Last night oscillated between fleeting moments of sweetness and being downright boring. There was a point where, after far too many minutes spent showing Alex cluelessly pursue Amanda, I cried out loud, “WHO CARES?” That was not dramatic, funny, or interesting. Watching others make fun of his height (which I absolutely believe is corollary to his not being popular; I doubt they’d tease his height if they genuinely enjoyed his company) is also not dramatic, funny, or interesting.
The promise of the drama that shut down production seriously fell flat, too. Not only was it clearly presumed that we’d read every article there was to be read on the topic, we were actually provided nothing we couldn’t have found on Google. There was no exclusive footage, no description of the events, no play-by-play from the contestants’ perspectives. All we got was some sympathizing with DeMario (Raven and Diggy really shone here) and a very hesitant (but powerful) deduction that race likely played a significant role in the allegations. But it wasn’t long before things rapidly morphed into what felt like “Today’s Lesson” with schoolteacher Chris Harrison. He kept prodding a room full of adults to indirectly defend production for them (by explicitly stating that no alcohol is ever pushed on any contestant, that they don’t ever do anything they don’t want to do) and to describe what “consent” means to them. Let’s be honest: this is a (usually deliciously) trashy television show fuelled by alcohol and choices made under the influence of said alcohol. There are sentimental moments and the occasional successful couple, but we wouldn’t be watching without the alcohol. It doesn’t mean drinks are poured down anyone’s throats (of course they wouldn’t encourage a non-drinker to drink—this isn’t worthy of a gold sticker), and it doesn’t mean anyone’s forced to do anything. All I’m saying is, a cast made up of non-drinkers would not guilty pleasure programming make, so it’s a bit moot to act all high and mighty about the free-flowing booze.
The impact that investigation had on the season’s relationships cannot be underestimated. I was amazed at how freely the contestants continued to see each other—and spoke of continuing to see each other—while the show was shut down. Overnight (for us, anyway), Derek and Taylor went from the early flirtation stage to being full-blown, honeymoon-stage boyfriend and girlfriend (and they are CUTE). Dean and Kristina, on the other hand, seemed to have had a bit too much time together; their honeymoon stage appears to be long gone already. (And ladies, if a man ever says that he wants you to go on a date with another guy so you don’t “miss out,” this is code for him not wanting to miss out.) Jasmine and Matt seem to be over before it ever really began, with her clearly pressing for commitment and him backing off big time. With Raven and Ben Z., it’s like it never even happened. Amazing how yesterday I was writing about my favourite couplings and now three out of four them appear to be donezo. Ten days in the real world certainly accelerated things.
I can’t deny the sweet moments were very, very sweet. I do enjoy a sporadic Bachelor franchise wedding—for a dating franchise they certainly are sporadic—and find it funny when something along the lines of, “Look, we do have success stories!” is shoved in our faces. That said, in spite of myself (or perhaps because I’m three weeks away from my own wedding), I ate that Bachelor wedding montage right up. I’d never seen most of them and actually teared up at a few moments. As for Carly and Evan, I’ve been a fan of both of them for some time now; I have months’ worth of recaps to prove it. I’ve always found Carly the right ratio of sentimental and razor sharp, and she has a serious knack for comedic but astute ITM commentary. I’ve always loved Evan’s expressiveness and effusiveness (often under appreciated traits) and his unabashed march to the beat of his own drum. It’s a match made in heaven, and despite this episode’s many flops, Evan’s face as he watched Carly walk down the aisle was alone worth tuning in for.
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