August 15, 2017

Bachelor In Paradise: Happily Evan After

8/15/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 1 - Night 2

While Bachelor in Paradise's production was shut down, the show sort of went on. Evan and Carly, who met on the show last summer, are getting married and of course the cameras are there to capture it all in front of their friends, family, and Bachelor franchise alums. These two quirky goofballs are adorable and what we all need, not to mention a reminder that Bachelor in Paradise has produced the same number of marriages as The Bachelor itself and likely to overtake it soon. Not only are they married by Chris Harrison, but they are married by the shaman that was part of their date last year. It's delightful and I'm so happy for these two.

Production resumes on Bachelor in Paradise and of the cast has returned, sans Corinne and Demario. Chris Harrison corrals the gang for a pow wow and discussion of what went down. Apparently, an outside firm was hired to look at all video footage and interview the cast and staff to determine if anything inappropriate occurred. The cast is adamant that producers don't force them to do or say anything, particularly forcing them to drink alcohol. They feel bad about the awful things the public said about Demario and Corinne, especially an unfair depiction of Demario. The cast also admits they think race played a part in this, concerned about the long-term implications for Demario from this scandal. The cast also didn't like the "slut shaming" of Corinne. Consent is discussed, also when alcohol is involved. Chris Harrison asks the cast if they want to be here and it's a unanimous yes. So the show goes on.

The Rose Ceremony that was supposed to happen before is going to finally happen (but not tonight). The cast splits into a group of guys and girls to rehash who they have/haven't connected with as either audience exposition or a claiming process. Even outside of filming, Derek/Taylor and Dean/Christina continued talking and connecting. Derek and Taylor get a date card and their relationship only grows stronger on their dinner among the candles. Christina wants to solidify her and Dean before others start to join the cast, but he's also putting up a wall between them (metaphorically of course). Jasmine and Matt are good-ish, but Jasmine is more interested in them being an official couple and Matt's more open to pursuing options. And then other connections fizzled fast, particular Alex and Amanda who were over before it even got screentime but he's not taking the hint, despite people telling him talk to someone else. Amanda stresses that she'd only be giving him a friendship rose. Lacey left Paradise due to a death but the production halt lets her return, and she's having a hard time finding a connection. By the end of the episode, everyone's crying. But we won't know any choices this week because, shocker, no Rose Ceremony again!

[All images credited to ABC]

August 14, 2017

Bachelor in Paradise: Hello Paradise, Farewell Jorge

8/14/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 1

Are you ready for the most awkward season of Bachelor in Paradise? A shoeless Chris Harrison tries to explain this is meant to be summer fun and to find love (ehh), but there was the major scandal that happened and they're going to address it.

The cast of mostly Rachel, JoJo, and Nick's rejects assemble and sip drinks by my beloved Jorge the Bartender. True to form, Alexis the dolphin lover arrives in her shark costume and ready to celebrate. Demario arrives hoping for a new beginning of being on reality TV without a girlfriend, so he has to make inroads with the girls upset about his experience with their friend Rachel. Corinne arrives with champagne in hand and her season rival shows up too, which seems to round of the Rejected by Nick Posse. Amanda Stanton is all about returns, both to Paradise and giving the show back her engagement ring.

Before the dates begin, we are faced with a Paradise break-up: Jorge is leaving to run his business Jorge's Tour-ges, and no long will be bartender. Instead of hiring a real bartender, they bring in Wells from JoJo's season to take his place. Jorge, you will be missed.

Love, or probably lust, is already in the air of the Playa Escondida. Everyone has their eyes on Dean, but he hits it off  Christina. They bond over their complex family dynamics and attend the first date of the summer, chatting and dancing to mariachi music. This makes Danielle M disappointed, receiving a pep talk from bartender hottie Wells and eventually talking to Jack Stone. Demario and Corinne get very flirty on day one, but he also has interest in Alexis. Jasmine is smooched by "St" Nick and his Santa beard, but his drunken antics push her away into the arms of Matt. Matt loosens up a bit on his date when they dress him up and have him perform in a drag show. Taylor wants a guy who can build a fire, and Derek flips houses and can put logs on a fire so that's good enough. Iggy's romance with Lacey is short-lived after she needs to depart Paradise due to death in the family. Raven gets invited on a Ski-Doo date by day two arrival Robbie, JoJo's runner-up in the mintiest green shirt he could find and dragging a suitcase full of swimsuits. Raven isn't feeling him and laughs about him talking about being an "influencer" on the date. This is good news for Ben Z who likes Raven, though a fraction of the like he has for his dog.

The first Rose Ceremony arrives and the eight women have the power and four dudes are about to be eliminated. Derek and Taylor's relationship heats up with a kiss. Ben Z stops talking about his dog for a few moments to kiss Raven. The night seems to be going well and then a Producer pulls aside Corinne, then Demario. The crew puts down the cameras and production is halted. Not shocked they used this as a cliffhanger.

[All images credited to ABC]

August 7, 2017

The Bachelorette: Rachel Finds Her Forever

8/07/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 10 - Finale

Before kicking off the three hour finale, Chris Harrison brings Rachel out at the live audience viewing and gets to give commentary.

Last time we saw Rachel and Peter, they were at an emotional standstill over Rachel wanting a proposal and Peter unsure he's ready for that big step. Rachel says her feelings for Peter are very deep, hence her emotional reaction. Peter hopes this whole proposal thing isn't what holds them back. Rachel and Peter accept the Fantasy Suite key as an important time to talk out their issues while sitting on a janky daybed. But they awake all smiles and popping out of dual windows and making breakfast together. Rachel feels their alone time helped their relationship but is also worried about this potential no-proposal thing. I'll tell you that I'm just tired hearing about it, so it must be exhausting living it.

Bryan and Rachel meet up for the last Fantasy Suite date where they explore vineyards again, but this time on horses so it's totally different. Rachel's trying to pay attention to Bryan and the gorgeous scenic overlook, but she's got Peter on the brain and Bryan can tell she's distracted. At dinner, Bryan calls out the weird vibe and asks how she's feeling about everything. Rachel apologizes for her distraction taking away from their time together. They accept the Fantasy Suite card for a hotel room that's attempting to be modern but kinda reminds me of 90's "modern" style. Cue some passionate kissing and Bryan getting up to shut the door that already has a "Do Not Disturb" sign hanging on the handle.

It's time for the last official group Rose Ceremony and Rachel's got a lot of her mind to eliminate someone at this stage, the same place she was eliminated in Nick's season. Rachel says she wants a proposal not a boyfriend, so that's one for heavy hint to Peter... then the Rose Ceremony begins. Rachel gives the first rose to Bryan and then has to make a difficult choice. Eric has said "I love you" but Rachel is concerned he's not ready; Peter seems ready but still hasn't said "I love you." And so Rachel gives her rose to Peter and eliminates wonderful Eric. Eric looks gobsmacked and heartbroken, but he thanks her for being open and making him better. He says he'll always love her and Rachel for the first time wonders if she made a mistake.

In a total break from standard finale format, Eric is brought out onstage to talk to Rachel right after their breakup aired. Yes people, we've been duped in watching After the Final Rose in a slow painful way! It's the first time Rachel and Eric have seen each other since May and in that time Eric has grown a very handsome beard. Eric was surprised to be dumped after she said she was falling in love with him, which sounds just like Dean's story. Rachel did feel love for Eric, but the feelings with the other two men were stronger. Eric was ready to propose to Rachel, and while it didn't work out for them, it's allowed him to grow up and be ready to let love happen to him again. 

Rachel has her last dates which each of the two men. First up is Bryan, where they smooch high in the clouds on a hot air balloon. Later Rachel confides that him being constant this whole time scares her a bit, used to being a fixer. He insists it'd be a mistake if she didn't pick him and he'd be devastated. For his craft project gift of love, Bryan gifts Rachel with a Spanish language dictionary with a cheat card at the beginning with important phrases to know and I admit, good gift. 

Going into her final date with Peter, Rachel is still concerned that she's going into the finale with a guy unsure about proposing. But when they're together, she forgets that stuff and is in the moment of romance (while exploring/being lectured in a monastery). Once the monk stops talking, it's back to them discussing their commitment problem. Peter admits he's in love but it's new a recent, and he's not sure he can ask Rachel to marry him tomorrow... but he's not ready to stop being with her. Rachel can't understand why he talks about and fantasizes their future, but can't fact that reality in this moment. Rachel fears her past will repeat itself and won't lead to the marriage and family she wants. But when Peter asks if she wants to spend the rest of her life with him, she says "I can't answer that question." Peter thinks Rachel is his right person, but this isn't the right time - he's willing to propose if it means not losing her. This conversation goes on and on and it's painful to watch. They depart by exchanging "I love yous" and more discussion of the pressure of this whole process. 

So apparently that night at the hotel was the last time Rachel and Peter saw each other. Never officially breaking up, but broken up. It's super awkward and Rachel explains again that he was all talk about the future, but no action of those plans (AKA proposal). Peter couldn't understand what was wrong with him to not get to that point faster, however wishes he could've been less in his head. But Rachel said there were other flags besides the proposal that caused issues. Peter apologizes for saying she would be settling if she didn't pick him. "Frustration" is the big word of this segment. Peter says there are still feelings but he wouldn't change how that night went (including not cleaning up Rachel's cried-off eyelashes on the floor). Rachel basically says this show wasn't for him. He wishes her nothing but the best and she wishes the same.

Oh hey, remember Bryan? Let's go back to the big proposal day. Neil Lane visits Bryan to pick out a ring, which is a hot second of air time before showing off a pear-cut halo ring as his choice. Rachel is still reeling a bit from the Peter breakup, while also pondering if what he said was right: is she rushing into a proposal? Bryan arrives and says his first night words to Rachel, standing there shimmering in silver as the wind loudly hits the mics. Bryan gives his passionate speech about all his love for Rachel, and she talks about trying to find the cracks in his "perfect" facade but it challenged her and says she sees her forever when she looks at him. She squeals in delight at the proposal and says yes. And of course Bryan, recipient of the first rose, also accepts the last rose of the season. They loudly kiss again.

Rachel and Bryan are reunited onstage and Bryan proposes again. Rachel is so happy to be able to be open about their love and I'm very happy for Rachel. Listen, I'm no Bryan fan but I typically dislike all the choices on The Bachelorette. Check my track record! Hey editors, maybe start giving the winners better edits! But we all love Rachel and want her happy, so let's hope her seeing forever with Bryan pans out.

Thanks for reading my recaps another season and see you for Paradise!

[All images credited to ABC]

July 31, 2017

The Bachelorette: Rachel's Men Tell All

7/31/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 9 - Men Tell All

After filling 10 minutes with a best of the Men Tell All segment, the men of Rachel's season are brought out to the stage. Whaboom vs. Lucas is briefly touched upon before moving on to Demario and his "side chick" back home (his words, not mine) and Iggy being a snitch. Dean gets called to the hot seat eventually, rocking a dapper purple camouflage dinner jacket. Dean is very appreciative that his father accepted to call to allow a hometown date and this also allowed him to address his repressed feelings. Dean genuinely felt like he was falling in love with Rachel, but now is ready to move on and to which he will/did in Mexico... ooooon Paradise!

The biggest drama of the season is Kenny and Lee, which impacted the vibe of the house and the experience of dating Rachel. Kenny felt their beef was never racial, just that Lee was "a dude out of his league." Kenny didn't appreciate Lee's putdowns or being labelled as aggressive since he's a father and wouldn't want do anything on this show that would shame his daughter. Kenny's daughter is very proud and joins him on stage, then gets very excited at the birthday surprise to send Kenny and his daughter to Disneyland. Lee admits he lied about being pulled from the van and apologizes for not being a better man. Lee goes on about seeing how he needs to change, especially when the men call out Lee being delighted about instigating conflict. Dean calls out Lee for never apologizing previously on social media before and saving it for this show. But Chris Harrison puts Lee the most on blast, sharing his sexist and racist tweets, to which Lee pulls the "I have a lot to learn" line again. Josiah runs up to join Lee and ask why he would be on The Bachelorette with a black lead when he had so many derogatory comments. Lee says he hates racism but the guys don't understand why he never apologized for his tweets, which he eventually does apologize for after a looooot of discussion. Lee admits needing to learn and the guys offer to help, wrapping in a Kenny/Lee hug.

Rachel is brought out to discuss her experience and face the questions of the men. Dean asks why Rachel would say she's falling in love with him then boot him days later. Rachel admits it's truly how she felt at the time. Rachel laughs about the Demario situation and that lying is a dealbreaker which is why he had to go. Rachel appreciates that race wasn't an issue while she was filming the season despite her status as the first African American Bachelorette. She admits being disappointed in Kenny letting the Lee drama overtake their potential connection. As for Lee, she hopes watching the show made him learn and if not she'll school him backstage. The unknown entities aka Adam and Matt weren't dragged by accident, they were victims of editing and Rachel hopes another woman will see how great they are. Frederick feels he never was given a fair chance because of knowing each other as kids but still respects her. And with that cathartic release, it's time for BLOOPERS!!

The Men Tell All ends with a recap of Rachel's final three with no sneak peek - lame! Who are you hoping will win? For me: anyone but Bryan.

[All images credited to ABC]

July 24, 2017

The Bachelorette: Family, Feelings, and 1 Fantasy Suite

7/24/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 8

Before the final three can get to Fantasy Suites AKA the Bone Zone, they must face the biggest challenge yet: Rachel's family. But Rachel's dad the judge isn't there so that's a slightly less imposing force. 

Peter's up first and before meeting the family, he takes a big leap forward: the tells Rachel he's falling in love her and she says she's falling in love with him too! I'm excited because I love Peter. He meets the family and is very honest with his feelings, good and bad, but there's still a little bit of worry he might not be ready for a proposal. Rachel takes Eric up to Reunion Tower for a nice view of Dallas and he confides he's nervous due to limited experience meeting girlfriends' families. When Eric reveals he hadn't brought a girl home until Rachel and has never been in love, but Eric turns this red flag into a moment of sincerity and openness to love. And then there's Bryan. He gets a bonus of getting to meet her friends for brunch, where Rachel confesses his charm came off douchebaggy at first. Only at first? While brunch was a success, the family visit isn't a homerun. There's a sense he's a charmer with all the answers and none of the sincerity. Rachel doesn't love the energy her family is putting out and chastises them for not embracing him the way they did Peter and Eric. Hearing "love" this quickly throws mom off and Rachel defends her feelings.

With meeting the family behind them, Rachel and her final three depart Dallas and make their way to "the northern region" of Spain for the overnight dates.

Rachel and Eric soar over La Rioja, Spain in a helicopter, the ways true Bachelorette franchise ballers travel. They get off the helicopter to sip champagne and chat with an extraordinary view and then ring a bell to make a wish. Onto the romantic night portion of the date of sipping red wine and staying bundled up in their pea coats because it's cold. Eric is super vulnerable at this date, talking about how Rachel pushes him and nothing else matters without her. Eric tells Rachel he's in love with her, the first time he's ever said it and it's such a genuine moment of happiness. Rachel is so relieved to finally know how Eric fully feels. Rachel and Eric accept the Fantasy Suite key and walk to the hotel that's conveniently like 100 feet away for a night of champagne and off-camera romance... until the morning after pajama shot.

Date #2 sends Rachel and Peter off to a vineyard to be serenaded by a winemaker in Spanish and not know the majority of what he's singing. Buy, hey, free wine locker just for these two! Rachel and Peter recap meeting her family, and explains that he didn't ask for a marriage blessing but a dating blessing. They're interrupted by a little girl who ends up coercing them to stop this conversation and instead squish grapes with their feet. But back to the important conversation but skip ahead hours later to the night portion of the date. Peter has Rachel sign their wine cork from the day as part of a family tradition, then it's onto the deeper stuff. Rachel didn't come on this show to find a boyfriend and doesn't think the proposal isn't this 100% we're married right away thing. Peter's belief of engagement is marriage, hoping to only propose to one woman ever and marry her. "Somebody's gotta bend," Rachel says about if they're together at the end of this. They're both not sure what to say or do at this point, leaving Rachel speechless and teary-eyed. Could Peter and Rachel officially be over? Well find out next week!

[All images credited to ABC]

July 17, 2017

The Bachelorette: Rachel Meets the Families

7/17/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 7

Rachel heads to her first hometown date with Eric in Baltimore, Maryland. They shoot some hoops, get a visit from Eric's friend/wingman, and hear more about Eric's tough life growing up in his old neighborhood. The family visit is big for Rachel, but maybe even bigger for Eric who has never brought a girl home to meet them. His family is so welcoming and excited, but not afraid to ask the real questions about race and her role as The Bachelorette. Eric has the ability to talk and mend fences with his parents about their past, but talks about how he's ready to find love with Rachel. Rachel loves how Eric challenges her and they get through it together. Around the table, Eric makes a wonderful toast about his family making him the man he is today. Eric tells Rachel how strong his feelings are and is close to saying "I love you" without it being the exact phrase.

It's off to Miami for a date with Bryan, complete with a rip-off of the Miami Vice theme song. Bryan and Rachel play a quick round of dominoes for a hot second, then head off take in some snacks and dancing. Bryan gives Rachel the lowdown of everyone he'll be meeting and gives the warning about his mom being protective of him. Rachel's a little nervous to meet his mom given her involvement in the dissolving of Bryan's last relationship. When Bryan says "I know she's the one," mom makes a very odd facial expression and urges him not to rush. Rachel tells Bryan's mom how she loves his confidence, openness, and how wonderful he treats her. It all goes well with mom and the family, and even better with Bryan who tells Rachel he's in love with her. 

Rachel meets up with Peter in Madison, Wisconsin and both are wearing gray to complement Peter's salt and pepper hair (I can only assume). They wander a farmer's market to pick out flowers and eat some treats before meeting up with Peter's friends at a bar. Peter takes the guys aside to level with them about how he's scared about three weeks from now he's supposed to propose. This is a running theme with Peter, who talks to his mom about this and Rachel expresses this as her main concern. Peter's mom thinks he's ready for a commitment but maybe not a proposal and Rachel's not super pleased to hear this. Peter tells Rachel he's very hopeful and happy, as is Rachel... but she's still nervous the amount of time for this process might not be enough.

The hometown dates conclude with riding four-wheelers with Dean in Aspen, Colorado. Dean explains to Rachel that he'll meet his siblings as well as his dad, a converted Sikh yogi who he hasn't spoke to in two years. Dean is terrified about this but Rachel tries to soothe his nerves. Inside, there's some gong meditation and a tribute to Dean's mother, who passed when he was fifteen. But overall Dean is still very uncomfortable and has time alone to talk with his dad and confront their issues. Rachel tries to talk to Dean's dad but he's a bit thrown off by the evening and doesn't want to proceed with the night, but invites her back if they continue their relationship. Rachel heads inside to talk to Dean who has had an overwhelming night but tells Rachel he's falling in love with her.

With four hometowns complete and only three roses available, Rachel talks to Chris Harrison who offers up deep conversation like "What was his family like?" You're getting rusty, Harrison. It's time for Rachel to make her decision and convenes the Rose Ceremony. Unfortunately, it is Dean who does not receive a rose. They say their goodbyes and part cordially, though Dean is upset he said he was falling in love and Rachel sort of said the same back.

[All images credited to ABC]