June 4, 2018
We begin the first date episode with Becca riding around Venice Beach on a bicycle, looking pensive (in a non-gentlemanly way) and yammering about how scary it is to date again, but that she needs to just “chill” and “ride the wave” and “go with it.” Great! That’s a terrific attitude, and I am certain no one will give her any reason to doubt her decision to be on this dumb show by acting out violently or by having dated one of her fellow Bachelor contestants or by wandering around the set in their underwear while mangling the English language.
The McMANsion receives their first date card: “Play-Doh, Fake Race Car Driver, Gospel Choir, Chicken Head, Monsieur Colognoisseur, Zoolander, Swashbuckler, Lincoln: Ready for the big day? Becca.”
The men are then driven out to some ranch where they are greeted by Becca who explains that she wants to “pamper” them. To that end, the men are to go inside and change into tuxedos while Becca and the cameras take in every bare ab. In the process, Zoolander shows off “The Pensive” while explaining that he is a professional at clothes, no one is going to do clothes better than him. (But, to be clear, he only has one look? The Pensive Gentleman? Even the actual Zoolander had three looks besides “Blue Steel.” [“Le Tigre,” “Ferrari” and “Magnum” for those keeping score at home.])
Sadly for our pensive gentleman, today’s activity is more than just clothes, and Becca leads them outside where Rachel and Mr. Second Best are waiting to show them to the “race to the altar” obstacle course they will have to traverse. The muddy, muddy obstacle course, because “relationships be messy” or something.
The men have to drag a heavy “ball and chain” some distance (because that expression never gets old) before getting into a barrel of cold water for a set amount of time, before climbing up a Crisco’ed set of steps, sliding through a mud puddle, doing something with a bouquet and burrowing through a wedding cake with their mouth (“to see what that mouth can do” as Rachel explains) …
… so as to find a giant ring. The first man with the ring that arrives at the altar where Becca is waiting “wins” and the big prize is a picture of himself with the Bachelorette that they will treasure forever and ever, amen.
The men set off, and there is some question about whether or not Lincoln cheated on the cold water barrel section, some men claiming he got into the barrel after they did, but then got out of it before them. YOU DO THE MATH. And in the end, Lincoln wins the race because on November 8, 2016, our universe slipped into a parallel timeline where cheaters win and get away with it.
NO, KAREN, IN FACT, I’M NOT OVER IT YET, BUT THANKS FOR ASKING.
At the cocktail party, Lincoln whisks Becca away from the group of men first to chat with her privately while the other men fume that it’s NOT FAIR and HE CHEATED and IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE A GROUP DATE because, once again, the people on the show have apparently never watched the show before and don’t know how these things work.
Becca gifts Lincoln his prize: a framed photo of the two of them at the altar, and a kiss which he described being like — and I’m not making any of this up — “flying to the moon on the wings of a pegasus while dancing with unicorns on a pot of gold.” That’s too many metaphors, dude, you need to return some of that imagery.
While Becca visits with some other guys, Lincoln joins the group and places the photograph on the coffee table right next to the date rose (actually directly on top of the date rose) to the irritation of his fellow contestants. Doubling down on his trolling, Lincoln begins talking to the photo and stroking it and kissing it until eventually Swashbuckler snaps and hurls the photograph into the pool.
Lincoln, who in the very short period of time he had with it, had become very emotionally invested in the photo, waits for Becca so as to tattle on Swashbuckler. And Becca is all, “We’re already doing this? Y’all, we’ve been here for five minutes. FIVE MINUTES.”
Becca then stomps over to Swashbuckler, tells him that she is VERY DISAPPOINTED in him, and puts him in time out. Swashbuckler, for his part, worries this means he might not be receiving the date rose.
And, in fact, Becca gives the date rose to Monsieur Colognoisseur because he didn’t act like A GODDAMNED TODDLER, before sending them all home because it is way past their bedtimes.
Back at the McMANsion, the next date card arrives: “Cowboy: Let’s lose control. Becca.”
The next morning, Becca picks Cowboy up in a limo and drives him out to some warehouse filled with mementos from her relationship with Needledick: a demolition derby car, the couch where he dumped her, a bunch of TV monitors playing their engagement, and so much champagne. Chris Harrison directs the couple to some onesies, helmets, and sledgehammers, and urges them to bust shit up while Lil’ Jon — who is here for reasons that remain completely baffling — performs “Turn Down for What.” (Although the obvious choice is “Hold Up.”)
And this might be the first Bachelorette activity I have ever wanted to do mostly because it would be fun to pretend to be Beyoncé.
BUT BLAH BLAH BLAH BREAKING THROUGH THE PAST METAPHOR BLAH WHATEVER.
The two then go to dinner and have The Most Boring Conversation ever about their respective breakups and she offers him the date rose.
And then they make out in some back alley. So romantic.
Meanwhile, Lincoln continues to mourn the photo, openly weeping in front of the other men over his loss.
And look, it sucks that Baby Temper Tantrum threw the picture, I totally agree that it was a dick move, and I am not opposed to men expressing their feelings or feeling confident enough in their own skin to be able to cry in front of others because toxic masculinity is a real thing, but JUST ASK THE PRODUCERS FOR ANOTHER PICTURE, THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE FUCKING WORLD, YOU CRYBABY. It’s so bad (how bad is it?) … it’s so bad that when Zoolander calls him a wanker (or “wanka” per his terrible terrible British accent), I find myself siding with Zoolander. WITH ZOOLANDER.
The next group date card arrives: “Chris Farley, Rickey, Venmo, Banjo, Alex, Smooth, The Corpse, Khal Drogo, Harry Potter, Indianapolis Colt: Love comes at you hard and fast. Becca.”
This also means Man Bun #2 and Disney don’t get to go on dates at all this week and they have sads.
The next day, the men are loaded up onto a school bus and driven to school gym where three very aggressive children hurl dodgeballs at their heads and scream at them about how they are trash.
Becca then informs the men that they are going to be participating in the Ultimate Dodgeball Competition in an actual arena with actual Chris Harrison and actual Fred Willard doing color commentary. The men are forced to wear neon pink and neon green outfits and hurl dodgeballs at each others’ faces while jumping on a giant trampoline for some reason and surprise, Khal Drogo is the best at dodgeball because fun fact: Dothraki children train to be warriors by having wrenches thrown at them.
But ultimately none of it matters, not really, because both teams get to go to the cocktail party with Becca and also, too, we’ve had a dodgeball tournament on this show before, GET NEW MATERIAL, GUYS.
At the cocktail party, Becca has
the men pass their cell phones forward so that she can examine all of their social media posts and likes boring conversations with the men, the exception being Indianapolis Colt who reveals that he dated her former Bachelor castmate, Sooey Jr., but it didn’t work out because “the timing wasn’t right.” Or maybe because he got the callback from the Bachelorette casting director. You know, whichever.
Becca tells him this makes her feel sick before sending him away from her so she can think about this for a minute because ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING HER RIGHT NOW? THERE ARE ROUGHLY 25 MILLION WOMEN IN THEIR TWENTIES IN THIS COUNTRY AND YOU MANAGE TO DATE ONE OF THE FOUR WOMEN WHO WENT TO HOMETOWNS ON NEEDLEDICK’S SEASON? WHAT ARE THE GODDAMNED ODDS?
Becca then gives the date rose to Harry Potter because maybe he knows some sort of spell that he can use to eliminate all the disappointing white guys in this cast. HELP A GIRL OUT.
At the rose ceremony cocktail party, Play-Doh teaches her a football celebration as a means to kiss her; Venmo reads her bad poetry as a means to kiss her; and Baby Temper Tantrum gives her a photograph of himself in a broken frame (complete with broken glass) and encourages her to hurl it into the pool, which she does. HEY, DUMMIES, DON’T THROW BROKEN GLASS INTO THE POOL.
Then there is Zoolander. Bless his heart, Zoolander decides that the best way to impress Becca is to strip down to his underpants and take her aside to tell her she shouldn’t “misinterpret [him] as a 007” type — which, good news! I don’t think ever occurred to her to do so. He wants her to know the real Zoolander: he’s wild, he’s spontaneous, he wants to clone himself, he’s always going to have well-kept hair. He contains multitudes.
And the truth is, in this moment, I feel the same pity for this himbo that I feel for the intellectually-stunted women who think their physical beauty is the only thing they have to offer this world, and it makes me a little sad. But only a little. Frankly, I think Zoolander is too dumb to register someone else’s pity towards him.
Zoolander is later confronted by our chicken friend for being disrespectful to Becca by coming down to the cocktail party in his underpants, which is not unfair! However, it is undermined as a criticism coming from a man who arrived on the show in a chicken suit.
Zoolander, God bless him, explains in an interview in all sincerity that, “He’s calling me out for trying to get attention? I wore my underwear, bro. That’s not me trying to get attention.”
Oh, sweet dummy.
Chicken Head suggests that there things in this world that are right (not stripping down to one’s underwear at a cocktail party) and things that are wrong (stripping down to one’s underwear at a cocktail party) but Zoolander wonders what he’s even trying to say. Zoolander then adds in an interview that if he took an IQ test, he’d “pass higher than [Chicken Head] would think a male model would.”
Oh, sweet, sweet dum-dum.
Chicken Head then hopes that Becca sees Zoolander’s “ingenuity.”
But don’t worry, Zoolander corrects him: “IT’S CALL INGENUNITITY”
Meanwhile, Becca takes Indianapolis Colt aside to talk about his revelation about Sooey, Jr. and he explains that felt it was important to be completely honest with her, and hopes she knows that he is on the show for her. Becca, explaining that she is attracted to him but she is holding back because she needs more clarity about him DATING ONE OF HER BEST FRIENDS, gets all teary over this idiot. Girl, stop.
Finally, line up the lunkheads, it’s time to thin the man herd:
Rose #1: Gospel Choir
Rose #2: Disney
Rose #3: Venmo
Rose #4: Play-Doh
Rose #5: Man Bun #2
Swashbuckler Baby Temper Tantrum
Rose #7: Khal Drogo
Rose #8: Chicken Head
Rose #9: Chris Farley
Rose #10: Fake Race Car Driver
Rose #11: Banjo
Rose #12: Smooth
Rose #13: Zoolander
Rose #15: Indianapolis Colt
Which means we are saying goodbye to Rickey who never earned a dumb nickname, Alex, who I called “Nice Tie” because he didn’t earn a proper nickname and The Corpse who only had a nickname because he showed up in a hearse so as to facilitate a very bad joke about “dying” when he learned Becca would be the Bachelorette, a joke I still don’t think I quite understand.
Say goodbye to the men who have been eliminated:
Here are the men along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” Becca. All nicknames subject to change when I — or one of you — think of something better:
The Bachelorette airs Mondays on ABC at 7/8 p.m. and I am already out of box wine.