After being brutally dumped on television by He Who Shall Not Be Named, Becca officially got back on the bicycle Monday night (very literally in the case of the episode's opening few minutes) and so did "The Bachelorette."
Last week's premiere was a dull barrage of Chads. (No, none of them are actually named Chad ... but really, aren't they all Chad?) But episode two finally came into its own. For a show that thinks very highly of its ability to find love, "The Bachelorette" is at its best when it doesn't care, plays down to its pure dumb ridiculousness and just becomes about overly testosteroned dudes crying over photos and getting mocked by children for taking rubber dodgeballs to the face. And friends, Monday night's episode had ALL OF THAT. It's as if this episode was made just for me; all that was missing was a romantic dinner of Cheez Its and Mountain Dew.
After yelling Becca's name off a balcony apropos of nothing (god, I would hate to be this show's neighbors), Chris Harrison shows up to say hi to the dudes. Even he can't remember who half of these people are from the premiere, asking who the hell "David" is. Turns out David was Chicken Man from night one, so don't think Harrison's going to have to remember him for long. Before he leaves, Harrison leaves the fellas with some crucial advice: make use of your time with Becca. The man is a fountain of wisdom.
It's time for Becca's first date since The Bland Bastard: a group date – and she wants to pamper them. After all, Arie showered her with fancy clothes and jewelry on their first date, and we all know how well that turned out. Anyways, the fellas all get tuxedoes, and Becca gets to watch them strip down to their six-packs. It's a good time, made even better by male model Jordan busting out all of his finest faces in the mirror. The "Pensive" look. Blue Steel. The "Who Farted?" Face. He has so many looks. Becca – perhaps being serious, hopefully being sarcastic – asks Jordan if he's a model and if he has any tips or tricks for her. Before putting on anything else, he preaches, "Put the confidence on." Wow. Between Harrison and Zoolander here, we're learning a lot.
As it turns out, though, this date is not just about wearing tuxes and Jordan being a perfect dumbass. No, Becca takes the guys outside where former "Bachelorette" Rachel and Bryan – which NO! HOW DARE YOU BRING HIM BACK INTO MY LINE OF VISION! – are waiting for them, along with a "Double Dare"-style obstacle course. Becca needs to know if these guys are truly marriage material and if she can trust them – and what better way to put that to the test than having them soak their nuts in freezing water and search for hidden rings in a wedding cake with only their mouths. I'd make fun of this more, but "The Bachelorette" would be so much better if it was always like "Double Dare."
We do learn a lot from this race. For instance, Clay the former football player apparently has balls of steel, because he's able to calmly and collectedly stand in the jug of freezing water without any pain or problem. Good for him. Also: the gloriously accented Lincoln may be a cheater, popping out of his barrel of ball-killing water before everyone else ... despite arriving later than many of them. CONSPIRACY IS AFOOT! In case that wasn't enough, after they all clean up and head out for the group cocktail party, Lincoln sweeps in right away for one-on-one time with Becca, causing all matter of harrumphing from the fellas. The good news: He gets a cute photo of the two of them at the finish line. The bad news: Lincoln talks a lot and says very little. The worst news: They kiss, and it looks very uncomfortable, like he's trying and failing to find the right angle.
Still, Lincoln has his photo, which he proceeds to talk to and display in front of all the guys. And they, of course, are BIG fans – so much so that Chad Connor turns it into a frisbee, flinging it out the window and into the pool, breaking the photo and Lincoln's heart (as well as the spirit of the poor pool guy who's going to have to drain the pool and clean up all the glass shards now). Connor's makeshift frisbee, however, turns into a boomerang when Lincoln goes to Becca and tells her that he's going to need a new photo because Connor flung it into the atmosphere. Becca's frustrated because the drama is starting so early. Connor's frustrated because, as it turns out, chucking a guy's nice photo is a dick move that he can't even defend. And I'm delighted because this is all tremendously stupid and I love it.
I'm also delighted because the cool, smooth and incredibly named Jean Blanc ends up with the rose.
While the rest of the fellas comfort a tearful Lincoln in his time of emotional hardship (*stifles giggle*) and Jordan – JORDAN! – calls him a clown, Becca goes on her first proper one-on-one date with Blake, who is a person on this show. The two arrive at a warehouse with Harrison and ... Lil' Jon?! What are you doing here? Are you Redfoo from LMFAO now? This would be incredibly sad if it wasn't HILARIOUS. Luckily, Becca and Blake's date looks amazing too: They get to smash up a bunch of Arie-related stuff – a car, champagne, the notorious couch from their very edited unedited breakup – with sledgehammers while Lil' Jon sets the appropriate musical score. America deserves this. CUE THE SLO-MO AND "TURN DOWN FOR WHAT." It all looks tremendously satisfying ... for Becca. If I was Blake, though, there's gotta be something uncomfortable about going on a date entirely focused on somebody's ex-boyfriend.
Thankfully, there's more, namely a dinner where the two seem to have a nice conversation and cutely connect. Good for you, Chad Blake.
Which brings us to group date number two: a dodgeball match. But first we must train – and the only way to train properly is by having a bunch of children launch balls at our bros and berate them with insults. Take that, "The Americans" series finale. THIS IS TRUE INCREDIBLE TELEVISION. The only thing missing is a wheelchair-bound Rip Torn throwing wrenches at them.
Instead, we once again get Fred Willard, who serves as the play-by-play guy (and random nude beach storyteller) for "the most important dodgeball game I've ever played," according to Wills. I would hope so, Wills. Unfortunately, he's not much of a player, but do you know who is? Leo, the long-maned non-Chad from last week! The man has clearly trained his entire life for two things: to be Jason Momoa's stuntman and to be the champion of a reality television dodgeball match. Unfortunately, Jason Fauxmoa can only do so much on his own, and his team loses. But he's won my heart.
Unsurprisingly, the postgame party can't complete with the dodgeball mayhem of before. It's the kind of night where Christon finds it necessary to say that getting the rose "is important." YOU DO NOT SAY! Wills winds up with the carnation but the main takeaway from the group date is that one of the Chads named Colton is in trouble. Apparently he had a relationship with Becca's good friend Tia from "The Bachelor" before the show. Like a good guy, he's forward to Becca about it, but she still says she'll have to step carefully around him now. The show finds this to be very important, but really it's lame drama. "The Bachelorette" is pretending to be about actual relationships and not hilarious testosterone posturing – yawn.
I am bored, Harrison; SUMMON ME A FEUD BETWEEN A CHICKEN MAN AND A HALF-NAKED MALE MODEL!
Ask and ye shall receive. At the cocktail party, everybody's trying to get their time in with Becca and make the most of it. Clay takes her aside and does a football celebration dance thing that ends with a kiss. He's such an adorable dork, and I love it. Connor semi-charmingly attempts to make up for his photo-throwing ways by giving Becca a photo of "the old him" to throw into the pool (that poor, poor, pool cleaner).
But then we reach the main event: Jordan strips down to just his skivvies and interrupts Chad's David's one-on-one time with her. The male model is concerned that he's been too serious so far, so he needs to show his wild side. That's right: He strips. He likes to speed. He uses the phrase "G-wagon" unironically. He's a crazy man. He'd also love a baby – or "a little Mini-Me" – though maybe the time to talk about being a responsible father and bringing life into this world was before you dropped your pants on primetime television. Jordan and the producers clearly think this is the quirkiest thing that's ever happened in the history of reality TV ... which it's not (he's not even full naked, coward), but it is delightfully dumb.
What truly makes this phenomenal entertainment, however, is that David – the one interrupted in all of this hoopla and the one very displeased about Jordan's behavior – is the artist formerly known as Chicken Man. That's right: The Chicken Man is upset at somebody else's immature clothing choices. At one point, David even says to Jordan with a completely straight face, "You don't think there's any foul play here," utterly oblivious to the fact that the entire nation just yelled at the screen, "DON'T YOU MEAN FOWL PLAY, CHICKEN MAN!?" God bless you, reality TV writers.
There was technically a rose ceremony at the end of all of this, but nobody important or significant gets the axe – just Chad, Chad and a Chad named Alex who literally turned into the Crying Dawson meme.
The most dramatic part was that some guy named Mike with a top knot got a rose. Was he there this whole time? Even Colton got to stay. But how can I complain after episode two gave me Lil' Jon, bro dodgeball and the Great Chicken Man/Zoolander War of 2018?
In summary, this episode was magical, and I hope it gets nominated in every category at next year's Emmys.
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.