Friday, February 26, 2016

Mega In-BEN-sity: Week 8 Recap

The Official blog 'scuse me? Bachelor Recap

Monica - blue
Tara - orange

Ha!  I just realized that if you're reading this in a feed reader you probably can't see the different colors or if you're colorblind.  Whoops.  

This week Ben visits the remaining girls in their hometowns and meets their family.  It's awkward, uncomfortable, pretty true to life.

We open on Ben sitting atop a beach boulder as he processes the whittling of contestants from twenty-eight to four . He's suddenly in extreme close-up, staring at the waves, and I can safely say I've never in the history of my reality TV love seen anyone wear such a dimwitted expression.  It's important to mention I sat through three seasons of Rock of Love.

Amanda's Hometown:  Laguna Beach
I get it now.  Our squeaky voiced single mother of two is from Laguna Beach.

Like this Laguna Beach?

Ben gets to meet the kids today.  I think this is the moment he realizes if he marries her, he would be their stepdad.  Their weird TV Bachelor stepdad.     
 Charlie refuses to high five Ben.  Probably because he's clearly going for handshake.  Let's not conflate these things, Ben.  You are not ready for a handshake.

Kinsley ends up being super charming, the yin to Charlie's emotionally vacant yang. (Trivia:  Kinsley is six months older than Caila.)
Since this is the first hometown, I'm pretty sure Ben has convinced himself he could make this work if the next three hometowns are awful, which they are but apparently not as bad as a tearful child.

Here's a question:  Why is Amanda's dad's only example of sacrifices you have to make when you have children not being able to go to the gym with your friends?   Seriously?  Because I've been looking for excuses NOT to go to the gym.  
When Ben is sitting outside with Amanda's mom, clutching his emergency merlot and swatting at gnats, it's clear he's checked out of his relationship with Amanda.  But he still has to sit through his interrogation with Amanda's gently skeptical dad and the bedtime story reading with Kinsley and Charlie ("Once upon a time in Los Angeles, a boy named Ben...").  I would bet one million dollars Chris Harrison wrote that story, and the as-yet-unveiled ending is "And Ben and Lauren B. annulled their marriage after four months and Ben joined the 2017 cast of Celebrity Apprentice and got fired after two episodes".

Lauren B.'s Hometown:  Portlandia

And no, they don't go on bike rides and get tattoos...

The best part of this day is that Portland has a Whisk(e)y Library
Oh yeah and Lauren's dad calls her Baby Lo Lo.  Best nickname!  
Lauren B. and Ben eat lunch at Portland's food trucks:
Then Lauren B. frets to the camera because she can't move forward with Ben if her family doesn't like him.  She's got a challenge ahead of her, considering it's time to haul out the Mean Skeptical Sister Bachelor trope (saucer-eyed Mollie).  Mollie asks Ben what makes Lauren B. stand out to him and he responds by crying, which oddly makes Mollie give Lauren B. and Ben her blessing instead of laughing derisively in Ben's face.

Baby Lo Lo's dad wears a Mr. Rogers sweater and is smug as fuck and I appreciate both things.  It's apparent he doesn't think his daughter's relationship with Ben has a chance in hell and can't wait for her to return home and re-activate her Match account.
Caila's Hometown:  Hudson, OH  (not sure if there is a TV show here guys, sorry)

Caila and Ben sit on a bench together and then go to her dad's toy factory to build a house.  I think she might be boring enough to be a female Ben, which is to say she's probably the next bachelorette.  I've been saying it for weeks folks.  I'm not giving up on this. 
Caila has a whale of a time building the toy house with Ben because she gets to keep it.  Because, you know, she's three. *rimshot*
Caila's dad is the adult version of Derek from Full House:
He tells Ben he's in the "most magical marriage ever" and wins the Ostentatious Cornball Award.  Then he grills Caila about the integrity of her relationship with Ben and she starts weeping and squeaking while he struggles to not roll his eyes.  He's got the emergency pinot noir and the precise Justin Timberlake ramen noodle hair, and he will take no emotional horseshit tonight.
Caila's mom (who's rocking a fun "80s aerobics instructor" up-do) asks Ben if he's ever met Filipinos before and he chillingly replies, "Uh, no! I don't think so!" 

JoJo's Hometown:  Dallas, TX
I hate to even mention the flowers JoJo finds on her doorstep with a long letter sent from her ex-bf "Chad" because it seems like production manipulated this situation.   Blah, blah, blah.

Most importantly, let's talk about JoJo's mom.  Firstly, she says to JoJo, "You're not gonna get hurt, you're beautiful."  Second, she should have her own show on HGTV because she knows how to decorate a ridiculous house.
 That said, I'm hoping painting like this are all over the house.

JoJo's dad looks a lot like this guy...

JoJo's mom reins it in.

JoJo's wearing those open-toed suede booties again!  NOOOOO......
JoJo's family rises about the stiff competition and wins for Most Ghoulish.  This hometown visit was like a Tales from the Crypt episode written by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein.  Her brothers are sneering gargoyles with a slimy, Freudian attachment to JoJo.  Her mother rocks twelve gallons of lip fillers and a bad Beverly Hills nose job and blows huge plumes of smoke up JoJo's ass.  Her dad is a prune-faced glass of flat Fresca who looks like he'd get arrested for insider trading.
Brother Matt, the more constipated of the two brothers, insists that JoJo keep her heart guarded and that Ben is "not as emotionally invested" as she is.  In other words, "Never date again because my Genetic Sexual Attraction will force me to commit murder otherwise".   The two brothers accuse Ben of getting coached to feed them platitudes (hilarious) and of wearing a "poker face" (inaccurate:  That's Ben's "moron face").
Brother Ben was on a reality dating show!!  Now his cynicism makes even more sense.
Cocktail Party:
First off, at the end of each of these hometown visits not one lady said she loved Ben.  According to twitter, not a good sign.

Ben sends Amanda home because apparently he really likes going to the gym.  
I guess becoming an insta-dad is a scarier thought to Ben than getting poisoned by the in-laws at Thanksgiving.  He takes another opportunity to weep like a turd after Amanda's limo takes off.
Credits treat:  Ben talks with Lauren B.'s invasive Stepford Child brothers about the Fantasy Suite. PASS THE MERLOT!
Join us next week as everyone confesses their love for each other and cries in sunny Jamaica!  If somebody says "mon", I'm going to put a hammer through my television.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mega In-BEN-sity: Week 7 Recap

The Official blog 'scuse me? Bachelor Recap

Monica - blue
Tara - orange

Hold on to your butts because this was the most boring episode this season.  First off, any girl with a personality is gone.  I'm sure these girls are great, but they are giving nothing to the camera.  Nothing except for tears, which is great for my fantasy team, but there are other ways to get point, ladies.  I hate/love to say this... I miss Olivia.  

This week we take a trip to Ben's Hometown (Warsaw, Indiana), where you fill your days with playing basketball and flying kites.  It's a simpler place.

Ben drives through Warsaw in a Chevy pickup and yells "Good to see ya!" at an imaginary old friend.  He meets his parents at a diner (where the waitresses are probably named Edna and Mavis and call the customers "sugar") and provides stats on the dull remaining women.

I will admit I find this town precious as hell, and a refreshing change from Chris Soules' hometown, which can be summed up as:

First Date:  One on one with Lauren B.  (everyone's favorite flight attendant)

They visit the community's children and Ben finds a rogue crying five-year-old; instead of wasting time talking him through the pain, Ben drags him back on the court so he can get those knees up and ignore it.  Lauren B. tells the camera she's never seen anybody act like that with kids; Ben is going to make an "amazing dad".  Was a scene where Ben gets a child with PTSD to finally start talking again left on the cutting room floor? 

They visit the "local dive bar" to toast with his pals (anyone else notice Clark Kent sitting on Ben's left?).  Lauren B.'s apple cheeks glow with triumph as she realizes she's in love with the blandest person alive.

Second Date:  One on one with JoJo
For this date, they leave Indiana for the Windy City and hang out at Wrigley Field all day because I assume there is nothing else to do in Chicago.   JoJo shows up dressed like The Fonz and Ben's outfit looks like a storm cloud.

It's only 2 hours and 24 minutes without traffic assuming ABC sprung for tolls.  Do they spend the entire date walking back and forth on the field?  Oh wait, they do have an adorably staged kiss while poking their heads through the scoreboard.  
There are other things to do in Chicago that aren't as expensive and boring as spending all day in an empty stadium talking about your feelings.  They have this pizza where they put the sauce on top of the cheese and their hot dog buns have poppy seeds on them.  I know!  

Caila is panicking because Ben still insists on dating other women when she and her silken extensions are right here, desperate for a ring. 

Third Date:  A Three on Two on One with Becca, Amanda and Caila
What a day!  They get to row boats and fly kites.  Warsaw is pure magic.  At the end of the day, one lucky lady gets to work at a McDonald's Drive-Thru and then ride a bunch of carnival rides with stomach full of American garbage.

Is it just me or is this the second season where Becca gets dumped in a barn? (For people who didn't see the Chris Soules season, Becca gets dumped in a barn decorated for a proposal.  Video*)  
*Don't watch the video, it's boring.
Becca, the next time a guy asks you to enter a barn, just say no.  ABC Executives Life is trying to teach you a lesson.  

Becca is majorly pissed because she's really putting herself out there, man, and Ben is giving her NOTHING.  "Where do we go from here?" she asks the camera.  (The answer to that, of course, is "To a shot of Chris Harrison instructing you to leave").

Suddenly the episode is interrupted by a meandering Mickey D's commercial (oh, wait, it's part of Ben and Amanda's date).  I was waiting for Amanda to say, "Ben, I'm so happy I got the chance to relax with you over this delicious, fluffy egg and perfectly melted cheese sandwiched between crisp, golden brown English muffins. The only thing that would make this more special is a bold, piping hot McDonald's coffee."

Caila can't stop yammering about Ben's "community" and how she "doesn't have a community" and this might lead him to reject her.  Why would Caila want to marry someone who would reject her for not having a bunch of fake friends rounded up by the PAs?

Emily scores the one-on-one and bursts into tears of joy as Caila stares at her like this:

Fourth Date: One on one with Emily
Emily gets to meet the parents.
She shares her aspirations of being a NFL cheerleader and a young mom with Ben's mom.  This is followed by Emily telling Ben's dad that her likes include sitting around and watching movies all day.

Bye Emily, I'll probably see you or your sister on Bachelor in Paradise.

Caila describes Emily as a "bright-eyed puppy" and gets one hundred gold stars.

Ben's dad looks like he'd play the mayor in a Christopher Nolan film and Ben's mom is unimpressed with Emily to the point where she starts weeping like a douchebag.  Emily is a clueless marshmallow who means well and whoever Ben picks on this show is going to be divorced from him in a year, so cool your jets.

Ben dumps Emily because Mom hates her and she sobs like he got her in the femur with a crossbow.  Ben stands on the dock, overcome with emotion, and bizarrely fondles his nose and mouth.  If the movie Mars Attacks! was a person, it would be Ben.

Cocktail Party:
Bye Bye Becca.

What's going on with this collar?  Is there a name for this?  It looks like a straight line.  

Caila wraps herself in a black cape because she has no community and all is ashes.   I love that Becca acts nonplussed at getting dumped when she spent the episode whining about how Ben hates her. I feel The Beccarette coming on and I'm not amused.

Prediction: Next week he dumps all of them and brings back Laura aka Red Velvet. #bringbacklaura

But before the return of Red Velvet:  Amanda's kids are fuckwads, Caila's dad is Joel Grey, and JoJo's family hates the shit out of Ben.   In other words:

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mega In-BEN-sity: Week 6 Recap

The Official blog 'scuse me? Bachelor Recap

Monica - blue
Tara - orange
My DVR guide describes this episode as "The two-on-one date leaves one woman traumatized."  My response:
Rose Ceremony:
Ben pulls capering demon Olivia aside and asks her why the other women hate her so much.  Olivia says they alienate her for being "different" - she likes "reading books" while the other ladies like "painting their nails" and "doing each other's hair" (I'm going to add "brushing their teeth").  She starts fake crying so Ben will let her stick around. 

Olivia, you seem to forget that last week you were on camera doing your nails.  Tara seems to think she meant the ladies were doing each others nails, but I think Olivia's full of shit. 

Ben announces he "appreciates every one" of the ladies (all of whom are fuming except Olivia) while his hair sits gingerly on his head like a damp toupee.   Can we get a surprise appearance by Huey to lighten the mood?

Jennifer gets the heave-ho because she's boring and Ben tells her, "You're gonna make somebody...very happy."  (The last part of that statement, "Your mom, when you spend the rest of your bitter life splitting the mortgage with her in a one-bedroom condo", was removed in editing.)  Actual screenshot of Olivia enjoying her celebratory flute of champagne:

Group Destination:  The Bahamas!!  VIVA LA BAHAMAAAS
The ever-resplendent Chris Harrison visits the ladies as they sip mimosas in the hotel suite.  Becca, who's been looking very gassy, presents the one-on-one date card to Caila shortly before Ben emerges from the shadows with half his shirt unbuttoned.  Ben, you are not Burt Reynolds and therefore I beg you to stop the shirt fuckery.
One-on-One with Caila: Boats McGotes
Caila and Ben go fishing with a rod that's attached to her hips as Leah sobs in a frustration.  She lives TEN MINUTES from Ben in the dull universe that exists outside the show.  They could have met IN A BAR, for crying out loud.  She was picked for The Bachelor literally by Magical Santa Claus Jesus and Ben's not exploring this miracle with her.  (Dear ABC, stop trying to manipulate my feels with clips of Leah sobbing while Ben and Caila are having the time of their lives Sandals-style.)  Instead, he's wasting his time with perky bubbly Caila.  Caila refuses to get serious and vulnerable in front of Ben for reasons unclear even to her; but she suspects the problem is that she's incapable of romantic love.  Sounds too good to be true, if you ask me.   At first Ben wants to throw her off the show right then and there but ends up telling the camera he finds it "attractive that [Caila] can be confusing".  This confuses ME, because if Ben should be used to anything, it's getting confused.  Stoplights, crescent moons, and microwave ovens confuse Ben.  I guess he's constantly horny. 
Their "dinner" conversation is a delightful train wreck.  Caila is telling Ben that she doesn't want to cry in front of him, who knows how that conversation got started, and the longer she talks the more confused Ben looks.  She somehow saves herself by saying she feels "understood" by Ben when he has absolutely no idea what she's talking about.
Group Date: Becca, Lauren H., Amanda, Lauren B., JoJo, Leah
Becca is afraid of getting mauled by a shark, but should probably be more concerned about the possibility Ben is taking them to Isla Sorna.  Suddenly....

YAYYYY ACQUATIC PIG ATTACK!!  Becca didn't realize she was scared of pigs until this moment.  I didn't realize my ideal vacation is to be surrounded by all-up-in-your-business pigs in the Atlantic until this moment.
Once the pigs get bored, Leah starts crying again because she's a "group date groupie".  The delicious irony is her obsessive concern over Ben "not giving [her] a chance" is probably going to get her kicked out rather than any tag-along status. Shit gets awkward with everyone on this date.  It was as if everyone had just realized they were on the Bachelor.
After the awkward beach frolicking, Ben visits the ruminating ladies while wearing a ribbed shirt with two buttons undone and asks, "Can I sit down somewhere?" as he sits down on the sofa.  Can we get Chris Soules back or something?  Ben and his vanilla bravado and prickliness remind me more of  Justin Bieber all the time.  
Ben gives helium-voiced Amanda a rose and Lauren B. is so devastated her hair transforms into a windswept top-of-the-head bun.  Leah is on the creep trying to be the next Olivia and Ben shows how much this impresses him by throwing her out.

 Lauren H. didn't get the memo about the cut-off jeans.  Coincidentally, she got sent home this week. 

Two-on-One Date:  Asshole vs. The Twin
Olivia and Emily travel to a distant shore with Ben while there's a hurricane a-brewin'.   Olivia shows Ben how much she loves him by telling him she's grounded, intimidating, smart, strong, intellectual, and I think she said the Beatles wrote the White Album for her.  
Finally, FINALLY, Olivia goes home.  She fake sobs as Ben and Emily leave her to die on Skull Island.

Ben poses awkwardly on a wall and then cancels the cocktail party because he's a cranky bitch.  Why didn't Chris Harrison just hang out with the ladies and camera crew for a couple of hours and get loaded? 
Rose Ceremony: 
Ben's buttons are undone as usual and his bangs are fluffed.
JoJo panics because she realizes she's pretty dull but she ends up with a rose.  Becca's dress looks like it was cut from a mattress cover so she gets one too.   Lauren H. gets the axe and does one of the season's best ugly cries in the back of the limo.  See you on Bachelor in Paradise, pal!
Credits Treat:  This flies into the house and wackiness ensues:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mega In-BEN-sity: Week 5 Recap

The Official blog 'scuse me? Bachelor Recap

Monica - blue
Tara - orange
Blah, Blah, The Right Reasons, Blah

Next Destination:  Mexico City, the romance capital of Mexico City

Interesting tidbit:  Olivia has a bidet.  She's only 23 year old and she's clearly doing better than me.  If you want to cheer me up, please bidon't.

First Date:  One on one date with Amanda

Olivia is surprised to hear that Miss Teen Mom Forty Tons of Baggage Used Goods Children-Having Amanda caught Ben's attention to this degree. 

Date Activity:  Hot Air Balloon Ride.  Exciting romantic adventure?  Check.  Nicely packed picnic?  With food that they presumably never consume?  Check and check.  Champagne?  Obviously.  I'd call this a date if it wasn't for the lack of Jacuzzi.  How can you really get to know someone unless you're surrounded by warm bubbly water.  

To start out this "date", Ben gives the girls a wake up call at 4:30 am.  All the girls are a little embarrassed, not expecting this visit, no one is dressed up or wearing makeup, one girl has zit cream on and another is wearing a retainer.  All the girls except for Amanda, that is.  She has full makeup on, wakes up looking like she slept on a cloud.  This reminds me of Britt during Chris Soules season, she also woke up in the middle of the night with makeup on and if I remember correctly, she explain that she took it off every night and immediately puts it on before she sleeps.  That explanation has bothered me ever since.  First off, is it bad to sleep with your makeup on?  Yes.  Secondly, that means Britt has never seen her actual face.  (Wait, was Britt's date also a hot air balloon?)
Here's my theory:  Since the girl going on the date would need to pack her bags before leaving for the date in case she gets sent home, someone in production has to tell her that bag needs to be packed before she goes to bed.  So does she jump to the conclusion that there may be an early wake up call with the bachelor or did they explicitly tell her?  And either way why didn't she share this with the other girls?  Or were they like "you're crazy, Ben doesn't wake up early, he's a software salesmen."?  Either way, what were you thinking, you want the man you are trying to marry think you naturally wake up with brown sparkly eyelids.  That's going to be so hard to maintain.
 Ben sprawls on the picnic grass with Amanda and tells her that he, "like, just wants to see what it's like being around" her.  There's an almost palpable specificity when Ben talks and I admire that.  Amanda mentions that she doesn't want to "scare" Ben away with her children and whatnot; I think if anything scares him away it'll be those absolutely heinous opened-toed suede booties.

Ben presents Amanda with a rose and at this point has shown the world he loves the word "incredible" as much as Chris Soules did.  He makes it clear her life doesn't scare him; he can definitely imagine a future with her and the kiddies.  Here's the kind of dad I expect Ben to be:

Second Date:  Group Date with Jubliee, Becca, JoJo, Caila, Emily, Lauren B., Jennifer, Leah, and Olivia

Lauren H. is so excited to get excluded from the group date (and therefore picked for a one-on-one)  she almost sloshes cabernet all over the sofa.  Olivia continues to sulk and tells the camera she doesn't want Ben anymore; she NEEDS him.  I feel literally nineteen thousand "can I steal you"s coming on!

Date Activity:  After a Spanish language class where they learn bachelor-esque phrases in Spanish like "I want to kiss you" and "I'm falling in love with you," the girls get recipes written in Spanish to create classic Mexican dishes.  

Emily claims that on a scale of one to ten, her Spanish-speaking skills are at a negative ten.  So are her math skills, I guess.

The girls have to break up into pairs to make these dishes.  With nine girls, someone gets Ben on their team.  Jubilee and Olivia fight over Ben, if you call an awkward staring and silence, fighting.  Olivia wins because her and Ben have a secret love language (which she tells the camera as she sits there looking like she noshed a few Quaaludes).

Olivia flaunting her knowledge of Spanish and forcing herself on Ben in cooking class conjures this image:

The topic of Olivia's bad breath comes up again just as Ben is force feeding her a pile of mint. 

I am 120,000% convinced Ben got a compensation increase for letting the producers keep Olivia on the show for so long.  She is wild as a rabid badger and her mouth "smells like shit", according to Emily (as much as she hates Olivia, I can't see her fabricating such a thing - wouldn't she just run with the fat toes and sociopathic behavior?). There is no way in hell Ben sees any potential in Margot Robbie on K2 at this point.

Ben kicks Jubilee out the door because she's too insecure for him.   Jubilee sobs and declares herself "the most unlovable person in the world". America months away from seeing the first black woman become Bachelorette???  Genuinely curious and excited.  But the media is racist as fuck so it will probably be Amanda.

Olivia gets a rose from Ben, causing Emily's platinum extensions to ignite with rage.  While Olivia accepts her rose and shoves fruit kabobs in her mouth she's dressed like the Predator for some reason.

Third Date:  One on one date with Lauren H.

Date Activity:  Fashion Show in Mexico City where Ben and Lauren H. get to be models.  This is followed by a fake dinner and guy on the street with a harp (close enough to a private concert).  

I was so excited about Lauren H. last week and this week not a single one-liner.  What?  You get a one-on-one date and all of the sudden you're taking this seriously.  We had something, Lauren.  

Lauren H. shows up for the date wearing a top that's a belly shirt but also a mini-dress.  Olivia isn't threatened by this or any other awesome Lauren H. facet because she's too busy painting her nails and sleeping on two beds at the same time.

LH managed to walk the runway without puking on it, but she looked on the verge of laughter almost the whole time, which I suppose isn't the desired "fashion model" expression.  Olivia's typical expression is more suitable:

Ben likes LH because she "really says what's on [her] heart".  The George W. score is touching the sun at this point.

Cocktail Party:  

Olivia makes a comment about Amanda's life being like Teen Mom, that TV show that follows teen moms.  That was clearly a line she should not have crossed.  Emily responds to this by telling Ben the truth about Olivia.  Ben puts on his detective cap and questions the rest of the girls at the cocktail party to uncover who the real Olivia is.

Can't wait for next week, when he deduces she's a total piece of shit and keeps her on the show!   By the way, instead of Bachelor Live can we just watch Emily do different kinds of shots for half an hour?

Now more importantly, I think I might be falling in love with Fake Juan Pablo.
Oh and Ben Higgins MOLES (@benhigginsmole) are following me on twitter and so should you.
This is me (@mon_o_gram).  This is Tara (@tee5isalive).  This is the blog (@blog_scuse_me).  Get on this bullshit!