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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelorette (Andi, Week 5)

June 17, 2014

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screenshot from ABC’s “The Bachelorette”

  1. When trying to express your most romantic feelings, do not say “You are awesome,” as if you’re at some sporting event marveling at an epic play, bro.
  2. Don’t be a poor sport on a date. Join in, lighten up and have a laugh. (That said, if your date makes you mime…in public…in France, not only should you feel free to sulk, you should feel free to dump your date.)
  3. We’ll say it again: don’t be a poor sport on a date: If you don’t love to cook or feel inadequate in the kitchen but find yourself there on a date, roll with it, put in a modicum of effort, and make fun of your lack of culinary prowess. Do not pout and whine, “I don’t know how my mom makes her awesome mash potatoes, I just eat ‘em,” you big retro meathead.
  4. Think about what a Bachelor/Bachelorette producer would have you do on a date to be more romantic, and then do it. (No way did Brian come up with that restaurant kitchen make-out idea to make up for the kisses he didn’t steal in Andi’s apartment kitchen — that was pure producer prodding, and it totally worked.)
  5. Ladies, very rarely does “fancy” up-done hair look better than casual flowing hair. Less is often more, so when in doubt, walk away from the matronly up-do that takes hours to accomplish by a high-end stylist who secretly hates all women and is exacting their revenge through said ugly up-do.

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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelorette (Andi, “The Journey So Far”)*

June 10, 2014

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  1. If you’re going to talk politics on a date, then the only appropriate response to the topic of Benghazi is “Bring it on!”
  2. It’s gauche to ask your date about the ancient indiscretions of their partner, especially if said date was the Secretary of God Damn State.
  3. If you’re going to tell your date how dead broke you once were, don’t talk about having to somehow finance your houses (plural) back then. Be sensitive to the genuine financial hardships your date might have experienced in the past or may be experiencing right now.
  4. The discussion of scrunchies has no place on a date, whether you’re running for President of the United States or not.
  5. While on a date, don’t try to disguise your age, especially not with a schmear of Vaseline over the camera lens. Be proud of your extensive journalistic experience and own your wrinkles.
*This week’s “Bachelorette” show was a one-hour recap of the season so far that made room for Diane Sawyer’s exclusive ABC News interview with Hillary Clinton which aired on Monday night. 

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Why Lo Won’t Watch “Game of Thrones” Anymore

June 9, 2014

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Lo wanted to pen a smart, thoughtful piece on all the serious, misogynistic, pro-rapey problems with “Game of Thrones” that have made it unwatchable for her, but after reading Bethany Jones’ piece ‘Game of Thrones,’ Sex and HBO: Where Did It Go Wrong For TV’s Sexual Pioneers? over at Indewire’s “/bent” blog last week, there was no point: Jones nails it. At three pages, it’s a tome of an internet article, but it’s so worth it! The piece is funny, erudite, well-researched, and spot on. It should be required reading for any GOT fan.

Here’s one small taste, in which she uses one of our favorite philosophical party tricks to expose just how fucked-up the “sex” scenes in Game of Rapes, er, Thrones are:

So let’s imagine another scenario. Let’s imagine that in the background of most episodes of “Game of Thrones” we saw dark-skinned semi-naked people casually or brutally humiliated because of their race: lynchings, gratuitous beatings, n-words thrown about, all the horrible theatre of race-hate, say. Imagine that the incidental exposition scenes of “Game of Thrones” didn’t take place in a brothel but in a slave market, for no real reason. And in a slave market where the slaves showed signs of contentment and arousal at the point of sale. Imagine that in the background of incidental scenes of “Game of Thrones” we saw dark-skinned people being tarred and feathered, or whipped, or branded, just incidentally. And imagine that the camera dwelt lingeringly on the small physical details of these acts, just for the hell of it. And then, as a finishing touch, imagine that all of this was done spuriously, as a departure from the source material and for no meaningful narrative gain, but just to spice up the action, to show some pecs and tits, to give an impression of grittiness, to get some people off. Imagine a non-white person was subjected to the most violent instance of racial hatred, and then appeared to forget about it in the following episode. Imagine if having resisted being beaten, and imagine whilst saying ‘no, no’ to their abuser, they shifted their body in an ambiguous way, a way that could have been interpreted as inviting further punishment but could also have been seen as self-protection. Imagine if this meant we were told it was no longer an instance of racial hatred but a mutually consenting act.  Imagine we were asked to forget all we know about the historical and contemporary power dynamics that structure and inform racial violence.

Would you think that was ok, HBO? And how many people would think that was ok?

If you read only this, then you are doing yourself a disservice: you’ll miss the exact moment Jones declares that HBO jumped the sex shark, how ill-informed about and indifferent to rape the director of one now-infamous GOT rape scene (pictured above) is, and how a 1976 BBC production featuring a young, mad, sadistic king who trusses up a naked woman and kills her (sound familiar?)  is less sexist than this “modern” HBO show. This is the stuff brilliant PhD dissertations are made of — except, lucky for us, Jones gets to use phrases like “frathouse flatulent ether” here. Sanity is coming!

 

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Top 10 Love Lessons from The Bachelorette (Andi, Ep 3 & 4)

June 3, 2014

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photo courtesy of ABC/David Moir

  1. On a date, do not go on and on about what a nerd you were in high school — that’s a story best told after they’ve fallen in love with the totally rad person you are today.
  2. That said, do wear cool, memorable pants.
  3. Never underestimate the power of unexpected flowers and a sweet note.
  4. Never airbrush on a six-pack (we’re pretty sure the producers insisted on “enhancing” Marcus’s).
  5. If you have something on your mind that’s bothering you, you owe it to your date to let them know so they don’t take it personally. No need to go into great detail, just give them a heads up that you’re having an off day.
  6. Men, follow the example of this season’s group of bachelors: they’re affectionate (not just with Andi but with each other), they talk about their emotions easily, they’re not afraid to cry, etc. After all, it’s alright to cry, crying gets the sad out of you…
  7. “Not everything happens for a reason.” Finally someone said it! Thank you, Marcus!
  8. If your natural serious face makes you look like you’re smelling something really bad, you might want to work on some alternative expression with practice in a mirror.
  9. If you don’t feel chemistry with each other, don’t try to force something that’s not there. Just walk away from the relationship with grace and dignity.
  10. If someone you dated very briefly dies, don’t go on and on about how hard it is for you.

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Top 5 Love Lessons from “The Bachelorette” (Andi, Ep 2)

May 27, 2014

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photo courtesy of ABC/Todd Wawrychuk

  1. Don’t let your snowboard instructor (ballroom dance instructor, pottery instructor, etc) touch your date more than you.
  2. Don’t show your date your anus on your second date, whether accidentally or not.
  3. You can ask your date “What’s the worst thing about your parents?” as long as A) you’re not wasted, B) you’re not being filmed, and C) you seriously want to know and it wasn’t just the first question that popped into your drunk head.
  4. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: don’t get blotto on an early date. That said, in the same vein, don’t be such an uptight wet-noodle that you poop all over the party when someone who’s had a stressful day (becoming a professional stripper competing with some of the most ripped torsos in America on national television) overindulges at said soiree (where he’s being plied with drinks and underfed while continuing to compete with these Adonises) — you don’t have to give a bro a rose, but give a bro a break.
  5. Date Fashion-Don’ts: A) Don’t get dressed up fancy when the majority of people where you’re going will be wearing sleeveless tees, camo shorts and sneaks. B) Don’t wear anything you don’t feel comfortable in. Case in point: Andi was walking around with shoulders hunched up like Quasimodo in an attempt to avoid a wardrobe malfunction at her rose-ceremony cocktail party. And finally C) Don’t over-mix-and-match. For example, you can mismatch your shirt and tie, and you can mismatch your shirt and socks, but you can’t mismatch all three (that’s overkill, Marquel).

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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelorette (Andi, Ep 1)

May 20, 2014

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photo courtesy of ABC/Rick Rowell

  1. When on a date, follow the same rule of the writer: show, don’t tell. Do not say “I have a lot to offer” as your opening gambit. Prove it by being charming, smart, funny, compassionate and so on.
  2. Do not refer to your date as “ma’am” at any point, even if you’re just trying to be polite (we’re talking to you, “Yes ma’am” Marquel).
  3. Don’t have a type. As Andi wisely noted, she’s always been attracted to a particular type of guy but she’s still single, so it’s probably time to mix things up. Keeping an open mind when it comes to dating will only increase your chances of finding love.
  4. Know when to stop drinking on a first date. Did you notice all the guys drinking tea and coffee by the end of the evening? Now that’s refreshing.
  5. If you have to explain your name by saying “It’s ‘anal’ with an ‘m’,” have your name legally changed (we’re talking to you, Emil).

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@Midnight’s #FilthyCelebrities Hashtag War

March 14, 2014

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Our favorite show (besides “True Detective,” and the second season of “House of Cards,” and “The Bachelor,” duh) is @Midnight hosted by the adorable Chris Hardwick (of “Shipmates” fame!). It’s a late night Comedy Central game show wherein three comedians (different each night) compete to make the funniest jokes about that day’s Internet “news,” memes and viral videos. Our favorite segment — “#Hashtag Wars” — is a play-along-on-Twitter game where you come up with funny-clever responses to that night’s given hashtag: recent hashtags have included #BadSciFi (“Alien Vs. To Catch A Predator”), #SpringBreakBooks (“A Clockwork Orange Spray Tan”), and #RuinABand (“Faith No S’mores”) — the show features the winning submission on the next night’s show.

The featured hashtag this past Wednesday night/Thursday morning’s show was #FilthyCelebrities (host’s examples were “Bryan Cram-some-in” and “B.J. Novak”). So, since we were actually up for once and watching live (instead of watching it on TiVo like a full week later), and since we ostensibly write about filthy stuff, we submitted a few. Okay, we tweet-arrhea-ed a whole slew of submissions, which we think might have broken the Internets, since our tweets didn’t show up in the feed (only on our account page). Needless to say, we didn’t win. @Rich_Fulcher’s “James ‘Get In My Van’ der Beek” won. We think @ryanmaglunob — who submitted “Larry the Kegel Guy” — was robbed. Below, please to enjoy our first (and failed) attempts at battling in a Hashtag War:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In Defense of Juan Pablo

March 11, 2014

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screenshot from ABC’s “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose”

After spending all season ripping apart Juan Pablo for his sexist paternalism, his homophobia, his hypocrisy, and his all around smarminess, we’re going to do something we never thought we’d do: defend him.

Hear us out.

When Andi, one of the women in Juan Pablo’s final three, spoke up about the nightmarish reality of the fantasy suite, we commended her. She pulled back the curtain of the show to reveal what a sham it is. World travel, exotic locales, novel date activities, and heavy mood lighting do not a relationship make; they — and the cameras — don’t create an environment to truly get to know someone intimately. Andi didn’t realize this until she and Juan Pablo finally had a chance to be alone, away from the cameras, and truly be themselves. Previous Bachelors have been better at keeping up the charade in the camera-free fantasy suite, but not Juan Pablo — his insensitivity and narcissism couldn’t be contained. Andi saw his true colors and, for the first time in Bachelor history, painted a brutal picture of the Bachelor — the man and the show — with them.

Now, with his appearance on “After the Final Rose”, Juan Pablo has done the same: revealing himself to be even more of an dick than we imagined, yes, but also highlighting the utter preposterousness of the show’s set up.

Juan Pablo refused to play the producers’ game; he refused to follow “The Bachelor” script — the script which dictates that when the Bachelor chooses someone to be with at the end of the show, he must publicly declare his undying love…for a woman whom he’s essentially just met. If he won’t propose marriage (god, how annoying and selfish!), he’ll at the very least state clearly and unequivocally, “I love her.” It’s an essential part of the pretend fairy tale the producers are peddling: this show is about finding true love and we’ll all be damned if someone doesn’t find it by the end!

We lost count of how many times Chris Harrison asked Juan Pablo if he was in love, asked him to say he was in love. Harrison even went so far as to say Juan Pablo was in love, but was just refusing to let us all enjoy it vicariously: “This is what we all signed up to watch, and that’s what you signed up to show.”

But Juan Pablo wouldn’t budge — because he’s obviously not in love. At least not yet. And can we blame him, bastard or not? After only two months on the show with Nikki, and several more spent apart from her in hiding, he — like most sane people — need more time to make any grand statements or big moves, especially when he apparently takes marriage very seriously (he didn’t even marry the mother of his child) and doesn’t consider divorce an option. They — yes, JP and Nurse “I’m in Love” Nikki — need time in the real world to figure out how they actually feel about each other, as evidenced by the fact that the majority of Bachelor couples don’t ultimately end up together for the long haul. Juan Pablo said, “We’re starting our relationship.” The key word being starting.

But Nikki said it best (which is not surprising, considering Juan Pablo’s strained English and his proclivity for sticking his foot in his mouth): “I’m not going to force it,” she said. “I’m happy and I know he is too. That should matter more [than the words]…There’s people that have sat up here before and said they’re in love and everyone wants to believe it but they don’t because it’s just not there…Falling in love in a few months and, not only that, but the fact that they were dating other people the whole time, it’s just not exactly realistic…This is a real relationship to us, we’re taking this very seriously.”

To which Juan Pablo added, in a rare moment of eloquence, “I’m sorry the show didn’t end up the way you guys wanted it to but I just have to be honest.”

The couple also refused to reveal their future plans — or even if they had any future plans at all — saying they preferred to keep their relationship private, or at least as private as possible in a post-Bachelor world. This, of course, spurred the ire of Harrison along with Bachelor poster children/good citizens Sean and Catherine: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” said Catherine. She meant that he should be more grateful to the show for the opportunity to find someone he cares about by spilling his guts (though it sounded an awful lot like she was admitting the show is more about making money and publicity for participants than it is about actually fostering true love). But Juan Pablo, having held up the letter of the producers’ laws the entire show, went rogue last night and ignored the spirit of those laws by keeping his innermost thoughts and feelings to himself, proving better than any prepackaged happy ending that these are real live human beings (however flawed) and not the producers’ puppets or our playthings.

Last night’s treatment of Juan Pablo seemed to suggest that in the world of the Bachelor, it’s better to end up alone than with someone whom you’re enjoying dating and getting to know — that’s just so realistic, so logical, so anti-climactic, so real. Everything “The Bachelor” isn’t.

 

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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelor Finale (Juan Pablo)

March 11, 2014

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photo courtesy of ABC/Rick Rowell

  1. When your partner’s family tells you he’s rude, he makes his mama cry, he won’t stick around when things get hard, he’s not an easy guy, he’s self-centered, he’s a know-it-all, he’s simple, he watches TV all day, and there will be lots of fighting, dump him.
  2. When your partner’s dad is more affectionate, more complimentary, and quicker to say “I love you” than your partner, dump him.
  3. When someone says “I love you” don’t respond with “Thank you” or a high-pitched, mildly frightened “Woooh!”
  4. Don’t mention the possibility of having children together if you’re not serious about the relationship. And don’t mention a ring if you’re not going to use it — it’s not a god-damned dangling carrot!
  5. When someone uses the phrase “It is what it is” to describe their relationship with you, dump him. In fact, if someone you’re dating uses the phrase “It is what it is” to describe anything, dump him.

The moral of this season of “The Bachelor”? DON’T DATE JUAN PABLO!

 

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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelor (Juan Pablo, The Women Tell All)

March 4, 2014

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photo courtesy of ABC/Rick Rowell

  1. Ladies, never say you “think too much.” Serious reflection, internal debate, philosophical pondering — these are all good things in a woman, in a romantic partner, in a human being (even if they may seem surprising to Juan Pablo).
  2. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to non-exclusive relationships — anyone you’re dating should be made aware of the fact that you’re seeing other people. That said, do so delicately and with restraint — they don’t need to hear the details of your other relationships or be made to feel like one of many.
  3. It takes a real narcissist to look back on past relationships (whether those relationships occurred simultaneously or not) and profess “no regrets.” Really? Not a single, itty-bitty one? How about a little self reflection, humility and personal improvement by honestly admitting, even if it’s just to yourself, how you could have been a better partner. We’re sure you can think of something.
  4. The only way to deal with an ex who’s been hurt by you is with contrition. Don’t go on the offensive (and we mean that in both senses of the word).
  5. As an adult, you should be able to defend your position on gay marriage — or any other big political issue — in 60 seconds to your date. If you can’t, then it might be time for a little soul searching.

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