Love Lessons from ‘The Bachelorette’: Shut Up and Kiss Her Already

This show is two hours long every week. TWO HOURS, people. I get the season finale being two hours long, but this shit is interminable. It could be an hour if they cut out all the unecessary recapping of everything five minutes after it happened, because it is majorly depressing watching Ashley cry again after she was humiliated last week. This week, the gang is off to Thailand, because it is worth humiliating yourself on national TV in order to get a free trip to Phuket. Because this is The Bachelorette, they make sure to illustrate Thailand by showing pictures of monkeys and elephants and playing the “Asian Music” button on their Casio keyboard.

Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?

Trying to speak English to people who don’t speak English is adorable and winsome.

Constantine gets the one-on-one date. They plan to boat out to a private island, but a local “hilariously” explains in Thai that the water is dangerous today and it’s not a good idea to go out. (This show making a “tee hee, aren’t brown people so wacky and hilarious” joke: drink!) Dejected, Ashley and Constantine try to come up with a Plan B. Actually, the producers will probably be the ones who come up with a Plan B, but whatever. “We are literally as far away from home as we could ever possibly be,” says Constantine, who evidently has never heard of NASA. They meet an older man who is showing off his wedding ring and speaking only Thai, but luckily a young woman who can translate just happens to materialize from nowhere. She translates for the man, who says that he has been married for 36 years and that the secret to happiness is “don’t try to win.” (This show making a “look how wise these Asian people are!” reference: drink!)

Love means not trying to win. Except when you’re on a reality show that is all about winning.

Brilliant editing: love isn’t about winning, so we cut back to the other dudes back at the house talking about how they hope Constantine loses. A bunch of the guys whose names I can’t remember get a group date. Back on their date, Ashley and Constantine wander around a market and then get a drink and toast to themselves for “making the best of a rainy day.” In her voiceover, Ashley says that she can’t stop thinking about Bentley, and I want to reach through the screen and smack her. We all have that friend who is hung up on some loser and won’t get the hint even if you put it on a billboard, and Ashley is evidently that friend. She admits that she has “part of her heart” back and that Constantine is a great guy and she thinks they have chemistry, rained out date or otherwise. For some reason, Ashley thinks she should talk to Constantine about her feelings for Bentley, which is the absolute worst first date scenario I can imagine. Constantine asks Ashley how she stays positive, and she says “you need to have strength,” which makes no sense. She asks Constantine how he feels about her and about the date, and he says he’s not holding back at all, that he’s having a great time, and that she has no reason to be insecure. Back at the house, the guys speculate on how Constantine’s date is going, calling him a “gamer” (do they mean “player”? Or does he just love video games?) and saying they’re probably making out now. They then do a show of hands to see who else has made out with Ashley, and one of the Bens (I think F?) says that they’re all “going after the same fruit” so it’s natural to be jealous of each other. Cut to Ashley asking Constantine about his past relationships. Sigh. After a bunch of cliches, she gives Constantine a rose. “Hopeless Ashley is now hopeful again!” she announces.

Group date time! Ashley apparently just found out that there was a tsunami in Phuket a couple of years ago, and she brings the guys to an orphanage that was founded after the storm. She announces that the guys are going to help her paint the whole place, inside and out, to make it cheery for the kids. JP (call me!) voiceovers about what a great idea it was, because Ashley could have chosen to do anything and she chose to focus on giving back. I like Ashley and want to believe she’s a good person, but I think the producers arranged everything on the entire show and she probably got no input into any of it. She does a lot of standing around while we get shots of the guys painting and sweating through their clothes. Ben F. decides he’s going to paint a mural, and I’m kind of crushing on him now. He’s really self-deprecating and not pulling this “I have to talk about myself 24/7 so that the audience/Ashley/but mostly the audience will remember me” schtick that some of the other guys are doing. Ashley joins him and paints a flower on his mural. Ben points out that you have to do something to “separate yourself from the herd,” and the editors cut to his mural of an elephant.

At the end of the day, all the kids who live in the orphanage come running out to thank the guys for their help. The guys voiceover about how kind and saintly and generous Ashley is. They know she can’t see the talking head segments, right?

Just kiss her already.

Ben F. and Ashley sit on a couch and drink wine and he flat out says Ashley helped him paint the mural because she has a thing for him. Nice work! It’s about time someone on this show didn’t just wait around mooning at the camera and hoping that Ashley will take initiative. Ben just leans in and kisses her and then Ashley voiceovers that she likes how confident he’s becoming. Later, Ryan comes over to the couch and Ashley asks him about the personalities in the house and how all the guys are getting along with each other. Diplomatically, Ryan says that he gets along well with other dudes – but in his head he’s adding “just not these dudes.” For some reason, Ashley and JP stand outside in the rain under an umbrella, and he says that the experience with the kids changed his life. Ashley says that she owes JP a really good date to make up for the one where she just mooned about Bentley the whole time, and JP awesomely says that the date was great and he can’t wait for the next one. JP kisses Ashley, and she voiceovers that his kisses are “magical.” I’d believe her more if she ever shut the fuck up about Bentley and quit bringing him up every twelve seconds. At the end of the night, Ashley gives Ben F. the group date rose. Finally, a good decision.

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    • Samantha

      What about Ames? He was intelligent, witty, genuine, you name it. He’s the obvious choice, in my opinion. Ben F. Lost me when he murmured a scooby-doo “ruh-roh” WHILE KISSING ASHLEY.