General Hospital’s on Fire!

What can I say? It looks like all the waiting is finally paying off. It took a while for Carlivati and Valenti to move the pieces around following the unfortunate shift of three integral characters into new (Franco is kind of new now – admit it) personalities, but they did it and it was well worth the wait. Kiki has come between brothers and fathers and sons, Franco has reinvigorated the Quartermaines and given Carly a possible love story. Silas has loosened up a bit and seems to be a possibility for Sam but, hold the presses (the ones that Derek Wells just bought), he’s smoking hot with Ava.

That’s story number two in this rise from chaos. After bringing in newbies we could’ve cared less about, in the past few months we’ve seen the return of Nikolas, and the introduction of Ava and Julian Jerome – new characters that connect to the past. They tie in with Duke and Anna! They tie in with Alexis! They tie into Sonny and the murder mystery around Connie’s death (although who doesn’t think the AJ has to be Ava Jerome).

The only thing that still needs work is Elizabeth! I don’t want to be ungrateful – she’s on more than she’s been on in years, but the AJ story doesn’t have any chemistry. I can’t help but hope they’re growing Britt and Nik so they can give Elizabeth something to break up. So we can see Nik trying to stay good and be loyal to Britt while throwing longing glances at Elizabeth.

Still, it would be easier to connect Elizabeth and Nikolas in to the stories with Maxie, Spinelli, Patrick, Sabrina, and Felix….especially when Robin returns!

One more compliment for the day (Friday, Sept. 19th). Maurice Bernard kicked ass in his portrayal of a manic episode today at the party. Using the mania as the excuse for revealing that Morgan knew about Michael not being related to Kiki was genius. And saving it for the last moment before the weekend made me howl out loud for the first time in a long time. General Hospital is must watch stuff right now.

***But please, still hoping for a more balanced airing of stories – haven’t seen quite a few characters in days and it messes with momentum.

A Spider, The “Other”, and Our Humanity

Anthropomorphism is when we give human characteristics to non-human things. Sometimes we do it with objects, but more commonly this happens with animals. I remember sitting in my docent class at the Louisville Zoo and having our teacher, Doug, explain that the practice can be dangerous to both the people and the animals when this occurs.

Outside my workroom window lives a giant spider. When I first saw it I was a little freaked. I called in people from the hall to see it. It’s out of the ordinary and unique, easily the size of a half-dollar with yellow and brown stripes. After we ogled it a while, I continued about my work and didn’t see it again for a few days. I was relieved. It was a freaky spider.

Yesterday I was looking into the afternoon sun and a glint caught my eye. Silver, octagonal strands appeared before my eyes. There was a huge, beautiful, symmetrical web. It was so large there was no way it was new. It had to have been there all along. The spider hadn’t been hanging loose. It had been on its web, in its home. I just hadn’t seen it.

Today it’s back. I watch and stare as it sits in the middle of its home. I wonder in awe at nature’s capabilities and design. Alone in the workroom, I feel the need to tell the spider how gorgeous it is and how much I enjoy its presence outside the window. It’s windy and the web pulses on currents of air. The spider remains calmly at the center. I start to wonder if it really is calm. Is it scared? What’s it feeling? Empathy rises in my chest as I compare my life lessons to its own.

Then I realized that I was anthropomorphizing the little guy. He’s a spider not a human. He’s not sitting there worrying about whether a storm is coming with the wind and how it will affect his web. He’s not worried that he may not get to see the blond at the keyboard through the window again. But I am doing all of those things for him because I am human. It came so easily to me, the ability to get over my fears and find common ground with this creature that at first had seemed so “other”… so scary.

I wonder : If it’s so easy for us to anthropomorphize animals that we fear, why is it so hard for us to see humanity in the people we call “other”?
In the space of three days I had moved from ogling, to awareness, to friendship with a spider, but there are millions of people who go there whole lives treating actual human beings with different skin colors, different sexual orientations, or different IDEAS as less than human. There are millions of people who can’t move past the fear, who can’t see the web, who don’t recognize the common experiences of love and fear – the humanity that we all possess.

I think back to Doug’s comment about how dangerous it can be to anthropomorphize a wild animal and yet people do it every day. And then I think about how not dangerous it is to reach out and extend understanding and friendship to another human being. It’s in us – that ability and desire to connect. We have the inherent ability to remove the fear, find the common ground, and love if we just look. Why can’t we look? Is it a choice to remain blind? Is it a choice to live in fear? Is it a choice that actually diminishes our own humanity? If we can give human qualities to animals that scare us – why can’t we do the same for our brothers and sisters?

A New Way of Loving Myself!

I’ve had some hard days recently. I think we all at times over-commit or add new things to our lives without removing the old. When this happens it can lead to depression, anxiety, or in my case a little of both.

Now – I confess that even in good times I have a penchant for self-help books which I really enjoy, but from which I rarely find new insight. When I bought the short and sweet, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depended on It, by Kamal Ravikant (I bought it on Amazon Kindle), I didn’t have high hopes – and in a way I was right. The book’s whole message is you have to love your self. Duh! Heard that all before, but Ravikant has a way with words – a way of explaining the concept so that it’s like hearing it for the first time. The question he posed led me to some very real decisions and very new revelations.

Whenever we think of loving ourselves, it’s presented like a chore. It will be hard, but you must come to “accept” your flaws and love yourself anyway. The focus is usually on finding a way to see ourselves as “worthy” even though we may feel we are not.
But what if we instead focused on the loving?

When I think about the people I have loved over the years, I see them clearly, flaws and all. I also see that I never focused on choosing to love them despite their flaws, I just loved them, and in most cases, did everything in my power to help them get what they needed, desired or deserved. I put them first even though I could clearly see their faults. I put them first because their faults didn’t matter. If we stop spending all this time trying to get over our flaws and just focus on the act of loving, maybe we can go further than we have before.

Ravikant asked what we would do if we truly loved ourselves?

What would I do if I loved myself the way I loved all those people in my past – the people I went to bat for even when I knew I shouldn’t because I loved them, the people who I told to take time for themselves without feeling guilty, the people I found jobs for, and helped get through beauty school and citizenship tests? How would I “love” myself if they were me?

Looking from that perspective was like a lightning bolt to my soul. If I were someone I loved I would be giving myself quite different advice. If I were someone I loved, I’d say “Quit that right now!”, “Take care of yourself!”, “Market your book like you’re the fabulous writer you are!”, “Make that call!”, “Say no and mean it!” If I loved myself like I loved them I would spend hours trying to help and listen and understand instead of saying get over it, move on, you really messed that up, etc…

Instead, I tell myself to put other’s needs first. I tell myself to do what’s necessary to avoid conflict and awkward feelings. But that’s advice I would never give my God-children, my best friend, or one of my students. It’s advice that sacrifices the very things that would bring me happiness and probably success.

I have heard, “Love yourself!” over and over and over! Heck, I’ve even taught it to young women for years…but love isn’t a feeling – it’s an action. I’ve always understood that when it comes to loving others. Why was it so hard to see it about myself?

What about you? Is this revelation just new to me? Have you thought about loving yourself is an active way before – the way you love others? What difference would it make in your life?

Bachelorette Des: And the winner is….

I didn’t think there was a way to come back from last week. Brooks had to come back because how – HOW? – could she profess her love for Drew or Chris after that fiasco where she told Brooks she loved him and cried for days?

But from the beginning my heart said Chris. How wonderful that she got past that infatuation to recognize the real affection and friendship she had with him from the beginning. Does she love him? Absolutely! Anyone watching the “After the Final Rose” episode could have seen it.

I breathed a sigh of relief when Brooks came out…her tears before he appeared had me worried, but after the initial shock you could see her relax. It was like something in her said, “Yes, I was right to choose Chris.”

Speaking of right – that proposal was gorgeous. I was nervous and mad when Chris H. indicated she was going to bring up the Brooks thing at the proposal. I was like, “You’re gonna blind side amazing Chris S. like that?” But he was eloquent and passionate. He was genuine and oh, oh, oh – the grow old and start a family stuff? Be still my heart.

I have no doubt that it was still hard for Chris S. to watch last week, but she did what most of us never get the chance to do! She chose real love. How many of us out there would have given Chris up to take the adrenaline feelings that Brooks gave her?

And the thing is – Chris gave her those too, she just couldn’t see it until Brooks stepped aside. I don’t see Brooks as any type of villain. I do think he hoped she would have stayed single. I think he regretted his choice just a little, but I honestly don’t think she regretted hers.

Watching the montage of her experiences with Chris you could see how special it was from the beginning. I think I was 100% (Chris’s fave words) sold when he asked her dad for her hand…her dad’s a slight geek, but Chris had something in common with him. They both loved Des with all their hearts.

I think this will last and I am absolutely happy with the outcome. I do feel bad for Drew, but can we say mature? I was so impressed with his responses to her when she let him go and then again on “ATFR”. He’s a gem, but I’m glad he’s not the next bachelor.

The next Bachelor? JUAN PABLO!!!! Had it been anyone else it would have been anti-climactic. He’s gonna be great – and really, he serves a purpose for the producers…they’ve been accused of not having diversity so a Latin lover can’t hurt.

There were times this season I was bored to death and I still think the editors and producers need to mix things up. It’s just a little too predictable episode-wise, if not outcome-wise. Still, I got that warm fuzzy feeling with Des and Chris just like with JP and Ashley…bet Des and Chris get married before Sean and Catherine!

Bring on Juan Pablo! Wish I was 25, I’d be at those additions in a heartbeat. Too bad I took German, though…

Bachelorette Des: Does Brooks love her or not?

I was truly surprised by what happened last night on the Bachelorette. It’s kind of crazy. Either it’s going to be a season where she picks no one, or Brooks is going to come to his senses. You see, after her conversation and declaration of love when Brooks was breaking up with her, I see absolutely no way she can pick Chris (and let’s be honest – it should be Chris) without it being obvious he was her second choice. In a way, unless Brooks comes back, the season is ruined.

I have to say that it was fascinating watching the stuff with Brooks last night. In the history of the show I don’t think we’ve ever seen such gut wrenching honesty. But here’s my question: Was his honesty the result of too much self-reflection in an unreal situation or was it real?

It seemed like he was very logical and honest regarding what he thought when he was away from her. He actually said definitively that he wasn’t going to feel the way he needed to in order to get engaged. But when he was with her, when she said I love you? His body language, face, and voice was that of a man in love.

So the real questions for the season are these: Will Brooks return and realize he’s in love or will Desiree be alone in the finale? Will we see a scene where Brooks has come around since the end and asks to date her like Jason did with Molly? Will she find a way to realize Brooks was a fantasy and Chris was real?

Bigger Question: Will any of us keep watching if they don’t change up the formula enough to keep viewers from getting incredibly bored? I loved these men. I loved Des. This season – even with this drama – was like watching paint dry. Evolve Mike Fleiss.

General Hospital July 15-19: Franco’s Brain Tumor and Daddy Reveals (Sam and Kiki!)

Three reveals happened on General Hospital this past week (July 15 – 19) that should prove to drive story for the forseeable future and I think I’m happy about them all. Let’s talk Franco first.

I was unsure of bringing Franco back and I still think there would have been better ways to use Roger Howarth, but I’ve come around to being open to the cool possibilities that his presence enables. When Franco woke up after that seizure, people were freaking out about him saying he was Jason. Too many jumped to the literal interpretation that he “was” Jason, which I agree would have been horrible! But as Jason’s twin brother, the idea that he would also have a brain tumor that could cause such a huge personality shift (like Jason Q to M) is brilliant and the perfect way to legitimately change the character’s place in Port Charles society. When Patrick saves Franco by removing the tumor, what kind of man will we get? Taking some of the “crazy” out of Franco doesn’t mean he’s going to be suddenly moral, just not psychotic any longer!

Then there was the bombshell that I was surprised Carlivati dropped so soon. Kiki belongs to Silas! That leads me to believe this particular story must have a much farther reach than just Ava, Kiki, and Silas in the long run. I have already gone on record about the brilliant chemistry between Maura West with Michael Easton. I’m thrilled by the fact that they have a past and now share a daughter. I love that she’s kept it from him all these years and I keep going back to the things she said about why she never told Kiki about her dad before. We all thought her dad was Franco and it was easy to interpret those statements that she was protecting her daughter as protecting her from a psycho…but if her dad is Silas – what do they mean now?

I love that Silas being her dad makes her unrelated to Michael and that Ava has managed to manipulate Morgan in to keeping her secret out of self-preservation. It would have been too obvious to go the bone marrow test way…this is better.

Finally there was the scene with Alexis and Sam where Alexis came clean and said she had no idea what’s Sam’s dad name was. That to me was believable. Why wouldn’t a woman like Alexis tell her daughter who her father was if she knew. Molly and Rafe on the Ouija board coming up with the letter J was a little hokey, but it gives us a clue that matches rumors and spoilers that her dad’s a Jerome.

On a separate note: There were some Liz/AJ/Nik/Britt scenes this week! Thank you RC and FV. I love that Liz is getting jealous but not admitting it to herself yet. I love that Nik has legitimate chemistry with Britt and shared scenes with Alexis, Sam and Molly. I love that I have seen Elizabeth on my screen this week and that she’s in the previews. Having her talk with Patrick about Franco’s brain tumor made total sense. The fact that it looks like she’ll be the one to save Danny by confronting Franco on the bridge and pretending he’s Jason? So excited! Can’t wait. More Rebecca Herbst no matter what please!

Bachelorette Des: The Final Three

Hometowns:

The first hometown date of the evening belonged to Zack, who, to put the cart before the horse, Des sent home. But who didn’t see that coming?  In truth, I was sad to see him leave because I had really warmed to the guy. He was a tiny bit goofy looking, but he was confident, charismatic, mature, built, wealthy, and his family was crazy perfect for TV. He gave Des a gorgeous antique promise ring, which as viewers knew sounded his death knell from the beginning (literally of the show). I think Zack could make a decent Bachelor, but they probably wouldn’t go with him, simply because he might actually get married and they’re success rate with Bachelors just shows lack of good judgment.

The second date was at Drew’s. Drew’s family is incredibly sincere and loving. It was obvious Des felt comfortable there.  She met his severely mentally challenged sister and I was surprised at how sensitively the show handled it. He is a great guy and the way he took care of her showed real depth to him as a person.  When Des talked to his dad, his dad asked her if she believed in angels and if she’d ever met one.  He told her she had met one in Melissa.  I admit, I cried.  Anyway, Drew said I love you to her when she left and she likes him a lot. The previews make it seem like she likes him more than she does.  She’s definitely fallen the hardest for Chris and Brooks. Drew would make an OK Bachelor, too…a little saccharine for my taste, but I’d still watch.

Chris’s hometown date was adorable and a little scary.  The editing made it seem like there was a real chance his mom didn’t like Des, but she did and she cried about her son being in love.  Chris has it bad for Des. But, I think Chris might just have it bad for love.  I could see Chris bounce back and find love again as the Bachelor. They played baseball together, she drew him pictures, his dad gave her some kind of medical massage, which was weird enough, but then his dad used and instrument to clean out Chris’ sinuses on TV! I did not need to see Chris’ snot and it actually lowered his Bachelor stock a bit for me (yuck!). Still, they have mega-chemistry and she loves him.

The hometown with Brooks was interesting.  Brooks seems like he’s taking this whole thing really seriously and he hasn’t told Des he loves her because he’s actually not sure. But she thinks he is.  She thinks he’s just not ready to say it or she wouldn’t be keeping him.  This could be delusional, but I think she’s right.  The man has a very close and thoughtfully intelligent family.  The questions his brothers asked him were sensitive, right on, and showed how much they loved him.  His conversation with his mom was honest and real.  Brooks in one word is genuine.  So, is Des, I think. That’s why no matter how much she likes Chris or Drew, Brooks is and has been the one all along.

Brooks for the win, with lots of made up drama between now and then (like the conversation with her brother that isn’t even worth recapping it was so staged).

 

Silas Clay and Ava Jerome? Kiki Jerome? Thoughts on GH!

I had to take some time off from watching GH because I was getting bored with the rotation of stories. Of course, when I did, my blog got tons of hits on my Silas, Kiki, Franco post from way back and it made me wonder what was going on? All these searches for, “Is Kiki Silas’ daughter?” kept showing up and I had to know what I was missing.  So, I went to the dvr and watched 4 days in a row and I’m glad I did.

I’m still kind of sad that watching four days in a row live made me want to stop watching in the first place, but the stuff I saw was magical.

Ava and Silas! Woohoo – I never in a million years would have thought to put Maura West with Michael Easton, but it’s brilliant.  They are both superstars on their own with huge fan bases.  They are both gorgeous and talented.  And they are both exactly what I need to keep watching.  I admit to being a Maura West/Michael Easton fan for years.  Maura as Carly Tenney Snyder was my all time fave soap character, and I fell in love with Michael when he played Tanner on Days of Our Lives years and years ago.  

When Ava saw Silas, Maura let just a little of Carly’s weakness for Jack show on her face…I was hooked.  And when Silas saw Ava, Michael played it with the knowledge that here – here might be the thing that’s really made Silas the asshole he is to others. 

Aside from loving the possibilities with the two of them, I love the chatter it’s got going about Kiki and who her father might be.  We know her father can’t be Franco – first cousins as lovers just won’t work and it’s obvious Kiki and Michael are going to end up together, so  how can they not be related? How also can they keep it looking like they are?

This also brings us to the “Who’s Sam’s daddy?” story.  From what I’ve read it looks like Peter Reckell will be joining GH as a Jerome.  If he’s Danny’s grandfather then Kiki could still match Danny through the Jerome side of the family but look like she’s Franco’s daughter! 

There are so many cool ways this story could go and I want to watch it…

Other thoughts:

I also want to watch the Nikolas/Laura/Lucy Deception business.  Keep Nikolas on my screen and use Britt to make Elizabeth jealous.  Put AJ with Carly and keep the feud going inside the Quartermaine family.

But please, please, please ditch the Sabrina story and find a place to put Patrick where he fits in with other actors who we care about. I’m tired of them and it looks like it’s going nowhere…

I think that’s still my main point – as much as I’m loving some stuff – I can’t figure out what to hope for or where anything’s heading.  There are too many starts and not enough follow through.  We’ve got enough characters…play with what you have and stop bringing in new people.

As much as I hated to lose Kelly Sullivan, there’s a story line that needed to be wrapped up! Sonny and Olivia make sense because you can connect them to drama through Dante and Lulu. The Kate story takes time away from other family story lines. Same thing with Patrick and Sabrina. 

And for goodness sake – get on with making Ellie related to Tracy already.  They’ve been laying groundwork for months. Either she is or she isn’t, and if she isn’t, she’s taking up time from other stories.

If you stuck around through that stream of consciousness rant – Thanks! I’ll try to be more structured next time!

Bachelorette Des: Episode Six – And then there were five…

So. The question remains. Will Desiree fall in love? I’m pretty sure for the sake of the show she’ll find one of these remaining men irresistible and get engaged, but I’m still wondering if what I’m watching is legit? (In the JP/Ashley, even Sean/Catherine way) Last night’s episode was much better than the past few, and I’m looking forward to the remaining shows, but I can’t help feeling like everything is still very surfacey with this group.

For the sake of this blog I’ll start by telling you that she sent James home. The damage done by the other guys telling her things he said just couldn’t be overcome. I do wonder though, if he got ramrodded. It reminded me of Ben. The guys kept saying all this stuff, but the producers never showed us anything. If they had anything real on him wouldn’t they have showed us? I kind of feel like these guys are acting like a bunch of mean girls.

I’ll also go ahead and tell you the other two that went home were Kasey and Juan Pablo. I know she didn’t have a really great connection with either of them, but I did, and I’ sorry to see them go. Both of them were gorgeous and fun to watch. Kasey was downright eloquent, as I’m sure Juan Pablo would be in Spanish. Either would be someone I’d watch as a Bachelor, but I’m sure it will probably end up being one of the other guys left. Unless they could lure Arie back – now that would be worth watching!

Anyway, since this season is still in session, let’s talk about who’s left.

It seems like Chris and Brooks have the best shot at winning Desiree’s heart. Last night they were both on the group date, but we got to see their one-on-one time with her. She pulled Chris up to her room and read something she wrote for him. It was sweet and he was excited. She has that nervous, omg-I hope he likes me thing going on with Chris. With Brooks, there’s a natural comfort plus a sizzle. I feel like they’re the ones who really have a shot.

But then we got some surprising dates with Drew and Zack. Both were really romantic and it looked like she was really into kissing both of them (of course, it looks like she really loves to kiss anyway). Zack was really mature. Their conversation had depth and weight. It was the first time I could see him as hot, despite his amazing physique. I knew he was smart, rich, and built, but last night he was also in charge. With Drew, we got to see him open a little. He also stepped up in the “manly” department. They made out a lot, and she obviously liked it, but I can’t see them together.

The last guy she kept was Michael G. This just kills me. Maybe it’s the way he’s being edited (but I don’t really think so). He is like a queen bee. Pardon my language, but he’s a little bitch. He says he’s there for Des, but all he’s done is target Ben and James. Well, it doesn’t matter…I’m sure out of the five left, he’s low man on the totem pole.

The previews were the typical ones for this part of the season…depressing and drama-filled..designed to make us question what we’re thinking and ponder whether she actually found love. These next few weeks have all the tricks in the previews – like what’s this thing that makes it seem she’s so in love with Drew all of a sudden and that he’s going to leave her? And then we have all of the guys crying? I guarantee there’s not that much drama ahead. I don’t want there to be. I wonder if the people who make the show remember that while drama can be fun, most of us watch for a glimpse of love.

General Hospital: Glimmers of Hope?

Glimmers of hope…I will admit that many of the things I was down on in my last post about General Hospital may have been by-products of the transitioning of stories from May sweeps and the conclusion of the Nurses Ball, not to mention the cast changes and additions. Now that we’re almost done with June and a few weeks past the comeback of the OLTL 3, I’m definitely seeing glimmers of hope. I just want the rotation of characters and storylines to continue so we don’t forget about characters we love and get bored.

First glimmer of hope: Elizabeth! I am partial to Elizabeth. Even when she got almost no airtime and was used to prop Lucky, she was a main reason I tuned in. The past two days GH has gone back to the AJ/Nik story and the cell phone recording of AJ and Tracy talking about when AJ slept with Carly. Finally! (Seriously – how long ago did that happen? The wait was too too long…) We saw Elizabeth confront AJ and Carly at the Metro Court while also being given the gift of Nik/Alexis scenes.

I think Tyler Christopher being on contract means great stuff ahead for Liz and if it means more Alexis, too? Speaking of Alexis, I’m in heaven with her having story with Nik, Shawn, Molly AND Sam! So many good ways to see her on screen. I love the possibilities with Sam and Silas, and Molly and Rafe have the makings of a longer storyline. What more could we ask for?

Well, I could ask for people like Lucy and Laura to be on more regularly. I don’t want to see them take over the show (please don’t let them take over!) but it’s weird to all of a sudden see them having a conversation about a make-up company called Deception with Scotty. I mean, it makes sense and the possible story itself fits my glimmer of hope theme, but when are they gonna pick it up again? I worry I won’t hear anymore about it for another week or two?? Or three??? Or maybe four????

My last glimmer of hope regards the Franco story. Wow, Roger Howarth has won me over and I love his interaction with Maura West’s Ava and the rest of the Quartermaine clan. I love how it ties in with Michael/Morgan/Kiki as well. There’s got to be more to this than meets the eye. Kiki and Michael can’t be related. Please find a way to really bring in Duke and Anna, and AJ and Tracy.

Now here’s a big question. Is there too much going on? Maybe. At least right now. If some of these stories connect then it could get better, but I haven’t even written about Sonny/Olivia/Connie, or Sabrina/Patrick/Britt/Felix/ his sister and TJ…oh and throw in Spinelli and Elli, and Duke and Anna? I say sorry, but ditch Sabrina and put Patrick with the Silas/Sam romance. Keep the Britch and make her part of the Duke/Anna story being that she’s Faison’s daughter, and…I don’t know what to do to keep Felix, but I want to.

I believe Ron C. has a plan and it’s all connected and I believe Frank V. CAN and WILL make good things happen. They’re good and the show is so much better than the past few years. BUT there are just so many stories up in the air right now and it’s hard to follow. The glimmer of hope is that I’m interested in them all (except Sabrina – who I DO like as an actress).

Bachelorette Des – Episode Five: It’s a Fairytale (or so they tell us)

I don’t know what’s going on with this show, but I think they may have some new editors or people deciding what to highlight. It’s basic storytelling – show don’t tell, but I’m hearing the words from Des, “I’m having so much fun,” and she looks bored to death. They’re telling me she’s falling in love and having fun but they aren’t showing me. I don’t think the problem is her or the guys – it’s a great cast. The Bachelorette bleachable moments and the bloopers at the end are more endearing than the actual show and there’s a marked lack of close-ups on any of her one-on-one conversations.This problem is all behind the scenes, someone’s not connecting or recognizing romance in the editing room.

They’re in Munich this week. Michael G. expresses he wants a on-on-one since he hasn’t had one yet. Kasey speaks some German. His German sucks but at least he says he wants to kiss her. Chris gets a second one-on-one which he reads in German. He’s better at it than Kasey, but later he says the only Deutsch he knows is, “Can I have another cappuccino?”

On their date, they start exploring the city. He looks amazing in his black jacket and they kind of look like each other. She says the date’s been fun, but I haven’t seen anything fun yet. They’ve walked around with a map and took a picture with a creepy clown guy. She says Chris is goofy, funny and himself…he’s also in lederhosen.

Back at the room, Bryden’s still whining. His feelings aren’t progressing. He tells James he’s leaving. He’s going to interrupt her date with Chris to do it. Bryden goes out looking for the TV cameras (yeah right…that happened). They’re dancing in circles in the middle of a courtyard as Bryden stands stalker like behind them. WHY? Why are they dancing in circles? They look bored. They aren’t boring people. Chris says the day’s perfect and I don’t think anything could go wrong. Ummm…then after the interruption Chris actually says, “Des and I were dancing to some polka music…” He kept a straight face. He’s worried Des will come back upset.

Bryden thinks he’s made the right decision to leave. She’s a little hurt, but won’t let it affect her date with Chris. She just wants to get back to Chris so she can feel happy again. She says she doesn’t need to talk about it. He makes her happy. Still, Chris takes the opportunity to tell her he is there for the long haul. It’s kind of awkward, but if they both drink that whole beer in front of them, it won’t be awkward for long.

They have dinner in a palace after walking down a long red carpet. He does kind of look like Prince Charming. She asked him what he’s looking for. He’s ready for a relationship and to start a family. She explains how she knows she needs someone expressive. He wrote her something again – on the plane – “Thoughts so true”. It makes her cry and they kiss. He says you can tell a lot from a kiss and her feelings towards him are building and she communicates that very well. All of a sudden they’re having a private concert with Matt White and it’s in his words again, “epic – it’ a fairytale”. He says he’s slowly falling in love with her and he thinks it’s mutual.

This is too much too soon…unless they’re messing with us he probably won’t be the one, but then we haven’t seen any Brooks lately, there just really aren’t any other contenders. But it’s just too much knock you over the head Cinderella imagery and wording here.

The group date is sledding and an igloo. Kasey’s got some charisma! He’s so likable. James thinks they have something so unique and special that no other guys can touch! They go up a gondola looking at the mountains. We’re reminded of Drew. He’s a cutie. They encounter a yodeler (Juan Pablo trying to say “yodeler” was still hot) and then they see the sleds. The guys seem scared. Drew ploughs into her. They have snowball fights that she says bring her back to her childhood.

They go warm up in an igloo hotel with pretzels, a rose, and wine? Brooks gets some nice-on-one time. He talks about their experience together and about how he tries to be in the moment with her. She grabs him and pulls him in for kissing…yep he’s a finalist.

Mikey has her make her snowman family. They talk about whether he’d leave Chicago. He says he’d consider it. Zack W. interrupts with a yodel. Mikey’s pissed, but she likes it. Zack says he thought he was going to be a priest in college and that 10 years ago he climbed a mountain there, and that’s when he knew he wasn’t supposed to be one. He says it’s real for him right now.

Drew thinks James is a player and thinks he’ll be there until the end. He doesn’t understand it. James works it while Brooks looks on. Brooks doesn’t like it so he goes to interrupt. Brooks says James is one way with them and another with her. Brooks watches them kiss but doesn’t interrupt. Later Des says the person she’s giving the rose to brings out the best in her. Brooks gets it. James is full of disbelief because they’re polar opposites, but says the only competition to him is himself.

The most uncomfortable two-on-one ever happens with Michael G. and Ben. Michael says it’ll be hard because he finds Ben repulsive, but in this gladiator like setting he needs to go murder Ben. Strange??? During the group date it’s very uncomfortable with
Michael, Ben, and Chris alone in the hotel. Michael thinks Des may be doing this because she trusts him to expose Ben for the fraud he is.

Again with the “show don’t tell.” I’ve been told Ben is a bad guy since the beginning,but you know what? We’ve not seen Ben do anything more than be devious about getting alone time with her. I feel kind of bad for him which makes me think they could actually be setting him up as a potential bachelor. Make his story a good one…good boy who got a bum rap?

She says at the beginning of the date that she embraces awkwardness. With that Michael brings up that there’s been some confrontational behavior between them. She suggests the polar bear plunge since she didn’t do it in Canada last season. They don’t want to, but Ben says he’s competitive so he’ll do it. As they’re about to jump in she says she has a better idea, they’ll be in a hot tug! She actual has a lot of fun with them.

On the tug, Michael brings up that Ben hasn’t talked to his son since he’s been in Germany. Then moves on to bring up his own childhood issues of his dad not being around. She knows Michael is pushing Ben’s buttons and it’s making her uncomfortable. Ben says it’s hard to be a good person when someone’s saying all this stuff about you, and hopes the night goes better.

Michael says he’s going to show her he has her back, like he said would. Michael asks why Ben hasn’t made friends in the house? She tries asking real questions, like what traditions they want to start with their families? Ben says he wants to go to church every Sunday and Michael says “Well, what about Easter? Didn’t go Easter?” Ben says it was a Catholic service all in German. Michael says there were Morman and Jewish guys that went.

Ben excuses himself for a few moments to cool off. Des says Michael didn’t need to do that there. Ben says he’s saying things to make him look stupid, and like he’s lying. She says she doesn’t see the qualities in either of them that she really wants. They tease at commercial break she might send them both home. Michael realizes from her face after he walks out that he f%&*ed up.

Ben says he’s never had someone question him as a father, or question his faith. Des doesn’t see what goes on in the house and she feels like Ben is sweet and isn’t meaning to be bad. She wants Michael to share why he feels so strongly about why Ben is so bad. Michael says he’s condescending and made comments about his business, and how his business could benefit from their time on the show. Michael is petrified that she could know all this and could still choose Ben.

Des tells Ben she believes he’s a good father and his faith is true, but she can see a potential future with Michael so she gives him the rose. Ben denies Des a chance to walk him out and is pissed. He can’t believe she would pick someone who would treat someone like that. To be honest, I kind of feel the same way. They have him saying things like, how long do I have to wait to be seen with someone, and let’s go get drunk, in the limo as he leaves, but I think he’s pissed and that’s just how he’s dealing.

Back at the house, Drew tells Brooks and Chris, that he and Kasey overheard Mikey asking James about what will happen after they go back to Chicago and he talked about maybe being the next bachelor and how he could introduce Mikey to lots of ladies. They would take over Chicago. Drew hates it and thinks Des needs to know. They guys agree.

The cocktail party is again at a castle. Des calls it a fairytale again. She thinks she may do something different this rose ceremony. It’s also her first sit down with Chris. They talk about how cold it was and that it was a good week. He asks if she’s falling in love and she says she’s getting there. He brings up that she’s kissed quite a few of the guys and asks who’s the best? She’s not kissing and telling. If she could kiss anyone guy right now, who would it be? She says Brooks because their relationship has gone the deepest. Chris says what about purely physical? She says Zack. Wow, we have been edited out of the loop, who knew? Last we saw they had an awkward almost kiss.
She thinks she knows her decision and isn’t going to have cocktail party so it looks like the guys won’t get a chance to tell her about James. So – to be continued… obviously setting up next week’s conflict.

She sends Mikey home and Drew and Kasey are horrified (to the camera).

Next week: Spain and lots of kissing and lots of fighting!

General Hospital: June 2013 – A Report Card…just ehhh

So overall I think GH is earning a solid B. I’m not bored, and there are some really good things in process, but I’m not captivated either and that’s the bigger problem.

One of the things that’s been really bothering me lately is the rotation of storylines. How we get chunks of characters and stories and then don’t see them again for weeks. I’m assuming this has to do with scheduling actors and keeping down costs so I’m trying to ignore it, but it’s like I forget people exist.

I want to see Liz and Nik at least once a week. I need to see Anna more than I do. The scene with Anna and Duke babysitting Emma was one of the best scenes all month. Maybe that’s why they don’t show them…they make everything else look bad because they’re so good.

Anyway – here we go:

The return of the OLTL 3: B+
I think they’ve pulled this off. I like Kiki and the potential story between Morgan and Michael. Kristen Alderson is great with Maura West and Roger Howarth.

Roger Howarth as Franco is going to work…mostly because they’re totally changing Franco (or is it really Franco?) but whatever, it’s good and he’s good. The recent scenes with Carly after the shooting were brilliant. I can see a way for them to work together now.

Michael Easton? Where has he been? They haven’t given me enough of him. He’s my favorite of the three and I’m dying here! I like Silas. Please, please, just have him be a hard ass, unsentimental, jerk doctor that Sam can soften and not that psycho brother of his returned from the dead.

Quartermaine Mania: B
The relish stuff was fun for a while. I like the constantly changing loyalties based on who has the pivotal shares and Tracy/AJ competition is always fun. Bring Duke back into things please! Having Franco and Kiki move into the house was great. Can we get some Ava/AJ action? Their chemistry is fabulous and this AJ/Carly/Franco/Ava quadrangle could earn an A+ eventually!

Sonny/Dante/Lulu/Olivia/Kate: C
This is all just mind-numbingly dull for me. Connie vs. Kate for Sonny’s heart? Both characters are like watching paint dry. They don’t compare to his chemistry with Brenda. I love Emme Rylan as Lulu but there’s no real story happening. Even the stuff with their baby is boring and predictable. Maxie’s lying to them – yep – we know. Nothing’s happening. She got her memory back…great. Now what? I’m hoping we’re just transitioning storylines here and something bigger and better is coming for all of them.

Alexis/Shawn/Molly?Rafe/TJ/new Dubois chic (it’s bad if I watch everyday and can’t remember her name): Finally something real for Alexis and Shawn to play besides attraction. Him shooting Olivia is a great way to move their story along. I like the idea of the quadrangle with the youngsters but other than the fact that I love Molly from watching her grow up, and that Rafe and TJ are great actors, there’s nothing making me root for any of them. They’s so 2D.

Patrick/Sabrina/Britt/Felix: B
Ick. The Patrick Sabrina love scenes were cheesy and awkward. I liked her at first but she just takes away time from characters I really care about. Put Patrick with Sam and create a love triangle between them and Silas…let Elizabeth be wary of it. Anything – but I’m really tired of this whole thing. Except for Felix. Keep him and tell me more about how his sister’s blackmailing him because his parent’s don’t know he’s gay. That’s a good story.

Liz/Nikolas/AJ:B
I’d love to give this an A. This could engage me in the show, but I never see them so…whatever. Nik’s new hairstyle is awesome, but they’ve isolated them both from the larger storylines at hand. Even Nik having the dirt on AJ doesn’t seem to matter as much when we forget they exist.

Luke/Laura/Anna/Duke/Scotty/Lucy/Doc:D-
Where are they????????

As I’ve written this, I’ve decided I am much more upset about this show than I realized. I’m not connecting with these characters because I’m not seeing them, and when I am seeing them, what they’re going through isn’t resonating with me. I’m sad now. I need to stop writing.

Bachelorette Des: Episode Four – Zzzzzzzzz

So, I have to be honest. I can’t blog about the Bachelorette last night because it was so dull it couldn’t keep my attention. Sure there were some moments where I looked up from what I was doing, but overall…it was the first time in many seasons where I was just BORED.

She took Brad on the first one-on-one and sends him home because they can’t talk to each other. Brad is sweet and cute but that date was painful. The silences…yeah.

The group date pageant with the guys was sort of cute. Kasey won and he is adorable, but she’s not that into him – you can tell. Zack W. sings relatively well and gets the rose. Michael G. does a cute acrostic game with her name during his alone time.

Her date with James was OK. James cheated on his girlfriend from high school his first year of college. Ummm…that’s supposed to be our drama? Will he cheat again? Should she take a chance on him? They help some people from Hurricane Sandy. A couple who lost everything. It’s their anniversary. Des gives them their date in Atlantic City. I should know their names – they were all over Twitter with people saying how cute it was. For me, I got caught up in something online and never looked back to the TV. That’s not good, folks.

Bryden says he’s not sure he’s feeling it and asks if he should stay or go? She’s playing it like “Oh, he’s having trouble with the format…”, as people have in the past, but it’s pretty clear to me the guy just doesn’t like her that much.

Then there’s Chris. My cutie baseball player that wrote her poetry. She writes poetry,too. They both sit alone at coffee shops and write poetry. If that’s not a reason to get married and have babies, what is? Chris shows that it’s obviously a competition between him and Brooks. I mean really, has she had any serious chemistry with anyone else?

She eliminates only one guy at the ceremony – Zak K. – he is stunned. OK.

I hope this season gets better quickly because if things go like last night, I might not make it.

Bachelorette Des Episode Three: A broken finger beats a broken heart

Intro: Chris Harrison meets our hotties to explain that this week we will have three dates: two group dates and a one on one. Ben reiterates how he’s not sorry for stealing her away the previous week and he doesn’t care if the guys like him. Hmmm – wonder what’s gonna go down that they started with that?

The first group date card says: Love is a battlefield and the names on it are: Chris, Brian, Drew, Michael G., Brooks, Brad, Mikey, Brandon, Zak K., and Ben.

Des looks really pretty in the neon pink she’s wearing. She says the men are amazing and are gonna flip out about what they’re doing. A garage type door raises to a gym and we see – Dodgeball! They practice with a professional team before Chris shows up and gives them the news they’ll be battling each other in a winner takes all match (best two of three) that will happen in a public arena. They put on their uniforms and look goofy in knee-high striped socks, short shorts, and headbands. She almost dies laughing when she sees them, but says they owned it.

The Teams:
Red: Mikey, Michael G., Brooks, Chris, and Brandon
Blue: Ben, Drew, Zak K., Brad, and Brian

The first game comes down to Chris and Drew with Drew winning it for the blue team. In the second game blue gets in a hole and can’t fight back. It’s one to one.
Final Game: The game is interrupted for a medic to look at Brooks’ finger. They showed a quick shot of it and it did look bad. The medic says it has to be reset and Brooks is taken to the ER. This leaves red one man down and it comes down to Chris and Zak (who Mikey says are both professional baseball players – yummy!) Chris fights hard but the blue team wins. However, Des must have wanted the red team to win because she decides to take them all on the date that night.

The Date Part: Des laments that Brooks is missing the date (His ER scenes seem pretty intense.) and she toasts him in his absence.

She talks one-on-one with Brad who wants to share a past that’s haunted him that he didn’t want to tell her right off the bat until he knew if there was a connection. He has a three year-old son who lives with him full-time. His mom’s watching him. He wasn’t going to come if it wasn’t Des. He hasn’t dated for two years because he’s raising him herself and he says he’s here to find love and leaving a lot behind. He’s pretty sweet.

Next Up: Chris talks about how everyone is taking Des away and it’s getting late, he’s afraid he’s running out of time and wants to do something special so he finds an awesome spot and makes a move. (I looove Chris, but come on! He just randomly find a spot on the roof top to take her? Producer manipulation.) They sit and talk. He says he was skeptical but he liked the way she acted, listened and coached that day. She says she noticed that no matter where he was, he noticed her and smiled and let her know he was there. He talks to the camera about it feeling comfortable and right. He thinks he’s feeling a connection and might get the rose….until Brooks shows up. Chris has a very cute moment when he says, “Damn that Brooks – he’s so charming.” So are you, Chris! So are you!

Brooks and Desiree sit on a blanket and she tells him she misses him. He says kiss me. You can tell she really likes him. She says they don’t have to try. I don’t think it matters that he had the first date. He could go all the way.

When she hands out the rose she tells Zak he killed it (in a good way), and thanks Brad for opening up, but says she’s giving the rose to a person who made a great impression during that day and the night. She gives Chris the rose which means extra bonus time at a concert with Kate Earl where they dance and she kisses him – a lot. She says Chris continues to surprise her and makes her feel comfortable. He tells us that this moment is the beginning of something great.

The other guys know they kiss because Brandon watches. Ben says sometimes it’s just better not to see. He really does get how you have to play it to win.

The one-on one date card shows up at the house. It’s for Kasey and says “Love defies gravity.” Kasey’s excited but not a huge fan of heights. However, before their date can happen, Des gets a phone call from Chris Harrison about a guy that’s been lying. She says she didn’t see it coming and it’s so rude someone is there to play a game when this isn’t a game.

Kasey is so cute and ready to go, but she says she needs to see Brian before their date. She plays him and asks if there’s anything she doesn’t know. She wonders if their conversations are sincere. She says she’s making sure everyone is there for the right reasons. He says his past relationship was over recently, but was really over a long time ago. They realized there wasn’t a future, but there’s still a friendship. Des says, “Do you know how she feels about it? Because she’s actually here.

BOOM: In walks a cute brunette who hugs Des and says, “Hi, I’m Stephanie – Brian’s girlfriend.

Stephanie says he told her that he wasn’t going to see anyone else, and that she tried to break up with him but he said he needed time to figure stuff out. She has a son who looks up to him and he never told her he was coming on the show. He said he was going on a convention and invited her knowing she couldn’t come.

Des says there’s obviously feelings there. Chris tries multiple times to interrupt.
She calls him a coward. Chris asks, how is it possible that he told casting he was single and looking to find love? (hmmm…I don’t know Chris. But I think your producers do.) Stephanie says they slept together two nights before he came out there. Chris asks Des, “Is there any chance this guys is staying here?” She says, “No, not a chance.”

One-on One Date with Kasey: Kasey’s a little worried there might be a lot on her mind. He has to try to turn her day around. They go to Sunset Boulevard. She calls Kasey fun and trustworthy, but something about the way she says it let’s us know she may like him, but not as much as some others. They watch people dance on the side of a building. Kasey says he’s a terrible dancer but he’ll do it for her. She says he was a good support and a good sport. She’s a daredevil and trying to focus on him, but she’s exhausted mentally and physically. She says it’s not going the way she wanted it to, but it’s not Kasey’s fault.

They do a dinner on a rooftop and a big wind comes through. The wind is bad, the candles go out. The rose looks like it’s gonna blow away so they decide to get into the pool that’s freezing cold. He kisses her in the pool, though. The whole day was off and she feels awful. He says he just likes being with her. She thinks he’s a great guy and she trusts him so she gives him a rose anyway.

Second Group Date: Dan, James, Juan Pablo, Bryden, Zack W.
The Date Card: Who will be the lone man standing?

James doesn’t know what to expect but they walk out to a stage-coach and horses. They are delivered to the Rose and Thorn Ranch where Des is dressed in a gown on a balcony. All of a sudden, a man pops out and grabs her. She throws him off the balcony and introduces the guys to the stunt team from Disney’s The Lone Ranger. They put them through a cowboy boot camp. Whoever breaks away from the pack will get some special one-on-one time.

The men look good in their cowboy suits. They have to master a few cowboy tricks: throwing a lasso, a quick draw with pistols and fighting for justice (fake fighting). She surprises them with horses and they get to see the real Silver from the movie. They put everything they learn into one final challenge. James does well. She calls Bryden dreamy. Zack was hilarious, a natural actor. Dan’s pants split, and Juan Pablo spoke Spanish the whole time and was awesome!

She says they all did good, but Juan Pablo came out, was a natural and owned it. (He is sexyyyyyy.) She takes him to a movie theater in the barn where they get to watch the Lone Ranger. Her comments about the movie date are basically just a big commercial for The Lone Ranger – hello ABC/Disney. She tells us Juan Pablo is distracting in a great way and makes out with him.

That night they have a campfire. She says she loves the entire group of guys before she takes them off one-to-one. She and Bryden sit in a tree and she tells him she wanted him to keep the cowboy outfit on. He says he’s having fun. She recognizes he’s reserved and doesn’t quite know when to make the moves so she has to lead a bit and then he’s on it.

Zack says she makes things fun and says she’s a team player and gives such great feedback to them. She so easy to like that everyone’s in love with her. He mentions his attempt to kiss her earlier and they laugh because she says she got confused.

James and she share a blanket and he mentions how he likes the way she laughs at his stupid jokes. He feels at home, but it’s tough to even out the feelings. He worries about his dad at home. His father is sick and has a cancer spot on his pancreas. He asks her if she thinks they have something. He needs to know if he’s wasting his time. She reassures him with the rose. She sees the rose a symbol of more time. He asks her to accept his daisy. He’s relieved their feelings line up and they kiss.

The Final Day: Chris shows up to tell them the cocktail party has been canceled and that Desiree has asked for a relaxed, chill, pool party.

Ben catches her before she gets inside and asks for a 15 minute car ride. He kisses her in the car when they return and some of the guys see that he stole time with her

She finally arrives and there’s a a montage of pool play time. Dan give her a pizza that says, “Will you be my girlfriend or is it too cheesy?” She wants to connect with a few guys to see where things stand. Ben lies to Chris about getting alone time with Des and that pisses Mikey off. He says no to people when he’s asked if he’s talked to her. Mikey confronts him about lying, but he says he did it because he doesn’t kiss and tell. Michael G. says they won’t be friends because he’s been dishonest and he can’t unscramble that egg.

Brandon has a moment with Des where he discusses the week and how he feels about her and how the Brian thing affected him. He doesn’t want see her get hurt and he promises not to do that. He pulls her in for an awkward kiss that he thinks is awesome, then tells her he’s falling in love with her (Too soon dude!) and thinks about her all day long.

Chris breaks up the pool party and Des leaves. At the rose ceremony she looks gorgeous in a blue jewel toned dress.

By the way – that broken heart? Brandon all the way…we knew it was coming and it was obvious she wasn’t into him, but kudos to Brandon for making me feel bad for him despite his overwhelmingly fantastical view of the situation.

Roses go to: (James, Kasey, Chris) Bryden, Juan Pablo, Zack W., Brooks, Drew, Zak K., Brad, Michael G., Mikey, and the final rose goes to…Ben
Sent home: Brandon and Dan

My picks for final four still include Chris and Brooks, maybe Bryden, maybe Michael G.?

Bachelorette Des, Episode Two: Boys with “B” Names

Episode Two of the Bachelorette did not disappoint. Our first look at all of the guys in their everyday casual clothes revealed an amazing amount of hotness. It’s a frustrating group to figure out as a viewer because it seems like each guy gets cuter or uglier depending on the camera angle. I can’t get a handle on them, so I’ll have to wait and see their personalities! Which lucky for me that was the highlight of this show. We started to really see who some of these guys are.

The First One-on One: Brooks gets a rose.

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The producer’s make sure we know that the guys of the house think Brooks is genuine by having Ben (the least liked guy – though we don’t know why yet, say so). Brooks is just a really chill guy. On their date he continuously calls her by her full name and he’s really, really cute in an indie, not hipster, way.

For their date they check out a wedding dress store, because surprise, she wants him to know that she seriously wants to design her own line of wedding dresses. She tell him to pick out a tux and we see his humor when he chooses a hideous green concoction. Brooks says silly is fun and he wants to really get to know her. He calls her beautiful because of her confidence

I’ll admit they look cute together. He picks her up and puts her in the Bentley and they drive around in their costumes, stopping for a cupcake at a truck where she gets mobbed by fans.

Their date has two more parts and both are romantic and we see a side of Brooks that let’s us know he’s a crazy good listener and able to open up! They drive to Hollywood sign where Des explains it’s the sign’s 90th anniversary. He gives her his jacket and they talk past relationships and taking chances on love. Brooks gets the first kiss he at sunset and it was very natural. He’d had his arm around her for a while and there was no awkwardness at all.

Later, driving in a shady looking area, she says she’s lost and she freaks him out a little with driving past the road closed signed. Viewers, however, know she’s got that practical joke side to her and it turns out to be an awesome dinner for two on a bridge that’s lit with a romantic purple glow.

At dinner we get to see he genuinely wants to know about her. There’s no agenda. She describes her parents relationship as the reason she hasn’t settled and asks about his family. His parents are divorced. He didn’t talk to his father from age 13-19 and is still working on that relationship. He’s learned not to take things for granted and to be grateful for what he has He almost cries as he’s telling her this but doesn’t. It’s just the right emotional tone.

Finally, she gives him the rose for his openness and vulnerability, and they go off to dance to Andy Grammer and his band. He says he’s “stoked” and the moments are only going to get more romantic.

I’m in love. The thing I like watching the two of them is that he listens to her, recaps – proving he heard her, and then makes a deduction that shows he wants to figure out more. It was a damn good first date, but this is the Bachelorette, does the 1st date guy ever win? This date feels different from other first dates. They aren’t gushing about each other or overwhelmed by the experience of a date on the show. They seemed to really connect on a chill, romantic, and friend level with room to grow.

Back at the house:
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We hear that Chris wants a date! But since we’re hearing this, we can be assured the cutie, normal, brown-haired boy of course won’t get put on group date. The scene plays out again with the next one-on-one. Disappointment. Then at the group date, we’re shown a snippet of her walking somewhere to talk with him and he’s saying how glad he is to get to talk with her. It’s looking good for him staying around a while…that’s producer editing for a sleeper top three boy…and I just intuitively like him so I’m hoping.

The group date is crazy: Ben gets the rose and a kiss.

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Soulja Boy leads the guys and Desiree through a video rap of “All the Right Reasons”. The only funny part was that they dressed some of the guys up like old Bachelors and it kind of felt like we were getting some foreshadowing and hints.

Brandon is sure he’ll pass any test, but it’s obvious he’s playing “guard and protect your heart” Kasey from Ally’s season. I wish they hadn’t made that connection because I liked Brandon and now I can’t see him without thinking of tattoo boy.

Ben’s in cowboy hat. Is this foreshadowing that he’s like Wes and there more for his career? It’s hard to think that when you’ve only heard about his little boy but later the guys talk about how he talks about his hopes that his business will expand because of the show.

James plays Justin, Ally’s guy that faked a broken leg and had a girlfriend. We’ve seen in the preview some convo where he ends up in tears and she looks miffed so that makes sense as well.

Michael G., the federal prosecutor who tried to fish her wishes out of the fountain played single dad Jason. Remember as a Bachelor Jason came in second…I doubt Michael will be the one but he’ll stick around. He tells her he’s got her back and will let her know about other guys.

Throughout the date she says she wants a man who can let loose and have a good time and at the group date night has a few moments worth mentioning besides all the guys ganging up on Ben.

Zack W. wanted time to show he was more than abs and brought her something from an antique shop. It’s a journal that’s never been written in with an inscription from a father to a daughter. SCORE! She’s impressed and he says don’t think of me as the clown. He blew her away with his depth.

We get a hilarious quote from Brandon regarding love that unfortunately comes off as too “Kaseyesque” He says love is like a butterfly…and he’s not gonna be the guy who squishes it. Then he goes and interrupts Drew who she was having a great conversation with to say he’s not ivy league, rich, , and doesn’t own his own business, but he’s a good guy. He tells her the story of his dad leaving, moving every two years as a child and his mom’s addiction. He basically raised his little brother and sister and can’t wait to have kids.

Desiree’s such a good person. She says she saw kindness in his heart, can tell he’s selfless, and has positive energy. My thing is if he’d just been a little more patient he’d have been more effective. He rushed all that information into a few minutes and came off a little crazy.

Ben steals Des from Mikey who runs and tattles that he got “swooped”. This starts off the whole Ben’s not here for the right reasons discussion with all the guys and Ben saying “what????” Ben honestly looks like he’s clueless as to why the guys dislike him. And as former bachelorette Ally F. tweeted, “What has he done?” Not much besides talk about his kid and kiss her.

Des asks if he misses Brody. He does but wants to know if she have questions. She says it doesn’t scare her. He said he wanted to kiss her earlier but thought the cowboy hat was gonna get in the way, so he asks to kiss her that night.

They’re setting up lot’s of tension between Mikey, James, Brandon and Ben.
Mikey wants to air frustrations – on a date???? Ben appreciates him approaching. Mikey says he gets a politician feel with him but wants to be friends. Ben assures him that he doesn’t want tension and says he won’t talk trash or stab him in the back, then compliments his shoes…is Ben good??

Rose time: She mentions Zack W. and Brandon but the person who made her feel special and used his time wisely was Ben. The guys are not happy and Ben will sleep with one eye open.

The Last One-on-One: Bryden – The Iraqi War Vet
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Desiree takes Bryden on a road trip. She loves road trips because they were too poor to fly when she grew up. She’s stoked to have Bryden on date (yes, she says stoked – like Brooks said earlier…interesting as it’s not a word commonly used) and they stop for snacks.

1st stop: El Matador Beach – it looks like beach from the Notebook when Allie says, “Say I’m a bird.” They play on the beach and just goof around. There’s a very child like vibe with Bryden…an innocence that you don’t see much. They feast on fish tacos before heading on. First thought with that was,”Guess they won’t be kissing soon.”

2nd stop: an Orange Grove, where they stop to pick some oranges and he confesses he doesn’t know what Brie is. (He’s not missing much in my opinion). They run through the groves and we move on.

3rd stop: Ojai Valley Inn and Spa – At this point some very familiar, romantic music plays…it’s a music cue…he’s sticking around. We should pay attention.

Des says she likes his funny and goofy side and how they’re like little kids when they’re together. He says you need that once in a while. Then, we get serious and he tells the story of his car accident in college that he had to be airlifted from. He brought pics and then talked about how it influenced his decision to join the military the next winter. He thinks you should enjoy every moment because you don’t know what’s gonna happen.

Des says the more she learns the more she wants to know and asks about his being ready for a relationship. He says he may have used the military as and excuse, but now he’s ready for something real.

He’s so sweet and he accepts the rose before they go to the pool. They do have chemistry. Des says there is something there and that he’s 100% such an amazing man. However, in the hot tub she obviously wants to be kissed and he’s clueless. She has to say “Just kiss me already.” To which he responds, “Just go for it?”

The pool and hot tub, the making out, the music…it’s all reminiscent of Sean and past successes so we can be assured Bryden will be around for quite a while.

At the Party:

While most of the guys are obsessed with the fact that Ben interrupted Michael G’s revelation to Des that he’s diabetic, Brian keeps his eye on the prize.
He says, “Can I steal you, sweetie?” He picks her up and takes her outside. The voiceover let’s us know he wants the rose badly and is not gonna leave anything on the table. They talk past relationships. His last ended a couple of months ago, but was probably over about 6 months ago. He says it was hard to break it off. This is obviously all a set up for the next show’s girlfriend drama.

At the Rose ceremony:

Keeps:
Ben, Bryden, Brooks, James, Kasey (who we don’t know yet), Dan(who we’ve seen nothing about!!!!), Juan Pablo, Brad (another…who???), Chris, Brian, Zack W., Drew, Mikey, Zak K., Michael G., and Brandon gets the final rose!

Sent Home: Nick M. who was a little shocked and feels rejected. Robert, who didn’t see it coming and Will who says, “Thanks Athena…”

My predictions: Still have high hopes for Chris, Brooks, and Bryden…she threw me for a loop by getting rid of Nick M. and I think Ben will stay around until at least final four. No new crushes for me tonight though.