The View From Paul’s Basement: The Bachelor Recap – 02-18-13

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Greetings, gentle reader, and welcome to the first ever installment of something I am forced to call like to call by my superiors, “The View From Paul’s Basement”. Let it be known that, although this title might not strike you as the most… elegant of monikers, this is actually a step in the right direction, since at least now I get to use my real first name, whereas before I was known only as “Intern Jimmy Buffett”.

Additionally, I would like to say that, as basements go, mine is rather posh. Indeed, my semi-subterranean realm has three windows and also a door to the outside world as well. When the sun is in just the right spot, and the skies are devoid of clouds, a few rays actually make their way through my windows and into my life, stunning my eyes with their dazzling brilliance. All of this exposition, friends, is just my way of telling you that I do get out and about and I am not a social outcast. I have seen the sun, and it is a beautiful thing. So, that is me, in all my glory. On with the show!

The inaugural entry on “The View From Paul’s Basement” is going to be about last night’s (02/18/13) episode of The Bachelor. For those of you thinking, “Why ‘The Bachelor’?”, the answer is, “Because I know nothing about the show and have never watched it before (and because my bosses told me to).” Counterintuitive and doomed to failure? Perhaps, but I like to spin it as, “A fresh take from someone uncorrupted by the all-pervasive clutches of reality TV!” Also, for those of you thinking, “Why now, you basement-dwelling troglodyte, the season is nearly over!” Well…better late than never, I guess. Shall we get started?

The show opened up with a seemingly standard hugging montage with Sean Lowe and his remaining 4 girls. My initial take: all of them are out of my league. Anyway, this week, Sean is visiting the hometowns (and, more importantly, families/parents) of the four girls who are left in the running. First up is Houston, home town of AshLee Frazier. On the screen it says, “personal organizer” under her name, which gets me thinking about day planners and high school agendas, but I guess it is some form of job as well, although what that job would entail I couldn’t tell you.

In any event, this woman is excited to see Sean. When he arrives, she takes him to some grassy meadow, sits him down, and proceeds to tell him how perfect he is, while he sits next to her, sipping wine and responding with every version of “Aw, shucks” known to mankind. When they arrive at Chez Frazier, Sean meets the parents outside, they have a nice, low key meal in front of a few ABC TV cameras, and Sean goes off to speak to AshLee’s parents, one at a time. Blondie does pretty well for himself, although he does say to the parents that he is, “crazy about your daughter”, (more on this later) but he seems well spoken enough.

Daddy Frazier tells an emotional story about meeting AshLee, who is his foster daughter (news to me) for the first time, and Sean hits the road after kissing AshLee goodbye. It is only 8:17, and I’m saying to myself, “Hey, this isn’t gonna be so bad!”. Whoops…

One interjection before moving on to woman #2: Dyson has a female spokesperson now? Nope, I don’t watch TV much.

Woman #2 turns out to be Catherine from Seattle, who spends some time with Sean catching fish at a market. Sean catches all four fish thrown his way, (who knows how much editing this required) while Cathy goes 1-for-2. Where I come from, tossing around raw fish isn’t exactly super-romantic, but hey, I’m an East Coast cellar-inhabitant, what do I know about this kind of thing? The home visit isn’t nearly as benign this time, however.

Catherine’s sisters don’t exactly paint a pretty picture of her to Sean: apparently she is moody and high-maintenance. A girl like that competing on “The Bachelor”? Who would have guessed?!? One thing that really made me shake my head was Sean’s conversation with Catherine’s mom. Sean of course told her that he is crazy about Catherine, (ok dude, we get it now, pick something else to say soon, or it will stop sounding sincere!) which Mom took in stride, but she said she doesn’t want Sean to lead Catherine on, which is just a ludicrous thing to say, given the circumstances. I mean, hello, this is “The Bachelor”!

(AP Photo, ABC, Kevin Foley)

(AP Photo, ABC, Kevin Foley)

The whole freaking show seems to be about leading women on, and then breaking it off with them one by one, with each kick to the curb being more painful to the woman the longer she lasts on the show. I hate to break it to you, darling, but your daughter’s chances of actually ending up happy with Sean Lowe are slim to none. So yeah…that visit could have gone better.

The third girl is Lindsay from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Sean’s visit with her goes well enough. They walk around her small town, grab a few cupcakes, and do some incredibly cheesy military-themed things because Linday’s father is actually the general in charge of running things at the fort.

Sean dresses up in a military jumpsuit and Lindsay pretends to be drill sergeant scolding him, but the intimidation factor is spoiled somewhat by a few playful slaps on Sean’s rear end. But hey, Sean went on to get the general’s blessing for Lindsay’s hand in marriage (he must have told the general he was “crazy” about Lindsay 3 times at least, I kid you not), so good for him I guess. The best part of the whole visit was after they leave Lindsay’s house and go outside to say their goodbyes, Lindsay says, “I’m falling in love with you,” to which Sean replies with the immortal, “That means so much to me.”

In real life, that would be a massive buzzkill for any normal girl, but hey, this is “The Bachelor”, so Lindsay was still somehow really happy with that cop-out of a response. The Bachelor: Taking The Reality Out Of Reality TV Since 2002.

The last girl (Desiree from LA) was, of course, the best of the bunch, mostly because, in a shocking development, her brother actually acted like a real human being! Sean and Desiree went hiking for a bit, then came home to her house, where they were joined for a bit by one of her old ex’s . To have this guy show up out of the blue right on the night Sean was at Desiree’s house for the first time seemed contrived from the start. Lo and behold, it WAS contrived: a prank on Sean played by Desiree to get Sean back for some earlier prank. Since this is the first episode of the show I had ever watched, that whole thing went right over my head, but good job by her I suppose to give it a shot. It wasn’t believable in the slightest, but at least she tried!

Wait though, that isn’t even the best part of the visit to Desiree’s home. The best part is the conversation between Sean and Nate, Desiree’s brother. For starters, Nate doesn’t buy Sean’s sincerity, and how can you blame him? Sean is going around on intimate dates with three women not named Desiree, making out with them, having them tell him how much they love him, meeting their parents and asking for their blessings, and telling everyone how he is “crazy” (Sean, SHUT UP ALREADY with the “crazy about <girl x>” line) about all of them.

Does that seem like a guy who is telling the truth? Hell, I’m still not sure why this isn’t considered cheating or what the rules are with this freaking show. Am I insane, or would Sean get rid of a girl in an instant if he found out she was seeing another guy on the side? I feel like he would, and that then he could go out on three steamy dates in three days with three different girls. Ay caramba.

Back to the matter at hand: Sean tells Nate how he is crazy about Desiree, (GAAAHHHHH!!!!) to which Nate replies, “You’re crazy about a lot of girls, right?” which I thought was, bar none, the single best line of the whole show, and also marks the moment that I swore I would be Nate’s BFF. The two go back and forth a bit, with Nate basically telling Sean he thinks Sean’s feelings for Desiree are not genuine. Sean takes this as a huge insult, and says things like, “Character and integrity are #1 to me,” and (in an incredulous voice) “He is calling me a fraud?!?!?” To which I say: Yes! Right in one! Any guy who goes on a reality TV show to find a wife, a show that has had virtually no success in creating lasting marriages, and claims that he is crazy about four girls at once is a total and complete fraud. Glad you finally caught on, Sean!

After this conversation, which was in private from the rest of the family, the two men come back, but the gathering isn’t exactly a smooth affair after that. Once Sean leaves, the family reconvenes, and Nate talks about what he said to Sean. The whole family jumps all over him at this point, and there isn’t much more to say about it except that Desiree’s father hilariously says to Nate that he is, “way off the mark” on his assessment of Sean. Yes, he just met Sean an hour or so before, but already he knows that the blonde hunk is a straight shooting, down to earth, genuine kind of guy. Ok Pops, thanks for your input on that one.

The last piece of the show is devoted to the “rose ceremony” where Sean chooses which woman he is going to kick to the curb so that he can narrow down the field. The best section from this part of the show is when Sean is down to one rose, host Chris Harrison comes over and says something like, “Ok this is the final rose, take your time” and then just leaves again.

Seriously, this is the final rose Chris? Thank you so much for pointing that out, that would totally stink if Sean made a mathematical error and thought he actually had two roses left to give out. Thank goodness Chris Harrison was there to make sure things were running smoothly. Then of course there was the dramatic rose put down move from Sean, who walked away from the ceremony with that one rose waiting there to give him a few extra minutes to think about his decision. It also gave the show a few extra minutes to run some commercials before the rose was finally given away, but I’m sure this move was totally Sean’s idea and it wasn’t planned ahead at all. Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

In any event, Sean decides to send Desiree packing, once again proving Nate right. The show tried really hard to make Nate seem like the bad guy who drove Desiree and Sean apart, but the truth is, if Sean really had such strong feelings for Desiree, no amount of harmless brotherly skepticism should have been able to make him dump her. I was waiting during the entire time Sean was consoling Desiree after he made the cut for him to say something like, “It wasn’t you, it was Nate’s fault!” but he never did (aka ABC cut it out of the show).

So that about wraps it up for this episode of “The Bachelor” although I was informed that there is a special episode on Tuesday night, so who knows, I might be asked to cover that one too. Oh joy of joys. Thanks for reading about my view, and I hope you enjoyed your time in my basement.

I don’t care what you say, that last line is golden.


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