Reluctant Townie: Still more musings on 'The Bachelor'
Yes, I know I've already written about "The Bachelor" once this year, and on top of that, this season of "The Bachelor" has been excruciatingly boring, the blame for which rests solely upon Bachelor Sean, who is basically a vanilla wafer with legs.
But I continue to allow ABC and its advertisers to suck two hours out of my life every Monday instead of watching "House of Cards" or finishing "The Wire" — and because of this I feel a strong urge to imbue my behavior with purpose. So I've decided to put words to the things I've seen, yet again, for you, the people.
Granted, no one at this newspaper assigned me "The Bachelor" beat or even suggested it would be an acceptable topic for a column (let alone multiple), but I soldier on. I sacrifice. I watch "The Bachelor" so you don't have to, and all I want is to be reimbursed for my troubles.
The last time I wrote about "The Bachelor," a healthy majority of my column was dedicated to describing Bachelor Sean's abdominals and pectorals, which was merely indicative of the show's focus at that point. (Write what you know.)
But since the season's nearly shirtless premiere, Bachelor Sean's physique has been curiously hidden away from viewers (or at least, it has been less noticeable — although to be fair, I've spent a lot of this season making glittery BFF collages of me and Adele and rearranging my underwear drawer, so I could have missed it).
I suspect that his washboard stomach will be making a grand reappearance in the finale, when he emerges from an infinity pool in the middle of the desert wearing a thong covered in tasteful product placement (rumor has it Nutella won the bidding war), with the final rose clenched between his Crest 3D White Strip teeth.
The most recent episode of "The Bachelor" featured the hometown dates, which (for those of you who are succeeding at life and have never seen the bachelor's nipples in high definition) is when the final four women take the bachelor home to meet their families.
This is usually the point in the season when I begin to differentiate between the contestants, who have previously been a singular WASP-y blur of concealer foundation, pinot grigio and desperation.
First up was AshLee from Houston, whose name the Internet tells me is indeed spelled with a capital L in the middle for no apparent reason. Other known aliases: Cray Cray Von Abandonment Issues.
This season has really been lacking the crazy drunk element that defines the best "Bachelor" seasons. There was some girl named Tierra, who apparently started a lot of drama with the other contestants and blah-blah-blah, I fell asleep and don't care. But aside from her, the only flavor of crazy they've had is AshLee — who is not crazy in the compelling reality television way, but in the "Fatal Attraction," I-will-come-after-your-family-pet-if-you-ever-leave-me way. Unlucky for Bachelor Sean, she also is utterly convinced that she is going to be his wife.
"I didn't know what true love was until I met Sean," says the previously married 32-year-old about a guy she met on a game show a couple of weeks ago.
During the date, AshLee's dad asks Bachelor Sean if he's in love with his daughter.
"I'm crazy about your daughter," Bachelor Sean says. "And love is certainly on the horizon."
Which is a wordier version of the Magic 8-Ball's "REPLY HAZY, ASK AGAIN LATER." Even though I'm married and have no use for such things, I store the line in my mental Rolodex of things to say to a woman when you're thinking about dumping her soon.
"There's no doubt, I want to marry this man as soon as I can," AshLee says with an earnestness that seems to telegraph dramatic irony.
Meanwhile, Catherine from Seattle only caused me to jot down one quote, much to her credit:
"I like the way he makes me giggle."
I suppose that's a legitimate reason to marry somebody. Giggling is an important part of marriage. Giggling also is an important part of high school sex ed. However, giggling is not an important part of sex during marriage. Which is a common mistake.
In Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., on his hometown date with Lindsay (aka Eyebrows), Bachelor Sean asks her Army general father for his blessing, just in case he proposes to his daughter instead of one of his three other paramours. Dude basically says no, and for a commercial break my faith is restored in humanity.
Listening to the women gush about Bachelor Sean and the slivers of attention he shows to them, one has to wonder at what point Stockholm syndrome sets in for the contestants. My guess is some time after the first rose ceremony, when they realize they aren't going home and will instead be held captive in a mansion in the hills.
The final hometown date belongs to Desiree from Los Angeles. This consumer-level Katie Holmes appears to be the perfect match for Bachelor Sean ... until her brother sabotages her chances during a family dinner.
The brother, who has the air of someone who has "been to prison" and "knows how to make a shiv out of his toothbrush and implement it," takes Bachelor Sean out back and tells him, in more words or less, that he thinks he's a tool.
I had conflicted feelings about the brother's interaction with Bachelor Sean. On one hand, he said everything I would want to say to a bachelor if he walked into my house (over my dead body), but on the other hand, I'm pretty sure he is a dangerous sociopath.
Psycho bro won most intimidating hometown date award — and ultimately got his sister booted last week.
Ryan Jackson broke a nail typing this article, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.