Quick Take: The Bachelorette (Ali), S0607
"I'm so disgusted with you." – Jake to Vienna
Review: The Bachelorette (Ali), S0607
The first hour of this week's Bachelorette was exceedingly ho hum, so let's dispense with it forthwith, shall we?
So, here's my quick take on this season's bachelorette, Ali Fedotowsky, I'm going to drop a theory on you that I haven't seen anywhere else: I think she worked things just right during her run on The Bachelor (featuring Jake Pavelka, and see much more on him below) to engineer her appointment as this seasons' bachelorette. That is, her sudden weepy departure from the show to go back to her job at Facebook came at the perfect moment… too perfect, one might allege. So, bully for her I suppose, but I've always seen an intelligent manipulation and hunger for the spotlight behind her ain't I just the luckiest gal? persona.
That bit of intrigue aside, this season hasn't been all that exciting. Besides the usual handful of creepy dudes (especially the That all you got? dude with the pedophile's smirk) that were dispensed with early, the season's crop has been fairly bland and well camera trained, sputtering out the usual gibberish about "being there" for Ali "for the right reasons," hoping beyond hope for the precious nectar of "one-on-one time," despair at the prospect of group dates, two-on-one dates, not getting the rose to move onto yet another week of The Bachelorette gauntlet, and all that guff.
And this was a particularly unremarkable episode for Ali and her fellows' travails. Beyond hanging out in picturesque Lisbon, Portugal, Ali swept through her dates with the boys before dispensing with southern boy Ty in record time. So that means Ali will be visiting the hometowns of Chris L., Frank, Kirk, and Roberto next week.
The second hour didn't have anything to do with Ali at all and hit exceedingly high peaks on the reality TV train wreck of trash express, so everyone get on board and let loose that whistle, choo choo!
Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi were interviewed by host Chris Harrison, and it was as awkward and weird and uncomfortable as reality television gets. In other words, fun!
The background is that Vienna ran to the press with all kinds of allegations on how creepy and destructive her relationship with Jake became after the proposal was accepted and the cameras shut down last season. During her opening "statement" to Harrison, she basically implied that Jake is an emotional void at best and added, "You're a fame whore" for good measure. Jake shot back with "I'm so disgusted with you" and proceeded to explain that Vienna was an undermining presence (he used that word, undermined, over and over again), and related that he ended up not wanting to have sex, be intimate, or even chit chat because of Vienna's emasculating ways.
Mini-arguments within the hour that didn't go anywhere but were emblematic of the vibe of the interview included: an argument over who broke up with whom (there was literally an "I broke up with you," "No, I broke up with you" moment), arguments over how much Jake did or did not care about Vienna's sick dog, arguments over bed placements in interior decorating, arguments over using a GPS while driving, arguments again with the dog and its cross-country travels… you get the picture.
Here's the thing: it's abundantly clear that these two kids belong nowhere near each other ever again. And it shines a light on the fact that the contrived and time compressed nature of this show – with its free travel to romantic locales worldwide – can, have, and will produce a high percentage of relationships that end up crashing and burning like this one have.
So in a weird kind of way, you have to credit the show for giving these two an hour that didn't necessarily portray its brand in the best light, portraying what looked and felt like a very real and raw argument that made both parties look terrible on national television.
What's fascinating is that this "real" argument and vicious cross-banter ("Baby, be quiet while I'm talking." "Don't call me baby.") is the stuff of real arguments and break ups that take place amongst us untelevised folk everyday. So in that sense it's oddly a rebuttal against critics of "fake" reality television. And there's something in the very least compelling and revealing about that.