This week on ABC’s “The Bachelorette” with Ali, the awkwardness continues. A more appropriate title for the show might be High School Redux as the cast of characters play out stereotypical roles and demonstrate that the pecking order never really changes. Like in high school, the perky blond has all the guys fawning, fumbling and fighting for her affections. But more often it seems like the real rivalry is within the male ranks, as the guys continually try to one-up each other. They’re not fighting for Ali as much as they’re trying to rule the roost.
Of course every episode of The Bachelorette has its requisite hot-tub hopping and spit-swapping, but the real drama is played out in soul-crushing scenes of awkwardness and missed cues. For viewers who tune in to witness the end of civilization, reality shows always deliver the goods. And Jonathan Novak the Weatherman doesn’t disappoint either, repaying audiences with scenes of excruciating pathos and bathos.
I’m particularly invested in Weatherman’s fate on this show, since he delivers my local Houston forecasts. I got a chance to catch up with the series, and Jonathan was in fine form, displaying his now-trademark boyish charm with an embarrassment of emotions on display.
The setting for this episode’s emotional meltdown was the shoot for a Barenaked Ladies video involving faux love scenes between Ali, in the role of heartbreaker, and each of the guys. After watching a string of guys pull out their best romantic moves with Ali, it was our shy hero’s turn. Reluctant to engage in an actual lip-lock with our heroine Ali and risk tarnishing the pure, shining, genuine love that beats within his boyish heart, the staged love scene is failing miserably.
Meanwhile, the Greek chorus of erstwhile high school jocks looks on with disdain. In fact, I believe one guy opined that seeing Weatherman kiss Ali would be nothing short of disgusting. After a couple unsuccessful lunges that fail to hit their target, the locker-room leering and jeering of the beefy jerks gets under Jonathan’s thin skin, and the audience is treated to the sight of a single high-definition tear rolling down his peach-fuzzed cheek. Exasperated, Ali takes charge and plants one smack dab on Weatherboy’s lips, putting him – and the audience – out of our collective misery.
Oh, and some other stuff happened as well, in between the hot-tub hopping and ego-deflating. Crippled Wrestler guy limped ten miles (really?) to Bachelorette Ali’s pad, stealing the thunder from her intended date and setting the scene for more male on male infighting. In the end, both he and Weatherman received their roses, ensuring them the chance to make fools of themselves for love, for at least one more episode.
I’ll keep watching – and rooting – as long as the Weatherman is on the scene. But I have to remind myself that this isn’t the movies. In reality TV, as in life, the shy, awkward guy rarely wins the girl when there are bigger hunks in the picture.