Rainsong March 10, 2020 Share March 10, 2020 (edited) The Bachelor Finale Part 1 takes place in Australia but swapping the Northern Hemisphere for the Southern and the Western Hemisphere for the Eastern changes nothing. We’ve reverted to the very first episode in which Mama’s Boy cedes the floor to Mama herself, whereupon she emotes, quivers, chews scenery and generally makes a fool of herself any time she detects the presence of a camera. Beyond that it’s an episode of nothingness as vast as most of the outback. There are lots of downcast looks, confusion, tears of frustration and futility and awkward silences – mostly from the poor sods like us forced to slog through this nightmare apparently produced the same day the video editor switched to decaf. According to some cursory internet research, birds of prey ie raptors in Australia include the hobby, kite, kestrel, baza, and harrier. One particular species not native to their biosphere is the red-tailed hawk. Through the magic of audio editing back in a darkened suite in LA, we hear the red-tailed hawk’s distinctive scream echoing over the Australian desert. Reality TV eh? If we are somewhat a captive audience we have company in the form of a studio audience inexplicably dressed to the nines as they…watch video monitors and applaud wildly for what even the most optimistic Bachelor fanperson must admit has been an appalling damp squib of a season thanks mostly to the appalling damp squib of The Bachelor himself. At least we can visit the lavatory, the refrigerator and the wet bar at our own convenience – the last of these being the most useful in combating the ennui of watching Peter Bloody Weber sobbing into a couch cushion. Again. Peter arrives in Alice Springs, enters his suite and…stands at a railing. Is Fleiss reading these missives and punishing our lack of reverence by forcing us to double our budget for wine & beer? It’s the standard pensive profile shot (no pun intended) again. It’s interesting to note that deepest, darkest thoughts are never uttered during full-face on-camera interviews and instead are delivered via voiceover. Peter is reunited with the family – well, Mom anyway. The rest barely get a look-in. Soldiers returning home after V-E Day didn’t get this kind of wailing reception. Pilot Dad is in remarkably good spirits despite the failure of his Modern Beta Male web site and lifestyle brand and having to deal with Mom every day, all day. Brother Jack is there also and wearing, er, pink trousers. Ahem. If Peter’s scruffy beard seems odd-looking on his choirboy face (despite the angry-looking scar on the forehead) then Jack’s facial hair looks even more incongruent. It’s almost as if he’s been sneaking some doses of Dad’s low-T prescription. Peter relates the story of the first impression rose and the first one-on-one date. Dad displays the sort of insight once reserved for the likes of Watson & Crick by exclaiming ‘two firsts!’ Well, yes, Dad, someone has to be first in each scenario and it shouldn’t come as a great shock that it’s the females Peter is most attracted to. Dad’s got a big old cross hanging round his neck which is highly ironic given the family’s view of formalized religion (more on that later) but perhaps he’s not as goofy as he looks and it’s meant to ward off the energy vampire known as his missus. Speaking of Mom, she apparently uses a patio broom to apply the shadow. It’s less a smoky eye and more a smoke damage eye. ‘Should I go get Hannah Ann?’ queries Peter. ‘Yes yes!’ respond the family. The next shot is of…Peter pacing aimlessly with hands in pockets (?). Chris Harrison is at that in-between stage of combing the hair forward to conceal the receding front while spraying the bangs vertical to confirm that it has, in fact, been styled somewhat. Hannah arrives with flowers in lovely plain brown wrapping paper. Dad, already well-trained at being well-trained, has adopted Bachelor lingo and uses the term ‘journey.’ ‘I see you and me’ says Mom, injecting herself again into the proceedings. Hannah is dragged outside to listen to Mom string clichés together - – it’s the most dramatic™ test yet of Hannah’s permasmile. If she can handle this she can handle anything. ‘It’s important that you never to change him and he never to change you [sic]’ says Mom who immediately contradicts herself with ‘but grow each other and make each other better.’ One suspects that Mom has those tacky pieces of slate hung around the house with ‘Live Laugh Love’ and ‘Bless This Home & Family’ hand-painted on them. Hannah & Peter are on a bench for a postgame cuddle. ‘I do love you’ announces Hannah but, strangely, says it to his shoulder while he looks down. Unless, perhaps, she’s reading cue cards. You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes-level reader of body language to detect something amiss (or fake) here. And isn’t it well past time for Peter to drop the ‘Ann?’ How about plain old Hannah or even ‘Han’ ie a nickname born of familiarity and affection? After more unnecessary carny barker hype from Harrison, Madison arrives. These two lovebirds are as cheery as a pair of strangers in a dentist’s waiting room. The eyelashes are just too much. Distracting for their length and separation – they look like lines of longitude on a globe. ‘How you doin’?’ he asks. ‘Not good’ she half-sobs. ‘MOMMM!’ shouts Peter. OK, not really. But he wanted to. Madison is forced to hand the emotional thumbscrews over to the Weber family as they cross-examine her about her very reasonable and explicable desire to avoid premarital sex. Mom isn’t having it and sets out to mark her territory. Norman Bates, all is forgiven – even your mother wasn’t this controlling. ‘She’s not there for you,’ announces Mom. Peter nods dutifully. Oh God, here come the waterworks again. Mom’s made her choice – Hannah – and expects her boy to follow orders. But what’s this? Peter has located a spine. Well, at least a vertebra. ‘Come on, this is insane right now – don’t do this to me’ he objects. ‘I trust you…I trust you’ says Mom. Yes, we’ve seen this trust in spades, haven’t we? The camera cuts to a pair of multicolored spiky lizards. No, it isn’t Part II of The Women Tell All featuring Tammy & Mykenna, you bad thing, it’s some of the local fauna – the aptly named Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus – which is a great screen name by the way if you’re undecided on one) with its combination of camouflage and protective hide to deter predators. Is this a clever visual joke? If so, just who is the thorny devil's human analogue – besides Sydney, I mean? One of the lizards is rocking aimlessly back and forth and we can identify – some of us have adopted the self-soothing mannerisms of Rain Man while sitting on our couches watching this vacuous season. Madison & Pete take a helicopter tour over Uluru and Peter makes a groan-worthy analogy between the ancient sandstone formation and their love (?). If you’ve happened to see an episode of Kath & Kim (a playful but pointed satire of the Aussie middle class) then you know that insects, particularly black flies, are a constant pest on the continent, occurring in far greater numbers than almost anywhere in the States. Someone might have told the Yankee production team as they’ve chosen to film in the arid interior where food is already scarce for said insects. As a result, the Deep & Meaningful conversations are punctuated by Distracting & Frequent swatting of bugs by the hapless principals. Madison suggests it may be time to surrender – but what does that mean? More downcast eyes and knitting of brows follow along with sad-sounding piano with lots of reverb. This is either the most disastrous one-half of a Final 2 (all together now) in Bachelor history or we are being set up for a rather obvious happy-ever-after even if Harrison claims it’s all still undecided in the present day. Harrison has arrived on scene and is trying out a bit of beard stubble himself. By now his MO should be familiar to all. He pretends to listen but is really there to toss out one or two open-ended questions to get The Bachelor to make statements pregnant with meaning and thus provide fodder for promos and trailers. It’s then Hannah’s day in the sun and as more than one wag on Twitter noted, it may have been worth watching this year just to see five minutes of joey kangaroos casually hopping into the shelter building. A champagne picnic follows and then, inevitably, more of Peter moaning with constant references to ‘being happy at the end’ as if the emotional payoff will be as easy and automatic as flipping a light switch. The previews of the finale of the finale, as it were, reveal more histrionics from Mom which is a great temptation to record the upcoming episode and essentially inflict a spoiler on oneself. In the meantime, visit your local purveyor of beverages and stock up because we are sure to get multiple railing shots. Edited March 10, 2020 by Rainsong 1 6 12 Link to comment
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