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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelorette (The Men Tell All)

July 23, 2013

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It’s hard to come up with five decent love lessons each week when the show isn’t that exciting this season. The bloopers reel wasn’t even that good! (And such small portions, too!) A sure a signifier of just how ho-hum this cast was. So don’t expect much enlightenment from “The Men Tell All.” Fingers crossed for finale drama. Until then, a few tips (extracted from tonight’s episode with metal pliers):

  1. When you make a big romantic mistake, the best/most endearing/classiest thing to do is to make a heart-felt, self-deprecating, earnest, honest apology about it (Jonathan, you sir, could give lessons on this).
  2. “You should be the same around your peers as you are around your girlfriend. You should bring your girlfriend around your peers, your friends, and be the same person and not have to turn around and put a different suit on and be Mr. America.”¬†Deep thoughts and wise love lessons from Mikey T. (Who knew?)
  3. If you’re going to get a new, post-show hair style, make sure it’s better than you’re last (we’re talking to you, Brandon).
  4. You can only sing a song to someone you’re wooing — not to someone who’s already dumped you, especially not a song about how you’re moving on. Clearly you (Zak) are not.
  5. Juan Pablo is the next Bachelor! (Not a lesson technically, just a fact.)

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Top 5 Love Lessons Learned from the Bachelorette (S 9, Ep 8)

July 16, 2013

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photo via ABC.com

  1. Dating don’ts: Showing up shirtless. Showing up in an animal mascot suit. Showing up in earnest.
  2. Don’t ever, EVER, let your Dad touch your date more than you’ve touched your date.
  3. Similarly: If you ever want to have sex again, do NOT, under any circumstances, get a nasal adjustment on national television.
  4. No need to throw away a perfectly good ring for sentimental reasons: eBay exists for a reason.
  5. It’s officially inevitable: women always fall for the wrong men and let the right ones go.

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Top 5 Love Lessons Learned from The Bachelorette (S 9, Ep 7)

July 9, 2013

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photo via ABC.com

  • If someone asks you (Catherine) about the love of your life (Sean) and you respond “We’re best friends”…? Hello, red flag?!
  • When you (Michael) are trying to make someone (Des) fall in love with you, don’t talk about all the negatives in your life: exes, health problems, daddy issues, freakin’ tombstones, etc.
  • If someone (Des) can’t look you (Michael) in the eye while you tell them your deepest feelings, um, it’s a no-go.
  • Never admit on camera to¬†falling in love (Des), because you are sure to jinx it and be rejected on national television. It’s inevitable.
  • When your adult child (Michael) calls you to tell you they’ve been dumped, do NOT say, “Here we go again”! That’s child abuse.

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Top 5 Love Lessons Learned from The Bachelorette (S 9, Ep 6)

July 2, 2013

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photo via ABC.com

  • There are no imperfect places to fall in love in the entire resort world. None.
  • Yes, yes, do take your date by the hand in the middle of some boring event, run out into a nearby secluded corridor, press them up against the wall and kiss them passionately, please, yes, do that. But just make sure you actually escape the thing you’re running away from. In other words, if you’re looking for privacy, you’ve got to achieve a modicum of it (out-of-breath camera crews in the alleyway with you kind of ruin it).
  • Re poetry: No more rhymes now, I mean it! (Anybody want a peanut?)
  • A great tactic to undermine your opponent in an argument about love is to pick an imaginary spot up in the air to focus on, thereby belittling them with your passive-agressive refusal to make eye-contact. (Especially good if you’re soused out of your mind.) This has gotta be in The Art of War, right?
  • If you work out so much that you get serious under-pectoral sweat, then you work out too much — no es sexy, not even in sunny Barcelona.

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Top 5 Love Lessons Learned from Season 9 Ep 5 of The Bachelorette

June 25, 2013

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photo via ABC.com

  1. If you (Bryden) are going to dump someone (Des), do NOT take great pains to do it publicly at an inconvenient time for the dumpee. Flying across an ocean to tell someone who you’re not even really dating that you don’t like them is a little “look at me! look at me!” Even worse if you do this to the dumpee while she’s in the middle of enjoying an actual date/preparing for a job interview/giving a speech/attending a party where she is the guest of honor/or doing any other real world event that will be ending soon anyway, thus giving you the opportunity to break your insignificant “news.”
  2. If, when talking about a guy you’re dating (Chris), you (Des) can’t help but make an expression like you just smelled the trash in the dumpster out behind your local sushi restaurant that’s been¬†baking in the summer sun all day, then he is probably not the guy for you.
  3. If you (Chris) are going to write someone a love poem, please don’t make it rhyme. Exhibit A: “Girls I used to think were true/all out of mind as I think of you.” Ugh.
  4. Talking shit about romantic competitors — no matter how true said shit may be — will surely make not only your romantic competitor (Ben) less attractive but you (Michael) less attractive as well.
  5. Even if you’re not the hot-tub type, if you ever get the chance to have a date in a hot-tug with a G (even an awkward two-on-one date), do it!

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Top 5 Lessons Learned from Season 9 Episode 3 of The Bachelorette

June 11, 2013

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1. Never steal a kiss. “I have a secret to tell you”? It’s like a sucker punch: cheap and ignoble. If you have to fake someone out to get them to kiss you, then you shouldn’t be kissing them in the first place.

2. The pain killers you get at the E.R. are just as good as Jack Daniels at screwing your romantic courage to the sticking place. (And the pain from a broken appendage is a lot less shameful than the pain from a hangover the next day.)

3. While honesty is the best policy, opening your first date with the admission that you have a child with a crazy ex who pressed domestic violence charges against you is probably not the smoothest of moves. (Almost better to just admit you were once gay.)

4. Seriously, we said it before, we’ll say it again: Actual laughter in the face of other people’s tragedies is not cool (Des). Yes, maybe admitting on national television that you fell for your d-bag boyf’s line about needing a break for the exact amount of time it takes to shoot The Bachelorette (and then admitting you had sex with him as a send off) ¬†is kind of ridiculous, but so is starring on The Bachelorette. (Plus, the jilted lady’s skin-tight pants looked better than yours, so who is really getting the last literal laugh here, huh?)

5. If you are a man and you wear this tank top, you are a douche. Better yet: if you are a man and you wear any tank top, you are a douche.

 

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Top 5 Lessons Learned from Season 9 Episode 2 of The Bachelorette

June 4, 2013

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  1. Take a tip from a 12 Step Program: no trauma bonding! Admitting to your absentee father / drug-addict mother / type 1 diabetes / poverty status / lactose intolerance is not first-date A material.
  2. That said, if you’re forced to wear an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny flesh-colored bikini bottom and shake your junk in front of the girl you like and you do it with good humor and without shame, then you can (almost) be forgiven for any uncontrollable bouts of said trauma bonding.
  3. When someone is telling you their most painful personal story, don’t smile. Whether it’s a nervous habit or pure evil, it’s not cool.
  4. If a man refers to himself as “old fashioned”, that means he’s overly macho, aggressively Neanderthal and¬†benevolently sexist.
  5. You can’t have staples in your head AND wear your hair like Frankenstein’s monster.

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Why “The Killing” Is One of the Best Feminist Shows on TV

June 3, 2013

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photo by Carole Segal/AMC

Okay, if you can get past the fact that the entire series revolves around the brutal murders of pretty young girls, “The Killing” on AMC (whose third season premiered last night) is actually a great feminist television show:

- The main character, homicide detective Sarah Linden¬†(Mireille Enos), is a strong, tough, independent woman who doesn’t need a man. She doesn’t even want a man. Her passion is her job.

- There are lesbian characters (plural!) who are also strong, tough and independent. In the first two seasons, Sarah’s best friend is a lesbian; in this season, she’s getting married. And there’s a new character, a street kid named Bullet who’s as compelling as Linden’s colorful partner from the first two seasons, Stephen Holder; Bullet is in love with another runaway girl (who doesn’t know it). None of these romances is given any special treatment — they just are.

- Stephen Holder, her badass partner, is also — you guessed it ¬†– strong, tough and independent. He’s rough around the edges, has a street accent, and is covered in tattoos. But he’s got a sweet and smart girlfriend, doesn’t participate in macho posturing about sex, and is outspoken about being a vegetarian (with zero fear of being called a “pussy” for it).

- Sarah is a sexual creature without being sexualized. She has a sex drive, she has sex — and in this season, with a much younger man, to boot! But she’s never been portrayed as an object, with cleavage or side boob or butt crack or a sexy pout or in lingerie — all the stuff that’s become de rigueur for women starring in late night cable dramas.

- Her styling is realistic. They don’t put the makeup on thick. She hasn’t Botoxed the wrinkles off of her face. She wears sensible shoes and warm clothes that make sense in the damp Seattle climate the show takes place in. And her hair is not perfectly, impossibly curled and defrizzed — it’s in a low, boring ponytail for most of the shows. Enos’s hair and makeup and wardrobe don’t have to shine because her acting does.

There’s still time for ¬†the producers to swoop in and say “We need a sexy strip club scene” or “Sarah needs a sexy makeover.” But hopefully now that Mireille Enos and her anti-glam looks have been cast as Brad Pitt’s wife in World War Z, Hollywood will continue to create more and more roles for women that are both realistic¬†and¬†compelling.

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Top 5 Lessons Learned from Season 9 Episode 1 of The Bachelorette

May 28, 2013

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photo via ABC.com

1. Vocal fry is so not hot.

2. If you have a sense of humor, please use it when you’re one on one with the person you’re trying to charm. (We’re talking to you, Mr. ER doctor with the glasses and the droopy eyes). And while we’re at it, if you have a suit of armor, please don’t use it.

3. If at first you don’t succeed (at luring someone to your impromptu fantasy suite with a twin mattress on the floor), give up, go home and enroll in some sensitivity training — or just look up the definition of the word “no.”

4. Bangs are the all-natural way to Botox. (i.e. Des, we miss yours!)

5. If the cheeseball who showed the most skin on the first episode can get a rose and the guys who do the most crying get all the play on the season teaser, then we may be closer to true equality between the sexes than we previously thought.

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Top 10 Lessons Learned from The Bachelor, Season 17, “The Return of Sean’s Abs”

March 12, 2013

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  1. Never be a narc. It won’t get you laid or married. Ever. (We’re talking to you, Kacie.)
  2. If you want your music career to go nowhere, get booked on The Bachelor (even more effective if the couple you’re supposed to perform for breaks up before you strum your first note).
  3. If you’re going to an amusement park for a date, wear sensible shoes and an outfit with a sensible hemline, ESPECIALLY if your date is basically wearing gym shorts.
  4. “Accidentally” pooping your pants might actually be an effective way to garner sympathy and attention from a man (or at least Sean). For example, after the faux stairway spill and the fabricated baby breakdown in the club hallway, we were surprised this wasn’t one of Tierra’s later tactics. Future¬†Bachelor¬†contestants take note.
  5. The volleyball competition will now become the obligatory group date for every future season of The Bachelor. (Let us pray the same can be said for every future season of The Bachelorette.)
  6. Missing an appendage does not automatically make you an interesting person. (On that note, another tangential lesson learned:¬†Just because you don’t have an elbow doesn’t mean you can get out of wearing elbow pads at the roller derby.)
  7. If you ever want to be truly, deeply loved, never talk about your inner “sparkle” to anyone. In fact, it’s probably best if you forget about your sparkle all together.
  8. Eating bugs is a great way to show a guy you like that you will put ANYTHING in your mouth.
  9. Don’t judge a book by its cover.* Who would have guessed that Sean’s last girlfriend was black, or that he, the life-long Texan and conservative born-again virgin, would end up picking the feisty part-Filipino tattooed vegan from Seattle? (*Of course, this lesson does not apply to situations in which the “book” in question is a contestant ¬†on¬†The Bachelor¬†or¬†The Bachelorette. In those cases, judge away!)
  10. Bachelors who chose temporary abstinence are bad for the ABC show’s brand. This season treated Sean’s recent choice of celibacy like a secret teddy bear collection, acting like it didn’t exist, instead giving lots of sexy airtime to Sean’s special relationship with his bar of soap in the shower. And while we’re all for a little equal opportunity objectification (you know, just to help balance the scales a bit), we also would have liked a little more attention paid to the fact that a grown man with amazing abs and a gleaming smile actively decided to forgo casual sex. But oh no, that would waterdown The Bachelor mythology that all men have to have sex, that intercourse always happens in the fantasy suites, and that the power of the show alone miraculously turns these guys into faithful fiances overnight. We’re not saying abstinence is a choice everyone should make, or that some God should be dictating what you do or don’t do with your genitals, but being thoughtful and deliberate about your sex life, especially if you’re a straight guy in this society, is a nice change of pace from what’s usually presented on television when it comes to sexuality. Too bad ABC didn’t embrace it. Then again, this is The Bachelor we’re talking about — our expectations should be about as low as a pole at a Trinidadian limbo competition.

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