So the guy I picked as my favorite for this season...turns out to be this season's resident asshole. Whoops. Don't worry, though. I have a new favorite, and he does not resemble a troll.
First, Five things I learned from this Episode of the Bachelorette (besides that I have terrible taste in men):
-Interpretive dance is the cure to most of life's ills.
-Pretending to be heartbroken will get you 25 new boyfriends.
-Most awkward situations can be resolved by giggling.
-Getting drunk will get you attention. But not the good kind.
-No matter how charming your mother is, do not call her on a first date.
Second, drinking game! You knew I was going to make a drinking game for this new incarnation of the Bachelorette, didn't you? It is very simple:
Take a drink every time you hear any of the following words:
And give someone else your keys.
On with the show!
Remember Brad? Ashley was in love with Brad, because Ashley does not know what we know, which is that Brad is a total lunkhead. But Ashley did not believe in her love for Brad, and that made it die. Ashley was heartbroken. She was so heartbroken that she spent many hours in picturesque locations, staring off into the distance and wearing carefully selected outfits.
Devastated, Ashley turned to the only solace she knew: interpretive dance. Laying facedown on the stage of a huge, empty concert hall, Ashley realized: "I want to live life without regret."
In no time, Ashley was back to her usual self. She dentisted. She taught jazzercize. She ran up the Rocky steps. She stood on bridges wearing ugly hats. She was ready to love again.
Look, it's Chris Harrison! He's standing outside the mansion with the perfectly glistening driveway. Chris would like to remind us that no matter how many poor schmucks pass through the doors of this mansion on a futile quest for love, he, Chris Harrison, will still look exactly the same. Bless you, Chris. And now - let's meet the dudes!
Ryan sells solar panels for a living. He is so good at selling solar panels that he gets paid to walk around on the roofs of buildings, wearing a suit. The only thing more exciting for Ryan than the sun lighting up an array of photovoltaic cells would be some special lady lighting up his soul.
J.P. lives in New York and works in construction management. He also bears an uncanny resemblance to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, my future husband. How did I not notice this before? J.P. likes to shop at farmer's markets and thinks the dating scene in New York is shit.
Also in New York, over on the snooty side, is...Ames! Ames has like, 57 master's degrees and is way better than you. His undergraduate degree is from Yale, which, he informs us, is in Connecticut. You probably did not know that, because you are not as smart as Ames. When Ames is not counting his diplomas, he likes to run marathons and feel the wind whistling through the cleft in his chin.
Ben is from New Orleans. He likes to hang out in the french quarter and come on to barely legal college girls. Well, he only says he's had "interesting experiences", but that is what that means. After these "interesting experiences", Ben is now ready to find twoo luuuv. If Ben were to rate how romantic he is on a scale of 1 to 10, he would be a 15. Wait...a 215. Which incidentally is the number of master's degrees Ames has.
Oh, there's another Ben. He makes wine! Ben likes playing in the dirt, successful women, and not cutting his hair.
Bentley is the father to a beautiful little girl named Cozy. He and his wife divorced, probably because she insisted on naming their daughter "Cozy". Bentley would like the Bachelorette to be Emily. This is our cue to hate him.
Anthony is a butcher from Joisey. Anthony is passionate about meat, gold chains, and exposed chest hair. His biggest fear is that the Bachelorette will be a vegetarian. I find him bizarrely and inexplicably appealing.
West (that's Wes, with a T) is the male Emily. His wife passed away a few years ago, but now he is Ready to Love Again.
William looks a little like prince William, but less British and with more hair. I.e., he is totally adorable. He is shown struggling adorably with an umbrella, while talking about his struggles with love. Oh, Bachelor producers. I've missed your subtlety. William's girlfriends tend to settle down and find love right after breaking up with him. He is totally being set up to be the new Bachelor. Also, William's dad died. Cue serious music. William's watch stopped at the very moment his dad died, and he hasn't changed it ever since. That's okay because there's a clock on your phone.
Before we meet the rest of the bohunks: Ashley arrives at the mansion to have a heart-to-heart with her new best friend, Chris. She admits that she screwed up her relationship with Brad with her evil skepticism and logic. Ashley has now realized that trying not to look foolish made her look foolish. Having repented of all rational thought, Ashley is fully prepared for the Journey.
But wait! One of Ashley's gal pals from last season has warned her that one of the guys is HERE FOR THE WRONG REASONS. Chris is all like, HOLD THE PHONE. NOT HERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS?? According to the snitch, some guy named Bentley (crap!) is only here to promote his business. She knows because she heard this from his ex-wife.
So wait. Some chick, who refuses to be named, talked to this guy's ex-wife, who thinks he's a creep? Fleiss is really working hard to bring the drama this season. Ashley resolves to give this "Bentley" the benefit of the doubt. Unless he is totally ugly.
To the mansion!
First to step out of the limo is Mr. Sunshine himself, Ryan P. He says absolutely nothing interesting, but that's okay because Ashley is as smiley and grinny as a 3rd-grader with a 64-pack of crayons.
Jon decides to pick Ashley up, caveman-style. It is super awkward. She giggles.
William is adorably speechless. Then he decides to tell Ashley all about his past hearkbreak. No, it was better when you didn't talk.
Mickey tries to kiss her and she is sooo not feeling it. Inside, he tells all the other guys he scored. Ass.
Tim is not drunk yet. But he will be!
Ben the romantic from New Orleans leans in and whispers in Ashley's ear. In french. He has already won.
Stephen the hairstylist looks just like Ben who makes wine. It must've been very expensive to get Jason Schwartzman to play two roles this season.
Chris D. delivers the worst rap ever. Ashley declares it "cute". I declare it "putrid".
West (aka dude Emily) gives Ashley a broken compass that is stuck on "West". Encased in a block of CHEESE.
Speaking of cheese: Anthony. There is something a bit off about Anthony, like he is 1 part normal person, 1 part harlequin romance, and 1 part jersey shore. And maybe 1 part napoleon dynamite. Weirdly, I'm still diggin it. My weakness for nerdy italian fabio is both unexpected and disturbing.
Ames has bought ballet tickets for himself and Ashley. Smart and presumptuous!
Matt teaches Ashley a new handshake. It begins with them slapping hands and ends with him lunging in for an awkward half-hug. Sexy!
Jeff is wearing a mask, because he wants Ashley to get to know his personality first, just like on that Monica Lewinski show. Vampire music plays as he enters the house, because anyone unwilling to show their face must be a vampire! She's a dentist, people. You'd think she'd be able to tell.
Next out of the limo is...the other Jason Schwarztman! Aka winemaker Ben. He was so nervous that he brushed his teeth 8 times this morning. He has brought Ashley some wine. They toast. To new beginnings! And to OCD.
Ryan M. is a big fan of the Bachelor. He's brought a camera and takes a few pictures with Ashley. Later, he would like a photo with Chris Harrison. Maybe Ashley could take that one? Ashley is not amused. I am. It is the best moment of this whole episode.
I think J.P. might be short, but he has such a happy face! J.P.'s smileyness is contagious. I am grinning just watching him on TV. Looking at J.P.'s face is like holding a kitten: if you can do it and not smile, it is probably because you have no soul.
Nick comes next. He looks like a deep-fried Matthew McConaughey. He has written a poem. It has the word "journey" in it and it is totally terrible.
Next up is Bentley the evildoer. Of course she thinks he is like, totally hot.
The last guy ties dental floss around her finger. To remember him by? I am totally not remembering all these people.
Stupid chat with Chris. Then: all the guys love Ashley! Ryan P. is already in love with her, because her dress sparkles, LIKE THE SUN, so he pulls her aside so they can have a totally boring conversation about his job.
Then Matt pulls Ashley aside and they call his mother. I am not kidding. Mom says it's very nice to "meet" Ashley, and then tells them to use protection in the fantasy suite. I AM NOT KIDDING. Matt looks like he wants to die. (As would I, if I ever heard my mother talk about "protection".) Ashley dissolves into giggles.
Meanwhile, the guys talk about how creepy Jeff and and his mask are. Jeff just wants people to get to know his personality. I think it says something about your personality that you wear a freaking mask, dude.
Ashley is talking to Ames "smartest man alive" and...some other dude when Ben starts holding up poster boards right outside the window, love-actually style. No, they do not say "leave your hot husband for me, even though I am a brooding loser". It's something about how she is beautiful and he hasn't talked to her yet and that makes him sad. Ashley is totally charmed and lets him steal her away. Haha, Ames! Who's the genius NOW??
Ben and Ashley have a little chat and are all cute and lively and fun, and he tells her that he grew up in Louisiana, which makes me very happy because that is my home state (represent!) and intelligent people from Louisiana are highly underrepresented in the media.
Next up: William! He tells Ashley, bashfully, that's he's "just in sales". Womp Wommp. Ashley tells William to sell her himself, which to William means doing a Sean Connery impression. I LOVE HIM. (William, not Sean Connery. Sean Connery is 97.)
Ashley has just finished telling us how AMAZING all these men are when she stumbles over drunk Tim. And by drunk, I mean druuuunk. Drunkity drunk drunk. Too drunk to live. Ashley tries to have a conversation with Tim and it is so awkward that even the giggles cannot penetrate its hard, shiny surface of awkwardness. This is all tremendously ironic because Tim sells "wine and spirssss". Ashley "feels bad". Tim feels great, because he is the drunkest person ever.
Ashley walks away, muttering something about "wasted opportunities". Get it? WASTED????
Drunk-ass Tim re-joins the men, because the producers have decided that the only way to enliven this show is to get drunky and the Mask in the same room. Tim does not disappoint, by which I mean: he drunkenly threatens the Mask, asks him to dance (???), and then stumbles away and takes a nap.
Of course the producers send Ashley to wake drunk Tim, who is slumbering peacefully underneath the pelts of a thousand baby seals. Tim is un-wakeable, so as a penalty for getting drunk as shit but not punching anyone, he is sent home. Ah, love.
Cut to the Mask standing on the balcony, looking dramaaatic. This makes it clear, he says, that Tim was NOT HERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. The Mask is not here to party: he is here to wear an effeminate facial accessory and look like a complete dumbass. VAMPIRE MUSIC. Ashley has a one-on-one with Jeff, where she purports to "love the idea" of the mask. Probably so his creepy ass will leave her alone.
Then Ashley talks to J.P., and he's adorably adorable and it's so refreshing that she can see his whole face. They have a refreshingly normal conversation, during which J.P. reveals that...his boss calls him "cupcake". No fair, because Ashley wants her future hubby to call her cupcake! And we all know there is only room in each relationship for one cupcake. Ashley is smitten nonetheless.
Now it's time for Bentley, who is MAYBE NOT HERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. I dunno, I'm less disturbed by this anonymous tip than by the fact that he seems incapable of opening his mouth when he talks and generally looks shady as hell, but Ashley is diggin it. Le sigh.
And the first impression rose goes to...Ryan P! He has "such a positive energy about him". Like THE SUN. I don't know why we cared so the hell much about this first impression rose, either, because right after it's handed out, here comes Chris to announce...The Rose Ceremony. Dun dun dunnnnh. Everyone prepares for their doom.
Ashley gives a speech that is mercifully short, while all the guys stare, hypnotized by her sparkly boobs. And the first rose goes to...Jeff! In a fit of ecstacy, he rips off his mask! No, wait, he doesn't. We've gotta keep this charade up for another week or so. Now that drunky is gone, The Mask is practically carrying this show.
The rest of them go to:
Constantine (who is also played by Jason Schwartzman, but a slightly homelier Jason Schwartzman),
Steven the other Jason Schwartzman,
Matt the guy with the mom,
Nick (aka fake Matt),
Christy (okay, it was "Chris D., but it sounded like "Christy" and I'm sticking to it),
agressive kisser Mickey (boo!),
NoLa Ben (represent!)
Wes with a T,
Cupcake ("hell yeah!", he says. "hell yeah!", I say.),
and genius boy Ames.
Now THERE IS ONLY ONE ROSE LEFT. Oh, hello Chris.
Ashley holds the rose for about a billion years. The butcher lingers on the verge of tears. And of course the rose goes to...
BENTLEY. Because girls love jerks. And producers love DRAMA.
The disappointed butcher delivers a performance worthy of off-broadway. He doesn't know how to feel anymore. If Ashley would rather be with Batman than with him, then he is just going to go home and cry into a cut of veal. Aw, honey. I'm sure you'll find a nice girl from Joisey who loves your meat.
Ashley and the bohunks toast. She thinks her husband is IN THIS ROOM. And she hopes he is not the creepy guy in the mask.
In the upcoming weeks: falling in love! In pretty places! And one guy breaks Ashley's heart. Probably Bentley. Damn. How could he disappoint me like that?