Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Bachelor: Jason: The hometown episode!

Ah, the trusty hometown date where we are ensured a ridiculous or dramatic time in at least one hometown. This time, Canadian flags, floppy hats, dead doves, and no-show parents ruled the day.

It must be said in the over-inflated rehashing of The Bachelor, the sound mixer has really, truly improved. That Schindler's List-esque violin during recollections of Stephanie's goodbye really could pull some heartstrings.

Oot and Aboot in Canada with Jillian!

Welcome to British Columbia, Canada! Jason is glad he finally got to see Jillian’s soft side but he still isn’t convinced that she’s here for him. Seriously? Who does Jason think he's kidding? Jillian woos Jason with stories of her close encounters with Canada’s own lochness monster, Ogo Pogo.

The two then share a trip to a winery, which Jason tells us is beautiful but NOT AS BEAUTIFUL AS JILL. Awwwwwww!!!!

Jillian, having gotten the monster part of the visit out of the way, opens up about why she feels the need to be strong and her family’s issues with her mother’s depression. Jason naturally responds with some concerned nods and then jumps on his opportunity for a makeout session.

When it’s time to meet the family, the whole clan is hanging oot in the living room with their Canadian flag. “Ooh, weelcoomme, Jaaasonnn!” The whole fam gets a good giggle oot of Jillian’s silly hot dog routine. Everybody joins hands and sings O Canada in roond.

Peggy gives a toast to her daughter Jillian, which starts a little rough, but the moment where she said that diamonds are made under pressure kind of caught my throat a bit, I won’t lie.

Peggy pulls the dreaded mother-in-law routine, pulling Jason ootside to ask him her toilet paper full list of questions.

Ma Canada: What are your responsibilities in a marriage?

Jason: To be a partner, Ma Canada. Duuuh. And mustard!

Ma Canada: How do you handle conflict?

Jason: I’m a listener.

Ma Canada: That’s good to hear. You have a BA in psychology, right?

Jason: Uhh, yeah!

(Awkward laughter.)

Jillian and Tori, who has been moonlighting as hot young teacher on Gossip Girl (xoxo!), gossip about Jason while he’s out with Ma Canada. Jill gets teary-eyed telling her cousin how much Jason has come to mean to her.

A little bit later, Ma Canada pulls Jillian close to her bosom and Jill again becomes overwhelmed with emotion describing her feelings for him.

Glen and Jason spend some dude time together in a creepy utility closet. Glen, revealing where Jillian gets her happy-crying, tears up as he tells us just how much Jillian means to him. I grab the Kleenex and pull it closer.

Surprise! Granny arrives. Gramma Marjorie says Jason is a gorgeous specimen of man, and thankfully she no longer has to sell Jillian for beaver pelt to a Ukranian man in the northland. Granny also brings the funnies with a pair of Joe Boxer Canadian flag boxers. I am thoroughly impressed.

When it’s time to leave, Jason asks us how he could possibly ever leave Jill and her family in his future?

Country Clubs, Floppy Hats and Art, Oh My! in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Remember when Jason and Molly first met and they bonded over golfing? Well, fortunately, Molly’s super-selective family has an exclusive membership to the neighborhood country club. They spend more time on their kissy picnic than chopping away at the course with their nine irons.

Once Jason and Molly finally pull up to Molly’s fam’s house, it’s clear that the family lives right there on the green with a nice view of the ninth hole from the living room window. After settling down and first introductions, Maryann pulls out some major hats to test Jason’s funny bone. Saddled with the Indian headdress, Jason is tested yet again as Maryann decides to play psychiatrist, asking Jason to draw Molly’s face at his most favorite memory with her. When it’s finally time to leave, Jason says that he won’t get to see her for a while and he’s got a decision to make.

Doves Cry in Lake Elsinore, CA

Jason is ready to spend some time with his cowgirl ladyfriend, Naomi. I can’t help but wonder how this girl is still around. Naomi, in an attempt to prove me wrong, tells Jason just how ready for a life with him she is.

Every family is different, Naomi tells us, and mine is probably as different as it gets.

Oh yeah? Something more different than art time and floppy hats?

Joanne and Hector, Naomi’s parents who are separated, plus a bajillion kids who I could not keep straight are there to meet Naomi and Jason. Naturally, Joanne greets them with hula hoops. Here, things really go awry. As Joanne relays the story of hitting a dove with her car, one of the many children brings the be-paper-bagged carnage outside for a burial. Hector, eyes rolling in the background, thanks his lucky stars that he got out of this world when he did. Jason forces a smile through the whole thing.

Yes, congratulations, Naomi. Joanne has definitely taken the crazy award from Art Time Maryann.

After digging a shallow grave for Rosie the Dove, Hector and Jason get their dude time in the living room/family casino. Hector explains that he has risen above his divorce with religion, explains that Naomi has been raised with Jesus as her main man, and asks Jason to take a short test about marriage and the Bible. I am squirming in my seat.

No sooner does Hector have Jason reciting Corinthians before Joanne comes along to steal Jason away. I just begin to crawl out from under the couch in relief when Joanne starts talking about truth seekers and the color indigo. Jason cannot even hide his confusion in his face.

Meanwhile, Hector checks in for some dad-daughter time with Naomi to confirm her spiritual standing. Naomi wishes she and Jason had talked about religion before now. Though they may have had a moment to share these deep thoughts as Jason left, they opted for an intense tongue twisting instead. While they swapped spit, someone inside the house (I imagine one of the dozens of children) opened the door and definitely sneaked a peek.

The Disappearing Family in Dallas, TX

In Texas, Mel’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad parents wanted absolutely nothing to do with ABC and no amount of coaxing from Chris Harrison could convince them otherwise. Instead, Mel had to sheepishly present her terribly good-looking, happily-married young couple friends (with kids, to boot!) to Jason as a consolation.

But no worries. This meet-up with friends followed all the same requirements of any hometown date:

Mel cried when discussing her feelings for Jason.

Children ran around happily.

Dude-time included some stereotypical dude-like element—in this case, pool.

And, last but not least, serious make-out time between Mel and Jason.

Return to Seattle

Back in Seattle, Jason has a lot to think about so Chris comes over to help work it all out.

Chris: So Jason, a lot happened this week.

Jason: Yeah, but I didn’t like how I couldn’t slam my tongue down the throat of each girl one after the other or say all their nicknames in a row. Jill-Mol-Nay-Mel. Jilmonamel. I was thinking of naming my second born that.

Chris: That’s good. How was your time with Jill?

Jason: Canada ROCKS. Grandma was AWESOME. And I freaking love the Canadian flag. But I’m just not totally convinced that Jill’s a match for me. (pause) Did you get that? OK, good. Cause we all know I’m actually totally in love with her.

Chris: We got it, thanks. How about Mol?

Jason: Oh, Molly and her country club membership-toting, hat-wearing, art-psychologist parents are just fantastic. They really showed me who Molly is—she’s a country club membership-toting, hat-wearing, art-psychologist. Did I mention that when I first got married to my ex-wife in 1998, Mol was totin’ braces in eighth grade? WEIRD, huh, Chris?

Chris: Uh, yeah, actually. That is kind of weird. What about Eva Mendes?

Jason: Um, well. Her family… was something… um… I didn’t… expect. They are… unique. And religious. And neo-spiritual. And unique.

Chris: Let’s just leave it at that. What about the Melster?

Jason: Well, I didn’t meet her terrible, awful, no-good parents since apparently not everyone is willing to open up their lives to ABC like me, am I right Chris? But I did meet her friends. So that’s cool.

Chris: Are you ready to let a lady go this evening?

Jason: Well, yeah. I hope I can still swap some spit before I ditch her, but basically I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

After Chris leaves, Jason does some more deep thinking on the bow of the houseboat.

Rose Ceremony

This rose ceremony, ABC finally did it right at the hotel. No more of that presidential suite crap—we’re talking full-on banquet haaaaallll! Holla!

Jason: Hey laaaadies. I had such a great time this week. Mel, your friends are totally good-looking. Jill, you are SO your family, dude! Nay, your family is pretty nutso, but it’s okay. And Mol, your family is unbelievable, and by unbelieveable I mean they’re country club membership-toting, hat-wearing art psychologists. Anyway, you all mean the world to me, but here goes.

Roses go to:

Molly, who thanks her lucky stars that Mom didn’t scare Jason away.

Jillian, who Jason must continue to pretend he’s unsure of.

Melissa, whose non-existant family is apparently better than Naomi's eccentric one, the poor thing.

As they say goodbye, Jason let's his explanation loose: "It’s not that I don’t think you’re wonderful, and it’s not that your family is kinda out there. I just think that we’re in different places right now."

Naomi: Well, I am. I was hoping to hear you say that you felt more strongly for the other women, not that I am not ready because that’s just not the case.

Awwww, snap!

As she drives away, in more sweeping overhead shots of the exiting limo, Naomi tells us that she was ready to move to Seattle and settle down and that she didn’t want to have her heart broken again.

Jason bounces back for the champagne toast to the next week—here’s to New Zealand!! Now, finally! We know the reason behind the drastic scale-back in funding here. That’s it, ABC. There better be some really good audio mixing next week!

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