No clever intro. No joke about drinking wine straight from a Bota Box like I'm a gerbil at its water bottle. Let's just jump right into the big revelation from last night's episode: It sure sounds like they're making "The Bachelor" for senior citizens!
No, you didn't hallucinate it: In the middle of last night's show, where there would normally be a casting call for the next season of "The Bachelor" was instead an announcement searching for "seniors looking for love." And according to a follow-up tweet from the channel's head of alternative programming, they mean actual senior citizens, not seniors in college like the show's usual casting age range.
Now, according to Deadline, no "Bachelor" for senior citizens – which would almost certainly be called "The Bachelor: Young At Heart" – has been officially ordered by ABC and this casting call was more of a test balloon. Honestly, it's not the worst idea; you're probably get some wiser, more emotionally intelligent people on the show, resulting in less dumb drama and more thoughtful conversation and relationships (which after this brain cell-shattering season SIGN ME UP). But I'd also rather the show just cast a wider, more diverse net of ages for its contestants on the regular "Bachelor" rather than make some condescending spinoff that feels like the creators are too squeamish to cast anyone older than 30 on the REAL "Bachelor."
Anyways, I look forward to seeing what 45-year-old "senior citizen" Instagram influencers they get for "The Bachelor: All Bran Edition" – and I look forward to the date ideas, which will probably be less "climbing the tallest building in Australia" and more "grabbing the early bird special at Denny's before watching 'Wheel of Fortune,' talking about an interesting Facebook post they saw and then heading to bed around 6:30 p.m." SWOON!
Well, now that we got the important topic from last night out of the way, let's talk about the latest episode of "Peter Propellers Makes Bad Decisions And Drives Matt To Alcoholism" – which is especially the case this week because it's the fantasy suite episode aka my least favorite episode. It's so sleazy and gross, watching a guy or woman spend a meaningful night with someone, tell them sweet nothings about how much they're falling in love and how much they're truly someone special to them, and then having sex ... only to literally say the same things to another person the following two nights before having sex with them too. It's the show at its most insincere, probing and romantically unnatural – which is saying a lot since a person dating 30 people at the same time isn't exactly normal in the first place. But anyways, it's a slimy week, and I always want to watch the episode in a hazmat suit and take a long shower in Purell and bleach afterwards.
We start right after last week's rose ceremony with Madison taking Peter aside to not make an ultimatum ... but it's also not NOT to make an ultimatum, either. She says that it would be really, REALLY hard for her to move forward with him if he were to sleep with somebody else on the show – which, if this was reality, would not be a particularly odd request. "Hey, if we want to continue dating, it'd be great if you didn't have sex with any other women too" seems like standard operating procedure! But this isn't the real world, this is "The Bachelor" – and Madison should've probably figured that out before signing up for a dating show that literally has a week set aside for shtupping. And also before signing up to date somebody whose most famous character trait is "had sex in a windmill a whole bunch of times."
Madison also awkwardly leaves out the most important part of this conversation: that this isn't based in some out-of-nowhere possessive behavior or something like that, but that she's made the choice to save herself for marriage and she'd prefer that her significant other be on the same page – at least certainly while, you know, THEY'RE DATING. That all feels like important context and background information that would help clarify things for our very easily confuddled Peter – who's especially perplexed since Madison's one of the lone contestants who hasn't busted out the L-word yet.
But no time for that: We're off to "The Bachelor Down Under" as we fly to Australia where, for the first time in the show's history, the producers have shacked all of the remaining contestants together in the same hotel room during fantasy suite week. CAN'T IMAGINE WHY THEY'VE CHOSEN THIS PARTICULAR SEASON FOR THIS! Not exactly your finest form, producers. Not sure anyone needs to see their boyfriend's other girlfriends awkwardly come back home from their wild and crazy date night on Sex Week. It's already awkward enough. But clearly they want to torture Madison a little bit more – who, natch, is the final fantasy suite date – and milk some bonus drama between the remaining contestants. Because this season has had SUCH a light and delicate hand so far when it's come to fomenting drama and creating conflict amongst the women.
Hannannannann gets the first fantasy suite date, which sends them off jet-skiing through the Pacific. Along the way, they ditch one of the vehicles to jet-ski together on the same ride, leaving one jet-ski just floating alone in the middle of the ocean. THAT'S NO WAY TO TREAT A RENTAL! Then they make out on the beach, go out to dinner, talk about how much Peter loves that she's never had doubts about their relationship (then WHY THE HELL IS VICTORIA STILL AROUND!?) and finally go to their sex suite because that's what you do. I mean, Peter's shirt was untucked the whole night at dinner so he was already getting undressed before the non-existent meal was served. Cut to Hannanannabananarama and Peter making out slammed against a tinted bathroom window (seems uncomfortable; just use the bed, ya'll) and tastefully – or "tastefully" – cutting away. FEELS LIKE BAD NEWS FOR YOUR NON-ULTIMATUM ULTIMATUM, MADISON!
Speaking of Madison, she's back at what feels grossly like Peter's holding pen, talking with Victoria F. – who seems to enjoy messing with Madison's head way too much, smiling as they talk about Madison feeling a little uneasy and uncomfortable about this week. Cue Hannah Roseanne Roseannadanna coming back home and being predictably awkward talking with her boyfriend's two other girlfriends.
Thankfully, the awkward silence only lasts so long because now it's Victoria's turn. Her date with Peter starts with the classic romantic moment of ... apologizing for how awful and messed up the previous date went. My god, how are these two still together? The two go for a helicopter ride, where Peter asks maybe the bougiest question I've ever heard: "Plane fan or helicopter fan?" This is a question exclusively for millionaires. I hope they talk at dinner about what's their favorite food: caviar or white truffles? Somehow even more galling, Peter says that he really likes their communication – which REALLY, PETER!? DO YOU!? Because it sure seems like you have no ability to baseline communicate with each other on a weekly basis – and, again, you're currently on vacation; imagine how awful this will be when you have to go back to your jobs and discuss taxes and real-world stuff.
In the end, Peter says that he doesn't "want somebody who gives up easily," which is interesting again because Victoria literally has walked off the show MULTIPLE TIMES. This relationship gives me heart palpitations. It's actively taking years off my life. It's aging me like the wrong Holy Grail at the end of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" – though, hey, maybe it'll age me enough that I can sign up for "The Bachelor: Early Bird Special" by the end!
During the dinner portion of their Sex Week date, Victoria does try to explain herself a little bit, noting that she was in a three-and-a-half year-long relationship in which she was never asked about her feelings or emotions – and therefore, when Peter does it, she feels like she's doing something wrong. Sure, fair ... but even in the midst of this honest and forthcoming conversation, Victoria immediately regresses into whining and moaning, "What do you waaaaaant?!" at the first sign of Peter trying to understand her and discuss their relationship. Even at their best, they're insufferably bad at communicating.
So, of course, Peter loves their date.
At the end, Peter basically says, "We spent the last hour going in a conversational circle, ending with my girlfriend in tears yet again for no real discernible reason – I loved it." He says he wants something challenging – and BOY, CAN WE TELL, PETEY PROPELLERS. My dude, relationships aren't like "Jeopardy": You don't get more points for choosing more difficult options. Relationships, indeed, are work ... but they're not supposed to be THIS much work. There's a happy medium, Peter, between bailing at the first sign of a disagreement and sticking around in a toxic, constantly combative relationship. Plus, when people say that they want a relationship to challenge them, they normally mean that they want their partner to push them to be a better person, to think in different ways, to get them out of their comfort zones; they don't mean that the BASIC ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE AND FUNCTION AS A COUPLE should be a challenge! But I guess this mindset pretty much explains every bad decision Peter's made this season.
Anyway, they go back to their fantasy suite and have sex too. Meanwhile, back at the fantasy date waiting room, Madison opens up to Hannah Ann about what she told Peter the other night – and Hannah Ann Jenna Dewan is not about it. "We knew what we signed up for," she argues, not entirely incorrectly. Victoria isn't particularly happy about it either when Hannah Ann tells her about the non-ultimatum ultimatum, harrumphing about her controlling their relationships. VICTORIA, ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT SOMEONE EMOTIONALLY MANIPULATING PETER?! BECAUSE POUR YOURSELF A DELICIOUS GLASS OF SELF-AWARENESS!
As for Madison's date with Peter, in case it wasn't enough torture making her watch other girlfriends come home from "overnight" dates with her boyfriend and slotting her date last for maximum drama, they also send her dangling at the top of a skyscraper for their one-on-one time. Seriously, why are you two making out while doing your best impression of Tom Cruise in "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol"? Go to the top of the building, get your photo and then get the hell on some solid ground. I spent this whole date with my stomach in my throat – and we haven't even gotten to the awkward part yet!
Indeed, at dinner, Madison and Peter have their big talk – and this is the conversation that Peter THINKS that he's having with Victoria but very much isn't. This is the kind of mature, honest, grown-up discussion about real-world relationship issues and trying to meet each other in the middle that Peter seems to want with a significant other. First of all, Madison finally clarifies what she was attempting to say the other night, explaining her choice to save herself for marriage and that she's not trying to force her beliefs or guilt anyone but that she does have things she wants in a partner. She's firm in her personal stances while also still willing to hear and discuss Peter's side. In short, it's an adult conversation. VICTORIA SHOULD TRY ONE SOME TIME!
Eventually, they reach the key point of the conversation, though, with Madison saying that she doesn't think she'd be able to move forward with Peter if he slept with the other women – and welp, he's got some terrible news, Madison. He did. And so Madison excuses herself to understandably cry and think about what she wants to do with her frustration – all while some kangaroos watch on and probably wonder what the heck is up with these weird-ass human beings.
Should Madison have considered all of this before coming on a show like "The Bachelor"? Probably. Could she have brought this up to Peter prior to sex week? Would've helped. But, most importantly, if she really meant that much to him, should Petey Propellers have kept it in his pants during fantasy suites after she brought up the topic and her needs? You bet! And is there really no way to avoid this being a messy emotional minefield because a quality relationship probably shouldn't involve somebody having sex with two other people at the same time, often literally a day apart from one another? DING DING DING! Fantasy suite week is the worst – and I'm sad Madison, a seemingly great person, got caught up in it, though at least she came off outstanding through it all, maintaining her values and standing strong for what she believes while at the same time not shaming others in process and trying to see things from other perspectives. Even if she walks away – and it sure seems like she walks away at the end of the episode – she tried.
And so, with only a few episodes left, let's bust out some predictions. My bet is that Madison is the one that Peter's mom is tearfully lamenting "BRING HER HOME" about – mostly because Madison's the best women remaining plus she's the only one that his mom met, all those weeks ago at their vow renewal ceremony. Peter won't pick Hannah Ann; she's nice and fun, but there's just not a ton of personality there – which is also why she won't be the next "Bachelorette." Instead, she'll be the new Hannah G. on "Paradise." And Victoria ... well, we still have that dramatic scene with Harrison telling Peter something he didn't know about one of the contestants – and I'd be willing to bet that's about Victoria. So I'll go with this: Peter picks neither Victoria or Hannah Ann because his heart belongs to Madison, his family encourages him to go after her despite their falling out and the two reconcile and become a couple by the end.
A happy ending – though considering how idiotic Peter's been this season and how annoying Victoria's been, perhaps the happiest ending would be the two of them choosing each other (after a bunch of tears and whining, of course), flying away to a private island and never being heard from again. Now that's the ending they, and we, deserve.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.