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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelorette (The Finale)

August 6, 2013

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  1. Rebound sex, or even a rebound relationship is understandable after a bad breakup. But a rebound engagement? Probably not a good idea (especially if you can’t stop crying throughout the entire process).
  2. Having equally weird families (overly aggro brothers, overly handsy dads, etc) can really bond a couple, because each can understand and empathize with the familial pain and embarrassment of the other.
  3. Being proud and having a sense of shame have no place in true love. If you have to get your nose adjusted on television with a really unflattering camera angle, you do it. If you have to read your crap “poetry” over and over again in public because the object of your affection enjoys it, you do it. And if you have to settle for second place, you do it.
  4. In all seriousness: Love doesn’t have to be hard. While a chase can make things exciting, if you’re really looking for a lifetime marriage, then the practical stuff (kindness, commitment, enthusiasm, stability, willingness to make a fool out of yourself for love by reading your crap poetry on national television over and over and over and over again) — is more important than the sexy stuff (mystery, stand-offish-ness, chiseled features, great hair).
  5. You should always listen to Em & Lo when it comes to all things relationship-related, because we speak the truth. (Exhibit A: our prediction back on July 23rd: “Juan Pablo is the next Bachelor! Not a lesson technically, just a fact.”)

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Top 5 Love Lessons from The Bachelorette (The Breakup Edition)

July 30, 2013

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Ouch. We find Des to be a bit of a matzah bachelorette (flat and bland), but even we felt really, really bad for her last night. Getting dumped is hard, but it’s at least twenty-five times harder when it’s televised nationally. And what are the odds: you’ve got 25 potential suitors and you fall for the one that just isn’t into you?  Did Des used to kick puppies when she was little, because the universe does not want her to find romantic happiness. Well, maybe we can learn from her misfortune and Brook’s missteps, so it’s not all for naught:

  1. When dumping someone, be as clear as possible as quickly as possible. Sure, it may be difficult for you to spit it out, but making the dumpee wait and wait and wait for the knife is psychological torture (especially when they know it’s coming, but they’re still hoping this could just be your weird way of confessing your undying love).
  2. When you want to breakup with someone, do it outside in bright daylight — when you squint against the sun’s rays it will automatically give your face the appropriate look of pain and despair.
  3. It’s good to be honest, but not brutally so. Thus, when breaking up with someone, play up all their good qualities and play down the things they lack. They do NOT need to hear all about  how they are not the big love of your life and that you don’t miss them at all when they’re not around. That’s just salt on the wound, dude.
  4. If the person you’re dumping gets up and walks away, great! But if they’re lingering, looking for hugs, retreading the same territory, then you’ve got to be the one to say goodbye and leave, otherwise they’ll just keep clinging to that measly string of dental floss hope that their sadness (and how hot they look while crying) will eventually make you change your mind.
  5. Do not — repeat, DO NOT — ask, “Why are you crying?” Jeeeeezus.

 

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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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