Make sure to play along with "The Bachelorette" with Kesslers and SportClub's Bachelorette Fantasy League!
Guys getting into petty gossip fights with other guys? A goofy themed physical challenge of mostly arbitrary games? A Wells cameo? The suffocating smell of Axe body spray radiating through my television screen? It took a while – and they had to literally overthrow the star of the show and replace her with someone new who actually wanted to be there – but "The Bachelorette" feels like it's finally found its groove this season, delivering the A-grade dumb D-bag drama that I've come to know, love and drink excessively through.
Did somebody say a goofy themed physical challenge of mostly arbitrary games!? Because those were the oddly specific magic words, as this week'e episode brings out the Grown Man Challenge, in which Tayshia attempts to find a real grown-up man via such mature and adult activities like a spelling bee and tug-of-war. And while they're all playing games, you can play along with a fun drinking game at home: take a swig anytime somebody this episode says a variation of "grown man" or "grown-ass man." One man will win a step closer to Tayshia's heart while everyone at home will win alcohol poisonining in less than 30 minutes.
To help with the competition – and, most importantly, to prove that The System Works (rarely) – the show brings in one of the few successful love stories from the franchise: Ashley and Jared. There sure are a lot of people getting access to this supposed COVID-free "Bachelorette" bubble. I'm not sure Harrison and company completely grasp the concept of a bubble.
But anyways, we start with an intelligence test with some basic math and spelling questions. Everyone, including Bennett aka Patrick Bateman, assumes Patrick Bateman is going to kill this contest; after all, he went to Harvard, and as we all know, Ivy League schools are all meritocracies where the smartest people are rewarded. Well, apparently he got into Harvard on one of those Lori Loughlin college applications because he BOMBS the quiz, failing at telling time, basic math problems and spelling "limousine." It gets so bad he starts blaming Ashley and Jared for asking poorly worded questions – and when you're getting outsmarted by a "Bachelor in Paradise" couple, you've sunk to a new low. Maybe he went to a lesser known Harvard University in Arizona?
America's favorite Harvard Technical College alum keeps his bad day going by not even competing in the tug-of-war challenge because of a knee injury from football, playing for the Harvard State Crimson Roadrunners – a team as real as his injury! It's a little embarrassing, and the other guys make poke fun at him, but it could've been worse: They could've asked him to spell football.
Patrick Bateman and company have one more challenge to prove they're s grown men: a breakfast-in-bed cooking challenge. Chasen decides to take his shirt off, snuggle Tayshia in the prop bed and serve himself as the main course. Soooooo what you're saying, Chasen, is you can't cook. My man couldn't even roast up a Pop-Tart. Meanwhile, Patrick Bateman bakes up some beignets (and by "bakes up," I mean "steals from the craft services table"), blends up some kind of nightmare smoothie and flings on a robe to serve a full Harvard breakfast to Tayshia in bed. And according to Ashley and Jared, despite face-planting across the first two rounds, that earns Bennett Bateman the winning title of Official Grown Man. Good judging system, ya'll.
Meanwhile, Ed wins one of those baby training dolls to watch over this entire episode. His name is Carlos, and he actually cries and whines less than several of the contestants this episode!
Speaing of which, at the group date afterparty, Patrick Bateman shows up smug about his victory earlier in the day. A guy from Harvard with irrational and unearned confidence? YOU DO NOT SAY! Though honestly, they should be mad at Ashley and Jared for sucking so bad at judging. Chasen, however, isn't just mad about missing out on the title of Offical Grown Man; he's mad because Patrick Bateman shows up still wearing his robe from earlier in the day, not dressing to impress at the cocktail party. CHASEN, YOU ARE WEARING A T-SHIRT SO SIT DOWN!
Quickly, though, the tension moves from Chasen and Patrick Bateman to Chasen and babysitter's club president Ed. You see, Ed doesn't like Chasen – and not just because his name is "Chasen," but that reasoning alone would be understandable. Ed believes Chasen is there for the dreaded Wrong Reasons, so while people like Ivan do sexy blindfolded taste tests and makeout sessions, these two bicker – all while a fake baby watches. You see, this is why "The Bachelorette" is sometimes excellent television: two bros having a testosterone-off, flexiing at one another and ridiculing each other's shirt sizes, manliness and chicken legs while one of them deliicately cradles a Cabbage Patch doll.
Ed's final straw comes when Chasen refuses to cheers with him, causing him to scamper off with his American Girl doll Samantha to Tayshia to accuse Chasen of just being there for the followers. Meanwhile, Chasen threatens to go "Wolverine" on Ed. He says this several times throughout night, so this is clearly A Thing for Chasen. So one quick question: Do you ... know what Hugh Jackman looks like? Beacuse other than both being white men with ab muscles, unless some metal blades unsheathe out of your knuckles, you do not look like Wolverine. Watch an X-Men movie before making a reference, Chasen; they're all on Disney+ now anyways. (LOOK AT THAT CORPORATE SYNERGY PLUG, ABC!)
Things don't improve at the pre-rose cocktail party, where Chasen is still trying to make "Wolverine" a thing. But even worse, he decides what he needs to do is make a big overall statement to the group of guys, saying that he's a good person. Pro tip: If you have to remind people that you're a good and authentic person, you're probably not a good or authentic person. AND SOMEHOW WORSE YET, he digs his grave even deeper by, when pressed to find some new adjectives for Tayshia that he hasn't already used on Clare, resorting to calling Tayshia a "smokeshow." We got guys here reading off poems to Tayshia, and this guy here is using the word "smokeshow" like he's a sentient can of Axe body spray. Please, Chasen, don't talk about women that way in front of Carlos.
But really, Chasen is far from the only loser in this petty fight. Ed's screwing himself over the process as well, spending all of his time with Tayshia complaining and tattling about Chasen. Ed, you've got a silly, adorable baby doll with you this entire week; you should be killing it this week! But instead of laying on the charm, leaning into the goofiness of the Baby Born doll and making a memorably cute impact, you're dragging out this dumb debate and now Tayshia only knows you're synonymous with drama. Even the other guys are bored of their bickering at this point.
Unfortunately, though, the producers are not bored of them, and Tayshia gives them both roses during her first ceremony. Meanwhile, two guys named Montel and Jay who've supposedly been here this entire time are sent packing. So is Peter, because NO PETERS ALLOWED NEAR THIS SHOW FOR AT LEAST TEN YEARS. The last one worked out so poorly that we need to take a Peter cleanse. The remaining guys have a cheers, and Chasen ends the night with one final "smokeshow" – because it went over so well last time. Actually, can I trade that Peter out for Chasen? I need Ew Jackman to be disappeared sooner than later.
With Ed and Chasen still around and still harrumphing at one another, Harrison knows just what'll ease the tension: VIOLENCE! So for the next group date, Harrison arranges a wrestling bout between the fellas – and you just know Ed and Chasen are going to end up in the ring together at some point. But first, they need to train and have a little smacktalk battle – which, honestly, I could've skipped the wrestling and just gone with 20 minutes of the smacktalk battle. The guys – especially poor forgotten Joe – were really funny, making fun of themselves and coming up with solid disses. I laughed! Genuinely! Because of an intentional joke and everything!
As with everything this episode, though, Chasen kind of ruins it, though, by saying "You're not waking up tomorrow after this" ... which he'd already said earlier in the episode. This dude is like a Woody doll: He only knows five or six phrases. (*pulls string*) "I'm Wolverine!" (*pulls string*) "Smokeshow!" Carlos has more range.
So after getting brushed down with baby oil (it's been a while since we met our objectification quota), the guys begin to tangle and fight on what is clearly the floor of a La Quinta conference room. Ben gets a bloody foot. Another guy scrapes up his knee. Tayshia seems very concerned about all this wrestling taking place during this wrestling group date!
And that's all before the main event: Ed versus Chasen. The Wolverine enters the ring, whlie Ed ... quietly putters over to Harrison because, oh darn, he just remembered that he has this medical condition where his shoulders easily dislocate or explode or some excuse like that. Good timing! Seems like something I would've remembered well before I got lubed up to bare-knuckle fight in a makeshift La Quinta UFC octagon – but hey, better late than never!
Welp, fight night's over ... OR IS IT?! Harrison asks the guys, both those on the fight card and those watching, who wants to fight for Tayshia's heart, and a mustachioed stranger bounds the ring's fence and enters the fray. Yes, it is Noah, the new guy who looks like he's not allowed near any playgrounds where he's from. He gets oiled up and battles Chasen, slapping at the ground and Chasen, hunching over and just in general looking a lot like he's wrestled a pig in Mississippi before. Fact check: He's actually from Oklahoma, home of "Tiger King" so this all makes more sense now. I shall call him Noah Exotic from here on out.
Anyways, he loses – but Tayshia is so impressed that she invites him to come along on the group date afterparty, to which the dudes are suuuuuulky. But what's the problem? He was offered a chance to make an impression, and he took it – not even really knowing it would pay off like this. Sure is sounding like the guys are stuck in their Clare season mindset, harrumphing about guys taking initiative and being competitive ... on a dating competition show.
Plus, I don't know but ... Noah Exotic's kinda fun! I mean, sure, his mustache makes me mace my television screen – and apparently makes Tayshia uncomfortable too, because after one kiss with him, she asks him as politely as possible to shave it off immediately and burn the trimmed hair to send a stern message to any other future mustaches. And Noah does – in the slickest way possible, bringing the razor to Tayshia to score a trim plus some bonus time. And it works! She's weirdly turned on by the process (though the shaving scene from "Skyfall," this is not) and Noah looks much better without the stache. Sure, he looks like he's 12, but that's better than looking like you're on a registry somewhere!
Meanwhile, the guys are still pouting about Noah Less Exotic hopping into their date – but one guy named Ben doesn't mind. He's got a GREAT plan to wait politely for all the guys to chat their chats in with Tayshia, only for him to go last and make the perfect final impression on the bachelorette. Unfortuantely, he doesn't plan for Noah to take up the final chunk of time, and Tayshia calls it quits on the night before Ben could take her aside. MASTERFUL PLAN, BRO! Call you "Queen's Gambit" because that was some four-dimensional chess you played there – only you ended up playing yourself.
To add insult in injury, the newly babyfaced Noah earns the group date rose – again, on a date he wasn't even technically on. I LOVE IT! I know normally you shouldn't encourage people breaking the rules, but he didn't really break the rules; they were looking for a bonus fighter, he volunteered and he earned his way onto the date. Yet agaiin, the guys seem perplexed that people would treat this contest like a contest.
Now why didn't we just start the season with this deliciously stupid drama again rather than Clare's annoying preamble!? Hey, better late than never I suppose.
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.