July 16, 2018
There are two major reasons I have come to hate the dreaded hometown visits :
- They are SO. GODDAMNED. BORING. AND. PREDICTABLE. Every hometown date:
Step One: Meet in whatever dipshit town the Contestant’s parents live in.
Step Two: Wander around on the most boring date ever in said dipshit town.
Step Three: Dinner with the family.
Step Four: Bachelor/Bachelorette and Contestant meet with family members who express their concern before ultimately telling the Contestant that “if you’re happy, we’re happy” through a tight smile that screams “NO PART OF THIS IS OK BUT YOU ARE AN ADULT AND I CAN’T PREVENT YOU FROM MARRYING THIS TOTAL STRANGER.”
Step Five: Contestant walks Bachelor/Bachelorette out to the waiting SUV, tells them that they are in love with them and then wistfully watches as the SUV drives off into the night, while the Bachelor/Bachelorette monologues about how nice it was to meet Contestant’s family and that they really have feelings for Contestant.
- The dreaded hometown dates always contain the potential to humiliate people who DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS BULLSHIT. Siblings, wacky parents just trying to live their weirdo cult lives, parents whose own salacious relationships are laid bare to America, parents who discover very private information about their children while being filmed because Child has just spent a month being brainwashed by reality television producers to be “open” and “vulnerable” and “honest” and OH MY GOD DID WE REALLY HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THAT ON CAMERA, COLTON? REALLY? DID YOU REALLY HAVE TO PUT THE FEAR IN YOUR MOTHER OF YOU LOSING YOUR VIRGINITY — THE VIRGINITY THAT YOUR MOTHER DID NOT UP UNTIL NOW EVEN KNEW YOU WERE STILL HANGING ONTO — ON NATIONAL TELEVISION?
What I’m saying is that the dreaded hometowns are the fucking worst and I hate them.
We begin in Manteca, California, Chris Farley’s hometown which is smack in the middle of California farm country and where the Farley family owns “an agricultural business.” I assume Chris Farley means “a farm” because the first place he takes Becca on their date is to a tomato farm where he loads her up onto the back of a tractor and forces her to plant tomatoes. Fun!
Later, he takes her to another spot on the farm where he has her help him plant a rose bush so that he can give her an “endless amount of roses.” Which 1. doesn’t really work as a gesture since she’s the one who has been giving HIM roses in this process, but 2. MORE manual labor! Such fun!
Becca presses Garrett some more on his failed marriage and he reveals that things started souring after they moved in together. When his family would come to Lake Tahoe for their annual visits (despite the fact that Lake Tahoe is a two-and-a-half hour drive from Manteca), Mrs. Chris Farley would try to monopolize his time and keep him away from them. The final breaking point was when he tried to imagine having children with this woman and he came to realize that their “family values didn’t align.”
They then go to the requisite family dinner where Becca meets his parents and siblings, including his brother, whom she says is Chris Farley’s twin. (He is not.) Chris Farley first speaks to his big sister and assures her that he has a strong connection to Becca. This does not prevent her from sobbing about Chris Farley’s divorce.
Meanwhile, Chris Farley’s father tells Becca that Chris Farley was “broken” by his divorce, and warns her that Chris Farley’s mother is a “mother bear.”
Becca then meets with Momma Bear who tells Becca about helping Chris Farley move out from his home with his ex, and how wrenching it was when he asked her if he was doing the right thing. Becca burbles about Chris Farley’s “positivity” and how she gave him the first impression rose and how the fact that she was engaged for five minutes is kinda like being married and divorced so they are both taking this whole thing Very Seriously.
Momma Bear then talks with Chris Farley who tells his mother that he’s falling in love with Becca, and he needs to “lay it all out there,” and Momma Bear is like, “Fine. Whatever.”
With that, Chris Farley walks Becca out to the car, tells her he’s “falling in love” with her and sends her off to dreaded hometown date #2.
Becca is flown across the country to Buffalo, New York, where she meets up with New Favorite. Their first stop is at the Anchor Bar, the birthplace of the Buffalo Wing, where they participate in a one-minute wing-eating contest. Becca scores points by saying that blue cheese is the only acceptable accompaniment to wings, but we all know Ranch dressing is better. We all know it’s true.
The couple then goes to an ice rink where New Favorite shows off his hockey skills and Becca tries to not break an ankle.
New Favorite takes Becca to his lovely family home where she meets his parents, his brother Steven and his husband Billy. Everyone is adorable — although it is fascinating to me that while New Favorite and Steven are almost identical, neither look like either parent. Genetics are fun!
New Favorite first chats with his father and tells him that he is “falling for [Becca] deeply” and his father is like, “Cool, but you know how this could all go sideways, right?”
Becca meets with Mom, who wonders if Becca is really ready to get engaged again, and Becca insists that she is. However, Mom isn’t convinced that she’s ready to be engaged to New Favorite and says as much to him when they talk. LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER, FAVORITE.
New Favorite then chats with Steven and Billy, where New Favorite gushes about how much he thinks about Becca and how he is falling in love with her and how she is concerned that he hasn’t been expressive with his feelings and Steven is like, “WELL HEY DUMMY WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?”
Also, twitter and I am not convinced Steven isn’t actually Darren Criss.
Also, I bet that’s what your hair would look like if you stopped shellacking it within an inch of its life, New Favorite. You really should try it sometime.
Taking his brother’s advice, as he walks her out to the car, New Favorite tells Becca that he is in love with her. See? Was that so hard? Now go ask Steven for some hair tips.
Next stop: Bailey, Colorado which Cowboy pronounces “Cawl-o-RAD-o” instead of “Cawl-o-RAW-do” to my Southern ears’ profound irritation. As Becca arrives, she monologues that Cowboy has told her that he’s in love with her and the feelings are “reciprocated” but that he doesn’t know it yet. So I guess we’re done here? Cowboy is the clear winner and we can wrap this up already? Except not, because it’s pretty widely known that SPOILER! — BUT NOT REALLY THANKS TO ABC! Chris Farley wins this season? WHAT DID YOU DO IN THAT FANTASY SUITE, COWBOY? Or, more likely, what did you not do?
Before we get to Fantasy Suite shenanigans, Becca must first endure a tour of Cowboy’s high school and look at old pictures of him on the football team. And here’s where I would usually devolve in a rant about how pathetic it is when Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants take the Bachelor/Bachelorette to their high schools during hometown dates, because that if that’s the most you have to show of your earlier life, maybe you haven’t lived enough to get engaged.
But that’s where Cowboy throws me for a Goddamned loop, because he takes Becca to the high school library, sits her down, and is like, “Yeah, you know how I told you that my mother, who worked here at the high school, had an affair with my English teacher and everyone in this shitty little town knew about it WHILE I GOING TO SCHOOL HERE? Well, that’s not the worst thing that happened to me in high school. That would actually be the school shooting that killed one of my classmates when I was a senior and my sister was a freshman and my mom was in the front office.”
Cowboy: “Cool. Now let’s go to a concert in the auditorium by your favorite singer, someone named ‘Betty Who,’ and pretend that I didn’t just use a terrible tragedy to score emotional points with you. Yay!”
Cowboy then takes Becca home where they meet with his mother and stepfather, his father and I assume his step-mother and then some other adult couple who are never formally introduced. OK.
Cowboy first chats with his mother who pointedly reminds him that he was pretty devastated by his last breakup. When Cowboy tells her that he’s falling for Becca and could be engaged soon, Mom says it’s “crazy” about thirty times. I’m not sure she means that in an entirely positive way, Cowboy.
Cowboy then visits with his father who takes the completely original position of, “if you’re happy, we’re happy.”
Finally, Becca visits with Mom, who shares some potentially humiliating details about how he handled the last breakup (hysterical sobbing, panic attacks, etc.), but Becca promises her that she and Cowboy are on the “same wavelength” and that Cowboy makes her “hopeful” again.
Cowboy sends her off to her final date, also in Cawl-o-RAD-o, someplace called Parker. There, she meets Indianapolis Colt whose family lives in Colorado? Wait, shouldn’t his name be Bronco?
So Bronco here takes Becca toy shopping before heading over to the local children’s hospital where they meet a couple of kids Bronco’s cystic fibrosis foundation sponsors. It’s sweet, I guess, but let’s not pretend it’s not boring.
Before going to meet his family, Bronco tells Becca that he has never brought a girl home before on account of his mysterious virginity. Becca asks him if he’s 110% sure about all of this, and he insists he is. And to take some of the pressure off of this historic moment in his life, he’s invited his entire extended family: parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and cousins. Very normal, not stressful at all.
Bronco first talks to his father and tells him he told Becca all about dating Sooey, Jr., that he addressed it “like a man.” Dad is like, “Well, that’s great, but how many conversations have the two of you had about the fact that six months ago Becca was engaged to a Needledick?” OOOH…GOOD POINT, DAD. THAT IS AN EXCELLENT POINT. Bronco admits they’ve had exactly zero conversations about that, but marriage is full of difficult conversations and he’s sure they’ll get around to it. One day.
Becca talks to Dad next, and he’s like, “Look, I know all about him telling you about Sooey, Jr. but I hear you haven’t talked with him about that Needledick you were thisclose to marrying. Listen up, little lady, if you’re not here to marry my son, just go ahead and dump him already because it’ll be a lot less painful now than down the road.”
Bronco then chats with his mother and … jesusfuckingchrist … reveals to her that he’s still a virgin. He also tells his mother that he is in love with Becca and that he could be engaged soon. Mom: “Oh my God.” It’s unclear which of Bronco’s revelations it is in response to.
Becca then talks to Mom, and tries to ask if she thinks Bronco is really ready to be engaged, delicately bringing up the fact that Bronco “hasn’t had a ton of experience with dating.”
“OH, YOU MEAN THE FACT THAT MY SON JUST REVEALED TO ME ON NATIONAL TELEVISION THAT HE IS A VIRGIN? YOU MEAN THAT BIT OF INSANITY THAT I AM GOING TO HAVE TO LIVE WITH FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE? YEAH, I STILL HAVE A LOT OF PROCESSING I HAVE TO DO. PICK HIM, DON’T PICK HIM, I’M GOING TO GO LIE DOWN.”
Finally, Step Five: Bronco tells Becca that he knows he’s in love with her before sending her back to Los Angeles.
Once back in Los Angeles, Becca meets up with her fellow Bachelor contestants, Becca, Too Good for Arie, Real Estate Agent, Taxiderpy and Sooey, Jr. and she tells them all about the hometown dates and the final four men. When she gets to Bronco, Sooey Jr. stops her and asks to speak to her privately.
There, Sooey Jr. is like, “LOOK. WE ALL KNOW THAT UP UNTIL THE MOMENT NEEDLEDICK DUMPED YOUR ASS, I WAS ON THE FAST TRACK TO BE THE NEXT BACHELORETTE. THIS WAS MINE. THESE INTERNATIONAL DATES WERE MINE. THESE MEN WERE MINE. AND THAT’S WHY I NEED YOU TO DUMP BRONCO ALREADY. I DIDN’T EXPECT HIM TO GET THIS FAR — HONESTLY, ONCE YOU FOUND OUT THAT WE HAD DATED, I EXPECTED YOU TO SEND HIM HOME. THE PRODUCERS PROMISED ME THAT YOU WOULD, AND THAT HE WOULD THEN JOIN ME IN PARADISE, BUT YOU DIDN’T. SO I’M GOING TO BE VERY. FUCKING. CLEAR: HE DOESN’T GET A ROSE TONIGHT. YOU ARE NOT TAKING HIM TO THE FANTASY SUITES. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DEFLOWER HIM. HE COMES TO PARADISE WHERE I WILL TAKE CARE OF THAT BIT OF BUSINESS UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF A NIGHT VISION CAMERA AND ALL OF AMERICA. THAT’S THE PLAN WE’VE ALL AGREED TO HERE, GOT IT? GREAT.”
And so we go into the least suspenseful rose ceremony ever. The men arrive and on his way into the firing line, Bronco takes a moment to ask Chris Harrison if he really has to lose his virginity on camera in the Fantasy Suites, and Chris Harrison is like, “Yeah, that’s not up to me, buddy.”
Becca arrives, and is like, “this is hard, blah blah blah.”
Rose #1: Cowboy
Rose #2: New Favorite
Rose #3: Chris Farley
Becca takes Bronco aside and is like, “Blame your dad. Maybe the producers. OK BYEEEEEE.”
Meanwhile, in Paradise:
Indianapolis Colt Bronco. You’re a sweet kid, although I’m not sure that I’m buying this whole virgin business. But since you’re in Paradise, I’m sure it’s a moot point by now.
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.