It’s only Episode 2 of the "Bachelorette," and already the guys are fighting over Charlotte's Emily Maynard and saying things like “I’m willing to do almost anything for her” and “I will pack my bags and I will go wherever she asks me to go.”
Wait a minute let me check my notes OK, never mind – this kind of stuff was happening in Episode 1, too.
Anyway, Charlotte figured prominently in Monday night’s two-hour installment, as did a misspelled town in West Virginia, love notes and the Muppets. Here are some highlights.
Best idea for a date: You can practically hear the record player scratching when Ryan learns that his date with Emily will begin with helping her unload groceries and baking cookies for her daughter’s soccer team. What’s great about this? Context. Trying to get people to fall in love in Bora Bora is like trying to get a dog to eat bacon. Putting Ryan in a mundane situation was a clever idea.
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Least intimate intimate moment: Of course, nothing mundane lasts forever – or even for one night – on “The Bachelorette,” and soon Ryan and Emily are given a sports car and pointed toward the NC Music Factory on the edge of uptown Charlotte. They’re greeted by a massive, cheering throng in the parking lot (“Charlotte is a small town,” Emily says, “and when there’s something going on, everybody knows about it”). After a private dinner at Osso Restaurant & Lounge, they step out onto the plaza and are serenaded by the country band Gloriana; as they dance, they agree it’s a perfect date. Because every perfect date involves a thousand people all taking video of you on their cellphones at the same time. (Ryan got a rose.)
Funniest segment: You mean the couple calling that a perfect date wasn’t the funniest part of the episode? OK, then it comes during the group date at Booth Playhouse in uptown Charlotte. There’s a surprise appearance by the Muppets, who are their mentors and muses for the evening. They’re preparing for a fundraiser that will go on to earn $20,000 for the Ricky Hendrick Center for Intensive Care at Levine Children’s Hospital. Kermit enters Emily’s dressing room at the exact moment she needs help getting her dress zipped. He zips, just as Miss Piggy walks by. Cut to an interview with Piggy: “If I see ‘The Bachelorette’ flirting with my Kermie just once, it’s HI-YAA time!” No? Well, I laughed. (And Jef got a rose.)
Worst spelling mistake: After the group date, Emily picks Joe to accompany her on a trip to her hometown of “White Sulpher Springs, West Virginia,” which is clearly an ABC typo and suddenly makes us question whether Jef’s name hasn’t been missing an extra “f” this whole time.
Second-most awkward moment of the episode: During their “romantic” date at the Greenbrier, a luxury resort in the town of White Sulphur Springs – Sulph ur, Sulph Ur Joe struggles to string words into logical sentences and responds to Emily’s “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question with quite possibly the most boring answer he could have devised: “In five years, I see myself happy.” This is not the awkward moment, of course. The awkward moment comes when they put notes in the “Love Clock.” Joe longs to meet momma Maynard and little Ricki; Emily longs for a way to magically teleport her way out of this evening. (Joe doesn’t get a rose.)
Most awkward moment of the episode: Ryan seems like a nice guy. And love notes (Joe’s being a notable exception) often curry favor with women. There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with Ryan’s love note to Emily, unless your definition of wrong is writing a novella, making the recipient read it out loud, and blatantly monopolizing Emily’s time. OK, so it was a little wrong. Fortunately for Ryan, there was Tony – who makes Ryan look like Prince Charming in comparison by inviting himself into the room and pretending to wait patiently for story time to break up. From about 10 feet away. It wasn’t just awkward; it was creepy.
Yet Tony managed to get a rose, along with Ryan and Jef from earlier, Kalon, Arie, Michael, Nate, Sean, Chris, Doug, Travis, Tony, John, Alessandro, Charlie, Alejandro, and Stevie. The biology teacher (Aaron) and the financial advisor (Kyle) were sent home, which is fine since I had forgotten they were on the show and now don’t have to remember them next week.
Speaking of next week looks like there’ll be a make-out session between Emily and Arie, a cameo by Dolly Parton, a cameo by the Mint Museum Uptown, and an – gasp! – an unceremonious breaking of Travis’s precious egg?? Stay tuned