The Bachelorette Recap: Parental Advisory

I suspect it was no accident that this week’s episode of The Bachelorette began with our dim heroine Ashley returning home to her Philadelphia apartment and a solitary coffee mug. After all, isn’t the overarching theme of ABC’s reality-dating franchise that any individual left partnerless by season’s end will eventually die alone in a La-Z-Boy recliner, a pack of cats feasting on his or her rigor-mortised hand?

Yes, people, sometimes a mug isn’t just a mug. Sometimes it represents the endless horizon of pain and regret stretching out in front of our star-crossed players, a horizon that asks questions including, but not limited to, the following:“How come I never asked out that cute blonde waitress who works at my big fat Greek Italian restaurant?” “Why did I endure an income-impairing brain injury in a Muay Thai boxing ring?” “What in the name of Satan’s shears did I do to my hair before the latest rose ceremony?” “Why am I carb denier?” And, of course, “Is there an Osmond’s chance in Salt Lake City that Bentley could still be thinking about me?”

I know, I know…I’ve gone too dark and too existential for a Bachelorette recap. But how else to approach the strange and somewhat sad week where Ashley meets and greets the lovely families of her final four suitors, then declares that she’s just not that into one of ’em? And anyhow, next week’s recap is sure to be super-upbeat, since we’ll be delving into the orgy of exotic scenery, creepy envelopes, shared hotel rooms, misinterpreted feelings, and (likely) tears that are essential to the overnight fantasy suite round of play. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. No! We must forge onward and dish this week’s dates, in chronological order!

Look, it’s a goose and her babies waddling through the park! I’m not sure what it symbolizes — maybe the imminent get-together with fine-ass Constantine and his large, loving family? “Physically, he’s exactly what I’m looking for,” says Ashley, stating the obvious, since dude is hot as a pizza over, and since two out of her four remaining men sport dark, shaggy manes and big, powerful builds. Constantine brings Ashley to his restaurant, Giorgio’s, where they proceed to make a pizza and score a rare Bachelorette victory for carbs and cheese. Our restauranteur asks Ashley to add her favorite ingredients to the pie, and she makes a real live funny by miming the act of hurling Constantine right into the middle of the dough. “The placement of the pepperoni is crucial,” he instructs (not a euphemism). Meanwhile, a pack of Giorgio’s waitresses gather ’round and smile while secretly plotting Ashley’s death. My mom (visiting for the week) musters up the courage to say what the waitresses can’t or won’t: “He doesn’t need her!” And soon, we’re at Constantine’s home, where the sound of doubt from his adorable dad (“I think Constantine looks happy?”) and incredibly reasonable mom (“Everything’s wonderful when you’re jetted away to these awesome places…in the real world it’s different”) is drowned out by the sound of raucous Greek dancing from Constantine’s extended family. Yassou! (Or something to that effect!)

Ames trots out through the Pennsylvania forest to greet Ashley, and something weird is going on with his backfield. Is that a t-shirt bunched up below the tails of his plaid lumberjack shirt, or are his boxers rising up in protest above his belt line? Only his stylist knows for sure. Ames’ mom and sister Serena are thrilled to see their boy is “very taken” and “smitten” with Ashley, but they both question if it’s reciprocal. In fact, Serena cuts right to the chase and asks Ashley exactly how she feels about Ames. “I’m not ready to stop learning about him,” Ashley responds feebly, and next thing you know the ladies are comparing the smart, funny suitor to an onion, then lamenting how annoyingly perfect he is. Serena! Whose side are you on, girl? Ames then takes Ashley for a picnic underneath his favorite tree and waxes poetic about a life in which they can discover the extraordinary in the ordinary. Dude even has an Italian word for it! Ashley is all, “Oh em gee! You and I think the same!” (“Oh em gee!” was implied) but I’m not sure she actually recognizes the words “extraordinary,” “ordinary” “magnolia,” and possibly “Italian.” This just isn’t gonna work, is it?

“Ben is so sexy: The hair, the fashion, the sense of humor,” says Ashley, but I can’t get past her heaping sartorial praise on a guy who just last week was decked out in a white knit cap, seersucker sports jacket, turquoise v-neck t-shirt, black shorts, and flip flops. The duo take a stroll through Ben’s vineyard, and the double entendres begin to flow.

Ashley: “Am I about to taste your wine today?”
Ben: “Lots and lots of it”

Alright, kids, time to cool off. What better way than a picnic lunch in freezing temperatures that have Ashley shivering throughout the conversation. The duo begin to envision a life together in California, and Ben says all the right things until talk turns to Ashley’s mom. “She can come and visit during the holidays,” he grins. Um, just during the holidays? Shouldn’t dude have said “She can come and visit any time she wants”? But Ben redeems himself by talking meaningfully about his dad’s death and how it affected him. In fact, the guy’s in such an introspective mode, that by the time they sit down for dinner with his mom and sister, he’s apologizing for not being emotionally available in the wake of his father’s passing. It’s the kind of heavy conversation that needs to be washed away with a light plate of…roller skating!

Yes, JP takes Ashley to the rink, and in spite of her unfeasibly tight jeans, she manages to stay on her feet as the duo dances and kisses to REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” The camera cuts away from their lip lock to a giant disco ball, signaling that one or both of these people has a reasonable chance of appearing on the next season of Dancing With the Stars. (They can’t be worse than Trista, right?) JP coyly tries to get reassurance of Ashley’s feelings by noting his last relationship went sour because…he never got reassurance from his lady. JP then takes Ashley to the house he grew up in for 33 years, which makes me wonder if he’s living at home with his mama (oh yes, son, I’m talkin to you.) (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Ashley and JP then betray the kind of major philosophical difference that can bring down a relationship: She squeals with delight about the carbohydrate-loaded lasagna that’s in front of her; JP huffs, “That’s more carbs than I’ve had in six weeks!” But hey, if it’s pasta the lady wants, I suspect JP will give it to her, since he sounds on the brink of tears when he talks to his mom about the idea of proposing to Ashley. For her part, Ashley says she’s “smitten” with JP — a word she learned during her visit to Ames’ family! Escandalo! And then mom brings out a weird autographed poster of Kirk Cameron, and JP is so embarrassed about his one-time obsession with the Growing Pains star, he pretends it’s a photo of himself from his Bar Mitzvah.

Finally, it’s time for the rose ceremony, and it’s Ames who’s chosen to walk the plank to a lifetime of loneliness. The poor guy looks so bewildered and confused, I’m wondering if it’s a flashback to his Muay Thai nightmare. Ames says the Bachelorette experience was more poetic than he could have ever imagined, and now I’m sure his concussion hasn’t quite cleared up. Get him to an ER, stat! At this point, my husband, who’s pretending not to watch or care, nods agreement when I offer my opinion that it’s going to come down to Ben and JP. And then, immediately, he’s filled with remorse and fury: “It’s appalling that I have an opinion on this!”

Anyone else have that feeling by the end of the episode? Did Ashley send the right guy home? Who do you think is going to “win” it all? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Lauren says:

    It was just so obvious during Ames’ hometown date that he would be the one getting the boot. Ashley knew it, Ames’ sister knew it, we all knew it, but Ames apparently did not. Poor guy.

    Before last night, I would have agreed that Ben and JP would be the final two, but I think Ashley feels much more comfortable with Constantine’s family than with Ben’s. Clearly, JP will be the “winner,” but I see Constantine in the finals. Also, I’m dying to see who shows up in Fiji!

  2. Lisa says:

    I try so hard to watch this show, but it bores me to tears.

  3. E says:

    We’re late to the bachelor/bachelorette franchise I’m ashamed to admit (not ashamed we’re late, but ashamed we’ve arrived at all!) but I have to say that reading Mike’s recaps are too much fun. We, too, laughed about Ashley learning the word “smitten” from Ames’ sis Serena…

    I actually asked aloud why Ashley was wearing the sensible boots when she was merely walking from the curb to the house as opposed to the 4 inch heels while tourist trekking thru Asia and then realized it was because she toned down the hooker Barbie wardrobe in front of the fams.

    Don’t get me wrong, we love Ashley. But the stylist must be getting paid by how much fabric they spare.

    And finally, why do the “rejectees” always ask “I wonder what happened or went wrong?” instead of “how come I didn’t have the self awareness to realize she wasn’t into me?”.

  4. Julip Manor says:

    Ames was too intelligent. He is a sensative guy who needs to marry royalty or an English professor possibly from another country who is educated in the classics. He is amazing but there was no chemistry. Ashley is young and looking for love but possibly still into the physical. She doesn’t realize that in 10 or 20 years all of this will be gone and she will be left with a boring man with a beer belly who sits in fron to of the tube………..oh well. If she is so smitten with JP then why did she call Ben first? Also, JP seems like the jealous type. Will he ever feel secure about her affections? He may question it even if he is picked????

  5. francine says:

    Ryan for the next Bachelor!

  6. Kym Roley says:

    Poor Ames…He really did look stunned to be let go, really stunned. How did he not see it coming? Even his mother was sure Ashley wouldn’t pick him. Did you see the awkward handshake when they said goodbye? A handshake? Not even a hug. Poor Ames.

  7. Skeff says:

    Absolutely HYSTERICAL recap. The questions in the second paragraph are awesome, hahaha.

  8. MK204 says:

    Where do I start? First of all, let me say that IMO this is one of the most laughable seasons on this show, but ironically, I think this group of men have seemed to be the least crazy. Inasmuch as I think Ashley is not necessarily the sharpest tool in the shed, with the exception of Ames, she picked, again IMO, the three best guys in the group. All seem (seem being the “operative” word) to have their heads on their shoulders, as oppose to say Kasey..who will once again “bless” us with his presence on Bachelor Pad the Sequel. But I digress. So let’s start like Michael did. In order of appearance.

    CONSTANTINE: I think Ashley liked his family more so than Constantine. The question is could she be happy making pizza living in a town in Georgia that I’ve never heard of? My guess is not on an anchovie. And it seems like Constantine liked the adventure of the program more than he likes Ashley and it seemed to me that the editors really must have searched long and hard for something that even remotely made him sound as if he might consider proposing. Constantine’s dad and mom have the right of it. And therefore, I think Constantine will go next. I don’t get why he’s on this show. Hair excepted, I wouldn’t turn this guy away at first glance. And we all do realize that the director said to all those waitresses….”OK…so go to the window and ooh and ahhh as believably as you can.”


    Honestly, I don’t know how this guy got to be in the Top 4. Between the red pants, the concussion and what appeared to be bright blue underware trying to emerge from the jeans that looked as though there was no derrier to hold them up, he just does nothing for me. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and to call him “unique” is saying it nicely. It was obvious he was going to get the boot, even before the trip home. Maybe Ashley just needed to find a fourth guy and he seemed safest to eliminate. That look on his face…poor kid. Every time they kissed I wanted to go “ewwwwwwww”. It just made my skin crawl. And his family extolling Ames’ virtue like he was the next best thing to pepperoni pizza, just didn’t set well with me.


    I admit it. Ben is my favorite. Yes the guy needs a stylist. That horrible light blue dress shirt over light grey pants just washed him out. The guy needs to wear black or navy. Or royal blue and charcoal grey. I’d guess he’s a winter in coloring. But I think he is sweet and adorable and being a winemaker is a turn on. And he does have a nice body. In that respect I must agree with Ashley. But our Ben is so vulnerable and I’d be lying if I said that I did not shed a tear during his last segment when he spoke about his deceased father. Seriously…I have never really liked any one on either of these shows as much as I like Ben. And I am rooting for him NOT to marry this chick, but to be the next Bachelor with hopefully intelligent, sweet and mature women (if this show is capable of finding them)from which to choose.


    It appeared to me that these two had the most genuine chemistry between them. I do not know for sure how she feels about JP, or any of them for that matter, but if I were to venture a guess, I’d say JP is that “older” man whom many women look for to replace their daddies. I’m not trying to be facetious, but I do think that’s a fact.

    I think it’s going to come down to Ben and JP. And I think she picks JP. I hope that Ben doesn’t get his heart broken too badly and can rebound to see the next Bachelor.

    Next week’s promos look interesting, but we all know that the editors will do anything to add to the drama.

  9. Jen S says:

    I think you and your husband are both very lucky – you are both smart/wise and hilarious!
    Thanks for making me LOL every week. I love your recaps!

  10. patty says:

    Did anyone notice the way Ames’ jacket was pinned in the back during the rose ceremony? It was like that last week too!

  11. GIGI says:

    For a lot of seasons, I’ve watched the Bachelor as a guilty pleasure,

    This season I too was impressed with the 3 men and thier non Jersey Shore family dynamics. For the Bachelor Franchise, the visit to the homes of the men was relativeley high brow. ie… Ben’s family talking about their vacation to France

    Will Ames be the next bachelor..he certainly is interesteding enough
    Then again he does live in Manhatten was there are literally thousands of beautiful women

    • D says:

      Just because people live in NY doesn’t mean it’s easy to connect with people! That’s why there are so many singles in NY.

  12. Emily says:

    Ben is my favorite!

  13. kim says:

    To me it was obvious that Ben would be going home — talk about a downer and a guy with no chemistry — but I honestly don’t care about ashley — the worst bachelorette in history. I actually feel sorry for whoever she ends up with — she doesn’t know what she wants and she will sabotage any chance that anything will work out. It will be between constantine and JP, it should have been ames and JP.

  14. Fact Checker says:

    Michael, that poster was not of Kirk Cameron. It was of JP at his Bar Mitzvah! Often they have big pictures of the kids and their friends sign the poster with “Mazal Tov” and their name. Ashley and JP were saying that with that mullet and hair style at that age, he looked like a cross between Kirk Cameron and Doogie Howser– which he did! I think now he looked like another Jew- Joseph Gordon Levitt- but I digress.

    Please correct your recap!! :))

  15. D says:

    Could the mystery man in Fiji next week be Brad? Not to hook up with Ash (when filming he was still with Emily), just to give her advice or something?

  16. Nonya says:

    I was hoping Ames would be the next bachelor but since he’s on the Bachelor Pad, there’s no chance now. I hope none of Ashley’s suiters will be the next bachelor.
    JP is the only one Ashley has any connection (aka hope of having someone propose to her). She should never have been the bachelorette – much too young and immature. She’s not a complete nitwit and in another 10 years, you’ll be able to tell that.
    PS to Fact Checker – Michael’s joke was his insistance that the photo was Kirk Cameron. That’s what made it funny. (I hate having to explain jokes.)