We begin with the typical overly-dramatic and basically untruthful format of all reality shows as we watch our hero practicing tennis in the dark. The voice over begins: “Mark Philippoussis is a 30 year old international tennis star. He has everything…EXCEPT…someone to share his life with.” Well, he doesn’t have a Wimbledon title. Or a US Open title. He won some tournament in Rhode Island last year. Big whoop. My guess is he’d rather have one of those or a Grand Slam win than a 40 year old prune face to play Scrabble with for the rest of his life. But, hey, I’m home alone watching The Age of Love. What do I know?
Woah. There’s a whole lotta Samantha goin’ on here.
The voice over continues on to say that Mark thinks he signed up a for a regular dating show who’s contestants are “as young as they are beautiful.” So someone who’s Scarlett-Johansson-beautiful will be 22 years old, and someone who is Angelina-Jolie-beautiful will be 4. This is a twist!
They replay the same clips they’ve been showing on commercials (Mark’s palpable horror at the women’s ages, the unveiling of the 20 year olds…). My favorite part is the repeated assertion that the 40 year olds can do anything a twenty year old can do. Really? Can you still drink 10 shots of Patron a night? That’s an important ability when you first start dating someone. How else are you going to come across as more fun and confidant than you are?
One last thing: Uh, what the f is that theme song? It’s sounds like Rick Astley doing a 1990′s euro-dance-club version of “She’s got the Look” which is bound to make the old ladies say “I remember when I used to dance to this at Avalon when I was at B.U.! Wicked cool! This doesn’t make me feel like my youth is long gone at all!”
Finally, we get to see the osteoporosis-prone women arriving at their digs. Jayanna, a 39-year-old mortgage loan officer, says that all women want to be in love. Then she yells in a fake-hilarious way :”The clock! Is TICKING!” Ow. My stomach hurts.
As they enter the suite, Kelli (40), who looks a little too like a post-op tranny for my comfort, jokes as she looks around: “I can fit all my stuff in this closet, but where are all you guys gonna put your stuff?” Ooh, is that a joke, or are do you need the space for all your wigs and depilatory equipment ?
What man doesn’t want a woman who can tackle him?
Jodie (46) says to the camera, “When I was 26, I wanted to settle down and get married. . .and now, at 46, I still kinda want the same thing… hahaha!” Ow. Ow. My stomach is roiling. All the old gals gather in a circle and reveal their ages to each other. They cheer as the numbers climb from 39 to 48. The oldest crone, Jennifer (48), tells the camera she’s been married and divorced twice, has a twenty-five year old son, and is very happy in her life, but there is something missing. The chance to return to high school and compete with a bunch of other girls for the head jock’s attention. She’ll finally find out if she’s worth something.
Kelly Ripa’s husband comes into the suite and introduces himself to the biddies as the Host. Then he puts on a video introducing our hero. “And now, ‘Cocoon!’” We see Mark Philippoussis almost winning a major tournament and walking on the beach. The women Oooh and Aaah. One clever one yells “GAME ON!” Then Mark Philippoussis tells the camera that he wants a wife and kids and he was depressed on Valentine’s Day. He decided he could not be alone any longer so he got himself a dog. “She’s my Valentine. She’s my baby.” He plays with his puppy. The women spontaneously orgasm on the couch (I was surprised. I didn’t know women over 40 could still do that). Lynn (40) tells the camera “He’s got this full, thick head of hair. You just kinda want to play with it.” I’m guessing Lynn’s ex-husband was old like her and therefore bald. I’m rooting for ya, Lynn! I hope you get to play with the hairy head! The women wonder aloud if he’ll go for an older woman. YO! Turn up your hearing aids, ladies! He said he wanted KIDS!
The producers really rub it in by alternating between clips of the women getting ready to meet our hero and clips of our hero talking about hoping one of these women are “The One.” Then he says he imagines the contenders are “beautiful women in their twenties.” Scratch the record. Philippoussis said what? “In their twenties.” The editors repeat that clip three or four times, so we at home really understand how f’ed he’s going to feel in an hour.
Here we go: the moment we’ve been waiting for. The women have shellacked their sagging faces and piled their brittle bones into evening gowns. They go up to the roof where The Poo is waiting.
First up is Lynn Hairy Head. As she walks down the runway, they show a clip of her saying she’s a perfect catch. She introduces herself to The Poo by saying, “I’m originally from Hawaii and I was born in 1967 so that makes 40.” She smiles and opens her eyes wide. The Poo’s smile fades and he clenches his jaw. “Pleasure to meet you,” he says.
Kelli the Post-op approaches next. She tilts her head up at The Poo so the lights can deepen every wrinkle around her eyes and mouth. She tensely tells The Poo that she loves tennis, and “in case you were wondering, I am 40.” The Poo closes his eyes and says quietly, “40okaygreat.” As Kelli walks away, The Poo blinks hard, presses his lips together, and swallows repeatedly. That’s what I do when I’m trying not to throw up. My stomach starts to lurch.
Cat got your tongue?
Jayanna the Ticking Clock meets The Poo next. She’s the prettiest and youngest of the ladies, so The Poo doesn’t flinch too badly when she tells him in her little girl voice that she’s 39 years old. More pursing of the lips and swallowing. In an interview clip, The Poo says, “What is going on here? The next one’s GOTTA be younga!”
Next comes I-haven’t-changed-a-bit-Jodie. She says to The Poo in a motherly way, “I’m so glad you’re here. Have you ever dated a 46-year-old before?” The Poo’s smile fades, he clenches his jaw repeatedly, and swallows as he looks Jodie in the face. The editors cut to a clip of The Poo making choking sounds. After the commercial break, The Poo tells the camera, “I’m starting to see a pattern here. They’re older. Than me.” Good job, Poo!
By the time Game On Maria meets The Poo, he’s collected himself. He keeps smiling when she tells him she’s 42. More impressively, he doesn’t gag when she waggles her head back and forth thanks him for being this “very special slice of my life.” Instead he says, “Granny Smith Apple Pie, please. A la mode.”
Angela No Personality, 40, is next and has been pretty quiet up to this point. She tells him she’s from L.A. and next month she will be 41. The Poo’s mouth tenses, the jaw muscle bounces, and he dumbly repeats, “41,” and nods. “Excellent,” he whispers. As she walks away, he looks towards the camera trying to signal the producers, who we know are high-fiving each other somewhere nearby as they watch the monitors. He swallows, then fights back a gag by coughing into his fist. I’m a sympathetic puker. If I see it, I’ll do it. I go get some paper towels from the kitchen just in case. The editors cut to a clip of The Poo swearing. Nice touch.
Jennifer-something-is-missing walks towards The Poo. In her interview clip, she says when she was younger, she didn’t feel pretty enough or smart enough. But since she froze all the muscles on her forehead and signed up for a reality television show, that’s all changed. She asks The Poo to guess how old she is. Nope, still not smart enough, Jennifer! The Poo’s eyes dart around looking for an exit and he moans. The editors show a clip where he says that’s the worst question you could ask a guy. Then he says, whatever you think, go six to ten years younger. Cut back to the Poo searching Jennifer’s face for lines and he says, “Thhhhhhhiiiiiiiirrrty-seeeveeen?” Jennifer blinks and he says hastily,” Thirty-six?” Jennifer tells him she’s 48. The Poo’s says, “Wow. You look incredible.” Nicely done, Poo.
Jennifer-something-is-missing takes The Poo to the party. He says he feel’s like he’s like being thrown into the deep-end with a bunch of piranhas. As he has one-on-one conversations with the skeksies, The Poo reveals in his interview clips that he doesn’t usually talk about kids on the first date. Usually he talks about eating and what movies he likes. Post-op Jodie tells us that she feels she has an advantage because she knows what it feels like to be a man… I mean, because she hasn’t been married and has no children. Then we see her sitting with No Personality Angela and The Poo. NPA has just revealed she’s twice divorced and has a 21-year-old son. Post-op says to the Poo, “Can you believe she has a twenty- anything- year-old son? You look amazing.” The Poo doesn’t seem to recognize the backhand (perhaps not his strength) but Angela does. She glares at Post-op who laughs maniacally. Jayanna The Ticking Clock becomes impatient and steals The Poo away for private time. “Game on!” she tells the camera. Oh, no. This is going to be the phrase all season. I wish The Poo was a golf player so it was something more fun, like “Fore!”
Anyway, The Poo has a bunch of boring conversations with the skeksies. As the party goes on, though, he begins to feel like maybe dating an older woman wouldn’t be that bad. The ladies don’t look that old, and they’re kinda interesting. He points out that his past relationships with younger women haven’t worked out, so maybe this is a good idea. He seems genuine.
The next morning The Poo gets to take three women on a date. He chooses Jayanna The Ticking Clock, Maria Game On, and Hairy Head Lynn. They go repelling off a skyscraper.
And now! It’s my great pleasure to introduce the 20 year olds!! Tessa, 23, looks like a taller JonBenet Ramsey, which is funny because she describes herself as “deathly hot.” Lauren, 27, looks like Coco from Fame and says the 40-year-olds are going to have a run for their money. Then she makes one of those dull-bitch faces popularized by Paris and Lindsay. Megan, 21, says she dates older guys but “not an Anna-Nicole-Smith-95-year-old dude.” Mary, 24, with unfortunate hair and ESP, says when guys see her walking down the street they think, “Man, she’s really hot.” Adelaide, 26, seems reasonable when she asserts that “all men naturally want to date younger women.” Amanda, 25, hopes when she’s 40 “she’s not still dating, desperate for a man. It’s pathetic.” Nice to meet ya.
Dum Dum Duuuuuuumb!
Back to the repelling 40 year olds. They are getting on the gear, hooking up to carabiners, etc. Jayanna is afraid of heights, but Maria, who not only says “Game on!” but “Bring it on!” and “It’s on!”, is…um…ON. She’s going to show The Poo how much “guts I have!” Hairy Head Lynn says if something goes wrong while repelling, The Poo is just going to grab her and she’ll go down with him. Uh, he’s not Spiderman, Lynn. Jayanna goes last. She keeps laughing like Diane Keaton at her nervous/charming best, and then goes for it. As Maria so astutely tells the camera, “I think Jayanna played it really cool, because he knew she was afraid of heights and I think it was good to kinda use that to seduce him.” Yep, it was. It worked. Maria then says, “I think she’s definitely going to fight for him. You know, baby, bring it on!” Fore!
If I don’t find a man soon I swear I’ll jump!
The Poo is very impressed by the women he took repelling. He invites them up to his suite to celebrate. They drink champagne and he tells the three that he was blown away by them. In a voice over, we discover that he’s learning “not to judge a book by it’s cover” and that “age has pretty much gone out the window.”
The kittens play in their apartment, biding time until they meet The Poo. They are all wearing bikinis and timing each other to see how long they can…hula hoop. Seriously.
But can you make a charming pillow?
The non-repelling cougars spend time in their apartment too, but there’s no hula hooping. One is embroidering. One is doing laundry. One is reading a book. I-haven’t-changed-a-bit-Jodie feels weird about not being on the date. She thinks it’s “a little hurtful.” The chosen ones come back and tell the others what they did on their date. Post-op is supportively jealous. Jayanna the Ticking Clock tells the camera, “I am the one to beat.” Then they all start getting ready for Elimination by putting on formal wear and drinking champagne. Jodie’s heart starts beating harder when she hears the word “Elimination.” Maria toasts to their “individual yumminess.”
The Poo is buttoning up his shirt in his suite. He is nervous about Elimination because he hasn’t gotten a chance to get to know anyone very well. He’s going to call four women down to the pool and ask them questions before he Eliminates and he’s going to base his decision on who he can see himself hanging out with. He calls the cougar suite. Hairy Head Lynn answers. He asks her to bring herself, No Personality Angela, I-haven’t-changed-a-bit-Jodie, and Jayanna the Ticking Clock down to the pool for ELIMINATION.
Lynn has no idea how The Poo feels about her. Jayanna says, “The hardest thing about the ELIMINATION is that whoever is sent home is going home single, exactly the way she showed up. . .and you just feel, deep down inside, you feel like you may just end up alone. Forever. ” Do you realize you said that aloud, Jayanna? Because we all heard you. Get a dog.
The Poo starts the “You all look beautiful tonight” speech. He admits that it has been overwhelming for him, especially when he realized he was going to be dating older women. “You all made me feel so comfortable and relaxed that the age…situation…went completely out of my mind. But one of you will have to go home.” I’m thinking it’s Jodie or Angela. Lynn and Jayanna repelled down a building. Their joints must be sore. They need to relax tonight with a heating pad, not pack up and go home.
The Poo calls Angela to him. He tells her she doesn’t talk a lot and wants to know if she’s shy. Angela’s response is that she’s a “big personality and she didn’t want to overwhelm” him. What? Restraint? I have a feeling that’s the last time we’re going to see anything like that once the 20-year-olds show up. The Poo says he’s a big goof himself and that’s the aspect of her he’d like to get to know. He asks her to stay. He asks Lynn to approach next. He noticed she wears a heart necklace, and Poo asks her if she’s got someone waiting at home. Seriously? She reassures him that she’s not dating anyone else, unlike him. He asks her to stay. Next, he calls Jodie. Poo tells her that he had some great conversation with her last night, but he feels like he can speak to her more as a mother figure, I mean friend, and doesn’t see the relationship progressing. But if she ever needs him to shovel out her driveway in the middle of winter, she shouldn’t hesitate to call. Jodie handles it very gracefully. That means that Jayanna gets to stay, but we knew that. The ladies return to their suite to embroider and do laundry before bed.
Poo earnestly tells the camera he no longer cares about the women being in their 40′s and says “If there’s a kinniction, there’s a kinniction, you can’t help yourself.”
Kelly Ripa’s husband tells The Poo that things are about to get a lot more complicated and da da da dum! A whole…lot…younger! Kelly Ripa’s husband tilts his head towards a curtain, which drops to reveal the gaggle of 20-year-olds in various Pussy Cat Doll poses. You can almost hear: “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?” as they pout and stick their butts out. The Poo laughs, a deep, relieved laugh. Fade to black.
Waaaaay less desperate.
Well, what do you think, Procrastinators? Will our hero be persuaded by unlined flesh and the chance to refer to his date as “dude”, or will he be enticed enough by a really nice “Home Sweet Home” sampler to continue to give the older women a chance? What is The Age of Love?