Popular Post Rainsong January 21, 2020 Popular Post Share January 21, 2020 (edited) The term ‘ironic distance’ was first encountered in Roger Ebert’s review of the surreal but stem-to-stern hilarious Raising Arizona. At the risk of explaining the self-explanatory it meant ‘These people have lost their everlovin’ minds and I’m thankful I’m not one of them.’ It also might be a synonym for Wrong Reasons Viewing but, to be fair, it’s getting very difficult to find Right Reasons when the producers themselves have dispensed with such idealism. Somewhere a video editor is congratulating himself/herself with the unifying water imagery introduction. A fountain, then rain, then tears. Somewhere a video editor is hoping we don’t notice that it was nice and sunny in the establishing shot of the house but that rain has begun falling in under two seconds. The Champagne Wars persist, demonstrating that a robotic I Hereby Acknowledge Your Feelings is not enough to prevent the inevitable crying jags. Hannah Ann (do we still need the Ann?) is anguished at being perceived as a champagne stealer. Quite right too. Kelsey pushes her glasses up to wipe the tears off what’s left of her nose. Victoria F speaks to Natasha F about The Drama™. We’re awarding Nat a special F designation because she is unable to communicate without the use of a particular expletive. Victoria P is going on a date. She is a Harrison/Fleiss dream candidate: damaged, desperate, demonstrative and dim. She will be a litmus test for Pete who will demonstrate if he’s looking for a partner or a stray dog/injured bird type. Vic is talking about the ‘relationship’ that does not yet exist which makes her either psychic or psycho depending on the outcome. The Ma & Pa Kettle Pickup is back as transportation. It’s a very red, very obvious signal that the date will be country themed. To hammer the point home, Pete is in a buffalo check flannel. Vapid Vic isn’t fussed. She has her stock speech about ‘spending time’ and won’t be distracted by anything that actually happens during that time. Vic’s torn jeans look like…torn jeans as in torn, not torrid, and she appears to have stolen frumpy shoes from the doorstep of some unfortunate pensioner widow in The Villages. The penny finally drops for Vic who, upon entering a Western store, insightfully declares it will be ‘cowboy & cowgirl today.’ Well spotted that girl. You aren’t going scuba diving. In a store lined floor-to-ceiling with a fantastic variety of boots including rose-themed boots and exotic skins like caiman and ostrich, they’ve opted for the most boring two pair in the place. Call it symbolism. With the proper topper Vic could have looked like sexy singleton Pam in Urban Cowboy but instead chooses a red hat and looks like 5 year old Drew Barrymore in ET. Surprise! They enter a club in the middle of the day where Surprise! a country band is playing and Surprise! an audience has gathered who Surprise! enjoy line dancing but Surprise! Vic admits she’s already forgotten the steps. As a musician I must spare a thought for the band and the players who, despite being integral to the date and the setup, are onscreen for less than 11 seconds even with all camera shots combined. Like, literally. No, like literally literally. That isn’t editing. It’s calculated cruelty. We need a union. Well, we have one. We need a better union then. Back along the Maginot Line, Kelsey denounces bullying by bullying Hannah who responds by coining a new word: ‘finasco.’ It might just catch on. Kelsey is the worst sort of debater – the kind who splutters ‘Are we making this about me?’ when she’s made it about her from the start. On a show that regularly employs barns and sheds as settings for dinner encounters the Western date theme has been inexplicably jettisoned for an aircraft hangar. We get it. Pete’s a pilot. And now Vic will manipulate him like the rudder of one of his planes as she delivers the tragic backstory. Pete’s found his Rescue Bachelorette and files his adoption papers along with a rose. He may even stop at a 7-Eleven and buy one of those paw print stickers for the truck. They climb into a single-engine plane where a camera has been conveniently mounted on the dash. Who has the heart to tell them the mile high club can’t be joined when on the ground? Alayah has read my mind as she references same. She’s letting her hair down a bit and earning merit for honesty but demerits from Sourpuss Sydney who already has a bad case of epicondylitis from wagging her finger. Demi And Her [Oh you probably know what very descriptive if slightly derogatory slang term I want to type here but they would probably kick me off the PC planet and ban my IP if I did] arrive with pillows and bullhorn to scream and spread some feathers around. The group date makes the heretofore unknown underground pillow fighting scene. It’s an apt metaphor for the tenuous Bachelorette bonds because apparent softness quickly gives way to some red-in-tooth-and-claw viciousness from the laydeez. They’re not even above a wrestling takedown or two. On a serious note, Fred Willard has had a brilliant career as a face you recognize but aren’t quite sure where you’ve seen him before. Columnist Bill Simmons called the character actor phenomenon That Guy. There have been two documentaries about That Guy called, fittingly, That Guy…Who Was In That Thing (pts 1 & 2). From Spinal Tap to Best In Show, Willard has been a master of satire because he plays his self-important but clueless parts straight in the context of a comedy or farce. His deadpan characters are the oblivious butt of the joke. It is with this appreciation for his work that it’s sad to see him in his dotage and with a rather obvious case of Parkinsonism. We are genuinely surprised that no blood has been shed during the melee. Alayah emerges victorious and Sourpuss Sydney orders the phasers set to vaporize as she awaits a chance to eliminate her rival. You will recall that Sydney is from Birmingham but made it clear that she wasn’t like – and didn’t like - the University of Alabama Delta Gamma alumnae who provide the dazzling scenery at the Superior Grill. That rasping sound you hear is coming from the also-rans on the date as they grit their collective teeth. Sourpuss explains that ‘Alayah puts on the pretty little princess façade and flaunts herself in front of the cameras in an absolute orchestrated show.’ This is akin to complaining that someone who’s jumped in a pool is using their legs and arms to stay afloat. It’s in the job description, sugarbumps. There is no doubt that Alayah has moves. Mostly of her head and shoulders. This juror finds her innocent of all charges. She is pageanting (possible new verb) like mad during the interview segment of the competition. Hannah Ann looks like a piker now. Kelley displays an admirable bit of maturity and genuine interest in Alayah’s encounter. Sydney is red-faced and it ain’t from the gas fire or the booze. Syd decides the direct approach is best and demands to know Alayah’s employment status. Alayah either fails to detect the insult or is killing Sydney with kindness by actually addressing her question. Frustrated that her needles are missing the target, Sydney aims at the solar plexus and denounces Alayah’s personality to her. Charming. The Birmingham Bitch demands authenticity but what authenticity have we seen from her apart from the obvious and off-putting? Credit to Kelley who, as a lawyer albeit one who possibly shares an office with Daddy, has seen something of the world and is able to ignore the ongoing catfight. Their previous encounter is definitely a huge springboard and an advantage. A jarring jumpcut to Like Literally Tammy whose first words are – wait for it – ‘like, literally.’ ‘This is working’ declares Pete. Well, yes, if your objective was to have a snog with every female then it’s working a treat. Sydney takes Pete to a very dark place. Also, the lights in the room are low. ‘Am I someone you would want to be with?’ she asks. A viewing nation responds by screaming ‘HELL NO!’ at their flat panels. Caesar assembles the Senate around the fire. Sydnus Brutus wields the freshly-honed blade with its new inscription: Death to Alayah. Al may not be everyone’s cuppa but Syd’s behavior is now in the realm of the obsessive. Peter, to his discredit, is ‘confused’ because he accepts one side of a story as fact. The Bachelor franchise’s own Wrong Way Corrigan caps off a disastrous night (for him) by giving Sydney a rose. For someone claiming to be seeking a wife he doesn’t seem to understand that marriage to Sydney would involve lamps flying across the room, a tracker app on his phone and sleeping with one eye open in case she douses him with gasoline and threatens to light a match – all because he forgot to take out the trash. The mama’s boy wants his mama because he lacks the emotional intelligence to detect lies and truth. He decides the best way to launch a party is to whine and moan some more. Even worse, he’s apologizing to…Sydney?!? Hey girls, some of the Seven Deadly Sins can be fun in the right context: lust, gluttony, pride. In fact, they’re part and parcel of many dates. Wrath and envy, however, are never a good time. The Carousel of Jealousy is the worst ride at Disneyland but Pete is dashing across the park to get his FastPass. Alayah, undaunted, confronts her tormentor and charms her suitor as well. This isn’t good enough for the suitor who asks Victoria P to dish the dirt. Both are shocked – SHOCKED! – that a participant might seek fame after filming. This is all getting absurd now. Vacuous Vic is unable to discern the very large difference between telling a premeditated falsehood and keeping a confidence. But hey, when you’re an emotionally needy basket case sacrifices will have to be made. Pete walks out on his own party. Cue floods of tears. Well done ladies! The boo-boo-faced Bachelor arrives for his rose ceremony still grumpy. Er, Pete didn't you say it was working? Kiarra is worried about being in the background but the way the heads are rolling around this guillotine she’s better off remaining anonymous for now. Victoria F still has her rose from what seems like a year ago. Alayah finally yields to the dozen or so blades plunged into her back. Victoria P is now in full stalker mode and declares she will put Pete first. And by Pete she means herself. But wait – what’s this? We will break the official or unofficial episode discussion rules by noting, quite obviously, that Alayah is not done. Huzzah! If Pete is going to burn his Jet A on aimless drama then we’re happy to watch. Well, not happy but content. Well, not content but we’ll watch anyway. Probably. If you ask nicely and don't play up to the cameras because we are are trying to be our true selves. Edited January 22, 2020 by Rainsong 5 23 Link to comment
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