Race to the Bottom
Why does this season feel particularly hard to watch, you may be asking yourself? Here's a theory - perhaps it’s the utter banality of the episodes mixed with the profoundly upsetting off-camera revelations about the “contestants”. I love this stupid show, but surely we can find people not guilty of sexual assault and/or confirmed bigots to fill the spots. Right? RIGHT??? Have we learned nothing after Lee? All we're asking for are non-violent, non-bigoted men with perfect teeth, abs, and a Sad Story. That's all we've ever wanted!
Now let’s begin:
We still haven’t had a rose ceremony since Clay’s early departure last week. But before Becca tries to remember the names of her rejected boyfriends, she gives Jordan golden underwear. (This was obviously Becca's idea and not the producers.) David makes a brief return from the hospital where he is filmed from his bad side with a close-up of his hospital bracelet peaking out from under his suit cuff. Thanks for the injury-porn! WE GET IT! David gets a rose and goes back to the hospital.
We say goodbye to the Sad Banjoist and Mike the man-bun. I would have liked to know more about the Sad Banjoist, or at the very least, heard some banjo playing. At least he's now the second most famous banjoist in America after Steve Martin. (Just joking, I would hate to upset all my readers in the banjo-community!)
Nick of “why is he wearing a tracksuit?” fame is kept. The producers care so little for this storyline that we don’t have to sit through the usual "drama" that comes when someone wears a "funny" outfit.
After the rose ceremony, Becca announces that she and her boy-men will be traveling to the “very exclusive” (and white) Park City, Utah. Obviously Garrett gets the first one on one date because- Garrett. His entire date had the usual underscoring plus my additional spoken vocal of:
I can't support any of this. I think the most generous thing to do would be to “forgive” Garrett and accept his vague apology. Well, I don't forgive him. But even if I did, forgiveness doesn't mean I want to watch him find love and happiness with the hero of our show.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Lincoln, a contestant who has been CONVICTED OF INDECENT ASSAULT AND BATTERY, shares that he believes the earth is flat.
GUYS I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN DO THIS ANYMORE.
Ok, Becca and Garrett are still on their date, (I’m still yelling at the TV), and finally it ends with the classic slow-dance and make-out in front of other people moment. This time whilst being serenaded by a “country singer” named “Granger Smith”. I googled "Granger Smith", as shockingly, I hadn’t heard of him. Fun fact from his wikipedia page- he’s also known by his alter-ego, “Earl Dibbles Jr.”
I do have one nice thing to say about Garrett- he has no pores.
Becca continues to fuel the flames of toxic masculinity with another physical challenge date. This week, it’s lumberjack themed. Many of the men see power tools and climax. Others are interviewed on-camera apologizing for not spending their time being professional lumberjacks in the past. It all makes no sense.
Leo aka Samson (of Samson and Delilah fame) says that this date will separate “the men from the boys”. Turns out it won’t, because “manhood” is about being a responsible, ethical person. Picking up logs or climbing a tree with spikes on your shoes does not make you a man, or a good person. It makes you a lumberjack.
And I know this is supposed to be fun and silly, and perhaps I need to lighten up, but this is the subliminal messaging that contributes to a culture of toxic masculinity. If Becca decides that after this show she wants to live in the woods and pretend it’s the 1800s like on that PBS show, Frontier Spirit, cool. Then this date is relevant to picking a life partner. Otherwise it’s not helping anyone, especially Becca, get closer to finding her ideal mate.
That being said, I am glad I learned that Becca can throw an ax like a boss. I hope that she gets cast in a future Avengers movie as “Ax-Girl”.
Let’s move on to the evening portion of the group date. Jason and Becca share a sweet moment. I like Jason. Yes, he looks like a teenage villain from an 80s movie, but I like it.
Jordan auditions for his future job as Rocky in Pensacola Repertory Theatre’s non-equity production of Rock Horror Picture Show. Colton says he’s acting like a clown and he’s over it. America says, “yup!”. I'd like to add, a clown and a HORRIBLE PERSON. Someone who makes fun of an injured person in pain, someone who intimates that he is directly responsible for that injury because of his communications with God, that person, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it- sucks.
Speaking of people who suck, Jean Blanc, not satisfied with Becca's reaction to being gifted a cologne with Jean Blanc's last-name on it, decides to tell Becca that he is falling in love with her. Then, upon being rejected by Becca, he says, “oh nevermind, I just said that cause I thought that's what you wanted hear”. Becca freaks out since she’s freshly traumatized by Arie-gate, and she ends the date without giving out a rose.
Anyway, Becca shows, not tells us how upset she is by being filmed wearing a comfy sweater in bed holding a mug of tea. (This is covered in Chapter 3 of Nancy Meyers' screenwriting book, in a chapter called, "Sad People Wear Sweaters". I highly recommend it!)
It’s time for Wills’ one on one date. Becca is still “reeling” from the night before, but she’s only a hug and a Hans Zimmer montage song away from feeling better with Wills. Wills seems nice and Wills also seems like he is 100 percent baked out of his mind during this entire date.
At dinner we hear Wills’ Sad Story, that he too thought he had found the one before she asked for a “hall-pass” and then broke up with him. The most compelling aspect of this date was cataloguing Becca’s sparkly accessories. I really liked her earrings and the many rings she was wearing. Cool.
Becca gives Wills a rose, they kiss against a wall, Becca’s back on top of the world. (Until, of course, she inevitably finds out that she dated a sex offender and a bigot on national television.) But for now, bliss!
It’s time for another rose ceremony. We say goodbye to Nick of track-suit non-fame, and Christon. Christon goes down in history as having one of the loveliest, most reasonable exit interviews yet. Bye, Christon. Thank you for being kind, having beautiful bone structure, and dunking on Becca on the first night. That was cool. This show is currently not.
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