Judging by the replay of every single moment of every girl’s relationship with Brad, there will be about six interesting seconds on each of the dates. Why couldn’t they do this when Monday Night Football was still on so that I could tune out for the first twenty minutes?
Chantal — Seattle, WA
Brad meets Chantal in the park. You know, the one park in Seattle where is doesn’t rain. Chantal takes him to her place to meet her pets. She has two cats and a dog named Boca that looks like a cat. I feel much better knowing that when Brad doesn’t choose her, she’ll still have her cats. Chantal insists that the pets are coming with her and he immediately tells her that his condo doesn’t have enough space.
After sharing a drink at her place, they head off to her parents’ place. Chantal’s parents are wealthy. Their foyer looks like a museum. The first thing they discuss with her parents is the slap Chantal dished out when she first met Brad. Look how far they’ve come.
After dinner, Chantal takes a moment with her dad to tell him that she loves Brad. Then it’s Chantal’s father’s turn with Brad. He and Brad immediately bond over being masons — the actual kind, not the ones with secret handshakes and funny hats — and when Chantal’s dad holds his glass out for a toast, Brad flinches before clinking glasses. Looks like Brad’s daddy issues are solved. When Chantal’s dad mentions that he too had an absent father, everything becomes clear for me. Brad isn’t looking for love, he’s looking for a dad.
Ashley — Madawaska, ME
Ashley’s hometown is near the border of Canada and she explains that there are a lot of French speakers in the area. She takes him to a restaurant where she worked in high school and when waitress asks him in French if he is ready to order he says, “Si.” Thank god he didn’t speak German or the waitress would have surrendered. Over a plate of gravy fries, they talk about how they always talk about reassuring each other. Then I shoot myself in the face.
They go to buy a few lobsters and stop at a little fruit and veggie stand that works on the honor system. No one supervises the stand, there’s just a little
box where you put the money once you’ve chosen your food. So, free vegetables and free money.
When they finally arrive at Ashley’s home, everyone freaks out and screams and jumps up and down. It’s like Justin Bieber showed up at a Junior High School. It’s the most grating ten minutes of television I’ve ever seen. I feel sorry for Ashley’s dad. He has to live with this shit every day, though he seems okay with it.
During Brad’s discussion with Ashley’s dad, it comes out that Ashley is not actually a dentist even though every graphic I’ve ever seen says she’s already a dentist. Can we trust her? Besides, who wants a bubbly dentist? I like mine on the verge of suicide, it gives them a nice focus.
I didn’t think that Ashley could get more annoying but she took it to a completely different level with her whole family. It’s like they created a new circle of hell — and that circle speaks French.
Shawntel — Chico, CA
They open with a bad commercial for Shawntel’s funeral home. It’s awesome and you can see it right here on YouTube. This one is even better, because you can actually feel the sadness when the kids say, “…and now it’s ours.”
Brad meets her at the funeral home. There’s no buffer zone on this one. Straight to the weird stuff. When she shows Brad the crypt he almost immediately begins to freak out. If you couldn’t tell by the scared look on his face, the tinkly piano music lets us know that he’s definitely freaked out. He finally admits that he’s not comfortable with death. Just like all Americans who try to avoid everything uncomfortable. God forbid he be a man about something.
I think Adam Carolla based his book, In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks, on this guy.
They go to her parent’s house for dinner and Brad seems to be shocked that her family is actually alive. He marvels that they’re not constantly mired in gloom. Shawntel’s father mentions that he’s expecting Shawntel to take over the family business. He then takes her aside and lays a serious guilt trip on her by telling her that a family friend wanted her to be there for an embalming. He basically tells her that she’s ruining the family plans if she moves away with Brad.
When they reconvene with the rest of the family, Shawntel’s father gives them his blessing but it’s clear he’s only doing it because he doesn’t want to look like a dick in front of the cameras.
As Brad is leaving, she tells him that she’s in love with him. That probably won’t be enough to save her.
Emily – Charlotte, NC
Emily and her daughter are reunited in a park. Emily tries to explain that she “made a friend” while she was gone and the kid looks pissed. Her name is Ricky or maybe Ricki. I’m going with Ricky because I hate it less. When Brad shows up Ricky predictably hides behind her mom. Brad brings her a
kite. You know, because it’s the 1940s. Basically, Ricky completely ignores Brad the entire time. Eventually, Brad convinces her to fly the kite and they actually interact for a few seconds. It looks like a win for Brad.
They go back to Emily’s house and spend the evening playing games. Emily wants Brad to see what it’s like to spend a regular night with her and her daughter. Brad hits it off with Ricky and she even asks him to say goodnight when she goes to bed. Big win for Brad. Time to close the deal.
Back in the living room, Emily is dying for Brad to kiss her. Instead, he explains that he’s not comfortable kissing her with Ricky upstairs. He feeds her a line about how he respects her too much to kiss her right now. She doesn’t buy it. I don’t either. It gets weird and he abruptly leaves. Before he gets out the door, she basically forces him to kiss her.
Really, dude? Did your dad take your balls with him when he left?
Meeting with Chris
Brad meets with Chris Harrison to discuss the meetings with the families. We relive every single meeting but this time it’s in soft-focus. Why does Chris even bother to ask questions he knows Brad can’t really answer? It doesn’t make Brad seem any smarter when he always has to speak in bad clichés.
The Rose Ceremony
Ashley and Emily get the first two roses. I have a feeling Ashley is going to win this. She’ll be so excited she’ll puke rainbows. He gives Chantal the final rose.
Brad walks Shawntel out to the balcony for their final conversation. Instead of using the family excuse, he tells her that he didn’t feel what he should feel when she told him that she loved him. She looks hurt but manages to tell him that she respects him and wishes him all the happiness in the world. Good move if she’s angling to be the next Bachelorette.
Chantal’s Dad — for being the father that Brad never had.
Ricky — for not bowing to society’s standards and continuing to suck her thumb at age five.
Shawntel’s Dad — for not bowing to society’s standards and rocking the creepy mustache.
Dentists everywhere — my condolences for counting Ashley among your numbers.