Island Of Tropic Diseases

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Loser Is As Loser Does

"Being with Meredith here in San Juan is the best of the best," Ian says, a real stickler for the dialect of the words "Sahn" and "Hwon," the latter of which blows me backwards off my chair like a strong gust among otherwise light tropical breezes. He and Meredith retreat to an outdoor deck, and as they sit down to dinner, Ian speaks of their "strong connection." Can we have a thing where if someone busts out with one of the Bachelor/ette buzzwords, I get to skip recapping the whole scene?

The end.

Dang. That was good, albeit somewhat short-lived. Anyway.

Ian: "Well, the only thing that worries me is that one conversation we had early on -- your first day on this journey -- what were your expectations at the end?" That didn't make any sense, didn't start off as a question, and used the word "journey." But Meredith's one sip ahead of him, so her sweet, beautiful drunk talk takes the form of, "I just didn't expect, y'know, you," because they do have chemistry and Ian is the winner. Ian reminds us in a confessional that he's totally falling for Meredith, but wants to make sure the moment is right. Right, like The Hand Of Non-Commitment on which he's going to be slipping the ring? "It's not my way to do things publicly," Ian tells Meredith, just to make sure that we're set up for the reasons that the end of this season is romantic, even when Ian is declared the winner and declines to pin the pin on because he was too shy. "I want to have my private life," he declares on television. "It's gonna be private." They gaze for a maddeningly long time and the audience is charmed. Except for one person who, somewhere in Vail, mumbles a put-out "Gimme the remote, fire-boy; that blond boy said a word I didn't understand." But all of the things that make Meredith so uncompelling also make her so damn real, and so she tells us, "You have to have love first before you have the ring. I don't want the ring just because. Both would be nice but, y'know, what's better than love?" Maybe nothing, but not having to watch Ian and Meredith trade a Caribbean Sea's worth of swapped spit comes in a real close second.

I mean, do enough people know this show well enough that it could sell as a pitch for a fiction screenplay? Because it's so formula it could be so easily slotted into the rules of a Hollywood script: girl meets boys, girl eliminates some boys, girl and boy consider an invitation to spend the night together in the faaaahntasy suite. I mean, the language doesn't even change from season to season. Only the names change. To protect the imaginative: "Dear [insert names of talentless reality-show participants]: I hope you're enjoying your stay in [insert picturesque, often tropical city]. Should you decide to forgo your individual rooms, please use this key to stay as a couple in the fantasy suite." Anyone interested in hazarding a guess as to who the "I" is who has written this personalized letter? Oooh! Maybe that can be the hook of the screenplay. The "fantasy suites" are really chambers of torture where the mysterious, Agatha-Christie-inspired "I" is a killer who keeps offing reality-show contestants! And the movie can be called Fantasy Suites, the number of movements in the suite reflecting the three-act structure of the common Hollywood screenplay! Nah. Actually, I think I'll just call it Key Party.

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