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MURPHY'S BLOG

Murphy Watches Bachelor in Paradise: Week 3

It's the guys turn to give out roses this week and we kick off with some good ol' fashioned Elise bashing over her decision last week to give a rose to Chris AFTER she tried to give it to Dylan and gave some goofy speech when he turned her down. Pretty much whenever Elise talks, you might notice, she gets the goofy music underscore. Like when she starts bashing Dylan to try to save some face. She says something a long the lines of Dylan turning down the rose was a test and he... failed? Or passed?

Danielle (from JP's season) shows up with a date card. Michelle and her head thong feel threatened, and rightly so since Danielle says in a one-shot that she's there for Marquel. His ego goes through the roof as he and Danielle go on a plane date and swim to some Skinemax music before almost being struck by lightning. Danielle is sure he's the one.

Michelle immediately jumps ship for Robert. Since she can't say "I need a rose so I can keep getting paid that reality TV money," she tells Clare she's "feeling, like, super I don't know." So, Michelle and Clare set up a double date for Robert and Zack. This leaves Sarah pretty much all alone in the bungalow, still feeling super-insecure.

Elise gets a date card and Chris breaks his own leg to try to get out of it. But, then he realizes Elise is pretty much a sure thing so he powers through severe leg pain to go on an overnight date. Chris is obviously the kind of guy who would have powered through a concussion, loss of limb, sudden blindness, etc. for an overnight date to Rambone Central. On the date it's obvious he's only interested in one thing - Well, two things, getting it on and getting more pain meds so he can stand to converse with Elise for more than 5 minutes. Chris says despite his knee pain, he wants to "get down and dirty" and "enjoy her." BRB, have to shower after typing that... OK. back. There's two room keys in the envelope they recieve at dinner but Chris convinces Elise to stay in one room (it does not take much). Cue the Skinemax music again and clips of awful grunting.

Jackie (from Sean's season) shows up with a date card and every one talks like she's freaking Helen of Troy. Jackie asks who's coupled up and tries to get a feel for the house dynamic before making her choice. Women like Lacy and Clare who are definitely coupled up start marking their territory. But, Michelle the dummy tells her "pick whoever you want." OK, how about Marquel. Danielle is ticked because he's down, Michelle gets hit over the head again with the fact that it's Robert or No Rose. For as much trash talking of other contestants Marquel has done on BiP and The Bachelorette he sure loves dating a lot of women. He even drops the "I don't kiss on the first date, but I feel like I want to," line on Jackie. She buys it before remembering after the smooch that she'd better say she doesn't kiss on the first date either.

Graham and AshLee are doing a similar dance as Dylan and Elise last week, with AshLee ultra-invested and Graham feeling tied down without any say, so he's unable to sew his wild oats. AshLee finally gets the date card she's been waiting for and she jets off with Graham. She gets super serious on the date while Graham tries to pump the brakes. AshLee lets Graham know she stalks him on social media.

They get two room keys as well. AshLee is DTF and Graham knows it. He also knows you don't put your thing in crazy and says "YAWN! I'm tired! G'night!" and hot foots it to his own room, staying strong in the face of AshLee's plans to assault him. Graham is no Chris.

Speaking of whom, after his date with Elise, Chris finally gets the medical attention he desperately needed and is pretty much bedridden. Elise, in a one of the biggest steps backwards for women even for THIS show, waits on him hand and foot and hopes babying him shows that she'll make a good homemaker.

The Rose Ceremony takes place on the anniversary of Clare's dad's death, which she wants us to take really seriously and then says her dad is a turtle walking by that just laid eggs in the sand. I am going to do my best to respect her wishes.

Everyone is basically coupled up except Robert and Marquel. Robert has to decide between giving another rose Sarah, who is easy going and open to exploring a relationship with Robert, and Michelle, who is super high pressure. Marquel has to decide between Danielle and Jackie, one of whom he kissed and one he didn't.

At the rose ceremony we get the boring ones out of the way first, Graham gives his rose to AshLee, Zack gives his to Clare, Marcus gives his to Lacy (they're still on this show?). Marquel steps up to the plate and gives his rose to Jackie. Marquel calls the decision "bittersweet," probably because he'd love to see how far he could get with both of them, possibly together. Robert understandably picks go-with-the-flow Sarah. Michelle is bummed until... what's this? Oh, yeah. Chris has the final rose and he calls out Elise's name, but not to give her the rose. He asks her to leave the show with him so she can keep being his empty-headed geisha. She agrees (scored, naturally, with the goofy music) and says it's a sure sign that Chris doesn't want her dating other guys, he wants her to meet his family and "he smells amazing." Chris gives his rose to Michelle, who starts already sharpening her claws for whatever meathead (Cody?!?!?) walks up the beach next week. Doesn't matter who. Gimme a rose! I'll even date Clare's turtle-dad! (I'm so sorry.)

Murphy Watches Bachelor in Paradise: Week 2

A triangle just won't do. I think we have to make a new shape for all of the love connections on Bachelor in Paradise after only the second episode.

This episode kicks off with an intro from Chris Harrison that sheds more light on last week's swift departure of Michelle K. (the K is for Krazy!). It turns out that before production started she sparked a relatioship with the BiP crew member, Ryan Putz, that had the room next to hers at the hotel. She won't talk to Chris, but she tells another crew member that Ryan brought her floss and flowers.

How did they get caught? Well, through an amazing reenactment we learn that a cast handler knocked on Michelle's door and Ryan jumped off the balcony and broke both his legs.

Why do they let the crew and cast stay that close together in the first place? Or even in the same hotel?

In the meat of the episode, the girls are in charge of the roses this week. Chris B. from Emily's season shows up with the first date card and picks Clare. Clare has heard about Chris' reputation as a "womanizer douchebag loudmouth," but she wants to judge for herself. They go for a couples massage, which according to Clare is great because "you can do it together." Chris explains his rep and Clare buys it and says if she had a rose right then he'd get it.

With Clare off with Chris, though and Marcus giving Lacy his rose last week, Robert is worried he'll be odd man out.

Speaking of odd, Elise explains to Dylan that she's a Pisces and Pisces are like fish and that's why she loves the ocean so much. Elise is totally ready to buy a grave plot with Dylan. But, Dylan says spending time with Elise is preventing him from meeting other people. Being that she'll be handing out a rose he probably picked the wrong week to tell her. But, Elise is undeterred and even though Dylan tells her to spend time with other people Elise knows they have a connection but Dylan is just "scared" because it's so deep.

Marcus gets a date with Lacy and it goes really well.

I hate everyone for inventing "YOPO" which stands for You Only Paradise Once, which people won't stop saying even though "paradise" is not a verb. But, I forgive them because people are finally doing shots. Our omnipotent narrator, Sarah says Chris B is all about Elise. This makes Dylan immediately jealous, because when he said Elise should go meet other people what he meant was "I should go meet other people." Elise and Chris hump in the ocean, which also ticks Clare off because it's clear Chris is the douchebag everyone says he is.

Dylan tells Elise she humped Chris in the ocean just to get a reaction out of him and when he said go meet other people he didn't mean make out. He hump-shames her to get out of the relationship, but Elise wants a relationship with anything. So, she says the fact he got so bent out of shape about Chris is a sign that they do have that deep connection.

Zack from Desiree's season shows up with a date card and picks... CLARE? That's three dates in two episodes! Evidently, they've become friends outside of the show, but Clare says he's got good pheromones, proving she doesn't know what pheromones are. Clare is just as awkward as she was during JP's season, talking about anything sexual like an 8th grader. For instance, she says she feels a connection with Zack, adding "I felt his connection in the ocean," before laughing for 15 minutes because what she means is WEINER! GET IT!?!??!

Chris is super proud of himself for coming up with a nickname for Dylan: Fat Damon.

Fat Damon gets a date card and hoping to give Elise the final hint, picks Sarah. Sarah runs it by Elise who gives her approval, but is still upset she wasn't picked. Dylan is obviously playing Sarah for a rose since Elise was his only hope and time is running out.

Marcus "spills water" on Ben's backpack and finds a letter to Ben from a girlfriend. Whaaa? He shows Marquel, who for some reason is always in the middle of crap like this and the two pull Ben aside. Pretty soon everyone is giving Ben the third degree for taking the spot of a potentially perfect guy when he's already found love. What they forget is if it wasn't Ben it'd be some Ben clone from another season of The Bachelorette. What's the difference between finding "love" in three weeks and doing the long distance thing while you play the field and finding "love" in two days at a Mexican resort?

Michelle is especially "offended" that Ben was "wasting" everyone's time. They have a pretty funny exchange where Michelle says "I left my daughter," forgetting that Ben can shoot right back with "I left my son." Oh, yeah. Well, can't play that card.

Ben retreats right away with his turtle shell backpack anyway, because everyone says he isn't there for the Right Reasons, which could be true because I don't know if he's humped anyone in the ocean yet, which is the only reason to be on Bachelor in Paradise.

With Ben gone, Michelle needs a man FAST and anyone will do. She sits down with Marcus who calls her out for being a fall-down drunk. I'm assuming he was drunk because you'd have to be to stick your foot in your mouth like that hours before a rose ceremony. So, Michelle sets her sights on Robert who is totally cool with her being wasted 24/7.

Dylan tells Elise in no uncertain terms to NOT give him a rose because they are just friends, but Elise just can't take a hint. Hell, she can't take direct information.

At the rose ceremony, Lacy picks Marcus, AshLee picks Graham, Clare picks Zack (WEINER!!!!!! Remember?), The big lush Michelle picks... Marquel? Huh. I guess you do never go back. Elise picks Dylan and to the surprise of no one but Elise he does EXACTLY what he told her he would do and turns it down. She makes a boozy, goofy speech about who knows what to the crowd. It elicits a wacky track from the Bachelor music library. It sounds like someone vomiting up an inspirational magnet poetry set. She finally settles on giving her rose to Chris. And Sarah gives her rose to... Robert. So, Dylan has plenty of time now to meet new people! Everyone wins, except Ryan Putz.

Murphy Watches Bachelor in Paradise: Week 1

Needs more alcohol.

With not even a week off since The Bachelorette, we land in Mexico for Bachelor Pad on an Island, AKA Bachelor in Paradise and the contestants come on down the Sandy Steps of Doom to meet Chris Harrison.

And when your show embraces the crazy, you start with the best: Clare, from Juan Pablo's season of course. The woman JP told he loves... SCREWING, then went and picked the young hot thang. Clare is followed by Marcus (from Andi's season), Sarah (one arm, Sean's season), Marquel (Andi), Daniella (?, Sean's season), Graham (Deanna) and Lacy (Sean's season, one of the guys remarks that he likes her eyes, which is the weirdest name for boobs I've ever heard).

When Ben S. (Desiree's season) makes the scene, one of the guys (Marcus?) remembers him as a villain. I will remember him as the guy excited to get blitzed because "nobody partied" his season. About Ben, Marcus drops the Double-R bomb (Right Reasons) right off the bat! What are we 10 minutes into the show? The Right Reasons to be on Bachelor in Paradise are to get wasted and not drown when you're humping in the ocean. That's IT.

After Ben it's Michelle K. (Jake's season, resident weirdo), Robert (Des), Dylan (Andi, new short hairdo), Elise (JP) and AshLee (Sean), who immediately targets Graham for AshLee Annihilation.

Chris sits the already toasted contestants down and explains the format. There'll be date cards which give a person a chance to choose their companion, followed by a rose ceremony where guys and girls alternate turns doling out the roses. This week the guys have the roses, so at least one lady is getting the boot (you can turn down a rose if you're not interested in the person and hope the person you ARE interested in keeps you around).

The group stumbles down the beach to their new Swiss Family Robinson-style house, except Lacy who starts humping Robert in the ocean right away. Later, Marcus walks despondantly into the ocean in his undies. Lacy runs out after him and starts humping him in the ocean. Previous humpee, Robert, says he's "not gonna let someone steal my girl," because the "girl" has no say, of course. Robert (or Marcus, I'm having trouble keeping up) says Lacy is a triple threat (2 boobs and 1 set of lady parts).

On Day 2, Clare gets the first Date Card and picks Graham. AshLee, who met the man hours ago, is inconsolably angry. She stalks around the house muttering to herself like a vagrant - "He can't be loyal for 24 hours?" "I'm the only normal person here." Clare sees AshLee is upset and the producers maliciously make it look like she's talking her problem out with a local raccoon (as opposed to herself like AshLee). Clare offers to take a different guy on her date, probably expecting AshLee to rexamine her actions and say, "No, that's OK. You go have a good time..." But, AshLee says, "Fair enough."

So, Clare takes Robert to some ruins where he gets covered in fire ants like a big dope. It took a little longer than I expected for someone to catch a bug on this show.

Sarah gets Date Card #2 and picks Marcus to go swimming and smooching in a cave. Sarah has a great time and feels a little spark with Marcus as she comes out of her shell. Back at SFR HQ, Lacy begins playing Marcus and Robert when she interrogates Robert about how far his date with Clare went.

Meanwhile, a new roommate shows up! Did she miss her flight or something? Michelle Money(?) from Brad's season appears with a Date Card. She grabs Graham to talk to him about the connection they made on Bachelor Pad, but it seems to have fizzled. So, MM takes Marquel horseback riding.

Lacy gets the final Date Card and is totally split on whether to take Marcus or Robert. As she puts it she's 80/40... Maybe she's getting percentages mixed up with proof/vol. of the liquor she's been chugging? She picks Robert which really bums out Marcus, to the point where at the Cocktail Party he reassures Sarah that she doesn't have to worry about getting a rose at the ceremony that night. What he doesn't tell her is that he plans to pick Lacy over her if Robert doesn't give his rose to Lacy. He also questions with Marquel the morality of giving a rose to Sarah while still pursuing Lacy. Why does it seem like Marquel is always around when there's drama gettin' stirr'd?

At the Rose Ceremony, Crazy-Eyez Michelle K., who mentioned earlier she was "maybe" single, jumps out of line and recuses herself from the proceedings, sending herself home. Marquel picks Michelle M., Graham picks AshLee (and lives another day), Dylan picks Elise, Marcus picks.... Lacy! Robert picks Clare. Ben saves Sarah. And Daniella is sent packing.

While Bachelor in Paradise isn't the booze-soaked fun Bachelor Pad was, I'm still expecting some fun this season as folks loosen up.
 

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: The Finale and After The Final Rose

The first rule of Fantasy Suite: Do not talk about Fantasy Suite. The second rule of Fantasy Suite: DO NOT TALK ABOUT FANTASY SUITE.

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Before After the Final Rose it's The Final Rose.

We're back in the DR where Andi's two dudes are set to meet the fam. Nick was up first and was incredibly nervous. Andi laughed, "I've never seen you nervous!" WHAT? The man mumbles incoherently and he could make eye contact with a mirror! He is so constantly nervous he makes Woody Allen look like Johnny Depp! Andi's mom also notices he's not making any physical contact with Andi, holding hands and the like. But, he pulls it together for his one on one time with Mom and even makes her tear up when he describes how Andi makes him feel. Nick laughs and mumbles awkwardly through his chat with dad, Hy (Hi!), but dad still gives Nick the green light to propose.

Josh is nervous as well, but deals with it in the complete opposite way from Nick. Josh gets LOUDER and more handsy. Josh gets the OK from Hy (Hi!) as well. Hy (Hi!) seems reluctant, but adds in an interview shot that he has "no concerns about Josh."

Josh gets his final date with Andi first and they go out on a yacht. Andi's main hang up with Josh is a valid one. Why did she travel half-way around the world to end up with another jock from Atlanta? He's so much her type Andi worries it's "too good to be true," a phrase she uses more in the next two and a half hours than "stahhhhhhp."

At dinner, she tries to wring something damning out of Josh, to no avail. Josh has no questions about Andi, but is open to any she has. "What aboutchu?" he asks Andi in the infinitely mockable dirty south gangsta drawl he falls into frequently. "I wanna be wit chu." At least this late in the game we shouldn't have to deal with any more poems or-Oh, COME ON! ANOTHER LETTER from Josh. This letter, which Andi makes him read outloud, perhaps to shame him into never writing another letter again, is accompanied by a gift, a baseball card (with Andi's last name replaced with Murray) featuring funny, inside-jokey stats on the back. It is unique and creative, the opposite of JJ's pants. Andi is still acting all unsure. What could he POSSIBLY do to convince her at this point? She is as clueless as we are.

On Nick's date, they off-road Jeep to a picnic. It is KILLING Nick that Andi is not allowed to say she loves him yet. Andi tells him it will be OK which refills his confidence meter. He says he's getting "all the signs" that he'll be the last man standing. She makes the mistake of asking him what a normal day in Chicago will be like. He pours over every mundane detail "Get up at 6AM, shower, leave for work around 6:45, get home arounZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Nick's gift is nice and thoughtful too. Sand from the beach where he first told Andi he loves her in a little vial on a necklace.

After the dates are the requisite staring at scenery voice overs. Nick says he's the one so much it becomes painfully obvious the producers are trying to set him up for a huge fall. Josh, on the other hand, is modest and vulnerable with his "I sure by golly hope she picks me!" attitude. Josh gets a knock on the door and it's Neil Lane! He picks out the gaudiest ring he can.

Nick gets a knock on the door and it's.... ANDI?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!???!??!? Cut to commercial....

(Watch Bachelor in Paradise next Monday! This blog will be about Bachelor in Paradise starting next Tuesday. If you don't watch Bachelor Pad on an Island next week, there's so many evens I literally can't just.)

Andi tells Nick he screwed himself the same way Cody, Marcus and Chris did, which I didn't even think was possible this late in the game! The worst thing you can do in this game, especially this season, is explain too much how you feel. If Andi doesn't feel 100% EXACTLY the same way, it's the old "I respect you too much blah blah blah" kick to the curb. Nick laid all of his cards on the table in such a visceral way on his date, saying he remembered how amazing and excited he felt the morning he proposed to his first fiance and Andi woke up today NOT feeling like that. Don't let the Dominican hit you on the Republic on your way out, Nick.

Nick feels led on by things Andi would say when he told her he loved her. Things like "I wish I could say things back." Yeah, things like "Well, I don't love you," and "I'm picking the other guy." Ever heard of spoilers, Nick? It the most poignant shot of the finale, Nick takes all the roses he got from every ceremony and dumps them in the trash.

Josh's proposal essentially comes down to him being amazed that he loves Andi more than baseball. Andi tells Josh she loves him, which now that they're allowed to say becomes sickening. It's cringeworthy in the same way as when you have two friends that are so amarous around you it seems like they're compensating for something, but still grossing you out with all the PDA. He went to Neil Lane!

After the Final Rose, Nick is destroyed and obsessed. He's tried to contact Andi on numerous occasions. Not only while she was sequestered in Mexico but at the Men Tell All special, where she denied his request for a sit-down. So, Nick is the one behind the mysterious letter (ANOTHER ONE?!) teased on last week's show. It's puzzling to imagine what outcome he expects from a meeting with Andi. He straight-up says in a voice-over that Josh is wrong for her and she's making a mistake. But, obviously he's had time to think (again, obsess) over his final conversation with Andi, so he's probably practiced what he'd say to her millions of times during the weeks of sleepless nights since the brush off. What would he have said had he not been blindsided? The imagination reels at this possibility.

Andi comes out and... huh... Nick is silent for about 2 minutes before mumbling through a rambling five minute question about HOUR LONG SHOW, NICK! Let's move! "I thought I'd have more to say."

"SO DID WE!" - The Bachelor producers who are pulling their hair out everytime Nick wastes another 15 minutes of valuable ad time.

Nick's hang up is still that he felt his feelings 100% reciprocated by Andi. Then, Nick drops the bombshell that made the whole vanilla season worth it.

"If you weren't in love with me, I'm just not sure why, like, why you made love with me."

After everyone picked their eyes and jaws off the floor, Andi said the comment was "below the belt," (literally!) and it was something that should have remained private. In the end I understood one of Andi's circular explanations ("It was real to me! You might have had a different take" .... umwhut?) as much as I understood Nick's questions.

(Conspiracy theory: Andi may never end up with Nick, and he may know that, but was the comment Nick's attempt to drive a wedge between her and Josh out of spite?)

But, on to the happy couple. Josh and Andi admit they've been sneaking around Atlanta in disguise for secret rendevous. Andi mentions again how crazy it is that she traveled around the world to find a guy from her own backyard (as opposed to Nick who is hiding IN her backyard).

Then, for one final Bachelorette metajoke, someone finally addresses Andi's frown. She is ALWAYS frowning. Even when she's smiling, the corners of her mouth point down. So, they bring out (hopefully) the next Bachelor GRUMPY CAT! Chris even gets her to say "Stahhhhhhhp!" while frowning and holding Grumpy Cat and it is amazing.
 
Next week: The Claretastic Bachelor Pad on an Island! Finally!

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All

You know your season of The Bachelor/ette is devoid of any drama whatsoever that it's 30 minutes before the "Men" are introduced during your "Men Tell All" special. What is there even to tell?

Before anything having to do with Andi happens, Chris brings out Ashley and JP for a pregnancy announcement and on-air sonogram gender reveal. I'm relatively new to this franchise, so I have no idea who these peopel are and I fast forwarded through the frist 15 minutes of this show. Spoiler alert: It's a boy. My wife said Ashley looked disappointed, as if she wanted a girl.

Then Chris showed a teaser for Bachelor in Paradise (aka Bachelor Pad on an island). It will not be the last commercial for this show within this show. BiP appears to feature the first murder on reality TV?

The "men" are finally introduced so they can get to that all-telling we've been promised. Each of the guys is wearing a scarf. Were the scarfs that big of a deal this season that it warranted this sight gag? Am I just oblivious to fashion? It must be the latter because everyone thinks the annoying scarf prank is the height of humor.

Craig is back!!!! But, he never gets the screen time he's due (all two hours). They kick off the show with Andrew and Marquel and JJ rehashing the whole racial comment ordeal. Andrew stands by the fact that he didn't say refer to Marquel and Ron as "blackies," but pretty much dooms his case when he mixes up Marquel and Ron. We finally see the footage of the rose ceremony in question, but it is inconclusive as to what Andrew actually said to JJ. Some of the guys start to turn on JJ, questioning why he waited until a few weeks in when it was strategically advantageous to tell Marquel about the alleged incident. And why didn't go directly to Andrew about this issue and the alleged "getting a girl's number" situation and instead involving everyone EXCEPT Andrew? The issue isn't really resolved and everyone stands by their respective stories. Before moving on, JJ tries to apologize for... something... but throws in "I don't care what you or anyone thinks." Chris and Brian jump on him for that-"Then why say it?"

Marquel and Marcus take turns in the hot seat. Their interviews are really just more advertisement for BACHELOR in ParADise. Guys! Enough! I'm going to watch! You had me at Clare and Cody!

Chris is next up in the hot seat. He talks about how his search for love is going. Then some lady that was planted in the audience raises her hand and interrupts to see if she can meet Chris. She says she's also from a small town, like Chis. This quaint hamlet turns out to be Toronto (pop. 2.5M). She awkwardly asks Chris out. Or rather she awkwardly gets Chris Harrison to awkwardly ask Chris out for her awkwardly. They chat during the commercial break. The whole thing is awkward.

Finally, Andi comes out and reiterates to each of the dense guys the same reason they got the boot that she told them when they got the boot. Marcus accuses her of being a kissing slut. He never planted one on her but he would have if he'd known she was kissing everyone else.

Chris pulls out the lie detector results that Andi declined to read on that past group date. It turns out Brian, JJ and Chris didn't tell one lie. Marcus lied about sleeping with less than 20 women (ummm... good job, dude). Dylan lied about preferring brunettes and being ready for marriage. Josh told some lies too, but Andi again declines to hear them. Smart move, because if there's one guy that would pee his pants and cry about her hearing the results is Josh.

After the brief tease of next week's episode, rather than the normal bloopery scene under the end credits, Chris Harrison delivers a mysterious letter from one of the final two guys. What did I tell you about letting them watch TV!? No more writing! Andi stares at the letter and the local news starts. What could it BE? (A: One last attempt to manufacture some sort of interesting drama.)

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: Week 9

If Andi is not currently under an Iowan fatwa, I for one would be very surprised.

Three dudes and Andi are all in the Dominican Republic to whittle the dudes to two.

Nick's up first and gets to ride in a helicopter (Finally, helicopters!) to a private island. On the ride Andi and Nick demonstrate why no one ever kisses with headphone mics on. They pull a Clare and JP in the ocean to, appropriately, Skinemax music and use all sorts of euphemisms for how horny they make eachother: "passion," "intensity." BTW, did they match swimsuits on purpose. They did, didn't they? Andi grills Nick on the beach about some bad break-ups his family alluded to during hometowns. He mumbles and says "like" 1,000,000 times and still balks on dropping the L-bomb. But, he promises he'll get to it before the fantasy suite.

Nick mumbles more at dinner trying to spit it out. Andi says she "loves when you can't form a sentence" so she loves Nick ALL THE TIME. Nick pulls out a bound and fully-illustrated children's-style fairytale book he wrote and reads it to Andi. Message from the producers from my wife: PLEASE let these guys watch TV! They're obviously stuck in some amazing hotel suite for days with only the hotel pen and pad on their nightstand for entertainment. We can't take anymore songs, poems, books, poems, letters and especially POEMS! After Nick finishes his awful book, Andi basically tells him it's time to get down to Fantasy Suite business. Nick agrees, saying he's looking forward to "talking" all night. Then he takes her to a nearby tree (because everyone knows you can't say "I love you," at a table) and in about 347 words tells Andi "I love you." Then it's off to the Fantasy Suite to "talk" all night. Why do they bother trying to make us think "talking all night" is anything that goes on or SHOULD go on in the Fantasy Suite? To paraphrase a good friend of mine: The Fantasy Suite is for 2 things and talking ain't one of them.

Josh's date in Santo Domingo is full of shopping and dancing and speaking Spanish. I was pretty impressed with Josh's grasp of the Spanish language. They play baseball with the local kids (AKA future MLB All Stars) and Andi gets all maternal for a second. Josh drops the L-bomb confidently, although whenever he talks about emotions it sounds like the intro to an R&B power ballad: "Girl, I know we haven't been together for a long time, but I got somethin' on my mind I just gots to say. It's been weighing so heavy on my heart. That's why I have to let you know.. I... love you."

At dinner, Andi and Josh talk about kids. The manufactured pre-Fantasy Suite drama revolving around Josh is that Andi says he's happy all the time and she wants to see if he can be serious. I don't hear a difference during dinner, but I guess he pulled it off because he gets a one way ticket to the Bone Zone.

As much as Chris' hometown date made Andi see him in a new light, that light is one shade: Farmer. His date is on a Dominican farm. Andi keeps remarking on how much it looks like Iowa, which you can tell makes Chris bite his tongue so he doesn't say, "except for the tropical flora and all the mountains and valleys, you dummy." Like any good mid-western boy he leaves it at "It's a little more hilly." Then he looks like the dummy trying to play Ghost in the Graveyard with two people in the middle of an empty field.

At dinner, Andi begins to sign Chris' death warrant by reiterating her doubts about living in Iowa (so much Iowa bashing!), but eventually admits that's just a cop out for not feeling any foundation in her relationship with Chris. She says her "head and heart don't match up." So, she give him the Bachelor standard boilerplate send-off, "I respect you too much not to send you home right now" Like any good mid-western boy, Chris is chivalrous to the end telling Andi she's doing the right thing pulling out his heart and putting it in a meat grinder.

(Conspiracy theory alert: Do you think the producers tell The Bachelor/ette they have to send a certain person home at a certain point in the competition to set them up for being the next Bachelor/ette?)

In a repeat of last season of The Bachelorette when Des sent Skeet Ulrich home, Andi insists on having a Rose Ceremony. Yeah, like one of the guys will be like "No, I do not accept your rose," and it's SURPRISE! Finale!

Next week, before the Nick/Josh face-off, the men will tell all!

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: Week 8

It's time for Hometowns! When "Right Reasons" gets traded in for "Right Moment" as the 4 dudes left are contractually allowed to drop the L-bomb on Andi. I'd venture to say that these hometown dates were game-changing.

Amazingly, Nick's up first and he manages to make Milwaukee look like a great place to visit. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's nice, but it can't be a huge tourist destination. But, after Nick's tour I want to go. Also, I want to marry him if he'll get an awesome brewery/German-style Festhaus to name a beer after me like he did with Andi. If Nick was the villain heading into this week, he emerged as an angel. That's thanks, in part, to his HUGE family. Nick has 94 brothers and sisters, one of whom seems to be around 6. I thought the show had just brought in a live studio audience. Andi talks with as many of the family members as she can, including the 6 year old, who asks Andi questions like "How much do you love my brother?" Andi does her contractually obligated dance around the question, which doesn't really matter because the girl straight-up lies to Nick when he tries to get the scoop on the interrogation. The kid says Andi said she loved Nick and then says the question was actually do you "like" Nick. But, Nick doesn't tell Andi he loves her at the "Right Moment" after dinner because "I'm pretty sure she knows." Despite that, Nick comes out smelling like roses, even to those of us playing along at home.

So, it's off to Arlington, Iowa (pop: 758) and Chris, who went from "I thought that was Marcus," to Frontrunner status in one thresh of a.... I don't know enough about farming to finish that... Chris' digs are pretty impressive. From his big ol' farmhouse to his tractor to his land. Seriously, he gave Andi the Simba speech: "Everything the light touches is our kingdom." Andi thinks his tractor is sexy (she calls Chris the HOTTest farmer ever). She should, the thing probably set him back $50,000 at least. They go for a ride and stop for a picnic in the middle of Chris' land. Being an assistant DA in one of the biggest cities in the US (Atlanta metro pop: 5.5 million), Andi is understandably curious about what she would do if she moved to BFE, IA. Chris opens strong with "homemaker" and closes stronger with "Cedar Rapids isn't far." Pop: 255,000. But, Andi lets Chris know she's open to the possibilities because she's "not as city" as you think. You see, her family has a lake house in Alabama. That's like someone in Upper West Side Manhattan saying "Oh, I have a country side too. I have a place in the Hamptons." Chris doesn't say the L word either, he put it on an airplane banner! Chris Loves Andi floats by as the picnic ends.

At family dinner, Andi gets a lesson in what being country means as it kicks off with a solid fart joke from one of Chris' sisters. The sisters also tell Andi Chris only wore underwear on school days. That's just a money saver, if you ask me. But, Andi's talk with the sisters is also a roundabout advertisement for what that airplane banner should have said "CHRIS IS LOADED!" If it wasn't obvious from his land and the land his family's house sits on, Chris isn't a businessman, he's a business, man. Chris' mom is great too. She advises Andi to keep her career! Or have babies! Or do both! Whatever! The night ends with a game of the hide-and-seek clone Ghost in the Graveyard, which, as it turns out, is really easy when you have a cameraman with a giant light following you everywhere you go. Andi sums up the visit best saying it took a hometown to realize what was right in front of her.

Josh's hometown visit is in Tampa, FL where he teaches Andi baseball basics like how to swing a bat and chew and spit sunflower seeds. Andi breaks a bat, which is pretty impressive. Andi thinks Josh is HOTT when he plays baseball. But, a huge sacrifice awaits Andi if Josh is her one and only. You see, Josh's little brother, whom he's looked out for all his life, is Aaron Murray, quarterback for the University of Georgia and more recently drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. Aaron is apparently incapable of life with out Josh living vicariously though him and therefore Josh will need to be at every NFL game Aaron is in. Can Andi, for 17 weeks out of the year, travel first class to a major city and enjoy a pro football game from the owner's suite? Let's see, baby machine in Cornfed, Iowa or buffalo wings with Brad Pitt and Paul Rudd? Hillary Clinton has nothing on Andi. It's a pretty pathetic attempt to create drama where there is none. Only Josh's super-attractive family.

Marcus' hometown is Dallas where he reenacts the Top Gun strip show he put on on their first date. Andi thinks it is HOTT but her horny reaction about Marcus' blurry crotch goes way over the top. Marcus drops his first L-bomb before they even meet the family and drops another one after she meets his family. He opens way up, which at any point in the competition is a mistake because as much as the Bachelor/ette says he/she wants to see their suitors vulnerable, the most vulnerable is always kicked to the curb. Marcus is no exception. I'll explain in a second.

Because before the rose ceremony, everyone is called to Chris Harrison's house to be told about the untimely passing of former contestant Eric Hill in a paragliding accident. The news hits everyone like a freight train. Marcus heads outside followed by Andi. Maybe I'm cynical, but I swear Nick looked jealous that he didn't think of that to get some alone time. When everyone's back inside, Andi starts bawling even harder since her last conversation with Eric isn't exactly the last conversation you'd want to have with anyone. But, even the crew gets involved in the pretty heavy scene. Exploitative? You bet!

Even at the rose ceremony, Andi can't stop thinking about sending Eric away and breaks down again, before sending Marcus packing. The contestant that's opened up the most at any point is always sent home at the first possible moment (Cody is another good example) because for some reason the Bachelor/ette thinks if they can't match the level of emotion the contestant is feeling for them right at that moment, they never will and it's disrespectful and harmful to keep them around, which I don't think is true in normal relationships. Nick even says in the car home, "I shouldn't have told her I lover her." As much as we all still hate Nick, there is a strategy to this game.

Next week: Crying in the Dominican Republic!

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: Week 7

How DARE you, Andi. On the eve of one of the most important World Cup games in US history, bring your six dudes to Belgium! The very country whose team we play in the first round of 16 game. By the time you're reading this you might already know if injury has been added to insult.

I know I said six dudes are in Brussels, but this episode is 90% Nick, who is this year's villain, in case you hadn't figured that out yet. (If you hadn't figured that out yet, The Bachelorette is too complex for you and that is sad and you should just watch some Caillou.)

There are no one on one roses this ep, only a group date rose which guarantees the bearer a coveted hometown visit. Marcus goes on the first one on one where Andi grills him about his admission he was thinking about leaving the competition. He says it's because he's never felt this way about someone so soon. And I guess liking somebody a lot right away means you should get as far away from them as possible and never talk to them again(?). Andi and Marcus eat mussels and because they are in Brussels, this is HILARIOUS! At dinner, Andi asks about what meeting his family would be like. Marcus talks about his mother's abusive childhood (Her parents wanted the best for her so they "beat it into her."). He alludes to the fact that this contributed to abuse in his own childhood, estrangement and eventual tenuous reconciliation with his mom... ... What I wouldn't give for 30,000 mussels in Brussels jokes right about now! Andi says she's excited and ready to meet his family.

Josh gets the second one on one, which makes Nick start talking at obsessive stalker levels. Nick sneaks off to the front dest and LIES about being Andi's husband to get not only her room number but a ROOM KEY! I know this is all set up by the producers but NO WAY would I stay at this hotel after this! What if a murderer heard you say your full name in the lobby for some reason? "I don't know my room number but I know John Smith is in the room. Give me a key." "Here you go, sir! If you take that blade to the kitchen, they can sharpen it up for you!" Am I saying Nick is capable of murder? I'm not NOT saying it. Can't this get Nick arrested for SOMETHING? Identity theft? Fraud? Something?! Anyway, Nick whisks Andi away for a secret walk and mumbles his way through telling her he's going to marry her and he can feel her feeling the same way even though she can't (contractually) say it. Andi obviously loves Nick's controlling, domineering nature. She calls it "passion."

On Josh's one on one date, they go to Ghent, which is dumb because no food rhymes with it in a funny way. Eggplant? No. See? Dumb. What's troubling Andi so much is that Josh is WAAAAY behind the other guys on his (contractually obligated) "I'm falling in love with you." It's become more and more painfully obvious as the series continues there's a timeline that dictates what week everyone is allowed to say what. I love you. I'm falling in love with you. I THINK I'm falling in love with you. I'm THINKING about maybe getting around to feeling an emotion that may or may not resemble love, be it romantic or otherwise.

Josh is still raw about the lie detector. He tells Andi, "I want you to trust me," which we the audience can finish with, "so I can lie to you easier and more often like I have my other hos in different area codes." Andi FINALLY wrings an "I'm falling in love with you," out of him then he can't STOP saying it. As the date closes - what's this!? - a requisite no-name country act has followed them to Europe!

The group date starts with a tour of the ruins of what once was, according to some dummy on the show, "a legit enclosed castle." They take a rail bike ride, which does look pretty fun. I legit think about maybe falling in love with Brian as he quotes Dumb and Dumber. The group heads to a strict no-kissing monastery. Chris gets some one on one time with Andi and they reenact Ghost at a Pottery Barn (an actual barn full of pottery, not the yuppie store). It's outside the monastery walls so kissing is legit OK and happens.

Back with the waiting dudes, Nick keeps talking about his strategy and the other competitors. At this point there's NO WAY Nick wins this thing and at this point he's digging the grave he'll be forced to lie in during After the Final Rose. It becomes clear here too that Dylan has checked out.
Nick still gets the group rose, solely to heighten the rose ceremony drama since it was pretty clear he was going through anyway. He gets to continue the date where he and Andi play a "fun game" with brain busters like "peanut butter or jelly?" "Waffles or Pancakes?" This IS fun!  

Back at the hotel the guys talk crap about Nick saying he'll probably make it to the final two and then walk away.When Nick gets back to the hotel, the Nick bashing comes to a head with one of the dudes flat out saying the worst thing you can say to anyone on this series, "You're not here for the Right Reasons." Yeah, he dropped the DOuble R bomb on Nick. They accuse Nick of being calculated, studying past seasons to get tips on how to get ahead. Meanwhile, Dylan is noticably absent, leading me to hypothesize this converstaion was dramatically recreated or just simply took place after the rose ceremony.

That's right, Defeated Dylan is sent packing, as well as the last nice guy on the show, Brian, who is my current front-runner for next season. He may not have the chiseled good looks of a Juan Pablo, Jake or Brad, but he's got it where it counts. He'd be like an even nicer Sean. How great would that be?

Next week! Hometowns where Marcus attempts to force Andi into the life of an Amish housefrau.

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: Week 6

Do they always say the name of the location as much as Andi and the eight remaining dudes said "Venice" in this episode? I don't which they said more "Venice" or "Right Reasons." Yes, we've reached the week when everyone starts arguing about whose reasons for being on the show are righter than everyone else's.

Nick gets the first one on one date as soon as the boat docks in Venice (which is so beautiful a city that one dude remarks "it's hard to believe it exists."). It's a shock to all because it's Nick's second while Cody hasn't had one. Nick and Andi kiss and walk around Venice. they buy pizza and gelato. They take a classic gondola ride where they start to talk about last week's drama. Andi still has questions about Nick, though.

She gets around to those questions at dinner. Questions like "Is my sweet little Nick not sweet anymore?" and "Do the guys hate Nick?" Luckily for Nick he is a man who knows all the right answers and mumbles them like they're the truth. He says last week's drama, being called "arrogant" and "smug" and being called out for mocking poor, wide-eyed Cody, hurt his feelings, which Andi buys. She also asks Nick if he really believes he's a "frontrunner." He says, "I don't like that word..." SMART! Even though he said it last week and he undoubtedly believes it. Instead of frontrunner he says he can't imagine anyone else having the connection he has with Andi. So that's why he talks with confidence about their relationship. He mumbles to Andi that he's falling in love with he. She buys his act wholesale and is turned on by the fact that he stands by his words and is honest. Meanwhile, everyone else sees that all he's being honest about is being an honest jerk.

Andi gets another note from the Secret Admirer producers keep trying to get us excited about. Nothing will get me excited unless it's Juan Pablo.

Andi's group date is in a lie detector dungeon. JJ isn't nervous because he never lies, which is a lie, just like when he's ever said "I make and wear good looking pants." Brian seems the most cool with the situation. Baseball Josh, meanwhile, flies into a full blown panic attack. "Why doesn't she trust me!?" "What if I can't explain my answer?!" "It's not like if you have a relationship for 30 years one day you an just say 'I want you to take a lie detector test.'" Why not? You totally can do that. What do you even mean by that? Maybe he wasn't being totally truthful when he told her he's never cheater and only had one girlfriend and she ended up cheating on him?

But it turns out Dylan is the filthy manwhore who has been with over 20 women and doesn't wash his hands after using the bathroom. He goes home sick after the test too. DUH! Wash your hands, manwhore!

The guys open Andi's results and learn she told 2 lies: That Italy is her favorite country (atta girl! USA! USA! USA!) and that she thinks all the guys are there for the Right Reasons. Andi decides to rip up the guys' results, which relieves a still visibly upset Baseball Josh.

Later at dinner Marcus drops the contractually delayed L-word. Josh explains to Andi why he was offended by the lie detector date. In a moment of clarity that's been unexpectedly rare this season for Andi, she sees that everyone else was having fun with it while Josh was protesting too much which casts doubt on their relationship.

Chris comes clean about being the Secret Admirer (damn!) and gets the rose, which mostly everyone gives him props for. Everyone but JJ, who is sick of the dudes being happy when other guys advance. I can't believe no one drops the RR Bomb on him because this is the PERFECT time! A statement like that shows that JJ sees this as a straight-up, Survivor-style competition and isn't there for the Right Reasons, which I presume is Andi's happiness.

Cody finally gets his one on one in fair Verona, the birthplace of Romeo and Juliet. They visit the inspiration for the famous balcony scene, Juliet's Courtyard, where Cody recites that well-known line "JULIET! JULIET!" They answer some Juliet Letters, too, sent by the lovelorn of the world. (I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Elvis Costello's fantastic album with The Brodsky Quartet about this concept, "The Juliet Letters," check out this track for a taste.) Cody's letter surprisingly coherent, if cliche.

At dinner, Cody gives us one last glimpse at why we loved Cody. Here we are in Venice ("Venice!"), a romantic dinner set, Andi in a gorgeous gown. Cody, put on a collared shirt, bro! He shows up in a deep, DEEP, belly-button deep V-neck and a blazer. No guy should show more cleavage than Andi. That's the rule man. As much of a dumb, gorilla with bleach blonde hair in a blazer as he looks, Cody is a nice guy. He starts pouring his heart out to Andi about how great their relationship will be when she gets to know him. We all see his blindfold being adjusted and the firing squad pouring their powder and dropping their lead. Like all nice guys ever, Cody gets the shaft from the girl who prefers a-hole jocks like Josh. Andi pulls the same "I can't put you through more of this since you obviously like me way more than I'll ever like you" friend-zoning act we've seen season after season. Hope we see you on Bachelor Pad, friend.

At the cocktail party, Nick attacks Andi right away, even though he already has a rose. "That's a man," says Andi, who appreciates his forcefulness. But, I bet if Cody had tried that it'd be all, "SECURITY!" The guys all trash Nick while acknowledging that it was a smart move.

In the end, JJ, who looks like he's going through heroine withdrawal at the rose ceremony, is sent home with a suitcase full of awful, awful pants.

Next week: we take our muscles to Brussels!
 

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: Week 5

This episode of The Bachelorette is brought to you by prejudice. Racial, athletic, and... well, I'm sure there's another kind, but basically just those two are featured in the episode.

Andi's 11 travel to Marseille, France. Andi has a brief sit-down with Resident Advisor Chris Hansen  during which she says she's falling in love with more than one guy ("Stahhhhhhp!"). One of those guys, I'm sure, is Baseball Josh, who gets the first one-on-one date. She takes him to a harbor. At least, "I think this is a harbor," says Andi. Let's see, boats, slips, docks. The jury is out. They take one of these boats from the... boat parking lot area and make out. Then it's time for a cliff-side lunch on what Andi says are "these great rocks." They make out some more. Andi is starting to wonder if her physical attraction to Josh is all they have going for them like it was with Juan Pablo (she actually utters his name!). So, Andi wants to have a real deep conversation with Josh. Having a real, deep conversation with ANYONE that's ever been on these shows is a tall order. But, Josh's stories about people being prejudiced against jocks and his long-distance girlfriend kissing someone else qualifiy, I guess (????) so, he gets the date rose. And there's ANOTHER concert with a relative unknown singer. Is the record company owned by ABC's parent company going under or something?

Back at the dude suite, JJ's ugly pants tell Marquel that Andrew referred to him as "blackie" during a rose ceremony. Judging by his reaction this revelation forces Marquel to confront his race and prejudice for the first time. He plans to confront Andrew later. Let me bring this up now: ABC's crack production team gets amazing coverage during those rose ceremonies. Everyone is in one room. WHERE IS THE FOOTAGE of this alleged nudge and remark. Even if there's no audio, surely they had visual on Andrew giving JJ a jab and mouthing SOMETHING they can show the viewers, even if Marquel must rely on hearsay.

Nine guys go on the group date, which consists of mime school followed by public miming. One of the guys says anyone who makes fun of mimes should try it because mimin' ain't easy! To which I say, just because something is hard to do doesn't make it not stupid. So, they all put tiny mime hats on their big meaty heads. Cody makes a hilarious joke about "my mime on my money and my money on my mime." The crowd's not really into it though. Not because it's a bunch of American reality show stars making asses of themselves, but because mimes. Marquel is a great mime. Nick spends the date miming a guy who hates life.

The night turns into a big Drama Dinner. Cody accuses Nick of acting entitled. The guys pile on, adding that Nick, who proclaims himself the frontrunner for Andi's hand(i), is smug. Cody also tells the guys, and later Andi, Nick mocked him for always saying how thankful he is to be there. Andi calls Nick "salty" for not playing along on the mime date. Nick admits mocking Cody, which somehow earns him points with Andi to an extent.

Marquel confronts Andrew on the group date about using the racial slur during the rose ceremony. Andrew denies it and... that's it. I'm sure Marquel didn't believe him, but the whole thing kind of fizzles. Thought, Andrew tells Andi the drama is clouding the process. JJ's horrible pants get the group date rose.

Basketball Brian's one-on-one date is up next. Why bother checking out the incomperable sights of southern France when we could sit in a dark room and subject the viewers at home to a commercial for some dumb new movie? To tie into the movie, Andi and Brian attempt to cook frog legs later and Brian completely shuts down. Granted, I don't know what kind of answers Andi was expecting to electrifying questions like "Are you a cheese guy?" but Brian couldn't even concentrate on softballs like that while he was chopping and sauteeing. They end up ditching the frog legs and head out for dinner where he turns it around, reengages and takes Andi to the restaurant's kitchen to smooch, which is what he should have done during sexy frog leg makin' time.

Just like last week, there's no rose ceremony. Only this time it's because Andi cancelled it, because she knew who she wanted to give the boot. Those boot-getters are Andrew, Marquel and Patrick (who?). Next week: Venice! And hopefully they explain what "Bachelor in Paradise" is and how I can watch my new favorite show.

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: Week 4

I don't know why someone who watches The Bachelorette wouldn't know, but in case you hadn't heard, Explorer Eric was in a fatal paragliding accident a few weeks after he left the show. The season has been dedicated to him. I've been wondering ever since the first episode, what would make Andi kick a seemingly perfect, well-traveled, smart, good-looking guy off the show? We found out in this episode that Eric made a mistake that at least one contestant per season makes... This is a heavy episode in a heavy season.
We start this episode with 13 dudes and trade California for Connecticut and Dylan gets the first one-on-one date, which he has to be psyched about. He's psyched because, as we learned in Week 3, he can't wait to tell Andi about the siblings he lost to drug abuse. (Again, what IS it with this season!?) The date is a steam train ride (what? There's no helicopters in The Nutmeg State?). Dylan pours his heart out to Andi about his rough couple of years. Wouldn't it be hilarious if she didn't give him a rose after that? (I'm evil!)
The group date involves basketball, which immediately excites one of the dudes: Brian, the basketball coach. You might think he's going to fall into the same trap the opera singer did during the Boyz II Men date, but he actually plays it pretty cool. Some WNBA players run circles around the guys for a few minutes before Andi tells the guys they are going to split into teams and play each other and the winners get dinner... with 'er.
Let me take a minute here to point out how refreshing it is to finally have a Bachelor OR Bachelorette that is excited for a group of dudes to get sweaty and fight over her as opposed to being like, "Waaah! My kid is watching! Mommy doesn't kiss!"
Also, let me point out that NO ONE EVER EATS THEIR DINNER! Look at the plates next time there's a dinner. They don't touch anything but the wine. 4-star meals that could go to starving radio hosts.
At the winner dinner Andi tells Eric that, though they had a great first date, she feels their relationship is not progressing. Eric starts telling Andi about his family. It's hard not to overanalyze everything Eric says since it's the public record of his last moments on Earth. For instance, he tells Andi he went on a big cross-country trip to see his closest friends and family before filming started because he "didn't know how long I'd be here." :****-( Meaning the show, of course, but you see what I mean.
Then, Andi lives out some latent PE teacher fantasy with Brian back on the basketball court, but he chickens out of kissing her.
Marcus gets the other one-on-one date of the ep, which the producers phone in so hard. It's got the requisite scaling of a tall building, the requisite dinner no one eats, and the requisite concert by a country artist no one has heard of. Marcus gets the requisite rose. BTW, dinner was at the Griswold Inn, which I hear is a great place to check out on Vacation.
Before the requisite cocktail party, Andi gets a letter from a secret admirer. Why one of 13 ACTUAL, EXPOSED admirers would feel the need to send her a letter, I have no idea. That's why my money is on it being Juan Pablo.
Later at the cocktail party, Brian makes up for not stealing a kiss earlier and Marquel shows Andi some UFC moves (he COULD be into erotic asphyxiation).
Eric pulls Andi aside and tells her they aren't progressing because SHE'S being fake, adding he came on the show to meet a real person "not a TV actress." This is Eric's mistake, and it's a common one on the show. How DARE anyone suggest that you might not see who someone really is after spending a few minutes a day over the course of 4 weeks on a TV show with them? It's a valid point and it always leads to a limo out of dodge. Or in Eric's case a Yellow Cab! They didn't even get him a limo after Andi gives him the boot. His dismissal is pretty harsh with her parting words being, "Thanks for your time." That's something you say to a customer service rep after being on the phone for an hour and your problem still isn't fixed.
Because his send-off was so abrupt and curt, they pre-empt the rose ceremony completely for an interview with Andi by Chris Harrison. She essentially says it's the sort of thing we'd probably laugh about at The Men Tell All special, but now it's like they've lost a family member and she doesn't get to have that conversation, which is tough.
Chris does let us know that Tasos went home at the Rose Ceremony. I will miss calling him Tacos.

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: Week 3

I wrote out my usual blog for this episode, but then our website editing program decided it wasn't good enough to publish, so stay tuned tomorrow as I try it again.
Briefly, on this ep, Andi seems to have taken a life insurance policy out on Nick because she takes him wine hiking through the rocky paths of the romantically named Lizard's Mouth. He gets the rose and some smoochin'.
The group sings with Boyz II Men and the dudes are so excited they can't stop groping eachother. This year's awkward opera singer Bradley (is there one every season now?) takes it waaay to seriously as if it is Andi Idol and she's said she'll marry the best singer. He's not even that good and his stage presence is worse than his voice. Cody... CODY gets more points with Andi just by telling her it's been an "awesome experience." Baseball Josh gets the rose though.
JJ and his awful, awful pants - each pair somehow worse than the last - went on the lamest episode of the series and we learned that when you age you lose your voice and your accent changes. He gets the rose.
Later, JJ, his awful, awful pants and Baseball Josh confront Andrew about getting a hostess' phone number at a restaurant where the guys went to eat. The dudes see a weakness and attack, but Andrew has a pretty good story. He gets a rose anyway presumably because Andi doesn't hear about the ordeal.
The opera singer and the hairdresser with a mullet went home at the rose ceremony. Ron left in the middle of the episode because a close friend died. What IS it with this season?

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: Week 2

Craig. Just as I fell in love with him, he's gone. At least we still have Cody. Oh, and we have a new drinking game: do a shot anytime Andi says "Stop." But, it's that intonation where someone's complementing you. So, it's more like "Staahhhhp." Drink.
We start this week with 19 dudes and 3 dates.
Eric gets the first one-on-one date. It is still super weird to be watching Eric and Andi interact because they're seemingly so perfect for each other, but this week was especially heavy. Dudes take note: Syria is only great first date convo material if you've got a story about talking down a Syrian militant from capping you for being a journalist, like Eric. Eric tells Andi basically he's ready to settle down and stop taking so many risks, visiting unfriendly countries, etc. I know it's selfish, but THIS is why this season is so hard to watch right now. I watch The Bachelor/ette to turn off my brain for two hours and make fun of douchebags. Eric's presence adds a serious weight to what are normally very light proceedings. I don't want to contemplate my mortality while I'm watching a game show! Again, selfish, I know.
Eric, of course, gets the date rose, which brings us to our group date. The men are taken to an LA mall where they meet the cast of Showtime's "Gigolos" and find out they are going to put on a strip show "for a good cause." I swear they mentioned "good cause" and "charity" 50,000,000 times during the group date, like all the women who watch The Bachelorette would be pissed off if these built dudes were stripping just for fun. We also learn from the head Gigolo that "fireman is one of the most popular sexual fantasies for women." Andi brings along two friends from last season including The Awkward Opera Singer. Who better to bring to a strip show than a woman who may have never seen a disrobed human male in person?
This is where our hero of the week, Craig, really starts to shine. He gets way to into the challenge. Insisting on stuffing his speedo. Being a little too admiring of Baseball Josh's body. That being said, Craig may have been the funniest character on TV this week. Always drunk, laughing, loose, loud. His tie and shirt immediately undone at the dinner after the strip show (FOR CHARITY!). When Andi says she's an open book and "you can ask me anything," without missing a beat Craig asks, "What's the worst thing about your parents?" I am cracking up all over again just thinking about that. Not the usual "What's your ideal Sunday?" or "What country would you like to visit?" WHAT'S THE WORST THING ABOUT YOUR PARENTS? No hesitation! Genius.
But, as I mentioned, Craig is constantly drunk, which makes him do stuff like stumble around looking for Andi before jumping in the pool and getting a little belligerent with one of the dudes. All the other tea-totalers can't handle Craig's awesomeness and their monocles fall out and they start glancing around with concerned looks saying "Oh my! It seems this man has consumed an alcoholic beverage! My word!" Even Andi gets all melodramatic. "What happened?!" She starts questioning whether guys are here to fall in love or just to party. She also utters the first RIGHT REASONS of the season! Drink!
Chris gets the final one-on-one date of the week which includes horse racing, a cute old couple and the Bachelor-requisite private concert with an unknown band. The date is also notable because Chris is the first guy to get a kiss... from Andi. We don't really know if Craig ever got a hold of Josh.
Speaking of Josh, he also finagles a kiss from Andi at the cocktail party. Craig, probably only just getting over his raging hangover, tries to woo Andi back with an original song sung and played on guitar. Unfortunately, it seems like it's the first time he's ever held a guitar OR a tune. I'd still rather listen to a Craig song than the Opera Guy sing (who I finally realized looks like Henry Thomas in Suicide Kings. At least I think that's who I'm thinking of).
A song isn't enough however and Craig is sent packing along with Golfer Nick (who also jumped in the pool with Craig, but was above rebuke possibly because he was just making sure he didn't drown) and Carl the firefighter. I guess it isn't EVERY woman's sexual fantasy.
Next week FOUR HOURS of this.

Murphy Watches The Bachelorette: Week 1

Murphy's Bachelor Blog has donned a gown and becomes Murphy's Bachelorette Blog! Andi Dorfman, who gave Juan Pablo the business on The Bachelor, is back to give two dozen more douchebags more of the same.
The first episode of the season opened with a dedication to Eric Hill, who died in a paragliding accident in April. Eric, whose occupation is listed as "Explorer," does seem like an awesome guy. Traveling the world, helping people. See "Explorer" is kind of like "Free Spirit," Lucy from JP's season, except you make money and take showers. Eric departed from the show before his accident in what I'm sure will be revealed to be a case of "nice guys finish last." How weird is it watching the show knowing you're watching the last few weeks of this guy's life....? ... Holy crap, let me make fun of something NOW!
Oh, Cody. There you are. As seen above, while most suitors wisely chose a tailored suit for their first meeting with Andi, Cody chose a T-shirt/blazer combo with the COLLAR OF THE BLAZER FLIPPED UP!!!!! You know he wanted to wear Ed Hardy, but the producers didn't want to have to blur the logo. He looks like Sean Lowe if Sean was from the Jersey Shore. He's a personal trainer and Exhibit A in the case for bringing back Bachelor Pad. I want him to star in a bounty hunting reality show with Des Hartsock's brother. I hope Cody is with us for weeks and weeks to come.
There are 23 other dudes in the mix. Who would I consider notable?
  • JJ, annoyingly identified as a "Pantsapreneur." You make and sell pants. Don't concoct a clumsy portmanteau to be cute. Also, his bowtie makes him look like a young Bill Nye The Science Guy.
  • Tasos, the wedding planner. Has an earring. Looks like Rickie from "My So Called Life."
  • Patrick, an ad exec who brought a soccer ball as his prop out of the limo. A pretty funny call back to Juan Pablo.
  • Brett, a hairstylist.... with a mullet. He says one of his grandmother's favorite sayings was "Never greet a woman empty handed," so he brings Andi a lamp from the hotel. You know, one of my favorite sayings is "Never trust a skinny chef," but I'm changing it to "Never trust a hairstylist with a mullet."
  • Bradley, an opera singer who looks like pre-meltdown Charlie Sheen and another celeb I can't put my finger on (if you know, please e-mail me).
  • Josh, a former pro baseball player who Andi eye-rounded-third with pretty much right away. Andi calls him just her type. To use another sports term, this guy is the ringer.
  • Marquel. I don't remember what his occupation was. Surely it wasn't "Cookie Taster." But, that's what he tells Andi when he gets some one-on-one time during the cocktail party. Only the cookies they hooked him up with aren't from some cronut-style LA pastry boutique. These are the grocery store brand cookies you buy without looking at them when you remember there's a cookout at work that day. The ones with the hard pink frosting that looks good but tastes like nothing. You know.
Most of the interesting dudes got the shaft at the rose ceremony...
  • Rudie, an attorney who is ripped straight from a low-budget commercial that starts, "Hi. Have you been injured on the job? Call me, now." He showed up with some attorney/prosecutor humor that I thought was witty. But, as a prosecutor, you know Andi has run through her fair share of cheesy lawyers. I can see why she ditched him.
  • Jason, a long blonde-haired doctor who introduces himself by saying he can diagnose someone just by looking at them. "You must have a fever because you're really hot. But, seriously, you look great," is a line that will continue to never work.
  • Mike, a long blonde-haired bartender from Utah. Being a bartender from Utah must be like being a librarian in Alabama. Oh and this guy insists Andi call him by some most likely frat-given nickname that he's probably 5 years too old to be using.
  • Emil, a helicopter pilot who instructs Andi on the pronunciation of his name by saying "like anal, but with an m." So, the second word out of his mouth on a first date is "anal." Can't believe he didn't get a rose! But, we'll probably see him again because this is The Bachelorette so HELICOPTERS!
  • Josh, a telecommunications marketer (so... telemarketer?) who is PISSED when he doesn't get a rose. "Some friend put me up to this! What was the point!? Nothing!!!" etc etc
In another odd note, during the cocktail party, for some unknown reason, Chris Bukowski from Emily's season and Bachelor Pad shows up at the house with roses demanding to meet Andi. Andi thinks it would make her new suitors angry and tells Chris to get rid of him, which he does. It was all really weird, although we did get to meet a stern, but friendly rent-a-cop, who I hope returns. Chekov said "If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there." This can't be the end of the Chris storyline.
Stay tuned next week for another thrilling edition of Murphy Watches The Bachelorette!

Murphy Watches The Bachelor: The Finale AND After the Final Rose

What just happened? I haven't been watching very long, but this was for sure the weirdest season of The Bachelor ever. Let's see if we can figure this out...

Clare is up first meeting Juan Pablo's family in St. Lucia. JP ruminates on their relationship in VO, noting that they worked through their "misunderstanding." Specifically, she didn't understand that he's not responsible for the actions of Li'l Juan Pablo. He also brings up his honesty and how Sharleen and Andi couldn't handle it and if his honesty hurts you, iss OK, he's just being honest.

It's here that I realized the difference between what JP calls "honesty" and what everyone else would consider "honesty." The man is so self-centered that he is completely oblivious and uncaring of anyone else's feelings. Most people at least have SOME concern for the well-being of others and that affects their choices. It could be called "compassion." This word is as alien to JP as "default" or "tact."

Clare meets Juan Pablo's dad, Saul (Saul Pablo?), who is AWESOME and makes the world collectively ask what the hell happened to JP. He tells Clare no matter what happens she'll always be in his heart. Clare says she knows where JP gets it from. We all hope she's talking about his hairline.

When Nikki meets the family JP's mom, Mom Pablo, tells her JP is not an "easy" guy. I know 20 women who would tell you otherwise, but I think she meant he is complicated (SPOILER ALERT: He isn't).

JP's cousin, Rodolfo Pablo, tells both women that Juan Pablo usually walks away at the first sign of trouble (the mark of a real man) and asks if they can hold on to him. Instead of asking, "Why would I want to hold on to a man whose MO after a little tiff is cut-and-run?" they both say, "Of course!"

On Clare's last date the cameras cut off as their helicopter tour is landing. Since to him anything said off mic didn't really happen, Juan Pablo takes this opportunity to tell Clare that they may not know each other at all but he loves #(%&*^#!*#&@#!&% her. To his amazement Clare takes offense to this statement and, after crying in her suite, confronts him about it later that night. He's oblivious as to why she'd be offended and squirms and talks in circles as Clare finally starts asking questions she should have asked in Vietnam. "Is this just physcial?" etc. If Bachelor Pad never comes back Juan Pablo has a future in politics. He just keeps talking until he hits on something Clare is satisfied with.

On Nikki's final date she cries because he didn't proclaim his love for her, even though this is usually the episode where the producers allow that to happen. Also absent? Neil Lane! Normally the dude gets a 10 minute commercial where The Bachelor picks out the ring his beloved will wear for the contractually obligated year. This might prove the rumors that Chris Harrison, the producers, and everyone can't stand being around JP. The best we get is a flash of the name on the ring box.

Time for the final rose ceremony and it's revealed that Clare is up first, so you know what that means. Chris escorts her through the "Jurassic Park" gates and Juan Pablo says he must tell her goodbye. Actually, it's more casual than that. Like "Later!" He goes in for the hug to console the woman whose heart he just tore in two and Clare gets a round of applause from ABC's live studio audience when she puts both hands out to stop him. Clare FINALLY realizes it's all been lip service, lies and pillow talk. She tells Juan Pablo that she's lost all respect for him and she would "never want my children having a father like you," a zinger that hit JP so hard it knocked his accent away. He stands their in contemplative silence... JKJKJKJKJKJKJK! He says "PHEW! Glad I didn't pick her!" like she was Door #2 on Let's Make a Deal. Class act!

Nikki tells JP she loves him. JP tells Nikki about this great line her dad gave him that he can use to keep boning her for the next 4 months without getting tied down, that he should be 100% sure if he's going to propose. But, he does tell Nikki he likes her... A LOT! So, she's got that going for her, which is nice.

After the final rose comes After the Final Rose and it doesn't get any better. Chris has been teasing a BIG surprise from Juan Pablo. He told the producers he has a BIG surprise! What could it be? Both women are pregnant? After extensive unlicensed surgery in St. Lucia he will be the next Bachelorette? It's gotta be a ring, right?

Clare takes the hot seat and declines to talk to JP saying she doesn't want to get fed anymore BS.

The disdain Chris Harrison has for Juan Pablo is palpable when he's in the hot seat. Chris asks him again if he has any regrets, giving him one more chance to prove us all wrong. When it's clear he won't Chris tries to move on during a pause in his broken-circle English. Juan Pablo pulls a "Can I talk? Whew!" finding out the quickest way to get the (rest of) The Bachelor audience to turn on you is to snap at Chris Harrison.

Nikki comes out and Chris asks if in the 4 months since she told him she loves him, has Juan Pablo told her he loves her. Nikki says "Not exactly."

When Juan Pablo comes out and joins his one true love, or rather "one of many honestly like you a lot" it's obviously from the lackluster smattering of applause that no one is excited to see these two together. And that's a point Chris keeps harping on. NOW you can shout your love from the rooftops. This is the part of the show you're SUPPOSED to want to share. Chris keeps trying to get JP to say he loves Nikki, but JP says now that the show is over they are going to keep their feelings private. But, the show isn't over. Just ask Sean and Catherine (they do), who got married on ABC a month ago. JP is under the impression that whatever is said off camera/mic is not game for the show. See: Andi's fantasy suite. See also: Clare's helicopter ride. But, he's dead wrong. Apparently, Juan Pablo signed up for The Bachelor for it's world-renowned respect for privacy. After pressing them for ANY future plans to no avail, even Nikki invokes the writ of "he has a daughter," so even SHE has drank Juan Pablo's Camilla Kool-Aid. Somehow Nikki has gone from smart, strong thoughtful woman to shrinking violet arm candy in a matter of weeks.

Bottom line, Nikki and JP will stay together and keep up appearances for the contractually obligated amount of time necessary and then go the way of Ben and Courtney.

Oh, yeah, Andi is the next Bachelorette.
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