The Bachelorette: Be Brave, Emily!

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The Bachelorette S08E06: "Week 6"

The reason Emily is worth the extra rose they had to wrangle up at the end of the night last night when she decided EVERYONE was staying is that this is seriously the first time we've gotten to eight-guys-deep with all the guys there genuinely crushing on her. Yes, they all have very different ways of handling it, and because anyone who just straight said they loved her this early would sound crazy (and BE crazy), they are having to phrase their feelings awkwardly and give her The Eye. And it’s completely, completely, completely fascinating to see what the crucible of attraction and longing brings out in each of them, and how completely composed Emily is, probably ‘cause since age 12 having eight smitten guys up on her like beaus at the Wilkes' barbecue has been her version of a weekday.

Yet even Emily seems a little overwhelmed by the spectacle of so many smitten faces fanned out before her like glossy magazines at a dentist's office, and elected to keep both John and Doug around even though it was clearly time for both one of them to go. At first my instinct was, "That's not fair, Emily! Being the Bachelorette means making the hard calls! You can't marry all six of these guys! Legally, that is! Although if you talked it over with them they would probably work with you on some kind of arrangement! Let's face it you are very charismatic!"

But credit where credit is due, she shot some lame horses this week. She disposed of Poor Travis very quickly, who revealed he hasn't dated since his engagement ended two years ago. Which tells of deep emotional capabilities but still is no excuse for these jeans, which were vaguely fashionable another four years previous to the engagement ending.

Emily then took her passel of hotties to see Brave in a brightly lit theater that looked like the classiest of brothels inside. We all understand how product placement works and Emily had previously watched Titanic 3D for contractual purposes when Ali and Ashley schooled her in the ways of love/shilling for media conglomerates at the end of Ben's season of The Bachelor. But still: They laid it on a little thick. I don't need to hear Emily say that the ginger from Brave is everything she wants both herself and her daughter to be, and then preside over an impromptu Highland games to convince me to see a movie. Plus, Highland games in the middle of a Croatian field? Croatia should be furious.

Like does Croatia not have its own "sport"? (WITHOUT preposition, as Europeans are wont to do: "I like sport. Do you do sport? We make sport in my village.") For all the care the series usually takes to make the group date tie-in with some cultural investigation, I was pretty shocked that they just decided to treat Croatia like a poor man’s Scotland. Although, having just Googled "Croatian sports," this came up:

So maybe production had its reasons. And the guys looked SICK ripped in those muscle tees. Something about the knee socks and kilts, too, like they looked weirdly sexy. Are guys wearing skirts my thing? If guys wearing skirts are my thing I'm just going to swan dive from my apartment roof right now, because this:

But also THIS?!

I am so confused by the feelings and urges within me. I am going through Man Skirt Puberty looking at those images.

Ahem! Anyway. Chris got both a Burger King Brave Collectible Chalice and the rose for, like, persisting or being brave or whatever. Emily makes such mom choices sometimes! She kindly rewards the guys for such responsible values, like trying their hardest. Can you imagine if Courtney had been the Bachelorette in an alternate universe? She would probably just make them all lift their kilts and give the rose to whoever was carrying the biggest log. (WWWWIIIIINNNNKKKK!!!!)

Ryan was chosen for the one-on-one date, and wow, what a window the unflinching documentary-makers of The Bachelorette opened up for us in showing his grooming protocol. He was like, "Every day I wake up and say to myself, who do you want to be today?" which I have to assume means, "What kind of facial hair design am I going to sculpt into my jaw today?"

And that tank!!!

I hate it when guys make out-there fashion choices. We solved men looking good in 1865, gentleman: Three-piece suits, collared shirts, crew sweaters. You're welcome.

Emily found the nicest way possible to let Ryan know it wasn't jumping off, and then they cued the stalker movie music as he bored holes into her head with his unblinking peepers and gave her the hard sell.

I started feeling honestly worried that he would bully her out of her decision or smite her with one blow, but Emily quickly out-maneuvered him verbally, sidestepping his guilt with the most eloquent version of "It's not you, It's me." I've ever heard. Ryan still looked stunned loading himself into the Croatian taxibus, which the editors cruelly intercut with the guys doing their happy-dance and high-fiving when his bags were fetched by staff.

I'll miss Ryan because he was colorful and good TV. Yeah he was slick and there for the wrong reasons and seemed super dumb in an intentional way, like "I'm jus' an ole country boy but I do believe I can slash a tire or two t'keep my little trophy woman b'side me." Yet I will miss him.

Ari is AGGRESSIVE. He is like the man version of Courtney, clearly in the lead but still down to make out. It's VERY attractive, obviously, although the slow-motion kisses are a bit much. Like, all the pausing and gasping and pausing and gasping—guys I'm sure it feels great, I'm very happy for you, but camera guy please turn the camera off. Also the idea of some tired, middle-aged, bearded cameraman patiently earning his union wage while sitting on the edge of the bed slow zooming in and out of them kissing...it never leaves my mind during these scenes.

Still, it's giving Ari an edge over Jef, though Jef has finally decided he is in favor with kissing (“Kissing is a pleasurable experience! Wish I’d known sooner!”), although he certainly didn't make a real attempt to repeat the process. Jef, step it up! Ari is making sweet love to Emily’s face every five minutes and you are about to blanket-snuggle yourself into the Neuter Zone. You got the first rose at the rose ceremony, you're a clear favorite!

Although really, this rose ceremony, like getting a rose was not as big a deal as Emily demanded another rose, guaranteeing some poor PA had to spend the night pleading with Croatia Air ("Not As Racist As Croatia Sport" TM) to give them another seat on the flight to Prague.

I also loved her surprising Chris in an alleyway. What was Chris doing in that weird little alley?

– berating a line producer for "the latest clusterf-ck" with his cufflinks?
– instructing a staffer to never make eye contact with him again?
– arranging for a PA to go serve his divorce papers?
– buying bath salts from a Croatian wearing a Bluetooth?
– selling bath salts to a Croatian wearing a Bluetooth?

At the end of the day, I do not support the decision to prolong John's weepy anxiety and Doug's babysitter bills. You can't marry 'em all, Emily (legally) and it's not fair to the tenuous social agreement of this show to not narrow the selection. You have to make the hard calls! Even if they emotionally blackmail you by hauling out their funeral cards and challenging you to be the Mean Bachelorette who voted someone out on the anniversary of their grandfather's passing. Good job, "Wolf."

Doug staying through baffles and confuses me. Him too, I think. He seemed super uncomfortable snuggling up to Emily and burst in to tears talking about how much he missed his boy. I don't have kids but apparently they are addictive like heroin!!! These people go to PIECES without their kids. Moms, dads, please advise: Do you love your kids so much it's almost like "WTF?!?! I LOVE these kids!!!" because that's the impression I'm getting. Touched but scared, because what if I have kids and then have to go on a reality show and miss them?

So, the only footage of the episode that truly counts, the promo for next week: Apparently Arie is dating a friend of Emily's who is also a producer? Like, on the show? Two theories:

Arie drives race cars, Emily has ties to that world, therefore it makes sense there might be a mutual friend (who's a producer racing news or something) who he's dated.

A producer on The Bachelorette befriended Emily back in like Brad's season, and had a guy she really wanted to set Emily up with, namely Arie. She had dated Arie briefly, it didn't click but she was still like, "Yeah no they would be perfect for each other. This is happening." and subsequently cast all the other guys to intentionally make Arie look better (somehow Jef and Shaun made it through her vetting process.)

Your thoughts??!! I'm going to be chewing over this all week. Let me know your theories!


QUESTIONS:

1. Will you miss Ryan?

2. Should Emily not be allowed to give "extra roses"?

3. Does Jef need to pucker up more?

4. What's the deal with Arie having dated a producer friend of Emily's?

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