Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Let's chat about The Bachelorette (Week 2)

Welcome to week 2 of listening to Clare ramble on about her obsession with Dale for two full hours. I don't know how 2/3 of these dudes haven't left, especially since whenever Clare says things like "My future husband is in this room," the cameras dramatically pan and zoom in on one person:

Again, in all fairness to Clare, I completely understand this because my eyes pop out of my head, cartoon character "AWOOOGA" style every time Dale is onscreen (which is pretty often).

Anyway, it's week 2! Meaning the first set of dates that Clare will have to fake interest in while hiding her raging lady boner for Dale (I'm always sorry about saying "lady boner" but when it's right, it's right).

Group date #1: Okay everyone line up and tell me you love me

So, not sure if you guys heard or not, but Clare is 39 and will burst into attic dust if she does not find a man soon. To assuage her insecurities about if anyone is interested in her even though 30 men have quarantined for two weeks just to spend time with her, the first group date is the inaugural meeting of the Clare Crawley Fan Club hosted by fan club president, Clare Crawley.

She presents the date as "learning" the guys' love languages, which is all just a guise for creating a toxic high school environment wherein the guys have to wait in line to tell her how much they like her. Seriously, that is part one of the date, the guys lining up to give her compliments. As they're all talking about how "amazing" this woman is who they all met less than 24 hours ago, Clare says "This is all so foreign to me, hearing these nice remarks from men." AND AGAIN, I HAVE TO COME THROUGH WITH A FACT CHECK. Don't forget that Clare played TWO men on Bachelor Winter Games who were OBSESSED with her and then one of them (Benoit) later PROPOSED TO HER ON LIVE TV. So her acting like she is Ariel experiencing legs for the first time is stupid. Just be honest, girl! Say you wanna make these dudes fawn over you, that's fine!

Anyway, as if that wasn't fun enough for everyone, she next offers a fun twist — the guys have to run back to their rooms and return with a "meaningful" gift for her.

This is as boring and stupid to watch as you can imagine, with all of these dudes returning with sweaty ass gifts from their (probably) still packed suitcases. Except actually, this moment was nice when Ivan gave Clare a chess piece because chess is a game he bonds with his dad and brother over. He also gives some line about her being his Queen and him being her King who will watch over her and while I would normally projectile vomit at this because it's incredibly cheesy (and I'm lactose intolerant), I don't mind it when this man is saying it (FYI I've got something he can engineer):

Alright so we've covered forced compliments and gifts, it's now time for Clare to get handsy (naturally). The guys get back in line (this date is just them spending the day at the DMV) to be blindfolded one by one while Clare is also blindfolded so they can touch each other. That's right, wow, what doesn't this super amazing date have (chemistry, rhyme, reason, it has none of these things).

While Clare manhandles each guy like she's picking out produce, all of the other guys have to watch. And nothing creates as much awkwardness than (what seemed like) the 3 hours of Clare groping Dale:

I think the show was trying to portray this some sort of hot moment, but it was really, really not. Mostly because any hottness was extinguished by Clare's literal drooling. She is sort of like Pavlov's dog and Dale is a treat (omg calm down I'm not saying she's a literal dog, just that she drools like one).

After the drool is cleaned up, they all change for the evening portion of the date and everything starts off well enough with a cheers and also Dale's butt (I don't choose these screenshots, they choose me):

So Clare, who if we may recall has been leading this date as "Celebrate Clare'palooza," gets irked when 3.5 seconds after she cheers, no one asks to pull her aside to chat, saying "Does anyone want to talk to me??" And in the guys' defense (which I literally NEVER do), she has made these men wait in line for the ENTIRETY of this date, so how would they know they made it out of the DMV and are allowed free will now.

Luckily, white knight (emphasis on white) Bennett swoops in to steal Clare away to chat. 

He assures her that the guys probably thought they were all having fun together and then just as he's diving into super enthralling conversation about being a finance bro in New York, Clare tells him she can't focus because she's still pissed that no one has gotten her name tattooed on their chest yet. She leaves Bennett to return to the group to confront them and tbh, I think he might still be in that random room they were chatting in, just waiting for her to come back.

When you have to remind everyone this isn't a cheer'ocracy, it's a Clare'ocracy

Clare is pissed that these men, who have spent the entire day complimenting and bringing her gifts while honestly operating under what can only be described as a hostile work conditions (per the touching), did not break their backs to get one-on-one time with her. She reiterates that "nobody was trying to pull me aside to talk" and then gives us her best Julia Roberts standing in front of Hugh Grant impression saying, "At the end of the day, I'm a woman and I want my man to show me you care." 

Season villain Yosef then pipes up because we haven't heard from his dumbass this episode and says "You're crazy to think we're not here for you." This really helps the situation because there's nothing better than being told you're crazy. Just warms the heart and does not generate rage in any way. Yosef later cements his status as villain and future Bachelor In Paradise star by saying to the guys that Clare hasn't been living up to expectations.

I should've pointed this out first, but Clare's entire angry monologue is primarily targeted at Dale, who is the only person Clare is interested in on this date (and this show). Realizing this, Dale finally pulls Clare away to talk, which is all she's been wanting for 39 years as is evident in this face that she makes during their entire conversation:

Looking like she just spotted the waiter carrying her sizzling sirloin to the table. While Clare is picturing Dale as a literal piece of meat, Dale is seriously telling her that he feels terrible her feelings were hurt and he never wants her to feel that way. Clare tells him that she invited him on this first group date because she couldn't wait to see him and wanted to talk with him the most. Then, as if she's been holding it in for decades (four decades to be exact because remember she is 39), Clare tells Dale she has feelings for him and he of course says he has feelings for her and then they see if they can get their molars to touch.

Again, this is all very confusing because it has been TWENTY FOUR hours since they met (allegedly). It takes me longer to realize how I feel after getting a haircut. 

Unfortunately for Clare, after stopping just short of telling Dale she loves him, she has to spend time with the other guys too because THAT IS THE PREMISE OF THIS SHOW.

And the only other guy that the camera (and allegedly Clare) spends time with is Riley, who is incredibly sweet, sensitive and has perhaps the biggest biceps I have ever seen, ever.

The producers make Clare give him the group date rose because they think that'll make us forget that we know Clare is ready to leave the show with Dale.

When the producers say you can't bring Dale on every date

Since she can't ask Dale, Clare invites Jason on the first one-on-one. If you're like me, you're probably thinking "who the hell is Jason?" so anyway here he is:

I feel like you can hear him laughing like Seth Rogan? Anyway, Clare sends this man THE WORLD'S LONGEST DATE INVITE. It is MULTIPLE cards long and you can just tell he's reconsidering this entire thing based on the instruction manual he's been sent for a "super fun" date.

In this unnecessarily long card, Clare tells Jason he has to write a letter to his younger self with advice and thoughts and this was the point I realized oh okay, all of these dates are going to be incredibly wack.

Later that night, Jason meets Clare for their date and by date I mean Clare proceeds to lead them through a therapy session that she is extremely under qualified to do, but she did binge an entire season of Dr. Phil, so let's do this. They start with some screaming into the void — except not void, probably pretty close to someone's hotel room since all of this is taking place at the same resort. 

Then, Clare, who doesn't want to be defined by past relationships and wants to move past them, lollllll just kidding she actually starts the conversation with "So did you watch me on Juan Pablo's season." I don't even know if Jason responded before she pulled out the highlight reel and her varsity Bachelor jacket to relive the glory days. She says, "Remember when I said I wouldn't want him to be the father of my children, that was powerful when I said that. Wow, me." Okay maybe not that last part, who knows.

They then spend time writing down the things people have called them or described them as and read them aloud to each other. We get things like "hard to love," "insecure" and "picky" and Jason admits sharing this was the "scariest thing he's ever done in his entire life." I'm sorry, THE SCARIEST? This man has clearly never eaten a family pack of tacos at Taco Bell before heading home only to get stuck in hours of traffic. Coincidentally enough, Jason is making the face you make when that happens:

Next it's time for them to read the letters they wrote to their younger selves. I want to note that neither of their letters says, "I am writing this letter to you from the future, where things have clearly not gone well for us and we're now on a dating show in the middle of a pandemic." After Jason reads his letter that shares a lot about his past destructive and toxic behavior, Clare's like "Yo, lemme meet HIM tho." 

Clare shares her letter and concludes it with "I'm a strong ass woman, I can handle anything," which like, not to bring up the past, but remember how 12 hours ago she was like "NO ONE WANTS TO TALK TO ME?? I CAN'T HANDLE THIS."

We then wrap up this date like you would any first date with a potential husband — by dragging out your old almost-engagement dress.

She literally asks him "Remember this." Girl, nobody remembers this dress worn by the runner up from however many years ago on what was possibly one of the worst seasons of The Bachelor ever. Or well, sorry, I didn't mean "nobody remembers," I mean "nobody cares," sorry about the confusion. Anyway, she burns the dress to convey something symbolic like this entire date burning the last four brain cells I've got clinking around. Oh also, Jason gets a rose.

First coot sighting of the season!

The charcuterie boards are the only thing we can rely on for quality and meaning in this entire franchise. I really liked this first one with grapes all dramatically lit by the fire. 10/10 would like to see again. 

Group date #2: Okay everyone show me your bodies
Since Clare is 39 breaths away from proposing to Dale, even the producers think these dates are pointless and put next to no effort in planning the next group date — strip dodgeball. That's right. That's the premise. Clare gives the guys tiny workout outfits from the 80s to play in, then tells them the team that wins gets to stay for the evening portion of the date.

They play a bunch of rounds until eventually the blue team is down to their jockstraps, meaning they've lost. Thanks to good sportsmanship, we get to see them shake hands with the winning team while looking like they're wearing abstract art bottoms.  

Now usually, I'm up for objectifying good looking men, but even I thought this was a little...ballsy.   

The losers then have to walk back to their rooms, still essentially naked. And after they walk in, A BUNCH OF THEM IMMEDIATELY SIT DOWN ON THIS FABRIC COUCH??? SWEATY ASS AND BALLS JUST ON THIS VELVET COUCH.

Good luck to whoever takes a nap on those pillows later and gets pink eye.

Meanwhile, the winning team gets to actually put clothes on to join Clare for the evening portion of the date. And as further proof that no effort was put into this date, there's a coot board, but no actual coot:

Damn, like are these guys not worthy of even a few slices of gouda. 

As Clare is mandated to talk to all of these men who are not Dale, she finally gets some time with the hottest man in Cleveland, Brandon, remember him:

This is how Brandon's first (and last) conversation with Clare goes:

Brandon: I never imagined I'd do a show like this, but when I heard you were the Bachelorette, I knew I had to be here
Clare: Oh really? What about me made you want to be here?
Brandon: You're pretty
Clare: You're gonna have to list a bunch more reasons, at least 39 more
Brandon: LOL, idk. But I feel something with you and I know you feel it too
Clare: That's just my phone buzzing because your Uber is here

And with that, Clare escorts Brandon out, which brings up an important point of discussion for us to consider as a group — should I move to Cleveland to date this man? Let me know, thanks. I imagine I can just look up "Hot Brandon, Ohio" to find him, so.

While all of this is happening, Blake is back in his room combing his beard: 

He decides he needs to interrupt this group date to speak with Clare and dear God I hope this man washed his hands because the last time we saw him he was literally holding his balls.

When he shows up, he actually interrupts Clare's time with this guy:

While I would normally classify this as rude, this man has absolutely criminal eyebrows that have been waxed by the year 1998. so interrupting his camera time is completely fine, if not encouraged. I also have no idea what his name is and I have a feeling it won't matter.

Right, so Blake tells Clare that he just had to see her and this is his way of showing her that he "has balls," which tbh hasn't she seen enough of your balls for one night. Back inside, Bad Eyebrows tells the guys that Blake is here to show Clare he has balls and all of the guys are like, "That's not balls," and Jesus Christ can we please stop saying balls. 

Clare eventually tells Blake he should go because it's not fair to the other guys and he agrees. Before he leaves, he tries to kiss her:

AND SHE DODGES HIM. Faster than most of these men dodge buying socks. It was painfully embarrassing to watch this happen to Blake and his weird semi-chinstrap beard.

Back to the rest of these clowns. Clare sits down to chat with Chasen (the guy who I thought was high last week). He bravely shares the great adversity he faced growing up — he was "like bullied" for a little bit for being short and was "weird" because he played video games. I mean, wow. I can't wait to see the movie about this, who do you think will play Chasen.

They then get into what appears to be some sort of chicken wing, wrestling hold and kiss.

Chasen ends up getting the group date rose.

We have to be nearing Clare's final episode, right

Clare kicks off the pre-Rose Ceremony cocktail party by talking first with Blake, who as you can tell looks far less crazed than he was earlier:

Blake hasn't turned the page on his "Word of the Day" calendar, so he's still stuck on "balls," telling Clare that he was "so caught up" in showing her he has balls. At this point (the point of the word "balls" having been mentioned 485 times) Clare should've just kicked him in the balls, therefore proving their existence and putting this whole debate to rest. Simple solution.

He tells her that showing up on that group date was the "biggest challenge" he's ever taken. Which, I think he's selling himself short, because it's clear the biggest challenge he's faced is avoiding growing in a mustache to fully connect that beard. Clare tells him he's amazing and gives him a rose (ahead of the ceremony).

And that's it! Or well, there is a final scene with Clare and Dale making out, but remember that medically Clare has to do that to survive. It looks like we're gonna get plenty of drama ahead of the Rose Ceremony next week from Yosef, who was already complaining about how "classless" Clare was for making the guys play strip dodgeball (an official Olympic event). Honestly, enduring these Clare episodes is like sitting through hours of previews before a movie and that movie is Tayshia. It's safe to say, we're all just ready for Tayshia Time.

See you all next week for what has to be one of Clare's final episodes? Til then, find me looking up real estate prices in Cleveland and also on Twitter (@cocoakristis) and Instagram (@kristimac9).

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