Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bachelorette Kaitlyn Final Episode: Nick Goes out with Two Bangs

Boom.  And just like that, it's over.   

Hello, Readers.  Thanks for sticking around with me for yet another season of The Bachelorette.  I’d have to say that overall it turned out to be a pretty good season.  Granted, we were relegated to two travel locations rather than 5 and the same two guys argued about the same two things for the entire season, but I think it’s fair to say that we were as equally entertained as we were bored.  That, in my mind anyway, is a good season even it if does make me a Surface Level Person. 

First, a few housekeeping items. 

1.         I’ll be here in the off-season.  I have not yet committed to blogging about Bachelor in Paradise, but I do plan on posting something at least once a week.  Between other recaps and your inevitable Netflix/full DVR binges, that should be enough to give you all plenty of time to waste at home and at work in spite of the fact that I’m not writing about the show. 

2.         Thank all of you for continuing to show up and read here every week.  I’d bet a week’s pay that I get more of a thrill writing this and reading your comments than you do reading it.  I’m like  the remora that latches itself on the side of a shark.   Ours is truly a symbiotic relationship.  Thank you for all that you do for me.  

3.         I didn’t watch the After the Final Rose show; namely because I didn’t record it, but also because it bothers me to watch it.  I won't comment on it; however, I may post again this week about it.

4.         As always, send me suggested off-season topics, questions, or suggestions.  I put them in a file in the event writer’s block hits. 

Now, let’s get to the big finale. 

Helicopter-filmed, Southern California vistas followed by a soft fade out and a shower of rose petals greet us like they do before every season finale.  Now we’re talking.  We all took a sip of Chardonnay and a nip of cheese and grinned from ear to ear knowing there’d be no cliffhanger at the end of this show --- just another hour of inane, redundant banter. 

Incidentally, who let the 12-year old past ABC security for the live broadcast?   She should have been in the Green Room watching the re-runs of the ABC after school special Drugs are Bad, Jenny Eat Something rather than sitting through vignettes of her older brother’s sex life. 

Granted, I’m sure she learned a lot watching her brother get dumped on live television after everyone—including Kaitlyn’s entire family—rehashed their one night stand, but I think we all felt a little weird seeing her sit there through the agony. 

Harrison shows up in a lavender oxford and a subtle gray tie and tells me I’m not going to believe what I’m about to see.  Every time he tells me that I still believe it after I see it.    He summarizes the big season and sets up the big finale.  “Controversial . . . she followed her heart (and other parts of her anatomy) . . . the guys hate each other. . .”.  Yea, Harrison, we know how it works.  Now get to the dumping.   

Keeping consistent with this season’s non-sequiter starts, we head back to last week’s Utah resort to watch Nick in his Aloha v-neck pack his mustard colored skinny jeans and cardigan sweaters amongst the background of stunning mountain views and aspen trees.  

Props to Nick on his silent 1989 Magnum P.I. tribute.  I was surprised he didn’t pull out his “Here Today, Gone To Maui” tank top for the Rose Ceremony.    

Higgins and I think Shawn will win.

Shawn, perhaps sensing the inevitability of his “victory,” chooses a more formal oxford for his packing responsibilities.  Unfortunately for us, he still won’t drop that annoying “the other guy” nonsense.   

Look, I get that a guy wired like Shawn has no meaningful choice other than to compartmentalize his emotions when it comes to dwelling on some other dude putting his greasy hands all over his wanna-be fiancé, but I’m pretty certain Kaitlyn wasn’t screaming “Oh, oh, take me, Other Guy!  Take me!” in her hotel room a few weeks ago.  Grow up, Peter Pan.    

Hold your breath.  This year’s “exotic” location for the Final Rose Ceremony?  Malibu.  Nice budget.  Did anyone else feel cheated?  Malibu?  That’s like 30 minutes via a rented high end sports car or 10 minutes via a rented helicopter from Los Angeles.  Sounds like the Roadies Union over at ABC has some serious pull this season.  To hell with carrying all of that equipment and the heavy floral arrangements to Fiji. 

Kaitlyn shows up for her family sit around and judge session with much darker hair and a sister who looks like Abby Lee Miller’s daughter. 

Kaitlyn actually has the nerve to drop, “someone ‘showed up" from another season.”  Man, that’s a bit of revisionist history if I’ve ever heard it.  She continues the delusion by telling her mom, dad, step mom, step dad, and Abby Lee Miller, Jr. that things went “too far” with Nick.

Right.  And the Germans "showed up" in Poland in 1939 and took things "a little too far."  Ironically, both Nick and the Germans had an easy time invading foreign territory.  

Alright, first of all, I can’t be the only one who didn’t find it incredibly uncomfortable that she would share her whiskey-induced tryst with Nick with her family after not seeing them for weeks at a time.  Maybe that’s a Canadian thing.  

Oh, and don’t’ think I’m going to let the “too far” characterization slip away like Kaitlyn’s negligee after a few pops of Jack Daniels either.  “Too far?”  Hell, last week, she was a strong woman who owned her own decisions and the victim of an incredibly hypocritical and sexist “double standard.”  This week, when she’s planning on dumping the guy who helped her spread her feminist wings, all of a sudden she “went too far.”  Wow.  Here’s a link for you psychology enthusiasts.  It says what I have too little room to  say here.  

Mom has white jeans on.  I knew it.  Apparently the White Jeans Theory is multi-generational and passed on through the maternal side of the family.  I loved her mom’s eyelashes as well.  I wondered to whom they belonged to before she bought them.      

White jeans and fake eyelashes aside, Mom is none too happy that Nick is there.  Maybe he’s been “casually texting” her too.  I suddenly found myself interested in anticipation of the inevitable ball busting that was about to happen. 

Nick shows up for the big meet and greet.  He could have shaved and tucked in his shirt.  He was dressed like a member of the ABC Roadie’s Union—all of whom were definitely on their mandated hourly 20-minute cigarette breaks.

Let’s take a moment to see what clever and smart gets Nick, shall we?  I’ve said it since Andi’s season.  Nick is smart, level-headed, and deliberate.  He can read people and situations well and he’s clever enough to adapt his behavior accordingly.  He makes quick work of Abby Lee Miller, Jr. by disarming with his awww shucks, rubbing my face and looking at the floor routine.  She buys it.  

Mom gets her eyelashes in a tither as she leads off by calling Nick, “possessive, jealous, and, arrogant.”  Solid work, Mom.  It's too bad you couldn't stick to your guns.  

Nick responds by saying he’s not surprised he’s there.  So much for humility.  Mom unwittingly becomes putty in Nick’s hands as she pretends to grill him but plays Kaitlyn’s entire hand.  Satisfied, Nick professes love and goes directly to the tearing up and sniffling move.  Brilliant.   Mom cries too and Nick is in.  At this point I was almost certain my Shawn pick was going to fall by the wayside.     

Shawn’s turn. 

Kaitlyn is wearing a short, short dress looking like a slutty, Canadian Minnie Mouse.  

I hope this is a Memory Jar

Mom sticks with her white look but dresses it up a bit more with a pair of white earrings and a black and white dress she undoubtedly bought during the same time frame as the manufacture of Nick’s Aloha v-neck. 

Mom is worried Shawn is the jealous type.  She’s clearly done her homework.  Shawn shows up like the freaking welcome wagon with 100 gifts, including a gift for Abby Lee Miller, Jr.’s kids.  Point Shawn.  Nice work, ABC Intern.  He wears shorts but at least he wore an oxford.  Of course he didn’t tuck it in.  Details. 

Step Dad sports an odd yellow neon shirt with some fancy cuffs that was completely age-inappropriate and . . . you guessed it . . . white pants.  No wonder he married Mom.  It’s really about finding common ground, isn’t it?  Mom is ready to discuss The Big Bang with Shawn.  Dude, how awkward was that set up?  

Showing us that he’s fully prepared to close the deal, Shawn drops the “Other Guy” routine and swallows his anger (hard).  He goes with the “I’m not jealous, it’s just that I’m in love” approach and artfully stays away from trashing Nick when he’s directly asked, albeit euphemistically, about how he plans to handle the fallout knowing that his soon-to-be fiancé had sex on national television with his worst enemy . . . twice . . . in the same season . . . while she was dating Shawn . . . who was staying in the same hotel when it happened.  

I’ll give him credit.  He was there to close the deal and he came prepared.  My Shawn confidence was back on at this point. 

My confidence was fully bolstered once Abby Lee Miller, Jr. gave her vote to Shawn while speaking to Kaitlyn and Shawn brought in both mom and dad for the permission to marry conversation. (Nice touch).  The response wasn’t exactly a resounding “yes” but they nodded accordingly.  A pale green light is still a green light.   

Last dates with Kaitlyn.

Brooding in her Lululemon attire on “her” catamaran in Marina Del Rey, Kaitlyn seeks clarity and Ceftriaxone.  Those of you diligent enough to Google that are laughing right now.  After countless departures from tradition this season it was nice to see them stick with the catamaran date.  They also stuck with the post-picnic, on the bow make out session with a lot of buttock cupping filmed at extremely uncomfortable angles. 

Dinner with Nick—Last Meal

Nick throws some Just for Men into his beard and puts on his Garanimals shirt.  She shows up in stripes.  They continue to pretend like they “just texted” before Nick “showed up” on the show.  He gives her some kind of brag book that the ABC Intern put together for him with something about Magic and Electricity plastered all over it in his handwriting.  I suppose Drunkenness and Promiscuity don’t have the same ring.  At least he was polite. 

Fake Gosling Date

Shawn shows up in his tight long underwear shirt and shorts accentuating his physique just in case he does get dumped.  She doesn’t exactly do the run, grab, and leg wrap.  She clearly looked preoccupied.  He’s delusional and immediately insecure. 

Despite the fact that they both stared at the floor and pounded Merlot between the incommodious silence, they seem to agree that he’s still in the running.  My guess is that she kept him in the dark until the last second and that she was preoccupied with dumping Nick.  I’ll give Shawn credit.  He closed the deal over and over.  We can’t say he’s faking it. 

“It’s time for his dumb gift,” I said to Mrs. SGIA between Lone Star sips.  Fake Gosling pulls out a jar full of garbage. He tells her he’s giving her “something to represent the past couple of months”. 

“That jar must be filled with whiskey labels, Nick’s condom wrappers, and Shawn’s tears,” I said laughing.  

Sometimes cynicism is the best medicine, isn’t it?    Apparently, it’s a “Memory Jar.”  Ah, there’s nothing more romantic than emptying out a pickle jar and cramming it with beverage napkins, torn movie tickets, and golf tees.

Look, it's Nick's pickle.  What a Memory.

Congrats to the ABC Intern tasked with the “if you want to keep your job you’ll find a way to outdo a sappy photo album with handwritten notes in it” challenge.  Solid work. 

Wake up and dress time.  Everyone is nervous.  Kaitlyn wakes up in full makeup.  So does Nick.  Fake Gosling drinks coffee and searches unsuccessfully for his shirt.    

Neil Lane visits Shawn fresh off his Gin Rummy game with Harrison.

Nick’s turn to drink coffee and wander.  Neil Lane shows up with his magic briefcase. 
Kaitlyn gets ready.

Harrison opens limo door for Kaitlyn. 

Shawn broods.  

She’s nervous. 

Nick broods.

The First limo pulls up and……..it’s Nick. 

Dead man walking.  Harrison doesn’t flinch as he walks him to his impending doom like a masculine, dapper version of Sister Helen Prejean to Nick’s feminine, less dapper version of Matthew Poncelet.

Stay Strong.  Kaitlyn is about to dump you. 

Kaitlyn lets Nick speak because she has a contractual duty to do that, but you could tell she’s not thrilled about it.  We can say what we want about Kaitlyn, but I don’t think she’s a mean-spirited person and regardless of what criterion ultimately pushed her on to Shawn’s side of the fence, she clearly didn’t want to be forced to be in that moment with Nick.

We have to watch Nick flop around the dock next to the water before she steps in and prevents him from grabbing the Neil Lane charity ring and bending one knee.  Dude, that STINGS.  Talk about a blindside.  Deanna Pappas had a better idea of what was coming right before Womack . . . well . . . Womacked her.    

"I'm not going to marry either one of you.  I mean that. Truly.  I really do."

Body language tells us that Nick is quickly over the denial stage and he’s moved directly into anger.  He cannot wait to leave.  Now it’s her turn to flop around the dock in search of the cool, oxygen-rich confines of the water below.   He cuts her off.  He’s articulate as she begs for validation.  He gambled and lost and he knows it.  She brings up the “off camera time” and the “intimate moments.”

I say this every season.  When you dump someone the worst thing you can do is to rub it in by telling that person how great he really is or how much you still care.  It smacks of insincerity and it’s a selfish attempt to quell your own guilt rather than to provide solace to the person you've hurt.  Put another way, just rip the Band-Aid off and move on. 

“I believe it all but I just don’t need to hear it,” was Nick’s way of saying what I said above. Go Nick. 

“What I felt for you was greater than a moment.”  Wow.  Total burn. 

Not surprisingly, Nick again wins the intellectual battle.  Granted, he’s an oak standing amongst acorns on this show, but he deserves credit.  He’s smarter than Kaitlyn and Shawn.  In lieu of a microphone, Nick drops the Neil Lane ring and the Ireland ring.  He’s out.   

There was “stunned silence” in the audience according to Harrison.  To us, that clearly means the intern forgot to turn the “Applause” sign on.  The Memory Jar victory was short lived.    

Shawn’s turn. 

He drops a “Mr. Harrison” on OHCH.  Solid.  Anything to up his chances.  Kaitlyn stands there—a withered mess--waiting for Shawn to propose to her thrice-defiled bones.

He goes with the standard “first time I saw you . . . highs and lows . . . all we’ve been through . . . blue eyes...” speech, tells her he loves her, she requites, and he proposes. 

“Will you possibly marry me at some indefinite point in the future . . . maybe?”

“Yes, of course I might.”

The whole thing is really a study in contrasts, isn’t it? 

Well, there it is:  another complete season of the show we can’t stop watching.  Congrats to Shawn and Kaitlyn.  I say it every season.  I hope that they have found what Ryan and Trista have found via the show:  an endless supply of money and public appearances.  Hell, it’s about time for Ryan and Trista to retire anyway.  

Regardless of the blog content I’ve been throwing up here for 6 plus years now, there is a romantic side to me that still exists.  I’m hopeful for the currently happy couple and I hope they make it to their as yet undecided wedding date.  Granted, I wouldn’t bet a day’s pay on it, but I hope it happens. 

Thank you again for making it another season with me.  Take care of yourselves, check in here for new posts periodically, and enjoy the rest of the Summer.  In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be “casually texting” Kaitlyn’s mom.  DP   


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bachelorette Kaitlyn Episode 11: Men Say Nothing

Alright, you all know how much I hate this episode.  Couple that with the fact that I’m as busy as a Canadian whore on dollar night and you’ll undoubtedly feel my pain.  Normally, I wouldn’t use a word like “whore” right out of the metaphorical gate; however, in light of the fact that Harrison used it about 9 times on the show, I feel like it’s alright.  I also made my hypothetical whore Canadian because I wanted to remain topical.    

Ground Rules for this Post: 

1.         I really am on a tight schedule so I have to budget my time here.

2.         Because of Rule 1, I’m going to allot 30 minutes to write.   Whatever comes out during that time gets posted.

3.         Let’s get to it.

Bachelor in Paradise Preview.  I’m no Puritan and even I was appalled at the preview.  The show looks like something I would have snuck downstairs to watch on Cinemax After Dark when I was a kid and my parents were sleeping.  On the other hand, it does look like a good way to escape reality for an hour or so once a week. 

Note to self:  consider watching Bachelor in Paradise but never admitting it to anyone.  I’ll log that idea in the “SGIA’s Great Ideas” folder in my Dropbox account next to “Feed tuna fish mayonnaise.” 

Let’s get to the show.

Before we rehash every stupid moment from the past 10 shows via the obligatory “Last time . . . on The Bachelorette . . .”. montage, Harrison introduces himself, which is a lot like Santa Claus introducing himself to a room full of 4 year olds.  Harrison is a master of the caesura, is he not? 

I, like many of you, immediately noticed that Kentucky Joe was wearing white jeans.  I wondered aloud why neither Clint nor J.J. had them on in light of the early-season hypothesis that has now graduated into a bona fide theory.  

Tanner and Corey lay into Ian because they drew the long straws held by the producer in the green room.  I’d recap that for you but I was too preoccupied trying to remember who Corey was and why he’d been given such a prominent speaking role in the Men Tell All.  The guy was little more than window dressing during the season.  If Kaitlyn was Beowulf then Corey would have been the dragon killed in the first 1/3 of the poem.  I honestly could not remember who he was.  I was looking for Grendel’s mother after the second break. 

A little English Lit humor for you, folks.  You’re welcome.  Incidentally, I remember being selected for the lead in my 10th grade English class when we read Beowulf aloud in class.  I remember liking the phrase “hoary frost” for some reason. 

Speaking of hoary, let’s get back to Kaitlyn.         

Ian has a Phil Donahue moment when he takes off his jacket—he must have learned that in his pre-Ivy League Preparatory Academy—and begs for forgiveness from the guys and his own mother for being such an arrogant putz.  I’m not sure I bought it, but it was, nonetheless, effective.   The best part was Harrison’s indignant, “what are doing?”       

JJ/Clint “Controversy”.  Clint was clearly uncomfortable at the prospect of being labelled a homosexual; so much so he grew a beard (take that, Jared) and reminded us of his raging heterosexuality each time he got a chance to speak.  He probably should have thought that out before he decided to pal around with J.J. like a conjoined twin in the hot tub on national television.  J.J. undid any progress Clint made on “I’m not gay” front every time he opened his mouth.

Ben H., who is the only person more p*ssy-whipped than Jared when it comes to Kaitlyn, shuts Corey up in order to defend Kaitlyn’s reputation—a Herculean task if you ask me.  In light of Harrison’s mean Tweet reading session—for demonstrative purposes, of course—later in the show, the whole show began to smack of hypocrisy. 

We’re fed phrases like “blatant double-standard” and given roaring endorsements from Harrison who actually calls her a “role model” for his daughters and gushes over his loyal friendship with her.  All of that happened before he called her a “dirty whore” and told her to “close her dirty whore legs” on national television and dismissed the entire reaction to her rampant promiscuity as “cyber-bullying.” 

There is no double-standard, by the way.  Juan Pablo was hated for sleeping with Clare early and lying to everyone about it and then making inappropriate comments to her on their date.  Kaitlyn wasn’t singled out because she has a vagina.  She was singled out because she shared it with every single guy she could find. 

What’s worse?

A.        An angry, holier-than-thou mom is shocked and appalled by Kaitlyn sleeping around on national television during prime time programming and fires off an irrational, mean-spirited Tweet; or

B.        An entire, well-seasoned production team intentionally plans and then films its contestants’ promiscuous behavior while simultaneously plying them with unlimited alcohol, depriving them of sleep, and cutting them off from the outside world after obtaining a one-sided, carte blanche, non-negotiable release with a seven figure penalty for violating its confidentiality provisions drafted by its own attorneys with the power of a major network behind them and then edits the footage solely with ratings and profit in mind regardless of the personal consequences the behavior may visit on the people in it. 

Exactly.   If anyone on that show thought Kaitlyn was a saint, they could have cut the footage to reflect that.  In short, they could have saved her reputation by not creating one in the first place.  Look, it’s all about entertainment value.  I get that, but I’m not buying the “cyber-bullying” outrage when they purposely spawned the problem to begin with.  Kaitlyn certainly doesn’t deserve death threats but the people who put the show on the air have been doing this long enough to know that was likely to happen.  Either they’re insincere or delusional.     

Jared shaved his pseudo-beard and actually looked a lot better.  I thought he was articulate, thoughtful, and sincere.  He got dumped because he was too nice.  Kaitlyn doesn’t like nice.  I think that’s apparent by looking at who is remaining. 

Ben H. gets the “hot seat” and it’s clear that he’s in the running for the next Bachelor.  “We’ll see how you test with the audience, Ben, and then we’ll call you.”  As long as it’s not Josh Murray from Andi’s season, I think I’m fine with whomever they pick.  I think Kentucky Joe would have made a good choice too.  He’s chosen the filthy confines of the Bachelor in Paradise, however.  It’s time they had a guy with a personality and a sense of humor on the show.  Between Ben Flanjik, Juan Pablo, and the “Farmer” from Iowa I’m ready for a change in hiring criteria. 

Incidentally, why does ABC even bother identifying the alleged professions of its Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants?  We might as well just settle in to the fact that they’re all “aspiring morning show hosts” or “aspiring television personalities.”  No one goes on the show looking for a spouse.  As long as we’re hanging out in the Trust Tree we might as well admit it.  I wonder how that dental degree is panning out for Ashley or how that pilot gig is going for Jake.  Remember when he got cheated on by Roz at his own cocktail party?    

Enter Kaitlyn.

Speaking of Roz, I’m pretty certain that the fat guy in the leather hat who helped her pack her sh*t, transferred to the ABC Wardrobe Department this season.  I’m sorry, but Kaitlyn has not looked very good in anything she’s worn to date.  That includes the black sequined high school jazz recital costume she wore on the show this week.  All she was missing was a pair of white gloves.  I haven’t read Lincee www.ihategreenbeans.com Ray’s post yet, but I’d be willing to bet that she threw up all over that getup.    

Then it was really about some passive-aggressive comments from some of the more bitter dudes in the bunch that wouldn’t directly call her out for banging the guy she invited on the show so she could bang.  She mounts the “try dating this many guys, it’s hard” defense before being defended by the guys too afraid to risk inviting the wrath of the “open-minded” members of the general public who think she didn't embarass herself this season. 

I’ve said it before, I will never be so enraged by the behavior of anyone on any reality show that I will be compelled to stop what I’m doing in order to fire off a threatening Tweet directly to that person condemning him or her for whatever played out in California or Ireland or anywhere else.  I simply don’t have any skin in the game.  People who are that affected by a reality show should probably look for a different hobby. 

Well, there it is:  a not-so-funny recap of the Men Tell All in just 28 minutes time.  My fingers hurt from typing.  As always, I’m sorry for the delay.  I’ll plan on hitting it out of the park for the big finale next week.  I’ve gone on the record several times now saying that she’ll pick Fake Gosling out of a mix of guilt, false obligation, and regret.  I’ll go on record today as saying that I’ve never been more unsure of my pick.  We shall see. 

Enjoy the rest of your week and your weekend.  Let me know what you think in the Comments section or on Twitter @someguyinaustin. . . just don’t call me a dirty whore.  In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be closing my dirty whore legs and shutting the f*ck up.  DP