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If Music Be The Food Of Love, Play On

Welcome back, everyone. Let me start by apologizing for the tardiness of this post. You know when people say that if you really love something you can always make time for it? Well those people are wrong, because I really love the Bachelor, (see, this blog), but I was unable to watch this week’s episode until tonight. So anyway- I had a busy week, it’s over now, and here’s the recap you’ve been patiently waiting for Mom— I mean, 10s of readers.

(#tbt I've always loved this picture of my mom and me.)

We start this episode in airy silence as our hero, Arie the Earnest, prepares for his solo motorcycle ride up to Mt. Bachelorious. The lack of underscoring in this moment made me remember once again how crucial the music is. This series is scored within an inch of it’s life. The music tells us everything we need to know: who’s in love, who’s tweaking, who’s hilarious, who’s a child trapped inside a grown woman’s body etc etc. And boy did we hear a symphony tonight. But more on that later. Let’s start with the first one-on-one date of the season where we learn that there are two Beccas, and the one born before 1997 is going out with Arie.

And what a date it is! Arie takes Becca to an undisclosed location where they are met by fashion’s favorite bedazzled serpentine, Rachel Zoe. They’ve met Rachel presumably at her house where she has laid out her food allotment for the next year, including a three tower tier of lobster (!) and what I think was a chocolate fountain. Nothing makes one want to model dresses more than copious amounts of food, so off Becca goes to model Rachel’s latest designs.

The afternoon continues with more treats- a gifted pair of Louboutins and a briefcase filled with jewels from Neil Lane. Favorite moment: when Arie sees the random man tasked with dropping off the briefcase and shouts down to him on the beach below, “how’s the walk?”. Guys, just like the 347 remaining women on the show, I too, am starting to pre-fall fall for Arie.

Anyway, the rampant materialism of this date could come off pretty poorly, (no pun intended), but I think Arie does a nice job of making it fun and not like some half-baked Pretty Woman montage. He also acknowledges how down to earth Becca seems so that “spoiling her” is fun. After all, for previous contestants (say Corinne, for example) this date would just be considered “Tuesday.”

Becca is sweet and cool and I like them together. I think she might be the front runner, but’s it’s very, very early to say that.

When Becca came back to the house with her bags and bags of free merchandise she said she was “more nervous to come back here” than to go on her date. One of the girls incredulously said, “why?”. OH PLEASE.

To quote Bibiana, “I know material things don’t mean a thing, but DAMN.”

Having survived her return to the house, Becca leaves again to meet Arie for the evening portion of the date. She shares her Sad Story about her father’s death from brain cancer. Man, this show really does have a knack for finding gorgeous girls with Sad Stories. I found their date to be quite lovely. Becca seems like a mature, grounded person and I hope it goes well for them.

Our next date is surprisingly also a one-on-one. Arie takes Cheshire aka Krystal to Scottsdale for an afternoon of “This Was/Is My Life” starring Arie’s high school cafeteria, Pizza Hut, and the blonde tendril-coiffed women of his family.

Arie shows Cheshire old family photos and videos at his house. His actual house. Let me just say right now that Arie might be the best bachelor ever. I found the entire date to be utterly charming. I feel like Arie might actually be a good dude who seriously wants to find love and start a family in boring but nice Scottsdale, Arizona.

Back in LA for the evening portion of their date is when I - I mean- Cheshire really starts to fall for Arie. Maybe I’ve been brainwashed by too many seasons of withholding weirdos like Nick Viall or "it's ok" Juan Pablo, but I find Arie to be self-effacing and kind and I know everyone (myself included) wanted Peter, but maybe Arie is the Bachelor America needs right now. The Mr. Rogers of Bachelors. On the other hand, Peter is an emotionally cryptic, commitment-phobic former male model, but maybe Arie is the better choice.

Anyway.. Cheshire shares her Sad Story about her parent's divorce, saving up money as a 9 year old to buy her own comforter(!) and her homeless brother's assault resulting in his singed hair. What a fantastic description! Singed! I mean what a horrible event, I am so sorry for her family. But really, I mean both. Because I’m dead inside.

I was really into this date. I’m not sure about Cheshire just yet, (See, What We Talk About When We Talk About Underscoring), but I think this date was so successful because Arie made Cheshire feel as she said, “understood and listened to”. Is Arie the new Oprah?

(No, of course not.)

And finally the group date. I’ll make this quick- THIS WAS THE BEST GROUP DATE IN BACHELOR HISTORY! Suck it, Museum of Broken Relationships! That bumper car thing looked like so much fun! I loved all of it. The spray painting of the cars, the wrecking, the driving in reverse, the massive shade Chris Harrison threw at Arie when he said maybe Arie would win for once. Which leads me down a rabbit hole of questions. Was Arie not a successful racer? Is racing like porn, where everyone who participates is by definition a “porn-star”? How many races do you get to race and lose before you’re not allowed to compete anymore? Anyone?

Now we can’t move on without discussing Annaliese’s bumper car trauma. Absurd, yes. But hey, obviously she was legitimately traumatized. We all have our stuff. I just think if I were Arie, my red flag wouldn’t be that she was randomly scared of bumper cars, but that she was sobbing and still participated. Like, just don’t do that. If it makes you that uncomfortable, just know yourself and be cool to say, “hey I don’t want to do this, I’ll meet you after, have fun!” I also think Annaliese might have a little Corrine-itis- in that she might be a child trapped in an adult’s body. Remember when she was so concerned about when to remove her mask on the first night? It was weird and not a big deal. It only obscured about 1/4 of her face. Seemed kind of childlike is all I’m saying. Anyway- I’m not sure about her… Time will tell.

I don’t care about this whole Bibiana storyline. She is tweaking just like they make one girl tweak every year. What’s really telling is that once she finally got some time with Arie she had nothing to say! He literally had to say, "ask me something". These two are not a love match. That’s obvious. And the whole moral/ethical quandary of what constitutes etiquette on this show- I just don’t care. Was it wrong of Cheshire to grab Arie so much? Of course, but let’s keep it moving, people!

Other fun storylines starting to appear- Baby Bekah and Arie basically invented a new thing called Face Sex. I think it’s very clear they have chemistry. I don’t think Bekah should quit nannying to live in Scottsdale, Arizona with Arie the Earnest, but I do think they have a connection. Also- I need to know if Bekah is aware of all the movie looks she's imitating. This week it was Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places:

Finally, one last note about the narrative function music plays on this show. Cheshire’s music shifted dramatically from epic romance to crazy psycho stalker during the cocktail party. The jury is out on how she continues to be portrayed (ie underscored) this season. It does seem like she’s on the way to messing up a good thing with Arie.

As I always say, sometimes in life you have to know when to back off, when to accelerate, and when to accelerate in reverse into someone’s bumper car and destroy their engine. All’s fair in love and threadbare racing metaphors!

Till next week...

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