Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A close-up view of the vast wasteland

Monday night was the finale of “The Bachelorette.” To commemorate such a momentous night in television history, I kept a running diary to forever remember my thoughts. As a gift to you, I’m sharing it here.

8:00 – It’s the final night, we’re here to see Ashley pick  between Ben and J.P., two guys who are so nondescript that despite watching the entire season I couldn’t pick them out of a lineup if my life depended on it.

This is the best picture of Ashley
on the internet.
8:04 – Ashley has her family with her to help her decide among the final two, because if there’s one thing people are good at, it’s giving advice on who to marry based on one day of spending time with those people.  I’m shocked more of these Bachelor/Bachelorette couples have worked out.

8:07 – First up for Ashley is J.P. a construction manager. She says she’s not nervous. She’s also laughing nervously.

8:10 – A toast to Ashley and J.P., who the mom welcomes to the family. I’m willing to bet she gives the exact same toast when Ben comes for his interrogation.

8:11 – Ashley’s sister seems skeptical. Her mom says J.P.’s “ok.” A ringing endorsement if I’ve ever seen one.

8:12 – We have crying for the first time tonight. I’m taking the over at 5.5 separate instances of crying throughout the episode.

8:14 – The sister doesn’t think J.P. is right for her.  This four-minute conversation is more time then I spent talking to my brothers about whether The Wife was right for me. Then again, ABC wasn’t paying for everything. Maybe if they were, I’d have had that conversation. Or at least staged it for the approval of the guys with the money.

8:15 – I’ve vastly underestimated the number of crying episodes. We’re now at the beach with her brother and she’s crying again. We’ve got potential for a record-breaking performance.

8:17 – The Sister tells J.P. she doesn’t see them together, and then we go to commercial.

8:18 – There’s a commercial for a new show called “The Chew” which I wasn’t paying close attention to and thought was called “The Jew.” Seemed like an odd name for a show. Actually, both of those seem like odd names for a show.

8:20 – The Sister is really hung up on the fact that Ashely didn’t immediately say J.P. makes her laugh. I’m starting to think The Sister wants Ashley to be dating Jon Stewart.

8:22 – The Sister is the best thing to happen to this show all season. Now she’s grilling him about not being married already at 34. My future sister-in-law once asked me if I knew what time it was. I didn’t have a watch or phone with me, so it was equally challenging for me to answer questions too.

8:24 – J.P. is upset The Sister doesn’t like him. In an unrelated observation, the music in the background seems straight out of a Richard Marx song.

Not Photoshopped
8:30 – A commercial for the CMA music festival, in which Taylor Swift will be performing. I don’t have a joke, I just like to brag that I had my picture taken with her.

8:34 – Back with Ashley and The Sister. Apparently they’re fighting. I missed a lot of it to take care of The Kid. Whatever happened, Ashley is “devastated.” Now the sister’s crying to her mom after the discussion. Can’t we settle this like adults and change into bikinis and find a vat of jello? (That’s how sisters settle arguments, right?) (The Wife didn’t find that funny.)

8:42 – Ben meets the family. The Sister is adamant that Ashley “be herself” around the guy, which apparently include “dog talk,” which makes me believe the family finds Jeff Foxworthy funny 15 years after the height of his popularity.

8:44 – Ben has his interrogation time with The Sister. So far she seems to approve of him. Ben tells The Sister he’s “in love” with Ashely, which surprises The Sister. She didn’t get the memo that “dog talk” is the universal symbol of love.

8:47 – If The Sister had a vote, it’d be for Ben. If I had a vote, it’d be to change the channel.

8:48 – Dramatic change in music, attempting to make us believe Ashley doesn’t know what she wants.

8:53 – Now seems like as good a time as any to say that this episode is brought to us by the Fiji Tourism Board as every time we go to or come back from commercial, we’re reminded we’re in Fiji.

8:55 – Ashley and Ben have their final date before he has to decide if he’ll propose or not. And what better date than a helicopter ride in which you need to talk into a microphone attached to headphones to communicate.

8:56  - The chopper took them to a “healing mud bath” where they strip down to a bathing suit and proceed to cover each other in mud. “when you’re lubing each other with mud, it’s really erotic,” says captain obvious.

8:57 – Ashley wishes she could “reach lower” with the mud. I assume she wanted to cover his leg in mud, but my wife’s dirty mind assumed Ashley wanted something else.

9:01 – Ben invites Ashley into his hotel room with the champagne on ice. We’re apparently recreating the “Fantasy Suite” date from the previous episode, only this time Ben’s going to tell her he loves her.

We Suck
9:05 – Nothing’s really happening, so to kill some space, I’ll let you know my Fantasy Teams are doing poorly this year. Some players underperformed, other gambles didn’t pay off and basically my teams suck. Even my team that was, until Monday, in second place, was still 23 games behind the first place team. Fortunately, football season starts soon. (My wife, upon me reading that back to her . . . “my God, what a horrible blog. Who would want to read that?” My wife thinks poorly of you if you’re reading this right now.)

9:10 – Now it’s J.P.’s turn. Ashely waits for him on the beach in her bikini in a way to try to make up for her sister not liking him. He seems ok with it, despite the fact it was a mismatched bikini.

9:11 – J.P. is still hung up on The Sister’s comments about him, and that’s exactly how you’d want to spend the last date with someone who is choosing between the two of you. Grownup relationship talk is boring. Fiji can’t be happy that this is how their promotional dollars* are being spent.

*I don’t know the currency of Fiji. However, now that you’re interested, Google it and find out. Expecting The Spanish Inquisition, an educational blog.

9:15 – Despite having clothes on, J.P. claims to be “totally exposed.” It’s possible he meant metaphorically. Or it’s possible he’s a liar.

9:18 – According to J.P.’s note to Ashley, this is the first chapter of the “greatest love story ever told.” It’s now been confirmed that J.P. is a liar. (For what it’s worth, my wife is on Team J.P. I’m on Team I Can’t Believe People Watch This Crap)

9:32 – I had to take the dog out. While I was gone, both guys bought rings (thanks ABC) and Ashley put on a dress. The Wife said the editing made it appear J.P. might not propose. I wish the dog spent more time outside.

9:40 – Two guys, one rose. It all comes down to this. And by “all” I mean a manufactured situation in which arbitrary rules are in place. Ben’s the first one here. And Ashley doesn’t look like she’s going to pick him. Life must be hard when you have two guys willing to propose to you on the same day. Poor Ashley.

9:43 – Ben proposes.
9:43 – Ashley declines. Ben “I didn’t see this one coming.” All that’s missing is Chris Harrison coming out to say “Ben, I’m sorry. Take a minute, and say your good-byes.”

Here's to you, Ben
9:45 – Ben “You can’t leave something like this on good terms.” But you can drown your sorrows at the local Fiji bar just up the road.

9:47 – As punishment, Ben must walk seven miles on a dirt road to a small boat that I assume will take him back to the United States. Even better, he has to ride by Ashley standing on the beach waiting for J.P. to show up. I wonder what the guy driving the boat says to Ben. “Sorry man, but thanks for giving me 20 seconds on television.”

Do people who go on this show not realize how it works. Ashley hates that she had to send Ben away. Perhaps she should have seen if Ben and J.P. were open to the idea of an open, swinging relationship. She didn’t explore all the possible options and could have avoided the whole ‘breaking up with Ben on national tv and humiliating him" thing she went through.

9:54 – J.P.’s airplane door said no exit, so even if Ashely wanted to pick him, he’s trapped in the airplane. Well played, ABC, well played indeed.

9:56 – The Sister won’t be happy about this. Can we get a show where Ashley, J.P. and The Sister all live in a one-bedroom apartment?

9:57 – J.P.’s speech is quite underwhelming. He’s working up to maybe thinking about possibly proposing.

9:58 – Ashley: “Today is why I went through all the good times and all the bad times.” She was really looking forward to breaking up with Ben.

And a proposal and acceptance. Given the track record of proposals on the Bachelorette, take the under on the length of the marriage.

9:59 – “I can’t fight this feeling any longer” is playing as men everywhere continue to fight the urge to start destroying their televisions.

10:00 – It’s over, it’s all over. Well, except for the hour-long “After The Final Rose” show where see what happened. I’m not keeping a running diary of this, but I'll add a closing paragraph to update you on what you missed. (Short answer – nothing. Long answer – see below.)

 Here's the long answer... nothing really happened. I was bored out of my mind and wish I had the hour of my life back. On the plus side, I think I banked some goodwill with football season approaching.

1 comment:

josh said...

I hope someday I have a photo that requires the caption, "Not Photoshopped."