March 18, 2018

Survivor Ghost Island: Great Lie, Bad Outcome

3/18/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 3

Naviti comes together in an aggressive Reward Challenge to win peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but their division is apparent back at camp. Domenick and Wendall showed their cards in the last vote when they tried to vote out original Naviti member Andrea, but were instead blindsided by the Malolos move out oust Morgan (but hey, Domenick got a Legacy Advantage willed to him in the process). Domenick hopes they can turn their bad situation around when he shares the truth about his Hidden Immunity Idol with Wendall, and later Laurel. Meanwhile, Chris is talking to the Malolos to sway them to his side and target Dom. Will some mixing and mingling begin to happen to shake up Naviti? 

Malolo's so split down the middle that there's no negotiation possible when Malolo loses the Immunty Challenge after a stunning Naviti comeback. Keeping their 5-vote majority is so important that Kellyn declines to give up her vote for a chance at a power on Ghost Island. The five decide to vote off Michael or Brendan, which they expect surprise Malolo who will expect a woman to be voted off to keep the tribe strong. Brendan and Michael sense they are in trouble and decide to let Stephanie and Jenna in on the secret: Michael has his Hidden Immunity Idol and can use it to save their group. The foursome feel so relieved and they plan to very openly target Bradley at Tribal Council and flash the idol in the hopes that one of the bottom of the Navitis will flip their vote.

Tribal Council time! Naviti is very open they're sticking together and it's not changing. Stephanie says they tried to save themselves but Bradley made sure to block any chance for Malolos to talk to the Naviti members. Michael says Naviti might put on a show they're an alliance of five, but the two on the bottom are Chelsea and Sebastian. Brendan chimes in to continue digging Bradley's grave and try to get someone to come to their side. And so Michael makes the big move to sell it: he busts out his Survivor: China James idol and tells the group that James left the game not playing two idols so this new idol of his legacy can save two people (it can't, but stellar line). Navitis thrown for a loop with this revelation and Michael pleads for someone to join them because they're not a tight four, they were forced together by circumstance. The tribe votes and Michael gets up to play his idol, which he plays on Stephanie. Michael played up a stellar lie but misjudged the target and instead the five Naviti stick together and vote Brendan out of the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 12, 2018

Survivor Ghost Island: Swap and Shock

3/12/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 2

The 18 remaining survivors are surprised with a tribe swap but since it's happened in all recent 20 player season's it's kind of a given. Since Malolo went to the first two Tribal Councils they're at a numbers disadvantage in both swapped tribes where Naviti has 5. Will Malolo be picked off one-by-one?

On Malolo beach, the new members from Naviti complain about how the camp isn't as wonderful as their old one. But Malolo isn't going to accept being the minority and get to work idol hunting to hopefully change their fate. Sure enough, Michael and Brendan find a big ol' idol in a tree hole: it's one of James' idols from Survivor: China where he infamously went home with two idols in his possession. Hopefully Michael plays his hand better. The Navitis would typically remain five strong, but the group is wary of Chris who is already talking to the Malolos about Dom's idol and blindsiding him. Morgan and Libby strike up a friendship and it seems like Naviti is falling apart fast.

Malolo wins the Immunity Challenge which is full of parkour and puzzles (also some climbing but that ruins the alliteration). They also get a tarp so maybe the old Naviti members will STFU about the janky shelter. Malolo also gets to send someone to Ghost Island since they wouldn't be able to come to a unanimous decision, they leave it to fate: rocks! Chris draws the white rock and heads to Ghost Island where he receives nothing but time alone to think about his mom. Chris being removed from Tribal Council impacts the tribe greatly because he was a target, but it also evens out the numbers (4 Naviti vs. 4 Malolo). It's expected that Malolo will vote off Dom, but Angela would rather go to rocks than lose a Naviti member. Wendall and Morgan don't trust Angela and decide to loop in Malolo and to gain their trust, Dom reveals the fake idol and actually has a better story about it this time. But James isn't taking the bait from Dom and concocts a new plan: vote off Wendall or Morgan since Naviti is fractured.

Tribal Council time! Morgan says both groups of four are staying solid together and Wendall says you have to hope someone will crack. Angela wants to vote for what's right for her, not what she's been pressure to do by an absent Chris. The big question is who is telling the truth and who is lying when it comes to tonight's vote? Morgan points out that everyone has lied and will lie at some point because that's the game. Wendall hopes for a big move that will make the tribe stronger, but he might not have realized other moves were in motion. There is 1 vote for Libby, 3 votes for Angela, and 4 for Morgan. Morgan is completely blindsided, and more importantly, had the Legacy Advantage. Morgan wills the Legacy Advantage to Domenick which should be interesting to see it all plays out... if he survives.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 5, 2018

The Bachelor: Arie's Bad at Choosing

3/05/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments

Arie family meets him in Cusco, Peru to help give some guidance that will help him choose between the two women he loves. First up is Lauren who is nervous and dull as ever, but opens up to Arie's parents about their love, fear of losing Arie, and potentially having a second failed engagement. Arie finally expresses what every viewer has noticed: they have no real conversations. But hey, she's pretty! The next day, the pro-Lauren family barely give Becca the appropriate attention and spend most of the day asking about Lauren. They are so cold and it makes Becca feel like garbage. Afterwards, the family gives their feedback and despite treating her like trash they think Becca is the better choice for Arie. But he's still pretty confused.

On their final date, Arie and Lauren board a train en route to one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu. It's so awe-inspiring that both repeatedly say "This is insane" because they are both wordsmiths and also lacking oxygen. Lauren talks just enough this date that Arie is totally smitten again and they kiss all over the citadel and could you please be careful these are ancient relics. Arie comes over for one last date night with Lauren to sip champagne in cozy knits. Feelings are discussed, a typical day together (spoiler: drinking coffee and walking dogs), and giggling. Now Lauren is opening up and guess what Aries says about it?? "I LOVE THAT." After all this boredom we aren't even shown a craft project declaration of love, so what a waste for us. But Arie can't stop telling Lauren he loves her so much so looks like this date might have swayed his opinion yet again.

Arie's got an umbrella in hand to salvage his rainy date with Becca, ducking into a marketplace and acting touristy. But the sun comes out and they're able to pet alpacas and drink the world's largest smoothies so that's cool but it's no Seven Wonders of the World. But the whole date is totally lackluster and lacking in energy. And then it's date night and Becca is very concerned Arie could be in love with both of them and this might be over in a day. Arie admits he's a little conflicted and Becca reiterates she's confident in their relationship but Lauren is very different than her so it's an unknown entity. Arie knows her can talk to Becca all night love and guess what says about it? "I LOVE THAT." Becca blesses up with the craft project declaration of love and reads him a journal entry full of emotion about her father's passing and their love. Guess what Arie thinks about this photo album and journal? "I LOVE THAT." Suddenly things are better again and now Arie is ready to smooch Becca against a wall and maybe she could be his wife.

It's almost proposin' time! Arie sips his morning coffee (man, Lauren was onto something!) and heads out to an overlook to scenically ponder both of the women and the decision he has to make. Or not because if you're this torn it seems bizarre to propose. Neil Lane arrives with diamonds in tow and his shirt is more buttoned than usual - how modest! A ring is selected. The women get dressed to the nines and worry that maybe Arie said the same thing to both of them. A blue suit and matching tie are put on, and suddenly Arie is at the proposing mat.

Lauren is the first to arrive to the proposal mat wearing a beaded gown with lots of movement and she's so confident this is the beginning of their lives. Lauren gives her impassioned speech to Arie about this lifechanging love she has for him but he's got guilty face the entire time. He informs Lauren it's over and she's pretty confused and I'd say a loss for words buuuuuut.... Oh and even after dumping her he says "I love you" so it's all sorts of messed up. In the limo Lauren cries because she feels betrayed and blindsided, but also says if he was so unsure three hours ago then how/why is he proposing? Girl, we know.

Arie pops a peek at his chosen engagement ring while Becca's SUV arrives. Clad in a black lace gown, Becca makes the extremely long walk to the proposal mat to tell Arie how much she loves him while the high winds obstruct the microphones. Even in this moment he looks so uncomfortable as Becca speaks. But Arie gets happier once he gives his speech about how much he loves Becca, ending in a proposal on bended knee with that oval cut ring he loves so much. It's an exciting romantic moment as they kiss and Becca accepts the final rose.

It should be over but with 55 minutes left and infinite teasing by Chris Harrison we know this isn't ending well.

Video footage shows Arie and Becca enjoying their time as a happy couple after the show. It's still being filmed but they're making pizza, playing chess, having fun. However lingering in Arie's mind: how would Lauren like these fun things we do? Despite promising Becca he'd choose her every day, Arie is going back on his word and breaking off the engagement because he needs a chance with Lauren. Oh and he's going to have the cameras there to film the break-up. CLASS ACT.

Becca arrives to their latest meet-up super excited to see her fiance because no one on this show warned her. And of course they wouldn't, it's TV gold to watch this woman's heart be crushed. The show chooses to show two cameras unedited of Arie telling Becca he thinks about Lauren, that Becca knew his Lauren thoughts were recurring, and is dumping Becca on television to be with Lauren. Becca, you're better than Arie. This goes on for an excruciating amount of time which is why editing on TV is GOOD. Eventually Arie listens to the request to leave so Becca can cry. Becca is brought out on stage and hurt, upset, etc but she'll have to face Arie... tomorrow night.

After the Final Rose

I'm so annoyed with this season I don't want to write a full ATFR recap, so here's some lowdown. Becca flew home in a middle seat to Minneapolis and cried about Arie's hypocrisy. Arie flew to Virginia Beach to a happy Lauren to get her back and she was upset with Arie but OK now and they get back together. Some of the girls from the season return to lay into Arie being manipulative and lacking in empathy.  Becca is doing OK now and feels closure from seeing her 45 minute breakup aired on TV. Becca and Arie come face to face and it feels a lot like him trying to pass some blame and by sympathetic but sorry dude, NO WAY. They trot out Molly and Jason to remind you this happened before and it can be OK. Lauren and Arie are together now and think their drama and Arie's "bravery" made them stronger. But what's real rich is the statement that Arie "Couldn't have done it in a more respectful way" and I BEG TO DIFFER. After lots of blabbing that I don't care about, Arie proposes to Lauren in front of the audience. And of course Becca is The Bachelorette because DUH and it begins right away with bringing a few guys out, just like they did for Rachel. Alright this has to be a million times better than this garbage fire of a season. See you for Becca time!

[All images credited to ABC]

March 4, 2018

Survivor Ghost Island: Sweaty Sock Rice and Other Bad Decisions

3/04/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 1

Ancient relics of Survivor failures past make up Survivor Ghost Island where twenty new castaways will need to reverse the curse or face the thought of being an advantage failure of the game. This new season starts with each tribe picking a representative on the fly, who in turns must pick a physical and puzzle person to compete in a challenge to win a shelter building kit. But there's more twists to make this introductory paragraph even longer: after a physical obstacle course, the puzzle will be timed and if time runs out, the tribe loses the fishing supplies initially given. The chosen leader leader has a choice to cancel the puzzle before time runs out to save their fishing supplies, but that gives the other team eggs and flint. So yeah, lots at stake. I'm going to Seinfeld blah blah blah this to say the Naviti tribe leader, Chris, cancels out the puzzle last minute to keep the supplies which gives the Malolo tribe the bonus goodies. The first decision to haunt someone for the season? We shall see.

Malolo (orange tribe) arrives at camp with a group celebratory huddle and then gets right to work building their shelter. This tribe is jam-packed with superfans but perhaps not the strongest of the bunch, including sweet Kentuckian Donathan and overeager Jacob. Jacob makes himself an obvious target very quickly: he loses his shoes in the ocean, is totally obvious about hunting for an Idol, and pours the rice stash into his dirty sock to try to find a clue (it's just a bottle of rice). Naviti is the physically stacked tribe but the tribe is starting with some tension from the start. Construction manager Domenick didn't agree with Chris the Model's decisions on the first challenge, so both have plans to target each other.

The first Immunity Challenge is a strenuous challenge to pull sleds filled with giant puzzle pieces to assemble a big cube. Malolo struggles in the challenge, but Kellyn of Naviti is cool and logical in the puzzle portion to help secure her tribe's victory. Naviti chooses to send Jacob to Ghost Island after he makes it quite obvious that he's the annoying one on the tribe that would be voted out first, which Jacob vocalizes was his plan all along. Dude, keep your strategy a secret. With all his cards on the table and alone on Ghost Island except for lots of props from Survivor seasons past, Jacob smashes the first urn as instructed by the paperwork. Urn #1 reveals a game of chance: wager his next vote for a chance at an advantage. Jacob takes the risk and chooses the correct bamboo tube; he wins Sierra Sarah's Legacy Advantage from Survivor Game Changers, which can save the holder of the advantage at when either 13 or 6 people remain. But to reactive its power, Jacob must will the advantage to a member of the other tribe (he chooses Morgan). Will this be the gesture to form a future alliance?

With Jacob on Ghost Island and immune from the vote, the next physically weakest member of Malolo is Donathan. He decides to turn the target on Gonzalez (AKA Stephanie G), and the women ponder the idea of keeping someone weaker but potentially loyal over the strategic threat that's a physical asset to the tribe. Or maybe it's just Stephanie J asserting her will to the be Sole Stephanie.

Tribal Council time! Probst asks about the unknown entity that is Ghost Island and Gonzalez assumes Jacob is off looking for idols there. Jenna also agrees that Jacob isn't fitting into the tribe and making game mistakes. Donathan expresses nerves of being one of the weakest but Stephanie G says physical strength isn't the only kind of strength needed in this game. Gonzalez is concerned that maybe she hasn't been in all the necessary conversations so she gets up and starts whispering to her allies. Not this again. Listen, I know some viewers love these whisper scrambles; I do not. But this whisper session doesn't help Gonazalez and she become the first player eliminated from the game.

OH WAIT, there's another whole hour to go and the gameplay continues to be bad. Morgan discovers the plan to send a weak player to Ghost Island paid off her her as she receives her Legacy Advantage. Glad it's working out for one side of twist, because Jacob has really botched the whole experience. Jacob constructs a fake idol and an elaborate lie about his time on Ghost Island. Jacob shares with the tribe his intent to play his idol at the next Tribal Council to rid himself of such a burden, but Brendon calls Jacob's bluff when he doesn't have the parchment with the rules. Domenick's late night insomnia leads to him finding Andrea's "tainted" idol from Survivor: Caramoan in a tree hole on Naviti beach. Domenick tries to start fresh and create trust with Chris, so he shares with Chris a fake idol but uses the real idol note. Chris senses something is off considering initially Domenick denied having having an idol but also he doesn't want to be screwed over, so he'll roll with it.

To win the next Immunity Challenge, the tribe needs to complete a water-based obstacle course, release buoys from an underwater cage, then shoot the marked buoys into a basket. Malolo loses immunity for a second time after falling behind in unlocking the buoys (James is winded and Donathan has to be motivated by his team to be a hero and get back in the damn water). Naviti continues their strategy of sending the weakest to Ghost Island, and chooses Donathan which crushes Jacob's soul. Donathan's smashed urn reveals diddly but he realizes he's becoming more confident in himself already. Back at Malolo, James takes ownership for losing the challenge for the tribe but overall the tribe is still planning to take out Jacob. Stephanie befriends Jacob to try and make him feel safe, and it works so well that Jacob admits he lied about the idol and gave Morgan the Legacy Advantage. Given the insane amount of trust Jacob demonstrated to her, Stephanie ponders the idea to Jenna of keeping Jacob and booting a strong guy (Michael) before a swap happens.

Tribal council time again! James owns his challenge failure but it's a brief discussion before moving on to Jacob's tall tales of Ghost Island. There's an "information imbalance" and Probst jumps upon his new favorite alliteration buzzword which surely will come up more this season. Jacob appreciates the tribe is trusting and kind to him, maintaining his extremely hyperbolic stance on his tribemates and tribe. But he also knows this might all be in vain and he might have been left out. Michael hopes to keep the tribe strong so they don't lose momentum, but Brendon admits the days keeping the strong around on Survivor are a thing of the past. As the tribe gets up to vote, Brendon whispers to Michael that he thinks they are being setup. Jacob votes for Michael and a few votes are cast in James' direction in case an idol is played, but it's superfan Jacob whose Survivor dreams end on day six.

[All images credited to CBS]

February 26, 2018

The Bachelor: I Love Peru and You and You and You

2/26/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 9, Night 2 - Overnight Dates

With the hometown dates in the past, Arie and the final three depart for Peru. Arie is extremely excited for the landscapes and, shocker, could see himself falling in love in Peru.

Kendall meets Arie in the sand dunes of Peru for dune buggying and sand surfing. Honestly, all I can think is what an ideal spot this would be to dump someone on a 2-on-1 date is leave them in the sandy land. Kendall and Arie have fun but she's still unsure about being ready for a proposal. At night they share red wine and actually eat at a glammed up Airbnb. Kendall is a quirky gal and doesn't want to be considered a novelty and Arie digs her - stuffed dead animals and all. Kendall opens up that she is falling in love with Arie and he says it right back. Out comes the old date card which is of course accepted for more talking, smooching, and implied bone zone on the shortest bed ever. Over eggs and coffee, both reiterate they are falling in love with each other and I do mean saying the word "love" not the broader "falling for you" stuff.

Arie whisks Lauren off in a teeny plan to check out the Nazca Lines and if you've basically wanted to see monkey crop circles, call your travel agent right now. Well officially they're called geoglyphs for booking purposes. Arie likes Lauren but also feels like she has a huge wall up and she needs to let loose. She's super stressed and hitting a tipping point, maybe even wanting to leave out of fear of rejection. After an extremely boring day date (which is a familiar theme for these two), they head for a romantic dinner. Arie tries to make Lauren feel better and assure her that he feels emotions with her he hasn't felt in a long time. Those feelings are summarized pretty matter-of-factly when Arie tells Lauren he loves her. This is the validation Lauren needed and she says I love you back and they use the crap out of that Fantasy Suite card over a really bad cover of "How Do I Live Without You". I would've gone for that Coyote Ugly song instead by that's just me.

The final overnight date is with Becca, where they sail the seas and do the ol' Titanic pose because it's maritime law to do that now. Arie asks how Becca does with long distance and she starts talking about her ex and we call this "foreshadowing" in the biz (I am not in the biz). Boats are cool, but dinner under a sand dune tent is a cooler venue. Arie confides in Becca he's afraid of rejection or choosing the wrong woman at the end of this. Becca finally tells Arie she loves him and he tells Becca he's in love with her too. For those of you keeping track, that's THREE "I love yous" to three different women. Ben Higgins, you're off the hook. Becca and Arie take the long trek to the other tent forty feet away to head to the sandy bone zone tiny house with no bathroom in sight. "She's literally perfect," Arie says, after gushing that he could end it all now and propose in the sand dunes.

CUE THE DRAMA. In comes Becca's ex-boyfriend of seven years who thankfully has coincidentally decided the time to profess his love for her is when she's on a reality TV show currently filming in Peru. He didn't know this show ended in a proposal and literally every person knows how this show works even if they don't watch. Arie gets a knock on the door and it's Ross the ex who says Becca is the love of his life and he wants to marry her. Arie is very calm despite raging on the inside. Despite totally coming on his own accord (suuuuuure Ross), he gets in a production van to go see Becca. She's not happy to see Ross and neither am I after this becomes twenty minutes of filler as Ross goes on and on about why he hoped this world all work. Becca gives a hard pass on reuniting with Ross but is concerned her relationship with Arie is in jeopardy. Becca heads right on over to Arie's to discuss all the drama and that seven years is a lot of history.

The show go on and it's time for a Rose Ceremony which should completely blindside one woman since he said "I love you" to each of them. Though the "I love you" over usage might not be as cruel as making women wear heels on cobblestone. With a random horse in the backyard, Arie begins the Rose Ceremony again by taking Kendall aside but this time to say goodbye. Unfortunately their connection lagged behind the other two. Arie gives his roses to Lauren and Becca and who the hell knows what is going to happen in next week's finale because this season is all over the place.

[All images credited to ABC]

February 25, 2018

The Bachelor: Just Another Boring Women Tell All

2/25/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 9, Night 1 - The Women Tell All

To kick off two extremely long nights of this show, it's the Women Tell Air reunion special which is always a special place of hell to watch and then recap. It's a night of confrontation and arguing whether "glam shaming" is a real thing. 

After an initial shouting match in Krystal's direction, Chris Harrison brings her down to the hot seat to continue to be grilled by the girls. Everyone felt Krystal was not genuine and mean behind their backs, but she says the woman were nasty about her as well. Eventually she apologizes and is happy her brother saw her on TV and he stopped living on the streets. Oh but this is not the end of Krystal because she requests to talk to Arie on the hot seat about feeling "cold." Arie might have some regrets overall, but getting rid of Krystal was not one of them and he found out the truth from watching the show. Oh and now he knows she called him a "needle dick."

Other stuff that happened. Seinne is over Arie and hopes her being on the show inspired other girls to be themselves and have confidence; she's also open to finding love which her way of dropping the "I'd totally be Bachelorette" hint. Bekah M spends the night defending her age (other girls were young too), whether she was ready for marriage, why she was listed as a missing person (she went with friends to a marijuana farm but didn't have phone service to check-in), and that she'll be on Paradise this summer. Tia is still emotional about the break-up with Arie and was shocked she was cut because she was sure of her feelings whereas Kendall wasn't as clear. Chris asks if Tia is ready to love again, setting her up for that Bachelorette spot, and it's a yes with a lot of reasons why she can't wait to love again.

Eventually Arie is brought up for some tough questions. Arie explains he let go of Tia because he had stronger feelings for Kendall over Tia, so he pulled Kendall aside for more confirmation. Jacqueline wants the world to know Arie didn't PhD shame her. Arie admits Bekah's age scared him off. Caroline makes an extremely vague comment that she knows "what he did" (alluding to the future of this show) and he says it will play out. Hmmmm. The night wraps with bloopers, forcing in celebrity movie promotion, and of course a teaser of Arie's dramatic season end.

[All images credited to ABC]