Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bachelor 9 Episode 4 I Get Hot for Pilots (tv review)

(Pope Paul, the Borghese Pope's bones watched Lorenzo's date with Jennifer from below)

I was having dinner with my wife the other night when I passed her a card.  
“What’s this?” she asked.
“I’ve had a wonderful time this evening and this card entitles you to spend the night in the fantasy suite with me.”
She started to kiss me but our sixteen year old daughter interrupted us.
“TMI  TMI- I’m not going to videotape my own parents in the fantasy suite.”
“You videotaped our one on one dinner.  Besides, the camera goes off once we go to the fantasy suite.  You know that by now.”
In our household, we take the “reality” in reality tv very seriously.

When we go to see my mother and stepdad, we refer to it as a “hometown date.”  The first couple times our daughter went out with boys, she’d come home dejected because the boy didn’t offer her a rose at the end.  The second time she blamed it on me, “He wasn’t happy when you turned up in the back seat of the car with a video camera on the way to the movie theater.”

Last week, the producers of Wife Swap came to recruit us for the show because they were convinced that we’d make the perfect lead in for the real Bachelor.  Unfortunately, my wife and daughter refused to swap with a family in Oklahoma that structured their domestic life around Fear Factor.  Personally, I thought it would be cool to live in a house with an eighty foot high zip line and a shark tank in the backyard.  

Every now and then, people do politely ask us something like “What the hell are you doing and why?”  

We tell them “We want to be part of the reality-based community.”

I could also point them to the Bachelor Rome and last week’s opening sequence with Lisa from Portland, the winner of Prince Lorenzo’s first impression rose.  This outwardly sweet-natured young woman who supposedly has studied the show’s eight previous incarnations (should it be  inrosenations?)  tells the video camera that Jennifer from Florida not only isn’t suitable for his royal dog spa owner, but that without makeup Jennifer doesn’t look so hot.  

Okay, how stupid is that?  We’re going to interview you on videotape on a show that well takes hundreds of hours of videotape and edits it the thirty eight most embarrassing minutes a week it can find.  You actually think that there won’t be a scene of you saying this while Jennifer from Florida, all the other bachelorettes, and Lorenzo watch the tape?  

Of course, the show throws in a return visit by Erica, the pride of Emory College, to judge the tapes.  We quickly learn that the other ladies have unanimously identified Lisa as the least sincere Bachelorette in this installment of "video camera video camera on the wall, who's the craziest bachelorette of them all?"

One small point, we actually only get to see Erica on camera for about two seconds as she walks in says “Hello Bitches” then melts into a voice over.  The producers must have told her she was auditioning for Desperate Housewives, because I could swear the whole scene of her regreeting the berosed ones was CGI enhanced.

The video camera exercise confirms that Lisa and not Erica is this season’s designated villain, the unworthy one trying to fool the Prince into believing that she’s the one who lost the glass slipper or was it the wedding dress?  We are to understand that Lisa said “Jennifer” not because Jennifer really is not so hot looking or insincere, but because Lisa believed that Jennifer was her most serious competition.  Finally, we see the virtuous maiden Sadie who as mean as Lisa really is finds it tear-jerkingly painful to say that about anyone.  

My answer to those nosy friends and neighbors about why we’ve become a Bachelocentric household, “We have learned that the constant presence of a video camera combined with judicious editing is the test of character, the ultimate reality.  It’s the way we choose our president now, so why not do all other important things this way?”

A little bit later in the show, we see the seemingly demure Lisa go streaking in front of the camera with “I would have taken good care of you baby” Desiree while Lorenzo is out throwing coins in the Trevi Fountain.  Btw, am I the only person in America who doesn’t think having dinner overlooking the place where Pope Benedict sleeps isn’t exactly romantic?  There is this minor matter of celibacy, several centuries of castrati, etc.  

On the other hand, there was the witty repartee at the dinner table.

“So you want to be a counselor, counsel me.”

“Dump the rest of those hos and just date me.”

“So you can solve all my problems.”

“Well, maybe. Oh thanks for the rose and by the way my dad the football coach is a little weird.”

Football coach and beauty pageants are Bachelorese for full blown nutcase.  In the artsy world, they call this sort of thing foreshadowing, on the Bachelor they call it “Coming next week…”

Okay here’s where it stands:

Sadie:  How many more times are they going to talk about her being a virgin?  Along with that, she’s like the easiest virgin in reality show history. “Hey, you’re a pilot.  That gets me so hot.”  
           Then she tells the guy to kiss her in the hot tub.  Is this going to be the first fantasy suite date where they hang the bedsheet out the window in the morning?

Lisa:  Two other highlights. They show her talking about doing it on a floatie in the lake with her parents nearby, clearly to set up the contrast with Sadie.  Second, the whole wedding dress preview was the best moment of the show.  Talk about the meanest edit in Bachelor history.

Desiree:  Am I missing something here? How good are your chances of being royalty if you’re having a conversation with his highness that goes, “You did it in the girls’ locker room?  Was that with a boy or a girl?”

Desiree was my favorite this year.  I’m sad to see her go.  She seemed naturally entertaining without the need for an edit.  I’m not sure about the “I’m still here, so I must have deep feelings for you,” bit but other than that she really appeared to be just enjoying the show without being delusional, manipulative, etc.

Agnese:  The whole language barrier thing is getting a bit old.  About the only things that make this storyline interesting would be if Agnese is also a princess, Mussolini’s granddaughter, or if she’s a  Borgia with a generations old grudge against the Borgheses and she poisons the guy in the fantasy suite. (Manon of the Spring does reality tv)  

Jeanette: Won three chariot races and decided to make a zen wish, “I just want you to enjoy the moment.”
      She reasoned  “Why put more pressure on him?”  He responded, “I like being fawned over. It’s part of being a prince.”
     Basically he chose wedding psycho, Doris Day meets Erica Jong, and a woman he can’t talk to over a woman who merely seemed “thoughtful and nice.”

Jennifer:  I’m looking forward to meeting her dad, Charlton Heston.  It would be truly good tv if he actually shot Prince Lorenzo and then Michael Moore took over the Bachelor franchise.  

I’d love to chat a little longer, but my wife is yelling at Chris Harrison.  It seems he left the toilet seat up in our guest bathroom again and she didn’t look.

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