In Movies & TV Reviews

Harrison and Colton hanging out, post Portuguese escape.

"The Bachelor" Rose Rundown: Finale part one is a bombardment of breakups

Oddly enough, watching "The Bachelor" is a lot like watching March Madness. No, not just because it typically involves a lot of alcohol – much like the NCAA basketball tournament, things get much less interesting once you get to the final rounds. Everyone watches for the upsets and sticks around for the Cinderella stories, but by the time we finally get to the final bunch of teams, things get predictable and tedious, and everyone interesting is long gone.

"The Bachelor" is the same way. No matter how many times Harrison insists that this is the most exciting, emotional, etc. finale ever, everyone with actual personality was probably booted weeks ago, and it's growingly obvious how things are going to end – despite the show's insistence on the contrary. And because I'm just tired and wined up enough to take this metaphor too far, Tayshia is like the Loyola (Chicago) or the underdog of the tournament, a fan favorite who's made it far only to get its heart inevitably dashed close to the finish. Hannah G. is like Gonzaga, a charming favorite who's highly ranked yet is still fun – and is probably doomed to lose. And Cassie is Duke, the team nobody wants to root for but you know will probably win in the end and who the producers are going to try to make you feel excited about – but dammit, you're going to need a lot more alcohol to make this palatable.

But at least March Madness doesn't stop games in the final five minutes to cut away to four irrelevant dudes boringly debating in a studio what may or may not happen, only to say you'll have to come back 24 hours later to see how it all ends.

Indeed, because we've got two nights to stretch this finale out for, "The Bachelor" Monday night spent about half of its running time live in the studio with Harrison and company watching the finale and occasionally interviewing the newly heartbroken women. And because we need to stretch it out even more, there's also a clip show of everything that's happened over the last two months of Colton's season – just in case you were knocked unconscious and are now battling amnesia. Listen, "The Bachelor": You're not "Game of Thrones." Nobody needs a plot refresher. But hey, at least these live studio cutaways don't feature Krystal and (sigh) The Goose partying in a hot tub for no reason other than they were available.

Last we checked, Colton hopped a fence (WOOO!) and was now wandering the Portuguese wilderness, sad and probably wildly sexually frustrated. Meanwhile, Harrison and his cameras have no idea where he went, now roaming the woods calling out for Colton and doing their best impression of "The Blair Witch Project." If you find him standing in the corner of a room with his back to you, IT'S TOO LATE, HARRISON! He's apparently close to calling the police for help finding their runaway reality star when they find Colton, just walking down a street to ... somewhere. Maybe he's trying to find a Portuguese bar to drink his woes away. No matter the case, he wants to be done with the show. Meanwhile, I want him to stop using his scarf as a Kleenex. Man, nobody wants a snotty scarf.

Harrison gives him the night to think about his choice, so the next morning, he drops back in on his star and asks him for approximately the 47th time if he's OK. Turns out: NOPE! Colton thinks that her lack of certainty is the problem and that if he eliminated the other women, maybe she'd feel more confident moving forward with him. That's right: His theory is that the ENTIRE CONCEPT OF THE SHOW is the problem. Harrison has a different theory: Maybe ... she's just not that into you? COLD BLOODED, HARRISON. But Colton ignores that advice and decides that, since Cassie completes him (somebody watched "Jerry Maguire" after his impromptu hike through Portugal), he's going to fight for her.

And fighting for her means axing Tayshia and Hannah G. from the show – right now.

Meanwhile, back at the live studio, everybody is awkwardly silent and Harrison keeps asking whether or not Colton will lose his virginity. NOT IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW, HARRISON.

First stop: Tayshia's apartment, where she answers the door looking like she's been waiting for him all day. Probably wasn't expecting this, though! He starts the conversation with "You're incredible" – and no good relationship conversation has ever started with that. And that streak isn't ending here, as he tearfully breaks up with her, telling her stunned-into-a-smirk face that he loves Cassie instead. She asks if they can talk without the cameras, and Colton complies. WAIT, THAT WAS AN OPTION THIS ENTIRE TIME!?

But while the cameras stay out of the way, the producers sneakily neglect to remove their mics, so we get all the fun audio of the rest of the breakup while staring at the world's most blindingly white door. From what we can hear, Colton's taking this breakup harder than Tayshia, as she's the one comforting him. WHO BROKE UP WITH WHO!? There's a bunch of wheezing and crying and heavy breathing and heartbeat sounds and ... are these two having breakup sex behind that door? Is that how Colton got his passport to Sexville stamped for the first time!? THAT WOULD BE A TWIST. But no, Tayshia's just helping her poor heart-broken now ex-boyfriend cope with ... his breaking up with her. They hug for a final time, he leaves and then she bails as well ... to the live set, where she's talking with Harrison and dropping spicy hot takes such as, after the breakup, she felt bad! STUNNING REVELATIONS. Very glad we're wasting 45 minutes of this episode on these live studio segments.

Seriously, "The Bachelor": Nobody is watching your reality show for live studio bits. If I wanted to watch couples discuss their relationship woes on couches in front of a studio audience and an overpaid mediator, I'd watch "Dr. Phil." I'm here for reality show drama, not boring counseling sessions with a very bad therapist. The only fun from these live bits? Discovering Colton's new haircut, which looks like he finally had sex and hasn't showered or fixed his hair since. Either that, or maybe the on-set stylist was pulling for Hannah G.

Speaking of Hannah G., she's alive! After disappearing for an episode and a half, Hannah G. is indeed still around, just writing new rap lyrics in her diary and dreamily thinking about falling in love with Colton and definitely not preparing to have her heart ripped out of her damn chest and pummeled with a jackhammer. Alas, that's exactly what happens as Colton pops by and breaks up with her, confusing the hell out of her – and himself for that matter, as now he's not sure if he's making the right decision. This is a lot of heartbreak, work and effort for somebody who effectively broke up with you, last we checked. Mistakes are being made tonight. Anyways, she drops by the live set as well to talk with Harrison, to beat the hell out the microphone on her chest and to chat with Colton after the fact about his decision. In general, it's pretty boring.

But that's OK because we've got about 20-25 minutes left of show – just enough time for Colton to chase down Cassie, who is conveniently STILL packing to go home, and give us a dramatic final confrontation and proclamation of love.

Or instead we could waste my precious time by talking with four random "Bachelor" has-beens who, of course, were available but have no interesting or valuable insight into the situation. Guess which option the show picked!

Yep, instead of ending the show Monday night, Harrison spent the final chunk of the episode talking with Ben, Jason, Blake and homophobic, transphobic, crisis actor conspiracy-peddling, overexcited human labrador Garrett – this time with more stubble! What do they have to say? NOTHING INTERESTING. And here's the worst part: At one point, Harrison says to Garrett, "Your girl is here." YOUR GIRL!? Don't you mean Becca, THE FORMER STAR OF YOUR FREAKING SHOW!? And now she's just "Garrett's girl," property not to be seen or heard from? Which is all the more baffling because, more so than any of the four bores on the stage, Becca would have actual insight here! She dated Colton! She was once the Bachelorette, having to make these kinds of tough decisions! Much like Hannah G. and Tayshia, she was broken up with in horrifically dramatic and unconventional fashion! She seems like somebody who might have something to say – a lot more than FRIGGIN' GARRETT. How dare you remind me that he exists, show.

The real sin, however, is airing this entire live segment instead of just showing us the final meeting between Colton and Cassie. Instead, we get a few shots of Colton walking around a park, looking dead in the eyes and telling the camera via voiceover that "he knows what he has to do." Um ... is he going to murder Cassie?

Obviously no. Prediction time: "The Bachelor" is going to attempt to salvage a happy ending from this debacle of a conclusion, with Cassie taking Colton back after he's eliminated all of the other women in his life and the show pretending that she totally wasn't into him approximately two days ago. And while they'll give it some swooning music and a Neil Lane diamond ring, nobody wants this – I imagine least of all Cassie. Damn Colton – getting in the way of a perfectly good "Bachelorette" audition tape by falling in love. I give them six months.

And I give this season one more night to finally end. I admit I've enjoyed this season far more than expected – but this dragged-out finale's starting to make me regret that I did.

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