The Bachelor, Episode Eight: Meet the Parents
The time has come for The Brad to visit the remaining four ladies’ hometowns. We’re down to Chantel, Shawntel, Ricky Bobby, and Ashley.
First stop: Seattle! Chantel is excited to “take this relationship to the next level,” which these people say about as often as I say, “I wonder what to have for lunch.” Chantel lives four streets away from her parents, with her two cats and her dog. The Brad admits right away that his new wife (whichever lucky lady that might be) would have to move to Austin.
When they arrive at her apartment, Chantel’s tiny dog is wearing a sweatshirt, which is not a good look for either of them. They drink Corona on her leather couch. The Brad actually asked this question, while looking at Chantel’s three pets: “How many of these would be coming with you?”
Chantel’s parents live in a McMansion, and her mother has had a LOT of plastic surgery. You know what? So has her father, Wayne Newton. Ewww! What would you do if your mother had giant fake boobs? Their house has enormous fake columns and everything is a different shade of faux-finished taupe. I think her father has hair plugs, and he’s dressed like a twenty-year-old. Chantel actually seems surprisingly normal, given her parents.
Then Chantel’s father takes The Brad outside and shows him a giant bronze sculpture that “his friend introduced him to.” It’s a man carving himself out of stone. “The concept is self-made man,” Chantel’s father says. I literally cannot breathe I am laughing so hard. Then they bond over their history of brick-laying, or something. The Brad tells Chantel’s father that he is going to be a damn-good father. A damn-good father! He repeats it.
Chantel and her mother sit in the living room and cry. The Brad and Chantel’s father hang out in the wine cellar, and pronounce each other “great men.” That was fast. I think my money is on her, if only because The Brad wants to inherit that house someday.
Now we’re in Madawaska, Maine! Ashley is practically Canadian. Their first stop is at a restaurant where she worked as a teenager. “Isn’t that cute?” Ashley asks. The French-Canadian waitress brings over some poutine. Where’s my poutine? Ashley feeds The Brad a fry and says, “Oh, I can see your crown!” She’s a dentist, which I suppose is impressive, given that most of these women don’t have real jobs. I wonder if The Brad is threatened by that. Probably. I bet he wishes she was a personal trainer. Next stop, lobster shack! Farm stand with an honor system! I am moving there, I’m not joking.
Ashley’s family looks really normal, and she seems genuinely excited to see them. They all crowd together around a dining room table and eat some giant lobsters. Ashley’s dad is wearing a plaid shirt, and seems soft-spoken and kind. Oh, okay, it turns out Ashley is still in dental school. That makes sense, given that she’s 24 years old. I would rather hang out with Ashley’s father any day of the week. Ashley’s sister has lots of tattoos and a cool haircut and I want Brad to fall in love with her instead.
BEST PART OF THE SHOW: An actual commercial for Shawntel’s family’s funeral home. Incredible. I wonder if they’d make my book trailer. The Brad is now on his way to Chico, CA, where he is going to get freaked the fuck out. Obviously he goes straight to the funeral home to make out with her. She takes him on a tour of the mausoleum. She asks him whether he would like to be cremated, and then shows him where she would put his ashes. To the crematorium! The Brad is just walking around, shaking his head. To the prep room! “It fascinates me that you embalm people,” Brad says. I wonder what he thinks ‘fascinate’ means. She walks him through the process, and shows off her tools. Girl, there is a man out there for you, but this is not the one. “I don’t handle death well,” Brad says. You don’t say.
Shawntel’s family welcomes The Brad with open arms. They eat macaroni and cheese and drink wine and she has a younger sister named Destiny. The Brad is a total liar and tells us he can see being a part of their family. Then the hammer drops: Shawntel is supposed to take over the family business. Awk-ward! Dad, don’t worry: there is no chance in hell that Brad is going to propose to your daughter. I really wish that Shawntel was Claire Fisher, and Brad had to deal with Ruth and David and Nate and Rico and dead Lili Taylor right now. How is it that those people were so much more real than any of these wooden chucklefaces?
Welcome to Charlotte, home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame! Ricky Bobby (who I will now call Emily, which is her actual name) and her tiny clone of a daughter are hugging in the park, and lookee, here comes The Brad! Emily’s daughter, Ricky, has zero interest in talking to Brad. She’s very cute. Watching Brad try to talk to this little girl is really painful. He’s trying, and she is shutting him down like it’s her job. But then they start flying a kite, and Brad says he would relish the opportunity to be a father-figure to little Ricky. Maybe we shouldn’t bring up his Daddy-issues right now. Maybe that would be mean.
Emily’s house is much nicer than everyone else’s. It seems like she actually lives there, and has a modicum of good taste, though there are too many throw pillows. Brad tells Emily that he respects her too much to kiss her, and she is not having it. “I guess I’m just a weird guy, and that’s that,” Brad says, and for one of the first times all season, he and I agree. Girlfriend takes matters into her own hands and grabs him by the face. Finally. Wait, so he doesn’t meet her parents because she has a daughter? That’s kind of weird. It seems like an implication that she has an adult life that the others don’t, as if they’re all still virgins and live with their parents. I think he should have met Emily’s family. I’m surprised the producers didn’t make him meet the dead father’s parents. Let’s get real, ABC.
Back in New York, The Brad is staying at the Gansevoort Hotel. His buddy Chris Harrison comes to visit, and Chris reminds him that Ashley didn’t tell him that she loved him, which is obviously So Fucked Up. The women are all wearing prom dresses, and looking very uncomfortable. The Brad is now entering the phase of the Bachelor where he doesn’t want to send anyone home, and would rather have a harem. Oh wait, that was just inside his head. The first rose goes to Ashley. The second rose goes to Emily, who has the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen. The third and final rose goes to Chantel, who my eloquent husband describes as “Boobs.” Sorry, Shawntel, that means your time here is up. We all saw this coming as soon as she whipped out the scalpel and said the words “corotid artery,” did we not? She is never going to forgive her father for this. Honey, may I suggest the internet? There are so many guys who would want to lie on your table, if you know what I mean. It’s going to be a long limo ride back to Chico.
Next stop: South Africa! For no reason! Time for the fantasy suites. I can tell you right now who is going to give it up: Ashley and Chantel. Repeatedly.
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