INTO THE DUMB VOID AND I KNOW IT BUT I CAN’T STOP.
And so, in light of that, I am not going to detail every interaction Arie Bobby has with every father or father figure because WHO CARES, HE HAS EVERYONE’S PERMISSION TO PROPOSE BECAUSE, HEY, GUESS WHAT, IT’S NOT DAD’S DECISION ANYWAY.
Instead, we are just going to touch on the highlights of the visit and then pick questions for Arie Bobby that I would have liked to have seen the families actually ask him instead of, “are you really ready to settle down?” BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THE ANSWER IS GOING TO BE YES EVEN IF HE DOESN’T ACTUALLY MEAN IT. JUST DUMB. THAT IS A PROFOUNDLY DUMB QUESTION THAT EVERY SINGLE FAMILY ASKS EVERY SEASON EVEN THOUGH IT’S SO VERY DUMB.
We are back in California — Los Angeles, no less — for Arie Bobby’s first hometown date, with the quirky — but not too quirky — Taxiderpy. For the first part of the date, Taxiderpy takes him to some serial killer’s warehouse full of taxidermy (obviously).
There, she informs him that they will be making their own rat taxidermy because what’s sexier than stuffing rat pelts with foam filler?
Although, if I am being 100% honest with you, I’m not freaked out by taxidermy — I think bad taxidermy is HILARIOUS — and I would absolutely take those taxidermy rats off their hands, they’re very cute.
After handling animal carcasses, Taxiderpy gives him a heads-up on her family, including identical twin sister, Kylie, whom she warns will going to be his toughest inquisitor. Arie Bobby then tells Taxiderpy that he’s “falling” for her (apparently rat remains are more stimulating than I realized) and she responds by kissing him.
They then head to the family home, and the most interesting thing that happens is that the supposedly tough twin sister is surprisingly cool with Arie Bobby. However, in her conversation with Taxiderpy, she gets her sister to admit on camera that she’s not actually ready to get married to some reality show guy because don’t be insane.
The questions I would have liked to have seen Taxiderpy’s family ask him: “What are your feelings on #MeToo? Do you trust the majority of accusers coming forward or do you think it is reaching a dangerous place where men are being unfairly targeted without due process? How do you think this movement will affect this series, in particular, moving forward?”
Next up: Weiner, Arkansas to visit Sooey, Jr. and drive race cars around a dirt track, an idea that was clearly not Sooey Jr.’s as she has exactly no interest in participating — in fact, I’m not sure that she even turns her car on — and who demands to leave as soon as it is realistically possible.
Afterwards, Sooey Jr. warns Arie Bobby that he is going to meet her parents, her brother, an aunt and a cousin, and that Brother is the potential problem spot. Turns out Brother is not much of a potential problem spot. After asking Arie Bobby if he’s still a “playboy,” Arie is like, “nope,” and Brother is all, “OK, cool, I like you now.”
The single most interesting thing that happens during this hometown:
The questions I would have liked to have seen Sooey Jr.’s family ask Arie Bobby: “What is your position on gun control? What measures do you think Congress should take to prevent future mass shootings? Do you believe in an assault weapon ban? Magazine limitations? Expanded background checks? Closing the gun show loophole? Or do you believe in an unfettered Second Amendment and believe that we need to focus more on mental health issues and/or arming potential victims?”
Next: Minneapolis Adjacent, where Arie Bobby meets Ring Bearer at an apple orchard. There, they pick apples and fling apples and dip apples in caramel (yaaaaaaaaasssssss). Just stay there and eat caramel apples all night, guys, it will be so much more fun.
But, alas, they go to her family home where Arie Bobby meets her mother and an assortment of uncles, including Uncle Gary, standing in for her father, who passed away when she was young. Uncle Gary is a pastor who is VERY SKEPTICAL of this whole thing, but as soon as Arie Bobby is like, “Yeah, I’ll go to church if Ring wants me to,” Uncle Gary is like, “YOU HAVE ALL OF MY BLESSINGS.”
Ring Bearer’s mother is not as convinced, flatly telling Ring that she would not be giving her approval for a proposal. Later, Mom backs off a bit, remembering that Ring Bearer is a grown-ass woman who does not actually require her permission to become engaged, and is eventually like, “You know, whatever.”
The questions I would have liked to have seen Ring Bearer’s family ask Arie Bobby: “What are your thoughts on the Russian interference in the 2016 election? In light of Mueller’s indictments, do you think we are doing enough to punish Russia? Do you think we are doing enough to prepare for the 2018 and 2020 elections and protect their integrity? How much of an influence, if any, do believe the Russian’s social media campaigns had on the electorate? Do you think you yourself ever fell for any fake posts or propaganda?”
Finally, Virginia Beach, VA where Arie BoVirginiats Virgina Lauren for a horseback ride down the beach and a visit to a lighthouse. They have absolutely nothing to say to one another but that’s OK because as we have discussed many times now, Arie Bobby is just looking for someone who is hot who will not make him feel uncomfortable. Which is the very definition of Virginia Lauren.
Unrelated: I am completely freaked out by lighthouses ever since I read the Southern Reach trilogy, starring Natalie Portman in a movie coming to a theater near you on February 23rd.
Arie Bobby receives a much chillier reception from Virginia Dad (who threatens in an interview to “fucking kill” Arie Bobby if he hurts Virginia Lauren) and Virginia Mom than any of the other parents, but he quickly warms over Virginia Dad, a former military pilot, by saying that he flew a C-130 this one time when he was visiting the troops in Iraq. “WELL, HELL, GO AHEAD AND MARRY MY DAUGHTER,” Virginia Dad all but says, “YOU CAN CALL ME ‘DAD.'”
Virginia Mom, however, is considerably more skeptical. Virginia Lauren gushes that he told her he loved her and that they just have so much in common and it’s no big deal that he’s dating other women and this could last a lifetime.
The question I would have liked to have seen Ring Bearer’s family ask Arie Bobby: “Who did you vote for in 2016? That’s it, one question — who did you vote for president in 2016?”
With that, we are back at the McMansion for the second-to-last rose ceremony, and the women just go straight from the limo directly to the line-up because it’s Serious Business Time. However, before he can bring himself to hand out a single rose, Arie Bobby asks to speak to Taxiderpy for a quick second.
There, he does not ask her about her position on abortion, but instead if she really really really really thinks she is ready to commit to get married in two weeks, and she’s like, “Maybe?”
Inside, Sooey Jr. wonders what the hell is going on here, as Taxiderpy “makes the least sense,” and wonders frantically, who else he’s conflicted about.
Honey, if you have to ask, chances are it’s you.
And sure enough:
Rose #1: Ring Bearer
Rose #2: Virginia Lauren
Rose #3: Taxiderpy
Sooey Jr., who absolutely did not see this coming despite the fact that she was just last week on a 2-on-1 which is NEVER a great sign for your chances, even if you win it, sobs and sobs and sobs and sobs and sobs and then remembers her manners and urges Arie Bobby to “follow his heart,” before getting into the limo to drive directly to the Producers’ offices to formally sign the contract to become the next Bachelorette.
Bye, Sooey, Jr.! See you in May, Sooey, Jr.!
Here are the ladies who were eliminated along with their very not good nicknames:
Here are the women along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” Arie:
The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.