Hometown dates! This is the episode of this show I loathe the most. Nothing interesting ever happens, and it's so contrived, and usually it's painfully obvious from the get-go who is going to be introducing the Bachelor/Bachelorette to mom and dad, only to be rejected two days later. I may need a Neville Longbottom or two to get me through this.
The first hometown date is with Constantine, the boring one with the long hair. His family is Greek, but they inexplicably own an Italian restaurant. Maybe they figured that thousands of years ago, the Romans borrowed all their pagan deities, so it's okay if they nab pizza. Ashley oohs and ahhs over the restaurant, while the waitresses pretend to be deeply invested in Constantine's romantic success.
Constantine decides to impress Ashley with his mad culinary skills. He is going to teach her to make pizza, and...salad. Man, Constantine is talented. But lucky for you, I too can make pizza! I will tell you how:
2. Tomato sauce.
Constantine is blown away by Ashley's salad-making skills. It is starting to click for him. I am starting to crave bagel bites. Ashley and Constantine kiss, and the waitresses are all like, awwwwwoooooooughh!,because they are totally still watching.
Later, Ashley meets Constantine's family. They are alll very nice, which makes for some pretty boring TV, so the producers call in reinforcements. Soon, Constanine's house is packed to the gills with aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins-in-law, godchildren, and seconds cousins twice removed. Soon they are all dancing around the living room, shouting opa! while Constantine's day throws money around. Those crazy Greeks!
Ashley wants to stay and hang out with Constantine and his crazy family and be the Nia Vardalos to his John Corbett (only the other way around), but alas, she has to go hang out with her other boyfriends. Ashley and Constantine go outside to say goodbye, and kiss, and the whole clan piles onto the doorstep to watch. Those crazy Greeks! You kiss one of them, it's like kissing the whole family.
Next up: a hometown date with Ames, the fancy rich one. Ames has drummed up a whole clan, including some adorable neices and nephews, but I'm a little disappointed that he is not related to scrooge McDuck. Ames' sister Serena pulls Ashley aside for a little interrogation, conveniently staged next to the family's GIANT INDOOR POOL. The gist of it: Ames is great, but even the evidence of his tremendous riches have not moved Ashley's heart. She wants romance. Serena assumes this means sweet, schmoopy things like fancy dates and poetry, but I think what Ashley really means is: long, greasy locks like the wonder twins.
Ames has a nice little chat with his momma. Talking to his mother makes the cleft in Ames' chin even more pronounced. Also, Ames has a dead father. Actually, Ames' father died when he was 10, and then later his step-father died too, so Ames has two dead fathers. Holy crap, how has this not been played up all season? Dead fathers are practically the bread and butter of this show. Last season everyone had one. I guess Ames got the ivy league edit because he is the only Harvard grad in the history of ever crazy enough to appear on this show.
Having been warned by sis that he needs to step up the romance factor, Ames decides to pull out all the stops. A picnic! A carriage ride! A favorite tree. Ames is the first person in Bachelor history to have a favorite tree. He is also the first person in Bachelor history to be capable of actual, intelligent conversations that are not about the Journey. Don't go, Ames.
The next hometown date is with Ben, the other boring one with the long hair. Oh, but this one owns a winery! Ben takes Ashley to the wine cellar and talks about varietals and vintages and they kiss, because that's what drinking wine will do to you. Then they have a picnic, because I guess picnics are the new hot tub, and talk about opening up and dead fathers (Ben has one, too), and I start to zone out a little. This would be a great time to check what's new on Pinterest.
Ashley meets Ben's family. There is much dead dad talk. Ben is starting to fall in love. I am starting to fall asleep.
But look, it's J.P.! "It's good to be able to forget about the other guys", he says. I think so, too. I vote for all JP, all the time. (And maybe a little Ames.) JP takes Ashley ROLLER SKATING, because he is the coolest boy in the seventh grade. And then...and then...things were already looking up, because it's JP. But then JP and Ashley start skating, and there's a disco ball, and REO Speedwagon comes on, and they start sucking face, right there in the middle of the dance floor. It's more than just good. It's fantastic, it's amazing, it's the GREATEST MOMENT IN BACHELOR HISTORY. In maybe the shittiest episode in Bachelor history. If JP doesn't win, I am gonna be so pissed.
Ashley and JP talk a little about JP's evil ex-girlfriend, and then they talk some about their Relationship. He is 100 percent sure he wants to be here, and he knows he could be hurt, but he's willing to take that risk.
Time to meet the family! JP's adorable Jewish family loves Ashley, of course, but they're a little concerned that things are happening so fast. They're worried about a repeat of the situation with the Evil Ex. I'm worried, too, that all this talk about JP maybe getting hurt is some serious FORESHADOWING. If JP doesn't win I may punch Mike Fleiss in the face.
(Discliamer: I do not actually advocate violence. Although I hear Mike Fleiss is a pretty scummy human being.)
Just when the fear is starting to consume me, JP's mother brings out this adorably awesome picture from JP's bar mitzvah, and all my rage is redirected against the little asshole who wrote "congrats" across his face. I don't know who is cuter: 12-year-old Ames or 13-year-old JP.
Back at the MANsion! Ashley and Chris have a pow-wow. SKIPPED. Dang, why is this show so long??
And now! All the dudes are back together, and it is time for somebody to get their heart broke.
Roses go to: Ben, JP, and...
Constantine. Ugh. I can't believe she picked Mr. Greasy McBoring over Ames. At least he can make pizza.
Ames and his chiseled chin are stunned. The camera keeps panning back to his face, and he keeps being stunned. He describes the experience as "poetic", and I'm like, maybe that word does not mean what you think it means, and then he drives off into the night, or maybe right back to the house to shoot Bachelor Pad.
Seriously. If there is any decision that makes less sense than someone like Ames choosing to go the Bachelorette, it is someone like Ames choosing to be on Bachelor Pad, which is like the Bachelor/Bachelorette's slutty trailer-park cousin. I am also angered because this means I will probably have to watch.
But for now: dark music plays as Ames drives in a dark limo through a dark place in his poor, broken heart. Ames was excited about sharing a lifetime of adventures with Ashley, and now he is back to only sharing adventures with his freakishly perfect teeth. Aw, Ames. I'm sure there is a woman in NYC who will dig your 52 college degrees and abundant wealth. And reality-show notoriety.
Next week: Fiji! Dammit, everyone I know is going to Fiji. And I am stuck drinking their stupid bottled water.
But wait, look at that last picture. Did Ben CUT HIS HAIR?