Chancelucky

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Blondes vs. Brunettes (Bachelor 10 review)


"Photo by David Sanger"

Okay, there’s something I don’t get. Dr. Andy tossed two women last night, Stephanie from Kansas and Tina from National Anthem. Post-rose both women confessed that they missed their chance at “Mr. Right” because they “shut down” somehow. I’d blame them if Andy came off in their private time like Oprah or even Dr. Phil. Instead, the guy talks in Bachelorese which last time I checked was a dialect of the language popularly known as “Hallmark”. How many times did I hear “journey”, “connection”, “incredible”, “amazing”, “difficult choice” last night. They did have English classes at Duke? Last night wehn Andy added “possible mother of my children", I started yelling at the tv set, "Run, Tina.....Run Stephanie....He's going to strangle you with platitudes."

Honestly, when he released those thirty kids from their hours of confinement in that windowless cramped classroom, I was hoping that he was going to sit each of the ladies down and ask her what she thought of Angelina Jolie.

Andy - “No, no I’m serious. I really admire what she’s doing and I want to be like Clive Owen in Beyond Borders, you know a true healer. How many of these adorable tykes are you willing to adopt today?”

Danielle- Well my dead first boyfriend would have taken at least one.

Tina- mmmm….that fortune cookie I got before I went on the show didn’t say anything about this. Besides, I want to be Clive Owen and do AIDS testing in Africa.

Amber- I love kids. I want you to see my classroom. Did I tell you I love kids yet?

Bevin- I’m jealous enough of the other ladies getting time with you on this silly show. What psychological weirdness do you think might happen with me if we have kids, much less adopt? This really sucks because I’m not getting enough alone time with you to tell you my deep dark secret about having been married before.

There’s also this really interesting matter of my family being Bah’ai which has its roots in Shiite Islam but has nothing at all in common with the Shiites in Iraq blowing up everyone in their path. We’re sort of like Islamic Unitarians who believe in international harmony and courtships that include the explicit approval of the family. We’re talking a real fascinating home visit here, if ABC has the guts, but our people are very open to interracial marriage and adoption.
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I did think this was one of the better Bachelor dates. I liked the idea of a “character test” instead of a glitzy faux-romantic dinner by a waterfall, garden, beach, etc. Besides Andy on the tricycles made me think Kindergarten Cop. It was a way better date than blending Meritages in chemistry class beakers, fingerpainting, and getting interviewed by Dr. Andy. Honestly, I think it’s fine for a 23 year old not to have much to say about her career. I also have to wonder about any guy who divides people into those sort of narrow boxes. Even if we didn’t get to know her much, I rather liked Stephanie Willhite and was sorry they didn’t have a “connection.” Just watching their rather tepid kiss though, I could have figured that out even without Dr. Andy’s skilled interrogation.

I was also very curious to see Tina Wu’s family. I would have loved to see them sitting around the dinner table picking items out of one another’s teeth. Why is it that whenever the Bachelor makes a point of commenting on one of the ladies “taking the high road” during an episode, it always seems to translate into no rose?

I commented last week that Bevin is getting one of the odder edits ever on this show. They gave her a Moana-like moment with the kayaks, but despite the edit there seems to be evidence that the other ladies not only tolerate but sort of like Bevin. If you turned off the sound while watching the show, you’d swear Bevin Powers all but has that ring on her finger. Right now, they’re playing up the divorce thing which on past installments has never been received well. Somehow, though I think this time the revelation’s going to be made to make Officer Andy look good. Breaking into the Bachelor’s framed photo sanctuary hardly compares to busting into Lorenzo’s luggage and trying on his underwear.

So much of Bevin’s camera time gets devoted to her whining though. She’s jealous of anyone else getting alone time with him. Good Lord, get a clue lady! She worries about how her divorce will play. She moans about the ankle. She worries that Andy would even consider a twenty three year old like Amber. I don’t get it, Bevin was married as a teenager. She, if anyone, knows that someone younger than 25 can be perfectly serious about marriage even if it didn’t work for her.

The under the stairway conversation with Amber Alchalabi was actually one of those encounters that I’d love to see more of on the show. Good reality tv reveals rather than sets up. I loved the very natural way that it came out that Amber had to look after her younger brothers and sisters and the contrast that set up not just with Bevin, but the other remaining ladies. It’s always way more interesting when the participants are talking about something real rather than prattling on about “journeys”, “connections”, and the way the show affects them. The mini-confession also made that little preview of Amber’s family not showing for Andy in Sugarland especially effective.

I know they have a really good liberal arts program at Middlebury. I’m figuring that the edit is just refusing to show any signs of it in Tessa Horst. She somehow never plays the social worker card and only referenced her plan to do a triathlon too the one time. Tessa’s unquestionably getting a much “softer” edit than Bevin, but they must be cutting a heck of a lot out of Andy’s actual conversation with her. The only thing you ever see is, “Does she want me, if so I want her to know that I want her” stuff.

I understand the business with the gown and the jewels, but the date struck me as a very odd match for who Tessa seems to be. For one, there are several hints that she’s reasonably well to do. For instance, I can’t afford to take my children to hike the Inca trail, pay Middlebury tuition, or let them hang out near Jackson Hole for a year or two after college. While she liked the stuff well enough, somehow this felt like it should have been Amber’s date.

At this point, the show has it mostly set up as a Bevin vs. Tessa challenge. They even dropped in a catty line from Bevin “If he chooses Tessa over me….” The even more amazing thing to me is that the choice between the two for someone like Andy is actually both credible and intriguing. He appears to have genuine chemistry with both of them and the two ladies are wildly different. That blondes vs. brunettes bit on the yacht caught it well with Tessa sleeping in the sun and parking her head next to Tina and Amber while Bevin lured Andy into yet more alone time at the expense of the other two blondes to flirt via Kayak.

At the same time, Amber and Danielle Imwalle don’t completely feel like fodder. The camera seemed to make a point of giving Danielle much more flattering angles this time around. I could see the visit to Bevin’s real family flaming out for any number of reasons including the religious ones and Danielle or Amber suddenly moving to the fantasy dates with a bullet.

I’ve noticed that there’s actually much more interest in this installment than there’s been in a couple years. Honestly, I thought the show had jumped the shark somewhere between Jesse Palmer’s waking up with strangers confession and round trip plane ticket for the winner and Jen’s refusing to choose between Brandon and Dylan (whoops). Fleiss has wisely reminded us repeatedly that this one’s going to end in an actual proposal. Not only are there signs of romance on this one, there are even some signs of the Bachelor choosing between two very different kinds of chemical bonds. Bevin pairs with him in a way that's sort of volatile. Tessa is more exploratory, but somehow sweeter in feel.

I know they don’t really know one another and I’m as snark-fueled as anyone in wondering if any of these matches would work in the long term, but the Bachelor really does depend on viewers buying into the possibility of romance. Even I have to say that this time they’re making it look possible.

My wife keeps asking me who I’m rooting for. For one thing, never answer that sort of question from your wife while watching a show like this (I rooted for Susan Edds once and I don't think my wife has ever forgiven me for the Smitten Kitten adventure) Still, the funny thing is I wouldn’t root for any of them personally, yet that’s not the point. Part of me is shocked that I'm watching this installment for the reason I’m supposed to be watching the show.


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7 Comments:

At 5/02/2007 01:19:00 AM, Blogger benny06 said...

Sorry, I watched AI tonight.

They were all pretty good. I'm still holding out hope for Jordin Sparks, but Melinda Dolittle was outstanding in her performance tonight. She can do rock as much as other genres. They all chose to do Bon Jovi tunes since he was the coach of the week.

What is your prediction, CL?

 
At 5/02/2007 05:43:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Benny,
I do watch AI, but it usually takes me a couple days to review it and I generally wait until after the elimination.

I agree, the singing was better than usual. I thought Lakisha and Blake were the strongest, but Melinda did well. I think they had no choice but to do Bon Jovi songs.

 
At 5/04/2007 09:21:00 PM, Anonymous pogblog said...

All mentions of Clive Owen show perspicacity. Except for Dr. Strangelove, the only DVD I ever bought was Beyond Borders -- so I could give it to TLOML to watch.

 
At 5/05/2007 09:19:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Mr. Pogblog, I thought Clive Owen was tloml for you.

I don't think Andy Baldwin is anything like Clive Owen despite the Beyond Borders thing.

 
At 5/05/2007 09:00:00 PM, Anonymous pogblog said...

I thought you were making up the stuff about Clive Owen?! I didn't imagine they really mentioned Beyond Borders on the show!

Clive Owen is a stupendous actor & I love to joak about his sublimeness, & tho we share some torrid dream encounters, I don't actually imagine him as a toy boy in this layer of the reality cake.

 
At 5/07/2007 05:03:00 PM, Blogger Bella Rossa said...

Um, hello? There are more than two hair colors that exist in human nature. Red is quite nice on some, I hear.

(I realize this comment is almost entirely irrelevant.)

 
At 5/07/2007 05:28:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Mr. Pogblog,
Clive Owen and Beyond Borders are not specifically mentioned in the Bachelor. The Bachelor himself did time in Cambodia on a humanitarian mission and Tina Wu, the lady who went home, helped found a charity that helps provide HIV testing for children in Africa. vaguely Beyond Borders like behavior for 2 young doctors.

Bella-
Sorry. For some strange reason, redheads don't do especially well on these reality dating shows.
If they ever revive Last Comic Standing though....
No, I'm not thinking Carrot Top (never seen the guy perform)

In the last few years, purple and green have also been choices, but they never even make it into the original bunch. Actually, extremely obese also doesn't make the cut for the Bachelor. Would be interesting if they had a few genuinely overweight people. MIght be more realistic.

 

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