Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cinema with Comestible Accompaniments: The 'Burbs

A safe place for lovers of movies and pun-based food recipes with a fondness for TBS's Dinner and A Movie.  Oh yeah, and all the classic Dinner and A Movie recipes will be veganized. 

I took a break from binge watching holiday movies to watch The 'burbs this week!

The Movie
The 'burbs (1989)
Leonard Maltin Review:  ** D: Joe Dante.  Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, Wendy Schaal, Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore, Courtney Gaines, Gale Gordon, Dick Miller.  Strange new neighbors set a neighborhood abuzz, and lead several slightly cracked compadres to extreme measures so they can learn just what's going on behind closed doors.  Comically warped view of suburban life takes far too much time to play out its paper-thin premise, and leads to (mostly) predictable results.  

Spoiler Alert:  There may be spoilers peppered though the movie portion of this post, consider yourself warned.

In the words of Robert Frost, "Good fences make good neighbors."  Enter the movie where you're not quite sure who the bad guys are.  Are they the creepy neighbors who rarely go outside and have a giant furnace in the basement?  Or are they the busybody neighbors who keep trespassing and causing numerous amounts of property damage?  Maybe those meddling neighbors should of just minded their own business, but where's the fun in that.

"Walter's dog just took a dump on Rumsfield's lawn again." - Ray

The director, Joe Dante, might sound familiar if you are a big fan of The Gremlins movies, Innerspace, Explorers, you know, defining 80's movies.  Not only that, but Gremlins should be on everyone's top 5 Christmas movies.  I know it gets a little fucking scary, but look into Gizmo's eyes and tell him it's not Christmas.  I dare you.  Aside from Dante, you have prime comedy-era Tom Hanks, right before he got into more dramatic roles and left his over-the-top hand gestures and his chris pratfalls to the wayside.  Lest we forget, Bruce Dern, who when I saw Nebraska (the movie), I thought to myself that guy looks really familiar.  Turns out he was in one of my favorite movies, MacGruber.  Just kidding, it's The 'burbs. (That was a Will Forte joke, in case that wasn't clear.  If you can't read it with my comical timing, it's your fault.)

"Art's got a gun." - Ray

This movie happens over a holiday week and obviously during the warmer months because it's assumed we are in the Midwest of the US and everybody is dressed like they are from California (maybe because it was shot on a backlot).  There are only a few holidays that children (i.e. Dave and Ricky) would have a week off and maybe Art and Rumsfield but Ray would need to use vacation time.  We have maybe an early spring break Easter week, Memorial Day (which would still overlap with the school year),  Independence Day (but that would involve more fireworks and patriotic fun, and lastly Labor Day, end of the summer party.  It's never mentioned except for the fact that Art and Rumsfield are always around and the movie only takes place over four days (five if you include the beginning when Ray wakes up early and walks over to the Klopeks house which could be included in the original four day depending on the time).  The movie has to start on either a Monday or Tuesday for Art to ask Ray if he's taking the week off at the beginning of the movie and for Ray to tell Carol to 'have a nice weekend' before he sends her off to her sister's an hour into the movie (day 4).  Not only that, why is he taking this time off, in the movie Carol (his wife) makes it sound like he had a nervous breakdown.

"...a hideous raging inferno." - Art

Let's talk about the Klopeks for a second.   Courtney Gains, who has starred in a million things, most notably other than The 'burbs,  Malachai from Children from the Corn and "Dixon" from Back to the Future (you might not remember the name, but you definitely remember the scene where some redheaded guy steal Lorraine from George McFly and Marty's hand starts to fade into non-existence, yeah, that cackling jerk was Courtney.  Special shout out to the The 'burbs minute podcast folks.  Listen to it because anyone could do a better job than I'm doing.)  For Henry Gibson (the doctor), my fondest memories of him may be from Bio-Dome or Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but he's been in everything.  Lastly, Brother Theodore, who was the voice of Gollum in the 1977 The Hobbit.

"Ricky Butler says they're nocturnal feeders." - Dave, Ray's son

"In southeast Asia, we call this type of thing bad karma." - Rumfield

Thank you, Joe Dante, for the Queenie close up.

"Ray, what were you saying the other day about half-cocked theories?" - Art

Random question, but does Ricky ever do anything more than move paint cans and order pizza?  Not that there is anything wrong that.


If you are into maps, you are going to love this: backlot map link
Here are the house #s and residents:
667: Walter Seznick
668: undisclosed
669: The Klopeks
670: The Rumsfields
671: The Petersons
672: Ricky Butler
673: The Weingartners (Art)

Ricky's house is the Munsters house which is why we never see enough of it to be recognizable.

"A soldier's way saves the day." - Rumsfield

The three movies that Ray Peterson flip through before he has his nightmare are Race with the Devil (1975), The Exorcist (1973), and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) starring Dennis Hopper for that last movie.

"Who started this, tuna neck?" - Carol

"As soon as that car leaves in the morning, I'm going over the fence and I'm not coming back until I find a dead body." - Ray

Shall we talk about the dog who played Queenie, appearing in Batman Returns, an episode of Coach, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, and most notably as Precious in The Silence of the Lambs?  There is a dog that has a better resume than most actors.

"Shut up and paint your house." - Rumsfield

Super spoiler: In the original script Ray Peterson was supposed to be killed by the Klopeks.  However, when Tom Hanks was cast, the studio didn't think the audience would appreciate witnessing Joe vs the Volcano getting killed onscreen.

" can't go now.  This is the best part.  I called the pizza dude." - Ricky

More shitty fun facts (via IMDB):

  • At the time of filming, Corey Feldman and Michael Jackson were good friends.  Bubbles, the famed chimpanzee of Michael Jackson, visited the set.  On these occasions he would defecated and spread his feces all over Feldman's trailer, to the point that Joe Dante had to ban Bubbles from the set.
  • Tom Hanks improvised the scene where he picks up the gurney and puts himself into the ambulance.
  • The Klopeks named their Great Dane after a notorious French serial killer, Henri Landru.
  • The film was entirely shot on the Universal Studios lot.
  • The  astronomic zoom at the beginning of the movie places the movie location in central Iowa; fictional Hinkley Hills is probably a 'burb of Des Moines.
  • In the Klopeks basement there is a sled with the name Rosebud - a reference to Citizen Kane (1941).
  • The trash that Art and Rumsfield throw into the street remains there for the rest of the movie and is run over several times by various people.
"Hey Pinocchio, where are you going?" - Rumsfield

The Recipe
Classic "Cul de Sac" Mac 'N' Cheese
(for original recipe click here)

For Cheese Sauce:
2 cups almond milk (or your favorite plant-based milk)
1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 onion
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine or coconut oil
1/4 cup shallots, minced
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt

For the Filling:
16 oz. dry macaroni
2 cup Daiya shreads (or your favorite vegan cheese)
1/4 cup or more nutritional yeast
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 dirty little secret

1.  Preheat the oven to 375F.  Grease a 2-3 quart casserole.

2.  Cook the macaroni until al dente (a minute or two less than the package instructions).  Rinse in cold water, drain and set aside.

 3.  Pour the non-dairy milk into a small sauce pan, stick the bay leaf to the onion with the cloves and add to the milk.  Slowly bring the milk to a simmer on a medium-low heat.  Melt 1/2 of the margarine in a medium sauce pan, add the chopped shallots and cook at a medium heat until soft.  Add the flour, dry mustard and white pepper and cook another 2 minutes.

4.  Slowly add the milk to the margarine/flour mixture, whisking constantly.

5.  Once combine in a blender, add the cashews (soaked, then drained), the vegetable broth, and the milk/margarine/flour mixture.  Blend until smooth.
6.  Pour the mixture from the blender back into the saucepan.  Add the studded onion and Worcestershire to the sauce and simmer at least 15 minutes, until thick and creamy.
 7.  Remove from heat, discard the onion.  Lightly season with thyme and just a pinch of nutmeg and cayenne.
 8.  In the greased casserole dish, place the cooked and drained macaroni.  Pour the cheesy sauce on top and few fist fulls of your favorite vegan shreads.  Mix well.

9.  Top with nutritional yeast and bread crumbs.

 10.  Dot with the remaining margarine and bake uncovered for 20 or 30 minutes until brown and bubbly.

11. Don't become a creepy neighbor and enjoy The 'burbs.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Cocktails and Dinosaurs: News and Libations for the Weekend of December 9, 2016

The posts that used to be weekly, then monthly, and now it's a struggle to get one in a year.  After a weak showing for VeganMofo which I blame mostly on Trump and cabinet appointments that should come with a trigger warning, I'm back with a list of this week's news that I will attempt to make not completely shitty and a tasty cocktail to take the edge off.

  • The first official trailer for Spiderman: Homecoming is finally here.  7.7.17 - Who's coming with me?
  • What about Bob?...cats and wolves.  Illinois is trying to bring back bobcat hunting and Michigan is trying to bring back wolf hunting.

    In Illinois: "The state banned bobcat hunting in 1972 and placed the species on its threatened list from 1977 to 1999." (via Chicago Tribune)
    In Michigan: A bill was approved "...that would allow a commission to designate wolves as a game species if they are ever removed from the federal endangered species list." (via The Detroit News)

    In both cases, there are a bunch of gun toting Elmer Fudd's waiting to kill an animal we just saved.  I don't have time for this!  We just elected a pussy-grabbing monster who believes climate change is a hoax for president.  We're all going to be on the endangered species list soon.

    To help the bobcats, there is no shortage of internet petitions and activists in Illinois are applying for the bobcat hunting permits with no intention of using it (story here).
    To help the wolves in Michigan go to (associated with the HSUS) or tweet at the governor like Kristen Bell and remind him about Flint while you're at it.
    (If you have more information about what we could do to help these animals or other states nipping at the bit to kill off another endangered animal, please share!)
  • Time Magazine names Trump "Person of the Year" and after four hours of scream crying Jezebel posted this delightful analysis of the photo quelling my scab-covered, bruised, and broken heart.  So I ask myself, how did I get here? And there's no way he could turn this honor into something misogynistic, right?

  • Oh fuck... sorry.  Aren't you glad I started with the Spiderman trailer?  That was good stuff.
  • Injustice Boycott.  Sign up now.  It's like an advent calendar except instead of eating a piece of chocolate everyday, you send a tweet @ a politician, share an article or donate money to a worthy cause and that's just one week in.
  • Tyson Foods, which according to Wikipedia is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork and annually exports the largest percentage of beef out of the United States, has launched a $150 million venture capital investment in meat substitutes.  (via  

Cocktail of the Week:  Hard Apple Cider Fall Cocktail with Smoked Sage (recipe courtesy of Chic Vegan)

This cocktail is a delectable boozy blend of gin and hard apple cider.  I didn't know I could smoke sage until making this cocktail and I fully intend to continue.  What else could smoked sage enhance?  Martini?  Mac 'n' "Cheese"?  Hot Chocolate?  Sky's the limit!

Email that crap out of us @ monicatara[at]  Or just comment here!  We love you and we want feedback and cocktail ideas!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cinema with Comestible Accompaniments: Heathers

A safe place for lovers of movies and pun-based food recipes with a fondness for TBS's Dinner and A Movie.  Oh yeah, and all the classic Dinner and A Movie recipes will be veganized. 

From 1995 to 2011, TBS provided recipes to compliment the movies they aired on a show hosted by Paul Gilmartin, Claud Mann (the chef), and what AV Club calls "a succession of female hosts" Annabelle Gurwitch being my favorite.

With two cookbooks and the vast internet, I plan on veganizing every Dinner and a Movie recipe I can get my hands on because this show deserves to live on in my cold dark vegan heart.

The Movie

Heathers (1989)
Leonard Maltin Review:  **1/2 D: Michael Lehmann.  Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, Kim Walker, Penelope Milford, Glenn Shadix, Lance Fenton.  Sharp, somewhat smug satire of high school social strata, with Ryder in a terrific performance as a girl who hangs out with the school's bitch-queens but doesn't feel quite comfortable about their reign of terror.  Outrageous black humor works at first, but isn't sustained; uneven script goes far astray.  Slater is commanding in his Jack Nicholson-esque performance.  Feature debut for director Lehmann and writer Daniel Waters, with many virtues as well as flaws. [R]

Spoiler Alert:  There may be spoilers peppered though the movie portion of this post, consider yourself warned.

The movie that answers the age old question: Are we going to prom or to hell?

Corn nuts...  

High school was hard for most of us, but for Veronica, her "teen angst bullshit has a body count."  (That sounds like the beginning to the trailer, right?)  I remember thinking people in high school talked the way they did in this movie.  Needless to say, I was very disappointed.  (Side note: Dawson's Creek came out when I was in high school and none of my friends used half as many SAT words.  That was very disappointing as well.  I still want to marry Pacey, though.)

"...bulimia is so '87"

This movie has a special place in my heart (which is why I started with it) because it validated my disdain for the popular crowd and at the time I first saw it I wanted to be Winona Ryder.  She was fresh off of Beetlejuice playing strip croquet with a pre-baboon heart Christian Slater.  What's not to love?  The movie is visually stunning as well.  All the Heathers are color coded, presumably not to mix them up, but the use of color definitely adds to the story.  First, we have Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) in red (power color), the Regina George of the group.  Then there is Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty) in green... with jealously?  which is established during the croquet game at the beginning of the movie and later when she gains possession of the red scrunchie.  Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk) in yellow, the weakest in the group, only because she's the realest person in the group who has real people feelings when people around her start dying.  Veronica (Winona Ryder) wears lots of blacks and blues and she happens to be the one to introduce all the death and mayhem that follows.

"I gotta motor"

Both the Veronica and J.D. character have weird relationships with their fathers.  Veronica's dad will throw out a rhetorical question as to why he does something and Veronica responds with, "...because you're an idiot."  J.D. and his father, however, have this banter where they switch roles and J.D. refers to his dad as son.  I'm struggling right now to think of a teen movie where the parent is shown as anything other than to create a conflict or completely pointless.

"...that the answers can be found in the MTV video games."  

 Something I just recently noticed is that Veronica uses a monocle throughout the movie and they never call attention to it.  I need to get myself a monocle.

Another observation is Heather Chandler's coffee table contains a Cliffs Notes for The Bell Jar and Info Magazine with the cover article being "The Fall of the American Teen" which helps J.D. concocted the suicide idea.

My favorite character, hands down, is Martha 'Dumptruck' Dunnstock with her Big Fun t-shirt and her plans to rent some new releases and pop some popcorn with Veronica on prom night.  That would have made a great spin off or sequel.

My favorite scene is the Heather Duke funeral-dream sequence where everyone is wearing 3-D glasses and white gowns.  This just help to prove that the 80's were superior in every way.

More quotes I love:
"Our love is God. Let's go get a slushie." - J.D.

"Chaos is what killed the dinosaur, darling." - J.D.

"I don't patronize bunny rabbits." - Veronica's Dad

"If you were happy every day of your life, you wouldn't be a human being you would be a game show host." - Veronica


  • Heathers was filmed in 32 days in July and August of 1988.  
  • The Veronica role was originally intended for Jennifer Connelly, who turned it down. 
  • Justine Bateman was also considered for the lead.  
  • Brad Pitt auditioned for the role of J.D. but was considered "too nice."  Thelma and Louise era Brad Pitt... he was too nice.  Actually, Ocean 1000 era Brad Pitt still too nice.
  • Westerberg High was named after Paul Westerberg from The Replacements, Winona's favorite band at the time.
  • Ich Luge is German for "I'm Lying" - the bullet J.D. tells Veronica they are using for Kurt and Ram.
  • Ram - if you are a fan of the movie Summer School, he also plays a jock in that movie.  The actor's name is Patrick Labyorteaux.
  • Something I learned from listening to the podcast Sweet Teen Club, the version of Que Sera, Sera in the movie is not the Doris Day version because she wouldn't let her vocals be used on any project that used profanity. 
  • Soon there will be a TV series on TVLand based on Heathers.  (Here's an article on Jezebel which is where I get all my news.)
  • Heathers: An oral history (courtesy of Entertainment Weekly)

The Recipe
Heathers 'Killer Pasta w/ Oregano'
(for original recipe click here)

For Pasta:
(I used the pasta recipe from Vegan Dad here)
2 cups flour (1 cup all purpose and 1 cup semolina)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
about 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

For Sauce:
1 yellow onion, diced
1 lb ripe plum tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 fist full of fresh oregano and basil (optional)
1 copy of Moby Dick
Mineral Water
Big Red Scrunchie
(The original recipe had cheese in the sauce, I took it out, get over it.  Just add extra scrunchies.)

 I advise following the Vegan Dad recipe for the pasta as I am a fresh pasta novice and used a humorously tiny rolling pin to roll out my pasta which took forever.  I added the fresh oregano when combining the flours and salt.

The drying the pasta on the kitchen cabinet doors trick courtesy of the Vegan Dad blog.

Preheat over to 350F.

Combine the red wine, olive oil and tomato paste.
(My first attempt at this recipe I forgot to pick up wine and used balsamic vinegar instead.  Turned out pretty good.)

Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange on a cookie sheet cut side up. 
Drizzle the wine mixture over the tomatoes then top with the diced onions, garlic, salt and pepper.  Bake for 30 minutes.
Post oven photo.

Put everything on the pan into the blender, minus the parchment paper.  (What did we do before parchment paper?)  When the sauce looks nice and smooth, add a fistful of oregano and/or basil and give it a few quick pulses to just roughly chop the herbs up.  

And there you have it Veronica's favorite dinner Spaghetti with lots of oregano.  Can you tell which one is from the movie and which one I made?  Probably.

The next movie will be announce shortly.  I was going to do The 'Burbs, but Netflix rudely removed it from streaming.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Very Un-Murdery Christmas: Bachelor in Paradise Season 3, Week 6

Welcome to blog 'scuse me?'s Bachelor In Paradise Season 3 Recap: Since they let most of this season finale leak and then announced Nick as the bachelor last week, watching and recapping this finale is nearly pointless, but so is this blog.  

We will continue the tradition of me (Monica) writing in blue and Tara in orange even though if you read this on a feed reader you probably won't be able to tell, but who cares.

Week 6 (Finale):  Good Talk

Speaking of pointless, they introduce one more contestant to paradise, Tiara, the chicken enthusiast.  She didn't make it past night one on Ben's season of the bachelor so I'm guessing they assumed her odds would be just as good for BIP and why give her any chance to succeed.  Back to the "chicken enthusiast" part, her introduction on the bachelor showed that she had a pet chicken however later in this episode they show her inhaling a plate of chicken wings while they play chicken noises in the background.  Clearly, this whole season has had a five year old editing it.

If the producers told me I was getting dumped into paradise for the LAST EPISODE, with everyone and their mother already fully ensconced in their repulsive facsimiles of couplehood, I would go Full Chad and put Evan in a headlock so I could earn a sub-article in Star.  Oh, and in case you forgot:

After Nick wrestles the date card out of Tiara's hands, he asks Jen to go on the date with him.  Nick and Jen go to a carnival for Tiara's date.  At some point right outside of the carnival, they have staged a fortune teller to tell Jen and Nick exactly what the producers want them to hear.  
 Nick takes it well and we get more conversation about Nick's walls.

Nick appreciates Jen for being the "first person" to challenge him to break down those darn walls.  They make out while their beers get warm and Nick learns to be more vulnerable, or something.   I find Nick's compliments very hard to believe since Jen has the personality of a mall mannequin, and not the cool kind with painted-on features.  I mean the blank head-and-torso mannequins that model ironic newsboy caps.  

Rolled up jeans and flip flop mega star, Brett has gotten himself into something of a pickle or the floor lamp equivalent of a pickle.  A faulty switch?  He realizes that he has a better connection with Lauren than Izzy, who left Vinny to be with him.  Izzy's response is to leave paradise and call Vinny.

As Brett is dumping Izzy, she hangs her head in dismay, announces "I should go", and theeeennnn:

 Brett gets an A-octuple-plus for his reply when Izzy says she's scramming:

I love that Izzy pretends it suddenly dawned on her she made a "huge mistake" by abandoning Vinny and left Brett and company behind so she could leap back into his arms.  The ONLY REASON she wants Vinny is because Brett got her that job back at Dateless Wonders Inc.  In the end it doesn't matter because Vinny doesn't want anything to do with Izzy's ass and hangs up so she can ruminate on her uneventful and peaceful ride to the airp-

Wells has some difficult decisions to make on the final rose ceremony night.  In his love parallelogram or as Evan puts it "love quadrangle" he's got Ashley (everyone needs a Jared) I., Jami (I'm from Canada and have a Batman tattoo), and Shushanna (mathematician and sounds like Shakira when she talks).  Shushanna does not want to compete for a man's attention, which make sense why she only made it to Week 3 on the Bachelor.

I hate to play devil's advocate here (no, I don't), but this is literally what you signed up for... to fight for a guy.  I get it though, I would not fight Ashley I. for a man-boy-DJ.  Shushanna leaves pre-rose ceremony.

Apparently the ghost of Bernard Herrmann scored the moment Shushanna realizes she's not thrilled with this gig.  And I'm 45% certain she will return with her tail between her legs for Season 4.  

Rose Ceremony:
Guys choo-choo-choose this week.

Josh - Amanda
Nick - Jen
Grant - Lace
Evan - Carly
Brett - has a realization that he's not here for the right reasons and leaves (you guys....LOL)
Wells - Ashley I. (because at least he won't have to have sex with her in the fantasy suite and Wells is a gentlemen)

Bye Bye to Lauren H., Jami, and Tiara.

The next morning, Carly sings a Monty Python-esque ditty about having anxiety because it's the dreaded Fantasy Suite day.  (I can only imagine the amount of saliva ropes this will involve.)   

There is an uncomfortable amount of talk about Ashley's virginity which is entirely unnecessary.  Except maybe for Jen's comment about sitting on his...bleep?  What is it?  Cock?  Dick?  Pointed Sticks?  Oh wait, that last one's a Canadian band.

Wells realizes the amount pressure on him to steal Ashley's virginity and decides to get the fuck out of there before that's his legacy in bachelor nation.

I didn't have a great feeling about Wells' time in paradise from early on, because he has a habit of looking into the distance like this:

The emotions playing across Ashley's face when Wells says he needs to go is some of the realest shit I've seen on tv.   Jesus, Wells, you can't just go zip-lining or bird-watching with the woman, rank Hanson's albums from best to worst, and go to the Suite to order some of Josh's pizza stash and fall asleep after a few glasses of cabernet?  Oh well.  Yeah, you heard me - NO MORE PUNS.   

So if you're not keeping track, the only couples left are Amanda and Josh, Carly and Evan, Jen and Nick and Lace and Grant.  It's time for all of them to go on dates and then a night in the fantasy suite. 

Grant and Lace walk around Sayulita, trying on hats and taking selfies.  Of course, this leads to them getting a couples tattoo that says "Grace" both of their names merged to create at least a real word.  At least if it doesn't work, you can tell people you were a really big Will & Grace fan or even Grace Under Fire or someone who has more than just TV references could think of something.

Clearly, Grant and Lace are the only people left in the world who don't know this is the only name combo that makes sense to tattoo on one's body:

Jen and Nick go surfing.  I have a good feeling about this couple even though I heard he's going to be the Bachelor.  Let's talk about those walls, Nick.

The camera shows us Jen's cellulite-free butt and concave abs as Nick continues to blunder through life with his douche-scruff and dramatically squinting eyes.   

Carly and Evan, the weird couple, get some half naked painting date.  Wonderful or too much footage of Evan bulge.  Too much...

Evan lolls around in underwear that looks like it was given to him by an EMT on one of his 90 trips to the hospital.   Carly feels "liberated"; or, to more accurately phrase it, Carly claims she feels liberated.  She tells Evan at dinner that he's the type of person she "always wanted to be with".   The five-year-old editor Monica mentioned cut the end of Carly's sentence: "...on this season of Bachelor in Paradise so I could stick around until the very end and make the cover of In Touch and finally convince you we need to go on Marriage Boot Camp to make some pocket money with Tamra and Eddie Judge".  

Amanda and Josh play soccer with a bunch of kids.  Since Amanda couldn't see Josh with her kids, she gets to see him interact with some Mexican kids first.

Josh literally doesn't register as a living being in my mind unless he's making sweet, twisted love to a slice of Mama Celeste.  

After the fantasy suite:

Carly and Evan have some post-coital robe time while Evan tries to rap or rhyme uncomfortably.

The ONLY THING I will give Evan credit for here is that he doesn't lapse into Iggy Azalea-style mimicry while spitting his rhymes. 

Lace and Grant, more robes, even more uncomfortable.  Grant's all like, maybe two weeks isn't enough time to know someone to propose to them.  Completely reasonable!  Lace is crying either because her fake eyelashes are irritating her eye or this shows intense music cues are affecting her.  I'm with you, girl, cue Monica's tears as she falls for this shit.

Jen and Nick drinking mimosas.  Nick made a strong choice not to wear the hotel robe.  I appreciate that.  

Have Jen and Nick ever laughed together?  Have they ever held a conversation or simply existed next to each other without showing the viewers this?


Amanda and Josh with plates of fruit on the bed.  Josh in a grey t-shirt and black shorts and Amanda in a black nightgown, the only couple to completely disregard the hotel robes.  Josh realizes that kids "sleep in" until 8:30am.  That's not sleeping in, Amanda, that's waking up early for most people (read: without kids).

Josh begins to pull a Ben and tells the camera he and Amanda are "taking things very fast" and he has to be "mindful of [Amanda's] kids"; that may sound like he wants to make sure he doesn't screw them up emotionally by jumping into the picture before he and Amanda are sure this relationship will work (he certainly wants it to sound that way), but it really means "I have to keep in mind that Amanda has kids, and they get up when I'm usually stumbling into bed with a mouthful of Tree Tavern and a .25 BAC".  

Then the proposals happen:

We all know Carly and Evan are getting engaged and if anyone in paradise is actually getting married, it's probably them.  I wish all bachelor story lines were similar to this one.  "I feel like my heart beats to your soul." Evan, what the fuck, when did you get so soulful?  

Eww.  Gross, Carly.  Stop it!

Carly's face when Evan unleashes his "beats to your soul" line:

And, in loving loverly triumph, Carly and Evan roll into the sunset.  Half of Evan's shirt is inexplicably unbuttoned and the nation shakes a Grandpa Simpson fist in protest.  Carly can't wait to move into Evan's house so she can "cook dinners", "sit on his patio", and "MEET HIS CHILDREN".  Ummm you guys are getting married so I hope that third part isn't a letdown. 

Lace and Grant (even though Lace could of had a whirlwind romance with Chad) get engaged.

I'm willing to bet seven thousand dollars that TMZ will run footage of Grant slipping into a plastic surgeon's office to get laser tattoo removal before the year is over. 

Jen and Nick... what's happening?  Is this perfectly boring couple NOT getting engaged?  Nick is the next bachelor, you say?  Well, I did not see this coming! 

Jen enters in a crop top as the "Chris Harrison Shows' Theme" plays:

 Nick "bursts into tears" (he is a worse fake crier than the Olsen twins were in the 90s) and says that "something is tellling [him] to say goodbye" to Jen.  Correct - Chris Harrison's offer to become the next Bachelor.   Jen takes off in the Rejectmobile and I guess she's crying or whatever; who cares.

Amanda and Josh get engaged and now I'm seriously concerned about her and her children.  Good Talk.

When Josh is giving his Big Speech to Amanda and says, "When I walked down those steps on that first day, and I saw you, and I thought..." I genuinely expect him to say "...I wanna hit that".  

Josh and Amanda gush to the camera about their engagement and we see that Josh has soaked through yet another dress shirt. 

Last but not least, epilogues!  Highlight:  Nia Peeples aka Caila and Jerkface Poop aka Jared decided to "just be friends". 

Well now that this show is over, I'm going to go make out with a pizza.  

So many questions are left unanswered.  Why did Tara's title for these posts make zero sense?  What does Bachelor in Paradise have to do with Christmas?  How sweaty is Josh in not Mexico?  Is Amanda okay with Josh's "alleged" emotional abuse?  Does Evan really have kids or only when they are convenient?  Will the fourth season of this show make even less sense?  How single is Chris Harrison?  Which couple's wedding will ABC actually pay to air?  Does anybody have Daniel's phone number?  Can me and the Twins be best friends?

Episode Stinger:  Jorge gives us love advice, and his 30 seconds of comments reach an entertaining poignancy that Nick hasn't come close to on three different goddamned reality shows.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Very Un-Murdery Christmas: Bachelor in Paradise Season 3, Week 5

Welcome to blog 'scuse me?'s Bachelor In Paradise Season 3 Recap: Where is Chris Harrison?

We will continue the tradition of me (Monica) writing in blue and Tara in orange even though if you read this on a feed reader you probably won't be able to tell, but who cares.

Week 5:  Wells that didn't last long.

The show opens with more Ashley-Jared-Caila drama... Ugh

I don't know if it's obvious yet, but I have a growing disdain for Caila.  This does not mean that I excuse the behavior of Ashley or Jared.  Caila, however, has no depth and it might be a conscious effort on her part to look "good" on television, just keep smiling and if it gets awkward just smile harder and no one will see how ugly you are on the inside.  She's done some not so cool things and everyone seems to be able to look past that since she has great hair and Ashley's a mess.  Lest we forget Caila is kind of at fault for this whole mess.  If you have a "friend" or acquaintance who is obsessed with a guy to the point that every other word that comes out of her mouth is "Jared" and she specifically asks you not to pursue a relationship with this guy you have never met.  Maybe don't go on a date with him and then when you two are all cuddly tell her, well you weren't interested but then you talked to him.  You know what that means.  That means your promises are shit, Caila! 

What I'm trying to say is this whole thing is a mess and everyone is at fault.

Caila tells Ashley that Jared "loves" her:  "You're like a sister to him".  Ashley's murderous head tilt in reaction to that comment speaks for at least 25 of the world's nations.  

Ashley simply has to sit Jared down again and sob until she can barely breathe while Jared is like:


Ashley summons her dead dog, Lucy to help her find a boy that will get her over Jared.

Lucy sends Wells, from JoJo's season and maybe my future boyfriend.

When Wells descends from heaven in his curlicued glory, Daniel declares, "Well, well, Wells!".  Can we get Daniel a terrifying Kids in the Hall-esque show on IFC with John Dunsworth and Rick Moranis?   

Everyone is excited that Wells is finally here.  This might be Jared only shot at happiness.   Hey Caila, who do you think Wells should take on his date?

Did you know Wells has a lot of dogs on his Instagram?  It's true.

Jared & The Gang react with their usual subtlety and grace when Wells asks Ashley on the date:

Highlights of the Wells/Ashley date:
They actually eat the food on their plates.  Even a stray dog gets some table scraps (Wells' 'dog voice' - wow.  Marry me, sir).  Ashley's favorite band is Hanson!

Yes, Rory Gilmore, Hanson is still together.

While Ashley and Wells have their fun, Caila caresses Jared's arm and gives it this weird, appraising series of squeezes before Jared climbs on her to make a scrunchy-faced, disingenuous child or whatever the fuck they're up to these days.   They discuss the possibility of leaving the show soon to recede into romantic splendor aka dunderheaded fakery that is doomed to get torn apart by Ashley and Jared's friendship.  

Lace and Grant get in a fight when Lace starts talking to Carl and teases Grant about not getting a rose.  Grant and Carl are both firefighters that are covered in tattoos, is it possible Lace with a little tequila and her fake eyelashes melting off couldn't tell who she was talking to? 

A storm has begun to brew, guys: The "Josh and Nick fight you've all been waiting for".  I certainly haven't been waiting for it, because Nick is not Alex from JoJo's season.  Nick has no interest in glaring and puffing his chest at a pizza-munching sociopath unraveling under the weight of the HGH.  Nick wants to sit on beds with the most boring woman alive and talk about what steps she takes to get ready for bed.  I'm one step away from finding Carl more interesting than Nick, and I don't clearly remember what Carl looks like as I type this.  

On to Evan and Carly and the most hilarious exchange of dialogue so far this season:

Evan:  This is really, really hard, but..I'm totally falling in love with you.
Carly:  *struggling not to explode into derisive guffaws* I'M TOTALLY FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU, TOO." 

I'm certain Carly was trying to tell him she was totally falling in love with U2 after watching the tide roll in one dark night while looping "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me".   

Sweet Daniel is desperate for a rose and amazing at playing this game.  First, he made bracelets for the twins.  Follows that up with a wonderful platter of "" for Haley.  Onion rings, chicken fingers, french fries, it's all there.

Knowing Izzy's predilection for men with lamps, he brings her a shinier taller version of Brett's lamp.   
I'm deeply concerned that Izzy doesn't know the difference between watts and volts. 

Actual quote from Brett: "Who needs a lamp when you've got Izzy's lips?".  OKAY.  I hate Brett and I just realized he's the second coming of Mason from *batteries not included:

 "If a package washes up on the shore, it's my denim capris from Hollister."

Rose Ceremony:
Ladies give out the roses and Chris Harrison makes his only appearance this week. 

Carly - Evan  (Carly's detached long sleeves are making me nervous)
Ashley - Wells
Jen - Nick (I'm getting suspicious that Jen is literally an embalmed corpse controlled by puppeteers and everyone's too caught up in their own drama to notice.)
Izzy - Brett
Caila - Jared
Lace - Grant
Amanda - Josh
Haley - NOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooo, don't leave us!

The twins are done with paradise.  Which means Daniel, Ryan, and Carl are leaving as well.



Emily and Haley take Amanda aside and in between sobbing warn her about the scary side of Josh.  After they leave, all hell breaks loose.  The twins are geniuses!  What an amazing time to provoke drama!  As you are leaving the country!  Peace out, bitches!  

Josh when he sees the Twins leading Amanda away to "talk":

What they left in paradise?  A shouting match between Josh and Nick.  Josh mentioning his dog's cancer as evidence that Andi's tell-all book is full of lies and he's here for the right reasons.  I may have misunderstood him it's hard to read between the cliches.  Amanda sticks by Josh's side even though she's been in bad relationships before she thinks she's a good judge of character.  The eternal optimist.

Josh addresses the crowd and lets everyone know he's "really frustrated right now" and he's got a "genuine relationship with [Amanda] right now".   Nick chimes in that he's having some doubts concerning this alleged "genuine" spirit and Josh lets it roll off his back:

Josh thinks Nick wants to sabotage his and Amanda's bliss because he's jealous.  Amanda lingers on the sidelines and cries and Caila sits next to her, contributing the usual black chasm of zilch.   Evan stands between Josh and Nick as they argue, begging to get another shirt ripped.

Caila walks by a sidebar conversation between Lace, Grant, Wells, and Ashley.  As Caila walks away, Lace says, "I can't stand her."  This is the first time they have let something negative about Caila be said by someone who isn't Ashley.  What else are they leaving out?  This is not isolated.  No one seemed shocked by Lace's comment.  

Next morning, when Wells is the only person awake and Jami from Ben's season shows up, she's asks him on a date before Ashley wakes up.  Everyone assumes Ashley is going to get hysterical when she finds out, but what they don't seem to recognize is that Wells is not Jared so she doesn't give a shit. 

I forget Jami exist as I watch her onscreen.  So....dull.  It shatters my heart to acknowledge that Jami and Jen are wandering around in the same paradise-iverse. 

Caila and Ashley have another stupid conversation.  Caila asks if Ashley would ever trust her.  Seriously?  You promised her off-screen that you had no interest in Jared and then you changed your mind and you expect to be friends with Ashley.  Maybe this is weird editing, but I don't understand this stupid conversation.  Ashley, just say no!  So Caila, after creating this mess, starts to realize the only way to save face is to bounce.  GTFO Caila! that welt on Caila's butt really from Jared smacking her?  NOT COOL.  Jared is incredibly overdue to take a giant piece of driftwood on the chin-wisps.  

She goes to Jared, tells him she's leaving and he's like I need to go talk to Ashley about this.  Really Jared, you need check with Ashley first.  This makes me think Ashley isn't completely fabricating her relationship with Jared.  Ashley has a celebratory taco before Jared slowly chases after Caila's car without packing.

Did Jared leave his stuff in paradise?  Will Caila finally tell him to shave his stupid face?  

Un-exaggerated quote from Ashley:  "Everyone here loves Jared because he is the most wonderful person we've all ever met".  


Ashley sobs herself into a coma as she tells Carly and Evan that she "just lost one of her best friends".  Carly replies, "It's all gonna work out.  Everything works out the way it's supposed to, Ashley".  Things Carly needs to get reminded about:

- Police brutality
- 9/11

Wells romps back from his magical Batman date with Jami and feels the need to have a conversation with Ashley because he's attracted to Jami and is well aware of Ashley's "emotional fragility".  I'm starting to miss Josh.  

Izzy, about Brett:  "I look at him and think he's just this perfect guy".  Izzy always has this face on like she's about to sneeze or gag and I hate her.  She wouldn't know perfection if it bashed her in the pineapples. 

Enter Lauren, schoolteacher from Ben's season.  She says Brett's outfit looks like a "prison suit" and very quickly earns 900 gold stars.  

Boring-ass Shoshanna traipses into paradise and yoinks Wells.  She comes on clownishly strong after knowing him for two minutes ("You'll protect me [from the crabs].  I'll take you to the shower with me").  Meanwhile, Lauren steals Brett for a double date with Shoshanna and Wells; Izzy's worry and sadness in light of this make her nauseated.  NOW we're in business! Izzy's pain is my gain. 

The foursome go surfing and Brett comments on the smokin' hot women who've accompanied him:  "Today I brought my beeches to the beaches!".  OH MY GOD BRETT I FUCKING DESPISE YOUR ASS.

Lauren is flat-eyed and has a habit of twisting her mouth when she talks; this combo makes her look like she's trying to maintain composure while watching a dying bull shark thrash through the sand.

In Carly-and-Evan Land, Carly gives Evan a boner that requires a censor's black box....

Amanda wears a tank top that says "Hot Sauce" and Josh continues to sweat profusely as Amanda dreams of getting engaged to him.  

Josh takes Amanda on a date and tells her she's his best friend and that he's falling in love with her.  Cut to spectacular fireworks and Josh apparently not sweating through his shirt for the first time this season.  

Grant and Brett do this when Brett comes back from the double date and it's sublime:

We're getting SO DAMN CLOSE to the rip-roaring two-night finale!  Proposals galore!  Shoshanna-sobbing!  Nick's fortieth engagement ring purchase in five years!   This will be like infinity Christmases crashing into each other in my living room.  

Episode Stinger:  Brett destroys the lamp.