Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Bachelorette: Earning Her Hometown Laurels

Jill confused.jpg
"Even when I'm thinking hard, I'm fun."

I'm trying to think, but it's hard because there is this constant high pitched squealing in my ear. I see a small brunette girl leaping around the TV screen like an epileptic bunny and I realize... it's time for another episode of The Bachelorette!

Jillian's hanging out in Banff Springs, Canada and she's standing in front of the hotel where we ended up last week. I just have to say right here that I watched this episode at my parents' house and I made an interesting discovery. My father has actually traveled to Canada (under duress; it was for work) and stayed in this very hotel. He walked by, saw Jillian standing there in front of it, and said, "They're having them stay in that dump?" HA! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! It looks like a castle, so that just cracked me up and got me off to a smiling start to tonight's mess. Thanks, Dad. Now let's go!

It's no Howard Johnson, but it'll have to do.

Jillian ponders over the wondrous fact that one of these guys could be proposing to her in a matter of weeks. What happened to "easy on the h-word," smarty pants? Or are you just looking for a life-long engagement? Then we don't have to go easy on the f-word, do we?

First stop is Philadelphia to visit Neurotic Reid. Now, I have never been to Philadelphia personally and I would very much like to, but from seeing things like this, it seems that their biggest claim to fame is Rocky Balboa - a fictional character played by Sylvester Stallone. There is a Rocky statue, for crying out loud. Liberty Bell, anyone? That is actually an important artifact. Anyway, Jillian squeals her way out of the car and over to Reid, who is waiting with coffee (no way that was his idea) and he tells us that every time he sees Jillian their relationship grows. That's deep, Reid.

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"Aaahh, this coffee's hot! I'm going to need some burn salve."

Jillian wonders if Reid's parents will approve of her. I guess her confidence from the end of last week's episode has waned. After some nauseating nuzzling on a park bench they head off to meet The Family Neuroses. The Family Neuroses lives in a lovely colonial red brick house and right off I'm starting to wonder. Have you ever noticed that we've never visited a dump on a hometown date? These families are always quite well off in beautiful homes. We all know that the Bachelor/Bachelorette's "homes" are fake, so I'm suspicious about these family homes now as well. Immediately the alcohol comes out and everyone sits around drinking and chatting. Apparently Reid is a realtor, which is a family business. That's the opposite of interesting, so moving right along...

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"Let's take a drink every time we're really bored!"

Jillian asks Neurotic Mom if Reid is ready for a big commitment. How would his mom know? What adult male gives his mother the ins and outs of his love life to the extent that she can predict how he's going to behave with a new girlfriend? Then Jillian sits down with Neurotic Brothers 1 and 2 who flat out tell her that Reid is afraid of commitment and worries about what other people will think of his woman. Those are both definitely qualities I look for in a grown man. Neurotic Dad sits down with Reid and tells him that if Jillian is what he's looking for he should go in "head over heels." Then Neurotic Dad whines to us that he wishes Reid would quit asking what his parents think and do his own thing. HA! Maybe the mom DID know more than I thought. Ah, we have surprise visitors. Here comes Neurotic Mommom (grandma) and the Neurotic Sisters. They're all screaming "Happy Birthday" at Reid and Mommom tells Jillian she's cute. Jillian is delighted. Did Mommom also notice that Jillian is tons of fun? Well to prove it, Jillian kisses Reid on the mouth right in front of the whole family after they sing Happy Birthday to him. (Reid's turning 30, do you think he'll cry?) Well, Jillian must be Wonder Woman because no one in the family has seen Reid kissing in front of everyone before. It's official - they're getting married. Jillian DEFINITELY wants to make oat on the porch, but she has to remember that there are four other great guys she's going to meet.

Next up is Michael, the break dancing instructor from East Harlem, so naturally we head for Valencia, California to meet his family. The fact that he's from Valencia and not East Harlem actually explains a lot. Now hold on to your hat, because Michael's family lives in a beautiful spacious home... or do they? Well, at least that's where we're filming today.

Michael house.jpg
The ABC location scout is gunning for a raise.

Turns out Michael has an identical twin - oh great I'm getting flashbacks of Brad Womack and the twin shenanigans from his season. First though, Michael tells his family all about Jillian as they sit in "their" living room. "She's going to light this place up. She's unbelievable. She's so unbelievable. She's like adorable, and then she's smokin' hot, and then she's beautiful, and she's... like I've seen her in pajamas and I almost fainted." So does she talk or anything, Michael? Or is she just the amazingly tasty pajama wearing girl? PS, I've seen her in pajamas, too. Not so impressive.

Clearly, Jillian's makeup THIS season is epic.

There's a knock on the door and before there's any time to speculate who it might be, my eardrums burst from the squealing. Jillian reminds us that her biggest concern is Michael's age, as she brought up at the last Rose Ceremony. Is he ready to settle down? I'd worry less a-boat age, Jillian, and more a-boat a guy whose brothers tell you to your face that he can't commit... even though he's turning 30. Jillian tells Family California that number one on her list of "non-negotiables" is a guy who makes her laugh, which is why Michael has made it this far. Michael's mom nods vigorously, saying, "Good! That's good!" And as Jillian looks around for alcohol the mom asks her to come and help her in the kitchen. Perfect! This is the grand opportunity for Michael and his twin brother Steve to switch places and see if they can trick Jillian - just like The Parent Trap! I will say here that Michael and Steve look a lot more alike than Brad and Chad, the Texas bartending duo, but that Steve seems to have an extra mole on his right cheek that Michael doesn't have, so this isn't that big of a mystery. Michael plans to ask Jillian all these probing questions - as Steve, but as soon as he walks into the room Jillian asks what happened to his scruff. The jig is up. Jillian tells us she knows her Michael right away. Oh twin brother!

Michael's dad does pretty much the same thing Reid's dad did, which is to say that Jillian is a regular angel from heaven and Michael is very lucky. Then Jillian sits down with twin brother Steve to whine some more about how young they are. Steve tells Jillian not to worry; he and Michael have been planning since they were kids to be young dads. Right, I can see it now as they push their trucks through the sandbox. No wait, with these two they were more likely at ballet class doing demi pliés and whispering to each other about hoping to be young dads. Arabesque! Jillian says that the age thing bothers her, but would she be happier with someone who is 36 and doesn't make her laugh? These are your options, Jillian? I know it's a long shot, but there just MIGHT be one or two thirty-something guys with a sense of humor left on the planet.

Over dinner, the dad says they're going to play a game called Question for the Table. Sounds challenging.

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"Honey, we played the question game at lunch!"

He wants everyone to name three things about themselves they are most proud of. Jillian goes first and says she's very proud to say that she'll laugh at just a-boat anything. Way to negate your praise of Michael, there Jillian. Sure, Michael's funny, but she'll laugh at anything! Also, she loves to see the good in everyone and she is proud of her work ethic. Snore. But before we can find out that Michael is proud of going on the Superman ride at Magic Mountain nine times in one day, in bursts a sister who is supposed to be far, far away in Australia. She's right in time for a family dance off!

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"We're proud to dance as a family!"

The sore thumb here is Jillian, who can't really move, but she can sure have fun! Jillian takes a plastic-wrapped plate of cookies, pecks Michael goodbye and climbs into her waiting SUV.

Krypton's turn! Off to San Diego we go to meet the Kryptonites. More squealing as Jillian rounds a rosebush near the beach and leaps into Krypton's arms. Of course there is wine and kissing on the beach as Krypton tells Jillian he has two dads. If that were actually what it sounded like, this would be a great hometown date, but alas, it's just boring Krypton and his boring dad and stepdad.

Krypton beach.jpg
"Come on, there's lots to drink at my parents' house."

Now here's a shocker: Krypton's family has a gloriously beautiful home. The Kryptonites consist of some siblings and their significant others, plus Krypton's SoCal parents, including the skinny tanned blonde mom. The dad takes the couple into the backyard where he has strung up caution tape around their hot tub, telling Jillian they saw the last few episodes of The Bachelor. In other words, Jillian, we know you're a tramp and we don't want you screwing around in our perfect mickey mouse shaped hot tub.

hot tub.jpg
A tribute to Disney, our parent company in this endeavor.

Jillian laughs obnoxiously and says that won't stop her. How demure she is. Krypton's mom has decided to make Jillian sample two different lasagnas and see if she can determine which one the stepdad made. Also she's supposed to taste two different wines and determine which one is classy and which one is from 7-11. Jillian doesn't get a chance to respond because she just gulps all the wine down before Krypton's mom can finish with her instructions. It turns out that the Kryptonites are well-traveled and multilingual, causing Jillian to worry that they'll just think she's a hillbilly. Well, if the shoe fits, Jillian.

Over dinner Krypton's sister suggests that Krypton get Jillian pregnant. Nice. Later the mom grills Jillian, challenging all of her answers and telling her she's a hillbilly. Kidding, but wouldn't that have been great? Krypton's sister asks him privately if he really likes her or if he's just getting swept along. He tells her that proposing within the next month would be premature. Uh oh. By far, the best part of this hometown is Doggie Kryptonite.


Is that a Yorkie? That is the freaking cutest thing I have ever seen and I almost jumped into the TV to grab him up. After Jillian and Krypton rip through the caution tape to sweat their faces off in the hot tub and do way too much of their signature awkward kissing, we are finally done with this date.

Next stop is Carmel in Northern California, where Jesse's family has a winery. Sweet. This is like Jillian's mecca. She can just hook up an I.V. and let the "love juice" flow through her veins.

Alcohol in its embryonic stage

Jesse pulls up on a tractor. Right, 'cause I'm sure he spends a lot of time out working in the fields and not attending deal-making lunches with his father. Jillian is still full of squeals as she charges the tractor, but as she and Jesse sit down among the vines she tells him that she's still wondering if he's "ready" since they got off to a slow start. Jesse sits there looking uncomfortable and says he usually takes a lot longer than this to figure out his relationships. Back at the "family" house, we learn that Jesse's dad is Hungarian - HOLLA, NoiXdeCoco! His mom is thin and blonde, and his brother is a hippie. But like a yuppie hippie. He's dressed exactly the same as Jesse but has this Bible-esque hair and beard. It's just not an attractive combination of choices.

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"So I'm auditioning for the local production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I think I have a shot this year."

Over dinner Jake the brother says he's not dating because girls are too expensive, to which Jillian very quickly responds, "Oh, I'M not. I am affordable AND tons of fun." Later the two brothers have a chat and Jake basically tells Jesse he's insane if he's thinking about getting married and having kids. Hear, hear. Jesse's mom tells Jillian all about Jesse's dating tendencies, causing me to wonder yet again what grown man discusses all of this with his mother. Aren't most mothers in the dark about their sons' emotions after the age of about 11? Of course, the producers couldn't resist the temptation to put Jillian alone in a room with yuppie hippie Jake, who asks her if she and Jesse have been naked together. Good grief. Jillian says that it doesn't get like that for a little while yet. Oh puh-lease! Also, Jesse's family has a musical act of its own and it's a rock band.

Yes, that's the mom.

Jillian says she'd love to live on this farm and siphon the wine... right down her throat. Jesse compares Jillian to a good wine. That's original. They make oat on the couch for a while... also original.

Now we're getting to the meat of the episode. Everything up to this has been prologue, but it's time for Jillian to head to Texas and find out just what is going on with WES. Of course, first things first, and right out of the car, Wes takes Jillian through a gate where his entire band is all set up, sound checked, and tuned, ready to play for America. Jillian squeals.

Wes band.jpg
"For me! All of this for me!"

Wes voiceovers that he has a CD coming out and he wants people to hear it and like it. Now, I don't like Wes any more than anybody does, but I do have to point out that they are slaughtering him in the editing room. Whenever he's talking about his band it's either a voiceover or incomplete sentences, meaning that he could be talking about anything and they could very well be doing a great deal of splicing behind the scenes. That said, Wes has played the retarded song he wrote for Jillian so many times for the camera that it's perfectly obvious to me he is there for exposure and to audition for anyone who happens to be watching. I just think the producers are doing their part to exaggerate the situation as much as possible because this show has long since overstayed its welcome. So the band kicks in and Jillian squeals and dances around by herself while they play. It's country music, so I need to fast forward, and then of course, Wes rolls right into the "Jillian song" about love not coming easy, but for the love of mercy they've cut him off after the first line again.

Meanwhile, an airplane lands in Texas and a pilot in full regalia comes marching through the jet way with a MISSION. It's Jake and he's back. He checks into a hotel and then calls Foot Fetish Tanner of all things. See, he's here to tell Jillian that Wes does, in fact, have a girlfriend and he's curious as to whether Foot Fetish thinks it's the right thing to do. I'm pretty sure he's just talking into a dead phone because we don't hear one word from Foot Fetish.

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"Tanner? Buddy?"

Back at the venue Jillian and Wes fret over what they've gotten themselves into. Jillian doesn't know what to do if Wes becomes a huge star and she has to be the girlfriend of said star. Wes doesn't know what to do because he's let himself get so deep into this and he's still not exactly sure of Jillian's feelings. Wes guarantees Jillian that he's here for her (and he's tired of saying that) and that he likes her a lot. BORING! Where's Jake?

A bit later Jillian is hanging out waiting for Wes to come pick her up to meet his family when there's a knock at the door. But it's not Wes! It's JAKE!!! Jillian is positive that Jake has come to beg her to reconsider, but alas, Jake tells her that he's not and then he beats around the bush for a minute, saying his body is numb, he really cares about Wes, he really cares about Jillian, he's a huge sissy, etc. However... "Wes has a girlfriend. Her name is Laurel." Jake goes on to say that Wes has confided in him and they've talked about Laurel on several occasions. Jillian starts crying then asks if Jake is sure about all this. Jake says he's sure and he is also sure that Wes will say that Laurel is an ex-girlfriend he's still friends with. Now Jillian is mad. She came here with good intentions, she's honest, she cares about people! How could this happen to her?! She's so much fun!

Jake takes his leave and Wes comes a-knocking. Jillian invites him in under the very believable guise of having a drink before heading out to meet his family. She asks Wes if there is anything he needs to tell her. Wes acts very insulted and put out that he has to keep answering this question. Jillian coughs it up, saying that Jake is here and he told her everything. Wes clears his throat and says it's crazy. All he told Jake is that Laurel is an ex-girlfriend he's still friends with. Hmm, sound familiar? Jillian's tactic becomes crying, feeling sorry for herself, not knowing what she's supposed to believe, boo hoo hoo. Wes' tactic becomes annoyance and denial. He offers to bow out if Jillian wants to believe this nonsense. Back and forth until Jillian proposes that they bring Jake in here to sort this out. Just then Jake comes bursting out of the closet screaming, "Liar! I had lunch with you and Laurel earlier today!" Ha! Don't I wish? Instead, Jillian calls Jake and asks him to come to her room.

As the two guys sit down on the couch Jillian grins and plays with her earring. Jake goes, "I hate that I'm down here, Wes," as if he's Wes's dad and has caught him out past curfew.

"You're grounded and no X-box."

Wes starts calling Jake names, getting more and more angry. Jake tells Wes repeatedly to look him in the eyes and say he never said he had a girlfriend. Wes has adopted the motto "Deny til you die," and neither guy will budge. Jake is disappointed. Wes is disappointed. Jillian is lots of fun. She puts an end to it and walks Jake out. Jake immediately proceeds to the balcony and sobs his eyes out. This was so hard! I had to betray my friend in order to save the woman I love! How will I ever recover from this horrible moment??? Am I as good a crier as Jason Mesnick? Am I? Can I be the next Bachelor? Please?

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"Those cameras still rolling?"

Back in the room, Wes says he doesn't want Jillian to come meet his parents if she believes this, because it's a big deal to him and he doesn't want to drag this out. See, I'd think he'd say something different if he were truly innocent, but of course it's enough for silly Jillian and she still wants to meet the fam. Wes clears his throat several more times and is like, "Okay." Oh bummer, Wes. Not off the hook so easily. He tells Jillian she's the total package, like she's beautiful, has wonderful eyes, and is really sexy. Right, that will get you through the tough times, Wes. Her wonderful eyes. Jillian is way too desperate to believe all of this, so she's ready to go meet the parents! She tells us that maybe meeting the family will help her decide if she believes Wes or not. Good thinking, Jillian.

So they arrive and meet Wes's mom, his stepmom and his three sisters. Hmm, it's all girls. Have we invited bestie Laurel as well? Wes shares with his family what just happened with Jake and his sisters are appalled. They say that this guy (Jake) must just be jealous of Wes because all guys have always been jealous of Wes and what he has going on. Okay, wait a second. These aren't 12-year-old girls we're talking about, is it? Yes, I'm sure that Jake the pilot from his family of doctors is extraordinarily jealous of WES, who is an unemployed aspiring musician. Nice try girls, but no. Somehow I don't think that guys all over the world are jealous of your loser brother.

Wes's mom sits Jillian down and assures her that Wes would have stepped aside already if he wasn't "feeling it" with Jillian. Jillian is very happy to believe it. She is positive after talking with all of these girls that Wes has no girlfriend and he is loyal and sincere. She's going to put the girlfriend stuff behind her and start all over with Wes. To the camera, Wes tells Jake to "get up off his high horse because Jillian likes me." I think you mean DOWN off your high horse, there Wes. But whatever, he and Jillian get to make oat on the patio, so it's all good.

Ah, we're back in Los Angeles and we are at the Regent Beverly Wilshire - the hotel from Pretty Woman. That's not a cliché or anything. Jillian is pouting in her room once again when there's a knock at the door. Oh boy, what now? It's Laurel! Jillian opens the door to a sound punch in the nose and a very angry looking young lady from Texas demanding to know just what this little Canadian whore thinks she's doing messing with other people's boyfriends! Jillian stumbles backward and puts a hand under her nose, which is now dripping blood. She looks up through teary eyes and squeaks, "Laurel?"

Okay, so that didn't happen. Heaven forbid anything THAT interesting ever went down on this show. But here is ABC's actual lame attempt at interesting: It's Ed. Wow, I'm so surprised I could just faint right now. Ed's back, everyone. Hooray. I guess we're supposed to believe that his boss stopped caring whether or not Ed shows up to work anymore.

"I got the pastels back out just for you, Jilly."

They sit down on the couch and since Ed is clearly just following the directions he's received from the producers, he's not really sure what to say and he says he's made a huge mistake, he needs to reprioritize, and he wants another shot. And he says all of this like he's memorized it - not one shred of emotion. What they would like us to believe is a joyous reunion is actually a very poorly acted awkward moment. Ed says he wants to be transparent about everything. Oh trust me, Ed. Transparent you are. Jillian says that she'll think about it, but she thinks Ed should come to the Rose Ceremony. Ed looks relieved that this scene is over and he quickly leaves.

So Jillian's major complaint to Chris Harrison tonight is that she has to make a decision a-boat Ed with-oat having met his family. Waaaaaaaaaaaah! Also, this is super hard because she felt like she fit in with every single family and every single beautifully built, furnished and decorated home. WHAT TO DO?

First, borrow Shane Lamas's dress from a couple seasons back.

Chris welcomes the guys back to LA and to tonight's Rose Ceremony. AND, there is a surprise guest at tonight's ceremony. Laurel? Nope, it's just Ed again. The other guys are understandably miffed. Here comes Jillian. She does her thank you lip service and then gets ready to hand out the roses. First, Neurotic Reid. Then Krypton, ED and gentlemen, Jillian, this is the final rose tonight. When you're ready. WES. Oh geez. That's enough.

Jesse says nothing to Jillian, but tells us that this sucks. Also, Wes is there for the wrong reasons. Michael tells Jillian it's okay and then tells us he has nothing bad to say about her. He goes, "I straight up loved that girl, didn't I?" Don't ask us, Michael. And don't worry too much. You've been in the Bachelorette Bubble and once you get back into the real world, you'll realize that this is no big loss.

With the remainders, Jillian announces that they are heading to Spain! Next week there is Spanish squealing and more of the Wes-girlfriend speculation, as if that hasn't been beaten into the ground yet. See you then!

Okay, so what do you think now? Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading!
-Honey Gangsta

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