Blessings and salutations, citizens of Earth! For one reason or another, you have seen fit to click on over to another entry in my illustrious (albeit fledgling) blog, where I write about the trials and tribulations of the adorably moronic Sean Lowe and all the gorgeous women who are trying to win his heart every week on “The Bachelor”, for reasons that escape me. Yep…that is about the long and short of “The View From Paul’s Basement”…don’t say I didn’t warn you. Time to recap Monday’s ABC-sponsored trip to Beautiful Thailand™!

Our show begins, as it does every week, with Sean smiling vacantly and talking about how he is just “crazy” about all the women that he has left, a motif that has been all pervasive over the past few weeks, largely, I suspect, as a result of Sean’s limited vocabulary. In any case, the show spends its first segment encapsulating the essence of each remaining woman in a brief 2 minute or so montage of moments. Catherine is up first, and guess what, Sean could picture being married to her! This seems like it might be a big deal, but is rendered meaningless when he says the same thing about the other two women as well. Catherine also says her biggest goal in life is to be in love and have a family, which is certainly a nice goal to have, but it doesn’t really do much to separate her from the competition or, for that matter, the vast majority of women on the planet. Then it is AshLee’s turn, the woman Sean says he has the strongest relationship with, and (of course) another woman he could see being married to. Awesome. Lindsay is last, and although she didn’t have the “depth” or “maturity” Sean was looking for, (Is anyone really surprised that Sean doesn’t see depth or maturity as important qualities he wants in his future wife? Me neither.) she does provide him with that youthful spark he cherishes so deeply within his soul. Oh, and she is 24 and extremely good looking as well, but who cares about all that superficial nonsense; we all know Sean understands it is the inside that counts.

After this re-introduction to the ladies, the show proper begins with Sean in perpetual awe of Beautiful Thailand™ all around him. Just as a heads up to my wonderful reader,(s) (Yes, I counted myself) I don’t want to get sued by ABC or Thailand, and ABC seems to think that the name of the country is officially “Beautiful Thailand™” so I put in the trademark, just to be safe. In any case, Sean is jerked away from the scenery by the arrival of one Lindsay Yenter. The two begin their day by riding to a market in a small motorcycle/open air taxi thing. They don’t discuss much of anything on the trip into town, but they do indulge themselves in quite a bit of affectionate kissing while the driver of their taxi-carriage forces himself to look straight ahead for the duration of their journey, although I am sure he made quite liberal use of his rear view mirror. You know, for safety. Once the two arrive at the market, they browse around for a bit, looking at all the Thailand-ish things taking place around them. Lindsay’s take: “Thailand is nothing like Missouri!” Hmm, maybe she and Sean are made for each other after all. Later, Sean gets Lindsay to eat a few bugs, which I guess is just one of the many great perks associated with traveling to Beautiful Thailand™. After getting their fill of insects, it is time to retire to a secluded beach, feed the local monkeys some grapes, and talk about how much Lindsay wants to tell Sean she loves him. She can’t quite bring herself to do it on the beach, but hey, what do you know, there is still over 90 minutes of show left! Nice tease, ABC!

Lindsay and Sean have dinner in the middle of some gaudy monument things, which Lindsay says are the most gorgeous things she has ever seen. I don’t mean to be rude to the people of Beautiful Thailand™, but I can only assume that Lindsay voices this opinion because she just hasn’t seen very many pretty things. If Lindsay makes it through this week, perhaps her final date with Sean can be at the Louvre or something? I think it would help to greatly expand her artistic side. Still, that isn’t nearly as bad as Sean telling her that he is looking for a wife who is funny, compassionate, and loving while then saying, “You’re both of these things.” Yes, that actually happened.

So the couple has dinner surrounded by a bunch of flashing lights, they view a traditional dance performed by the natives of Beautiful Thailand™, (Which causes Lindsay to amend her previous declaration and resolve that the dance and the dancers are now the most beautiful things she has ever seen) and of course she agrees to spend the night with Sean in the “fantasy suite”. You know, just for some alone time so they can “talk” about their relationship. I might buy that with some people, but I highly doubt Sean has the mental capacity to talk at such length without running out of things to say pretty darn fast. Just before the cameras leave Lindsay and Sean to their fate, Lindsay brings out the big guns, telling Sean finally that she loves him. After all that buildup, does Sean have something good to say in response? How does, “I love hearing you say that” sound? Does it sound like Sean’s standard cowardly cop-out? Who could have guessed something like that was coming?!?!

Sean continues his standard lackluster performance for the next woman, AshLee. During the daylight hours, Sean takes her through a dark, half submerged island cave in order to get to a pristine private beach. Both AshLee and Sean seem unnaturally scared about this. AshLee says her fear stems from not being in control in this situation, which kind of makes sense in an extreme control freak sort of way. Sean is just scared of the dark or something, I guess, because at one point he says he was thinking, “There is no way I’m going to make it through here without killing both of us.” Wow, that seems rather extreme Sean, especially considering you are taking part in this swim for a show on network TV broadcast into millions of homes. Do you really think the people in charge of ABC or the producers of “The Bachelor” are going to let you do something if there is a chance you are going to die as a result? It’s alright Sean, you don’t need to puzzle that one out, I’ll give you the answer right now: No, you will not die, and you are quite as safe as I am sitting in my basement right now. After excruciating minutes of high-octane, pulse pounding suspense, as viewers wonder whether Sean and AshLee will ever emerge alive from that death-defying cave-swimming stunt, the couple arrives (to no one’s surprise) at their destination. Hurray.

While dining in a little pagoda-like thing, Sean tells us that he is falling in love with AshLee. I’ll believe that when I hear it on your lips, my boy. He also tells AshLee that he felt really great about her from the very first day, and he could tell that she had a special heart. Amazing powers of deduction from a man who thought that ABC would let him die in a cave earlier in the day. AshLee also accepts Sean’s invitation (Although it is actually Chris Harrison writing the invitation, which just seems kind of weird to me) to a night in the “fantasy suite”, again, just so the two can “talk” (which is followed by every viewer in the world rolling their eyes). At the end of the segment, AshLee says that Sean has, “literally healed my broken heart”, which just goes to show you that people still have no clue what the word “literally” means.

The second hour of the show opened with yet another reference to the wonderful natural beauty of Beautiful Thailand™, and also with the arrival of Catherine. We also find out that she is the one responsible for that horrendous, “I’m queen of the world!” Titanic wanna-be shout, which makes me feel that Sean should just dump her over the side then and there. This, unfortunately, does not happen, so instead we are treated to Catherine talking about her vulnerability and Sean responding in as few syllables as possible. Catherine and Sean also do some snorkeling in an environment, which is, you guessed it, very beautiful, but the main highlight, at least for Catherine, is kissing Sean in the rain, which she says is the best thing she has ever done. I’ll just have to take her word for it.

At dinner, which according to the two diners is quite <please, for the love of God, insert a substitute for the word “beautiful” here>, Sean talks about how he could see himself marrying Catherine, which isn’t anything new. Catherine talks about how she is very traditional about relationships, even while accepting Chris’s/Sean’s initiation to “talk” in the “fantasy suite” in record time. There is nothing non-traditional about “talk” before marriage I guess. Then we are whisked back to LA, where Chris Harrison reminisces about Beautiful Thailand™ and–wait, never mind, he is doing a promo for Oz The Great And Powerful instead. You’re doing important work Chris, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

With only half an hour to go until Sean has to make his decision, things are getting tense. They are so tense, in fact, that Sean has to bring in Chris Harrison to have a man-talk about the situation. Sean tells Chris that making this choice will be the hardest thing he has done so far (same as last week, and the week before that, etcetera, etcetera) and that it kills him inside. Don’t worry though, because by the emotionless way Sean says this, you can tell he is dead inside already, so it won’t do any further harm. The dudes also have this exchange:

Chris — “You’re telling me you are in love?”

Sean — ” Yeah.”

Chris — *Pause* “Wow…” *Staring off into distance*

Sean — *Silence*

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present, “Deep Thoughts: With Chris Harrison and Sean Lowe”!

Sean is now in deep contemplation about whose heart he should break. You can tell he is thinking deeply because he actually picks up portraits of the women he is choosing from to get a better view, he doesn’t just look at them as they stand on the table. It is very emotional, let me tell you. He also peruses the  video each woman has made for him as a final appeal before the rose ceremony. Lindsay started hers off by saying something about Beautiful Thailand™, at which point I stopped listening. Catherine talked about how she knows that Sean is a family man, a piece of knowledge I find perplexing given that Sean is single and has no children of any kind. He must really, really love his parents and siblings. AshLee’s video had her pulling out all the stops, crying and saying that she will always love Sean because he helped break down the wall that she built up around herself while growing up as an orphan. That story is pretty tough to beat, but it is hard to tell how genuine the waterworks were.

We come, at long last, to the rose ceremony, where Chris Harrison steps up to the plate to do what he is paid the big bucks for: talk for thirty seconds and then turn the floor over to Sean. The rest is just dramatic shots of Sean holding a rose and the women looking on fearfully, until finally Sean chooses to send AshLee home. This decision does not sit well with her, and she walks out to her getaway vehicle stone-faced and silent. Just as she is about to leave, Sean gets her to turn around by asking her to at least let him explain himself. She does, and Sean gives her something like this:

Sean — “Look, I think you are great.”

AshLee — *Angry silence*

Sean — “I think the world of you, truly.”

AshLee — *Angry silence*

Sean — “I hope you understand where I am coming from.”

AshLee — *Turns and gets into the car silently*

Me — “Wait what? That was the ‘explanation’? I must have missed the explanation part, let me play that back on my DVR.”

*I watch it again*

Me — “Nope, just as I remember it. Well, Sean Lowe is a complete moron…guess I should have seen that coming.”

If someone can work out for me how those words from Sean explain to AshLee the reasoning behind dumping her, let me know, because to me it just sounded like a bunch of meaningless, empty compliments. Couldn’t he at least have pulled the old, “It’s not you, it’s me” trick? I was waiting for the “<compliment y> but…<reasons why it won’t work out a, b and c>.”

Well, anyway, that is seriously how the show ended for this week. Hard to believe, I know, but then again, it is “The Bachelor” we are dealing with here, not quality television programming. Next week, the show is going to focus on all the other women or something like that I guess, and the week after that, Catherine and Lindsay fight it out for the right to claim Sean “You have both of the three qualities I am looking for” Lowe. Have at it, ladies! If you find out he really isn’t the man of your dreams, I will be right here, in my basement. I’ll keep my futon warm for you.

ON DEMAND: The View From Paul’s Basement


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