Another One Bites the Dust (or OMG Nick GO AWAY already)

Y’all, we did it! We made it through an entire season of Vile Viall’s Qwest for Twue Wuv! I can hear your sighs of relief all the way through the series of tubes. 1 We’re not entirely out of the woods, but if we can just hold our breaths through a couple weeks of Dancing With the Stars then V-squared’s 15 minutes should be over. 2

Anyone else get the sense that ABC was equally ready for this “love story” to be over? That’s all I can come up with for why forced Rachel to meet four dum-dums early. I.e. sprung the “most shocking surprise in Bachelor history,” which Chis promised would “knock your Spanx off.” Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh. Clearly ABC noticed that Nick and Vanessa are the romantic equivalent of burnt oatmeal and thought they could distract us all with jazz hands. Well ABC, my Spanx remained firmly on, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

So how do we feel about all this? Here’s the thing. Although I wasn’t 100% sure how things were going to turn out, of course Nick didn’t propose to Raven. Nick’s own lameness twisted this entire situation into a Mobius strip in which making a good choice would have been a bad choice.

I’ve gone into this before so I won’t belabor it again. This season had a surprising depth of good candidates, and although Nick was drawn to many of them, he rejected them one by one as he faced the prospect of putting a Neil Lane ring on somebody’s finger. Nick must have at least a tiny spark of intuition, because it really seemed like he realized that in a post-production world, the more independent women (Rachel, Raven, Kristina, Corinne) would wise up to the Stockholm-syndrome origins of their feelings for him and leave.

Sure, Raven is heartbreakingly insecure about whether she is deserving of love (YOU ARE RAVEN I PROMISE!). Sidebar– what 25-year-old isn’t? That is shit that you work through in your twenties and then move past because now you are 30 and too tired to think about stuff like that anymore. Anyway, the combination of Finland and insecurity and sleep deprivation made her go all-in on Nick. But Raven’s a delight, and Nick must have sensed that  there was no way her feelings would have lasted after the euphoria of engagement/getting out of Hoxie wore off. Raven, it’s better this way. Go hug some husky puppies and you’ll feel much better.

Unlike Raven, who radiates joy and would obviously be a very pleasant person with whom to share one’s life, Vanessa has major attachment issues and is about as buoyant as a lead balloon. She’s perfect for Nick!

Except that it seems like they already hate each other, which is wildly unsurprising. I mean first of all, in his proposal he talked about how much he “tried to fight” being in love with her. That’s a good sign. Nick just always seems like a little boy who is playing at romance but has no idea what it’s like to actually care about someone in a way that requires actually giving up something he might actually want. I hope his new mommy fiancee has a lot of patience. In addition, c’est vrais that every serious relationship requires hard work, but if your entire relationship consists of discussions about your relationship then you’re in trouble.

I’m actually grossed out with myself right now for discussing this as though it were a real relationship and not a fiction manufactured out of whole cloth to lull the masses into watching Tide commercials.

Nick’s family. Is really good at giving sideye. Especially Vile Mama. Vile Papa just seems out of it. Thinking about Nick in the context of his family, it does make sense why he picked Vanessa. Both of their families seem to want to wrap their pwecious babykins in bubble wrap so no one will ever hurt them…. Hilariously, Nick’s family’s extreme concern that he might be rejected again on national TV only confirms that they too know he’s suuuuper lame. Bella, just eight more years and you’re out of there. Stay strong!

Try harder next time, producers. You really thought you could trick us by splicing in a whole lot of narration about Vanessa thinking it might be too soon? We all knew that if Nick offered Vanessa that Neil Lane blood diamond she’d be all in. After Desiree’s 24-hour pivot from Brooks to Chris, I vowed never to be fooled again. You’re going to have to try harder to pull the wool over these eyes, ABC.

Santa. This whole fever dream creeped me out. Santa was in a hut. In a bathrobe. And he needed to tie it a little tighter if you know what I mean. Plus it did not look like the producers had to goad Vanessa into faking enthusiasm over the whole thing– a clear case of arrested development/psychodrama around her childhood damage, if you ask me. And you should, because I’m a lay therapist.

* * * * *

You guys, this is the point where I took a break to go get acupuncture for the first time. Pretty dazed coming out of it, but that could be more because I took a li’l snooze on the table than because of the healing power of sticking needles in my dermis…. point being I’m going to power through and finish this but it’s gonna get impressionistic in here.

* * * * *

Songs of experience. I always feel sad at this point in a season because the contestants return to the show and they have invariably changed. They are no longer the fresh-faced ingenue who, despite having grown up watching reality TV, somehow still manage to blurt out intimate personal information and/or bitchy takedowns to their wranglers producers. By the time they return for women tell all/after the final rose they have been molded into media personalities. As my Friend and Writing Partner Scott noted, “they have social media presences to protect.” And it’s a bummer! My favorite thing about both Rachel and Raven was their genuineness. Now both women seem… shellacked. It’s inevitable, I suppose, but also sad. Like aging. To mourn the passing of authenticity, here is the first stanza of “The Lamb,” a poem from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence:

 Little lamb, who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Oh Rachel, I’m so sorry for the three months you’re about to live through. ABC, is this group of bozos the best you can do? “I’m ready to go black, but I’m never going back.” Enough said.

Lagniappe:

  • Nick just loves bench pressing women. Seriously, if you’re a woman in Nick’s general vicinity, be warned– you WILL be picked up. Possibly twirled. Do they not give that dude enough time at the weight bench during filming?
  • Chris’s tie game did not improve for the finale. Purple flowers on black + matching pocket square = ugly bummer. Ugler? Bugly? We report, you decide.
  • There were some hilarious quotes from this episode.
    • “Going through this process as Nick’s parents was at times excruciating.” I feel ya, Vile Papa.
    • “We all have that little big of emptiness in our hearts.” Thanks Vile Mama, that explains a lot about how Nick grew up to be the man he is today.
    • “I am so in love with Nick. I love everything about Nick.” – Vanessa. Lolol.
    • “Do you think we’re rushing into this?” – Vanessa. LOLOL.
    • “We’re finally doing it, huh?” SICK BURN NEIL LANE!
  • Vanessa you are not in Doctor Zhivago. Fur is murder and you have used up your lifetime allotment of pensive wintry stares.
  • Also, Vanessa, you seriously didn’t watch an entire season of the Bachelor before coming on the show? If that’s true no wonder you have been so derpy about the whole thing. But ignorance of the law is not a defense.
  • The thing I appreciate most about Vanessa is that her last name is Grimaldi. Because I care about you all so much I spent an intense 70 seconds on Google and determined that yes, that is Mia’s name from the Princess Diaries (technically it’s Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo).
  • Raven owned Nick during that breakup conversation:Nick: “I’m going to miss you.”
    Raven: “I know.”Ten points for Gryffindor!
  • Take this with a shaker full of salt because I am moderately face-blind, but Nick’s brother looks a little bit like Ezra Fitz from PLL i.e. the greatest show on TV. ABC! You own Freeform! THERE IS A CROSSOVER OPPORTUNITY HERE!

See you in Paradise, everyone!

_________________________________________________________________

1. Serious question for you scientists out there– was that description of the Internet really so crazy, if you consider a cable to be a “tube”? I still imagine that the Internet is powered by tiny elves that live in the wall and turn a magic crank to make Netflix work.

2. Chris Harrison was totally trolling Nick, right? On the Dancing with the Stars promo, Nick’s name is pronounced Vie-all, but Chris definitely says “Vile.” Which prompts a larger question– does Chris Harrison secretly hate all the contestants on this show? I have no evidence of this, just a sneaking suspicion from his Faust-like persona.

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