Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ben & Jordan Watch Bachelor Pad: Episode 1

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.

Ben: As the rookie on this team, I’m going to be letting Jordan take the wheel and mostly reacting, but I did want to make the initial observation that I stared into the eyes of Chris Harrison and saw no soul looking back at me, and that’s the prerequisite I look for in hosts of reality shows that involve “looking for love.”

Introduction to our trashy contestants


Jordan: I don't know this guy. Seems like a douche. Likes to pose in front of the camera and make a duck face when he isn't good looking or engaging. If I were the president I would say in a growl GET OFF MY PLANE!

Ben: Yeah, it seemed like from what I saw the show was relying heavily on this dude being a big deal because he was just on the last Bachelorette, so he’s got “heat,” but to those of us who didn’t watch that, he was just a smug grin. I have seen few gents who better exemplify “the clothes make the man.” He looks fairly suave in a suit, and like a goof in a tank top and board shorts.

If ever there was a place I wasn’t expecting an Air Force One reference, this was it. Kudos.


Jordan: It's the hot girl from the season where the bachelor was one of the cavemen from the Geico ads! Was looking forward to seeing her as she is gorgeous and nice, but SHA-BAM she has WAYYYYYY too much makeup. She looked like Dee Snyder or as if she covered her face in cotton candy.

Ben: Man, I’ve already forgotten this girl from having watched the episode three days ago aside from loving the way she spells her name.


Jordan: This guy always reminded me of Matthew Perry in looks and demeanor. He is a guy I'll be rooting for early.

Ben: The nice guy. To get on my radar on this type of show, you need to go to one extreme or the other, so I’ll also be pulling for Reid early on. Felt badly about how this episode ended for him, but it also made me worry about how easily he gets emotionally attached.


Jordan: Ugh, this guy. I can't decide if this guy looks more like a chimp or the oldest brother from the Brady Bunch. Either way, not enough looks to warrant that cockiness. I mean, c'mon dude. You scored JILLIAN, which is slightly more of an accomplishment than saying you scored a date with a mule.

Ben: Glad to see your harsh judgment of the female form is not limited to period fantasy pieces, I think that would have really let down our regular readers. But yeah, this guy won a season? Really? It’s enough to make me think reality television isn’t a viable avenue for finding true love. I can see him either pissing everybody off quickly and getting turfed or floating under the radar until close to the end because “the drunk guy isn’t a threat.”


Jordan: WOO HOO! My favorite girl from the caveman bachelor's season! Why is she my favorite, you ask? Because she has a grating personality, zero self awareness, and wears completely inappropriate outfits. She is tops on my list of people likely to say the cliché “I'm here for the money, not for YOU!"

Ben: Don’t forget “I’m not here to make friends.” At least one person already dropped that one this week.

Yeah, if by “completely inappropriate outfits” you mean “completely inexplicable outfits,” I agree. You’re on Bachelor Pad, lady, you don’t need to bother throwing a pastel mesh top over a bra, just go all out. The crazy eyes though…yeah, she’s a winner. I do hope she follows through with her promise of physical violence on Chris.


Jordan: This girl Ben's dad knows so I am going to hold my tongue for now. Only initial thoughts: She has GREAT sound bites and is HIDEOUSLY ugly. Did I just say I would hold my tongue? Whoops. Still, she's gonna be fun to watch.

Ben: Yeah, so here’s the story: I can’t recall ever actually meeting this girl, but I guess she was in the same class as my sister and was indeed coached by my father on a youth soccer team. He watched her on The Bachelor and said she’s certainly utilizing every lesson he imparted on her.

She certainly embodies all the worst qualities of the wealthy suburban community I grew up in to a hilarious parody degree. There is no chance in hell she will win, but I hope she hangs around as long as possible to say dumb stuff and so hopefully we can get my dad on here to do commentary.


Jordan: I don't know this guy, but this music suggests he is a villain. He seems jerky enough that I just might find this guy to be my favorite guy on the show. Wait...he just grinned at himself in the mirror...THIS GUY IS DEFINITELY MY FAVORITE!

Ben: Remember what I said about Reid as far as being a fan of dudes on either extreme? Yes, this guy is great. He had a lot of great moments already, but I think my favorite was when he flat out told us “Yeah, I’m telling everybody what they want to hear” and then so seamlessly preceded to do so. Even though he’s come right out and said he’s the bad guy, he’s still such a good liar I see him going far.

Also, I made the Patrick Bateman comparison when he was doing push-ups and then one of the other contestants did later in the show.


Jordan: This fan girl is annoying personified.

Ben: In a way, yes, but honestly, when she was first introduced that was when I became sold on the show, because the idea of not just fans but complete psycho fans being unleashes on these not-really-celebrities is phenomenal. How can you not love the concept of people watching these shows religiously and then actually getting the chance to go and stalk their favorite reality TV eye candy up close and personal? That sounded a bit sociopathic, but you get my gist.

Also, Wikipedia tells me she is a Jumbo Tron Operator. That is amazing.

Chris “SWAT”

Jordan: I like this guy. He is a strong, big guy with a soft side. I identify with this.

Ben: I was onboard once they transitioned from shots of him taking down a perp to him sipping wine in a room with 18,000 candles. My early favorite.


Jordan: Now this is a fan. Dancing in a bikini, cocky, over-tanned, and she is in love with sappy-as-hell Michael. Intriguing.

Ben: I think it was actually Michael who later told Reid the guys were “keeping Donna around for physical reasons,” which pretty much sums it up. She’ll hook up with a bunch of the people she watched on TV and then get eliminated once people really start playing for money.


Jordan: This guy has Bing Crosby eyes and likes to hit things. Wait...both of those are Bing Crosby traits. Don't like him.

Ben: I liked him during his intro package because he was an MMA fighter and that’s cool, but his personality and weird clothing choices became extremely grating as the show went on. I do think his athletic background is going to help him out if the challenges remain physical ones, so he could prove to be cockroach-like.

The Twins

Jordan: My wife swears one of these girls was on The Jersey Shore and hooked up with one of the guys in Florence. All I know is they are annoying and I already want them off of my television.

Ben: Yeah, they seem straight out of reality TV casting purgatory where I imagine hundreds of perky post-grads sit around in a hot tub until their number is called. Everybody else on the show hates them, so accordingly I want them to stay.


Jordan: Who is this smiley Nick guy? The producers already don't seem to like him with how little they showed him.

Ben: Yeah, I did not appreciate that only half the contestants got intro packages. I had no idea who this guy was other than that he’s jacked.


Jordan: Enter Rachel, the person I couldn't see onscreen in seasons past without adopting a mock husky smoker voice. She is still gross to me. Sounds like that cigarette-smoking, coughing weasel from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Ben: Already forgot her. She had a nose ring?


Jordan: Enter Sarah, someone I don't know and seems pretty airheady and ugly. Were she on a cavernous bridge I would slam my wizard's staff on the ground and yell YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

Ben: Completely out of left field reference. Love it. Already forgot her.


Jordan: Enter Ryan...the 28 year old virgin. Apparently he was on Deanna's season. Who the hell is Deanna? I'm already lost. Still, Ryan seems nice...though it looks like he is wearing lipstick.

Ben: Just looked him up on Wikipedia, and not only is he a former NFL player, he was picked last in the 2003 draft, so he was “Mr. Irrelevant.” He also played in the UFL and is currently a high school dean.

No chance whatsoever.


Jordan: Tony walks in. The camera promptly forgets him.

Ben: I may have thought this was Nick. Whatever.


Jordan: Jamie walks in. She is very pretty. If I remember correctly I was angry that she was voted off of The Bachelor the last time because I thought she was so pretty. Luckily, this is Bachelor PAD, where being pretty is really all that keeps you around.

Ben: That awful headband thing she wore to the elimination ceremony was to me the equivalent of when I’d wrestled guys with bright orange wrestling shoes and know I was going to lose horribly because only somebody really good could get away with wearing bright orange wrestling shoes.


Jordan: Michael, the wuss, comes in. He is a very, very sweet guy...I just can't handle more footage of him staring at the ocean super sad he is alone. I am already dreading him falling in love, getting his heart broken, and then moping. It'll happen. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!

Ben: Love this guy. Why? Because he already knows he is playing a strategy game and said as much into the camera within the first hour and mocked those who didn’t get this. I don’t care if he has a dozen soliloquies, he is already ahead in my book. The thing that will prevent him from winning is that he already won last season and thus people will want him out.

Didn’t he also win Paradise Hotel?


Jordan: ERICA ROSE! WOOOO! She is such a ridiculous personality. For all you newbies, she MAKES this show. Her face is a plastic surgery mishap, but her off-kilter brain is sheer joy.

Ben: I wanted her to lose immediately, but I suppose that proves your point that she’s a compelling character. I will still be happy when she does lose.

Let's begin the chaos!

Jordan: Ed is a nutjob, and not the type that's loveable. More the creepy uncle at a party. Watching him interact with people is like watching a slow motion car crash you are unable to stop.

Ben: By this point I wasn’t just wondering how he won a season—though I still was—so much as how he functions in everyday society/is not in jail.

Jordan: LOL the twins could not look more aghast that they will be competing "together". This is why it was wise of me to kill off my identical twin at such a young age.

Ben: How many times did Chris Harrison repeat that they were competing together? Probably almost as many times as he’s hit people with his car and then continued driving as a cold, dead smile creeps across his face.

Also, I have Gordon Geary chained up in my basement as a contingency plan if you ever go rogue.

Jordan: Of the teams, off the bat I think Jaclyn and Ed will turn out to be hilarious to watch. That said, I am a Reed and villainous Kalon fan, who are both partnered with fans, so my rooting interests are primarily with those two teams to start.

Ben: Yeah, Ed and Jaclyn should be a great train wreck. I’ll also be rooting for Kalon and Donna as well as Michael and whoever he was with. Rachel? Do they keep the same teams the whole season?

First competition: Falling for Love

Jordan: So I love this competition. Hearing "TILT THE HEARTS!" rivals "RELEASE THE KRAKEN" for me.

Ben: I thought they at least got handles or something to hold onto then noticed about midway through that they were just pushing against the sides. I got way more anxious about the whole thing than I should have. My wife made fun of me.

Jordan: Won't spoil who wins the first competition...oh hell yes I will. It was Bing and The Twins. I was not amused. Hopefully these winners' days are numbered.

Ben: I’m telling you, as long as the challenges are physical in nature, the MMA guy and energetic young twins are going to do pretty well against the folks from a reality show where your primary goal is to wear a suit/dress and drink a lot. You could be in for a rocky road.

And poor Tony/Nick, who’s a beast of a man and thus had no chance in heck of staying cramped in that tiny heart.

Winners Date

Jordan: These people are boring. The producers sense this and shorten this segment to approximately two seconds of a skinny dip scene.

Ben: When MMA guy started riffing off past seasons’ dates that theirs resembled, he officially crossed the line from potentially endearing sap to weirdo who probably bid thousands on a lock of Chris Harrison’s hair on eBay.

Post-Winner's Date

Jordan: Blakely is already sounding completely batshit insane. God, I love her so. As I write this she is currently talking about punching her teammate in the throat.

Ben: Not just punching, mind you, but donkey punching, which I was not aware you could do to the throat.

Jordan: Cue Jamie kissing Blakely's teammate. YES! LET THE GAMES BEGIN! While this is good for Chris as Jamie is definitely the most attractive girl on the show, he just awakened a Blakely monster.

Ben: I applaud him using his status as the most recent contestant to appear on TV to hook up with as many women as possible.

Jordan: So this Bing Crosby guy is telling everyone his plans on how he will win? This is not wise, Bing. Sounds like he will be off soon. Once Erica Rose threatens you, it's over.

Ben: I felt so bad for SWAT guy, who got sold out and then went on about how he got sold out for the next half hour. Could have been a contender.

The Voting Ceremony

Jordan: SWAT guy is sweating it out during the vote. He seems like the kind of guy that is made for killing Predators, not Bachelor Paddin'!

Ben: I was really hoping against hope he would not suffer for the sins of his fellow fan, but there was really no finesse to his trying to swing votes as he was literally just frantically begging and asking if there was anything he could do (I’m pretty sure he would have killed somebody if asked). If only an escaped con had run through the pool and needed tackling at that moment!

Jordan: Paige is the girl seemingly getting the votes for the girls. This is sad for Matthew Perry, but I think he can outsmart the others and keep her. Just a hunch.

Ben: He doesn’t strike me as a thinker, more of a heart on his sleeve type; I think his morals will be his undoing.

Jordan: A Reid-Kalon alliance? THIS COULD BE EPIC! Can't believe I am rooting against Erica Rose, but I just like Reed and Kalon more.

Ben: It would indeed be tremendous if it lasts more than a week, but I get the sense Kalon will set himself up as everybody’s ally.

The Verdict

Jordan: After some hi-larious Blakeley looks, Swat guy and Paige get the boot. Once again, my hunch is completely off. These two were boring as hell, so the show is better off as a result.

Ben: Glad to know my support is as much the kiss of death on this show as it was on Game of Thrones. At least SWAT guy just had to hop in a limo rather than get run through the gut with a broadsword. And he’s got that pic with Chris Harrison…UNTIL HE REALIZES CHRIS HARRISON DOES NOT APPEAR ON FILM.

I felt bad for Paige, both because she got eliminated and she now needs to go back to playing the secretary on The Office when not operating her Jumbo Tron. I hate that show.

Jordan: Holy crap this season is going to blow our faces off. I love summer trash television.

Ben: Thanks for getting me into this, buddy. Man cannot live off The L.A. Complex and Dallas alone.