A Very Very Very Fine House

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A Room of One's Own

Previously on The Bachelorette: We knew who won. Tonight's episode is sponsored in part by the pink-slipped staff of The ABC Secret-Keeping Department, makers and worldwide distributors of cosmic inevitability. Oh, and by the number "four." Which is the total number of viewers who haven't switched permanently over to American Idol. Sigh. Shut up, The Bachelorette. Long time ago since you was fab.

The obligatory opening Sunset Strip Stock Footage Film Festival is accompanied by that weirdly generic guitar music they use at the beginning of every episode, The Bachelorette Mash (it was a reality-television-graveyard smash!) pulsing inoffensively and juuuuuust drowning out the voices in my head repeatedly asking why yet another super-sized episode of this show should litter the television airwaves for as many minutes a week as it took Michael Curtiz to tell the entire story of Casablanca. But first...we montage! Sunset Boulevard street sign! Walk of Fame! Palm trees and blue skies and me not wearing a coat between the months of October and May and also during all of the other months as well! Oh, wait. Except that I don't live there anymore. The helicopter dispatched to capture these aerial views stops briefly at a heliport in Reseda for refueling and maintenance, then continues its journey several more miles northward to its final destination of "Guys' House." Ah, Guys' House. Where the Drakkar is always noir, the hair gel flows like wine, and the correct usage of possessive apostrophes is optional.

As three of the remaining bachelors sit next to each other on a couch in the living room, Charlie sits nearby in a matching loveseat because the self-evident passionate adoration Charlie feels for himself has become so organic and sustaining that it has begun manifesting itself even in furniture jargon. From the front of the room, Chris "If Trista's Love Were The Beatles Then He'd Just Be George" Harrison addresses the four remaining -- and I mean this in literally every sense of the word available except for the one involving sports -- players: "Morning, fellas." "Fellas"? What is this, some Gold Rush Theme Day at Guys' House they forget to tell everyone else about? Suddenly cognizant that there is no set of swinging saloon doors to saunter through, Chris removes his thumbs from his belt loopholes, returns his Pony Express Covered Wagon Operator clich├ęs to his musket holster, and finally gets on with the sales pitch: "This week, you guys have a great opportunity." My heart says "dog racing" but my gut is crying "pyramid scheme." And if there's anything this show has taught us, it's that we have to go with our gut. "You get to take Trista back to your hometowns." Oh. "So, from now on you're not going to talk to each other." Well, there goes the resolution to that knotty "Manifestations of Aestheticism and the Subversive Dissolution of Normative Gender Mores" discussion that had Charlie and Russ up until all hours last night in the Guys' House Reading Library. "You won't even see each other until the next [sure to be the most dramatic yet] Rose Ceremony.", wait, he's still talking. Usually he's been summarily removed from the set by now and vacuum-frozen until it's time for the Rose Ceremony. But tonight he vamps and vamps like he just won the lifetime-achievement award for reality show hosting or something. Shut up, On-My-Last-Nerving J. Thalberg.

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