Look, I don’t always enjoy watching these shows. Sometimes when I sit there and listen to a wealthy, Botoxed, pilled-up, piss puddle of a human complain about how hard her life is because her Gucci Chihuahua raincoat is the wrong size, I have one of those "How the fuck did this become my life?" moments. You know those moments? When you ask yourself, "If I started right now, how long would it take me to become a Shaolin monk? A dolphin trainer? Olympic curler? Seaside crepe-shack owner? Snuggie inventor?" These fits of introspection can leave you feeling like you don’t have a purpose, like a rudderless dinghy rocking in the wake of the passing speedboats. It’s a big ol’ drag ... until it happens. The moment you realize that you were born to do what you are doing. For me, that's when there's the occasional episode of reality television that is so captivating that when it ends I say to myself, "I can’t wait to write about this." An episode like that reminds me that making semi-offensive, poorly constructed jokes about reality television is what I was built to do.
This episode of The Bachelorette was one of those episodes.
LeBron James’s super-MVPish triple-double domination to clinch the NBA title last night had nothing on what Ryan from The Bachelorette did this week. Like rapper Riff Raff or former president George W. Bush, Ryan is one of those rare pop culture characters that makes you constantly ask, “Is this man one of the dumbest people our species has ever produced? Or is he an über-genius sent from the future as part of some sort of elaborate social experiment?” I honestly can’t tell if the words coming out of Ryan's mouth are the thoughtless ramblings of a lunatic or carefully crafted comedy, scripted by some of the smartest writers in the world.
Ryan didn’t score any points this week, but if you think that is going to stop me from diving deep into his perplexing performance you must not be very familiar with how things work here at GRTFL Headquarters. Let’s get on with it.
I tried as hard as I could to fight the power of Bravo and Andy Cohen’s “laugh at the entitled” Real Housewives tractor beam, but it’s too strong to resist. We are adding Housewives to the GRTFL. The Real Housewives formula is simple: Six wealthy-but-not-so-wealthy-they-won’t-appear-on-reality-TV women + city + events for them to argue at = television show. The Real Housewives franchise is the ultimate “I only watch because my wife/girlfriend/sister/girl-I-am-stuck-in-the-friend-zone-with-watches-but-secretly-I-can’t-wait-for-the-next-episode" program. I'm not going to sit here and try to sell you on some academic bullshit about how this show’s popularity is fueled by us middle-class folk basking in schadenfreude. I am simply going to confess that I watch it, enjoy it, and am more excited than I should be to write about it every week. There is something groovy about watching women who are paid to act like themselves on camera do their best to display anything but their true selves on camera. Shit, meet show.
“My wish is pretty simple. It is that I won't be single forever.” — Emily the Bachelorette
Oh Emily, that is both adorable and pathetic. It’s pathorable! But fear not, young lass — there are still a couple decent dudes left on this show vying for your hand in marriage. Like Alejandro, the Colombian master mushroom farmer. Yep, you read that right, there is a mushroom farmer on The Bachelorette. And he’s a G.
There were heated arguments about vaginas on Basketball Wives, Dolly Parton schooled the Bachelorette, and one of the bachelors copped to having relations with his cousins. Yes, “cousins.” Plural. But none of this matters for the moment because the interwebs have blessed us with what may or may not be the cast list for the next season of The Challenge. Some highlights:
Have you ever fallen into Internet quicksand? You know, when you search something simple like “how to do the moonwalk” and that leads to a YouTube instructional video, which leads to a Rock Steady Crew documentary, which leads to the 1983 New York City subway map, which leads to the purchase of the island of Manhattan, which leads to Native American religious theory, which leads to spending three hours of your day exploring the entire Internet for your spirit animal? You haven’t? Weird. You must have, like, a real job, then, because that is what like 80 percent of people under the age of 40 call “a workday.” I fell into one today after googling “The Bachelorette,” and it wasn’t until four hours later, when I came across this creepy video of The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison barnstorming Bachelor watch parties and reviewing the ladies’ GRTFL teams, that I was reminded that I still had to, ya know, write the column this week. Sorry, cute Asian chicks listening for ghosts in Midlothian, Illinois’s haunted Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, I’ve got reality TV to make fun of. I’ll get to you later.