Hello, Procrastinators! I still can’t get over the the theme song for Age of Love. “Mmmhmmmm! Whoa-oooh-whoa-oooh-whoa-oooh…WHO’S GOT THE LOOK?” I get up off my couch and step from side to side and clap to the rhythm. (Clapclap to the rhythm). I can see in my mind’s eye Jared Rubenstein held aloft in a chair by his father and uncles while the rest of my seventh grade class gathers around in a circle at the best of many, many bar mitzvahs I went to in 90′s. Yay, let’s go to the candy fountain now.
This week on Age of Love, we pick up where we left off. Kelly Ripa’s husband tells The Poo that his choices just got a whole…lot…younger. The Poo looks over to discover a diorama of 20-something young women posing like streetwalkers. He laughs with joy. Kelly Ripa’s husband tells The Poo he might need a minute to digest this new twist, so the women file out without introducing themselves lest The Poo have an aneurism. He’ll meet them in the morning after sleeping with a wet cloth on his head in a silent, dark room.
We join the 20-year-old women in their suite. They are dissecting the game of the show. One of them sits on the counter and says, “Usually, men in their thirties want a younger woman. . .that’s just what I know.” Mary, with the unfortunate hair, says, “The big picture is that Mark isn’t going to want to be with an older woman. Period. He’s going to want to be with a younger woman.” They offer more complex observations, until defining their strategy as “We can still have kids.” Then they laugh and laugh.
The next morning, the older women are sitting around the table in their suite wondering what The Poo is doing. Jayanna the Ticking Clock thinks he is planning a date. Post-op Kelli thinks so, too. I am struck by the fact that no matter what the age, when women get hit over the head with the romance club, they lose the ability to think rationally. Perhaps The Poo has thought about the type of women you all are and planned a special date, or, perhaps he’s about to sit in a hot tub with 6 20-year-old women, or, perhaps the producers have The Poo dancing around like a puppet for their entertainment. Ya think, ladies? The answer is B and C.
The Poo waits poolside for the young ladies to arrive. He is very excited. We see them descending in a glass elevator, dressed in bikinis and high heels. Hey, why did the older women have to wear those matronly evening gowns when they met the Poo? It’s not fair!
Lauren, 27, whose caption says she is a lighting designer, crosses the pavement first. “Being 27, I don’t really find myself competing with other women for men. . .most of the time I get what I want,” she says in her clip. She introduces herself rather stiffly and forces The Poo to double kiss her by thrusting her nose forward like a puppy begging for a treat. (PICTURE of this). The Poo says to the camera: “First impression of Lauren? She’s hot!”
Adelaide, 26, a photojournalist, walks towards The Poo. In her introductory clip, she says her last relationship was 4 months long. The guy was “nice and caring,” (something about her speech made me think she said “nice and hairy” at first), but she “just got bored.” She introduces herself to The Poo. Their hellos are smooth, and Adelaide tells the camera she hasn’t met anyone she “reeeaally reeeaalllly reeeeeeaaally liked in a loooong time.” The Poo says of Adelaide: “There’s something about her, she’s a beautiful, beautiful young woman.” Lauren scowls at them.
Amanda, 25, a “hockey team dancer,” smiles as she approaches next. The Poo says he likes girls that smile a lot. Amanda tells us that at 25 she’s been through plenty of stuff and she’s ready to find a man who wants to do more than just “play a game.” A game like Scrabble? Or a game like competing for someone’s attention as he blackballs you one by one on national television?
Mary, 24, a dialysis technician, describes herself as “bubbly.” Eww. A bubbly dialysis technician. She stumbles over her words as she shakes The Poo’s hand. He says “A pleasure to meet you.” She says “A measure— a pleasure to meet you, too.” She says in an interview clip that when she gets nervous, she stutters. She sits down next to the other girls and whispers, “I did not do a good job.” “Yes, you did,” coos Amanda. “No,” says Mary, as she pulls at her bikini. “You looked great, ” Amanda assures her.
Here comes Tessa, 23, surgical sales and JonBenet impersonator. Her breasts look like Asian pears. She says “What I bring to the table is sense of humor. I’m very funny. I have great morals. I have great thoughts. And I need an intellectual challenge.” The Poo can’t remember anything she says because he was telling himself over and over not to look at the produce. “I think I concentrated harder on that than some tennis matches,” The Poo tells the camera. I bet Roger Federer would have been able to remember what she said. Tessa shares one of her great thoughts with the other girls as she sits down: “Hottie!” she whispers.
Megan, 21, is a student. She feels people judge her because of her age. Well, I’m judging you because your hair grows out of the center of your forehead. Get bangs! She says, “Maybe I am super young and super naive, but in my mind, I don’t know that.” That is not funny, nor a great thought. I foresee a mentor-mentee relationship forming between Tessa and Amanda. Megan and The Poo join the other ladies for a poolside barbecue.
The Poo says “I’m around six beautiful women in their twenties. They’re in their bikinis. I think I’m up for the challenge.”
After the commercial break, we see The Poo flipping burgers on the grill. “If my mom was here right now, she’d be so proud of me,” he tells six girls in bikinis drinking margaritas and vying for his attention. Feeling sentimental, he calls his mom. She’s not home, so he text messages Jodie that he didn’t burn any of the hotdogs and she should be proud. In a clip, he tells us that he’s looking forward to getting to know the girls, seeing if there’s anything he likes, if there’s anything that sticks out. The editors cut to a languid shot of JonBenet’s Asian pears. How do you say this? The top of her bikini top doesn’t rest on her skin. There’s space. They stick out. I don’t know if the top is too small, or the pears are so heavy she has to tie it tight to get tension…I don’t know. I’m fixating, but I mean, look at it. (PICTURE)
The Poo then asks JonBenet to have a one-on-one. Smiling Amanda mentions that none of them have ever had to share a guy they were interested in. (In my mind, I don’t know that, thinks SuperMegan). It makes Amanda anxious and nervous.
JonBenet shares a great thought with The Poo. “I’m a dog lover and I have a little Maltepoo…and her personality is just like mine.” The Poo asks the camera, “Her personality is just like her dog’s?” He frowns. “Okay.” Competitive Lauren doesn’t like to share, so she interrupts and invites them into the hot tub. Poo is excited. “I watch a lot of movies and I’ve watched a bunch of movies where some lucky guy is surrounded by a bunch of girls in a hot tub. And that’s finally me.” I’m happy for him, but maybe “movies” in Australian is slang for “porn.”
Poo is in heaven. “This is finally what I’ve been waiting for!” He climbs into the hot tub and looks expectantly at the twenty-year-olds in bikinis. They look expectantly back at him. No one says anything. All you hear is lapping water. It’s a full twenty seconds of silence. I timed it. Seven strangers… picked to get in a hot tub…and have their lack of confidence taped. The Poo finds himself wondering what the 40-year-olds are doing.
The 40-year-olds must have realized there was no special date, and, making lemons out of lemonade, are having some sort of weird party in their suite. Jayanna is doing a hoedown, and the other ladies are dancing normally. Jennifer is wearing only a towel and has chocolate syrup on her mouth and chin. Jayanna sprays Reddiwip in her mouth. There’s a shot of Jennifer from the back and it appears Jayanna is licking her from chest to chin. (Picture 14 min). Everyone’s laughing and being free.
Cut back to the Benedictine hot tub. 15 seconds of silence before The Poo pipes up. “So I want to get to know you guys. Is there anything you want to tell me? Does someone want to pull me aside and tell me something?” Competitive Lauren dives in. They sit in a corner where she reveals she “does a little bit of catering, a little bit of here and there.” Oh, so when do you design lights? Poo notices that girls in their twenties, whether they went to school or not, do more than one thing. SuperMegan is a student who works in a nightclub. Ma-Ma-Mary says she is “a woman of many traits.” Maybe she means “trades,” but, at any rate, she doesn’t give a shout out to the dialysis technicians of America. Smiling Amanda says “I work in financial planning and also I’m a dancer for the hockey team.” I wonder if she dances with skates on, or jazz shoes, or maybe furry boots? Lauren confides in The Poo that she’s trying to figure out what she wants to do. He asks her what she likes to do. “I love to eat,” she says, “I love food.” Poo says, “Cool.” He tells us it’s not that attractive to not know what you want. He wants some who’s passionate and hungry for success. Lauren goes on about her aspirations. “I love to travel,” she whispers seductively. The Poo is having a hard time carrying on conversations with the girls. SuperMegan tells him she hates planes after he tells her he’s learning to fly. The Poo has a fun, flirty conversation with Adelaide, so far the most normal of the bunch.
The sun is setting and Ma-Ma-Mary thinks she got the least amount of alone time. Kelly Ripa’s husband comes in and whisks The Poo away. Kelly Ripa’s husband tells the girls that some will go on a date with him later, and some will next see him at Elimination. This causes Mary to pout and ask for reassurance from her competitors.
The Poo, back in his suite, was not blown away by the twenty-year-olds. He really struggled with them. “I’ll be a hundred percent honest. I miss the older women.” Huh. No kiddin’.
The Poo gets ready for a date with the older women. He’s looking forward to it because he feels more relaxed around them. The 40-year-olds walk into a roller-rink where The Poo is posing in the center of the floor wearing an afro-wig and pointing his fingers up and down, Travolta style. This is the first moment that I find him lovable. The women are thrilled. They hoot and clap, and of course, Game-on-Maria says “Right ON!” The producers have provided retro-roller outfits for the ladies which they all change into with enthusiasm. The Poo notes that “within the first five seconds they were yelling, they were screaming. I missed them and I’m happy that they are here.” Good humor and silliness ensues as they all skate around. The Poo has never rollerskated before so they alternately tease and help him. Angela says that “40 is the new 20. All the girls I know in their twenties are, like, messes.”
Cut to the kiddie corner. The 20-year-olds are in their suite, gathered around Ma-Ma-Mary who is crying into a T-shirt. Here is what she says to them, word for word: “Makes me feel real crazy. It does. Like I mean like I just I just it makes me feel like most of what goes on is my fault like I totally have the power to prevent all this like I have the positive power within me to prevent all this like.” Sounds like someone knows The Secret!
Back at the roller rink, the older women compete in The Limbo and whoever wins gets to hang with The Poo alone until someone else gets sick of it and busts it up. Angela, who I have previously accused of having no personality, wins. She wins in a boring way, so I stand by it. She and The Poo skate around until Jennifer, after making reference to high school social scenes, cuts in. Jennifer tells the Poo she feels like she is being selfish. The Poo tells her they can be selfish together. In a voiceover, he says she catches his eye. He cannot believe how old she is (48), and asks her if she stayed in a time capsule. Haha! In a clip, he says she’s old enough to be his mother. He shudders, and says he won’t think about it. He asks her about herself and she reveals she has a 25-year-old son and is twice divorced. Her first husband was 18 years her senior. The Poo says, “He’s 18 years older, I’m 18 years younger!” “Yeah!” says Jennifer. “That’s…strange.” I have to say, there was something about their interaction that was palpably intimate. I’m gonna call it. I think Jennifer, the oldest of all the women, might be the big winner. Gut feeling.
The Poo sets up a date with the three 20-somethings that made the biggest impression on him: Smiling Amanda, SuperMegan, and Smooth Adelaide. They go to his pad to play some game where they jump on a grid to music coming out the tv. Those young’uns are too hip for Twister! They look like they are having fun, and The Poo thinks SuperMegan is full of life. The uninvited clean their suite and feel sorry for themselves as they try to work out a metaphor. Are they the wicked stepsisters or Cinderella? The Poo toasts the chosen ones with champagne. Smooth Adelaide asks for a minute alone with him. They go into the bedroom. Amanda complains that it was a “disrespectful” move, but, really, we know she’s just p.o.’d she got outfoxed. Adelaide tells The Poo that she thinks he’s great, and she realizes that she needs to speed things up because these are not normal circumstances. She tells him she’s normally shy, but she really likes him. Poo goes for it. Smooth move, Adelaide.
The older women are dressed and ready for Elimination. Post-op Jodie is prepared and packed if she goes home. Boring Angela says she’s a great catch because she’s got the maturity of an older woman with the looks of a younger woman. (PICTURE 37 min)
The chirrun do shots before Elimination. JonBenet toasts to crow’s feet and saggy boobs. “Did I mention stretch marks? Loose skin?” Great thoughts. The girls snicker and swill their liquor. SuperMegan wonders what the other group is talking about. Ma-Ma-Mary wails,”I just went through menopause and I don’t know what to do with myself! So I thought I’d find some love! Who’s got my estrogen for my hot flashes!” She cackles crazily, her mouth open like a hyaena. Listen up, Girl. Here’s the news: you better zip your stuttering lip and pray your shrink finally gets your bipolar meds right because someday you will have a hot flash and you will cry and shit your drawers and your momma will be too dead to take care of you and your husband will have long since had tender feelings. Really, I’ve had it with her.
The Poo paces back and forth. We learn, in a voiceover, that it’s a double Elimination tonight. One from each group will go home. The Poo is worried that the 40-year-olds might be mad at him when they meet the 20-year-olds. He mentions it again as the older ladies line up for Elimination. On a sociological note, he referred to both groups as “girls.”
Kelly Ripa’s husband tells the ladies he’s sure they wondered why they didn’t see The Poo the day before. “Here’s your answer!” he says pointing to the descending glass elevator. As the 20-year-olds parade out, Lynn blanches and says “Oh my god.” Someone says “Holy cow!” The Poo smiles nervously. Post-op Kelli is stunned. Maria doesn’t want any of the big-boobed, skinny-armed girls to stand next to her. Lynn feels that this isn’t what she signed up for and maybe Poo should send her home. Jennifer turns to Megan and asks how old she is. “21,” she says. Lynn smirks and whispers to the women next to her, “Doesn’t somebody have a child who’s 21?” They’re giggling and it catches on. All the 40-year-olds just start laughing. Hard.
JonBenet doesn’t know why they were laughing. Adelaide felt like “they were laughing at us. I felt kind of embarrassed.” Kelly Ripa’s husband tells them all the deal. “We want to see if age is a factor when it comes to falling in love.” He asks Jennifer what she thinks about dating a guy who is also dating a 21-year-old. She doesn’t think it matters.
The Poo begins the “You all look gorgeous tonight” speech. He tells them that age and numbers mean nothing to him and honestly, he doesn’t want to send anyone home. If you had seen Mary earlier, Poo, you wouldn’t be saying that. Anyhoo.
He calls the women one by one. He keeps JonBenet, but tells her maybe she’s shy but he wants a chance to get to know her better. Yay! More great thoughts! And let’s see those great morals you mentioned! Post-op Kelli has been worried and insecure the whole show. She says this process is aging her. Maria goes next. She acts like she thinks the whole business is hilarious. Her confidence is appealing and she stays. Mary is next. He keeps her. She doesn’t stutter. He tells Jayanna that whatever she’s doing, continue doing it. She thanks him in her affected manner, pulling her bottom lip into her mouth. You’re precious! Especially when you act precious! Megan stays. He asks Lynn to stay only after he tells her she may think she’s showing him who she is, but he doesn’t feel it. She’s outta here next week. After earlier waxing about how much he loves Amanda’s smile and smiling girls in general, The Poo tells her that he wants to see what’s behind that smile because seriously, no one is that happy. He keeps Post-op Kelli, saying that although they haven’t had a lot of one-on-one time, there’s something there. Instead of saying thank you, Kelli says “Please.” Ow.
The remaining two 20-year-olds are Adelaide, who may have jumped the net with her “I reeally reeally like you” disclosure and Lauren, who likes to travel and eat. The Poo calls Lauren to him. He tells her she’s outgoing and he felt like she really tried to get to know him, but, he gulps, “I’m sorry, I just don’t think it would work out.” He hugs her. Lauren tells the camera that he’s going to miss out because she has a lot to offer like knowing what sushi to order and reading aloud from the Sunday Times Travel Section. Adelaide’s gamble pays off, and Poo feels like he knows her better than the other girls.
Jennifer and Angela are the last two. I don’t know. Jennifer is pretty old. Angela is boring. Angela says she’ll be very disappointed if she’s the one to go. Jennifer says she’ll be brokenhearted. The Poo calls Jennifer down. She is very beautiful. Her dress is shiny and gold. The Poo says he must be honest with her. “I never thought about dating an older woman and you have opened my eyes to that. But, um…” I feel like he’s going to say, “But no can do.” He doesn’t. He says, “You’re a beautiful woman, you look incredible. I just feel… there could be something there.” He looks terrified as he says this, the way that a guy does when you catch him realizing that he is in love with you. She glows at him. I’m tellin” ya. So The Poo has to tell Angela she’s kaput. He says he had fun at the roller rink. He was looking forward to their one-on-one, but when they did their one-on-one, he just didn’t feel there could be anything in the future. Angela doesn’t say anything, so The Poo has to say point blank, “I’m sorry. I don’t think this will work out.” The guy is honest. And I know we’re done with her, but is Angela wearing a brooch in her hair? Is it pewter? It looks like a craftsman at Sauder Village made it. In her exit interview, Angela says that being 40 makes her feel like the time period is getting shorter. And she doesn’t want to miss out on everything. She just wants to find that “One.” Then she cries. For real, she cries. Fade to black.
Alright, Procrastinators, I admit it. I’m hooked. They got me. So what do you think? Will the 20-year-olds get their head in the game and start focussing on The Poo instead of their older competition? Will the 40-year-olds who get Eliminated take home a bucket of sadness and failure? Will The Poo start showing us who he is? Is the Age of Love whatever age you are when you can truly love yourself?