Monday, March 1, 2010

The End

So that's it. It's all over. $20 and a DVD are mine. Boy do I feel special.

All things being equal, this was actually the most emotionally distraught week I've had in a long time. I stared into the abyss and somehow came out...not stronger, but at least not with deep scars.

Be sure to listen to the analysis of the whole project on The Alex and John Show:

I'm getting ready for my $100 and a digital projector for doing The Bachelorette this summer.

The Epilogue: "After the Final Rose"

9:06: Aw Chris, why're you doin' this to this poor Tenley girl?

9:08: I think Harrison gets off on this kind of sadism.

9:10: The Bachelor: Bloom County Edition. Dandelions instead of roses.

9:10: "I still can't figure it out...We never saw each other's playful sides." Maybe the most honest thing anyone's said on this show. Ah, I'm just kiddin'. They're all fuckin' idiots.

9:12: "I think you deserve some answers." Harrison is so hopin' for a BJ after the show.

9:15: I love how nobody says each other's last names on this show. Elementary school for grown-ups.

9:17: "You smell so good." Total Aspie's kid.

9:18: JER-RY! JER-RY! JER-RY! Bring on the mud and bikinis!

9:20: "That spark is just one of those mysterious things." He means that the producers wouldn't get paid from the tabloids to keep "The Florida Floozie" going if he rubbed it out (he) with Vienna.

9:21: Dodgin' the hard questions. Pavelka is the Dallas's very own Scott Brown in a few years.

9:21: Even the audience knows he's full of shit. And finally she knows too.

9:27: Will Jake suggest a 3some tonight?

9:28: "She is such a great friend." How easily these things can turn.

9:28: "Vienna's my baby." And so it begins...

9:29: "Something was telling me that something just wasn't right [with Tenley]." Those were the writers, bro.

9:30: "On a scale from 0 to Mesnick..." "I had my bannister scene." Whoopsie! We're peekin' behind the curtain! And all we see is Vienna's cha-cha.

9:32: I could show Pavelka a thing or 12 about "heat" and "passion." Get it? Yeah, you got it. Now go get me a sandwich.

9:37: This chick is gross.

9:38: "How does it feel to be out in public?" Have they been keeping her in a cage?

9:39: I never noticed before, but she's kind of cross-eyed.

9:40: All tabloid stories denied. "Not based on facts at all." Somebody shoulda told ABC, 'cause that's what they wanted.

9:42: She's been practicing a really good Kristen Wiig impression.

9:46: "We're gonna introduce the families." O man, Florida white trash + Texas bourgeois = pure. goddam. gold.


9:47: Now they're dancing. This is fuckin' awkward.

9:48: The old bastard's had to drop the key down a step. He'd better be makin' bank for this shit.

9:49: I want that karaoke background they got playing on the studio JumboTron.

9:50: Bachelorette announcement after break. You better be right, Simmons: I got five large ridin' on this.

9:53: YES. I love you, Simmons.

9:53: Now I can't chase that booty when I'm in SF.

9:54: She and Tenley are wearin' matching dresses. Who'll be Vienna's maid of honor?


7:05 p.m.: Pwetty pwetty sunsets, Jakey-wakey!

7:08: I still think that Tenley has Asperger's (either that or the tabloid stories about her manipulativeness are really true). In an outtake, a girl said she "shits rainbows." I hope they taste like Lucky Charms.

7:11: Let the traditionalism begin! She'll be a good, submissive wife! Papa Pavelka can't contain his tearful joy over this!

7:14: Mama Bear is apparently thrilled that she'll be the glue to hold the family together. Those with 3-inch pythons between their legs are apparently not up to the task.

7:18: I think there should be a drinking game for every time we hear "falling in love," "rest of my life," and "drop your cocks and grab your socks." O wait...that last one is what I whisper to my teddy bear...

7:22: Now it's Vienna's turn. Don't worry: the writers and editors made sure that we could never get a neutral view of "The Florida Floozie." Jake's 10-foot-stick-up-their-asses family already hates her.

7:25: "If she 'poked' at the other women, then I worry about the sister-in-laws." Seriously, ma? Who gives a ratfuck?

7:31: I mean, Vienna pretty much sucks. So it's nice to see that the writers are feeding the family with the passive-aggressive angle. I'm almost in Blondie's corner.

7:36: "I so judged her, and I'm feelin' guilty about that." Phew! It ain't locked down yet!

7:38: Mama Bear terrifies me. She wants to control all. RUN, VIENNA!

7:39: They're in St. Lucia. And yet they green-screen some of the backgrounds. I need to start a fundraiser for this show's budget.

7:41: The voice-over "interviews" are edited from about five different audio sources. They shouldn't've taken the mic's from a high school A/V club.

7:46: Who's the chemist in the room? How do sulfur and silicone react?

7:47: We should probably take two shots every time we hear "chemistry."

7:48: A half-shot for "feels so natural."

7:49: A double shot for every champagne toast in a place where one wonders how they got the booze there!

7:54: I'm pretty sure that those seven different resorts they're using is just one building from different angles.

7:56: I think I just saw the bug in his ear, feeding him those comeback lines.

7:57: How will Jake feel when, while boning Vienna, she yells "Daddy" and means it?

7:58: ABC: "OK, ladies, be sure to tell him that you love him." "OK, Jake, only say that you're falling in love with the women. Men don't have to love."

8:00: No shot for "this journey." Just punch yourself in the face three times.

8:04: "It's tough being in love with two women at the same time." I've said it before, I'll say it again: If this man drops lines like this on you at an airport bar, turn back to your Danielle Steele novel.

8:05: "Are we going on this boat? Oh my GOD!" BTW, they were walking toward the boat. I guess the producers were worried the audience wouldn't make the connection.

8:05: P.S. Tenley definitely has Asperger's.

8:07: A tequila shot for "seeing a future with [Jake/Vienna/Tenley]." I'd be so drunk right now.

8:08: I should probably put pants on.

8:09: "I can't forget that fiery, physical connection." More proof that he can't think above his belt.

8:10: "The heat is building slowly, [Tenley]." Maybe she didn't fuck him in the Fantasy Suite. I'm shocked he didn't vote her off!

8:15: Nestor Almendros makes these sunsets look like Renny Harlin's. Excuse me while I take my geek pills.

8:18: God, these narrative arcs are gold. The drama, the moments of hesitation, then the saving moment! I bet there's a footnote on this show in the Poetics.

8:20: Tenley's gift has a better-crafted gift. ABC did well to furnish her that.

8:21: You gotta eat part of the worm for every "absolutely." And you can't rinse out with Patron.

8:22: "Tonight is the night that I prove to Jake that our physical chemistry is real." That means she doesn't wait 'till marriage. Some tradition, Pavelka, you fucking asshole.

8:27: Maybe Jake's dual emotional state is actually a radical formulation of gender roles in modern America. Nah, it's just titillation. Thanks, Walt; your legacy lives on.

8:29: A shot for every moody stare at the sun. Spielberg ain't got shit on this.

8:30: Vienna didn't get the showering shot until take 3, minimum.

8:30: Were there rings in that case, Soviet documents, or a machine gun? I couldn't tell.

8:31: Now the rings will decide. Can't wait for Ian McKellan to poke his head 'round the corner.

8:32: The teardrop budget on this show is more than my salary.

8:34: Will one woman wear their dress as a bridesmaid at Jake's wedding?

8:35: Alan Grant and Ian Malcolm can't figure out the seatbelts in those helicopters. Will they push the broads out to save themselves when they're pulling too much weight?

8:41: Chris Harrison thinks he's Tommy Lee Jones. What a dipshit.

8:42: Tenley's first. You know what THAT means!

8:43: (producer whispering in Tenley's earpiece): "Don't cry yet. Just wait till the light hits your face right."

8:44: Somebody get him a tissue.

8:45: I'd keep her away from sharp edges for awhile. At least until she gets out of character.

8:46: For nothing else, this is better writing than anything Akiva Goldsman could churn out.

8:46: A silent, desolate wind. Cue whistles. O luck.

8:47: "I'm never gonna forget you." That is, until he gets in Vienna's undahpanties again.

8:48: Tenley was the ultimate string-along. So many "special roses" she received. So many hopes, so many dreams. Sure as shit no Oregon hippy dad's gonna come and chop Jake's lady parts off; that'd be the Florida boy's job.

8:51: "He is a really good man." That's my line, lady. Let's talk this out over cocktails.

8:52: The SUV almost got stuck in a ditch. Hehehe.

8:58: They're looping the same "I know what I'm doing is right" line in the voice-over. 'Cause I never would've remembered it. Thx, ABC!!

9:00: "I'm completely in love with you." Amazing what can happen in 6 weeks.

9:01: BOMBSHELL!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:02: Aw dammit, ABC. You're a buncha pricks.

9:02: Product placement for Neil Lane, bitches.

9:02: Howard Shore ain't got shit on that groundswell.

9:03: Montage! Jeffrey Osbourne! GREATEST SHOW EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:04: I am so alone.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Episode 8: The Women Tell All

Chaos. Reigns.

Where to begin? I suppose we need to start with the fact that I watched this in dirty pajamas, alone, at 2:00 a.m. on a Friday night. All is full of love.

Media scholars love the word "convergence." It gives them a massive boner. Think I'm kidding? Just look, man!! But isn't this what the show is about?

I've actually forgotten why "convergence" applies here. I just wanted to say it to make myself sound smart.

It appears that former contestants continue to be paid to act like complete and utter slutbags with each other. They call it "Bachelor Reunion Parties." Ex-rejects from various seasons intermingle on a cruise ship, drink, and have sex with each other. I'm glad to see that the traditions the show instilled in these people are alive and well.

But what about this year's group of jilted beauties? No regrets, no bitterness. Elizabeth #2 and Ali own up to behaving like Grade-A assholes. Michelle tries to explain the crazy away. Rozlyn accuses Chris Harrison of hitting on her producer-BF's wife in New Zealand. In fact, Chris Harrison and Rozlyn engaged in behavior fitting of a bratty 8-year-old and her drunk father. I smell a conspiracy.

And why do I smell one, you may ask? Well, it turns out that ever since December, online tabloids-- the dirt of which has spilled over into OK! Magazine and US Weekly--have reported that Rozlyn's affair was staged, and that the reason that they wanted her gone was because she was complaining about not being allowed to talk to or about her son. She didn't make a convincing case on camera. But Chris Harrison is the version of Satan from Left Behind, so all bets are off.

Further tabloid juice! Remember the guy Vienna married in a shotgun wedding when she was 18, only to have it implode a couple of years later? That guy--a Marines sergeant--now claims she cheated on him with his best friend while he was stationed in Iraq, then drained their joint bank account to pay for her boob job. When ABC found this chick, they knew they had struck gold. Why else would she have made it to the final two?

Further evidence that ABC has now mastered the design of the show: the outtakes make all the women look like Real Human Beings. Ashleigh even calls Vienna a "Fucking white trash trailer bitch." Pure. Goddam. Gold. Lenny Bruce would be proud.

Ali wants her shit to come out smelling like the rose she never got because she comes to Vienna's defense by saying that "she's a real human being who doesn't deserve that kind of treatment." Excuse me, Ali, but that's my phrase, and I don't appreciate you misusing it. (BTW, totally agree with Bill Simmons: this broad is the next Bachelorette.)

So now here's a question: I think, from what meager evidence I've been able to gather, that roughly 10 million people watch this show every week. Major supermarket tabloids--OK!, US Weekly, People--write about it obsessively and devote cover stories to it. Somebody must provide me with real ratings numbers. And then tell me how much this thing is really part of the cultural conversation. Because for my money, nothing speaks to this moment of ours better than Jersey Shore.

So that's it. One more to go. On Monday night, I'll be liveblogging the season finale of The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love. I'm prayin' I get a chubby out of the whole proceedings.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Episode 7: The Dark Side of Hell

"Definitely Ali for the next Bachelorette. That's why they rigged that whole "she has to choose between Jake and her job!" episode - they told her, 'Hey, if you do this and walk away from Jake, you're the next Bachelorette.' I am convinced."

-Bill Simmons

Falling in love. What a bunch of horseshit.

With each passing day, it's getting harder and harder to be funny about this. The reason is that there are no more big, goofy games to play. The playing field gets smaller and smaller, the feelings are supposed to get more and more "intense," and because of this, the creepiness goes up and up and up.

And why is it creepy? Because this show is a construction. It is not real. Those are not real words or deeds we see on screen. Those are not real feelings we see expressed. Everything has been shaped by the show's production team.

So what conclusions does ABC want us to draw about love, sex, gender, and marriage? Love is values. Love is God. Love is chastity. Love is respect. Love is commitment. Love is monogamy.

But wait! What's this? A note from Chris Harrison: "Dear Jake and [insert bimbo's name here]: Welcome to the beautiful island of St. Lucia. I hope that you are enjoying your stay. Should you decide to forgo your separate rooms tonight, here is a key to our Fantasy Suite." He even had it typed so he wouldn't have to re-write it every time.

So that's it. "We must stay chaste, but if you don't fuck me tonight, I'm sending you home." Ah, but ABC gets to have its cake and eat it, too! Because they're only spending the night together! No berry bushes are gonna get pollinated! How can you possibly think that, you perverted liberals? (Wink wink, nudge nudge).

But that's not all! Tenley...dear, sweet, innocent, bruised, Jesus-loving, mild-Asperger's Tenley. All she wants is for Pavelka to conrol her: "You can lead me in life...that's what I want." For those 14-year-olds out there: never forget that your self-worth is only defined by a man.

And the audacity, the audacity, for Jake to actually follow the script and say that he's "falling in love with each and every woman here." And he treats them like they're the only ones. But he gets to make out and frolick and fuck the other two. You participate in this. You let this happen. You bought in.

I fear for Jake's legs now that Gia is gone. (I'mma totally hit that girl up next time i'm in NYC.)

Somewhere, Althusser is kickin' his feet up, pouring himself a brandy, lighting up his pipe, and laughing his ass off. "See? Told ya so."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Episode 6: All Falls Down

I'm not sure if there is anything left in America that The Bachelor can pretend to love but by which it is secretly disgusted.

You got a classic American ethnic stereotype to hold up for cultural engraving? We will ingest it and shape the subsequent poo into this episode!

Noo Yawk Italian: Check. (The stepbrother even threatens to break Pavelka's legs if he breaks his stepsis's heart! Awwww! [I'm also pretty sure the stepbro' got rejected for the cast of Jersey Shore.)

Simple, hearty New Englander: Check. (I may have a soft spot for this one, though, for extremely perverse reasons.)

Vaguely hippy-ish 50-somethings from Oregon: Check. (Real Human Beings! Male tears! Awesome glasses! Artsy, I think! Is this what it's really like, Eric?)

Modern Florida Redneck with an Electra Complex: Check. (Jake really respects and admires Vienna's dad for essentially acting like a dick to him. Jake is such a good man!) I think Vienna's dad finally nailed the "welcome home" tears on take 4 or 5.

Gia and Ali's dads aren't in the picture. Tenley and Vienna's are. Jake asked their fathers for their daughters' hands in marriage. He did not do the same for Gia and Ali's moms. TRADITION! (Give it a real Jerry Bock kick, kid.)

And why is Ali gracing tonight's photo? 'Cause her job threatened to fire her if she didn't quit the show. And she just didn't know what to do! Awwwwwww! I think Jake wasn't able to get the "shocked and saddened" face just right until take 6.

More than any other episode thus far, I wonder if ABC and the show's producers, writers, editors & music supervisors were able to completely control narrative and meaning here. Sure, they threw some banjo music underneath Pavelka & Vienna's Everglades boat ride, and some nice faux Sinatra for his & Gia's midtown montage. But I'm not sure if they were able to effectively conceal just how awful a human being Jake really is.

The official narrative is Mr. Nice, Sweet, Loving, Loyal, Traditional Hercules. In fact, he is a conniving, manipulative, misogynistic, racist, lustful narcissist. He begged Ali not to go, despite the fact that he couldn't guarantee her that losing her job for him wouldn't be for nought. He acted warm, sincere, loyal, and monogamous to every single woman and their families. He was heartbroken one second, then excited and joyous for the final three women the next.

I thought episode 3 was difficult to write about. That ain't got shit on this.

I've seen what ABC wants me to understand is America. I have no more hope.

This blog has helped me healthily channel Davis Rage--those of you who know of it or have seen it require no further explanation. For those unfamiliar, pray that you never see it.

This episode unshackled Davis Rage. I'm very, very afraid.

(P.S. Ali is totally jockin' Blanchat's wristwatch style; what a ho'.)

Episode 5: Into the Vortex

I had a dream last night. I was hanging from my living room ceiling, barbed wire wrapped around my neck.

Several hours before, I had watched the glorious city of San Francisco turned into little more than an R-rated version of Disneyland. Coincidence? Yeah, that's what I thought. Somebody should call GloboChem to pitch that idea, tho.

Yes indeed, our dear Mr. Jaw-of-Steel-Jackoff paraded his final five fantasy spray-tan divas around the jewel of the Bay Area. Strap on your porous chastity belts; it's gonna be a bumpy night.

Looking out over Coit Tower with Tenley and Pavelka, I began to see that Tenley isn't mentally challenged. She's just a double for the real Tenley whose body Chris Harrison dumped over the side just moments before the two lovebirds arrived. The splat's more satisfying than a Spanish mission. ABC, however, totally fucked up Tenley's blonde look. I guess you can't win 'em all.

You wanna know what's even better than that? Chinatown is "like being in a foreign country!" Great! You're so perceptive and genuine, Jake, you racist fuck.

We got so close to seein' peen in vagine, but Jake just had to send Vienna away 'cause he was so courteous to Gia's feelings, so lonely upstairs in the castle without her Man. Never forget: Jake is such a good guy!

Before the writers struck gold with the Ali-Vienna drama, it looked as though Ali just might be a Real Human Being (still gotta find the scientific Latin name for the show's ever-endangered species). If the last few episodes weren't enough, this San Francisco native puts the nail in the coffin: "[Jake,] you showed me your home away from home [aviation]. And I thought that this would be my opportunity to show you my home away from home, which is my neighborhood." I'll give you a minute to let that soak in.
I think that this would be a good time to talk about the massive visage which you see above you. That is the face of "host" Chris Harrison. Who is this Douchey McSuckshaft, you may ask? He's from Oklahoma, as well as the host of TV Guide's red carpet awards coverage. That's about it. On the show, he appears out of nowhere with a glass of champagne in his hands. He may or may not be an alcoholic.

He is also acutely aware of just how stupid all of these people are. When Jake is on his last rose of the night, Chris swoops into the room to remind him of this fact, then swoops out. It turns out that Jake has the IQ of a seven-year-old child with ADHD. They lace his booze with Adderall.

As for Corrie...well, befitting the aquarium where Jake took her on her date, she is now sleeping with the fishes. Ooh, good line. I should save that for my screenplay.

Not that anyone didn't see that coming. ABC took great pains to make sure that footage of her stayed on the cutting room floor throughout the series. Now that it's down to four, there's no room for the "she's been on all episode and she's so great, I can't believe Jake would break her heart" psyche-out.

Did you know that every time Jake gives out a rose, an angel guns down a Laotian baby? Next time, think before you encourage this sort of behavior: