I’ve never been big on “reunion” episodes. Call me callous, but I just don’t care enough about reality contestants’ needs for “closure” and desires to “air it all out!” after the good parts (the actual show parts) have been filmed, cut and aired. By the time the end-of-season reunion happens, I’ve already moved on, from everything, pretty much the exact second after any of it happened, and the “WHO CARES” factor is just too high.

Still, there’s a special place in my heart for the Bachelor/Bachelorette “Men/Women Tell All” episodes. For one, they have the audacity to continue to promise that not some, or a little, or “it,” but ALL will be told. That is at least 89% more telling than ever actually happens! Also, they just try SO hard. Two entire hours’ worth of trying, of squeezing one last drop of drama out of the decaying storylines of the season — that’s more hours than I would care to stay at my own high school reunion, and that’s impressive. It must be Chris Harrison’s adept ad-libbing and unbeatable banter skills. Unfortunately, tonight’s MTA lacked the big, uncomfortable fights and crying fits that have made past specials so dramatic/hilarious.

Here are the highlights and my thoughts on tonight’s Men Tell All special. And since writing about this show sometimes makes me feel like I’d get more out of life if I was watching Sesame Street instead, this recap is brought to you by the letter ‘B’:

BACKTRACKING: Ashley Recaps the Seen and Unseen “Moments of the Season”

What we saw, revisited:

  • “We’ve all been there.” – Ashley on Drunk Tim’s nap on Night One
  • “I don’t think that he was ready to be married to me, honestly.” – Ashley on her Vegas wedding first date with William
  • “A part of me just thinks that he wanted me to fall for him. He wanted to win. He played me.” – Ashley on Bentley (only a “part” of you thinks that, Ash?!)
  • “It actually hurts me that people can be so negative.” – Ashley on us

What we missed: Penile mishaps!
Apparently, the first tape that hits the Bachelor editing room floor is anything to do with dicks. On Mickey’s Vegas date, he got his junk squashed by the “wine goddess” harness. Then America’s Next Top Taiwanese Dog took a piss on Ashley and Constantine’s love lantern. Then there was a very phallic fruit bowl in Ashley’s hotel room (which Chris thinks was set up by a crew member “having fun” — COOL PRANK, PRANKSTER!).

ashley-bananabowl.jpg“Well-endowed fruit bowl, will you accept this rose?”

We also learned that Ashley’s toe knew before she did that Ryan needed to go home. She got such a killer “toe cramp” when they did tai chi together that she had to hobble off in pain, ending the best part of their date early. Way to go, toe!

As a teaser for the rest of the episode, Chris Harrison says they’re going to answer everyone’s biggest question: “What was really up with that Bentley guy, anyway?” Yeah, Chris Harrison and I care about the same amount tonight.

BACHELOR PAD PREVIEW: Bullying, Backstabbing, Bawling and Barfing! (We’re the ones barfing. The rest is all them.)

Now it’s time for us to drink deep the wafting aromas of the disgusting display of human vanity and vice that will be our new favorite Monday night addiction: Bachelor Pad 2: Electric BOO!galoo. Unhealthy relationships across the nation will have to work extra hard to get noticed after America watches whatever the hell is going to happen between Vienna, Jake and Kasey, whom, as we all know, are caught in a triple triangle of love, loathing and lies. Will one (or more) kill the other(s)? HOPEFULLY! Will we somehow get to vote who kills whom and by what method (Jake, all three of them, toy metal airplane carved into a sword)? OF COURSE NOT WHO WOULD EVER EVEN CONSIDER SUCH A THING? (Only a monster or anyone who’s ever spoken to any of them.)

Moving on. We also learned that drama between Blake (snore) and Melissa (YIKES-A-MUNDO) will become a big deal, as will the broken engagement of Holly (do we like her? I can’t remember) and Michael (aww, he cried, so I’m on his side already). At one point, Ella (#1 MOM) will threaten to punch Vienna¬† repeatedly in the nose. At another point, the men will throw paint balls at bullseyes on the women’s backs! In what is sure to be another “highlight” of the season, a simulated sex game in high-flying harnesses will be the competition of the hour. And apparently the show’s biggest selling point is that the women will be crying constantly.

So one thing from Bachelor Pad season 1 remains the same in season 2: at NO point will any one retain any basic dignity. So: What did you think of the preview footage? Will you tune in? Whether you barfed out of disgust or excitement at what we just saw, I’m pretty sure that know one thing for certain … you reacted! Probably. Share your thoughts in the comments — including any suggestions on how you’d most like to hate-love-hate with me (recaps? best/worst lists? 24/7 Pavelka Murder Watch?), as I’ll of course be covering BP2: Judgment Day when it premieres in an UNGODLY THREE HOUR BLOCK on August 8, and I want to make this the best possible experience for all of us that it can be! (Barring not watching or talking about the show at all, obviously.)

THE BOYS ARE BACK: The “Men” “Tell” Very Little, if Anything at “All”

boysareback.jpgWilliam didn’t get the memo that if you humiliated yourself during the season, you are NOT allowed to wear a suit to the reunion. CLASS PASS REVOKED.

16 guys are back to bitch about themselves, Ashley, and most of all, Bentley, who isn’t present. It’s a veritable who’s who! (As in “Who? WHO?”) Nick, Mickey, West, Chris D., Lucas, Tim, Jeff, Stephen, Ryan M., Matt, Blake, William, Ames, Constantine, Ben C. and Ryan P. have all reunited, and it feels so… bleh. Honestly, the presence of all of these men just serves to remind me how much time we didn’t see them on screen, because so much time was devoted to dumb Bentley. The only ones I care to hear from are Tim, Jeff, William and Ames, and even then it’s just so we can relive their antics.

Here are the highlights from the men’s gab sesh:

BUFFOON: William literally plugging his ears so he doesn’t have to see himself go up in flames at the roast.

william-plugsears.jpgThe paradox of simultaneous self-awareness/lack of self-awareness and self-love/self-loathing in this picture-in-picture could very well tear a hole in the fabric of time.

Ding Dong still can’t handle the heat. (And also doesn’t seem to know what the term “pulling punches” actually means.) But then, William partially redeems himself with his actually funny comeback when Nick tries to guilt-trip him. Nick: “Why are we all here?” William: “Because none of us can find a girl to date?” Unfortunately, William’s ultimate lesson from his time on The Bachelorette, “it makes you cherish life and not want to be a jackass,” is undercut by the fact that he jumped straight into Bachelor Pad 2. One thing I’ve learned about William: William NEVER learns!

BACHELOR IN TRAINING: Ryan’s turn in the hot seat draws sighs, groans and the scariest use of “book learning” ever!

It should be obvious to everyone now that Ryan wants to be the next Pavelka (minus the final psychosis fit), and parlay his (excessively dramatic) Bachelorette exit and RE-exit into a “second chance” as the next Bachelor.

ryanp-makemebachelor.jpgThe lady doth protest (and laugh) too much!

The REAL revelation comes when we learn just how OCDemented he was about this goal from Day One: He says that he bought three books of “questions” (pre-engagement and otherwise), studied them cover to cover and took “pages and pages of notes” on them (in which he, ostensibly, simply copied down all the questions that he read in the books?), to prepare for his conversations with Ashley. I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking that, with that, Ryan is officially OFF. The rest of the guys’ groans and mumbles almost drown out Ryan as he talks about how “somehow, some way” he’ll find true love. (Translation: “MAKE ME THE BACHELOR, PLEASE I’LL DO ANYTHING! I’LL READ ALL THE BOOKS!”) The signs of Forecoming Pavelka Evil are already strong with this one.

BLUEBLOOD BADASS: America’s favorite Wall Street weirdo, Ames, returns to rub his adorable robotic charms all over Chris Harrison.

Absence has made my heart grow fonder for Ames. I’ve missed his plodding, glassy-eyed, philosophy-laden one-liners since Ashley dumped him after hometowns. I think when Ashley called him “unique” so many times, what she was really struggling to say (as a compliment) was: “You’re inhuman in just the MOST endearing ways!” Chris Harrison loves Ames too, so he gives him a “gift”: His hot pink Thai boxing gloves.

ames-boxinggloves.jpg AMES FOR BACHELOR 2012!

A memento of his weakest, most publicly embarrassing life moment. Chris, you’re lucky that Ames’ wires and tubes are incapable of feeling sadness!

BENTLEY BASHING: The Men Tell Off This Season’s Villain (If He Happens to be Watching)

We begin with a recap of all of Bentley’s slimy, snake-like lies, insults and manipulations. Been there, barfed that! Chris then claims that they TRIED to make this an actually interesting discussion by inviting Bentley. But since he declined their lovely offer of public shaming… they’re going to do it anyway without him!

What I like is how the comments on Bentley increase in magnitude as the conversation goes on:
“I think that was crappy.” – Nick
“He’s a narcissist, a liar and a coward.” – Blake
“I can think of three words to say to him: Go f*ck yourself.” – Some guy I don’t remember

If only they’d talked to ONE more of the guys about Bentley, we probably would have heard a death threat! Now we’ll have to wait for Bachelor Pad to hear one. ūüôĀ

BACHELORETTE BITCHIN’: Ashley’s turn to talk to the guys.

Ashley cries when she thinks about how much time she wasted thinking about Bentley, and being humiliated on TV, and again about how mean all of us were to her. (Are you ashamed yet?!?!) Then she says, “Nice to meet you!” to Tim, because it’s funny because he doesn’t really remember her because he got blackout drunk and fell ASLEEP! OMG remember, you guys? That was the best! Drunk Tim is the best!!!! Tim’s blessing/curse is that everything goes downhill after Tim. Including this conversation.

BACKWASH: Deanna, Jason and Ali return to pat each other and Ashley on the back(elorette)s.

For a second, it looks like Jason’s publicist literally sewed his lips together to keep him from saying something regrettable … but those are just his nerves.

jason-nolips.jpgThis is a useless segment of sympathy-baiting and commiseration between a bunch of people who got paid to go on lots of dates and go abroad and become celebrities. But, more importantly, it’s between people who all knew what they were getting themselves into. (The hand motions I made during this segment are not fit for description on this blog, but let me tell you, they were HILARIOUS and INCISIVE.) What isn’t hilarious or incisive is Chris Harrison, as he says, “I like these little family get-togethers we have,” three times throughout this brief chat. Wake up, cue card man! It’s time for bloopers!


¬†Mickey made it look like he wet his own pants, Ashley made some kooky faces, and the whole living creature class of insects declared war on her face! I like this one because it looks like she doesn’t have a hand. And it also looks like Ryan has no sense of humor at all. (Another slice he’s missing from the “range of human emotions” pie?)

ashley0bugface2.jpgAnd that’s all those men told, folks. If you ask me (and of course you DO), here’s Ben to show how I rate tonight’s Men Tell All:

ben-twothumbsdown.jpgOne psychotic smile and two thumbs down! (It’s disturbing how much I loved hating it?)

Honestly, the b-word to summarize the whole affair would probably be… boring. At least on my end. But maybe you disagree! Until tomorrow night’s exciting finale, my Bachelorette babies, tell me:

– Are you excited for the finale? How about the finale RECAP? (And could it be any MORE obvious that JP is totally the one for Ashley?)
– What do you think of William now? How about Ryan and Ames? Has your love/hate changed?
– Did you love all the random Jeff the Mask moments throughout the episode? Honestly, that whole thing has grown tired for me, but even played out, the silliness of Jeff’s existence still trumps the stilted Bentley drama, any day.
– WHO SHOULD BE THE NEXT BACHELOR? (And if you still think it should be Ryan: ARE YOU OK?)
– If you had one word for tonight’s Men Tell All, it would be… ?

(Images courtesy of ABC)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like¬†The Office,¬†It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and¬†How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole¬†Twilight¬†thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.