May 29, 2017

The Bachelorette: Husband Material and Puppy Love

5/29/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 2

The first date card of the season is for a group date to find "husband material." Well Whaboom was invited, so that seems like a stretch. Rachel brings the guys out to the "Husband Material Challenge" obstacle course with a surprise: Bachelor fans/celebrity supercouple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are hosting! Ashton and Mila are so into being on this date, with Ashton insistent that none of the guys on this date will be Rachel's final pick. The obstacle course is pretty hilarious, having the change a poopy baby, vaccum while holding the baby, cleaning out clogged drains (and nearly drowning the baby dolls), and setting a table. Unfortunately, Whaboom Lucas wins and basically all he wants is a celeb to say his stupid catchphrase. Hard no from Ashton.

In terms of location, the night portion is so cool with this lounge surrounded by old video games, lawn chairs, etc. Actually, it might just be a prop wearhouse. But it's still cool. Rachel is surprised Lucas was so into winning the challenge, which included pushing Kenny out of the way to win, and even more shocked by the poem he wrote for her. But guys, Blake says from a previous "encounter" (AKA another reality show they were both on) he knows Lucas is fake and not here for the right reasons. Not to mention, Blake's roommate used to date him. Rachel's pretty bored by the convos with her guys which is showing zero luck for romantic prospects. Thankfully, things turn around with Dean who infamously said "Once you go black you never go back." Rachel's disappointed she didn't get to say that first, but her convo with Dean is natural and fun amongst a night of duds. She also hits it off with wrestler/single dad Kenny. Rachel gives the group date rose to Dean, who offers to walk her to her car and then ends the night with a romantic kiss. So the group date wasn't a total flop!

Peter gets the first 1-on-1 date card but he's not alone with Rachel: Copper the dog is joining! The trio board a private jet to Palm Springs and drive to Barkfest, with the most adorable doggos ever having a great time. Rachel and Peter hit it off, and most importantly Copper likes him. After Barkfest, it's off to a private dinner complete with a dog bed for Copper. He might be the first in existence to eat on a Bachelorette date. Rachel asks what Peter's parents think about him going on this show and they're so supportive. They also discuss a common trait they share: gap teeth. Also seeking therapy to help with their relationship problems and questions. Rachel is so excited to feel romance and an amazing connection with someone. Rachel gives Peter the date rose and they share a kiss, then head outside to watch fireworks just for them (with more kissing). No idea if Copper was a fan of the fireworks.

Rachel brings in NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar to put the men through some basketball drills and training. But training isn't great TV (except when DeMario dunked on Rachel) so the guys are split into two teams to compete in front of a crowd. And they're horrible. Like really bad. But there's teamwork! And Chris Harrison randomly appears to be the game's announcer. After the game, fans come up to get pictures and talk to Rachel, but there's a lingerer named Lexi who has some important news. Turns out DeMario, who Rachel is totally smitten with, is this girl's boyfriend. No breakup; just ghosted and went on national television to date Rachel. Rachel is shocked because DeMario's a guy she's pretty been pretty into. DeMario's jaw is dropped as Lexi goes off on him and he tries to defend himself. There's questions of if keys were returned, when contact ended... it's a mess. Rachel isn't buying DeMario's side of the story and the text messages only a bigger grave. Rachel isn't here to be made a fool of and dumps DeMario on the spot.

Despite a rough day on the courts, the group date persists on for cocktails. Rachel worries that there are more guys with bad intention there but the guys step up to show they care for her. This group date has far better conversations than the husband material date. Josiah comforts Rachel and they share a kiss, but Alex makes Rachel crack up with some awkward singing. Eric gets a smooch in too. It's Josiah that gets the group date rose after the deep conversation they shared. And that's what we call a slam dunk ending.

Fast forward to the next night where Rachel wears a gorgeous black gown with gold trim to the cocktail party. First impression rose Bryan didn't have a date but grabs time with Rachel right away to kiss, catch up, and give her a relaxing message. But there's not much time to relax when a guy shows up at the front gate hoping to talk to Rachel: it's DeMario! He wants to apologize so Chris Harrison is off to relay the message. A curious Rachel heads to the front gates but we'll have to wait until next week to hear the conversation.

[All images credited to ABC]

Survivor Game Changers: Sarah is the Sole Survivor

5/29/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 12 - Finale

After the ridiculous Tribal Council, Sarah confronts Cirie about her trying to steal her advantage and eventually Tai admits that he in fact did try to target Sarah. Cirie spoke the truth! Since this finale is kicking off with six people, it's pretty rapid fire. Brad wins the maze/puzzle Immunity Challenge as well as a reward, where he indulges in chicken parm and game talk with Troyzan and Sarah. The three decide to target Aubry who is a bigger challenge threat, but Brad reveals he's going to force Tai to play and idol at this vote. Not just that, after Tai's confession to Brad that he has two idols, Brad demands Tai give him one of the idols so he pull any funny business at Tribal Council, but in an intense and controlling way. Tai doesn't appreciate being bossed around and treated like garbage, so he decides to regain control; he tells Aubry about his idol, and ponders joinging with Aubry and Cirie (except he doesn't trust Cirie). Everyone begins to worry about Tai since word gets out he's packin' two idols.

Tribal Council time! Probst asks about the crazy previous Tribal Council and Tai feels everyone lies, but he took all the blame. Sarah explains Tai is taking the heat because he doesn't take accountability. Most think Tai can't recover from this error, which Brad says "buyer beware" if you try to work with him. The group votes and Probst brings back the urn and Tai makes his big move: he plays one idol on himself, and then one on Aubry. They're immune. THEN, Sarah busts out her Legacy Advantage which could only be played when there were 13 or 6 players in the game. She's immune. Troyzan hopes on the #ImmunityTrain and plays his Hidden Immunity Idol. He's immune. Brad has Individual Immunity. This means that Cirie is the only player without immunity and therefore automatically eliminated, despite not a single vote in that jug being for her. Probst gives the Survivor icon a salute on the way out, allowing her to give a speech about this game being a life changer for her. Oh Cirie, you shall be missed!

The final five try to maneuver balls on paddles through obstacles and Brad completely slaughters the challenge to win Immunity again. Aubry sees the writing on the wall but doesn't give up, trying to flip the game. Brad and Troyzan are a tight twosome which means they can't bring both Sarah and Tai to the end; one of them is gonna get axed. Aubry encourages them to increase their odds of getting to the final three and vote off Troyzan. Sarah and Tai ponder this offer, agree to vote off Aubry, then Tai reconsiders because Brad's bossing him around again. Come Tribal Council, Aubry is all smiles knowing her fate is probably sealed. Everyone is living day-by-day to get to day 39. Aubry reiterates that Brad and Troyzan will be taking up final 3 spots if either of them wins the next immunity. Sarah points out that who to keep and send to the jury is different for each person and they'll all be keeping that in mind when voting. Troyzan is sure he can beat everyone, while others have a bit more modesty. And so it is with a heavy heart that I have to report that Aubry is voted out. Once again, I'm so amazed and proud of my friend - a true Game Changer.

Aubry's prophecy is correct and Brad wins Immunity one last time (joining the Survivor Immunity Five Timers Club), meaning him and Troyzan are cruising together to the final three. But will Sarah or Tai join them? Oh, hands down it's Sarah as Brad wants to knock out the person who has betrayed him the most. Tai knows he's screwed over Brad so many times that he's doomed, so he suggests Sarah to force a tie and head to a fire battle against Troyzan. Sarah considers the benefits of who is better to take to the final Tribal Council. At Tribal Council, Brad rolls up dressed in a burlap sack like he's Dobby the house elf but with the aggressive attitude of a Malfoy. Sarah and Tai are on the chopping block, but Tai still hopes a tie could happen. The possibility of a tie surprises Troyzan but hey, it's Game Changers! Ultimately, there's no tie and no more Tai, as he's voted off in a 3-1 vote.

Brad, Troyzan, and Sarah enjoy their day 39 feast before heading to Final Tribal Council to argue their case for a million dollars and the title of Sole Survivor. This season's jury is a bit of a Game Changer, turning the jury more into a discussion forum centered around the 3 elements that make up the game: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast. Goodbye rehearsed speeches! This allows for a more organic conversation to flow around the game, the moves, and betrayals made by the final 3. Many feel betrayed hardest by Sarah as she made very personal bonds, but Sarah explains as a cop she goes undercover and takes a new identity and did the same in this game. The key to Sarah's game is she controlled it all and never voted wrong, she paid attention to detail (finding the Secret Advantage) and used it to move ahead. Ozzy and Debbie really appreciate the game Brad played as a large target alpha male that won challenges to get him to the end, but others feel he failed to make personal relationships. His social game comes into question with the way he dealt with Tai near the end, and he explains it was intentional manipulation. Other felt Sierra ran Brad's game and while he agrees they worked together, he also stresses pivotal game moves he made (AKA JT's Tribal Council flub). Troyzan explains he might not have pulled the strings but was involved with the strategy, but ultimately is just happy to be in the final three and thankful to each person on the jury for his experience. The votes are cast and then...

We're live! It's the reunion show and by a 7-3 vote, Sarah is named the Sole Survivor. Sarah says she was inspired by Tony's game to switch up the way she played before to instead win this time. Plus she got permission from family, work, etc to play balls to the wall, though she doesn't love that she had to betray so many people. Probst is obsessed with the idea that Brad made the wrong choice choosing Sarah over Tai (who he apologizes to). Turns out it maybe would've been a tie and then we'd have to go to the first ever tiebreaker. The big reveal: in the case of a Final Tribal Council tie, the finalist not a part of the tie joins the jury and casts the vote to win. While it's interesting to know this fact, I'm a little bummed it was revealed in a moment like this rather than making it a future epic TV moment should it happen. After this, Probst does rapid fire check-in questions with people, with Cirie encouraging people to "get off the couch" which has become her irritating catchphrase. There's a focus on Zeke's outing and the positive conversation it generated in the fan community. Sandra will do what it takes to win, Cochran is just the universal Survivor crush, and Sierra followed her heart to reveal her advantage to Sarah which was her worst move. And the jury liked the new format!

Next season is revealed to be Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, which we'll need to call Triple H because it's a mouthful. See you in the fall for another season!

One last piece of business: Pre-Show Winner Prediction trophies! Congratulations to the following for their correct pick of Sarah to win the whole thing.

[All images credited to CBS]

May 22, 2017

The Bachelorette: Rachel Meets 31 Men and 1 Terrifying Dummy

5/22/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 1

To the delight of everyone, Rachel Lindsay is this season's Bachelorette and since she's so great I can only hope this season will live up to her awesomeness. She's also the first African American Bachelorette and it's about damn time. Rachel is a trial lawyer and feels like she's neglected her love life in favor of her career, and dating Nick Viall on television helped her be open to love again. With her adorable doggo Copper in tow, Rachel gets some advice from some of her former Bachelor gal pals which includes Corinne, Alexis the dolphin shark, Raven, and some girls you barely remember but are probably all Bachelor in Paradise castmembers. The girls encourage Rachel to give every guy a shot, regardless of their horrible costume or one-liners. Rachel is a skeptic by nature but knows she just has to "let herself fall" per the sage wisdom of Raven. Hugs and kisses and Rachel's gotta bounce to get get glammed up for her big night. And by the way, obsessed with her dress which is like sparkly shattered glass.

Per tradition, I'm skipping over the packaged videos and heading right into the good stuff: limo entrances. Chris Harrison extends his puppet arms to hug Rachel and express his hosting excitement in bold gestures. And then the limos start rolling in! Now plenty of people make normal one-liner entrances... and others go the flashy route. Let's focus on them. Kenny does the classic electricity dance move with Rachel while Will exits the limo as Urkel impression before re-entering in his dapper suit. Brady's literal ice breaker includes a sledgehammer and a block of ice. Aspiring drummer Blake E already met Rachel on After the Final Rose so he needed to make a more flashy entrance, or better than the video package intro where he constantly talks about his penis. Fred busts out his elementary school yearbook where he reveals he went to school with (and knew Rachel) in the past. Self-described tickle monster lives up to his "job title" and then Lee lamely sings with his guitar (#1 Bachelor entrance cliche). Alex brings a vacuum, Milton takes a Polaroid selfie, Matt dresses like a penguin, and Grant gets dropped off by an ambulance. Lucas arrives to force feed his "Whaboom" catchphrase to Rachel and the world, going so far as to wear a t-shirt of himself shouting said shitty catchphrase. But the scariest of them all is Adam who brings "Adam Jr", a terrifying dummy version of himself. I'll never sleep again.

With all the men cramped into the Bachelor mansion because there's so damn many of them, everyone sizes each other up while pulling the nonstop hover and interrupt game to get time with Rachel. They're also doing their best to avoid Adam Jr, the terrifying dummy that the show has given a French voiceover and sad piano music. Rachel humors the Whaboom guy's annoying antics, but there's a few guys she's clearly not into (purring guy). However, there a plenty of guys Rachel digs because a good convo hooks her. Josiah is the first to snag alone time, sharing how his bad teen behavior led him to becoming a prosecutor. Despite warnings from others to beware of Demario's intentions, Rachel is drawn to him and his charisma. Kenny is a wrestler but opens up about his daughter. Bryan the sexy Columbian chiropractor speaks sweet Spanish nothings to Rachel and pulls her in for a passionate kiss, which ends up scoring him the First Impression Rose... and another kiss.

Chris Harrison comes into the room to clink the glass, which is honestly becoming the most work he does the entire season, and get the Rose Ceremony started. No one really knows how many guys are going to be eliminated since the night started with a massive 31-man headcount (not including Adam Jr. the creepy dummy). In a shocking move, the final rose of the night goes to Lucas AKA Whaboom because I guess we're going to try to force this to happen at least two weeks. So let's just recap some of the guys eliminated by their very limited characterizations: Rob with glasses, Grant the emergency room physician, other Blake, the purring guy, and some others I'll assume. And then get to cry into the early morning sun after their long night tolerating Whaboom guy.

[All images credited to ABC]

May 20, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Don't Forget to Read the Fine Print

5/20/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 11

There's some rumblings that Sarah might've pandered to Sierra at the last Tribal Council and they're darn right: Sierra willed Sarah the Legacy Advantage. After Aubry totally kills and sets the new Survivor record for the domino/card stacking Immunity Challenge, the majority decides this would be a wise time to vote off Brad (but first, Michaela requests Brad go fishing). There's some consideration about voting off Sarah, but ultimately think this isn't the right time for her to go. And that's because the time is turning on Andrea, whose tight ally Cirie approaches Sarah to blindside her. Tribal Council time! Aubry says after the last vote there's a more solid "we" than before and Sarah agrees with the ol' "if it's not broken, don't fix it." There's discussion about a lack of scrambling on the beach which is both good and bad, according to Andrea. Conversation turns to the jury and while there's hope the jury will reward good gameplay on day 39, there's also real emotions in play and betrayal stings. The tribe votes and blindsides Andrea, whose alliance sends the social and challenge threat to the jury. But not before she gives Cirie a tickle on the way out (not kidding).

Aubry is crushed to yet again lose her tightest ally and her Kaoh Rong friend Tai comforts her. Later, Aubry and Tai have a discussion and agree Sarah is running things and would be that big "resume making" move. Aubry relays this conversation to Cirie, who in turn tells Sarah. Sarah believes Aubry is lying and trusts Tai more, then offers Cirie her advantage as an extension of trust and faith in Tai. Cirie begins hatching a bigger plan to use the advantage to save Sarah, by taking away Sarah's votes and then saving her with the votes. Cirie's afraid Tai will play an idol, so she lets him in on the plan and says she's going to use the advantage to save him. This is all very confusing.

Tribal Council time! With Brad having immunity, Probst wonders what they dynamic at camp was like trying to decide who to vote out. Sarah says this time there was a lot more scheming and lying and this Tribal Council will show her the truth. Lots of talk of trust and moves, and then when it's time to vote Cirie decides to make her big move and play the advantage to steal Sarah's vote and expose "the rat." Sarah interjects! Turns out the vote steal advantage is non-transferable and Cirie didn't see the fine print until it was too late. And so begins Tribal Council chaos. Sarah gets up and whispers to Tai, then Cirie whispers to Sarah and Michaela jumps in. Soon everyone is up and whispering again like a super messy game of Telephone. Sarah opts to use her advantage and steals Tai's vote. Cirie votes for Aubry, Aubry/Michaela vote for Tai, and Sarah uses her two votes to join forces with Brad and Troyzan and votes Michaela out of the game. A big night of blindsides condensed into one hour.

[All images credited to CBS]

May 15, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: We Game or Me Game

5/15/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 10

This week's episode of Survivor must be the favorite of Vin Diesel cause it's all about FAMILY. Jeff Probst overnarrates the entrance of each family member to build up emotion, then reveals the tribes will compete in teams of three to win visits from their loved ones. Andrea, Aubry, and Brad smoke the challenge and get to spend time with their mother, sister, and neat lady Monica Culpepper, respectively. But Survivor has to amp up the drama and Probst allows the winners to select two others to join in on the fun, so they choose Cirie and her newly graduated son (the true GIF star of the episode) and Sarah and her husband. The winners head off to make Fijian memories with their family while the others return to camp life, with Michaela in particular seething.

Both feeling on the outs of their alliances, Michael and Tai begin buddying up and end up considering a big flip to work with Sierra, Troyzan, and Brad to vote out Andrea. It's the "Hail Mary" Sierra hoped for! In an earlier act of desperation to accrue a new ally, Sierra revealed to Sarah that she possesses the Legacy Advantage and offers to will it to her if she is voted out. Oof, that was the wrong part of the advantage to reveal. Since Sierra trusts Sarah, she also reveals Michaela plans to flip. And since Brad wins immunity (Sarah's initial target), Sarah uses all this new info to her advantage: as a tool to recruit Michaela back to her side and as a way to Sarah to acquire that Legacy Advantage for herself.

Tribal Council time! Probst asks about the Sophie's Choice of who to select to join on a loved one's visit, which leads to a discussion of consequences and the damage this can create. Sierra speaks up to say that while she's on the bottom, she's not the biggest threat: that's Andrea, two-time challenge winner. Andrea reminds the group that underdogs can skate by and win the whole game. As Aubry wisely points out: everyone has to target the kind of person that's a threat to their own game. Michaela talks about you stick with the "we" until it becomes time for "me" which makes Probst eventually throw up the most awkward hand gesture he's ever done. Like, Probst does a really bad attempt and what I'm guessing will be a new Survivor gang sign. Probst regains composure of his hands to reveal the votes and the tribe eliminates Sierra, blissfully unaware that her pal Sarah helped seal the fate of her demise. But hey, now Sarah possesses the Legacy Advantage. A total "me" game move.

[All images credited to CBS]

May 8, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: The Peak of Zeke

5/08/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , 1 comment
Week 9

Sarah admits to flipping and the six feel pretty decent about staying together and picking off the former majority alliance. That is until on a feast/sleepover Reward, when Andrea doesn't like that Zeke and Brad are getting chummy while bro-ing out over football. A helicopter ride and a Lazy Susan covered with chicken wraps, eggs, and cheesecake can't distract Andrea from this fraternization with two people she doesn't trust. Aubry also notices this new friendship and upon returning from the Reward, the whispers about targeting Zeke begin.

Sarah's still stuck in the middle of both sides and plans to vote wherever she thinks she'll get ahead. Sarah make a gesture of trust with Cirie to reveal her vote advantage, but Sarah is close to Zeke and hopes to keep him around. Zeke begins conversations with Brad and Troyzan to hopefully turn the tables. Tai feels most vulnerable and despite rockin' two Hidden Immunity Idols, he doesn't want to play them. And Sierra knows she's the next to go and approaches the other side to save her, willing to vote for whoever they want. But not Andrea again because she wins Immunity. Andrea and Cirie begin to hatch their plan to vote off Zeke, which Aubry agrees with, but Sarah isn't excited to lose her tight ally and Michaela doesn't like losing a number. What's an alliance to do?

Tribal Council time! Sarah tells Probst that she owned up to flipping last vote to take out Debbie. The four of Brad, Tai, Sierra, and Troyzan admit they feel very vulnerable without the numbers. There's questions of whether the six will stick together and lots of mixed messages are shared. Zeke explains the timing isn't right for a move at this time. While everyone can debate their value, it sounds like there's so way to actually sway the vote but they're willing to listen. This all leads to Probst's buzz word of the night about the heart being on or off. There's probably a mixed bag of heart powers in this week's vote as the alliance of six turns on their own and votes Zeke out of the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

May 1, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Debbie Downer the Sequel

5/01/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 8

The survivors split into teams of two for a Reward Challenge which turns into this inspirational edit of Cirie crossing a balance beam, even after her tribe loses by a landslide. Meanwhile, Michaela is sitting on the sidelines because she wasn't chosen in the schoolyard pick. The good news: there's a big ol' Secret Advantage right by her feet. Bad news: she never notices the parchment. But Sarah definitely sees it and when the challenge is over, she swims on over and slickly hides the advantage in her shoe. The advantage is later revealed to be the return of the vote steal, which is non-transferable and can played until the final five.

Brad, Debbie, Sierra, Aubry, and Andrea take a plane to their delicious reward feast, which allows Aubry to indulge and callback to her famous coleslaw. As Andrea discusses the friction between her and Zeke, Sierra feels more confident than ever in her alliance of six. Back at camp, Cirie tries to show Sarah that being on the bottom of that six is a bad move and Brad/Sierra are calling the shots.  Sierra offers Sarah a final three with her and Debbie, but when Sarah has little say in the week's target, she wonders if this is the week to make her move. But a target naturally presents itself when Debbie approaches Aubry and throws Sarah under the bus in the process. Aubry totally sees through Debbie's move and quickly calls her alliance together to tell them the latest of Debbie's tales and arrogance. With this info in her mind, it's time to wonder: whose side will Sarah pick?

Tribal Council time! Probt opens the night by explaining that as the jury begins to build, every Tribal Council is the opportunity to make your case to win. Andrea knows she's vulnerable because she was so close to winning immunity but dropped her "IMMUNITY" blocks, allowing Troyzan to get the win. Zeke calls out the alliance of six that's running the game, and Debbie's cockiness is at a peak high about their "solid six". Sarah explains it's about being on the right side of the numbers and feeling confident in that group, which Debbie agrees and tops off with more of her trademark hubris. Michaela urges everyone to make a move while there are numbers or look dumb, then enjoys some coconut popcorn as the votes are read. It's a rude awakening for the six, I mean five, when Debbie is blindsided out of the game.

[All images credited to CBS]