*Watch* Yourself (or, Week 6 of Rachel’s Bachelorette Season)

Y’all, I am writing this at cafe with a lovely outdoor patio on a beautiful day. On the one hand it’s wonderful and very conducive to creativity– lots of people writing on ACTUAL PAPER (er I feel a little guilty about my laptop right now) and reading ACTUAL BOOKS (what is this, a time warp?). A guy with a purple mohawk complimented my hair! There are tiny dogs here! I’m going to move to this cafe!

But it has also taken me awhile to write this, because I’ve been a bit distracted by sitting next to the only two people talking about optimizing search terms and scalability– thanks for ruining the mood, GUYS. Fortunately they just took off so I’m now able to focus, and in the process gave me the best parting line which I plan on using in any and every situation: “Ok, I need to pee and then go to acupuncture.”

On to the Bachelorette. Here’s the thing y’all. This week was inspiring, educational, moving…. I truly believe that this week’s episode should be required watching at Adult School, because Rachel pretty much crushed it in terms of teaching the dude herd– and us– how to Relate in a Relationship. Girl is a feelings Jedi.

… except when it comes to Bryan. I fear that this is Rachel’s downfall and explains why she is looking for love on national television. Bryan is just about as deep as a dog dish (A SHALLOW ONE, IN CASE THAT WAS NOT CLEAR). And yet Rachel is into him because… his face is delicious? That’s all I can imagine, given the amount of time she spends with her own face hoovered to his. If she picks him I will be crushed but unfortunately not surprised. Girl gave up on Kevin Durant. She’s very capable of going with Bor-yan (the portmanteau I have devised for him that is a combination of “boring” and “Bryan,” get it?) The other dudes have his number for real, he has had a decade of perfecting his pick-up routine in Miami. For once I enjoyed seeing the guys sit around the house having a bitchfest because they were dropping tea bombs all over the place.

But for the other guys, she’s a miracle worker! Seriously, it’s like Rachel is the manic pixie dreamgirl who somehow inspires doofus dudes to start pulling their sh*t together. I think it’s because she’s, like, emotionally perceptive? And communicates clearly? It seems exhausting. Rachel, I’ll let you fill that role, and I will continue to be an emotional wreck and push all my feelings down into my stomach until they corrode my body from the inside!

Peter better pull his shit together if he wants to be Mr. Rachel. She clearly wants him to be the guy, the way they hold hands intently as they talk about their feelings is like people who are actually falling in love. It’s like we are watching an actual couple with actual feelings for each other. IT’S LOVE ACTUALLY!

Oh good lord I’m sorry for that one.

Anyway, I understand that Peter has some issues, commitment is hard. And maybe I’m just a sucker but I get the sense that Peter has done a lot of soul searching and that he’s giving her the truth about where he’s at, even though it’s not 100% rosy. Which is unique for reality TV– usually people just tell the lead whatever they want to hear to try to “win.” But Peter’s being real here! Which means Rachel can trust him! Or at least, so I hope! Because those kids are so darn cute together, I’m rooting for them! Also Peter’s pretty foxy with snow in his hair, so…. Yeah.

Also, I am calling super foul play on ABC’s deceptive editing. Is it just me or have they been worse than usual this season? First, implying that Kenny busted his eye in a fight with Lee… and then this nonsense of cutting over footage of Rachel with Peter saying there were “tears streaming down her face, and I blame myself for that.” STOP IT ABC that is a LIE and it is SUPER RUDE!

Oh god Dean call me, I will love and cherish you. DEANNNNNNNN. Poor Dean. Especially from the promos showing Dean’s dad in what looks like a homemade ashram, it seems like Dean has a lot to deal with on the family front.

Although his experience is of course unique and seems to be fairly heavy with tragedy, the fear of introducing a new partner to your family is just about the most relatable feeling out there. So is shutting down and deflecting real connection and emotion with jokes and trivialities… even though this defense mechanism cuts off the possibility of meaningful emotional connection.

Which is why I’m so impressed with Rachel. Instead of just ditching him for refusing to be real and moving on to the next dude, she actually laid it down for him. She was such a boss, telling him why she needed him to open up, and she gave him the space to open up about his fear that he would be rejected as a future partner because of his own father. But as she said, “I have my family, I’m good.” To see the relief on Dean’s face, to actually articulate his fear and have her be so solid and compassionate…. I have the lumpiest coal heart imaginable and I practically teared up. Rachel, thank you for teaching us how to be compassionate and give our partners a soft place to land. Dean, I’m sorry she’ll probably break your heart, but you can call me and we can hang at the beach and not do anything blimp-related.

On a side note– Dean’s “Sunday best” pretty much encapsulates why he’s not going to go the distance with Rachel. He’s adorable in his li’l button down shirt, but come on dude, no blazer? With his flooded pants he looks like a little boy. Adorable, but Rachel is looking for a may-un.

Eric, you can call me too, you have blossomed into a beautiful man-flower. Where did this Eric come from? Yes, he’s in his own head. Yes, he’s insecure. But this week he tapped into a deep well of compassion and wisdom and managed to do what most people on this franchise fail to do– want to put the lead before his own interests. “I want to be the shoulder she can lean on. I want to be the support system.” Oh my gosh.

Of course I expect that Eric will also get his heart broken, because from the way Rachel and Peter look at each other, they are going full emperor penguin soon. But what wonderful potential Eric has to be a good partner! If his real journey is anything close to what ABC has depicted, he has been inspired to grow tremendously during the short time he has spent with Rachel! Eric, when you’re done being sad, call me and we can set up a kiddie pool on a street somewhere and pretend it’s a public hot tub!

C ya, Adam/Matt. Neither of them could have possibly thought they’d make it to the bitter end, did they? I wonder what exactly we missed about Matt that makes Rachel so sad to see him go, because the show has devoted exactly zero time to making us invest in him. But given that Rachel generally has her shit together, the fact that she was bawling big fat tears over saying goodbye makes me think he’s awesome in a way that the show chose not to show us, because they wanted to devote eleventy thousand hours to the shitty Lee/Kenny conflict.

As for Adam… the only redeeming value of him was Adam Junior, who didn’t even come to Scandinavia. He looks like Biff from Back to the Future! And that is not a compliment! The idea that she would look back and regret having let Adam go…. lolol. C ya Biff.

Lagniappe:

  • Is Rachel using a glam squad, and if so, can she fire them/lock them in the basement with the PLL wine moms? Her makeup is for real wearing her rather than the other way around. Those heavy spider eyelashes and that dark lip… it is just too much. Rachel is gorgeous and should let her actual face see the sunlight once in awhile.
  • Peter’s blue and white striped sweater inspired feelings in my heart very similar to lust.
  • The product placement in this episode was ridiculous and out of control. Those Brietling watches were ugly AF. Tacky, like Rachel’s relationship with Boryan. Isn’t Switzerland supposed to be a classy place? And why was the watch salesman handling everything with black leather gloves like a creepy murderer?
  • Why are all of Rachel’s final guys just a little bit man-baby-ish? Is it the nature of reality TV? is it the nature of humanity, fear of getting close to another, etc.? Or is she such a strong person that she tends to lean towards guys who need her strength, because she derives worth from supporting them, even though she needs support just as much? Why is pair bonding so difficult? Rachel please find love so you can prove to the rest of us it’s possible.
  • Dogsledding sounds romantic in principle but I have read Winterdance. No thank you, THOSE POOR DAWGS!

In sum. Somehow, amidst the usual nonsense and noise of this franchise, ABC has managed to find an emotionally intelligent, thoughtful, articulate lead who can actually sell us on this being a meaningful experience with real emotional stakes. A lot of lessons were learned this week, both by the dude herd and by yours truly. It’s like seeing a dandelion sprout in a field of cow poop. Thank you, ABC. #blessed

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