Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ashley Episode 9: The Many Faces of Ashley Hebert.

So at this point: I really think it's J.P. And I'm not just saying that because I luurve him. Look, I know Mike Fleiss loves to screw with us, and that I could be sitting down to a delicious meal of crow in a few days, but I can't help noticing that when Ashley is with J.P., she's flirty. Happy. Fun. When she's with the other guys, she's...meh. Which I guess just means Ashley is a very poor fake-slut, so good on her, but I've gotta say, it makes for some pretty uncomfortable viewing. If I had a dollar for every awkward, closed-mouth kiss with Ben I would have at least...seventeen dollars. That's a very nice meal at Chili's. And a whole lot of awkward television.

Dear Diary,
I think JP is the one for me. His cute bald head and his cute little face set my heart aflutter. But I've still got to spend a whole week in Fiji with my other boyfriends. Life is rough.

Ashley's getting ready for her date with loverboy Ben, when all of a sudden...rain. Claps of thunder. OMINOUS MUSIC. A pair of flip-flops stalks ominously through the jungle to Ashley's love shack.


The camera pans up ominously for the big reveal, and...yeah, it's Ryan. He is BACK. But he has not brought his trademark sunshine. In fact, this might the unhappiest Ryan's ever looked in his whole life. Ryan felt that he and Ashley had potential, and he wants to explore that potential. Because nothing is more romantic than refusing to say goodbye.

Ashley sees Ryan, and she is all like, HOLY SHIT, and she invites him inside, but it is maybe not the magical reunion Ryan had hoped for. He explains that after Ashley dumped him in Thailand, he went home and threw himself into his work, but all the solar panels and tankless water heaters in the world could not fill the void in his heart. So he did what any man in his position would do: he called Chris Harrison. And Chris was like, she's in Fiji. GO FOR IT. Ryan feels like he and Ashley didn't really have a chance. Ashley's kind of like, uhhhh...

Let it be known, officially, that Chris Harrison gives the shittiest love advice ever.

Ashley asks for a few days to think things over, because sending him right home after he just flew to freaking Fiji would just be cruel. Ryan has to be satisfied with this answer. It doesn't matter what happens this time around, he says, because he knows he gave it his all. NO REGRETS.

After that little episode, it is time for a date with Ben in awkwardsville. At least the producers have chartered a giant yacht for them. So there is that.

Ben and Ashley have some seriously scintillating conversations. Such as:

Ben: It feels like I haven't seen you in forever!
Ashley: I knowww! You haven't.

On the boat:
Ashley: I wanna go see upstairs.
Ben: I wanna go see upstairs.


Ashley takes advantage of this super-romantic location to tell Ben how his mother scared the hell out of her. The producers are getting a little bored with this, so they instruct Ashley to rub sunscreen on Ben's chest. While straddling him. I don't even know what to think.

So one of two things is going on here:

1. The sunscreen scene is just the tip of the iceberg of Ben and Ashley's burning lust, and I am dead wrong about this whole JP thing.
2. The sunscreen scene is totally orchestrated by the producers to screw with our heads, and JP just about blew a gasket when he saw it.

Ben is like, "thanks for all your hard work!", and Ashley's like, no, thank you. She thinks her life with Ben would never be dull, like, all suncreen application, all the time. It will be super-hot, and no one will get skin cancer, ever.

Ben is totally diggin it. He's going to tell Ashley that he loves her, tonight. He hasn't been there for the longest time.

Ashley and Ben have dinner on the beach. Ashley picks her teeth and looks unenthused. Ben decides to back off on the love thing. For now. They talk about their feelings, and Ashley could totally see herself with Ben, which is not the same thing as wanting to see herself with Ben, and she's like, "we have so many great things between us, it's like, what else would have to happen?" And he's like, I dunno, what else would have to happen?, because to him, I think, it's already happening, so then they're at this weird conversational standstill. So Ben blathers on for a while about how he's so Open now, and it's all thanks to the Journey, and Ashley's like, "huh. nice", and I feel awkward, but fortunately that's when the boink suite card comes from Chris Harrison, arbiter of love and romance.

Ben decides not to drop the L-bomb, because "you can kind of look at each other and get a gauge of what the other person is thinking." When I look at Ashley, I see this:

But, you know, whatever.

Ben happily declares them to be "on the same page". It is fantasy suite time. They go to the fantasy suite, and I have to admit that it is pretty...sweet. Ashley shows Ben how their bedroom is like, open to the pool, like an especially helpful real estate agent, and then they put on their bathing suits and make out in the water, and I'm like, finally, because I've been waiting for someone to make out in a pool all season, and it's so very Sweet Valley High and that makes me happy.

Ben carries Ashley out of the pool, all suggestively, and they kiss and then the screen goes dark and we SPECULATE.

The next morning! Constantine date, and Ashley is bringing back the double wave and the seriously questionable clothing choices. Ashley has a surprise for Constantine. It's a helicopter! He's all jazzed, but I'm like, gee, never seen that one before. Ashley and Constantine fly over some reefs, and Constantine just about flips his shit over how blue the water is. "SO AWESOME! COOLEST THING EVER!!! WHAT DOES IT ALL MEEEAN?"

Cut to a shot of Ryan standing on a reef, looking up at the sky, like the producers want us to believe that he is standing there STARING AT THE HELICOPTER like a total creeper. Uh-huh. Nice try, guys. Ryan is just chillaxin, hanging out on the beach in the Fiji, waiting for the inevitable rejection from his fake reality-show girlfriend. Life is rough.

I wish all my breakups were this agonizing.

Meanwhile, Ashley and Constantine jump into a waterfall, and Ashley's all like, blah blah, leap of faith, and I'm like, why is Constantine still wearing shoes? Like maybe it's some kind of metaphor for his inability to make himself completely vulnerable. Or something.

Look, Ashley and Constantine have some kinda weird-ass relationship. They just rode a freaking helicopter, and jumped off a waterfall, and now they're picnicing on a deserted beach, and Ashley's still doing this thing where she's pushing him away. She's giving him crap about his fear of comittment, which makes me think that it's not really there for her, because I'm pretty sure that if I were even slightly attracted to someone and we did all that stuff together, all those endorphins would be taking over my brain and I would be like, MARRY ME NOW. But instead Ashley and Connie have this conversation:

Ashley: Can I say something that I learned about you on your hometown, that directly relates to our relationship? How many houses did you look at before you bought a house?
Connie: 108. (pause.) It's a big investment! I wanted a man cave! There was so much that I wanted in a house and...I couldn't find that.

Ashley's like, uh-huh. Point made.

"Houses and women are not the same!" protests Man Cave Constantine, but Ashley remains unconvinced. She recognizes that he is usually slow to make decisions, but right now it's like, go big or go home. Ashley hopes that things take off tonight, and I'm pretty sure that is not an innuendo, is not lookin good. Ashley cannot read Constantine. He makes her nervous. Most romantic date ever!

Ashley and Constantine have dinner, and things are not, er, taking off. With the spectre of Chris Harrison's love shack invite looming, Ashley admits that she doesn't feel like Constantine is really attracted to her. She wants him to want her, but...she feels like it's just not there. Constantine admits that for him, either he feels something or he doesn't. Ashley wants to know if he's acting like a cold fish because of her, or because of the Process, and finally Constantine admits that...yeah, it's not really there. He does not want to go to the fantasy suite, or pass Go, or collect 200 dollars. His Love Journey has reached a dead end.

Ashley is kind of like, really? You're dumping me? In freaking Fiji?

And Constantine's like, yeah. And Ashley's like, thanks for being honest, I guess, and Constantine walks off, and Ashley looks sadly at the unused boink suite card, but not all that sadly, because let's be honest...Constantine was kind of a dud.

Ashley takes this opportunity to resume feeling super insecure. "This is a two-way street, and guys could leave, very late in the game...what if I end up all alone, and all of this was for nothing?" Nonono. Constantine was a dud! Let's stick with that.

Fortunately, there's still JP. But before Ashley can go out with him, it is time for Ryan's inevitable rejection. He is just what she's looking for, on paper, but...she's just not feeling it.

Ashley: "Thanks for coming all the way to Fiji. I think you're really great, but...I like my other two boyfriends more."
Ryan: "I'm never listening to Chris Harrison ever again."

Ryan is so sad he manages to not grin for seven whole seconds. It sucks to get rejected. On national TV. Twice.

JP time! Finally. Ashley and JP ride on a plane, which is like, a metaphor for how their relationship is taking off. Or something. They are going to their own private island. JP: "It's like the world just...ended and put the two of us on this island." Awww. Nothing is more romantic than your own personal apocalypse.

Ashley and JP embrace in the waves. What they have is Special, Ashley thinks. It could last a lifetime. At least until the zombie hordes reach the south Pacific.

That night: Ashley decides it's time to come clean. She explains to JP that she ditched Constantine, because he was lame and had ugly hair, but that wasn't the only rejecting she did this week. Someone came back.

JP: Wtf? So if you get sent home, you can just like, come back whenever you feel like it? Do the rules of this show even matter anymore?
Ashley: It was Ryan. He wanted more time. But I, uh, kicked him to the curb. Again. What, did you think it was Bentley?
JP: Uh-huh. I was like, not again.

I didn't think I could love JP any more.

JP wants to be the last one standing. Ashley doesn't want JP to hold back, just because she like, still has another boyfriend. She has been there. JP is afraid of getting hurt, and this better not be foreshadowing or I'm-a kill someone.

It is time for Chris Harrison's very cordial invitation to get it on. JP: "Uh, yeah. I think I'm into that." Go JP go!

Ashley and JP retire to a villa in the jungle. Ashley decides to pull a Chantal and change into just a long white shirt, and JP is totally diggin it. I would screenshot, but it is kind of NSFW. Use your imagination.

Ashley has a little pow-wow with BFF Chris. Sorry, CH, but...SKIPPED.

Rose Ceremony time! There are 2 roses and 2 dudes. That is math a kindergartener could do, but the producers decide to go through with this sham rose ceremony anyway because they have a need to fill the last 20 minutes of this show with empty ritual. It is the Least Dramatic Rose Ceremony Ever.

Roses go to...Ben, and...JP. SHOCKER.

Ashley is so relieved that both dudes accepted their roses. Maybe guys can be attracted to her, after all! She assures JP and Ben that she totally would've given them the roses even if they weren't the only two guys there. Take that, Constantine!

And next week! (Or...tonight, since I'm so late with this installment. Sorry!) The men tell all! Remember Jeff the mask? And drunk Tim? And He Who Must Not Be Named? And all the stupid, childish, man-bitchery of this past season? Yeah, I didn't want to, either. And the next day: Ashley makes her all-important FINAL CHOICE. Oh, and she calls her tatted-up, extreme cuponing sister a bitch. Dramaz abound! Stay tuned.

And updated to add: An old friend and one of my loyal readers, also named Ashley, sent me this link showing the hidden connections between Disney classics and the Bachelorette. Totally worth watching, if just to hear JP's voice coming from the Beast's mouth.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, sort of late to comment, but have been very busy, but never missed an epi. I am so happy that I was not the ONLY one to see how Ben gave closed-mouth kisses!! I HATE, HATE that kind of kiss, was so disappointed they came from one of the final 2 guys, all I kept thinking was 'no, no', never settle for those kinds of kisses from a husband who is supposed to be kissing you forever! Maybe I am shallow, but so be it-kisses are VERY important!I would give up the perfect man if his kisses were closed-mouth:)