Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ben & Jordan Watch Bachelor Pad: Episode 5

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 5: “Jordan Has Stopped Titling Episodes”

Jordan: The episode opens with the group returning to the house after last week’s rose ceremony. Blakeley and her super shiny lips have their eyes set on Chris, and by “eyes” I mean “donkey punching in the throat fists.” Michael stokes the flames by pointing out to Blakeley that Chris really hates her. Nice! When not acting forlorn, I have to agree with Ben that Michael is awesome.

Ben: I’m kind of glad I didn’t watch Bachelor Pad last season so that all I know of emo Michael is your ranting and of course this.

Jordan: Lovable psycho Kalon gets confronted by unlovable jackass Chris, and suavely lies his way out of it. Conversely Ed, who has a conscience, is confronted by Chris and stutters and stammers an excuse out with the weight of his decision on his mind. To be fair, this stammering may have been from 20 off-screen Tequila Sunrises. Ed and Chris start yelling at each other, while comically the other guy who isn’t Nick (Tony?) just sits in the middle in a sad attempt at 5 seconds of screen time. Ed stalks off, saying, “This game is stupid,” a blasphemy I will only allow to my favorite character on the show.

Ben: I’m not sure Kalon so much lied his way out of anything as much as bluntly told Chris he was a loose cannon—actually using the phrase “loose cannon,” which sent his credibility with me through the roof—and of course he didn’t trust him. Chris only seemed sated by the combination of alcohol/fatigue (I can never tell with him if he’s drunk or just really tired) and impending sex with Sara.

Ed does not have a conscience. This is a man who won an internationally televised dating show and then cheated on his fiancée as publicly as possible. He just has no ability to think on his feet, so his answer to confrontation is to stutter, stammer and try to apologize. I find him entertaining too, but not nearly as endearing as you do.

Jordan: At this point I have to point out that Kalon’s bio says he is a “Luxury Brand Consultant.” I think this means he only kills people in Audis.

Ben: I’ve got nothing that can top this. Nicely done.

Competition: People Carrying Plates and Cups (Has it really come to this?)

Jordan: Blakely is born for this competition, having “worked at Hooters for 13 years.” My how she has grown, now being a prestigious “VIP cocktail waitress.” The women start and Blakeley is off to a huge lead. Chris is shown saying to the camera he is pissed she is winning. Then a second later in another clip he reiterates it. The difference between the clips? IN ONE CLIP CHRIS HAS A FULL BLACK BEARD AND IN THE NEXT HE IS COMPLETELY CLEAN SHAVEN. Yes, we all know this show is heavily edited, but this was a 5 second gap between clips that made it completely hilarious to me.

Ben: Chris Harrison obviously edited this segment with all the care and professionalism he puts into hosting the show.

Jordan: The girls are dropping cups left and right. Everyone in the cast simultaneously yells that Sara messed up and cheated and as she crosses the finish line Chris Harrison happily yells “And Sara wins the race!” This truly highlighted the obvious fact that Chris Harrison is watching Breaking Bad on a portable television while filming for this show is happening. Upon further shocking review, it is shown Sara cheated and Blakeley winds up winning. Cue clip of Chris mumbling with half closed eyes that he is upset while he sports an entire beard of bees.

Ben: I don’t think Sara really cheated, she just grabbed her plates and saucers to steady them out of habit and didn’t notice, much like Chris Harrison who was as always preoccupied with finding ways to bring Armageddon to Earth so that he can take his place in the army of darkness. To say she cheated is to imply she went into this competition with any sort of plan or forethought whatsoever.

This event really hammered home for me how much of a Stepford Wife Lindzi seems to be, as her smile never even cracked as she dropped and picked up her stuff dozens of times. Also, I don’t think she blinks. She’s perfect for Kalon!

Jordan: Time for the guys to go. Graceful Michael, the dancer, again is the heavy favorite. Somewhere as I write this David (Bing Crosby) carries cups and plates across his room and sobs that he misses Bachelor Pad.

Ben: Man, I totally forgot he got eliminated until you just mentioned it. Hey, do you think the guys at his MMA gym will kick the crap out of him more for being on Bachelor Pad or getting eliminated? Or do you think most MMA guys would be reluctant to admit they watch Bachelor Pad? Also, what are the odds Chris from week one has been fired from his SWAT squad or injured while trying to take a phone photo of himself with a terrorist?

Jordan: The guys drop their cups and plates left and right and somehow TONY WINS! TONY, TONY, TONY! Wait, this just reminded me…is fellow never-seen loser Nick still on this show? I have no idea. This question genuinely leads to a confusing conversation between me and my wife about whether we missed an episode, only to have us come to the conclusion Nick is still on the show somewhere in the background. NICK YOU ARE RUINING MY LIFE! A POX ON YOUR SUNBURNED BICEPS!

Ben: In your existential Nick crisis, you neglected to mention that Tony won because Blakeley was walking alongside him the entire time “coaching” him, which irked Sara and Chris to no end. I’m pretty sure Tony won not thanks to Blakeley, but out of the terror of knowing she would donkey punch his screen time if he even flinched a centimeter the wrong way.

Jordan: Chris and company stare at Blakeley’s giant teeth grinning after the competition, and she agrees to take her teammate Tony on the date (second week in a row this happens!) Blakeley gives her extra rose to Kalon, which is great because both dates are officially centering around a pair of unhinged freaks.

Ben: Who is Nick’s partner? Does he even participate in competitions? Can anybody besides you and me see him? I’m scared…

Guy’s Date

Jordan: The producers LOVE watching Blakeley go crazy as much as I do, so they obviously do what we would all do and give the good date to Kalon for the simple pleasure of seeing Blakeley’s reaction. As they give Kalon and his date Lindzi diamonds and a sports car, the cameras crash zoom on emotional Blakely looking on with wide eyes and fake cackle. It’s a terrifying and glorious sight.

Ben: Almost—but nowhere really—near Blakeley’s madness is Lindzi’s deer-in-the-headlights blank stare as she puts on her lovely diamond earrings. I’ve seen enough Melrose Place to assume that at some point over these five weeks Kalon introduced her to the wonders of electroshock therapy like Kimberly tried to do to Peter in that story arc with the insane asylum run by Elvis Presley’s widow from Naked Gun.

Jordan: Kalon and beautiful (but still with too much makeup) Lindzi have a date on a closed down bridge. Upon further inspection, Lindzi is the perfect combo of looks, fame, and trophy wife potential for Kalon to wind up with and, one day, cheat on.

Ben: I’ve really starting to question Lindzi’s humanity/sanity, as no rational person who would run away in terror at the prospect of being anywhere near a bridge with Kalon, crew and viewing audience as witnesses or no.

Jordan: Kalon says all the right words to both the viewing audience and Lindzi, endearing him to all he hopes to eventually slay and wear their skin as a vest. Even with this, he is head and shoulders on the likeability scale over Chris. Kalon will undoubtedly ruin the lives of those around him, but at least he doesn’t mumble, sulk, and have the overly macho swagger of flannel shirt douche.

Ben: Kalon could spend an hour talking about how Kim Jong Il was an underrated filmmaker and still be more likable than Chris right now.

(You’ll never know how close I was to a probably ill-advised Hitler joke right there, but I stopped myself; you’re welcome, Internet)

Also, did I imagine it, or did Kalon start to full-on mount Lindzi on their dinner table while the cameras were still on?

Nope, didn't imagine it.

Jordan: As we come back from commercial, over the montage of people waking up we see a split second of Jaclyn and Ed waking up in what looks like an emptied out pool. The show HAS to minimize the screen time of these two if there is any way of making Tony interesting during his date.

Ben: I would hire Michael Bay to direct Tony’s date. Nothing to lose at this point.

Girl’s Date

Ben: Wait, why is Tony going to get the card? Wasn’t this Blakeley’s date? Where is the internal logic and continuity we love you for, Bachelor Pad?!

Jordan: Tony’s date involves seeing stars and keys to something. A cabin? A Camaro? A box of crayons? Whatever it is is GOING TO BE SHITTY just to see Blakeley’s expression. Ah HA! Cue the reveal that they’re keys to a crappy Jeep. The houseguests pile on by trashing Blakeley and Tony off-screen, calling her trashy and him a boring lumber salesman. This all is true. Regardless, the rest of the date takes place at a broken Winnebago in the desert and the slow process of the producers driving sanity-on-a-thread Blakeley crazy continues.

Ben: Tony is a lumber salesman? That’s truly destiny’s cruel joke, putting him so close to the awesome profession of lumberjack and then dumping him into a mundane sales position.

Nick is a lumberjack. On Tuesdays.

Jordan: Back at the house, Chris tries to snuggle up to Ed and get him to vote out Kalon. The show tries to hide the fact Ed is slurring his speech through the whole conversation. I predict this doesn’t go well for Chris as anything involving Ed during his “drink n’ yodel time” is quickly forgotten by Ed as if it never happened.

Ben: Kudos to Chris for going after Kalon though, and by recognizing since he can’t vote him out, he can be a douche and eliminate Lindzi instead. Chris really goes the extra mile on being a petty jerk, determined to do as much damage on his way out as he can, and on this show, that earns him my respect.

Jordan: The Blakeley-Tony date continues and is so hysterically awkward. Tony flirts with her with a beet-red face and about a pound of sweat dripping over his eyes. The silence between them is deafening, and you can see Blakeley regretting her expert “YouGotIt YouGotIt YouGotIt YouGotIt YouGotIt” coaching back when Tony was carrying those plates.

Ben: I fell asleep during this segment (not really, I was probably just playing Words with Friends), but did Tony bring up his son again? It was pretty funny when he brought him up back on the Rachel date and how he had to “win this for him.” Actually, it’s generally pretty funny whenever any of these gainfully-employed, well-groomed, fashionably-dressed people go on about how they “need” this money.

Jordan: Back at the house, Michael and Rachel kiss and go on a quiet date of their own. Michael has finally found true love. They will be together forever. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could mess this up. Michael, feel free to put all of your hopes on you and Rachel being together forever. Everything will be fine.

Ben: You’re a horrible man.

Jordan: On the Tony-Blakeley date, a huge shocker happens with loser Tony and Blakeley kissing and going into the trailer to presumably bump uglies. They may have not actually had sex but BOY did the show want us to think that. In retrospect I should have seen the two most emotionally needy people in the house (now that Jamie is gone) getting together. Pathetic was never so adorable.

Ben: In my mind, the minute the door to that trailer closed, Blakeley donkey punched Tony in the jugular, bitched him out for daring to think anybody who had been on screen as little as him could lay a hand on her, then went to sleep in the bed while he wept on the ceramic floor.

Jordan: Tony and Blakeley come back to the house and kiss and tell. The guests look on, which leads to a Sun burnt Nick sighting! Aw, Nick, I could never stay angry at you.

(Yes, that's the same picture of Nick I used last week...I could not find another one ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET -Ben)

Chris says to Tony he wants the guys to vote out Lindzi to get back at Kalon. Blakeley says to Tony OH HELLLL NO and Tony nods in agreement quickly because he is not ready to lose the one person in the world who knows he exists (thus making him disappear). Ultimately, they give the rose to Jaclyn. I honestly have no idea what this accomplishes other than to anger Ben’s dad.

Ben: On the contrary, my dad informed me this week that Jaclyn is his pick to win it all. He may not have been able to teach her how to play goalie, but he provided all the guidance she needed to win a reality show based around lying, backstabbing and emotional manipulation.

Jordan: Chris Harrison clinks on a glass with a spoon, calling for attention. No sooner does he do this than Ed speaks up and says he does not see any romance with Jaclyn, bringing her to tears.

Ben: And the Jordan Geary Award for Nice Guy with a Conscience goes to…

Jordan: Obviously Chris Harrison can ruin lives by the simple act of clinking on a glass with a spoon. Then, as if this wasn’t enough proof he was Satan, Chris Harrison says EVERYONE will vote for ONE GIRL and the VOTED OUT GIRL will CHOOSE WHICH GUY GOES HOME WITH HER!!! IT’S CHAOS! I LOVE CAPS LOCK!

This. Changes. Everything. Actually, it doesn’t, but I just wanted to type that.

Ben: But it seriously did. Chris and Sara were dead locks to go home, but this forced everybody else to scramble because they couldn’t eliminate Sara without losing one of their own. It was a pretty great twist, actually.

And I don’t begrudge you wanting to type that. It’s a dream of us all.

Jordan: Michael concocts a surprisingly evil plan to vote out Erica Rose so she thinks Chris did it (and thus she takes him home with her). Even at his most evil, Michael shrugs and says, “This is devilish,” coming across as a nice guy. Wow, I never, ever want to cross this guy. He could massacre me with a chainsaw, shrug and say “That was bad of me” and America’s housewives would swoon.

Ben: It was an…interesting plan, but I will hold off explaining Michael’s fatal flaw once we see if it goes south.

Jordan: Ed tries to explain his way out of the doghouse with Jaclyn…saying the equivalent of “Look I want to BANG you, but I don’t want to LOVE you.” Jaclyn is truly an ugly crier, someone whose whole face scrunches into a bitter beer face. Ed sees this and, being sober for the first half hour of his life, OBVIOUSLY doesn’t want to bang her now.

Ben: Sensitivity at its finest!

“This was devastating. And exactly what she deserved.” – Ned Norse, warrior poet

Jordan: The votes are cast. Michael wears some sweater that looks like a magic eye test. Erica flips out. It’s Bachelor Pad at its finest. I am riveted.

Then…the unthinkable happens. Chris shows Michael’s grand plan is poop by taking Erica in to vote WITH HIM. BRILLIANT! As much as I hate the guy, I do a have to do slow golf clap on that.

Ben: It was an incredible move. Doubly brilliant in that they never explicitly stated that you couldn’t do it, though I wager they may change the rules after this.

Worth noting though is a small but crucial detail. Chris was just musing about doing this, only as a joke, but then somebody egged him on. Who?


Seriously, this guy has influenced EVERY vote, and this week was no exception. The beauty of it is that nobody realizes how much he’s pulling the strings. Chris was starting to catch on, but then he got played this week. It’s amazing.

Rose Ceremony

Jordan: As I stare at Ed’s maroon-colored blazer, the girls one by one get their roses from Chris Harrison. It’s down to Erica Rose and Lindzi. The music swells, aaaaand ERICA ROSE IS GOING HOME!

Ben: There was never any doubt in my mind. Michael set up the perfect plan…almost.

Jordan: She taps her lips, takes her time, and delivers the death blow: MICHAEL THY TIME HAS COME! Ben’s favorite guy is gone, now forcing him to root hardcore for Nick. This is a drastic turn of events. Even Nick's parents were likely rooting for Michael.

Ben: I am seriously at a loss as to who to root for. My head says Kalon, because I’m in awe of his evil genius, but my heart says “Dude! He’s a young Hannibal Lecter!” and my head is like “Shit, yeah.”

I’m honestly angry at Michael for going home because he brought it all on himself. His fatal flaw is that as intricate and well-thought-out as his plans are, he’s a bit of an egomaniac and inevitably makes them all about him, so thus he’s putting himself on the hook each time and not giving himself an escape hatch. If he had played the game better, he would have had the other guys in his alliance spending equal time to him trying to convince Erica that Chris was the one to blame for her ousting, but he got too wrapped up in being the leader and put all the responsibility for conning her on himself, guaranteeing that if the plan failed, she was going to pin the blame on him. In a way it’s admirable, but I don’t think that was his intention, he was just being shortsighted.

Jordan: Erica then trashes Michael on television, exposing him…but then of course pushes it WAY too far in typical crazy Erica Rose fashion by bringing up Holly from last season who broke Michael’s heart. Once in the car ride home, Erica Rose says perhaps my favorite line of the season, “People can think for themselves, they don’t need a tiny little man dictating their every move.” She is a brain dead poet.

Ben: And of course Rachel is devastated. I would love to see her turn the corner from “that girl who is blond and not brunette” to being a crazy wild card with nothing to lose out for vengeance.

More likely she gets paired with Nick next week and they both go home.

Jordan: To make this episode even better, the show concludes with Ed slurring through a conversation with an oven mitt while the house looks on.

Ben: Words can’t do justice to how brilliant this segment was.

Jordan: I don’t know how it is possible, but I already miss this show and it’s not even the end of the season.