Love Means Never Having To Say You're Crazy

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Shack: C+ | Grade It Now!
Is That a Pink Sperm Whale Between Your Legs, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

So based on those incredibly probing questions, Ryan and Melissa were able to decide who gets the first date. A Martha Stewart gift box arrives, and the girls open it up to find a bunch of junk and a card with Helene's name on it. In an interview, Ryan tells the camera that they picked Helene because she presents "a bit of a challenge," which keeps Aaron "more interested." I don't believe for a minute that they were able to determine that from the questions we heard. I'm sure the two of them were filled in on Aaron's previous interactions with the bachelorettes. Helene reads the card out loud; she's invited to a concert, but is told to "come as [she is]." The other women all pretend to be happy, except Christi, of course. In an interview, Aaron repeats that Helene is "a challenge," but that he loves her "natural beauty." Can I just express my complete and utter revulsion in these guys treating Helene like she's a mountain that needs to be conquered? Her independence is "a challenge"? I don't know -- maybe I'm reading too much into it. I would certainly want a partner who "challenges" me as well. But something about Aaron's attitude suggests to me that he thinks that Helene is like some wild stallion that needs to be tamed. She's not even all that outspoken or anything. She just refuses to throw herself at Aaron. It's like The Taming of the Shrew, but without the shrew.

Aaron picks Helene up in his red convertible coupe. I'm sure that car is a product-placed rental to the show. Aaron tells us all that he's looking forward to the date. You know, if you don't have anything new to say, you don't actually have to talk. Their first stop is at some shop called Nicole Miller to pick out an outfit for Helene for the date. ["Aw, Shack! Nicole Miller is a big-time schmancy designer." -- Wing Chun] There's something creepy about this whole part, and it's not just the Pretty Woman vibe. I guess I find the whole deal of Aaron commenting on all of Helene's choices rather overly familiar for their first private date together. Where was Helene when Aaron was picking out his clothes? Why is she the one who has to stand there and listen to a critique of her fashion choices? They closed down the whole shop so that these two can traipse around for as long as they please. ABC used that money that they had set aside for quality programming to pay for the shop's lost sales, I would bet. Helene looks at stuff. She pretends to care. I find it amusing that Aaron loved the fact that Helene wasn't high-maintenance last episode, yet here he is, dragging her all over the place, trying to get her all prettied up. Aaron swoons over a red dress, claiming that "red is [his] weakness." But what he really loves is a pair of black and silver stretch pants that show off Helene's pert behind like nobody's business. They are really not very classy. It looks like something a hooker would wear to a court appearance in the hopes that it made her look less trashy than the miniskirt and fishnet stockings she normally wears. Aaron's very proud of himself for having picked them out. Helene is uncomfortable. She makes a comment about walking with her hands behind her back so that she can cover her ass. Clearly she doesn't like these pants, but Aaron is a total clod and doesn't pick up on that. He's too busy staring at Helene's sweet, sweet can. Helene even tells Aaron outright that she doesn't want to wear the pants, but he keeps on pushing her. What a jackass. But, after trying on some more dresses, Helene decides to go ahead and wear the pants, along with a black tube top. Classy. At least the top is large enough that she isn't baring her torso. In an interview, Aaron declares that by picking this outfit, Helene was showing her more "outgoing" side. Any compassion I had for Aaron (which couldn't fill a thimble as it was) is gone with that remark. He's a tool. And Helene has nobody to blame for humoring him, either.

Back at the Malibu Dream House, Christi is all over Melissa, hoping that a key to a man's heart is through his friends. She tells Melissa that she's so happy that the siblings are there. I'm surprised she doesn't ask Melissa to be the maid of honor at her wedding to Aaron. In an interview, Brunette Heather tells the camera that Christi acted like a different person when the siblings were around and was stuck to Melissa like glue. Christi tells the camera her "intuition" is telling her that Melissa is going to pick her for the second one-on-one date. In case you Passions viewers wonder what sort of person would think desperate man-chasing characters like Theresa and Simone are heroines and not delusional nutjobs, here you go. Hell, Christi could join the cast of Passions. They wouldn't need to create a character for her, or even require a writer. Christi insists that the siblings have gotten to see what a "fun" person she is. Add "fun" to the list of words that people aren't allowed to use to describe themselves. I believe the list so far is "deep," "talented," "sincere," "modest," and "fun."

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