Last time on The Bachelorette: Oh, you know the drill. 25 men, 5 limousines, 3,614 cocktails, 15 roses, 1 rose left, 1 overhead champagne toast.
Let's get going . . .
Top Ten Expectations for Episode 2
1. Meredith will have a difficult time deciding who goes home. 2. The word “dramatic” will be associated with the Rose Ceremony. 3. At least one bachelor will complain about not getting any 1-on-1 time with Meredith. 4. Meredith will appear in three teasing video messages. 5. The men, being men, will high five each other at some point. 6. Dajaki will confuse Chad with Brad and Ryan R. with Ryan M. 7. Rick will find some way to promote one of his plethora of products. 8. Someone will get the first kiss. 9. The only liquids we will see anyone drink require a driver’s license to purchase. 10. Chris will remind everyone that there is one rose left.
The second episode opens with Chris the Generic Host Guy calling all the fellas into the living room of the luxurious Beverly Hills mansion in which they are residing. There is a little chitchat so that all can see how satisfied the bachelors are with the amount of money ABC is spending on them. Then Chris launches into the very important things he must tell them. First of all, The Bachelorette, in an attempt to avoid predictability, will not begin with 3 group dates. The men look around in surprise, or at least Ryan M. does. I think. I can never tell if he's surprised or if his eyebrows are permanently fixed in the upright and locked position. Meredith will go on two group dates with 7 men each, and Rick, the lucky recipient of the white rose, will get the first 1-on-1 date.
Rick graciously receives the accolades of his competitors and manages to do it while looking like a tool in a ridiculous little black hat. Rick attributes his ownership of the white rose to the infamous and oft cited "connection". "We looked into each other's eyes. I think that we could see each other's souls." You know, that line works no better on TV than it does in a Harlequin Romance. And Rick's creepiness factor goes up.
Chris (I keep typing Christ and have to edit it) introduces this group of rubes to the concept of videotape, telling them that Meredith's invitations will come in this high tech medium. He pops the first one in the VCR. Now, the invitation is full of annoying innuendo and a cheesy blown kiss, but what really bugs me is that Meredith is wearing a pink and black lace bustier. Who the heck wears a bustier for off-road riding? Does she want the men to think that this date is an odd permutation of the Bambi hoax; whoever catches the lingerie-clad girl gets her? Ick. But, once the video is over, the men, being men, pass around the high fives.
Who Needs a Luxe Spa When You Can Get a Mud Treatment this Way?
Meredith picks up the 7 men, and they head out to the airport where 2 helicopters are waiting to whisk them away. Meredith sits between Chad and Marcus for the ride out. Marcus looks as if he is going to grab a barf bag at any second, while Chad can't wait for the next time the pilot banks sharply so that Meredith will lean into him. I see that Chad gets thrilled as easily as most junior high boys do.
The party of 8 lands at Coyote Dry Lake in Paradise Valley, CA. They gear up, choose their ATVs and have a grand old time. Evidently, the dry lake ain't so dry, because Meredith & Co. find a choice mud bog in which to spin tires and spatter each other ferociously.
Meanwhile, back at the bachelors' luxurious Beverly Hills mansion, Rick's video invitation appears. Meredith, having ditched the bustier, is wearing Gwyneth Paltrow's pink Oscar evening gown that an ABC gopher found at a thrift shop on Melrose. She is also wearing a white fluffy thing around her shoulders. I won't say what it is just in case any of my friends from PETA are reading. I wouldn't want to offend them; after all, they never offend me. Meredith invites Rick to dinner at a luxurious Beverly Hills mansion (hereafter LBHM) where they'll have a ball. Okay, first of all, why dinner at an LBHM? Rick's living in one with 14 other guys. Meredith's living in one with a stockpile of roses. Do they really need to eat dinner at another one? And another thing, how many LBHMs does this production have access to? I've been to Beverly Hills. No one is standing on street corners just handing out door keys to these things! Anyway, Rick is so thrilled at the prospect of going on a date with girl and having a ball that he has to put his awful black hat in his lap.
Returning to the most fun of the 3 dates - After all the mud-encrusted DAWs have cleaned up in the designated Bachelorette RV, the men have opportunities for individual wooing at a fabricated "oasis" a short distance away from the RV. It's really rather cute in a Wal-Martian sort of way; two potted palms, a blow up swimming pool, a large mat, and several throw pillows left over from the annual white sale. Ryan M. is the first to take advantage of the setting, followed by a brief parade of other men. Soon it's time for Meredith and the 7 dwarves to return to the city. The ride back is filled with merry moments involving liquor in Styrofoam cups and a scary minor league hockey player in baby-making mode.
Top Ten Highlights of ATV Date 1. Ryan M. discovers that Reality TV is real yet insists on describing it as surreal. 2. Matthew plucks globs of mud from Meredith’s face – and it’s a sexy moment! 3. Harold, in an odd interpretation of Emma Thompson’s performance in Peter’s Friends, begs Meredith to let him fill her with his babies. 4. Brad mistakes his alone time with Meredith for an audition on The Apprentice. 5. The pool at the oasis has a rubber ducky floating in it. 6. Ryan M. really expects his 30s to be the greatest stage of his life. 7. The plastic set-decorating flamingos are, mercifully, left in the desert. 8. ATV discrimination abounds as all the men get green ATVs while Meredith is stuck with an orange one. 9. Brad’s missing Speedo story, aired at the end of the episode, which we all know he invents on the spot just to get Meredith to start thinking about his bare bum. 10. Meredith’s whole-hearted fun, ripping through the mud on the ATV. You know Trista wouldn’t have done that!