First off, Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell are getting their own reality spinoff on the Disney Freeform network. Really. Ok – let’s break this down:
1) I had to Google the Freeform network, and it used to be ABC Family, but Disney renamed it “Freeform” to “reflect it’s edgier content.” And when I think edgy, I think Ben and Lauren. Cute couple and all, and I’m sure they’ll have beautiful children, but those two are about as edgy as a beanbag chair.
2) The show follows Ben and Lauren as they prepare for their wedding, and try to adjust to real life after the exotic dates of The Bachelor have ended. Because nothing says “real life” like another reality show. I’ll say it again, real life sucks, and people will do anything to stay on tv.
3) Out of all the lunatics that have graced this franchise with their whackery over the years, Lauren and Ben are the first ones to get their own show, and there was no one else more entertaining that was willing to step up before now? Kaitlyn and Shawn Gosling sitting on the couch, drinking beer and telling socially awkward jokes? I’d give that a shot. Banging My Way Through LA, With Jesse Kovacs? Yep. Chad’s Weightlifting Hour, Brought to You By PowerMax Protein Shakes? I’m in. To Catch a Predator, Featuring Nick Viall (As the Predator)? Fuck yeah – I’m setting my DVR for that. But Ben and Lauren picking out place settings and trying to whittle their guest list down to 450 names, while saying “I love you!” & “I love you more!” every 30 seconds? I’ll pass on that every day of the week.
On to this week’s business, and welcome to beautiful and cosmopolitan Buenos Aires! Does this place look amazing or what? I want to leave the kids with the grandparents and go to Argentina for like a month. We catch up with JoJo, who is continuing her Che Guavara-inspired campaign to greet every dog in South America:
Lovely Better Half: Omigod, I forgot about this! NOBODY in Buenos Aires cleans up after their dog. There’s dog shit everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I’ve never been to a city that had so much dog shit on the ground.
Ok, well, that sounds nasty; maybe we go somewhere else for a month. Chris Harrison shows up, looking ready to tango.
Buenos Harris! Que pasa, rico suave!
JoJo talks a lot while Chris nods and says “uh-huh” a lot in return. Finally, Chris cuts her off and says “Buenos Aires should be a great backdrop for a wonderful week. Alright, I’m off for the next 5 days; Messi and I are gonna inhale enough steak and wine to kill an army. See ya at the ceremony, CH out.”
Wells 1-on-1 – Besame, Besame Muchacho
There’s some confusion over what the date card means, but luckily Chase speaks fluent Spanish, and informs the group that it translates (loosely) to “Kiss me, bro-chacho.” Wells decides that now is the time to tell the rest of the guys that he’s the only one that hasn’t kissed JoJo yet, which of course makes Alex very angry.
That’s fucking bullshit, man! If I was with JoJo, I’d kiss her all the time! Wells doesn’t even care! He’s not here for the right reasons! And what’s up with sending Vinny home last week? Do you see my hair? It’s a complete trainwreck! This SUCKS!!
So, the boys talk smack in the hotel room, while Wells and JoJo walk around Buenos Aires, performing their own delicate-yet-awkward tango around a first kiss that has yet to happen. They eventually find their way to a performing art theater, where Wells gets strapped to a wire and forced to run on a treadmill.
This guy almost killed himself trying to swing an axe, and now this? Do The Producers want him to die of a heart attack? Is there money on it? And is it too late to place a bet?
Then JoJo and Wells strip down and slide around in a pool suspended 15 feet above the ground, which would be awesome if they were 8 years old. They keep telling us how romantic it is….
….but for some reason, it doesn’t look too sexy to me. Honestly, they look like two people fighting for their lives on a sinking ship in a typhoon, and there’s nothing romantic about that. Eventually, though, Wells works up the nerve and lays one on JoJo, but honestly, I think it’s more because of the mood lighting than the 360 degree mobile slip-and-slide.
Black light makes everyone look sexy. I learned that in college…
Night falls, and it’s time for deep conversation about life and love.
Wells: So, I’ve always had my idea of what the perfect woman for me would be like, and it was always different than you. So ummm, I’m glad you opened my eyes to new types of girls?
JoJo: Huh. That’s an interesting thing to say. Tell me about your ex.
Wells: We dated for 4 years, and we were really good friends, but the passion went away.
JoJo: Wow, that sounds like my last situation. It’s hard to go through.
Wells: Well, the passion always goes away…
JoJo: [eyebrows raising] Does it have to?
Wells: Yeah! The sparks always fizzle out.
JoJo: That’s funny, because I still believe in the fairy tale kind of love, where you’re still hot for the other person in good times and bad.
Wells: Wait, you want a fairy tale?! That’s crazy!
JoJo: [sighs] Sooo, Wells…I respect the way you’ve approached this process, and I feel like we’ve built this friendship…
Here comes the “but”….
JoJo: BUT, while you’re a really great guy, I think you’re a really great guy for someone else.
Wells: But that first kiss changed everything for me…
JoJo: It changed everything for me, too, Wells. Just in the complete opposite way.
So, el primero beso leads to zero roses for Wells, and he’s taking the long, lonely limo de solo to the airport.
Adios, adios brochacho…
JoJo feels so terrible, she checks out the party at the performance art theater before heading back to the hotel.
Who? Oh, that guy I was with earlier? No, he’s just a friend…
And creepy intern number 2 comes for Wells’ bag.
I’ll sniff his shoes on the elevator ride down….
Bye, Wells. Time to re-organize your vinyl collection (in order of relevance to your last relationship, following the natural arc from fireworks to fizzle. ‘Cos alphabetical is so Gen X…), and enjoy a nice craft cocktail on your porch. For what it’s worth, LBH really liked Wells, and he and Chase are the only two on this show that she would date.
Group Date – Living La Vida Boca
Luke, Robby, Jordan, James, and Alex run around La Boca district, Buenos Aires’s center for food, tango, and culture. And we also kick off James T’s South American Pity Party, where The Producers fill up 45% of the remaining airtime with James T saying “The other guys are better looking than me, they make more money than me, they’re more athletic than me, they’re more social than me, they’re faces aren’t still mangled from playing football 3 weeks ago…” Dude – have you ever heard the phrase “confidence is sexy”? You must have something to offer this girl; find it and bank on that. For everyone that cheered when Chad got sent home, this is what we’re left with now that he’s gone: James T whining about how he’s not good enough for anyone. Wahhh. Oh yeah, they play soccer with some street kids, shoot penalty kicks, and James gets a smooch from JoJo.
Nighttime: Time to alienate more readers, because Luke is driving me crazy. And it’s not just me – Lovely Better Half ain’t buying his act, either. His lines are turning into more of a schtick every week. He’s like Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. I keep waiting for him to say “Say man, you got a joint on you? Be a lot cooler if you did.” Instead, we get “Everything about you makes me want to know everything about you.” What the hell does that mean? Whatever – JoJo’s eating it up (and grabbing dangerously close to his junk), and Luke’s eating JoJo’s face.
Mmmm, JoJo…you know what I love about them Bachelorettes? I get older, they stay the same age. Alright, alright, alright….
As far as the rest of the group, James inexplicably decides to throw Jordan under the bus, because he doesn’t play poker nice.
JoJo: Do you remember what happened last time someone talked about my Jordan? Are you sure you want to be that guy, James?
1) You never want to be the rat. I don’t know why guys make this mistake every single season, but it’s the fastest way to go from boyfriend to girlfriend. 2) It’s fucking poker, James. I have never played cards without some kind of argument breaking out over the rules, and it’s not because people are entitled or arrogant or condescending; it’s because you’re playing for money, and it matters whether you win or lose. 3) No girl cares about what happens at a poker table. In fact, unless it’s relevant to her, JoJo could care less about anything the guys do. Did Jordan have a threesome with a maid and a production assistant? No? Then she doesn’t care. James T has officially gone from the underdog you root for, to the Nancy you don’t. As expected, Jordan is not happy when joJo confronts him on his poker etiquette.
The one thing no one should EVER question is my integrity. And my hair. Two things. My integrity and my hair are beyond reproach…
Jordan and James T get into it, and for the first time tonight, Alex is actually happy:
Bro! A fight! Finally, something that doesn’t completely suck…
And that’s about it for this segment. The Group Date Rose goes to Luke, and, as a reminder, this is what passes for drama now that Chad’s gone. Miss him yet? Bachelor in Paradise is just 6 short weeks away, and the cast is starting to look pretty good….
Derek vs Chase 2-on-1 Date – It Takes Two
It’s time to tango, and the analogies run strong in this segment. “The tango is all about desire”, “I feel like I’m literally caught between two men”, and “when Chase pulls me close, I can feel his passion.” I bet you can. The whole scene is just awkward.
LBH: How long did they practice this?
Me: It looks like they didn’t practice at all.
Nighttime, let’s take turns talking. First up, Derek:
Derek: I’m falling for you.
Me: He looks like he’s drunk.
LBH: Someone needs to tape his ears down.
JoJo: Let’s make out!
I love scotch, Scotchy scotchy scotch….
Great! Your turn, Chase!
JoJo: I feel like you’re scared to open up. You know, when I look back at last season, I wish more than anything that I had opened up sooner to Ben.
Me: I think JoJo just said she still wants to be with Ben.
LBH: You read a lot into other people’s words.
Me: No, I just listen to what they say, and what JoJo didn’t say was “what I learned from last season.” She said “I wish more than anything”. That’s like me saying, “I wish more than anything that I invented Google or Facebook” because then I’d be crazy rich and I’d never wear pants again. Words are expressions of thoughts, and “Wishing more than anything” means you want your situation to be different. She’s still not over Ben.
LBH: Huh. What do you read into my words?
Me: Shhh…Chase is talking.
Chase: Alright, let me give this a shot. This happened real fast. I like you. I’m here for you. And I won’t stop…being here for you…? Is that Good?
JoJo: It’s great! Let’s make out!
Rose to Chase, and JoJo asks to walk Derek to the car.
Sure, but can we stop, by ther…thar…the bar first…
JoJo says goodbye; Derek gives JoJo a kiss on her eyeball, says “I’ll see you at the Rose Ceremony”, and then bangs his head getting into the car. Then, JoJo and Chase dance to Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, while Derek balls like a baby because the mini-bar in the limo is bone dry. The exit montage is over-the-top and about 2 minutes too long. Once again, this is what passes for drama now that Chad’s gone.
Jordan talks about his feelings and JoJo practically falls out of her dress.
Robby grabs her face and tries to swallow it.
I’m still driving into Houston to get those Aerosmith tickets next week…alright, alright, alright…
Alex is nervous about where he stands, slips a little too much tongue to JoJo, and she asks the production crew for an entire bottle of Lysterine.
James Taylor says something, but I’m tuning him out in protest.
JoJo: I’m so confused about what to do, Chris.
CH: You have 3 roses to hand out. Give the first one to Jordan, then just throw the other two and whoever you hit gets to stay. This isn’t rocket science.
Luke and Chase have roses.
(Gentlemen, this is the final rose…and JoJo storms out. This angers Alex)
Bro! She needs to come back out here, and do what she came to do! Frigging PICK someone! This SUCKS!!
And JoJo does eventually come back, not with one rose, but with two, and keeps both James and Alex. James is thrilled…
…as is Jordan, judging by his expression. Strangely, Alex is more pissed off than he was when he didn’t have a rose.
This isn’t a real rose. This is a PITY rose! I don’t want a pity rose! I want a real date, and a real shot, and a REAL FUCKING ROSE! I hate this show, I hate her, I hate Argentina and I HATE YOU! THIS SUCKS!!
That’s all folks. Next week: skeet shooting, hot tubs, strange hats, Robby declares himself the front runner, and I’m guessing the poker game on the red eye out of Buenos Aires has been cancelled. See ya then, my friends.
And now, the boys debate the dietary benefits of margheritas vs margaritas. Why not both?