Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Sean #2: Praise to the Straight Man
For some reason, I can't stand it. I have to jump in and clear up the confusion. The toolset required to keep a straight face while someone else is about to be made a fool of--at my expense--is as far beyond me as making a woman's ring appear on somebody else's hand or filming a full-length claymation movie. Things, therefore, that I delight in watching other people do.
And THERE, friends, is the genius of The Bachelor. The contestants honestly don't know anything about the joke they're the butt of. And everybody around them is playing it dead straight. The producers send the bachelor/ette to sit down with Jimmy Kimmel every Monday night because they KNOW their show is funny. But they never say so out loud. They advertise a rose shattering on bricks or Sean gazing (shirtless) into the sunset as if they mean it. Chris Harrison looks sincerely grieved every time he comes out to say there's--do the math!--one rose left. Cameramen chase a drunk and/or crying girl down a hallway without ever saying "This is gold!" out loud. Yes, I saw the original Debbie Downer skit on SNL. I know how hard it is to hold it together when everybody else is laughing. But the Bachelor people do it. Bravo, you people. Bravo.
This week's jokes? YES, a first date based on Intense Artificial Bonding Over a Shared Terrifying Experience is a good beginning to a stable relationship! A man can get to know a dozen girls much better if they dress up in costumes and claw all over him in sequence! And finally (crossing openly into Candid Camera territory), pranks build trust!
ANYWAY, Curse of the First Date goes to...Sarah the one-arm girl. (I'm not being rude. This is how she refers to herself. And besides, I don't remember names. If you have a quirk, that's who you are until we're down to about four. Sorry.) She's destined for about a final-six spot on the merits of the Shared Terrifying Experience, and it'll only make it more painful for her when she's left standing unflowered. (Not deflowered. Let's be clear.)
On the group date, I did feel sorry for Katie Big Hair with the vampire teeth, who got the extreme short end of the costume stick. Perhaps that was part of the reason for the self-elimination. Whatever moved her, it was a good decision. I didn't know who Cowgirl Lesley was until she called Squinty Tierra the "eye of the hurricane, Cat 5." Suddenly I love her. (And did you see the blooper tape during the credits in which she was trying to help a nameless blonde understand what Hades was? I love her more.) And the awkwardness with Sean after? Charming. And thank goodness us ordinary folk got an chance to see a real model--wait, no, a FORD model--put her skills to use. However, my favorite line of the night came from Tierra: "I'm focusing on me." (Anybody else notice how very, very small her mouth can get when she's mad?)
Perhaps my extreme discomfort with the premise of Desiree's ("Bangs") date is clear about now. As is the reason why Chris Harrison is SO delighted with it. Finally! An out-front prank! A chance to laugh in front of the camera! And how did no one on the crew bust out laughing with the hot tub skimmer glurping during her Serious Conversation with Sean? Comedic discipline. That's what I'm talking about.
At the cocktail party we learned that Amanda Shoulder Roses was Not Here For the Right Reasons. Which means she's misunderstanding the Bachelor joke premise on a selfish level rather than a foolish level. But a foiled blonde girl in a black dress, observing her from the opposite end of the spectrum, had a different diagnosis: "I feel like tonight is literally a tornado, waiting to happen." Literally. Literally. Yes. Now THAT would make an exciting show. Unfortunately, all we got was a rose ceremony and the departure of a couple of cannon fodder girls who got zero camera time. And left without laughing, as they all do. Bravo, Bachelor people. Bravo, yet again.