The Bachelor – Hometown Funk (Don’t Believe Me? Just Watch.)

I’ve already recapped Sunday night’s episode of The Bachelor, and I can’t believe I’m investing another two hours in this show tonight. Overkill!

Last night ended with the Britt drama, which can basically be summed up as Britt acting like an entitled brat when she didn’t get the group date rose. But before the rose ceremony, Chris had a date with sweet, bland Becca.

Becca seems perfectly nice, she just has barely appeared on this show. There’s no way she wins this. Does Chris even know, like, her last name? Becca told Chris that she’s never been in love before, and then they went outside to watch the sunset. It was a very boring date.

Buh-Bye Britt (and Carly)

Back at the hotel, Britt told the other girls that she had packed her stuff and was thinking about leaving before the rose ceremony. She told the girls that nothing Chris could say would change her mind, but then she said she’d talk to Chris first. Carly was pretty hard on her. Ugh – we get it Carly, you don’t like Britt. Just, like, go to your separate corners. These girls are so bored, stuck in a Des Moines hotel doing absolutely nothing. All they have to do is swim in their own drama. And Carly appears to love it.

Chris had decided there would be no rose ceremony, but before he’d even let out six words, Britt interrupted wanting to talk. It was a weird, tense conversation. Britt started out by apologizing, but was also very defensive. It certainly wasn’t the “I’m going to leave unless you make this better” attitude she’d said she was going to have. It felt like she was the one trying to save the relationship, and that Chris was done.

Chris said the way Britt acted as disrespectful, and not a quality he’d want in a wife. So he said goodbye, and Britt went outside to sob. Carly was ELATED. I do not like that woman. Later, someone pointed out that she could hear Britt crying outside. “Not laughing?” Carly snidely asked. Yes Carly, she’s standing outside hysterically laughing.

“Now the girl who’s the prettiest girl in the room, gets whatever she wants, knows what it’s like to be a normal person.” Carly said gleefully. Sigh. Jealousy is not a good color on Carly. She can’t even put her jealousy aside after she’s won – that’s pretty sad.

Chris still only had four roses to hand out, and five women left. The answer was obvious – Carly wasn’t getting a hometown date. Just desserts, if you ask me! I wish Carly and Britt had had to share a limo to the airport.

Visiting Becca in Shreveport, Louisiana

The first hometown date was with Becca, the least interesting of Chris’s girlfriends. Becca was wearing a very strange red shirt. She showed Chris around a bit before taking him to meet her family. The pressure was on – Chris is the first guy Becca has ever brought home to meet the family.

The first person to pull Chris aside was Becca’s mean sister. “Becca’s not an intimate person by any means,” Katie said. “I guess she doesn’t feel the urge or want to. She’s not one of those people who will be affectionate in public.” Jeez! Was Katie channeling Downton Abbey‘s Lady Mary there, or what? That was pretty mean for a sister.

After the evening with Becca’s family, Chris took her to a carnival for a Ferris Wheel ride.

Visiting Whitney in Chicago, Illinois

Next up was Whitney, the frontrunner, in Chicago. First Whitney took Chris to her job, which was weird and funny. Later, Chris met Whitney’s sister, brother-in-law, uncle and grandmother. She was raised by a single mother who passed away a few years ago. It was nice when Chris asked Whitney about asking someone for their blessing.

That person was Kimberley, who was very hesitant about the whole situation – the other women left, the moving to a small town in Iowa, etc. I love when people have normal, loving, concerned families. The ones who are all like “Welcome to the family!”, they freak me out. “Call me when you know she’s the only one”, though I’m paraphrasing, was the best thing anyone on this show has ever said.

After the visit, Whitney showed Chris a special bottle of wine she’d been saving to share with the man she wants to marry. She told him she’s fallen in love, and wanted to drink the wine with him. This girl has got to be the winner. It’s obvious.

Visiting Kaitlyn in Phoenix, Arizona

Kaitlyn lives in Vancouver, and her family is from Alberta. But they winter in Phoenix, so that’s where she met Chris. If anyone can give Whitney a run for her money, it’s probably Kaitlyn. She had a strong connection with Chris early on, but they can seem more like friends.

Kaitlyn and Chris went to a recording studio to rap…. it was as weird as it sounds. Later, they met Kaitlyn’s big family – mom, dad, stepmom, stepdad, siblings. Kaitlyn’s date was like the opposite of Whitney’s – she kept talking about hesitation, and not feeling sure because of her last relationship.

At the end of the night, she showed Chris a big Kaitlyn <3 Chris sign. Still, it’s clear that Kaitlyn’s relationship with Chris isn’t as intense as Whitney’s.

Visiting Jade in Gering, Nebraska

Finally, the date with Jade. This was more about Jade telling Chris that she’d posed for Playboy than it was about Chris meeting Jade’s family – he just didn’t know it yet. Jade was worried that her family would tell Chris about her past before she’d had a chance to.

Jade’s family hinted at her wild, free-spirited side, but overall the family visit was pretty boring. Jade seemed very nervous and uncomfortable when she was telling Chris, and he sat there in silence. She awkwardly offered to show him some of the photos, which seemed like suuuuuuch a bad idea. She should have just believed that he’d Google it all later.

Chris seemed bothered by it, but also as though he didn’t want to appear bothered by it. He told Jade he judges her by the person she is, and that it’s not something that changes their relationship.

Roses

It was no surprise that Whitney got the first rose, or that Kaitlyn got the second. In fact, I typed those words before it even happened. That’s how confident I was! However, I was wrong about the third rose – I thought it would go to Jade over Becca.

Next week, Bali!

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The Bachelor – Iowa/I-Owe-Ya

THREE HOURS of The Bachelor aired on Sunday night, with another episode airing tonight. That is a lot of time spent listening to Chris’s girlish giggle.

The first hour featured interviews with Kelsey, Chris and Andie. Yawn – is it just me, or was that episode incredibly boring? Kelsey was just as fake as always – she pretended as though she had no idea that she was controversial, and you KNOW that’s not true. Later, Andie shed a lot of tears while talking about her breakup with the baseball player – I’ve already forgotten his name. There were few details – they’re both strong personalities, etc.

I hoped the second episode, in which Chris would take the remaining women to his home of Iowa, would be more interesting. After all, Chris’s hometown has really been painted so far as hell on earth.

Chris briefly spoke with the women about sending Ashley and Kelsey home, and then he said goodbye to Megan. But there would still be a rose ceremony! Harrison said one more lady had to go. EVERYONE thought it would be Carly. Everyone except Chris, that is. He told Harrison that he had feelings for all the women and wanted to take ‘em all home to Iowa.

I think these women may have been more excited than any other humans, ever, to go to Iowa.

Let’s take a look at where these five women are from, and what they do. Becca is a chiropractic assistant in San Diego. Britt is a waitress (wannabe actress, presumably) in Hollywood. Carly is a cruise ship singer from Arlington, Texas (though she would spend a lot of her time at sea.) Jade is a cosmetics developer in L.A. Kaitlyn is a dance instructor in Vancouver. Whitney is a fertility nurse in Chicago. 

So, five of these six women currently reside in large cities. The other mostly lives on a boat. And they all think they would be happy just up and moving to Iowa? What would any of them do for work there?

The women were pleasantly surprised when they arrived in Des Moines, because it’s a city and has trees. It’s also not where Chris lives.

Jade got the first date card, inviting her to join Chris in his hometown. Arlington, Iowa – population 429 according to Wikipedia. Probably even less, though! Wikipedia says the population declined from 490 people in 2000, to 429 people in 2010. I bet these girls have more Facebook friends than that town’s population. The other girls were JEALOUS as hell that Jade was getting to see the hometown.

Chris owns a very nice house, which probably cost $350 because Iowa. When he showed Jade the vast, empty surrounding land that he owns and farms, it reminded me of that scene from The Lion King. You know the one, where Mufasa tells Simba “Everything the light touches is our kingdom.”

Jade talked about coming from a small town and not having “my head in the clouds” over the idea of moving, and talked about how she’d need to adjust to the slow-paced lifestyle. That sounded like a thinly veiled “oh hell, no” to me.

Chris took Jade for a tour of the “town”, which was mostly just empty, shuttered buildings. Chris told Jade where he used to go, used to shop, used to hang out. The grocery store was closed, the bar was closed. There’s no coffee shop – Chris’s dad buys coffee at someone’s house. Honestly, it sounded like Chris himself wasn’t too thrilled about living there.

It was interesting to see Jade react – she was clearly expecting a small town like the one she grew up in, and instead she found a ghost town. When they went to the high school football game, it kind of reminded me of Friday Night Lights. But even Dillon, Texas had the Alamo Freeze and a strip club.

Jade met Chris’s parents at the football game, and then they went and explored his old high school. In the English classroom, and Jade tried to tell Chris about her past wild child ways. Chris obviously sees Jade a certain way and can’t picture her as much of a rebel. So, she delayed telling him anything more. Jade confessed to the camera that she’s falling in love with Chris.

Next, Chris had a date with Whitney in Des Moines. So, Whitney just won’t see Arlington? This seems misleading. Whitney said this could be her first date “in my new home”. Um, no. It’s your first date a three hour drive from your new home. There’s a difference.

While Whitney was on her date, the other women went on a road trip to Arlington. I love how it was made to seem like it was spur of the moment, when it totally wasn’t. All four women were shocked at how small the town was, and how everything was closed.

Chris and Whitney went for dinner, and she met three of his friends. Whitney seems like the most sensible fit for Chris. They don’t seem to have the most chemistry, but they might last longer as a couple than he would with one of the other women. Except Carly, who seems so intense and desperate that she would never leave Arlington, even to see a movie.

Whitney told Chris that she’s not just looking for a guy, she’s looking for a family. Is this the date where Whitney locks it down? It definitely seems like she’s the frontrunner now.

Chris, Carly, Kaitlyn and Britt went skating together for their group date. They played hockey for, like, three minutes and then Britt stole Chris to talk. She told Chris how she went to Arlington and told Chris that she fell in love with the sunset and felt “so alive” there. I often thing Carly overreacts to things, but she was pretty much lying to the guy’s face.

When Chris had time with Carly, she told him that Britt had said she could never live in Arlington. He tried to talk to Britt about it again, but she didn’t fess up to even momentary negative feelings about the town.

When Kaitlyn finally got some time, she told Chris she felt like she was further behind in their relationship than the other women. Because this is a race. To show Kaitlyn that he really wants to meet her family, Chris gave her the date rose.

Britt, of course, was very upset by this development. Britt really isn’t cut out for this show. She gave Chris a serious death stare when he returned, and told Chris she was confused and hurt – no offense, Kaitlyn! It was such an awkward conversation to have as a group. The show ended with the other women discussing how there is no way for Britt to recover from this. I guess we’ll find out tonight!

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The Bachelor: South Dakota, “The Perfect Place To Fall In Love, Or Get Shot In The Back”

Well, here we are again! This week’s episode of The Bachelor picked up exactly where last week’s left off – Kelsey’s questionable panic attack. (By the way, Google Kelsey’s husband Sanderson Poe’s obituary. It’s quite a read.) Kelsey eventually got up, was comforted by Chris, and then annoyed all the other girls with her insincere apologies and embarrassment.

I agree with them, Kelsey seems hard to take. She talks a lot. She also comes across as pretty self-involved, manipulative, and delusional. So obviously I was thrilled to find out that Kelsey would be joining Ashley I., the other most self-involved woman in the house, on a two-on-one date.

Chris handed out the roses, and the young single mom was sent home. That was about time – she was way too young for Chris, literally and emotionally. Also, the pretty L.A. fashion designer who was clearly too glamorous for Farm Boy went home. That was unsurprising.

Save A Horse

Chris and the ladies moved from Santa Fe to some kind of weird, old timey part of South Dakota. Man, is this season being produced on a shoestring budget or what? I don’t think I’d go to South Dakota for free, you’d have to pay me. You’d definitely have to pay me to go there with Kelsey.

The one-on-one date in South Dakota went to Becca. Chris picked Becca because she’s the only notch missing on his “women I’ve kissed” bedpost. They rode horses and hung out by the campfire, because South Dakota. Becca seems nice, but there was no connection between them. I got a kick out of the way she mocked Chris’s girlish, high-pitched laugh, though.

While Becca was out on her date, a few of the other girls tried to talk to Kelsey about her poor personality. Sigh. Why? She’s a crappy person. Why try to connect with her, or make amends? Just. Avoid. Her. (Kelsey chalked the misunderstandings up to her natural-born eloquence. She’s articulate and uses big words, guys, BECAUSE SHE’S SMART and can’t help if others don’t get her. And she’s modest, too!)

Ride a Cowboy

For the group “date”, the women had to write a country music song. There was a band there, the people who sing the song “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”. I’m not familiar with them.

Chris sang first, and it sounded even worse than his laugh. The only thing higher pitched is Whitney’s voice, which does not get any better when she sings. Carly is a professional Cruise Ship Singer, so obviously she was mediocre. But personally, I would’ve liked to see more of Kaitlyn’s charming rap. Overall, this date was truly horrendous and I wish I’d fast-forwarded through it.

Rather than a group date, this was really just a Chris and Britt date with an audience. All the other women felt uncomfortable watching them, seeing how obvious it is that they dig one another. At one point, they ran away from everyone else.

They went to the Big and Rich concert and got pulled up onstage. Chris gave Britt the rose in front of everyone. They kissed in front of everyone. I guess The Bachelor isn’t for people who hate PDA. They were gone for over an hour, while the other girls just sat there. Then Chris left, and the women were left to sit and stare at Britt, feeling embarrassed and inferior. What fun!

“Badlands” is Right…

Time for the epic battle, Kelsey vs. Ashley! I dislike them both, and from the start Chris seemed pretty lukewarm about them himself. The awkward group went for a helicopter ride, and flew past Mount Rushmore. Then they awkwardly sat and sipped wine in silence.

Ashley used her alone time with Chris to talk about how everyone hates Kelsey. No! Never, ever do that. It never comes off looking good.

Kelsey said Chris has to decide whether the woman he proposes to is ready to be a wife. “I’m prepared to be a wife because I’ve been one,” she said. Ummm, that’s a very bizarre thing to say. So, the dead husband was just a trial run? Because no one can be a good wife on their first try? It was a stupid statement.

Chris immediately moved on to what Ashley had said about Kelsey being disliked by the group, and of course she reacted in the least sincere way ever. She acted hurt and surprised, and said she thought Ashley had been a friend she could trust. Ha! That’s hilarious. Kelsey was right that Ashley was wearing too much makeup, though – those eyelashes were laughable and her contouring made her face look dirty.

Kelsey confronted Ashley, who stormed off and sobbed to Chris that he shouldn’t have told Kelsey what she said. She really came across as such a fun gal! Chris comforted her for a while, and eventually sent her home. He seemed exhausted. I was exhausted. The hysterics were… a lot.

The women at the house were upset to see Ashley’s suitcase get picked up, but little did they know… Chris was on his way to dumping Kelsey, too! Yep, he cut both women loose and helicoptered the hell outta there. When Kelsey’s suitcase was picked up, the other women danced upon her grave.

Kelsey seemed unfazed. She still loves her tragic, inspiring life story. “I am immeasurably blessed,” she said. Man, I really wonder if she killed her husband so she’d be able to bear her tragedy with careful grace that others could admire. What a weirdo.

Oh god, next week is a TWO DAY Bachelor event? I can’t handle it.

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The Bachelor – Do You Know The Way To Santa Fe? You Know, Tumbleweeds, Prairie Dogs, Yeah…

That title is a little Rent reference, for those of you who care. It felt fitting, since this week Chris and his several girlfriends hit the road for exotic Santa Fe.

Date #1- Sex Ed

Chris’s first date was with Carly, the cruise ship singer who greeted Chris by singing along to a portable, pink Hello Kitty karaoke machine.

The date was super, super weird. Chris was blindfolded, and Carly had to like, touch his feet and feed him fruit. Wait, didn’t someone else do that during her first meeting with Chris? This guy is always eating strawberries with his eyes closed. Then, they did a “de-robing”. AKA GET NAKED! Is this the lowest The Bachelor has ever stooped? Chris and Carly agreed that this was uncomfy and put their shirts back on. But Carly still had to sit in Chris’s lap and breathe deeply, so the discomfort did not stop.

I don’t even like the deep breathing part of yoga class, you guys. It’s weird and boring. This  is a weird, disgusting date. I hope they both ate 10,000 Tic Tacs before doing this.

Later, Carly told Chris that her most recent boyfriend, of two years, never physically touched her. Chris said nice things to her, and then told the camera that Carly would be the best wife you could ever ask for. So she got a rose.

I don’t know, guys. Carly seems like such a fragile little flower. Like she could fall to pieces at any second.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Back at the house, all the girls thought it was so weird that Kelsey has been here for five whole weeks and she hasn’t told Chris that she’s a widow! Five weeks, you guys. That’s a lifetime. Ashley Kardashian also thought it was super weird that Kelsey could be so nonchalant about her story, but Ashley cries ALL THE TIME so that’s not fair.

Kelsey said “I need to tell Chris about being a widow,” but that she needed a one-on-one date to reveal that information. Ugh, everyone on this show has some sad secret past to share. Chris should just run a little confessional booth for a group date so everyone can get this stuff off their chests.

Date #2 – Making Waves

Chris and a bunch of ladies went river rafting on the rapids for the group date. I was worried about Ashley and her Kardashian lashes falling overboard, but it turned out that Jade was the one we should all worry about. She fell overboard, and had some kind of medical issue blah blah blah hypothermia, long story short, Chris had to rub her feet.

Before the group cocktail party, Chris “ran into” Jordan. She drove from Colorado to apologize for being a drunken mess and to ask for a second chance. Chris said he likes to drink, and Jordan said sometimes drinking gets the best of her. Umm, did anyone else feel a teensy bit uncomfortable with this conversation? Anyway, Chris showed up to the party with Jordan. All the other girls were like, “Longtime no see, gal pal! How you been?” HA! Kidding. They were pissed.

The most angry was Ashley. Not only was she upset, but she wanted all the other girls to be openly angry, too. Regina George, much?

Jordan was the main topic of conversation for most of the night, and eventually Chris just cut his losses and sent her home. He gave the rose to someone who is there “for the right reasons”, Whitney.

Ashley said she’d looked at Whitney earlier that day and said “I don’t really need to worry about that.” What a meanie!

Date #3 – Tears for Fears

Britt was so excited she’d been selected for the one-on-one date, until she saw that the date card said “The sky’s the limit.” Then she was all tears. I mean, to be fair, The Bachelor does love coercing women into jumping off high structures. Her fears weren’t unwarranted.

Chris snuck into the girls’ house early in the morning to surprise Britt for their date. I wonder if she’d showered yet? That was weird. Chris woke Britt up, and then said “Britt looks just as beautiful first thing in the morning as she does when she’s all dolled up for the rose ceremony. It’s pretty incredible.” Um, that’s because she was wearing a full face of makeup in bed, you moron. Seriously – shimmery eyeshadow, mascara, lip gloss, the works.

Carly was spying on them, and it also looked like she was wearing makeup. Do these women not worry about breakouts? Or are they worried more about surprise early morning visits from their mutual suitor? I’m confused.

Britt threw on a pair of dirty socks and headed out for her date.

Britt spent so much time going on about her fear of heights, and then was overcome with excitement when she saw the hot air balloons. I feel like her phobia isn’t as bad as she led us to believe. Otherwise she wouldn’t be sailing up, up away in a human-sized picnic basket.

Producers had a fun time cutting back and forth between Britt’s date, and the women discussing Britt. The women say Britt never showers, then we see Britt excitedly declaring how clean Chris’s hotel room is. The women say Britt doesn’t dream of getting married and having kids, then we see Britt telling Chris she wants 100 kids.

Then they made out in bed and Chris closed the doors, soooooo…..

Drama

Britt told everyone that after the hot air balloon ride they had room service, had dessert and coffee, and “took a nap.” SCANDAL.

Kelsey saw this as evidence that her relationship with Chris was threatened, so she paid him a surprise visit. Time to drop the widow bomb!

Kelsey told Chris her story through eyes much tearier than when she told the other girls. Sure, I thought. This is a more intimate moment, she’s more emotional. But then, to the camera, Kelsey said “Wasn’t my story amazing? It’s TRAGIC, but it’s AMAZING. I love my story”

*record scratch*

What? OK, I’m not a sappy, emotional person, but even I thought that was cold.

Chris was super emotional when he arrived at the rose ceremony. He was much more emotional over his conversation with Kelsey than Kelsey herself was.

Kelsey was so condescending when she spoke to the other girls, telling them what a precious gift time is, but also told them that she knew he’d already made his decision. She was right, though. Chris decided to skip the cocktail party because he’d made up his mind.

It’s hard to say who is worse, Kelsey or Ashley. Ashley was thisclose to saying “I wish I had a dead husband!” She was outwardly jealous of Kelsey’s “story” and the advantages it afforded her. Who is so stupid that they say those thoughts out loud? Ashley is. “My story is just nothing compared to hers,” Ashley whined. She had one thing right, though – this whole show is just one big competition of who has the saddest story.

Kelsey, who’d been so confident at the beginning of the night, was suddenly very nervous. And then, very suddenly, she was lying on the floor having a panic attack. The other women all looked very suspicious. Then the show was to be continued, but don’t worry guys – I have a feeling that Kelsey will be just fine!

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Parenthood – “May God Bless and Keep You Always”

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I’m writing this blog as I watch the Parenthood series finale for the second time. There was so much in the episode, and it elicited so many emotions, that I knew there was no way I could write about it without watching it again.

I thought the finale was perfect. It was a show I truly loved, and I think Jason Katims and the other writers gave the characters the kind of send-off we’d all hoped for. This is a family drama that has taken us through difficult times – illness, bad decision making, falling outs – but it’s not Breaking Bad. It would have been wrong to end this show on a note that was anything other than hopeful.

Here we go. Stop reading if you haven’t watched.

Only the Bravermans would be able to put together an actual wedding in a week. Well, the Bravermans with a helping hand from the magic of television, I guess.

“I’m not going to be assisting, you need to work on your listening skills. I’m going to be the main photographer.” – Max

It was very sweet that Hank asked Max to photograph the wedding. I liked that Kristina felt that it was a risk, but I bet Hank did not. Hank’s been working with Max for a while now, he’s seen his photos. He wouldn’t have done this if he wasn’t confident that Max could do it, I think. So to me, this felt like a way to let us know that Max is talented. That maybe he really could take photos and have a career in the future. His jubilant “I’m employed!” was pretty darn cute.

The first scene where I think everyone probably started to cry came about five minutes in, when Hank came to ask Zeek for his blessing. (Something, we later found out, that not even Joel did!) Hank told Zeek about the Aspergers thing, which he wasn’t aware of. Zeek barely getting out the words “Take care of my daughter” was beautiful, but the moment that really got me was when Zeek realized why Sarah was in such a rush to have the ceremony. My heart!

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I know Amber’s apartment was small, but what really bothered me about it was that she still left the door open with the baby! Crosby and Jasmine came to visit, and he told her that they were shutting down the Luncheonette. It was a strong scene, because you could see Crosby struggling with the “why?” and he just had to tell Amber the truth. That Adam didn’t want to do it. I never cared that much about the Luncheonette, but I care about Crosby and Adam. I felt so bad for Crosby, he was clearly so hurt when Adam asked him to sign the dissolution papers. Adam asking if Amber thought the payment was “a fair amount” made me so mad. He just never gets it, that guy. It’s not about the money.

When Julia got a call from the social worker, I wasn’t sure what was in store. But as soon as they found out that Victor had a new half-sister who was up for adoption, I knew they’d go for it. I loved the way they tried to debate it and be logical, but you just knew that they wanted her. Because of the struggles that Joel and Julia went through over the past couple seasons, it’s easy to think that they’ll never be the same again. But in the earlier seasons of the show, they were my favorite couple. I’m choosing to believe they can get back to that.

Another one of my favorite smaller scenes was Hank asking Drew to be his best man. Hank has always had a strong relationship with Max and they obviously have a lot in common, but he’s a lot like Drew as well. They’re both men of few words, who care a lot about their families.

I think my favorite scene from the whole episode (except for maybe the final one, of course) was the conversation between Zeek and Sarah. I said in my last blog that I feel like the show has truly been about Zeek, Sarah and Amber. Those relationships have been at the heart of this show, at least for me. That’s never been more evident than during this scene.

“Have I ever told you that you’re my favorite?”

“I don’t think I would’ve ever found him if you hadn’t let me come home and stay here for a while. It just changed everything. Thank you.”

“Have I been a good father?” “The very best.”

And then we were all a collective puddle of tears.

Halfway through the episode, we got to the wedding. It was so perfect, it gave us so many great moments and that wonderful thing that happens when this whole big crazy family gets together.

(From my intense Instagram stalking of the cast, I’m pretty sure that Tavi Gevinson, who played Haddie’s girlfriend, was around during the taping of the finale. So I’m assuming her scene got cut, but I’m telling myself that they continue to happily date.)

My friend Melanie predicted that Zeek might buy out Adam’s half of the Luncheonette and leave it to Amber, so that she and Crosby could run the business together. She wasn’t far off, and actually I think Melanie’s idea was a bit more plausible than what actually happened. But it’s best we don’t think about the actual business logistics here. What Crosby needed was to hear that he could do this without Adam, and it led to a really nice scene between him and Zeek. Also one between him and Adam, and best of all between Crosby and Amber. I love the idea of Crosby, who’s all grown up, being “the new Adam” and Amber, who’s just getting started, as “the new Crosby”. Can we get a spinoff series with Mae Whitman and Dax Sherperd running their family-friendly recording studio, please?

The sequence of the family taking photos before the wedding might be one of my all-time favorite things.

“Boy, we did good, didn’t we Camille?” “We sure did.”

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Then Zeek walked his favorite child down the aisle and it was beautiful. Sarah’s storylines on this show have often focused on her love life, and there have been a couple love triangles. Mr. Cyr came in and out of her life, and thus ours. But I must say, I’ve loved Ray Romano in this role, and I’m glad Sarah ended up with Hank. I’m glad she found photography, and him.

The party scene was amazing because you know I LOVE watching Bravermans dance. (The fever!) It was cute how Ruby’s friend thought Max was cool because he was the wedding photographer, and when he asked her to dance it was the single best moment of Max’s entire time on Parenthood. And the song playing was “Maybe I’m Amazed”, which is one of the all-time best songs.

The wedding was really one incredible moment after another. Camille and Zeek asking Amber to move in with them was so beautiful and full-circle and incredibly moving. They’re helping her get on her feet the same way they helped Sarah.

“Grandpa and I have talked about it, and we decided that we want this to be our third act.”

ALL THE FEELINGS. THIS GIVES ME ALL THE FEELINGS.

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Another moment that gave me all of the feelings was Drew’s speech. Kudos to Miles Heizer for pulling that off perfectly. He was much more eloquent than 15 year-old Drew had been, but it also wasn’t like he was suddenly the president of Toastmasters. It was sweet, genuine and simple. He was holding back emotion the whole time. The tears in his eyes when he addressed his mom really got me.

Moving on past the wedding… Chambers Academy has never been my thing. Adam and Kristina have never been my favorites. But it was nice that Crosby helped Adam realize that he should follow his passion, and it was convenient that Kristina could just offer him her own job so she can go build 100 more schools. That’s all I’ll say about that.

The Final Scenes

I could write an entire blog about the last eight minutes of the episode. I keep using the same words over and over again in this post – emotional, beautiful, perfect. I’m sorry to be so repetitive, but they all describe these final scenes as well.

Camille found Zeek in his chair, resting in peace. It was horribly sad, and the look on Camille’s face broke my heart. Her voice wavered, and my own face just crumpled. I knew the show would end this way, we all did. That couldn’t have mattered less.

“If I die, you take my ashes and you scatter them over center field at Marine park and then play a game of baseball over me.”

That’s what Zeek said to Adam in an earlier episode, and I never forgot it. For the show to end with scenes of the family fulfilling Zeek’s wishes would have been fine. But I’d been really, really hoping for a flash-forward sequence to end the show, and I was so relieved to get it. We get to see where our favorite TV family ends up in a few years, we get to have a sense of how their lives progress. It was a gift.

  • Camille goes to France, to the place Zeek had wanted to take her as a surprise.
  • The song that played during the sequence is being recorded at The Luncheonette. Jasmine is pregnant again, and Aida has an amazing hairstyle.
  • Joel and Julia’s family gets a puppy, and has a new baby a couple years after adopting. Joel and Victor get glasses. We never find out if Sydney becomes President of the United States.
  • Hank and Sarah’s blended family has a happy dinner together, and we see that Amber is now with a single dad. Ryan has cleaned up his act and is now a part of Little Zeek’s life. This made me the happiest. I didn’t want Amber to end up with Ryan, but I’m happy that he became healthy. And, she ends up with 6! Jason Street! (Another appearance from a Friday Night Lights alum, for those unfamiliar with Katims’ other famous show. Now if you haven’t seen that, go watch it ASAP.
  • Max graduates from high school. This isn’t surprising, given that his parents created the school for him. For me, moments that packed more emotional punch were Max asking a girl to dance, Max taking beautiful wedding photos, and Max hugging little Nora during the baseball game. But his celebratory fist pump was cute.

I wish we’d been able to see a bit more of Haddie and Drew’s futures, but as I assume both Bravermans graduate from excellent colleges, they probably end up just fine. With Zeek gone, I love the idea of Amber living with Camille even more. She can watch the apartment while Camille goes off on adventures, and keep her company when she’s home.

Crosby and Jasmine end up with at least three children, and Julia and Joel end up with four. The Bravermans loved their big family, and it’s only fitting that most of the children end up having their own big families.

There are a few lovely deleted scenes on HitFix.com. I hope there’s even more when the DVD comes out.

I will miss this sweet, at times sad, lovely family drama very, very much.

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Parks and Recreation – Treat Yo Self in Beverly Hiiiiiiiiiiills!

Thursday night’s episodes of Parks and Recreation were both solid, but given my affection for “Treat Yo Self”, I enjoyed the second episode most.

This final season of Parks is only 13 episodes long, and the writers are hurtling through it full speed, not wasting any time. I like this energy. We’re six episodes in and Ron and Leslie have mended their friendship, Tom has asked out Lindsey, and he team figured out a way to keep Gryzzl away from their park land. So, what next? April hasn’t found a career she can be passionate about yet, and I’m sure the writers have a few more tricks up their sleeves.

I am curious id this is the last we’ll hear about a feud with Gryzzl. Ron was so angry that they’d discovered his son’s identity through data mining, doesn’t he want more revenge than just helping them set up shop in a different location? The solution was Leslie’s dream come true – she gets her park, and Gryzzl will help revitalize the one neighborhood in Pawnee that’s still gross. But Ron hasn’t really gotten his revenge.

As for Tom and Donna, I could watch 30 minutes solid of them wandering around Rodeo Drive treatin’ themselves. They are just too much fun. Donna gave Tom some sage advice about following his heart, and she gave him the shoes Jayden Smith wore in Hitch 2: Son of a Hitch. Because 2017.

In other storylines, I particularly enjoyed Dax Shepard guest-starring as Andy’s TV producer. Maybe that’s just because I’m upset about Parenthood ending and want to see anyone from that cast on TV as much as possible.

Here’s a few more highlights:

  • Perdcourt! Per Hapley is not a real judge, don’t ever forget it.
  • “Is Star Wars the one with the little wizard boy?”
  • We saw Leslie and Ben’s triplets in the season finale last year, but we haven’t since. I’m not against this, since this show is about colleagues and not families – but I’m hoping that Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe will return at some point, and that maybe we’ll see all the kids them.
  • April interacting with the new interns, and learning an important lesson from a newly somewhat mellow Craig, was great.
  • Watermelon martinis, exposed brick, Keri Russell’s hair – these are things that make Craig happy.
  • Craig was only in charge of Tom’s restaurant for 30 seconds, but he was happy with the decisions he made and the people he fired.
  • Leslie and Ron’s epically bad high-fives.
Posted in Parenthood

The Bachelor – The Virgin Diaries

I was worried, guys! I was worried that storm coverage would keep me from watching The Bachelor tonight, and what a disaster that would have been! Luckily, a blizzard couldn’t stop this drama.

Natural Women

The card for the first group date made reference to the word “natural”, so most of the women began freaking out that it meant no false lashes or hair extensions. (But their breasts, of course, would have to remain rather unnatural.)

Actually, the date was at a lake. Most of the girls took their bikinis off. “This is a date made for bimbos!” exclaimed Kelsey. Oh, sweetie. This is a show made for bimbos. Sure, not everyone who goes on The Bachelor is a bimbo. But the casting department, they do look for a certain kind of girl. Kelsey said that anyone with self-respect would think about calling it quits. That’s exactly what they don’t want.

She was definitely channeling some April Ludgate vibes out there.

parks and recHere are some of her best quotes:

  • “This is absurd.”
  • “My face is getting skinnier because I’ve spent too much time fake-smiling, trying to pretend to enjoy just, this… hellhole.”
  • There are moments where I just feel like taking a fork and stabbing it in my eye.”

Just when she thought it couldn’t get any worse, Chris announced that they would camp at the “dingy pond”. And then she got stung by a bee.

Kelsey kept her fake smile and fake laugh going when Chris was around, and the other girls picked up on it. Why didn’t she just go home? There’s no shame in deciding that being on The Bachelor sucks.

Ashley S. was on this date, and she was just as loony as usual. Is she on some kind of medication that reacts poorly with alcohol? It seemed like the whiskey really brought out the crazy in her.

The rose date went to Kaitlyn, which was pretty predictable. She was in her element camping, and has the easiest chemistry with Chris. She’s funny, and he’s kind of boring, so it balances out.

Ashley I. was pissed that she didn’t get the rose, and she wanted to let Chris know that even though she took off her bikini top, she’s never even had a boyfriend. But, can she drive?

cluelessChris was asleep and did not understand anything that was happening.

Sister Act

Chris’s three sisters came to the house to meet the women and select one person for a solo date. Jillian was half in the pool, 100% asleep when they arrived. That seems safe. They chatted with each girl, but I couldn’t really tell who connected with them.

They chose Jade, which was nice because she seems really shy and quiet. She might not be pushy enough to spend a lot of time with Chris in group settings, so it was nice that the sisters picked her out of the crowd as a nice girl.

Belle of the Ball

Jade’s date was Cinderella themed, and she was treated like a princess while getting ready – she even had a pink-haired fairy godmother. Ashley I. was so jealous I thought she would die. She played the role of the wicked stepsister perfectly!

Ashley even did her make up, put on a ball gown, and then sat alone eating an ear of corn, moping. WTF? That girl is a BRAT.

Jade seems sweet, but she moved to L.A. to launch a business. How is that supposed to work with “Prince Farming”, as Ashley called him?

Bridezillas

HA! For the second group date, everyone wore wedding dresses and Ashley wasn’t a part of it because she was on the CAMPING date. Ha!

The women weren’t walking down the aisle, they were running a mucky obstacle course race “for charity”. Jillian obviously won, because she spends most of her time working out. Or sleeping in pools.

Jillian talked a lot on her date with Chris. Mostly about fitness, which is suuuuuuch a boring topic. Basically, Chris admitted that he started to tune her out after a while.

Jillian asked Chris if he would rather have sex with a homeless girl (she described some gross things) or abstain from sex for five years. AND THEY DIDN’T SHOW HIS ANSWER. Sometimes my friend Joel asks me silly “would you rather” questions and I always answer “neither” and it makes him crazy mad. Which makes me crazy happy. Jillian and Chris do not even have the chemistry of platonic friends. They have literally NOTHING in common. Thankfully, he did not give her a rose.

Chris said if this (the show) doesn’t work, he’ll be concerned about his potential in life. HE’S 33 WHOLE YEARS OLD AND STILL UNMARRIED. Poor Chris. Has anyone told him what kind of track record this show has? He’s going to be so disappointed.

“Can I steal him for a second?”

If you haven’t seen it, take five minutes and watching this Saturday Night Live sketch that makes fun of The Bachelor: “Farm Hunk”.

Ashley I. decided she hadn’t been obvious enough in the tent the other night when talking to Chris. But instead of just saying “So I’m a virgin”, she quizzed him on what he’d taken away from their conversation. Y’know, the one he was basically asleep for. So she told him, and then kept saying “It’s nothing that I’m super serious about.” Oh god, is Ashley going to cash in her v-card in the Fantasy Suite? Nooooooo.

Chris didn’t kiss Ashley before they parted ways, so she started sobbing through those luscious, false eyelashes.

Word spread quickly about Ashley, and the women all reacted differently. One girl (Carly, maybe?) said “Well her mouth is not a virgin” because she has kissed Chris and that is so unchaste! Becca mentioned that she is also a virgin, but she was way more chill about it.

When Britt hung out with Chris, she basically confronted him about giving Caitlyn so many roses and kiiiiiind of slut-shamed her. Chris stumbled over his words a lot, because Britt suggesting that he was “validating” inappropriate behavior was weird. He should have just said he didn’t want to talk about the other girls. Chris mumbled “I’m glad to have had this conversation” and could not have meant it less and stormed off to make a speech about his good intentions.

Britt received the final rose, despite her awkward conversation with Chris. Crazy Ashley S., Juelia, and a brunette I didn’t recognize were sent home. Ashley left and said “I feel nothing. I’m not sad at all.” It was refreshing.

Posted in The Bachelor