‘The Bachelorette’ gets down to business
and one thing is obvious: Dudes are trash
4:54 PMAfter a slightly bizarre first episode of The Bachelorette, the country sat down after dealing with their families to watch a bunch of dudes fight over a woman on national television. Nothing says America like a trashy dating show, and this week did not disappoint. We finally got down to the business of who these guys can really be.
The answer was simple: not much.
What’s clear from this season of the program is that the field of people who are willing/able to be a part of this show is dwindling rapidly and the show is suffering as a result. This week, we got to meet all the contestants in a different way. Now, when it comes to dating on television, there are a couple of ground rules. You’re either there to be on television or maybe to find someone you like and get a bunch of free dates out of it. Monday proved that when you go too far either way, problems ensue.
We started things in a fun, flirty, even if somewhat stupid manner. At a group date cookout, the guys were put through the ringer of “Husband Material” challenge. Change a diaper, put on a Babybjorn, vacuum. Clear a drain, set a table, race with a bouquet of flowers. Pretty simple. With a twist. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis were there.
— Bachelorette Rose (@RealityRose_) May 30, 2017
Newsflash: Bringing on an adorable couple to cheer on a Bachelorette looking for love, never mind a famous adorable couple who also ONCE PLAYED AN ADORABLE COUPLE ON TELEVISION THEMSELVES, is just a horrible idea. I spent the whole time thinking how great it would have been to watch a Bachelor/ette season with one of them being the target and another being the host. Everyone involved instantly looked like a huge loser.
Of course, to that point, Lucas, aka Whaboom, won the challenge, showing a surprising amount of gumption in his victory. Then it all came crashing down, sort of. You might remember Blake, the drummer wannabe who spent a lot of time talking about his member during his intro interview in the first episode. He dropped a bombshell by letting the audience know that not only did he strongly hate Lucas, but he also actually knew him in real life.
So, Blake is a 31yo "aspiring drummer" with a female roommate? Please, keep talking… #TheBachelorette
— Meghan McKeown (@megg521) May 30, 2017
BLAKE YOURE AN ASPIRING DRUMMER TALKING ABOUT HOW YOU HAVE STABILITY TO BE A HUSBAND #TheBachelorette
— Hannah Kate (@hannahkate120) May 30, 2017
Mind you, this is where things have moved a little too far into the “this is real life” zone. Part of the fun of the program is suspending disbelief just enough to the point that you want to believe people sort of have their lives together enough to be there without having to *really* worry about what’s back home. But nope, Blake busted through that fantastical fourth wall, pointing out that he lives with Whaboom’s ex-girlfriend (sidebar: OK, that’s a little weird) and that his “act” is something he’s been on for a couple of years. As if he thought he was revealing deep dark government secrets, he boldly declares, “I know the real Lucas. Lucas is garbage. Rachel is looking a husband and Lucas is not here to find a wife. Lucas is here to be on television. The one person who could ruin this for him, is me, and I’m going to.”
You don’t say, old buddy. Most of us don’t actually have a problem with this. Some of us love it. Others among us might have immediately gone to his website and bought a tank top with his dumb catchphrase on it. And by “others among us,” I mean me, and by “might have,” I mean “definitely did.” It’s one thing to beef with a guy because you crossed paths with him in the house on some macho nonsense. It’s quite another to know that some low-rent ACTUAL soap opera between a couple of random Los Angeles losers is going down at home that we’ve all got to get dragged into. We don’t need to paint this far off the canvas.
"If I never hear Whaaaaboooom again, life will be amazing.”
— The Bachelorette (@BacheloretteABC) May 30, 2017
After that all calms down, we get to see Rachel’s first one-on-one date. It’s with Peter, who in all of his gap-toothed glory appears to be a relatively likable person. One problem, he is once again upstaged. His date turns into a dog date, in which Rachel’s Copper, with his wounded leg, is the star of the show. They go to something called Barkfest, which genuinely appeared to be one of the most fun outings ever. But again, with her and her dog traipsing around and having fun, Peter appears to be completely superfluous, although nonproblematic. The dog should have its own show, obviously.
Copper The Very Good Dog is the best thing ever to happen to The Bachelorette pic.twitter.com/sXHe1v0Y2k
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) May 30, 2017
The second hour is where things went full haywire, making even a shameless trash television watcher like myself feel a tad slimy. After a rather informative basketball session with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (yes, the NBA legend), real life collided with television in a way that did not help the show. DeMario, the suspected Kappa who made a lot of wild claims in the first episode, as it turns out is a fraud. Not in the sense that he’s lying about his job or station in life, but he’s basically got a girlfriend whom he ditched to be on the show.
Said woman confronted Rachel, text message receipts and all, detailing how he ghosted her to show up on television a few days later. She seemed rather happy about blowing things up, which she should have been. But it was a shame all this had to come at Rachel’s expense. She summarily dismissed him with an all-time classic line: “I’m really gonna need you to get the f— out.”
— 𝕂𝕠𝕗𝕚𝕖 (@KofieYeboah) May 30, 2017
— Emily Longeretta (@emilylongeretta) May 30, 2017
At this point, the dudes in the house get wind of DeMario’s shenanigans and the moral high-grounders step to the plate. It’s not the first time that someone’s ditched a maybe non-ex to take a chance at love on television, and it won’t be the last. Josiah, the lawyer, then proceeds to tell Rachel about how deeply offended he is that DeMario would try such a thing. Not for nothing, but dude, you’re trying to date on TV. The space is not sacrosanct, although yes, DeMario is a jerk for treating two women that way.
But once again, we were dragged into someone’s off-camera life in a way that only embarrasses everyone involved. To further double down on matters, DeMario pulls an all-time stupid move and shows back up to the mansion during the cocktail hour, looking to perhaps apologize to Rachel. She shows up out of curiosity, and the crowd of other guys still in the race gather around to watch the fireworks. The episode ends before we see the denouement, yada yada, cliffhanger.
Which points us back to the original point: We need more Rachel. For as much as we need to drive plot and fill airtime, that’s the whole point of having a Bachelorette whom people actually like. At this point, she’s become more of a prop than usual even for this show, which is saying a lot. Particularly because none of these guys has any remote standout qualities from a star or companion standpoint.
Next week, we’ll presumably get to watch some dude grovel for forgiveness and likely end up in a physical confrontation with a guy looking to show his loyalty to Rachel. It’ll be hilarious television, and we’ll likely all love it. But let’s not forget why we’re all here to begin with. More of Rachel makes the show better, and it’s time to get back to that.
Daily Dose: 5/26/17
The Bronx salutes Khalif Browder on his birthday
1:14 PMOK, so y’all know I’ll be on #TheRightTime on Friday afternoon. By now, you also know about #TheMorningRoast on Sunday mornings. But, on Memorial Day, Aaron Dodson and I will be co-hosting The Dan Le Batard Show. Yay!
Thursday was a public relations disaster, again, for the White House. President Donald Trump managed to create fiascos on, like, four different fronts after getting into a handshake battle with France, pushing aside Montenegro‘s prime minister and calling Germany a bad country. Then, at the end of the day, we found out that Trump’s son-in-law is part of the focus of an FBI investigation. Oh, and on top of that, Trump decided to bad-mouth NATO, all of which ended in what many people are calling a completely disrespectful speech.
Thursday would have been Khalif Browder’s 24th birthday. If you don’t remember, he was the kid who was locked up at Rikers Island for years with no charges and eventually killed himself after he was released. His life and death are an example of the worst-case scenarios involving the penal system in this country. Jay Z ended up making a documentary about his life. Thursday in New York, the Bronx renamed a street after Browder with a ceremony that included his family. I get angry every single time I think about how he had his life stolen from him by the New York Police Department.
When I was a kid, sick days from school meant watching The Price Is Right. Yet, while it’s not the greatest American game show of all time — that’s Family Feud — it is in the top five. And within that show, the single greatest prize game in TV history is obvious. That would be Plinko. And earlier this week, some guy broke the all-time scoring record for the pegboard contest that everyone loves. The guy who did it couldn’t be more adorable, and his 15 minutes of fame have been quite fun.
If you’ve heard me on the radio recently, you know how I feel about LaVar Ball. His dustup with Kristine Leahy was a bad look, not to mention his insensitive comments about Kyrie Irving’s mother. But he is a man about his business. And as I’ve said many times, his Kardashian business model is one that I love in theory and like in practice. Can’t wait for the Balldashians. Magic Johnson agrees with me. Now, there’s a separate question about whether these two families can even coexist within the Los Angeles Lakers organization.
Coffee Break: Some people think Lil’ Yachty is everything that’s wrong with hip-hop, from his moniker to his mumble rap style to his lack of concern for the old school. Frankly, that’s all nonsense, IMO. I like the young man. He’s got a new album out called Teenage Emotions.
Snack Time: Um, there’s a new collaboration between Drake’s OVO and the Clarks shoe company that you can go ahead and buy if you’re trying to get your pimp wizard game on this summer.
— Highsnobiety (@highsnobiety) May 26, 2017
Dessert: Need a summer plan? Try Zac Efron’s Baywatch diet. Apparently, it works.
Daily Dose: 5/25/17
Ben Carson is still wilin
12:56 PMAnother reminder: I’ll be hosting The Right Time with Bomani Jones on Friday, so be sure to tune in to ESPN Radio from 4-7 p.m. EST. Really looking forward to it, kiddos!
I don’t know what Ben Carson’s problem is. He is one of the worst types of people when it comes to being in power. He blames poor people for their own problems, as if systemic income inequality isn’t a real thing, and it’s infuriating. Not everyone can just make it out of bad situations because they want to. There are very real obstacles to upward mobility in this nation, so his arbitrary declaration that poverty is a state of mind is ignorant and harmful. Ugh.
At this point, every time Barack Obama speaks, it’s a blessing. The 44th U.S. president is such a far cry from who we have in the Oval Office now, and it’s almost weird to see a politician talking with a measured calm. Everything from Capitol Hill and the White House seems so hectic and harried that you have to wonder who’s in control at all. Earlier Thursday, during an appearance in Germany, Obama said a wall on the Mexico border is straight up not the answer.
The NFL is shortening overtime. Why? They say that 15 minutes is just too long and increases risk of injury. Sure. But presumably this situation will lead to more ties, which are always supremely weird in the league. Totally unsatisfying. It’s the second semi-major overtime modification that the shield has put in place in the past five seasons, but if you do the math, will it really lead to more ties? The answer is likely yes. Awesome.
The Lonzo Ball situation is not improving. He’s decided that he’s only working out for the Los Angeles Lakers, which is something that could eventually crush his draft stock. Sure, he’s a good player, but these kinds of shenanigans are starting to look bad. He clearly wants to play in Los Angeles. Yet, by basically boxing out every other team in the league, he might be screwed if the Lakers don’t actually decide to pick him. You live, you learn.
Coffee Break: One of the best things about California is the driving. But one of the scarier things about the state is the weather and climate situation. So when you read that a mudslide took out a large part of the Pacific Coast Highway, that is not a good omen.
Snack Time: Podcasts are all the rage right now, in all forms. It’s basically the premier form of personal entertainment. But could they possibly lead to the mainstreaming of audiobooks?
Dessert: Need some new music? Here you go.
‘Hood Adjacent’ is the show we’ve been waiting for
Comedian James Davis’ new program debuts June 28 on Comedy Central
4:56 PMThe word “adjacent” is everywhere. For example, a big trend in media now is “sports adjacent.” It’s a great descriptor for things that generally fit in one overall category but cannot necessarily be pinned to one thing in particular. For comedian James Davis, his life can best be described as “hood adjacent.” He hilariously describes this existence in his standup set. It’s a funny bit.
Now it’s a Comedy Central show. The series was ordered up during summer of last year, but now it’s got a preview and it’s beyond hilarious. I know all the gang signs but I don’t use ’em/low-key they’re complicated and really confusing is the lyric that probably best describes this ethos.
Davis is from South Central Los Angeles. Without blowing up the entire comedic premise of this program, hood adjacent is something that most black people from big cities know about. ” ‘Hood” is still short for “neighborhood.” Most black folks who aren’t relatively rich have lived in places with other black folks who have suffered similar urban plights. If you didn’t already know, everyone in the ‘hood isn’t participating in gangsta activities. That wouldn’t be remotely sustainable.
That said, I can’t wait for this show. Here’s a more in-depth look at how it was created. Hood Adjacent begins June 28 at 9 p.m. on Comedy Central.
A tale of two racist white women
They were filmed in the retail wild going off on people
4:38 PMIf you’ve ever worked in retail, you know that when it comes to people being agitated while spending money, things can get very hairy, very quickly. There’s something specifically different about the customer service experience that’s different from the food service industry or an entertainment venue, even if they’re not technically that different in terms of exchanging cash for goods.
This week, two separate videos of white women deciding to give folks a piece of their mind have gone viral, and neither is particularly flattering. The first takes place in Manassas, Virginia, at a Sprint store. When a woman is overheard saying that she can’t find a certain product at the store, an apparently Latino man suggests she try the store in Fairfax, Virginia.
I’m guessing from the proceedings that this woman made a couple of messed-up comments beforehand, as you don’t just randomly start filming people in a store just because. So when she kicks things off with “I’m in Manassas, in the ghetto,” you can presume she was already talking recklessly. Let’s watch.
First observation is her letting the curses fly in front of a child. Secondly is using her husband as a threat by proxy, which is always hilarious. I can’t imagine these two have many friends as a couple, if they’re routinely in the business of popping off in public while she writes checks for him to cash. She then goes on to use a racial slur and say one more thing that we’ll get to later. It should be known that this woman works for customer service at an airport, which is a whole other story.
Fast-forward to Wednesday, and we get this gem from someone in Arkansas. It happens in a Walmart, but the circumstances are almost eerily similar.
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In this case, the interloper appears to be a black person. How do we know? Because old racista drops an N-bomb on her. Then, when a manager comes over to settle the situation down, this lady is so self-centered that she just assumes he’s there to admonish the Latina who’s been the victim of her verbal attacks. It’s actually quite remarkable how surprised she is that her behavior is being checked.
What fascinates me most about both of these exchanges, involving white women young and old, is the notion of “their country.” Both of them hit that point within seconds, and it’s a real indication of exactly how misled many people are when it comes to the history of this nation. The number of people who genuinely believe it was solely the hard work of Anglo-Saxon Christians that made this country what it is, is staggeringly high.
If we’re being more honest, no one wants to see a United States without people of color. Never mind the fact that black folks built this country for free, but now Latinos occupy a portion of America’s workforce that, if removed, would bring this nation to its knees. Anyway, shoutout to these two people who had the gumption to film these exchanges. Someone’s got to get people like this out the paint.
Daily Dose: 5/24/17
Kaepernick is closer to becoming a Seahawk
1:16 PMProgramming alert: I’ll be hosting The Right Time with Bomani Jones on Friday from 4-7 p.m. EST, so tune in to it on ESPN Radio if you want to hear your boy yell about all the random stuff I care about.
I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for Billy Bush. He was a talented guy in this business who saw it all crater in 2016 when a 2005 video of him doing a whole lot more than towel-snapping with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during a taping of Access Hollywood surfaced. Now, he’s claiming he would have called the FBI if he thought Trump was serious — which, again, I’m not buying. He seemed pretty into the convo at the time, and he could just admit that now and it would all be way more believable. He sat with Good Morning America as part of his redemption tour.
Hip-hop is a legitimate form of scholarship. We saw this earlier in the year when a rapper/Ph.D. student at Clemson turned a full-length album into a doctorate. Now, some kid did it in the Ivy League — at Harvard, no less. This feels more like a Dartmouth move, tbh. For his senior thesis, Obasi R. Shaw submitted a rap album and got himself an A-minus. I can’t even tell you how much I enjoy this. Is he going to go on to some rap stardom life? Probably not, and who cares? Representing black people and telling our stories with our art is tremendous work.
A few hours before the season premiere of The Bachelorette, I sent out a warning. It said very plainly: This might be a good time to make sure that you have some *actual* black people covering this season, because otherwise, you might make a colossal mistake that you’ll regret. We all know how weak newsroom diversity is and, with a black woman leading the show, the racistly premised stories were bound to come. Newsweek was our first victim when they posted a story about the show, then ended up deleting. … I TRIED TO TELL Y’ALL.
— Martin (@MartinFranklinB) May 24, 2017
My dream of Colin Kaepernick going to Seattle is closer to coming true. The quarterback is visiting the Seahawks Wednesday, and here’s why he needs to be on that roster. It’s three-pronged. One, there’s no question about whether he’ll be competing for the starting job. Second, he’s not walking into a locker room where he’s the most outspoken person there. He fits into the fabric of a team with Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, two very vocal stars. Lastly, that’s a franchise that knows how to handle any potential backlash. Perfect fit.
Coffee Break: If you’re not familiar with the story of Seth Rich, it’s a messy one. A guy was killed on the streets of D.C., and certain people have been pushing a gross conspiracy theory that it had something to do with Wikileaks, prompting his family to beg for the media to stop with this. It’s gotten really ugly, and his family is in pain.
Snack Time: Farming while black is not one of the usual categories we talk about when “doing things while black,” but as it turns out, the people calling the cops on black farmers are the white ladies in yoga pants.
Dessert: Tokyo loves its cars, and this is awesome.
Leslie Jones is hosting the 2017 BET Awards
which means it just became must-see TV
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Comedian and actor Leslie Jones has had an interesting few years. She was hacked and had nude photos leaked and was insulted mercilessly for being a part of the Ghostbusters reboot. Now, she’ll be hosting the 2017 BET Awards, which means: Watch out.
Personally, I think Jones is awesome. But I genuinely don’t enjoy the fact that every single sketch she’s a part of on Saturday Night Live seems to be a long, awkward commentary on her love life. Maybe that’s picking nits, but it just seems like there’s a whole lot more to be mined in a grown woman’s comedic range than just who she’s sleeping with, in reality or not.
That said, the sketch about her trying to portray President Donald Trump was probably the funniest thing I’ve seen on that show in years. It was a bit of a self-own, considering that SNL seems to have no idea how to incorporate black women into its comedic framework, so much so that people are actually leaving the show. If you forgot, here it is.
“BET was the first place I ever did comedy on TV, so it’s a full-circle moment of coming home where I started. I went out in the world and did what I needed to do and now I can come home to my people and say, ‘Yo! Look what I did!’ ” Jones told People magazine.
As for the show, this is the perfect platform for Jones. She doesn’t have to completely focus on herself as the source and butt of all her jokes and can turn her fire on the celebrity world, which is fantastic. Now that I’m thinking about it, she should probably have her own late-night talk show. And there’s no reason it couldn’t be on BET.