It takes two hours of sequined ball gowns, gratuitous shirtless scenes by the pool, a bipolar pig puppet and handwritten dreams placed inside a magical clock to really appreciate last week's rapidly moving 90-minute premiere. Emily got them in, sized them up and slapped roses on in no time flat. Week two? Not so much. For some reason, that extra half hour contributed little to the entertainment value of the show. Not even the Muppets could help this train. You'll notice I did not use the term "train wreck." That would imply that the show was messy and crazy and all over the place. On the contrary. It's more like the train you see toddlers driving in the kiddie section of an amusement park. Predictable. Safe. Low energy. In a word? Boring.
Five Ways To Lose Your Viewing Audience
1. Make Them Watch You Cross Off the Honey-Do List
The first date is traditionally pretty sweet and hopes are high as Our Host Chris Harrison delivers a date card with Ryan's name on the envelope. Banking on a helicopter ride, private jet to Atlantic City or the chance to be picked up in a ridiculous tricked out sports car, you can imagine Ryan's disappointment when Emily shows up in her Tahoe full of groceries with a recipe in hand to make homemade chocolate chip cookies for little Ricki's soccer team. He was one step away from turning in his man card when she made him wear the frilly apron. I'm sure he changed three light bulbs, moved some furniture and took out the garbage before fixing a clogged toilet in the west wing of the mansion. Luckily, Emily arranged for the sports car later in the evening, a fancy dinner and a concert with country music group Gloriana as half of the women from the Junior League awkwardly watched them dance (eighth grade-style) on a makeshift stage in the parking lot. And we're not even in the second half of the first hour. SERENITY NOW.
2. Don't Take Advantage of Vintage Puppet Characters
How can you screw up anything that has to do with the Muppets, I ask you? After all Jason Segel has done for the brand recently, it's a shame that the viewing audience was subjected to such an uninteresting script. Emily looked like she was prepping for the interview portion of the Miss North Carolina pageant, Stevie and Tony were a little too geeked out to be dancing in a tuxedo and bowler hat with Miss Piggy, Charlie nearly threw up in his dressing room at the thought of speaking in front of a crowd and Kalon wasn't included on this date even though I'm confident he probably knows every word of "Rainbow Connection." Chris Harrison subbing in for Statler to heckle with Waldorf was a moment of genius that lasted a total of 2.5 seconds. Be honest. You fast forwarded most of this part, didn't you?
3. Take Dawson Away From the Creek
Joe landed the second one-on-one date. I had high hopes for him since he appeared somewhat energetic upon his limo exit last week. Sure, I became distracted by his tendency to channel the former WB teen heart throb James Van Der Beek, but his Dawson-ness is what made him special in my book. What a letdown that he displayed absolutely zero personality at his Greenbriar Resort date. He couldn't even answer Emily's straight forward question, "Where do you want to be in five years?" Everyone knows the answer is, "In California, making movies with Spielberg." I'm sorry that Emily sent you packing, Joe. Tell Pacey to call me when you get back to the Creek.
4. Make Your Villain Forgettable
Stevie: "Keiran, Kalon, Chopper ... whatever his name is ... he's bad news."
Wow. When the deejay isn't even invested in knowing the name of his arch nemesis and producer-appointed villain, you've got problems. At least have Doug punch the luxury aviator sunglasses off his "youngest guy here" face for suggesting the single dad put fatherhood on hold while testing the waters with Emily. What a waste. I suggest he watches the tapes of Wes Hayden to see how it's really done.
5. Read Love Notes
Ryan decides the best way to let Emily know he was totally down with doing her household chores is by writing her a love note. Fifteen pages. Front and back. Tony goes in to intercept the exchange and is forced to listen as Emily takes 20 minutes of the audience's valuable time to read each and every sentiment. Confidence killer indeed. We watched Tony squirm, Ryan smile, Charlie sweat on behalf of Tony, the Andros exchange Spanish/Portuguese pleasantries and a few other mundane moments of filler as Emily trudged on through Ryan's epic novel. Where are Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy when you really need them?
Here's hoping next week has at least a few action sequences and a hot tub.