COUNTDOWN TO JAKE & VIENNA (thanks Tigh, for preview…)
Sarah Kowalski and Tigh Rickman are respectively a graduate of, and a candidate at Stonecoast MFA. Both longtime fans of reality televison, they are both relative newcomers to ABC’s The Bachelor. However, much like crack cocaine, it only took a small hit to hook them both, and now both watch religiously with their fiction writers’ eyes.
Bachelorette – Week 6: Conflict in Constantinople
After dispatching Chris N. and Kasey last week in Iceland, Ali is closer than ever to finding the man of her dreams. She has developed connections with all the remaining men, some physical, some emotional, some both and the decisions are only going to get harder as we head into the final episodes of this season of The Bachelorette. This week, the gang continues their global love fest in one of the world’s oldest and most beautiful cities, Istanbul, Turkey. In shadows of mosque spires and underneath intricate Moorish arches that have sheltered countless lovers over the centuries, Ali will try to find timeless love of her own in this, The Bachelorette, Week Six.
Sarah: Ah… and six in Turkish… I’ve got nothing. Most of my Turkish vocabulary has disappeared. But a thumbs up is considered a rude gesture — I know that much.
Sarah: He’s really quite good looking, isn’t he?
On Turkish Delights
Tigh: So as a lover of Istanbul, what were your thoughts on how the city was presented in this week’s installment?
Sarah: Honestly, it’s so easy to make Istanbul look good… the places they went barely scratched the surface. I practically did all that in my first weekend. Blue mosque, spice bazaar, boat rides on the Bosphorus, Basilica cistern, Aya Sofya (which they didn’t even go into, from the looks of it). Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve been to the same hamam they went to. Ali wasn’t exactly correct about the rules of most bathhouses; it’s not that women aren’t allowed — the hamams are just usually sex-segregated (i.e., men go to separate rooms or on separate days).
Tigh: Well, that’s good to hear. I was afraid they were destroying 300 years of beautiful NO MA’AM tradition of the sake of The Bachelorette.
Sarah: Not so much. But when I went, the best part was that the crew of portly Turkish women in black one-piece bathing suits, whom you could pay to scrub you. They take off the first few layers of skin and show them to you afterwards, like, “look at this gross stuff that I pulled off your body!” It was awesome.
On Rated “R is for Regret” R’s Exit
Tigh: I can only imagine how beautiful that place must be. And I also imagine there’s no better way to showcase Istanbul’s unique beauty and history then by having a gimpy Canadian wrestler try and escape into it. Which is just what Rated R did after (surprise, surprise) he was fingered as the ultimate betrayer, the pox on this immaculate institution of The Bachelorette: the man with a girlfriend back home who is not there for the right reasons.
Sarah: How weird was it that Jessie from last season was the one to bring all this to light? The whole thing smacked of fame-whoring on the part of everyone involved, I’m sorry to say. Even poor, spurned girlfriend Jessica — I had the feeling she was secretly half enjoying her role as prime-time melodrama queen.
Tigh: Jessie is a friend, yeah Jessie is a good friend of mine. But lately something’s changed and it ain’t hard to define, Justin’s got another girl so he’ll never be mine…
Sarah: Damn it, now I’m going to have that stuck in my head all afternoon!
Tigh: Well, you’ve got to think that the pool they’re pulling people from on this show is pretty small. That is to say, the lower-case bachelors and bachelorettes are all probably friends of producers or former contestants. A friend of mine from college was Miss Maine in 2000 and got to go to Miss America (Shout out to Renee Belanger Mills!) and she would tell us about how everyone in the pageant world knows each other. Got to think it’s along the same lines with this show. And I agree, Jessica was all about selling out Rated R to get her face time, which I guess he deserved–a totally vicious cycle. But how about Ali taking off the gloves and laying the smack-down on him in front of the guys?
Sarah: I thought the most revealing part was how obsessed she seemed to be with telling him he wasn’t acting “like a man.” For all her (later) protestations to Ty that she’s not into traditional gender roles, Ali was showing herself to be pretty fixated on some version of masculinity that involves public fighting on national television.
Tigh: Well, in that particular instance it suited her needs. You know, I’ve really come to like Ali over the course of this season, but I think she was being just a tad melodramatic about the whole thing. I mean, was Rated R even in her top three? And when she pulled out the whole ‘I sent Kasey home and he was a good guy and here for the right reasons’ line she lost me. Kasey was KRRRAAAAZZY! I have a feeling that regardless both would have been gone sooner than later. Oh, and she also reminded us once more that she gave up her apartment and job for this. C’mon, you have a right to be pissed, but it’s a guy you’ve barely known for six weeks and you’ve got a half dozen more waiting to console you upstairs. Go make out with Roberto and move on.
Sarah: I agree. While I’m sure her ego was bruised, and she absolutely has a right to be pissed that someone was, essentially, taking advantage of her, it kind of seemed like she was partly just performing for the producers, filling her necessary role as Spurned Woman. You could even hear them directing her, like “I think he went down the stairs — that way — yeah.” With the implication being: follow him, and make us some ratings-grabbing, promo-worthy scenes. Who do you think surrounded the Hyatt to make sure Justin couldn’t escape without a confrontation? The producers would’ve missed their THIS SEASON… ON THE BACHELORETTE… drama fest.
Tigh: ….A CANADIAN WRESTLER LEARNS PARKOUR IN ORDER TO ESCAPE HIS HOTEL. Poor guy, trying to escape he looked like he was being hunted by The Predator instead of a perky blonde from the Marina and on a bad pin to boot (no pun intended).
Sarah: Too true.
Tigh: But a brief confrontation on a park bench where he couldn’t get a word in edgewise, a montage of him hobbling away while the various voicemails he left his girlfriend back home played over it and, just like that, Rated R was gone forever.
Sarah: Good riddance. Give me more Istanbul porn! (By which I mean: all those minarets! Such green grass! Oh, spice bazaar, how I miss your sweet, sweet figs…)
Tigh: And Ali is the sweetest fig of all…
On Ty’s “Steamy” Date
Tigh: So Ty got the first one-on-one date this week and he took the time to really get to know Ali, thanking her for letting him come out on the date, then expressing his gratitude for her bringing him on the date, then heaping thanks upon her for sharing the experience with him, then giving her kudos for the wonderful time he was having, then making out with her, sweat rolling down his slightly too smooth chest in a Turkish bath.
Sarah: Yeah. Ali claims that she feels like she knows him “maybe better than most of the other guys,” but I don’t get it. At all! Sometimes she’ll pull out the “he makes me laugh” thing, too, when I can’t remember him ever having made a joke. But maybe I just have some sort of blind spot for the guy; I find him seriously boring. No offense intended to other Tigh/Tys out there.
Tigh: Boring is the word I’d use to describe him as well. And I agree; unlike Ali I don’t feel like I know him better than the other guys either. But there’s something there, I guess. Of course, the list of things she likes about him — he’s 6ft plus, a good guy, makes her ‘feel good’, and has a phonetically pleasing name, are all things I usually hear when getting dumped, which bodes ill for the traditional man from Tennessee.
Sarah: Yeah — stacking him up against the others who remain, I don’t see how he can compete. I mean, Roberto’s dreamy, Captain Kirk has mojo, Chris L. has already introduced her to his father, and Frank’s parasitically inserted himself into the depths of her soul. Ty can’t be long for this world, tall hunk o’ man-meat that he is or no.
Tigh: Spot on with Frank. Watching him during the aside interviews during Ty’s date, this guy was getting dangerously close to becoming ‘Mr. Brightside’. His symbiotic relationship with Ali is as incomprehensible to me as it is frightening. But Ty wrapped up the date with dinner….and….to be honest, I kind of spaced out a little bit during the end of their date. I just got bored. Again, I really don’t see the connection between them. Maybe I’m just jaded by too many similar dates. But they did talk about the traditional gender-roles, I remember that much. Something along the lines of Ty saying, I believe in them, then Ali saying something like, I don’t and then they kissed and ‘spontaneously’ danced to that well lit street band that just happened to be outside on the sidewalk.
On Oil Wrestling and The Last of the Craigs
Sarah: I’d so had enough by the end of the date. But thankfully, soon it was time for… oil wrestling? Anlamiyorum. (That’s Turkish for “I don’t get it.”)
Tigh: You gotta think that Rated R was really kicking himself for being found out when he was. For a guy who was there to promote his wrestling career to come this close to getting to show off his grappling chops on national TV — only to fall short! — must suck. But c’mon, Sarah, you know you loved seeing those oddly shaped Turkish guys all oiled up in leather pants!
Sarah: Oh, I did — I’m just ashamed to admit it. Especially the scowly one who Craig said looked “like he wants to kill someone.” Yummy.
Tigh: Good ol’ Craig. You know, I always kind of thought he was a drip, especially early on with his unique brand of ‘here for the right reasons’ Bachelor House McCarthyism. But I came around to him during the wrestling. Here’s a guy who’s not really athletic going up against the front-running pretty-boys and taking them down in order. My inner nerd was pretty excited by that. It was like watching Rudy without the self-loathing that comes of finding yourself pulling for Notre Dame.
Sarah: I had a brief fantasy of the other guys throwing the matches for him, like some twisted version of Spartacus and Antoninus, so that he could finally get some one-on-one time. But he had to beat them all fair and square — and he managed it! The underdog sports story of the year — who needs a new Karate Kid?
Tigh: And thus he gave hope to those of us with, shall we say, ‘softer’ physiques. But when he got the one-on-one time he didn’t deliver, going into the generic platitudes and compliments. That might fly early in the process, but at this point in the game, it was too little too late. Not that it was his fault — this was his first time alone with her — but the other guys were miles ahead of him.
Sarah: Agreed. When they were out watching the fireworks and no kiss ensued, I knew it was “friend zone” time and soon would be curtains for The Last of The Craigs.
Why Buy the Rug When You Get the Bellydancing for Free? On Frank and Ali’s Date
Tigh: Frank got the other one-on-one date with Ali this week, their first since the romantic L.A. outing in week two. Since that first date, Frank’s pretty much spent all his time sulking and psyching himself out. So this date promised to be a test of whether he could recapture the magic they felt underneath the Hollywood sign kissing for the first time. And it was a test that he (surprisingly) passed.
Sarah: All I have to say is — a kilim? Really, Frank? It’s not as bad as Kasey’s tattoo, but I can’t help but wonder: if he doesn’t wind up with Ali, what’s going to happen to that rug?
Tigh: Who knows, maybe it will really tie his room together. But you have go for the cutsie in this situation and that’s what he did. Hey, after seeing Ali dressed like Barbara Eden circa 1966 I’d have probably bought a rug too. And maybe even a magic monkey’s paw. But the dinner in the cistern did look pretty cool; a lone table sitting out in the water like a delicious island that had to be waded to. And…Frank carried the kilim out to the table. Why not just leave it with your shoes?
Sarah: I know! Don’t the camera guys have a van or something where he could stash that thing? But perhaps it’s become his talisman; he hopes someday he and Ali will conceive their first child on that very kilim.
Tigh: I kept trying to make it the Unintentional Metaphor of the Week, but I just couldn’t figure it out. But Ali confessed during dinner that her feelings for him were ‘frightening,’ which was an odd choice of words. Much like Ty, I just don’t see what it is about Frank that draws her to him, but unlike Ty, I think what does draw her to Frank runs deep. During his interviews when Frank waxes poetic/neurotic about his relationship with Ali I want to be like, dude you’re delusional, you really don’t have that connection, but then I see them together and he’s right, they do. It’s weird.
Sarah: I keep wondering about what I proposed after their first date: that there’s some Mystique of the Glasses Wearer going on here. I think that because of her first impression of him, as a writer who quit his job to move to Paris (despite the fact that we now know he “moved” to Paris in the same way most of us “moved” to summer camp as kids), she’s got this sense that he’s a deep, smart guy. I almost wonder whether, the same way she’s intimidated by Roberto’s good looks, she’s almost intimidated by Frank’s intelligence and worldliness (yes, I know; I’m suppressing a giggle at this)… What do you think?
Tigh: Dude, you just blew my mind. I mean it has to be, right? What else could possibly be going on? We also have to keep in mind she’s not seeing him breakdown as often as we are, telling the camera with a thousand yard stare that he misses her and is falling apart emotionally. If she’s not aware of that then your theory makes all the more sense.
Sarah: Exactly! She doesn’t get to see him the way we do. She doesn’t see him with the guys, doesn’t see him wearing a “Cultured and Experienced” tee-shirt, or spewing neurotic banalities at the cameras week after week. Oh, Ali… I fear for you.
Tigh: Yeah, I have a feeling that her vision of him isn’t based so much in reality as idealized fantasy.
Sarah: Right. The Frank in her head is probably pretty different than the Frank we see. Not that I think he’s a bad guy; he’d… well, no, I was going to say, “he’d probably even be a decent boyfriend,” but then thinking of having Frank as a boyfriend just gave me the heebie-jeebies. Oh, all that pink-faced neediness. He’s like a naked mole rat who’s gone off its antidepressants, if that’s not too mixed a metaphor.
On the (Abbreviated) Rose Ceremony
Tigh: No Pre-Rose Ceremony Mixer this week! I was pretty bummed about that. As we’ve discussed, it’s my favorite part of the show. But Ali told Chris that her mind was made up and that a mixer just wasn’t necessary (of course I think the producers probably just asked her if it was alright if they axed the segment in order to make room for the Rated R confrontation). So, having dispatched Chris to break the news to the guys, she rose from her wingback chair and took a brief glance at the makeshift Bachelor Altar and its photos. Pretty much only for ceremony’s sake at this point, for as we knew, Craig was not long for this world.
Sarah: Hey, at least he stuck it out longer than Rated R. It was like the Flyers beating the Canadiens, only to ultimately lose to the Blackhawks. Good for you, Last of the Craigs.
Tigh: A moral victory to be sure. But it was sad to see the Craigs go, thus ending a tradition of ratting people out, acting kind of douchey, looking vaguely like Peyton Manning, belittling vertically challenged meteorologists, over using the term ‘here for the right reasons’, drawing fake tattoos on their arms and having amazing hair. While their numbers may now be down to nothing, we must never forget the traditions and the ways of the Craigs.
Sarah: Now, there are only the Chrises left to be referred to by initial.
Tigh: Chris L. and Chris T.M. (The Man!).
Sarah: As always, anlamiyorum.
Sarah: Next week, the gang’s off to Lisbon! My friends just got back from a trip to Portugal, and I’ve been drooling over their gorgeous photos, so I can’t wait. The round-the-world theme definitely beats out Jake’s embarrassing “going native in St. Lucia” segments from last season, I have to say.
Tigh: And speaking of…The Vienna and Jake interview also airs next week! Looking forward to that one for sure.
Sarah: Indeed. I love how the main theme of all the teaser articles is “no one was physically injured during the taping of this interview.” MeYOW!
Tigh: Ah, Jake and Vienna back on the blog…feels like old times!
(photos: Sarah Kowalski & abc.com)