Those of you who read my Bachelor and Bachelorette blog regularly know that one of my biggest obsessions and complaints regarding the series is producer interference. I’m not naïve enough to think reality TV is reality, but I would like to be able to watch it without thinking it’s fake. One of the reasons I think the Bachelor/Bachelorette works so well is that actual chemistry usually finds a way to trump the cheesy storylines producers feel compelled to manipulate, but last night’s episode was hard to watch. While there were occasional glimpses of chemistry between Emily and a few (very few) guys, it was hard not to notice the script. Whether it’s because they cast really boring guys to fill “roles” they thought would be exciting, or because Emily’s charisma is only present when acting, my hopes for the season have lessened.
Emily’s first one on one date with Ryan could have been a really cute date, but I don’t think I was the only viewer that got bored. While I have often said I’m looking for a man who can make every day errands romantic and fun, Ryan didn’t seem all that into it. He said the right things but they didn’t feel sincere. During dinner when Emily posed her “challenging questions”, he threw them right back at her. It was then that I got the sinking feeling that he thinks he’s better than her but wants to date her anyway to be able to say he did. His seven page letter seemed forced and too early, and really – couldn’t he have told her to read it later. It’s hard to imagine Ryan Sutter (the original and only Ryan worth loving) allowing Trista to read his thoughts in front of another guy for 15 minutes. The other thing missing from this date? Emily’s pizazz! She couldn’t even pull off the Chuck E. Cheese joke.
It was on the group date with the Muppets that I came to a sad realization. Emily only has charisma when she’s acting. The scenes with Kermit and Piggy sparkled more than her sequined outfits (I really wanted her pink skirt!), but only highlighted the dull interaction with most of the men. I find this a mystery. When you hear almost every guy say after talking with her, “No one else could have had a conversation or moment like ours,” it’s obvious she knows how to make someone feel special, but it’s not showing on-screen.
The group date wasn’t as boring as Ryan’s date, but I did contemplate turning it off and watching it on dvr later. It was evident the group date rose was going to Jef. Did anyone else find it painful to watch her throw herself and her insecurities at him? He looks like a child and I can’t figure out if he is sincerely that clueless. I think he’s playing a part, just like Kaustic Kalon, Squirrely Stevie, and Competitive Chris. This is where I started to see the producer’s fingerprints. You knew they would give Charlie something to freak him out. Kudos to him for actually asking Emily for a different part, and to her for offering to let him sing. She must not have asked permission first though, as the producer’s just gave him something slightly less nerve-wracking – an interview with Piggy. Alas, my thought after the group date was that Emily shined brightest and was most herself in her moment with Ricki after singing (which she should never do in public).
In between these dates we get glimpses of the house and the men left. Woo hoo, more staged conflict between Kalon and anyone else he can insult. These scenes were another area of the show where the script overshadowed the men. The only interesting edit in the mix was Sean’s. Here’s a guy we didn’t see much of last week and who didn’t get a date this week, BUT is obviously getting the good guy edit. He comments were rational, friendly, and showed he’s got friends in the house. There’s a reason they did that. They’re trying to put him in our subconscious. They want us to like him and see him as the hidden hero.
The last date of the evening was with Joe, who Emily describes as looking like Matthew McConaughey. Too bad for Joe – there was no spark. We were treated to a glamorous date that you could tell Emily knew was going nowhere. I think the producers thought that by having a “shocking” early elimination we would be able to tell she was serious about finding love. Even though she cried, it didn’t seem that hard to let him go. At the rose ceremony Emily had to eliminate two more guys. That however, seemed anti-climactic following her scene with Kalon. Anyone who watches the Bachelorette knows that the villain always gets the attention of the Bachelorette early on (Wes? Vienna? Courtney?), but I truly didn’t think Kalon could pull it off. However, when they were chatting it was pretty clear that she did find him attractive and that she bought his, “Oh woe is me, I’m the youngest in the house,” spiel. Yuck!
If I didn’t look up the names of the guys she got rid of, I would only have remembered Aaron because of the glasses – that’s how dullsville these guys are. Truth be told, I wanted her to eliminate a lot more than three guys last night, but that would have been too easy. I guess I’ll suffer through until the producer’s hand me semi-real stuff in the final three or four.