Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ben & Jordan Watch Bachelor Pad: Episode 2

The bonds of brotherhood between Ben Morse and Jordan Geary were forged during their time as students at Connecticut College, where they spent four years losing at intramural sports (except softball in 2004!), forming their own fraternity because the school wouldn’t let them, making student films one professor called “unfortunate” and regularly beating their friend Dan Hartnett in Goldeneye.

Today, they live 20 minutes apart in New Jersey with their respective lovely wives, sharing passions for miniature golf, diner cuisine and the music of Motley Crue. They also both watched and blogged about Games of Thrones this past season to the thrill of perhaps a dozen.

For years Jordan has been trying to sell Ben, who has never watched an episode of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, to watch Bachelor Pad. Despite their youthful enjoyment of reality romance classics like Temptation Island and Paradise Hotel, Ben was skeptical, but decided to go for it.

Bear wit to their wit, wisdom and frequent allusions to Mark L. Wahlberg as they try and bring some much needed dignity to these people’s search for love/money/fame/a place to crash for a few weeks.

Bachelor Pad Episode 2: "All’s Well That Eds Well”

Jordan: After a good first episode, I am eager to jump back in to the mayhem. SO eager that I am currently writing this a week plus after this episode aired.

Ben: Yes, I watched the episode four days after it aired and am writing this five days after that. I am enjoying this show thus far, but must admit I was taken aback to learn it was two hours EVERY week and not just the premiere, though both my wife and parents have since informed me this is standard practice for the trashy reality shows of today, at least on network TV. It’s not the days I remember, where we’d walk a mile in the snow to watch Puck get kicked out of the Real World house in a half hour installment.

So yeah, I dig it, but it’s long.

Jordan: I get that a lot.

Ben: Well-played.

Also, I should note that this week’s episode is brought to you by the word “literally,” which was literally used nearly a dozen times. And never correctly.

Jordan: We begin this episode with the trash twins fighting post-rose ceremony. They are both drunk out of their gourds right from the get go, which is quite an accomplishment as they seem to have only had one half-full glass of champagne during the rose ceremony. I would say this was a random occurrence, but something in the sentence “We are the two twins that previously made fools of ourselves on Jersey Shore" brought me back to reality.

Ben: The twins evoke that Elton John song “Candle in the Wind,” shining so brightly but destined to burn out quickly.

I’d like to apologize to Sir Elton John, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana and the entire United Kingdom for that last sentence.

Jordan: After a brief intro by Chris Harrison, who is doing his best to grin through the sad, sad fact that hosting this television show will ultimately be chiseled on his tombstone as his “life’s work,” we are on to the big competition!

Ben: Always nice of Lord Harrison to ascend from the underworld on his chariot of broken souls to preside over the events unfolding before us.

Competition: Rhythm Gymnastics Dance Thing

Jordan: Ed creepily licks his lips as he watches 15 year olds do a display of dance, which can only mean one thing: The houseguests are going to do rhythmic gymnastics! Wowie! Oh this surely will be a treat!

Ben: One of the many things I love about you is that once you saw 15-year-olds dancing, “rhythmic gymnastics” wasn’t just a possible conclusion you reached, but the only one. Never change you magnificent bastard.

Jordan: Chris Harrison explains the stakes for this competition, which include the ridiculous “the loser will get one vote against them in tonight’s rose ceremony,” a ceremony where the person voted out usually receives around 10 votes. Ed licked his lips again as I wrote this. He loves gymnasts.

Ben: Don’t neglect to mention that there are three judges in the form of two former Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants I’ve never heard of and some girl who won an actual gymnastics medal in the Olympics and has obviously reached the sad point in her life where she has realized there is no such thing as gymnastics after the Olympics.

I was actually kind of surprised and dismayed we didn’t get any of the contestants dishing dirt on sordid histories with either of the alums as that would seem standard practice. Surely one of the guys at least got kicked off that chick’s season and hates her, right?

Jordan: Wait a second…isn’t Michael a dancer? Didn’t I hear that last Bachelor Pad? THE FIX IS IN! As I write this Michael proceeds to do perhaps the most irritating thing I can imagine: heckling Ried and Ed as they practice dance for not looking graceful enough. Let that last sentence kick sink in for a second and you will realize that the screwed up world of Bachelor Pad is perhaps the only place a loser like Michael can be king.

Ben: Meanwhile, in related news, MICHAEL IS MY FAVORITE ON THE SHOW. He is the perfect mix for me of decent guy looking for love and snarky douchebag who makes fun of everybody for sucking. And he’s a proven winner! He’s also my wife’s favorite, which I approve of because he is short and has the same hair color as me.

I’m actually thrilled that you hate the guy I like because it gives the show even higher stakes! Hurrah!

Jordan: We then show the girls practicing, who appear to the untrained eye to have mental handicaps with how poorly they are twirling their “ribbon attached to a stick” device. To a SKILLED Bachelor Pad eye, however, it is obvious these ladies realize their only hope of any camera time whatsoever is to act like a complete idiot in every chance they get…and now they have a PROP to use to do it! I wouldn’t be surprised if a producer said right before the camera rolled, “Just remember, if you don’t act stupid you’ll get no camera time and we will figure out some contrived way to get everyone to vote you off…and ACTION!”

Ben: That is a brilliant observation I totally didn’t think of. I am honored to have you as my Bachelor Pad guru.

Jordan: The women compete and it is unsurprisingly ugly and giggly as they all just mug for the camera.

Ben: The cutaways kept saying how good Blakeley was, but she looked just as lost as everybody else out there to me. The only one who seemed to have any coordination was Donna in an exotic dancer sorta way.

Jordan: The guys compete and it is a typically ultra-serious as these guys take every competition WAY too seriously. It is stupid. I hate dancing.

Ben: I didn’t see it that way. The guys seemed to have fun with it, but in a “We’re going to embrace this and put together a coordinated routine that will still look absurd because we’re wearing these things” kind of way. The way they kept shouting dumb stuff out and overly acting things out with body languages reminded me of…well, what I would do in this situation. As a former boy band member, I approve.

The Verdict

Jordan: Voted the worst? Erica Rose and Ed…The two most robotic, brain dead, train wreck people in the cast. The world reacts with a yawn.

Ben: Yeah, this one wasn’t even close.

Jordan: The winners? Blakely and Michael. The two dancers. The world reacts by smashing its head against a wall. This competition STOLE 10 minutes of my life. I could have been saving orphans from wells or donating money during the time I was watching this. The orphans are the real losers here.

Ben: Amazingly I find the orphans thing not to be the most megalomaniacal thing in your rant here, but rather that you purport to speak for “the world.” Bold.

Worth noting is that super fan MMA David was nipping at Michael’s heels and almost won. As I said last week, as long as the challenges remain remotely physical, this guy is gonna be a fucking cockroach to get rid of. As he showed later too, despite being a colossal moron last week, he’s not completely stupid either; dangerous.

Guy Winner’s Date

Jordan: Big boobed Donna reveals she has a huge crush on Michael, an admission that can ONLY end badly on a show like this. As we all know, Michael is only capable of finding love, losing it, and then weeping sadly to himself and staring off at mountains as cameras film him. I am already eagerly awaiting this because I feel strongly that no one who enjoys staring at mountains that much deserves love.

Ben: Only in America (and probably England) can the producers of Bachelor Pad clearly try to create a serial killer by dropping the obviously mentally unstable Donna into the situation she is in. This woman has openly expressed the type of interest in Michael that would lead most people to take out a restraining order, so I was thrilled to see him take her on the date instead of Erica Rose.

Jordan: In addition to McBoobs, Michaels takes on his date pretty-under-all-that-makeup Lindzi and grizzled-voice-of-Nick-Nolte Rachel. A crappy band that would make Nickelback wince performs, while Donna does her best serial killer impression by revealing that dancing with Michael on a date is the fulfillment of every dream she has ever had. I would personally like a life of happiness, with many healthy years for my loved ones…but hey, that’s just my dream.

Ben: First, I don’t think Lindzi spoke a single time during this entire segment or had any interaction with Michael. Second, Nickelback never winces, they scowl, like men. Third, hey, cool, we both picked up on the serial killer thing! (CKT BEHIND THE SCENES SPECIAL: Jordan writes his thoughts down and then I respond to them, so normally I don’t know something like his serial killer comment is coming and just make it look like he copied me)

Jordan: On cue, dream-crusher Michael decides to makes out with gravel-throated Rachel. Her mouth HAS to taste like the bottom of an ashtray.

Ben: That make out session seriously came out of nowhere. I wonder if when dates get boring the producers just shove warm bodies together and inject them with endorphins or something. Science!

Jordan: We then thankfully get a break from this crap date to focus on what has become my favorite thing on the show: The Jamie-Blakeley war. It’s nonstop flash cuts between Jamie laughing in slow motion while Blakeley stares wide eyed at her with clenched fists. Just writing about it is making me giddy. Them fighting over Chris, who looks like the uglier twin brother of Gerard Butler, makes it even more funny.

Ben: Whereas Kalon is the coolest villain of Bachelor Pad thus far, Chris is the worst, and in saying that I kind of mean he’s the best…wait. Basically, I’m rooting for Kalon to do well and for Chris to fail miserably. Kalon is intelligent and unabashed about being a bad guy, whereas Chris seems to be a clumsy oaf with way too much self-confidence and permanent stoner face. Kalon is eloquently devious about his machinations while Chris has drool running down his face as he stumbles from one lucky break to the next.

I did not realize until now just how much I hope Kalon crushes Chris at some point this season.

Jordan: Back to the guy’s date, Donna shows Michael a drawing she did of him which is so absurdly bad that I burst out laughing. I pause my television and just stare at it. It makes me love life even more than I already do, it is so bad. Michael rewards her the only way he knows how: making out with her. Though Donna gushes about how great this is, you KNOW she is secretly wondering why his lips tasted like the bottom of an ashtray.

Ben: And if you had any lingering doubts that Donna was a raging psychotic, that demented fun house mirror drawing of Michael should have erased them.

Why I love Michael part two: When he’s talking to the camera, he mentions he knows what a big crush Donna has on him and feels like he should make out with her as a way of saying thanks for being a fan, essentially. To reiterate: he’s a nice guy because he genuinely appreciates this girl’s fandom, he’s a douche because he views getting to make out with him as a tremendous prize, and in the process of this he states a case that by hooking up with multiple girls in one night he is doing good deeds. All this AND he does a “S’up” gesture with his face WHILE making out with Donna.


Jordan: After the make out session with Donna, Michael then gives the rose to RACHEL. Oh sweet, sweet Bachelor Pad you are so good at breaking hearts.

Ben: And creating monsters.

Jordan: Speaking of that, Chris tries to two-time Jamie by making out with Blakely and somehow…as if the entire crew had tipped her off and then followed her with a camera…Jamie walks in on them. As she looks on, taking in all of the madness before her, Chris sees her and says, “Madness? THIS! IS! BACHELOR PAAAAAD!” and kicks her down a hole. This is how it happened in my head.

Ben: See, this is why Chris is a terrible villain. He brags and brags about how he’s got both Jamie and Blakeley wrapped around his finger and can play both at once, then goes to hook up with Blakeley in her bed…WHICH IS A BUNKBED UNDERNEATH JAMIE’S. Seriously? The fact that the plan somehow didn’t blow up in his face is immaterial. Could he really not finesse enough to figure out that he should bring Blakeley ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE HOUSE?

What a maroon.

Gal Winner’s Date

Jordan: Blakely and her giant, giant teeth get to pick three guys. She chooses Chris, Ed, and Dave (Bing Crosby). As she does this, I make the realization I now like Ed more than anyone else on the show. He has somehow made the meteoric fall from semi-respected Bachelorette winner to “that guy you laugh at when you see his face.”

Ben: Seriously, how did he become so likable in the course of one episode? I think it’s because he knows what a joke he is and has decided to roll with it.

Jordan: The three guys and horse teeth go on a soapbox derby race date (as we all are known to do), with Chris shooting daggers out of his eyes at Bing Crosby the whole time. Ed makes a car in the shape of a pickle for no apparent reason whatsoever. The Racers take their mark, get set, AND ED WINS from the weight of his liquor-filled gut!!!

Ben: It was shaped like a pickle because he had one vote against him and was thus “in a pickle,” a common expression from the 1950’s or so. I’m pretty sure Ed wasn’t even aware he was in a race, so his victory was all the sweeter. Also, if anybody deserves their own goblet trophy to drink out of on this show, it’s Ed.

Jordan: After the race, the daters all go to the abnormally dark and creepy-looking "Bachelor of seasons past" house for a pool party. Bing Crosby tries to make a strategic deal with Blakeley, who squints to make it seem like she is using her approximately 1.5 brain cells to feign understanding at his proposal. Blakeley then tries to get to the bottom of whether Chris likes her by shouting at him and looking at him wide-eyed like a crazy’s the closest thing this Pad O’ Bachelors has to love. Blakeley then gives Chris the rose, and the unspoken promise to stab him in his sleep one day.

Ben: Dave Crosby was pretty desperate here, but not stupid. He knows all the guys hate him and he knows any girl who knows what she’s doing is going to boot him, so attempting to make an alliance with emotional time bomb Blakeley was a great move. Doesn’t matter that he didn’t get the rose, because at some point Chris’ plan is going to unravel and this lady’s going to need somebody’s mixed martial arms to fall into. Good long game, Bing.

Various Hijinx Ensue

Jordan: The contestants decide to have a pool party. Lots of people are making out, but my eyes are searching around for Ed. If you hear bottles being popped, Ed cannot be far away. Sure enough, the show’s producers reward me by then cutting to him drinking out of his trophy and yodeling. Okay, I now LOVE this guy. How can you not love someone so unbelievably off the rails that he shoves his trophy in people’s faces, and yells, “Look! Look! Tons of victory right herrrrree!”

Ben: This guy already won the real version of this show, what does he care? He’s totally just there to drink and party. The only reason he sweats elimination is that it threatens to cut into said drinking and partying.

Who were the two girls that were going at it in the romantic sense? I think it was Donna and Erica Rose? The camera cut too quick, but what an odd combo.

Jordan: Not to be outdone on the pathetic-ness scale by anyone, little-seen contestant Sarah says to herself, “Sarah, you can NOT be the only one not hooking up here” and promptly grabs Ed and has sex with him while the cameras roll. This show is why television was created.

Ben: Sarah looks and sounds almost exactly like Eliza Dushku, who I grew up down the street from (we did not know each other) and then had an incredibly awkward interview with at the one and only Wizard World Boston where she tried to look classy and interested in my questions while smoking a cigarette and blowing the smoke backwards so it didn’t go into my face.

Jordan: A playful montage of the twins fighting happens. I hit fast forward and thank the lord above for DVR. Whoa, after fast forwarding they are still fighting. Fast forward…still fighting. Yowza. Erica Rose just called them crazy…nothing says “rock bottom” like that. One of the twins says goodbye to Bing Crosby and then they MERCIFULLY leave the show. My wife just sent me an article about how the twins lied, telling the show’s producers that they never were on a reality show before in order to get on to Bachelor Pad. Hmmm...rejected by The Situation on Jersey Shore and then kicked off of one of America’s most depraved dating shows…I forecast good things in the future for these two.

Ben: The sounds editors of Bachelor Pad came to PLAY with this segment, as their masterful dubbing of the twins fight over every conceivable setting from the rising sun-lit pool to the highway their car sped down was Emmy-worthy work. You had to love Kalon and Lindzi laughing at the whole situation from the bed they had hooked up in and then Kalon saying goodbye to one of the twins before chuckling about having no idea who she was. Also, Bing not waking up and then being confounded that the twins were missing later was classic as well.

Jordan: With the twins booted off by themselves, only one guy (and no girl) will go home this week. Kalon and his capped teeth spread the idea to keep Bing Crosby around, so the idea of voting Ryan (Ryan who? Yeah, I forgot he was on this show too) comes about. Reid, my previously favorite contestant, then tries to vote off Ed, my as-of-this-episode favorite contestant. Even Sarah, the person who received Ed’s pickle during their party, votes Ed out. While having drunken, unprotected sex and then voting someone off a sleazy reality show is exactly how this great nation of ours was founded (screw what the history books say), I still think this is damn COLD.

Ben: To her credit(?) she felt so bad about it she immediately confessed it to him and apologized and cried, all profusely. If that doesn’t win her the trust and respect of the rest of the folks, I don’t know what will, except anything else.

For people who have all been on reality shows before or at least watched a lot of them, these people do some mind-numbingly stupid stuff, from Dave admitting his plant to Erica Rose last week, to Sarah doing this, to every move Chris makes to what Jamie is about to do in a couple paragraphs.

Also, I love that Kalon decided to save Dave and turn people against Ryan seemingly just because he was bored.

Jordan: Ed is then caught on camera packing his bags. If there is one thing I know about reality television…it is that it means he is NOT going home! There is a twist coming up! Huzzah!

The Rose Ceremony

Jordan: After a long drawn out rose ceremony, it comes down predictably to Ryan and Ed. Based on that bag-packing scene, if Ryan stays it will be a huge surprise.

Ben: I would say based on Ryan’s complete lack of personality and charisma it’s amazing he was in the running to get voted out simply because if I were there I would have said “Who’s Ryan?” when asked to conspire against him.


Ben: The kicker? Reid saying he couldn’t believe his plan didn’t work. If you recall, Reid’s previous plan last week to save whats-her-face also didn’t work. DO NOT BEFRIEND REID ON THIS SHOW.

Jordan: Ryan, the 32 year old virgin, gets his 3rd second of camera time as he says goodbye to everyone. Jamie smiles at the camera as she proudly declares that with her teammate gone, she is now is a free woman that can pursue Chris. Yeah partner…no alliance…this all sounds like a solid strategy to win Bachelor Pad. At least you are pretty.

Ben: Is she with Dave now, partner-wise? I’m still unclear on how the partner system works. Regardless, I would be terrified to be her partner.

Jordan: Overall a great episode and I am so happy this show is back. It's only going to get more and more intense from here on out. Goodnight!

(Pours a 40 on the floor for the dearly departed twins, then suddenly the twins come out of nowhere and proceed to lick the alcohol off the floor and yell at each other).