The Joys of Christmas Programming

10 12 2012

Falalalalala -lala-lala

Tis the Season.

I watched a Home Alone Marathon last night… as a result, I set a marble trap at my door before I went to bed. Just in case. They’ll never outsmart the well-prepared.

The signs of Christmas are all around us – I’m not really referring to Christmas trees, lights or the occasional flurry, I’m much more interested with what the networks have come up with to keep us tuned in this Christmas. They bank on us forgetting how MUCH we hate Christmas specials hosted by marginal celebrities and their even more marginal friends (I’m talking about you Blake Shelton…). They KNOW that we’ll forget how excruciating it is to sit through a Holiday parade… unless it’s muted. Otherwise, you have to listen to the cheese-ball announcers pretend their degree in Journalism was worth it.  And they consider us to be naively entertained by any ‘new’ special, game show or filler episode on TV between Thanksgiving and New Years that has anything to do with Christmas, giving, or singing. They wouldn’t spend a dime on this rot if we didn’t fall for it… every year.

This year?

Extreme Home Makeover takes over the TV for 2 hours every Monday for a  SPECIAL Holiday edition. 2 hours. Remember when Extreme Home Makeover was an HGTV show, and the most compelling part of the show was the big reveal? Now its a show that spends 1:45 minutes forcing waterworks from even the coldest of hearts. Just when you thought a story couldn’t get anymore tragic… they throw in a terminal illness, or a war veteran. And just so we are clear on the semantics… a makeover is working with what you’ve got to make it better. Ty and crew do NOT ‘Makeover’ – they tear down and build mortgage busting mansions that would make King Louis XIV jealous. Just sayin’.

Today, I look at the TV line up for this evening (yes, i start planning my attack at 8am, don’t you dare judge.) and see a new show that I don’t recognize airing after the Voice on NBC. The show is called ‘Take it All‘ – it’s a limited -run gameshow, and it’s hosted by… wait for it, in fact, I could give you 3 guesses and you’d nail it in one… Howie Mandell.

Howie Mandell – who says the show is, and I quote, “The Price is Right meets Jerry Springer“. That sounds like afternoon programming at the retirement estates in Crocketbluff, Arkansas. Or what’s on a loop in the 7th ring of hell. Either or…

That’s not all ladies and gents… after an hour of this insult to intelligence, stay on NBC for the sophomore season of Michael Buble Christmas – featuring his famous pals, Carly Rae Jepson (Grammy nominated… don’t shoot the messenger), Rod Stewart (yep, still living) and Blake Shelton (who did he sell his soul to?).

Oh it’s on. It’s officially the Christmas season – when TV gets really really bad, and we don’t care.

What are YOU watching tonight?


Bachelorette Recap: Final 3

10 07 2012

Emily and the Final 3, make it Emily and the Final 2 on another really pretty Island last night.

There has been a shroud of mystery lingering over the results of this season. Popular spoiler sites have all but thrown up their hands and wondered if there would be a monumental twist that has somehow thrown them off course. The spoilers sopped at Final 3… there was an eerie silence after that. No winner was revealed, except by pure speculation.

No one could ever have speculated the outcome of last night’s elimination.

At least, I was thrown for the first ‘loop’ this season, and perhaps the biggest ‘loop’ since Vienna.

3 dates, 3 men. 2 Roses. 1 Man down…

We start with Sean. Hunky, Ken doll, soft spoken, chase after you in the street just to kiss you one more time Sean. In my opinion, he has been an odds on favourite. Their chemistry seems to be sizzling (re-watch make out scene after make out scene), he seems ready to step in as a father figure for Ricky, and he tics all the obvious boxes.

They frollick and play all day, then they have a serious sit-down discussion about life and love, then they get into a hot tub, and she ends the night with him wanting more… yah, dot, dot, dot.

Next, Jef. Sigh… Jef. I still don’t get…Jef. Apparently he’s independently wealthy, very intelligent and semi-mormon. He also has had more of Emily’s heart than I’ve realized from day one. Even though, he was scared to look her in the eye for the first month, and even more terrified to kiss her. Cooties! I just see him wilt into this pre-pubescent school boy with a big crush on teacher every time he’s with her. Is that a turn on? *shudder*

Don’t worry Sean, hipster-tight-pants didn’t get a full night with Emily either. No dot, dot dot.

Lastly, it’s Ari. probably the true front runner since day one or two. He is confident in his relationship with Emily, and when there’s a lull in the conversation… make out time! Can somebody please put together a mash-up of all the references Emily has made about kissing Ari? She loves it. It’s like, her guilty pleasure. They swim with a dolphin (totally voluntary…right Flipper?) and then retire to have an adult conversation. Ari rambles about how he would be a great father, because he’s…fun. And how first you need to be a child’s ‘buddy’. yikes. Red flag… this guy knows nothing about being a father.

oh and no dot, dot, dot for him either. 3 strike outs.

So, after 3 dates with her 3 potential suitors… Emily is understandably torn. I’m sure she really has developed sincere feelings for each of them, and likely had this top 3 selected in her head for a few weeks.

So who goes home, the week before the proposal?

… Sean.

Told you it was a shocker!

I really wish Emily would’ve provided more of an explanation – anything! ‘I’ve decided I don’t like Blondes’ ‘Ari is just a better kisser than you are’ ‘Jef is vegan’… I don’t know, something! Sean was confused, I was confused… Emily just cried.

So the Final 2… Ari and Jef.

Bachelorette Recap: Week 7

26 06 2012

Emily decided last week to keep 2 guys, so this week there were STILL 6 guys in the running for her affection. In my opinion, there are probably only 3 guys with any REAL chance at her hand and her heart. She knows that too… which is why she got rid of 2 guys this week, without so much as a bat of an eye.

Next stop on the Bachelorette Travel network – Prague.

There are 4 dates planned: 3 one on ones, and a group date.

1. One on one: Ari

Has a secret! If you’ve read the tabloids recently, you already know what the ‘secret’ is (weeks ago, right?)… he was in a relationship with one of the producers a few years ago. However, what they failed to mention in the show, is that they are still very much close acquaintences. It’s the reason he made the show. Scandal! Do you really think each contestant comes to the show honestly? Of course not! Each contestant has been hand ‘casted’, selected, and it doesnt hurt to have a connection. c’est la vie! But Emily is right, they couldve been very open and honest with her about the relationship, and Ari ‘hiding’ it like a Playboy Magazine, is juvenile.

It doesnt matter…because according to Emily, the producer missed out because Ari is such a good…kisser. I cant make this stuff up. Those words came out of her mouth. A grown woman.

Ari kissed his way to full redemption and forgiveness… she has a really, really big crush on this one.

2. One on One: John

What an agonizingly boring person. He is terrible on camera, hardly looks at Emily when he speaks to her, and has nothing overly compelling to impart. They go into a dungeon for dinner, and he pretends to be scared along with emily. Then he tells an ’emotional’ story about a girl that cheated on him, and instead of being sympathetic, I found it extremely awkward to watch – and he called his date a homerun. Yikes. Delusional.

And is there anything more immasculating than your roomate stealing the girl behind your back? Sean waited until John returned home, and slipped out to steal some alone time for himself. Homerun? I think Sean got MUCh closer to a homerun than John did that night! They were rounding second in the alley!

3. Group date: Sean, Doug and Chris

This group date turned into a 2 on 1 very early on – Cartoon Doug was sent home, or graciously set free, by Emily after a long chat about their future. Doug ‘saw’ it. Emily was not ‘feeling’ it. Doug reminded me of a nervous promdate… and no one feels comfortable sitting next to THAT guy. The lowlight of the entire episode, was watching Doug ‘go in for the kiss’. She was in the middle of rejecting him, and he went for it. She thanked him sweetly and hardly skipped a beat. 5 seconds later, he was packing his bags.

Remember Sean’s romantic gesture last night? Well, Emily sure did. Chris didnt stand a chance in this 2 on 1. But you know what definitely didnt help? His intense scowl, and reprimand of Emily’s decision to include him in a group date and not a 1 on 1. Like a petulent child. Like somehow, it was his god-given RIGHT to spend time with her. Verging on Kalon-esque.

4. One on One: Jef

Where Jef uses a puppet as his mouthpiece to say ‘I love you’ to his girl. It’s just so cheeseball, and so immature. but then , their relationship is that. She is a different Emily when she is with him. She is goofy, she allows herself to get wrappe dup in his clumsy charm, she accepts the skinny jeans…

I just don’t picture that family photo! An Emo hipster and his southern Belle. It’s just… baffling. However, Jef IS a nice guy, and they seem to have a good time canoodling and talking about life, love and other mysteries. Could he be a father figure…like yesterday… for Ricky? I don’t see it, but maybe she does.

At the Rose Cermony – Emily makes up her mind without a cocktail reception, and Chris couldnt be more panicked! He stops the Rose Ceremony for one last chat with Emily. He apologizes, and pleads his case – it’s exhausting isnt it?

It seemed to be convincing enough for Emily, she keeps Chris and sends John home. Shocked? Nope. Do I think she flip flopped after Chris’ empassioned apology? Perhaps. But she knew that Doug and John, and likely Chris were never going to be her husband… so it was a pretty easy decision this week.


Bachelorette Recap: Week 5

12 06 2012

Bachelorette fans were waiting for drama this season.

It happened, in week 5.

We will get to it… but first lets talk about the events in week 5.

The next stop featured on the Bachelorette Tourism Network… London. Oh look! A famous London landmark. And another…

The guys gather at Trafulgar Square to receive their instructions for this week of dates. As usual, 2 one on one dates and a group date (they should be getting the hang of it by now…)

The first one on one date goes to Sean, the hunky soft spoken man of God. Producer forgot to plan the first part of their date, they were walking around a random park, talking to buskers…or something. Then they had a private dinner in the Tower of London, where Emily tried desperately to remember the script she wrote about the history of the place, and Sean pretended to be impressed. How many times do you think they had to shoot that ‘scene’? Didn’t seem to matter, these two have a good conversation and an easy connection. They share a smooch overlooking London night lights… very romantic; he gets the Rose and becomes a frontrunner in my opinion. This is the kind of guy she was looking for in Brad. Someone with heart, with passion, with integrity … unfortunately she got a bit of a rotten apple when his ‘passion’ turned into intensity. Different animal altogether…

The group date was another ‘acting challenge’ for the guys. I should be keeping count. How many dates have the guys been forced to ‘perform’ or put on costumes? Since  I doubt Emily has any input on the dates, the producers are clearly having a creative block.

The guys recited Shakespeare and Ryan got his first kiss with Emily while she was acting the role of Juliette’s corpse… oh, how romantic. Ari came out of his ‘comfort zone’ by playing the nurse complete with wig, dress and tights. There’s nothing more attractive…

The only one who looked like they were actually enjoying being in Shakespeares hometown, re-enacting one of his scripts to woo a fair lady, was Travis. I hope we’ll see a little bit more of him, he has yet to be ‘featured’, but he is certainly fun.

In the after party, it was Kalon’s spotlight. Apparently a few guys heard him have a conversation about Emily’s daughter being ‘baggage’ for whoever wins this show. Yikes. Ouch. That’s just…vile. There is nothing that awakens the protector gene in a mother more than insulting her child. It’s like throwing rocks at baby geese- you’re only safe until their mother turns around… then you better run.

Once this was brought to Emily’s attention, it didn’t take long for her to address it, like a mother goose. She attacked the subject head on – brought the guys into the room, called out Kalon and gave him one question to answer. ’Did you say this?’ his answer, was of course, ‘yes, but….’ No explanation needed. ‘Get the F… out’. Perfectly executed , Mother Goose.

The next one on one date was given to Jef. (I keep having to tell spellcheck that’s not a typo) I was looking forward to seeing this. Jef is confusing me. The skinny jeans, the side bouffant, the boyish shyness… is this really Emily’s man? She says she’s really into him. I don’t see it. And even though they had some good conversation, and he got his first smooch of the season… I’m still not convinced of this pairing.

At the Rose ceremony, not much to report. The drama went down in the pub at the group date. Ari was scolded for not telling her about Kalon earlier. But he’s a safe bet every week… so in the end, Alessandro was sent home.


Bachelorette Recap: Week 4

5 06 2012

It feels like this season of the Bachelorette is practically void of the overtly dramatic for-the-sake-of-TV scenarios.

Is it because Emily is keeping it to a minimum? Is it because these guys are bad actors? Or is it because they have to save it for The Bachelor Pad now? All of the above.

Emily has a very subtle, yet totally direct way of rejecting men she isnt interested in. She has very specific questions to ask of them, and if she doesnt get the right kind of response, she is swift to deliver the blow. However, she also has such a genuinely sweet disposition, that her rejections go down like sugar. Half the time, I can’t tell whether the guy himelf knows what just hit him…all of a sudden he’s in a limo!

But it is Week 4, so producers have been able to creat e a little bit of house-drama to keep the franchise afloat. There were a few you-know-what disturbers. The jocks form their clique. Doug gets picked on. Chris is insecure about his age. Ryan’s a crazy person. and we get our first 2-1 date of the season!

Let’s start with the One on One date with Daddy Doug. First stop on the Board of Tourism promotional tour, Bermuda. the two go walking around the isalnd (not difficult to do in one day, I’ve done it.) It’s the perfect back drop, however, maybe next time they ask about the weather on the dates they will be shooting. It looked absolutely frigid. Missing the opportunity to get Emily in a bikini, and the men topless. Huge oversight. At any rate, Doug plays the perfect dad – and Emily questions him on it. She didnt really get what she wanted, but I guess she appreciated the fact that he IS such a nice guy and a good father.

He sticks around and gets a Rose (but not a lot of action).

The group date was a sailing competition, that Emily looked completely uninterested in watching. If she doesnt want to watch it, why would I? I guess there were two boats racing, and it looked super difficult, and somehow the guys who were clearly in the lead for much of the race, were suddenly overtaken in the end. Strange. Those guys got to have more time with her that night, the others were sent back to the hotel.

So guys like Ryan, Jef, Ari etc. got some more alone time with Emily. Ari cemented his position with a good old fashioned make out session on the beach. Jef… hardly looks at her when he talks, looks so uncomfortable sitting beside a woman, and has a bouffant. I dont get it. I dont get him. And I certainly dont get why Emily would have any interest in him. It looks like a school teacher relationship to me…and I’m not OK with that.

Jef, of all people, gets the Rose.

The 2 on 1 date, is by far one of my favoueite features of The Bachelor franchise. I love this date. It’s so painfully awkward, and the silence makes for the WORST TV… so bad it’s good. Usually, the lead will pick two peple that are totally different… to determine which they want to keep around. Last night, Emily picked two very quiet and unassuming guys, John and Nate. Guys I had not payed much attention to, and neither had she. Nate cried when talking about his family and friends. John played the cool card. Neither of them did much to shine or stand out. Girls play this game better. On the Bachelor, the two girls invited ont his date come out guns a blazing – stealing kisses, stealing time, desperately campaigning for their lives on the show.

Emily chose the Cool Confidence of John. I guess if you HAD to choose…

At the Rose Ceremony, Chris confronts Doug about his comment about his age. It did not show any maturity on Chris’ part to pick a fight over something so minor. Doug shot him down with ease and precision. Chrs eventually moped and walked away. That was the extent of it.

Notice how quickly we’ve changed the Top of the Crazy leaderboard? It was Kalon… remember him? Now it’s definitely Ryan. He’s the obvious king of the drama, and most destined for Bachelor Pad next season.

Emily keeps him around for another week. There may be some outcry… but here’s what I figure. Emily has a Top5 or even Top 3 guys that sees any chance of developing real feelings for in the end. But this is a TV show. She cant pick those guys right now, she has to follow a process. So, instead of keeping around guys that are dull as lead, she’ll keep a few ‘fun ones’ around. Why not?

She sends home two guys: Michael, and Charlie


Bachelorette Recap: Week 3

29 05 2012

I am thoroughly and shamlessly enjoying this season of the Bachelorette.

I havent fallen in love with any of the handsome suitors yet, but I have fallen in love with the new touches and navigation of the show Emily seems to have input on.

For example, I love the fact that she had her real-life friends (who should have their own sitcom…seriously!) question the guys and stand around and gossip about them playing with children at the park. I also love the fact that she is taking men on dates to places SHE where she has a connection and memories.  Lastly, I love that she seems to be very confident in her search, and isnt taking any ‘fluff or guff’ from men she doesnt see a fit with…. she’ll just send you packing (heck, she sent 3 home this week!). Atta girl! In fact, I get the feeling if she had it ALL her way, she could pick out the top 5 contenders, and call a limo for the others right now. They’re just a distraction.

Let’s get to last night…

The first one on one date was with Chris – or the child of Gerard Butler and Tim Tebow… c’mon, you see it too! Of course, they climb a building in a thunderstorm. Good thing Chris is such a good man, he was right beside her the whole time (let’s be realistic, he was strapped in right beside her, and I dont know any guy who would just bolt up the building and look back…he’s no hero.) Chris had the motive – he told the camera about half a dozen times that he was going in for a kiss. He got his opportunity after dinner, when the two went country dancin’ in the moonlight. There was some smooching. And a Rose was offered and accepted.

The group date… was just awesome TV. Emilys friends grilled the guys on their preparedness for Fatherhood, their reasons for being here, their previous relationships… and even made them do tricks. If this was a date on The Bachelor… it would be disturbingly masochistic. But men forced to do push ups…. I dont have an issue. Y’all spend hous in the gym so that when the time is right, you can press to impress.

A little bit corny to bring out a busload of children to test the playfullness of the guys. One guy who was not into it, was Ken Doll Ryane Juicehead came over to try and banter with the gaggle of girls and fell flat with some lame flirting tactics. The worst was his declaration (in jest?) that if his woman ‘got fat’ he would still ‘love them but not love ON them’. Classy.

Some guys made a good impression: Sean the Blonde, Doug the Dad…

That evening, Emily gave the Rose to Sean (a guy I hadnt noticed until last night, and who now I consider a frontrunner). Also Tony breaks down over missing his son. He calls him a bunch of times to ma sure he’s still a ‘good father’. Emily sits him down and gracefully extends him the offer to leave because she wouldnt want to take him away from his son jsut to let him go further down the road. She is so poised , this wouldve been an awkward crying, hurtful mess if anyone else was the lead. She comes from a place of honesty, and I think that is essential during this highly emotional process.

The next one on one was with Arie in Dollywood. As usual, they had the complete run of the park grounds – they were the only people there. How much fun can that possibly be? Then Emily leads Arie into the Dolly Parton theatre to write a song… and guess what happened next? Well, land a goshen, spit n’ the ocean… Dolly Parton, the legendary blonde hourglass was there to greet them. Emily tried to pull off gobsmacked… but even Dolly saw through it. ‘You’re surprised? To see Dolly at Dollyland?” Burn! But Emily was genuinely smitten with the whole experience – I dont think it mattered one rednecked dollar who was with her… it was all about her and Dolly.

Arie was there too, and they shared a ride on the carousel before ending the date. There was some smooching, Emily gushed about the kind of man he was, and all of a sudden… Arie is a frontrunner.

At the Rose ceremony, guys continued to put their foot in their mouths. Allessandro told Emily that Ricki was a comprimise for him. Ouch! And Kalon gave Emily the old ‘sit n’ look pretty and let the men do the talking’. Brutal! Emily gave Allessandro the number for a cab, and walked him out. She’s certainly doing alot of her own ‘weeding’ this season.

Emily gave Roses to everyone but Stevie… but the total carnage was 3 last night: Tony, Allessandro and Stevie.



The Bachelorette: Week 2

22 05 2012

Emily is a fantastic Bachelorette – I’m sure producers bargained HARD for her! She’s eloquent, she’s ‘put together’, she’s confident – and for such a knock out, she’s extremely unpretentious and grounded.

Ya, she’s a catch.

She’s PERFECT for this show.

The guys? I’m not sure that many of them would be in her category in an average ‘real world’ situation. I don’t know them well enough, but I really feel like Emily has a better chance at meeting a quality guy in the ‘real world’ that she lives in. But that’s no fun…is it?

This week, the dating begins!

The first One on One is given to Ryan – who expects to be swept away on a helicopter to scale a tall building and kiss Emily under a canopy of stars. Instead, Emily takes him home to bake cookies, put away groceries and run errands. I loved this! 100% through the Muscle for a loop and forced him to act happy about it for the camera. Emily deftly shows Ryan ‘her world’. He was NOT a great actor in this situation, he kept expecting the helicopter to show up and it was written all over his face the entire day.

Emily didnt seem to notice, but she did challenge him with some tough questions at dinner. This guy admitted to being all about ‘the chase’. Like Kristen Wiig would say, ‘Red Flag’! Whatever, it’s too soon to tell, so Emily gives him the Rose.

Group date!

Probably the corniest group date in Bachelorette history. Kermit the Frog and Piggy show up at a theatre to teach the guys how to perform – later that day, they will perform WITH the muppets for charity. Emily was forced to act in cheeseball skits, such as ‘Kermit zips up her dress’, ‘Emily kisses the Frog’ etc. Completely moronic.

Later that evening, the guys all try to ‘woo’ Emily with meaningful conversation. And a villain is born (wow, producers wait until week 2! What admirable constraint shown by the Bachelor editors!) Kalon (I know, sounds like a planet, right?) looks like a character right out of Gossip Girl. He’s rubbing the guys the wrong way, and delivers the d-bag remark of the night. “I wouldnt like me if I were you either”. Boom!

The guy with the Bruno Mars hair and the inability to look anyone in the eyes while speaking to them, Jef (yup, one f) gets the Rose. I’m not going to debate that decision, it’s far too  early on to understand her selections.

The last One on One date is with Joe – and he gets the date Ryan wanted. They ride on a private jet to West Virginia. They take a vintage car to the Greenbriar Resort, a scene right out of Gone with the Wind. Southern opulence in fine form.

Joe fails to impress. He has no plans for the future, he also has absolutely no personality. So he does NOT get the Rose and packs his bags.

Not alot of drama to speak of at the Rose Ceremony – it IS only week 2 !

2 guys who we had no emotional connection to went home…

The biggest conversation points fromt his episode is the ‘drama’ between Kalon and most of the other men. He’s going to continue to be a d-bag on camera and a gentleman infront of Emily. But he wont win, so don’t worry your pretty little head about it all. It helps the storyline of the show, enjoy it.

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