Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bache To the Future (Bachelor 10 final)

The Baldwin twins are getting ready for their first junior triathlon. After years of having to greet Dad at the finish line of what have always been excruciatingly boring days when the only talk is about hydration, salt levels, and time splits, the twins are excited to have their own chance to bore everyone they meet to tears with constant talk about their training regimen and all their personal bests. Blueberry Baldwin, the boy, is helping to set the table for dinner. All the rooms in the Baldwin house have lit candles scattered everywhere at all times. This is actually their fifth home. The first three went in fires. They sold the fourth because blondes kept falling off the roof and knocking on the bedroom window to ask directions on their way down.

A guitar player sits on a stool in the kitchen as Mom Tessa prepares the family’s favorite meal of raw fish and bananas. The synthesizer player is in the living room watching television for the moment while Dad Andy recovers from a rough day of diving.

“What’s the matter with Dad. He’s sitting on the living room couch with his shirt off again?”

“Blueberry, you should know by now. Every time Dad has to think, he takes his shirt off and slumps his head forward.”

“Must be kind of strange when he’s seeing patients though.”

“Your Dad is like a very thoughtful and like sensitive man. That’s why we like had a connection.”

Blueberry shrugs and goes back to cutting up bananas. In the meantime, Blueberry’s twin sister, Banana Nut comes in through the kitchen door while still talking on her cell phone.

BN: Yeah, you wouldn’t believe it. There was this Doctor lady who came by the other day who claimed to be an old friend of mom and dad’s. We’re like all having lunch together and like Dad is about to say something and this lady tells him he has something in his teeth. And like you won’t believe what she did. She leans forward and like takes it out of his mouth.

Tessa: Banana Nut, don’t be talking to your friends about stuff like that. Aunt Tina’s very nice.

BB: Aunt Tina started singing the National Anthem when she walked into the living room. She might be nice, but that only happens in those weird houses over on American Idol Dr. They audition all their house guests over there.

Tess: Blueberry, your father and I looked a long time. We love Realityville. It has great schools, parks, and every time something dramatic happens they play music in the background.

BN: Mom, is that why every time you and Dad say something to each other in private, the guitar player and the synthesizer guy follow you around?

Tessa nods.

Tess: Blueberry, that doesn’t mean I want you playing with those boys on Fear Factor Way any more. They’re way too rough. The zip line there is okay, but never stay for dinner. You always come home like sick.

BB: No problem mom, you think I want to eat a bucket of cockroaches. But, the kids over on Wopner and Judy Court are so boring. They get into these stupid arguments and then expect us to watch while their parents wind up talking sense to everyone. It’s like Springer Street, but maybe without all those ladies who sort of look like men who talk about how they used to be in the Klan.

Tessa: Once in a while, Springer Street is okay but stay away from that psycho on the corner of Political Theater Avenue and Being There Drive, the one who's always clearing brush and dressing up like an air force pilot. I'm pretty sure he's a serial killer or a child molester or something like that. You can tell by that fake smile and those beady eyes. Aunt Tina says he got caught spying on his neighbors once and tried to convince them that he was doing it to protect them. Talk about a sick little man!

BN: Mom, how did we wind up living in Realityville anyway. How did you and Dad meet. Was it incredible? Did you have a connection right away? Was it like Amazing?

Tess: Andy, could you come in here a minute? I need to talk to you about something.

The synthesizer player moves to the kitchen and the guitar player suddenly sits up.

Andy: Hi Dear. You look so amazing. You’re such a gem.

Tess: Kids, could you go upstairs for a moment. Your Dad and I need to have a little one on one time here.

BB: Like when Uncle Chris came over with those fantasy suite cards?

Andy: Blueberry…..I told you not to talk about that in front of mom.

Tess: No Blueberry, it’s not like that. Your Dad and I just need to talk.

Andy sighs.

Andy: Most days, I’m so glad we decided to settle in Realityville instead of trying to build our relationship in the real world. Look what happened to Dr. Travis, my Duke buddy. And I knew this day would come. Blueberry and Banana Nut are awfully smart. They started talking at nine months. One day, they were going to ask.

Tess: It’s time. It’s a little earlier than we thought, but it’s time to tell them about the Birds and the Bachelors.

Andy: Oh , before I forget. Tessa, will you please take this rose?

Tessa kisses him.

Tess: Oh Andy, you’re so romantic. Every night for the last 11 years, you’ve given me a rose.

A few hours later, the family is in the living room. Andy goes to the bookshelf and pulls out a Lisa Blank personal day planner which turns out to have a hidden agenda compartment inside. He pulls a set of DVDs out of the hidden agenda compartment. Kids, it’s time that you saw this.

BB: Dad, what’s going on here? I thought you only gave mom roses.

BN: Whoa, that lady from South Carolina with the transplanted organs! Why are you kissing her instead of mom. And Mom, if I meet a boy am I supposed to exchange foot rubs with him fifteen minutes after meeting him?

Tessa: Andy, I didn’t think this would be a good idea. You have to like talk to them.

Andy presses the pause button.

Andy: Kids you have to understand, I was in this for the right reasons. I had to explore my feelings with all of these women before I knew if your mom had it in her heart to commit.

Tessa nods approvingly.

BB: You should have kept Lindsay and Blakeney. You know Doctor Rotting Eggs who lives at the end of Bachelor Terrace? She says that there’s this lady Erica Rose who used to live in the trailer park at the end of the road, she worked on tv for like a year just from being outrageous like that.

Andy: They were both lovely and classy ladies. I just didn’t feel a connection with them.

BN: Yeah, but they seem a lot more fun than some of those ladies you did choose?

BB: Oh my God! Dad’s kissing some lady with these big honking tattoos.

BN: I don’t think he’s ever kissed mom like that.

Tess: Andy, there is something called a fast forward button.

BB: Geez, why is Dad leering at all those women on the mechanical bull. He looks like some sort of perv.

Tess: Yes, that’s when I pretended to hurt my ankle while I was playing hard to get.

BN: Who is this Samantha lady who claims to be your best friend and why is she asking Dad all those weird questions?

Tess: Banana Nut, we really used to be friends, but sometimes people just change.

BB: Oh my God! That dog peed on the rug! I don’t believe this that’s Ms. Al Chalabi, the principal. Wow, she wasn’t always mean and old.

Tess: I’d forgotten about there being a vacancy at her school after she came home.

BN: I hate her. All she ever does is tell us how much she loves kids. No wonder she never found the right guy. She totally hates Dad too. Every time he shows up at school she says things like “Speaking of leading people on….”

BB: There’s Dad making out with that crying-tatoo lady. Dad, what the heck were you thinking?

BN: Mom, that’s the collage in the bedroom upstairs.

BB: Dad, isn’t that lady with the dead boyfriend, the palm reader on Survivor Boulevard?

Andy nods.

Tess: She’s not just a professional psychic. She started her own charity too and her Father plays the drums.

BB and BN all at once: Mom Dad, I can’t believe that mom wrote you that note. She didn’t even say “like” in it once. And Dad, you were much more charming on that After the final rose part. I just hope we find an amazing connection some day too. You think we can be on the show someday? Like the Bachelor, the Next Generation?

Tess: Andy, I knew this wasn’t a good idea.

The room darkens as the living room is bathed in candlelight and rose petals. The guitar player strums a single soft chord. As the camera pulls away from the Baldwin’s living room and then jump cuts to the city limits sign “Realityville USA, population constantly growing. Escape is our only Industry.”

Closing thoughts:

Bevin: Wow, talk about a terrific rescue job. They spend 5 weeks making the woman out to be an emotional train wreck, then they rehabilitate her like this. She was classy, gracious, and dare I say that she came off as genuine and sane. Still the rhinestones on the pink cast have got to go and why was Andy still so touchy feely with the woman? I mean you’re engaged to someone and you’re putting your hand on Bevin’s bare leg on national tv after she invites you to play doctor again? They even gave her better camera angles over the last two episodes.

Erica Rose: Please make her go away.

Andy’s Family: There were some subtle things that I really liked about this season. This was the first inter-racial romance on the Bachelor and yet the issue never came up. My daughter is more or less the same mix as Tessa, though Mrs. Chancelucky is Norwegian instead of German. Andy just quietly dated Tina Wu, Amber Al Chalabi, and gave the final rose to Tessa. I haven’t even mentioned that Bevin’s family being Bah’ai was barely mentioned except when Bevin had to explain that Bah’ai’s actually believe in universal brotherhood. What a strange concept. In the meantime, I wonder if they'll ever address the biggest source of discrimination in Realityville and have a few women or men in the pool who are either overweight or "less" attractive.

I also loved how Middle-America traditional Andy’s family appeared to be, yet they weren’t necessarily all that judgmental. Confronted with the tattooed, divorced, sex therapy project, Bah’ai, Bevin, they were much more open to her simply being someone who “loved Andy” than say Travis’s family turned out to be with Moana who by the way was also part-Polynesian (I think). It was as good a tv message of acceptance and toleration as I ever saw on Wife Swap, one of the stranger neighborhoods in Realityville.

Tessa: You know. She wasn’t all that articulate and I sometimes worry that she wound up being into Andy less because of the who than the what (big muscled, doctor, humanitarian, athlete, officer), but I liked her and started rooting for her in the end. The strategy thing was really interesting to see on tv. In a situation where so many women were chasing, Tessa let it be known that Andy would have to push her to “come out”. He did and she responded in a fashion that seemed very genuine.

I do have to say that what she had them write on the dog tags made me cringe though. The sleuthers did turn out to be right though about the dog tags being a big sign. The romance this time around seemed very genuine. As cheesy and manipulative as the show can be, the producers had the sense not to get in the way of the story. I think one reason they integrated the Ladies Tell All (very muted this time around) with After the Final Rose was that it just wasn’t that sort of season. The romance and what appeared to be a real decision actually cut through the snark.

Bottom line, Tessa played the game, but she never came off as a skank or a psycho, roles that the producers have encouraged the ladies to play in the past. She got a little dramatic with “I’m not sure I should be on this show,” but bottom line, I think America liked watching her fall in love.

“Tessa Horst” is the single most popular search topic I’ve ever had on this blog.

Andy Baldwin: After 6 episodes of speaking nothing but Bachelorese, Andy was quite charming and even witty on the After the Final Rose show. Very funny bit where he asked Bevin’s question of “Why didin’t I get a rose” for her then answered it with vacuous sincerity about his deeper connection with Tessa that seemed appropriate to the situation. The pregnancy quip with Tess was also almost laugh out loud funny. He may have been coached, just had time to prepare, but maybe the show was a growth experience for the guy.

It turned out that I knew somebody who knew somebody who knew Andy Baldwin and I was told two things. One that he had actually myspaced a woman in the Northeast while the show was filming. One of my message board friends, a woman, says that’s perfectly okay unless you are engaged or married. I was more skeptical. The other bit the foaf of a foaf claimed was that Andy Baldwin was one of these individuals who looks perfect on paper, but that he had limited interpersonal skills in social situations. It might have been the edit and just an increasing comfort level on camera, but Andy Baldwin may have actually grown a little from being on the Bachelor. I’d say that’s to his credit. Of course, it’s also possible that the foaf was full of it.

Byron and Andy were probably two of the better Bachelors. ABC left no doubt that they thought Andy had saved the franchise. The one thing they had in common was that they took the romance part very seriously. Yes, huddling up with the family and doing the group shout for “Operation Find a Mate” or whatever he called it did cross the geek line, but it was also sort of endearing.

I wish them well and hope things work out for them. Finally, I did want to thank the many Bachelor fans and various boards who took the time to read my write ups from this season. One of the biggest compliments though for any Reality Blogger happens when people stop watching the show and just read the posts. Apparently that happened in a few instances, thanks for letting me know you’re out there.

Sirlinksalot bachelor stories

other Chancelucky reviews



At 5/24/2007 04:22:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

That's pretty funny. Don't forget the entire conversation is with baby talk and that includes the parents;)

I think Bevin handled herself well!!!

At 5/24/2007 04:34:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I wound up being impressed with Bevin. It furthered my belief that she got a really bad edit.

it's hard to do baby talk in writing though :}

I did love Tessa's line about betting Andy's time in the marathon.

At 5/25/2007 01:00:00 AM, Blogger benny06 said...

CL, you haven't said a word about Jordin Sparks winning it all on AI this season. Are you still collecting your thoughts?

I agree that Dolittle maybe had the better voice, but Sparks was coached well on how to look at the camera and not be afraid.

Iddybud and I called Sparks as the potential winner some weeks ago. Jeez, I'm seldom right on reality shows for predicting winners, and especially ones I've seen for the first time, but I just saw Sparks' abilities.

I'm looking forward to your next blog post on this, and I know you know I mean what I type here. I respect your views and you write very well. That's why I like to hang out here.

My spouse thought Blake would win, even though he thought Doolittle was the best one.

At 5/25/2007 10:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't get why all these attractive women who could get a date just about anywhere fall in love with one handsome guy in two meetings, and then are crushed when it's over as if he was their only hope of finding love. In fact, I'm going to write a blog post about this someday.

At 5/26/2007 02:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oak-leaf clusters for me because I only read your excellent posts which are droll which I suspect that the program proabably isn't so much.

Do we see two 'gals' standing there and then he gives the rose to one? While the loser grins grimly and is hustled off the stage?

If it takes Surreality Shows to get the nation used to multiracial couples, it's worth the airtime. (It is hard to believe that anyone still notices these matters which don't matter anymore.)

Exchange kindness for [prejudiced] blindness and we'll all be jollyer. Frabjous joy.

All the tv treacle could be cured by reading Imperial Life in the Emerald City, a true Sursurreality Show in the Green Zone.

At 5/26/2007 04:04:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I just posted my review of the finale. I missed the Tuesday show, so it was a bit hard to write up Jordin vs. Blake. Thanks for you many kind comments. I'm not at all suprrised that Jordin won, but I'm a little disapoointed not because I think she's unworthy more that I'd have love to have seen AI grow musically.

I say apply to be on the show. I just think there's something about turning soemthing into a game and then topping it off by putting it on television. On the Bachelor, they just want to win and you win by believing you're in love with whoever the Bachelor or the Bachelorette happens to be.

Mr. Pogblog,
No, the final rose is done one at a time. They usually show the "no" first, then hype up the winner.
The "no" with Bevin was kind of touching, she heard the but and then just collapsed and started crying in the Bachelor's arms.

you know she actually lives near you. If you could manage to get her to get her free Druidic reading.....I'd help you write up the episode. She actually seems like the sort who'd be very open to that.
She took a very high road on the after the rose show.....and seemed to have some genuine spiritual grace.


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