See what I did there? Last night was the premier of Still Star Crossed, and I made a Romeo and Juliet reference? Get it? That, in ABC land, is what we call cross promotion. I’m reaching, aren’t I? Alright, on with the recap, because we have a packed night of basketball, private planes, fireworks, mauling, thumb wars, fake babies, and one star-crossed ex-girlfriend (dammit, I did it again…)
We catch up with Rachel and Copper the Gimpy Dog at the Westlake Village Inn, and Rachel doesn’t get her own house? JoJo, at a minimum, got a condo, and I’m pretty sure The Producers built an entire separate mansion in the driveway of Bachelor Mansion for Farmer Chris. I wouldn’t want to be Mister Whiney-Pants or anything, but if The Producers are this cheap on the front end, it better be 4 star and caviar every single night for the international part of the season. I’m dead serious. Speaking of Bachelor Mansion, Chris Harrison lays down the ground rules and drops off the first date card of the season.
Jack Stone!: How can I possibly open my heart to love and yet still retain the cold, hard edge required for fighting crime? Come on, Jack Stone, think!
Matt: Is there a minimum number of weeks to be here before we can go to Paradise?
Will: Dates? I thought this was 31 strangers picked to live in a house, who find out what it’s like when people stop being polite and start getting real…
Group Date #1 – I’m Looking For Husband Material
Dean, Jack Stone!, Blake, Iggy, Kenny, Fred, and Lucas – come on down. The Blake/Lucas rivalry is still in its infancy, and it’s already tiring. Blake is sure – absolutely sure, I tell you – that Lucas is ‘here for the wrong reasons’. He is the ONE person that bring Lucas’s world tumbling down, and he’s going to tell Rachel all about it. Just as soon as she’s done dancing with Lucas. And Blake is done cooking everyone’s food.
Hey, guys! Wouldn’t it be more fair if we took turns cooking? Guys? Alright, ummm…the food’s almost ready! Does anyone want cheese on their burger? Guys? HEY! OVER HERE!
But today’s not all about tag football and ignoring Blake. Nosireebob, Group Dates are about embarrassing challenges, so say hello to the Dad Decathlon. And to help out with the whacky hijinks, here’s Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis! (Hmm…a little something for both me AND Lovely Better Half…)
Ashton: These guys all have jobs, right?
Mila: Yeah. Well, except for Whaboom and the aspiring drummer.
Ashton: Wha-what? And what does ‘aspiring drummer’ mean? Like he wants to be a drummer when he grows up? Am I being Punk’d?
A series of challenges ensue, meant to replicate a day in the life of the modern dad: change a diaper, wear a bjorn, vacuum the floor, clear a drain, find a ring, deliver some flowers – five of which I don’t personally do, so you know, totally realistic. Iggy is the first man eliminated, and he’s still holding his baby like it’s real.
This is my baby, There are many like it, but this one is mine…
All kidding aside, that’s actually a pretty good hold. Three points of contact, head supported – Iggy’s a natural. Eventually, Kenny and Whaaa-Lucas are the last two standing, and Lucas delivers a professional level stiff-arm to finish Kenny off.
Kenny is the last man on this show I would do this to…
The great part about this picture? Look at all the people in the background. The other bachelors are sitting on the bench on the right side of the pic, so everyone on the left is production staff. There’s maybe, what, 25 people there to film this one date? And think about the amount of raw film the editing crew has to go through to piece together a 2-hour episode. The amount of work that goes into a show that is basically mental bubblegum is mind-blowing. Anywho, Jack Stone! is not impressed with Lucas’s underhanded tactics:
You may have won today, Lucas. But I say unto thee: you are still not a man that should be raising anyone’s baby. You must shield your baby in the Figurative Bjorn of Truth, Justice, and Integrity, and you, sir, are no Jack Stone…
Jack Stone! needs to lighten up. Lucas spikes his baby in victory, which is oddly ironic for the winner of the Fatherhood Olympics. Not to be outdone, Blake complains (again) about Lucas, and mic drops his baby as a sign of his superior maturity.
Nighttime: Welcome to RC Vintage, home of vintage signs, video games, and…lawn chairs?
Cheers to lawn furniture!
A bunch of 1-on-1 time and man, these guys are fucking boring. When they’re not trying to hypnotize Rachel with their teeth…
Look deep into the blazing white veneers of Jack Stone!
…they’re sweating through their makeup and talking about their careers.
So, what are your 5 year, 10 year, and 20 year career paths, and how do you see incorporating your professional interests into your family planning decisions? Does anyone have a towel?
No, I don’t have a towel. I think I’ve run out of roses, too…
It’s seriously brutal to watch. And then, unbelievably, the night gets even worse when Blake throws Lucas under the bus in Week 2. Never be the snitch, and if you’re going to be the snitch, don’t do it on literally the very first date of the season. It’s like they’ve never seen the show before, and it goes over about as well as expected.
Blake: Yeah, so I was roommates with Lucas’s ex-girlfriend, and he’s totes not ‘here for the right reasons’. (Hashtag Desiree! I just loved her season!) Anyway, Lucas like totally went to the department store, JUST so he could look good on tv!
Blake: The department store? I mean, who DOES that?
Rachel: Honestly, Blake, maybe you should’ve done the same thing…
Hey Blake, a quick word of advice: if you’re talking to a girl, and she looks like that – leaning back, arms crossed, looking like she wants to pass an SOS note to the bartender – you’re doing it wrong. That is not the body language of a lady being wooed. Just saying. The fight between Lucas and Blake bored me; it was too scripted and lame and if I was the cynical sort, I’d bet the two of them planned this whole thing beforehand. Or, as Kenny puts it, “white dudes are crazy.”
But, alas, there is a shining light in the darkness, and it is Dean. You combine witty banter, boyish charm, and the fact that everyone else on this date sucks, and it’s a Group Date Rose and a steamy maul session for Dean. Who, incidentally, looks just like Dave Franco in Neighbors.
Dude! I’m so high right now! I can barely keep my eyes open. Hey, what’s up with that Jack Stone! guy? He’s wound a little tight, right?
Interlude – Meanwhile, Back at the Mansion
Apparently, Josiah vs DeMario is still a thing. And Lee jokingly, then not jokingly, then jokingly, then pretty seriously, calls Will a dick. Methinks this is just the tip of the iceberg with Lee.
Peter 1-on-1 Date – I’m Looking For My Best Friend
A private plane to Palm Springs and we’re bringing Copper to BARKFEST! And, personally, I think it’s about time that Copper had his chance to find love as well. So, while an eclectic mix of 31 eligible breeds arrives in limousines, and I breathlessly await Copper’s reaction to each, Lovely Better Half casually and cruelly bursts my bubble.
LBH: This looks like the worst date ever.
LBH: Hang out with a bunch of weird people who love their dogs too much. Look at that one, sitting on a floaty with her dog. So weird.
Me: [looking at my dog, looking back at LBH] You….you don’t like this date?
LBH: God no. All the barking and the poop. And I don’t think it’s that fun for the dog, either.
Me: Who are you?
So, I am left to come to grips with the stranger I have chosen to live my life with, while Copper is pulled away from his own cocktail party so Peter can you use him as a dancing prop.
Copper: Dude, you’re crowding my action…
On to the evening portion of our date, and time to address the elephant in the room:
I love my teeth! Me too! Our kids are screwed, though. Yeah….
I know, I know, it’s messed up to point it out. But, if they can spend 5 minutes talking about it, I can post a picture. And they both look good, so whatever. Next up, Peter reveals that he went to a relationship therapist… by himself. Now, this is the type of thing that sets off internal alarms and sends me running in the opposite direction at a high rate of speed. But not Rachel. Nope, she says, “I LOVE self-exploration! Wanna rose?” And then fireworks and mauling ensue.
Let’s explore those gaps a little more…
Group Date #2 – Swish!
Will, Jamey, Diggy, Alex, Adam, Lee, Matt, Eric, Josiah, and DeMario. And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! Are you kidding me? Looking good at 70 years old, too. Literally, my jaw hit the floor harder than it did for Mila Kunis, and Lovely Better Half is like, “Who’s that?” So yeah, it’s a basketball date. Lee is terrible, Eric and DeMario can ball, everyone else falls somewhere in between. Practice over, time to suit up.
My job is to pass it to DeMario and last until week 4 so I can go to Bachelor in Paradise…
Harrison showed up for this? Someone must have told him Kareem was going to be here.
I love the generic “Go Team” sign in the background. I swear, the interns are just mailing it in at this point. Down by 3 at the half, DeMario and crew mount a valiant effort, but still lose the game. And, by the looks of it, DeMario ain’t done losing tonight:
Yeah, so I was sleeping with DeMario for 7 months, and then he ghosted me, and 2 days later I saw him on After the Final Rose. He still has keys to my place.
Uh-oh. And it scares me a little bit how cool Rachel is, when she smiles so sweetly, and says, “DeMario! You want to come outside with me for a little bit?” And DeMario is SO happy…
Oh yeah! Mama like DM’s game!
…until he turns the corner.
What? Who’s this?!
I have to give DeMario credit. He actually said “who’s this?”, like he didn’t know who she was. That takes some stones. Much arguing about when DeMario cut things off and what was said and the phone comes out and text messages are read, but it’s pretty tough for DeMario to convince Rachel he’s telling the truth when literally the first thing out of his mouth was “Who’s this?” Rachel tells him to ‘get the fuck out’, which is a little harsh, but hey, when you have 23 other guys to choose from, you kinda don’t need to put up with the bullshit. Seriously, stuff like this is a deal-breaker in a group environment, so Bye, Felicia. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Oh yeah, and by her reaction, Rachel was FOR SURE cheated on in the past. I’d bet money on it.
It’s nightfall, and Rachel is still hopeful because she has so many great guys left, even though DeMario is a dirty, dirty dog.
Isn’t that a raccoon, technically? Seriously, the interns aren’t even trying anymore…
Let’s make out with Josiah. Russian folk songs are hilarious. Eric is way too much of a salesman, and it creeps me out a little. Rachel still mauls him, though. “If I could give out roses to all of you, I would”, blah blah blah. Group Date Rose to Josiah.
It was so hot in that vintage shop. I was sweating SO hard. I’m going home, aren’t I?
But hey, Iggy, at least you made up for your sweat-infused 20-year family planning conversation with a lovely and romantic…thumb war? Dude. Pack your bags. Bryan, on the other hand, has the right idea.
Bryan: You have much stress in your life. Listen to the sweet, lovemaking sounds of Shakira while I massage your shoulders. Feel your worries wash away with the rhythm of the music. Now, repeat after me: Quiero el peligro.
Rachel: Quiero el peligro….
But you can’t have a ‘To Be Continued’ without a little bit o’ drama, so enter DeMario, who wants an opportunity to clear his besmirched name. So, Chris Harrison interrupts Freddie (who’s still trying to explain his behavior from third grade) to pull Rachel aside.
Chris Harrison: Hey Freddie, sorry to interrupt but –
Freddie: I swear to god, all I did was sneak into the girl’s bunk room ONE TIME at summer camp. That’s it! I’ve never done anything else in my life! I have two graduate degrees! I like art! It was 20 years ago, I was just a kid! You can’t send me home for that!
Chris Harrison: What? No, I just need to see Rachel for a second…
Rachel isn’t sure she wants to see DeMario again, but Chris has guaranteed security and she’s curious, so…..TO BE CONTINUED. Next week: Lee is a dick and Eric is a threat. The boys are butting heads early, folks. See ya then…
And now, Lucas spells out Whaaaboooom for the group (3 a’s, 4 o’s, nothing more, nothing less).
This is so immature. I don’t think anyone is here for the right reasons. Not like me. And my amazing penis…