Avoiding The Dentist: 'The Bachelorette' episode 2 disappoints (review)


This week’s show could easily go down as the worst single episode of The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise ever.  For a number of reasons, all of which I will touch on briefly, then hopefully quickly forget, this season will certainly see a decline in viewers. I had a hard time convincing “The Husband” to stick with it for the entire hour. The things coming out of his mouth were expressions of horror, annoyance and boredom – which I am sure were being expressed in your own living rooms and in living rooms across the world.

Why was this show so bad? Let’s break it down:

1. Ashley. While Ashley looked stunning last week (and continues to physically look as sweet/sexy combined as she can look without being Emily Maynard, Chantal O, Michelle Money, Shawntel, etc.) her insecurities have completely chewed her inside out. She’s still very concerned that the guys will not like her in return. She’s even expressing that some of the guys (Mickey?!) are better looking than her.  She openly admits to being upset after reading negative feedback about her from last season (stay off the blogs and don’t read the Internet!).  What annoyed me most about Ashley was not her insecurities, her high pitched squeals nor the entire group date planned around viewing her toned abs while she pranced around in a sports bra. It had everything to do with her choices. Why she would choose to keep around mask guy Jeff (yes, I have dubbed him “Phantom of the Douche Bags,”) over a “safe” bet like Mamma’s boy Matt or Earnest Ryan, I will never understand. But worst of the worst for Ashley – and kind of like watching a puppy get kicked – is watching her get played like a fiddle by the Evil Bentley. I’m sure it was a million times more humiliating for Ashley watching it herself with the benefit of hindsight. Oh wait, she already had the benefit of hindsight the first time around.  And yet she’s swept up in his ability to lift her up and plop her in front of a fireplace to plant one on her. Very Rhett Butler-esque. Is there anyone else who wanted to put their arms straight through the TV and shake Ashley back into reality?

Yes, we have sometimes been interested in the wrong guy.  And yes, dating a bad boy has a certain thrill about it.  But that’s not what’s happening here. Ashley is supposed to be the heroine of this story.  She’s the good girl who made mistakes with Brad and is seeking her happily ever after.  She has put her life on hold to come find her Mr. Right. We are supposed to cheer for her. To find her strong minded and a role model for all women out there seeking true love.  And yet, we are forced to watch, horror-stricken as Bentley slithers in like a snake and plays to her weaknesses – both emotionally and physically.  This is like watching a train wreck.  But more on Bent later.

2. Overdone, Overdramatic, Yawn worthy dates. As you may recall, Ashley was the first one on one date of Brad’s season. They had their own, private carnival and got straight down to intimate conversations about their dads. There were also ridiculous Vegas dates with Shawntel getting a shopping spree. We could relate to these early dates because every girl wants their own carnival a la “Grease” the movie style and every female watching this show has had fantasies of being Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.” But contrast these dates to the solo dates this past week and I’m still  horrified.  First off, is anyone else getting bored by the fancy car to the private jet dates?  Yawn, yawn.  Yes, perhaps we’re spoiled, but can’t they come up with something different?  Perhaps a different city, or perhaps travel by hot air balloon or by white water rafting??

First there was William. A pretty boy with a cute dimple, this guy seemed to have potential and certainly seemed genuinely interested in Ashley. Did the writers of the show think it would be funny and romantic to schlep him to various wedding vendors and get a reaction out of him? That might work if he had a little more personality, a little less dimple. But Ashley’s giggling and high pitched giggles during the visits to the wedding cake shop, the jeweler and even to the wedding chapel took away any humor surrounding the date. Talk about awkward, what on earth was William supposed to say while at these places? And then they get to the chapel and William goes so far as to actually keep up his end of the deal by expressing vows that according to Ashley “could make them legally married” – at least Britney Spears style. Woah. And NOW she thinks it’s too much? Their little private dinner in the Bellagio fountain was super cheesy, especially when the fountains were going off when the date was getting hot and heavy (The Husband said it was symbolic of what was going on in William’s pants), but at least we got to see the predictable first date curse/conversation which goes something like this: date goes amazingly well, deep conversations about troubled pasts with fathers comes out and a bond is quickly formed. Ultimately, William will never achieve the amount of intimacy nor the connection he has on the date again, leading to his demise (and from next week’s previews, William’s comments re: wanting the bachelorette to be Emily or Chantal will be the nail in the coffin – dimple or no dimple).

As for Mickey Blue Eyes, another snoozer of a date. The only person more bored than Mickey on this date, was me. Ashley couldn’t decide who she wanted to go on a date with, so she flips a coin? That’s got to make Mickey and JP feel really good about themselves, right? Because I would certainly feel great if my future husband left it to a coin toss to decide whether I’d have a date with him. To me, that highlighted Ashley’s inability to make smart choices. Once Mickey shows up in Vegas, we see them flipping a coin for every decision they make. I think Ashley was trying to show off a cute and spontaneous side of her, but it really just came off as foolish and indecisive. At the end of the date, I thought Mickey should have flipped a coin to see if he could sleep with Ashley. When she left it up to the coin to decide whether he should stay or go, I literally almost shut off the TV. Come on, Ashley! She may have been toying with him, but it wasn’t remotely amusing and I still don’t see what the big whoop is about this guy. Mind you, he’s the one that went in for a kiss straight out of the limo on the first night. She seems to be enamored with his blue eyes and intense gaze, so all the power to them. The most emotion we got from Mickey was when Colbie C miraculously appeared to play them a private concert. I was itching for Mickey to flip a coin to determine whether he’d leave with Colbie or Ashley (the Husband was begging me to flip a coin to see if we could shut off the show).

3. The Group Date. The only purpose of setting up this ridiculous concept of a group date was to showcase Ashley’s physique. The guys seemed really into her body (particularly Bentley who gave rave reviews about various parts of Ashley’s body despite “not being attracted to her.”). We saw a glimpse of Stephen the hairstylist shaking his thing, the only one who seemed to have any rhythm. Of course, this did not save him in the end because Ashley was only concerned with showing people that her abs are as sexy as Emily Maynard’s face. The best comment of the night (though I know we’re supposed to hate him) goes to Bentley who was so certain he had this thing in the bag that he just wants to go hit the tables in Vegas. I had to cringe for Ashley when you hear what Bentley is saying behind the scenes and then watching him manipulate her. Ashley is begging him to please please please stay if he feels something for her (she should be begging him to please please please get the hell out of her life if he has no interest in her). She sees herself in Bentley (oh my, how she misjudges this one!) He just sort of smiles at her and talks about how his daughter would be the reason he’d check out early (a noble thought). Ashley is practically drooling at this point. More on Badley in a bit. We see West pour his heart out and Ashley is quite taken aback – yet his very sad story about his dead wife does not earn him the rose on the group date. She saves this for Bent. Bad, silly choices.

4. Phantom of the Douche Bags – Jeff. Why on earth this guy is still around is one of the greatest mysteries of the show. I would not be surprised if we learn he is a hired actor, brought on the show to stir the pot. This guy is swimming in the pool with his mask, vacuuming with the mask, vegging with the mask. My friend Alana, who is currently on bed rest and unfortunately only has The Bachelorette and my blog to entertain her, is very interested to see what kind of facial tan lines Mask Man is going to have when this is all over.  Now it’s one thing if Mask Man wants Ashley to get to know the guy behind the mask, but why on earth would he need to wear it while in the house with just the guys? He certainly shouldn’t care if they see his face. He’s not wooing them. It makes absolutely no sense. The scenes of him on the stairs overlooking Ashley’s interactions with other guys (or at least that’s what the editing makes it look like) are so creepy and far beyond what Ashley should be looking for in a husband. Ashley’s only one on one time takes place on the stairs where Jeff blurts out a horrible secret about his past – brain hemorrhage, divorce, etc. and then is ripped of his big reveal opportunity as Matt comes to the rescue. Can the audience vote Jeff off?  Perhaps Ashley gets to choose half the guys and the public chooses the other half.  This is a much safer outcome than what is currently going on.  Tonight’s rose recipients, particularly Mask Man, make me question Ashley’s sanity.

5. Bentley. Ahhh. Every season needs a Bentley. Perhaps if this season was remotely interesting, I’d hate Bentley a little more for how he’s behaving. Discussing Ashley’s thighs, butt and other unmentionable body parts like a she’s a chicken dinner certainly reveals what a modern, pro feminism, forward thinker this guy is.  A former colleague of mine, Polly, wrote in to note she was particularly horrified by Bent’s misogynistic comments and said no matter how the show edits him, he’s still a pig (well she didn’t say exactly that, but that’s what I took from it).  On the other hand, I find it somewhat refreshing (despite the fact that he’s a complete barbarian in terms of Ashley’s feelings) that he’s not hiding his true feelings. Plus it doesn’t seem like this drama gets played out much longer (unlike Justin and some of the other past contestants like Wes who carry on the façade far longer and never really own up to having ulterior motives for coming on the show). Originally, the previews made it seem like Badley made it to the final 3. But from next week’s coming attractions, it seems like he could be going home next week?? There’s nothing wrong with coming on this show and not being attracted to The Bachelorette. This is not a crime – in fact, it’s a likely scenario. And even if you are attracted to certain physical parts of The Bachelorette, it does not mean you will want to marry the person. But there’s something sinister about playing a role at the expense of Ashley’s feelings.  She thinks she’s met Prince Charming and has fallen quite hard.  Bent’s in the shadows saying things like, “The game is over before we push the start button.”  If the show was so concerned with Ashley’s feelings, all they would have to do is play some of the video footage for her and he’d be history.  But of course they won’t do that.

Ashley has already indicated to Big Bad Bent that she’s got the hots for him, and why shouldn’t he want to stick around and get a couple of free trips out of it? The real loser here is his daughter, so if you want to feel bad for someone, feel bad for Cozy.  And if you want to be mad that this guy was allowed to stay on the show and humiliate Ashley – blame the show.  They created these ridiculous rules.   Ashley was warned and chose to ignore the warnings. She’s made her bed and Bent will not be lying in it with her. Or he might, but not for long. Yes, he’s already guaranteed to cause some fireworks at the Men Tell All – but nobody will be watching the show by then, so who cares?

I’ll end this with a bunch of things that made absolutely ZERO sense:

(1) Ashley telling Mickey that she “loves momma’s boys” but then sending home Matt who was the biggest momma’s boy of them all. (We loved Matt’s phone call home to his mother after he didn’t receive a rose – requesting her love and some French toast. Classic).

(2) Mickey being able to ask Ashley anything in the world and him choosing to ask her when the last time she cried was.  So very deep.

(3) Why on earth Mask Man couldn’t have taken off his mask around the guys.

(4) Why Ashley chose Mask Man over Ryan M and Matt Momma’s Boy

(5) Why Mask Man needed to wear his mask while on the toilet

Silver Lining in All of This:

(1) Looks like next week’s date could be a one on one with Ben C – the lawyer from New Orleans who likes to dance and it looks like their date could involve a flash mob.  Pretty awesome!

(2) Sounds like the Bentley stuff comes to a head next week.  Chris Harrison’s blog alludes to the fact that it came to the point where they almost ended production and canceled the season.  Yeah right.  That was never going to happen.

(3) William sticks his foot in his mouth next week by jokingly stating the obvious: he wishes Ashley was Emily or Chantal.  He better enjoy that Bellagio memory, because it sounds like it might be the last with Ash.

(4) We still have Ben the Winemaker, JP (who seems like a really nice guy) and Ryan P to be excited about.

(5) No episode could be worse than this week’s.

What did you think?  Have you stopped watching yet? What should I do to convince The Husband to keep watching with me??

Stacey B