Monday, October 29, 2007

The Bachelor: Meet the parents

Tonight on The Bachelor, Brad's off to do home visits--including the Worst Visit Ever! Seriously, it's pretty bad. Also, the Most Awesome Grandma Ever! Seriously, she's pretty awesome.

First up: Wichita, Kansas, Jenni's hometown. Jenni brings Brad to her childhood dance theater, where she shows off her mad dancing skillz. Mostly, it's a lot of wiggling, giggling, and barefoot tap dancing. And what at first looks like some random spazzing around, but may actually be a choreographed routine from her day job as a Phoenix Suns dancer. Rather than revel in the fact that he could be dating a professional cheerleader, Brad wonders if Jenni will be willing to move to Austin for him when her career is in Phoenix, and if their relationship could survive long-distance. Dude. She's a cheerleader. Guys across America are slack-jawed in the face of your lameness right now. Or they would be, if any guys watched The Bachelor.

Jenni introduces Brad to her mother, father, sister, and Grandma Betty, the greatest old lady of all time. They sit down to lunch at her mom's salon, and Grandma Betty, hearing that Brad's in the bar business, wants to know if he's a drinker. He assures her that he's not, and that he's all about family and lots of babies. Grandma Betty: "That little lady ain't gonna be a walkin' baby factory." HA! Darn straight, Grandma. Darn straight. Brad starts to sweat a little as she shakes her finger at him and warns him to treat Jenni right. Sadly tearing Brad away from all the hilarity, Jenni's mom gives him a shampoo, and interrogates him about the bar business. Actually, she asks him the same thing I've been wondering all season: What kind of guy can't find a girl when he owns four bars? He parries admirably, if unconvincingly. Jenni confesses to her sister that she's falling in love with Brad. After ensuring that Brad has goals in life (um, he's already a millionaire), Jenni's father approves heartily. Overall, the visit seems to go really well.

Next, it's off to Walnut Creek, California to meet Sheena's family. Ah, Sheena. The X-factor. The underdog. The dark horse. The least unlikeable girl left, solely based on the fact that she's had the least screentime. Her parents arrive in their boat, and the four of them spend the day on the water. It looks like a lot of fun, although Sheena's mom is totally a better dating show contestant than Sheena. But mostly in that she comes off as crazily entertaining. She's into astrology, and gets a bit too excited about the fact that Brad and Sheena's dad are a lot alike, and also both Scorpios. Then, she goes off on a tangent about how once she was sitting in a jacuzzi under the big dipper, realizing that Sheena was "the one." Now, she's not clear whether Sheena is HIS one, or someone else's, but she knows that Sheena's "the one."

Then she moves on to how she couldn't take her eyes off of Brad and Sheena's eyes, and how the stars are aligning, and Brad starts to look like a trapped animal. When she starts to hammer the fact that Sheena is ready to commit, and be "one man's everything," Brad looks like he's leaving his body a little as he tries to agree with Sheena's mom. Man, Sheena is gonna KILL her mom when she sees this! In fact, she's halfway there when she walks in and her mom starts planning the wedding, right in front of Brad and Sheena! Dude, is she two sheets to the wind or something? Or is she really this lacking in common sense? And OUCH. In the jacuzzi later, Brad tells Sheena that meeting her mom was a great way to see how Sheena got to be who she is. Now that was just plain uncalled for!

And now we're off to Canton, Georgia, DeAnna's hometown. Brad meets her father, brother, sister, and stepmother, who totally knock it out of the park for DeAnna. Her father tells Brad that he can tell DeAnna really has feelings for him, talks about how great she is, and pitches him a softball question about marriage. DeAnna busts out a photo album with pictures of her dead mother (sad, and well-played), and she and her sister chat about how crushed DeAnna will be if Brad doesn't pick her. Well, DeAnna, I'd say you've got a pretty good shot. DeAnna's entire extended family shows up for a big fat Greek party, and it's totally awesome. Opa!s all around.

Finally, Brad heads to Washington, DC (woot!), where he will meet Bettina's family. Bettina is convinced that her parents will love Brad, which even if I hadn't seen the previews would be a total giveaway that they will completely hate Brad. At Bettina's Dad's house, Brad meets Bettina's dad, stepmom, mom, and sister. The interrogation begins, and it quickly comes out that Brad is a college dropout. (Or, as he puts it, he "left early.") Aaaand it just as quickly comes out that Bettina's dad is a professor. Perfect! He interviews that it's a disappointment that Brad isn't better educated. Brad, mistakenly going for humor this time when he says he's in the bar business, calls it "family friendly." Oh, Brad. That's a rookie mistake, and you just hate to see it at this point in the game. After an awkward silence, they all head outside to eat. The stepmom interviews that she's unhappy to think of her stepdaughter "hooked up with a guy who runs a bunch of bars."

At the table, Brad unsuccessfully tries to defend his career, and interviews that he feels judged. Probably because he IS being judged. Because judging, in both directions, is the point of these visits. Duh. Bettina's father interviews that Bettina's first husband was the greatest guy evah. Oof. He expresses his concerns about Brad's business, location, and education to Bettina while Brad faces the lethal mom/stepmom combo. They warn him against stringing Bettina along, Brad interviews that they didn't take him seriously, "much less the whole concept of [brief pause] falling in love!" I totally think he meant to say, "much less the whole concept of this reality show," but then realized it sounded ridiculous. They ditch him to take the dog outside, and Brad and Bettina enjoy an evening conversation on the national mall, which from the size of her dad's house is nowhere near where they were earlier in the day.

Bettina lays out her family's concerns about Brad, and then tells him that because they question the match, she feels like she should question it, too. Brad doesn't take it well, and says he's "intelligent enough not to judge anybody." Bettina says that she doesn't "look that great on paper either," which, wow. Bad choice of words. He gets upset, saying that he's worked really hard, doesn't like being questioned personally, and feels blindsided. In short, Bettina just cemented the damage her family did earlier.

At the rose ceremony, Brad gives the first rose to DeAnna, followed by Jenni. Unbelievably, Bettina gets the final rose, leaving Sheena out in the cold. Wow. I just- wow. And here I thought Bettina was maybe even throwing the competition with her whole "good on paper" thing! To be fair, though, Sheena has really been coasting along on Chad's recommendation this whole time. Sheena cries and seems really upset, which actually surprises me a little. It didn't seem like she cared that much, which is probably part of the problem. Brad interviews that he sent her home because the feelings and chemistry weren't there, though I suspect it also had a little something to do with her mother. Because, yikes.

Next week: Shirtless bachelor action in Cabo. And also some stuff about feelings. And overnight dates.