Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What I'm Watching Wednesday

Even though my beloved Dallas Stars haven't been on the ice in weeks, I guess I'll watch some of game 7 tonight.  Maybe I'll take a long bubble bath instead.  IDK.  I'd like to see St. Louis win.  Because.  Ew.  Boston.  And O'Reilly's got a good beard.

Time to talk about The Bachelorette!  Last week’s episode ended with a confrontation between the Lukes (Luke P and the other Luke whose last initial I've already forgotten).  Last night's episode opened with the group at a cocktail party still in Rhode Island.  Luke P is surrounded by his haters and he either doesn't realize how much the guys dislike him or he really doesn't give a rat's ass.  He has clearly adopted the classic "I'm not here to make friends" attitude.  Other Luke was outfoxed by his dim-witted namesis.  He quickly realized there could only be one Luke and decided to go home and work on his tequila company.  He pulled Hannah aside before she could start handing out boutonniere's, used the manners his mama taught him, said thank you for having me and just walked away.  Awkward.  And then that damn Chris Harrison sneaked into the room and snagged one of the roses off the table.  Wait.  What????  Why not just go with the flow and give that rose to another guy? 

Ultimately, Hannah eliminated a couple of guys I had never seen before (seriously, I think they were just seat fillers like they have at awards shows) and JPJ.  John Paul Jones, the show’s most irreverent, confusing contestant, meme-generator and best floppy hair award winner.  This is the man who taught himself how to ride a unicycle in a half-hour, the man who happily ate chicken nuggets as drama unfolded around him and screamed like a girl when he was hooked up to the labor simulator.  Why wasn't there a #SaveJPJ movement last night?  The producers had already booked flights and hotel rooms in Scotland and could’ve brought him along.  There was no #Justice4JPJ and KJ was devastated.  She said she's going to slide into JPJ's DM's and say something witty like, "meet your future wife."  Ha!  Ha!  Ha! 

But here’s the part that makes me the most mad:  Other Luke, you could have had a free trip to Scotland! Obviously, Other Luke thought he was going to get eliminated and wanted to save himself the humiliation. But for some reason known only to Other Luke himself, he couldn't just let it ride and ended up losing out on an all expenses paid trip to Scotland!  A week of free food and free drinks totally wasted.  A free trip to Scotland! They have castles and scotch and great accents and scotch and beautiful scenery and scotch!

Hannah’s first date of the week was with Mike. Nothing particularly special happened—they just walked around Scotland, exploring little stores and tasting scotch and visiting a pub. Have I mentioned Mike has an amazing smile? 

One of their first stops was at a bookstore where Hannah picked up two distinct items that she was not quite sure how to interact with. It was like Alien Hannah was dropped onto Earth in the middle of Inverness Scotland and she wandered aimlessly into a book store. 

First, she picked up a book and smelled it. This kind of makes sense—old books can have deep, rich, musty smells. Maybe she’s into that. I mean, I totally am.  But usually you inspect books by looking at them.  You know, judging their covers.  And she made a stupid comment about the smell of fresh books.  Girl, those were not fresh books. 

Next, she picked up an egg and held it to her ear. Like a seashell.  Did anyone else think it was weird that a bookstore had a bunch of eggs in a basket?  Anyone?  I don't know what the hell she was thinking.  Maybe she was nervous on her date with Mike?  I go back and forth with this girl.  Some times I think she's adorable and spunky and other times I think she's a flaming idiot.  Last week she couldn't complete a coherent thought regarding the Boston Tea Party, but this week she's an expert on Mary Queen of Scots and the tumultuous relationship between England and Scotland?  I don't think so. 

This week’s group date tried to go for a Scottish vibe by staging a cheesy edition of the Highland Games which showed off their athletic prowess (think "Hot Men in Kilts" kind of calendar shoot). The contestants took part in axe throwing, a yoke race where the men carried two full buckets of milk and wrestling.  The inaccuracies of these "Games" killed me.  The Highland Games are a real thing and axe throwing nor milk racing are legitimate events. The big event at the Highland Games is the caber toss, where you throw a big log. There are also a lot of other events that involve tossing heavy stuff and a tug-of-war (which could’ve made sense as a Bachelorette activity). But axe tossing? That’s the new preferred unsafe activity of drunk hipsters across the nation. They could’ve done that in America (like I did a couple of weeks ago @ Corky's!).  Meanwhile, last week’s episode in Rhode Island featured rugby (which BTW, is not the official sport of Rhode Island).  The guys should’ve gone axe-throwing in Rhode Island and played rugby in Scotland. Or at the very least, they could’ve tried throwing a big-ass log while wearing their kilts.  And what was with the guy who spilled milk all over himself? 

Hannah gives the only Luke left a one-on-one date. Hannah wants him to be "the one" so badly (it's not her heart talking, it's her libido) but he's such an ass.  Hannah has said that her relationship with Luke is stronger than her relationship with anybody else. Unfortunately, Luke has handled every interaction with every other person so poorly that just five episodes in, he’s in serious jeopardy of getting kicked off the show.  When he gets the boot, it's going to be spectacular.  It's going to be a dumpster fire and I'm here for it.  Their date went so badly, Hannah decided she couldn’t bring herself to give him a rose. 

On the date, she explained that while his "all-for-Hannah strategy" might seem like the politically correct thing to do or say, she’s actually getting rather disturbed by the fact that nobody likes him. She’s looking for someone who’s friendly, someone whom “people are drawn to,” someone where “what’s inside is appealing.” In response, Luke dug deep and busted out his worst line yet: “Everyone I’ve ever met, every place, every school I’ve ever been, everyone loves me.” Hannah groaned. Luke kept going. “I hate saying it, but it’s the truth. I hate talking about myself!”

The sad thing is, Luke is probably right.  I'll bet most people (most women with a pulse and probably a lot of men) initially love him. He’s extremely handsome and athletic. Not surprisingly, people want to be friends with hot athletic people. Luke seems to have adopted a strategy of saying whatever it is he thinks the person he’s talking to wants to hear.  He's smooth.  He knows he's good looking so sure, it’s very possible that the focus groups he’s conducted on himself have come back with positive results. When Hannah says, “I want a guy who’s friends with people and hasn’t alienated everybody,” he thinks the right thing to tell her is “I’m actually extremely cool and popular everywhere I go.” It was clear Hannah was telling him that the toxic atmosphere in the house raised questions about his character. But in his mind, he heard “She wants a popular guy, sweet! I should tell her how cool I am!”

About 15 times during their interaction, Hannah tried to tell Luke that he was blowing it by talking to her in Bachelorette-speak—broad, diplomatic, meaningless tropes about how he’s “fighting for her” and how he “won’t give up on her” and stuff like that. She asked him to plainly speak to her like a person, about the things he likes, the things he dislikes, and how he’s feeling. It’s a pretty great moment of television: Hannah (who no speaks the words too good) tells Luke that she wants to have an actual connection and not an empty relationship filled with lines that sound good on reality TV.  Luke is simply incapable of doing it. He just doesn't get it.  He's a people pleaser.  It’s why he told Hannah he loved her from the get go.  It’s why every guy in the house thinks he’s a liar.  He tells the guys what they want to hear but then tells Hannah what she wants to hear.  Poor Luke isn’t even smart enough to even realize what “the right thing to say” is. What a tragedy. Hannah was taken by Luke’s extremely attractive outside, but eventually realized there was nothing inside. He's just an empty, good looking shell.  No substance. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Luke vs. Luke

I have never seen a room full of grown men get so excited about going to Rhode Island!  Don't get me wrong, Rhode Island is beautiful.  It's definitely ahead of Delaware on my "must visit before I die" list.  Just kidding.  I've actually been to both states.  Why not just take the guys to Boston?  Jed and Hannah Bananna's date was there, why not just stay in Boston??

The meat of Monday night’s episode was the Battle of the Lukes.  It was basically an hourlong showdown between Luke P and Luke S.  Raise your hand if you have to stop and think about who's who when they start throwing all these initials around???  Not so long ago, Hannah was Hannah B, not to be confused with her season’s runner-up, Hannah G.  I think it's easier to have nicknames (i.e., Mike the Man, ABC, JPJ, etc).  So for giggles, when talkin about Luke P (the recipient of the first-impression rose, the guy who talks to Jesus in the shower and is too egotistical to avoid blowing a massive lead as this season’s front-runner), I will call him Hot Luke (I also like to call him Jake Gyllenhaal Light).  When we talk about Luke S (the mild-mannered, tequila swilling, political consultant from Washington, D.C.), I will be referring to him as Tequila Luke.

The Lucas fracas began during a game of rugby.  The 15 remaining guys all seem to be athletic and let's face it, who doesn't like watching manly men getting dirty while trying to impress a woman.  The location (an abandoned fort) was beautiful. Things escalated quickly and Hot Luke started showing off and took the game to a whole 'nother level.  He took out Tequila Luke and Tequila Luke confronted him about it.  Hot Luke responded by body slamming Tequila Luke.  At that point everybody decided it was best to end the game.  And this is why we can't have nice things. 

The general consensus is that Hot Luke overstepped his bounds. Everybody was playing a physical game but body-slamming is not a part of rugby. Instead of admitting he was wrong, Hot Luke cast the blame on Tequila Luke -- Tequila Luke was sprinting toward him with clenched fists, Hot Luke protested and he was just acting in self-defense.  Everybody called BS since Hot Luke is twice Tequila Luke’s size. But Hot Luke doubled down on his defense. Not only did he continue telling the guys he believed his actions were right, he told Hannah that Tequila Luke was "there for the wrong reasons."  Hot Luke explained that he genuinely feels passion for Hannah and talks about her all the time while Tequila Luke never talks about her and spends most of his time talking up his tequila brand.

This put Tequila Luke in an awkward situation. First of all, Hot Luke was slandering him and winning. Second of all, Tequila Luke probably would like to talk about his tequila, but if he talks about his tequila now, he’ll look like he actually is on the show to self-promote.  

As the rugby matched spilled into a cocktail party, Tequila Luke confronted Hot Luke and in a dramatic 10 year old girl kind of way, he said he never wants to see Hot Luke again.  Hot Luke did the annoying thing some people do in confrontations where instead of admitting they’re wrong, they just say, “I’m sorry you feel that way, because I love you and respect you and would love to be your best friend forever,” which would be a nice sentiment if it weren’t for Hot Luke lying about Tequila Luke behind his back. The episode ended with a cliffhanger, as Hannah called both Lukes into the principal’s office to explain themselves.

I'm guessing Tequila Luke will not be with us much longer.  He doesn't have much of a personality, he doesn't really have a "connection" with Hannah and let's be honest here.  She's got the hots for Hot Luke.  Hot Luke is an ass -- he’s physically aggressive, refuses to acknowledge he was wrong and openly blasphemes another guy to win the fight. But none of that really matters, because The Bachelorette is not a morality contest. Hannah likes Hot Luke more (she actually admitted that she has stronger feelings for him than any other guy) and that is how winners of arguments are declared on this show.

Having said that, Luke’s charm is wearing thin quickly. Luke was clearly an early favorite.  All he had to do was sit back and look pretty.  But no.  He had to go all Alpha male and piss everybody off.  Especially Hannah.  She wants him to get his act together and be a good guy.  But he refuses to let any situation pass in which anybody looks better than him and doesn’t realize how petty, controlling, and insecure this makes him look.
In the wake of the eventual downfall of Hot Luke, it's time to acknowledge one of my current favorites:  Tyler C (he should actually be just plain ol' Tyler since Tyler G is already off the show).  Hannah is feeling bummed out after the Luke scenario (she's a very emotional chick) and Tyler C has the next one-on-one date. They do some lobster pot thing and have some quality time together.  Tyler seems like a good guy. I like him a lot.  Early in the season Hannah told him she likes the way he look at her and I totally agreed.  He is laser-beam focused on her, has incredible eye contact and it's very, very sexy.  He doesn't seem to be sucking up or fawning all over her. I think he's kinda low key slid into her top 5.  Tyler is described as a “general contractor” hiding the fact that he got a camp invite from the Baltimore Ravens in 2017 (The Bachelorette website claims he was “drafted” by the Ravens, which is false).  Tyler played quarterback at Wake Forest for two years and transferred to FAU where he played tight end. The more tangential your NFL career, the better your hopes are on this show (Colton Underwood: played in a few preseason games, got to be the Bachelor; Jordan Rodgers: didn’t even get in any preseason games, wins The Bachelorette; Clay Harbor: actual NFL player, eliminated in Week 3).  Tyler’s the man to beat now.

Last week was the stupid Secret Life of Pets promo tie-in, this week it was Halo Top ice cream.  Nearly every episode features luxurious shots of hotels and a contestant being like, “This is the best hotel ever!” primarily because said hotel has agreed to let ABC film in their location for free.
However, product placement starts having diminishing returns if it’s forced (like last week's stupid photo shoot). And that is exactly what happened on Jed and Hannah's date in Boston. 

The two went to Quincy Market and the bar where everybody knows your name.  After that, the two walked to Boston Common, where Hannah had a bright idea: Let’s go eat ice cream in the park!  It looked a little chilly to be eating ice cream but whatever.  I like ice cream.  I'm sure Boston has a lot of good ice cream spots. Except Hannah and Jed did not go to a local ice cream spot. As they walked into the park, they were greeted by a whimsically dressed ice cream man standing in front of a Halo Top–branded freezer. He reached into his freezer and handed them pints of Halo Top. He did not scoop the Halo Top into a cone for them, as you would expect a street ice cream salesman to do. He just gave them the damn pints, like you can pick up from your grocer's freezer.  He didn't even ask them what flavors they'd like! 
Here's where the marketing or promotional department at ABC (not the former contestant) or the folks at the Boston CVB dropped the ball.  After a beautiful March afternoon of chilly temps and ice-cream, Jed and Hannah headed to the Boston Celtics’ practice facility (at first I thought they were just at some high school gym) where two players met them (IDK.  I don't watch the NBA). They were given jerseys with their names on them. We then went straight from the worst product placement to the greatest brand avoidance ever.  They even went so far as to cover up the shoulder logos on the Celtics’ jersey.  

The date was fun. Jed seems like a nice guy.  Low key, not super sexy (I actually think his head is shaped a bit wonky but hey.  That's just me).  I thought it was pretty funny when Hannah was making up fun facts about Boston which somewhat downplayed her lack of knowledge of the Boston Tea Party. 

Jed and Hannah hit some baskets and one of the Celtic's gave Hannah some sage advice "pick somebody who’s there for the rough times and the good times … somebody who’s going to accept you for your flaws and your beauty."  Deep thoughts right there.  But let's be real here.  Let's ask the Kardashian's how many pro basketball players are in monogamous committed relationships?  And how did one just give the most philosophical advice on picking a life partner in the history of the show?  

And BTW, where the heck was JPJ this week?  JPJ doesn’t get a lot of screentime, which is tragic.  I like just saying his name and his fancy hair. 


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"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -- Dr. Seuss

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." -- Sophia Loren

"There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." -- Sylvia Plath

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde

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