"I've never been called 'boring' in my everyday life."
Those, my friends, were words uttered by our new "Bachelorette" Emily Maynard just last week, following the premiere of the new season when many critics labeled her too bland.
Emily, I've got news for 'ya, honey: You are boring. Painfully, horribly, soul-shatteringly boring. So boring that even the Muppets can't save you.
Seriously, people. I've logged a lot of hours watching this show, and there were many times when I didn't think I'd be able to make it through an entire season. (Things got especially dark during the days of Jake and Vienna, but let's not bring back bad memories.) But hoo-boy, Emily is a whole different animal. I'm not sure if it's the move from Hollywood to North Carolina, or the fact that Emily, being a single mom, makes it feel like everyone is walking on eggshells, but I am not digging this season so far.
Emily's first one-on-one date with Ryan was the least excruciating part of Monday's episode, and even so, it wasn't exactly tantalizing. Ryan went over to Emily's house to bake cookies for Ricki's soccer game. He put on a flowery apron and made a misogynistic comment how he needed to "get back to being a man" after the experience. It was clear Emily had the reins on the date, however, as she proceeded to drive to Ricki's soccer game to distribute said cookies and ask Ryan to wait in the car for a good 10 minutes while he literally slurped on a leftover juice box. FUN DATE!
Things got more standard "Bachelorette" later when Emily changed into a va-va-voom red dress and picked Ryan up for dinner in a show-provided Aston Martin. When they arrived at a local North Carolina restaurant, there was a crowd of people awkwardly waiting to cheer on their "hometown hero." A red carpet had even been rolled out.
"I feel like we're all friends," Emily said of the locals. This from the chick who says she only ventures outside her tony home to go grocery shopping or take a jewelry-making class through her church. She's a woman of the people!
Inside, Emily wasted no time before she began grilling Ryan. Wait, but what's his profession? What's his relationship with his family? Does he prefer chocolate or vanilla? No matter! Emily wants to know if this guy is ready for her to pop out 50 more babies in the next few years and settle down in good ol' North Carolina.
"I've learned that I don't like when the girl just comes to me. I have to really step out of my own comfort zone and really pursue this woman," Ryan told Emily of his dating history.
This did not fly with Princess Emily.
"You say you want to chase after a girl, but it can't be cat-and-mouse forever," she cautioned, sending him a stony glare. "That's my biggest fear going through all this — is that people will see it as a game, like, 'Oh, I won.'"
Uh, you signed up for the wrong show, sweetheart. But hey, let's forget the fact that these two have absolutely no chemistry and send them outside to dance to a country band I've never heard of. Emily says she feels like Ryan is a bit "too perfect" and reminds her of Brad — a comparison I don't think could be more off — but she gives him a rose anyway.
And then came Kermit and Miss Piggy. Yes. Despite the fact that there is no new Muppets movie to promote, the puppets popped up at a charity event Emily brought a group of guys to, and it was horrid. There were scripted bits about Miss Piggy getting jealous of Kermit eyeing Emily. Miss Piggy talked about how attractive Emily's suitors were. Chris Harrison even chimed in from the crowd with Statler.
I get it! Emily has a kid! But does that mean we have to make the entire show even more saccharine than it already is? Other things happened on the group date, but I refuse to write about them because I will not encourage this type of behavior, show producers.
Time for the next one-on-one, which was given to Joe. The pair flew off on a private jet to Emily's home state of West Virginia, where they went on a date at the historic Greenbrier Resort & Hotel. I once went on vacation there with my family, and let me assure you, it was boring. Just like Emily's date.
Over dinner, Emily set her claws into Joe, asking him about his life plan.
"In five years, I see myself happy with no regrets — and as far as career-wise and relationship-wise, at the end of this, if it's you and I standing, I'll pack my bags and go wherever you ask me to go," he explained.
Blasphemy! You don't have a specific life plan? You're willing to do what Emily wants? Goner.
Emily tried to let Joe down softly, but then she began crying because she has real emotions and can't bear to hurt anyone's feelings and is perfect. It didn't work, and he probably hates her now.
Until next week. If I haven't gouged my eyes out by then.
Full coverage of 'The Bachelorette' on Show Tracker
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— Amy Kaufman
Photo: Emily Maynard performs with Kermit the Frog. Credit: ABC