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Jews Watching TV: The Bachelorette with Andi Dorfman, Episode 2

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my misstep in last week’s recap—as a couple of eagle-eyed fans pointed out, former Bachelor Jason Mesnick is Jewish, and thus, Andi is actually the second Jew in a titular role—but still the first Jewish Bachelorette, so my error wasn’t that egregious. I welcome future corrections from dedicated fangirls (and boys), should I err again. Now, on to episode two.

The scene opens on the remaining 19 contestants, who await their operating instructions from host Chris Harrison. He delivers the first one-on-one date card to Eric Hill. “Maybe this is the key to my fairy tale,” Hill responds. It’s a sad, discomfiting statement—more so than the standard, banal Bachelorette-isms—as we all know what happens to Eric later.

He and Andi get into a little convertible and drive to a place with sand, water, and a boardwalk. “What’s this place called?” asks Eric, the seasoned world traveler. Andi answers helpfully, “the beach.” It can only get more stimulating from here on out, right? They frolic around and make sand angels, and then thankfully the awkwardness of their interaction is cut short when a surprise helicopter shows up to whisk them away to a snow-covered mountain for a snowboarding lesson. Their teacher, Louie, drops the first really horrible grammatical colloquialism of the evening—“Thanks for letting me tag along on your guys’s date,” he chirps—and then we watch Andi fall and fall again and continue to frolic with Eric, but this time on a snowy surface.

Finally they attend to dinner, where Andi, engulfed in a warm and cozy sweater, settles comfortably on the couch and says, “Tell me about when you went to Syria.” Eric obliges, and if you were just going by Andi’s facial expressions, you would think Eric was discussing how he lost a big football game in high school rather than the time he barely escaped from rebel fighters in a very dangerous Middle Eastern country. She does perk up a little when Eric talks about wanting a family more than anything; the poignancy of this moment is genuine and acute. They end the date by roasting marshmallows—no, that’s not a euphemism for anything—and Eric tells Andi about the time in Guatemala when he roasted marshmallows over a volcano vent. Andi purrs and says “stooppp” for the fifteenth time and suddenly, the DNA test I ordered for her last week is redundant because she sounds exactly like a million other Jewish women I know.

Over to the rest of the guys prepping for their group date. “Let’s bare our souls,” reads the date card, and the men start hooting excitedly as if engaging some weird ritualistic pre-mating call (and aren’t they?). Surprise, surprise, the group date is literally as described! The guys must perform a striptease for a bunch of women including Andi, but it’s all for charity so it’s not completely without class.

Marcus, the half-Pole, half-German guy looks terrified, despite possessing a more than adequate six-pack. “I’m a little more… reserved,” he says, and I find myself warming towards him as the spectacle of flesh begins. Chris Harrison shrugs his shoulders and slaps a tush. “The things I do so you can find love,” he calls to Andi, but really, he doesn’t look put out in the least. Though I had hoped never to use the word anal again in this recap series, I must use it here to refer to the area Nick exposed when he bent over a little too far and shocked both Andi and ABC’s censors. Marcus, who had been so nervous, manages to pull it together and shake and shimmy with the best of them, and I begin to wonder if it was all an act. Is nothing sacred on reality television anymore?

Anything remotely interesting about this episode has now ended, as the “scandal” they had saved for the latter part involved a contestant who got drunk and unwittingly made himself look like a fool, unlike the other guys, who were sober fools. Andi has a second one-on-one date at the pony races with a guy named Chris, who seems entirely unremarkable but gets a rose anyway.

The drunk contestant, Craig, doesn’t get a rose, and this appears to have a literally sobering effect on him. Overexposed stripper Nick does not get a rose either. Roll credits. I realize that my experience watching the Mad Men season finale the night before this episode was like a short snapshot of the highs and lows of television and also, America. God bless.

Image: ABC / The Bachelorette

Previously: The Bachelorette with Andi Dorfman, Episode 1: In which many hot men emerge from limos, and a doctor is eliminated

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