The fun times keep rollin’ on Beauty and the Geek where this week, the guys faced that most daunting of challenges: getting women’s phone numbers. Oh, but that’s not all. They also had to ask their female roommates out on dates AND endure head-to-toe makeovers. Yes, it was all about the geeks this week (the beauties had some perfunctory arithmetic to deal with, but whatever), and furthermore, it was all about Richard. The once amusing Woody Allen wannabe has now officially become annoying, but not just to me or the rest of the audience. Chuck, who’d been growing increasingly impatient with Richard, graduated to full scale hostility. This ain’t the Real World; so we weren’t about to see any beat downs and broken skulls But as far as inter-geek social relations go, this rivalry was about as close as one can get to a nerd fist fight.The episode began with Richard and Mindi returning to a bedroom where all the other contestants had been quarantined. I always like this little touch — the couples crammed into a solitary room. It’s very David Mamet. You just know we’re missing out on some old-fashioned, well-articulated psychological power plays by Chuck and Shawn. But I digress, as usual. Anyway, Richard and Mindi returned amidst cheers of triumph, but at least one person was unhappy: Chuck. Yes, this poofy-haired, bloody-nosed med student has been Very Serious about the Journeys in the household, and Richard’s constant “acting” has rightfully annoyed him. And just in case we thought Chuck might be blowing it all out of proportion, we then watched random footage of Richard yelling “Top of the morning t’ya!” to a statue and then sliding down a banister very, very slooooowwwly (turns out those extended thigh flaps increase friction and drag. Who knew?).
“I want to stay here, and I want to continue terrorizing Chuck!” Richard proclaimed to us. Whoa! Does this mean that Richard, the nerd, is actually a bully??? That can’t be right. Oh wait, no, he’s just that annoying kid brother type that needles and needles away at people until they snap — kind of like how I was when I was eight… not TWENTY ONE! Or at least I hope…
Anyway, Brian McFayden, dressed uncannily like the Hamburglar, summoned the teams to his lair for a traditional, if not erroneous, pep talk. You see, McFayFay announced that the show was past its halfway mark and the remaining groups all had a one in four chance of winning the big prize. Luckily, fractional/probability stickler Chuck informed us that this wasn’t totally the truth. “I resisted the temptation to point out that we were four sevenths, not half of the way through and that, um, having a one and four chance of winning the prize was contingent upon everybody’s chances of winning being roughly equal.” Well, duh! Thanks for clearing that up, Captain Obvious! Meanwhile, I’m quietly scratching out my planned dissertation, titled “Why Brian McFayden is wrong…”
Luckily, since Chuck resisted that insane temptation to correct our cardboard host (Chuck’s version of Temptation Island: place him in an exotic resort full of people boasting erroneous fractions), Brian McFayden powered on. We learned that the challenge this week would be one big task split into two halves (Chuck just nodded approvingly). The women’s half would deal with finance, or as Brian so coyly put it, “Make cents of dollars.” Oh, get it! Because it’s like he’s saying “sense” but he said “cents” instead, because of the whole money thing. Wow, that was almost as good as last week when he was all “Fashion — it’s not rocket science. But ladies, you’ll have to study rocket science.” This man is HILARious!
Well, Lauren didn’t seem to appreciate the punnage. Instead, she complained, “There’s a lot of things I’d rather do than do math. I’d like to go work out, go jog, go to the beach, go shopping, go out, go to dinner. Anything but math.” Anything, Lauren? How about get a colonoscopy? That’s right, biatch. Don’t be dissin’ the math.
Anyway, as for the men’s half of the challenge, they would have to face that most scary of situations: asking a girl for her number. And yes, a cold chill just swept through the homes of America’s dorks. In order to prepare for the daunting challenge, the guys would first have to work their training wheels and ask one of their roommates (of the opposite sex, natch) out to dinner. Chuck immediately got down to business, targeting his late night rub-buddy, Scarlet. “Hey Scar,” he said in a delightfully high-pitched voice. It was like watching Mickey Mouse ask someone to the sixth grade dance. By the way, I think Scarlet is beautiful, but seriously, we gotta work on that nickname. “Scar”? Why not go for the always lovely “Scab” or “Gash” or “Pus-filled wound”? Then again, it’s kind of hard to do much with “Scarlet.” Normally, I’d say just add a “y” to Scar, but then you’d have “Scary.” And “Let” is sort of dumb. Basically, I think the best bet is to simply say “Scaaa.” I know, it’s kind of rough, but at least it’s not reminiscent of bodily harm and emergency surgery.
Elsewhere in the house, Shawn — with his soporific NPR voice — asked Mindi to dinner while Bill took on Caitilin (whose perky response of “I would love to!!!” reeked of sweet, midwestern friendliness). As for Richard, well, his options were limited. Nevertheless, he intrepidly tried out his seductive line: “I’m feeling a little ill.” Yes, that always dazzles the ladies — almost as much as “So my penis turns out to be the size of a thimble.” Of course, he had no luck with Scarlet, and when Richard asked Caitilin out, she responded with “Sure! Can I have two dinners?” Oh SLAM! A little misdirection with a hearty helping of passive aggression on the side. Lovely. Ultimately, for all you math geniuses out there who hadn’t figured it out (I’m looking at you, Krystal), Richard was left with the cheery Lauren, who oddly enough has grown quite fond of the mini-Woody Allen in recent weeks.
Anyway, dinner time came soon enough, which meant that Bill was ready to premiere his snazzy evening wear look. I can’t say that it was a total success, but his giant collar was a refreshing throwback to the heyday of Lou Bega’s “Mambo #5.” Meanwhile, the pressure was on for Chuck, who now had a perfect chance to elevate his relationship with Scarlet to a whole new uncomfortable level. Well, if it was awkward you wanted, it was awkward you got. Chuck immediately launched into that most romantic of topics: Syria. Okay, rough opener. Surely he’d pull back the reigns a little and bring the conversation towards something a bit more accessible. Well, not so much. When the Syria schtick proved to be a dud, Chuck then talked about his experiences attending Quaker meetings. Oh man, that material is money, baby. Money. Scarlet, meanwhile, smiled politely, but even the most deaf person could hear the “Pop Goes the Weasel” music tinkling in her head. Bitter… memories… of every… Average Joe season… flooding… back…
Going more smoothly were the dates of Caitilin and Bill and Mindi and Shawn. The girls both had sweet things to say about their gentlemen callers, and a warm, fuzzy feeling swelled over me as the Beauties kindly encouraged the Geeks to be more confident. Ah, but why dote on these friendly couples when you can watch the wannabe-trainwreck in progress, Richard. An episode or two ago, Chuck wisely noted that for Richard, it’s easier to be laughed at for being a buffoon rather than being himself. Well, that theory stood up just fine as Richard sabotaged his date with Lauren, all for the sake of comedy, albeit lame, dated comedy. I really don’t want to get into the details of his antics, except to say that they were pretty much annoying. Even Lauren, who laughed, giggled, and chirped her way through most of the dinner, seemed to grow weary as the meal ticked on. Unfortunately for Richard, he seemed to have played his joke out just one step too far. Whereas we all came to Beauty and the Geek for the crazy culture clashes, we’ve ultimately stayed on board to see the transformations — something that Richard has been unable to provide. He was an oddity the first episode, hysterical the second episode, old hat the third episode, and now simply annoying with this fourth episode. Still, he managed to turn up on The Best Week Ever, so I guess he’s doing something right.
Anyway, the next day the women all convened at the Lisa Kline boutique in Beverly Hills where Brian McFayden supplied their much-hyped math challenge. Basically, the girls would be giving the guys makeovers. They would each have $1000 to spend on clothes, but here’s the catch: the women would have to factor in an 8.5% sales tax… IN THEIR HEADS! (Cue the organ chords). So the challenge was a little creative. Okay, it was incredibly lame. At least it was over after about thirty seconds, which was good because I really couldn’t deal with any more pained expressions and quiet murmurings of “…carry the one…”
After Brian McFayden tallied up the purchases (and resisted the metrosexual temptation to try on every outfit in the store), he announced that Lauren — surprise, surprise — had won the task. This meant that her partner Bill would receive “an advantage” during his portion of the challenge. Very exciting… right? Anyway, the gals all returned to the dojo where they revealed their fashion choices to their partners. As usual, Richard resisted change with a shrill litany of excuses. Seriously, they’re just jeans. It’s not like Mindi’s making you wear ass-less, leather chaps. Or at least, we hope not. Shivers.
The show then switched to one of its three public domain music tracks as the guys all received a makeover (highlights and all!), and then finally — after four weeks of anticipation — we got to see the new and improved Geeks. Shawn was first, and despite his gigantic, yellow teeth, he looked very good. Textured hair, blonde highlights, normal clothing — it was like the pretty boy Ryan Seacrest always wished he could be. Next up was Chuck who emerged looking… uh… pretty much the same. Yeah, his wardrobe was better, but his hair was basically the same (maybe lighter). Caitilin, however, had a much different opinion. “Chuck looked like a totally different person!” she exclaimed. Caitilin then added, “Oh wait, I was looking at that painting over there. That explains the powdered wig. Yeah, never mind. Chuck looks the same.”
The third and most impressive transformation came from Bill, who emerged a new man once he swapped out his glasses and polo for hair product and a trendy button-down. Dare I say he actually looked normal? Looks like someone will be the Belle of the Dukes of Hazzard Fan Club Ball…
Last but not least was Richard, whose makeover simply consisted of slipping him into some nice jeans and a simple blue button-down. Honestly, it would have been nice to see him with a different hairstyle. The Jew-puff is nice, but I’ve seen too many of my people suffer under its helmet-like stature. Nevertheless, despite his makeover’s deceptively basic changes, the mere fact that Mindi brought an end to Richard’s Hip Flaps of Doom is impressive in and of itself. Kudos to her (even though, as we’d later see, the hips would be back).
With the makeovers in place, it was time for the guys to take action. The couples relocated to Universal Citywalk (a.k.a. Cheesy Tourist Mecca of Los Angeles) where Brian McFayden announced the guys would have thirty minutes to collect as many numbers as possible. Helping them out would be their female partners who would assist via an earpiece. Oh, and Bill’s big advantage from Lauren’s earlier win: he’d start off with one bonus number. Wow. Now THAT is a huge reward! Brian McFayden then announced that the winner of this challenge would get an additional slice of bread with dinner, and, if he were lucky, some warm tap water to accompany the graham cracker dessert.
Anyway, the challenge finally began, and Chuck immediately transformed into a British gentleman as he cornered one woman and said, “I beg your pardon. I’m sorry to bother you.” He then added, “I’m looking for the shoppe in the centre of town. My chum Nigel awaits!”
Shawn, however, had a fairly smooth start as he actually managed to talk to some girls, but when Scarlet gave him advice, he became distracted with his earpiece and eventually said, “Got this gooey thing in my ear. It’s nasty.” That might be marginally better than Richard’s “I’m feeling ill” line, but a good rule of thumb: girls don’t want to hear about gooey things in your ear — nay — anywhere.
As for Bill, he seemed to be benefitting from Lauren’s shrewd lines. She had him tell some poor girl that he was throwing a VIP party, and of course she forked over her number in no time. Never mind that he was a total stranger and that “VIP Party” could be a vague term for “rape and murder session.”
Also laying out the lies was Chuck who quickly shunned British politeness for gay sass. Yes, the chronic nose bleeder began telling women that he was not only a screenwriter doing research on the Citywalk (worst movie EVER), but that he was gay. “How many straight men do you know with highlights in their hair?” he asked. Somewhere, Ryan Seacrest blushed. Wow, two Seacrest jokes in one post. Very nice. Very nice indeed.
Faring poorly, of course, was Richard, who approached the challenge with the jokey self-defense mechanism that has somehow sustained him all this time. He actually managed to get a number from a girl, but his luck quickly turned sour as he propositioned a married lady. From that point on, his entire gameplan — if there even was one — went to shit, and he ultimately resorted to telling women that he was in the FBI and needed numbers. And even then he got nothing. I guess that’s because most FBI agents don’t look like the love child of Urkel and Eugene Levy.
While Richard struggled, Bill excelled. He even moved in on the two honeys Shawn had been working on for the past fifteen minutes. Awww… Bill’s first cockblock. So sweet. My favorite part of Bill’s game though was how he kept telling girls that he wanted to call them, but as he took down their digits, it was patently obvious that they were one of many numbers he had collected on his pad. Don’t these women have any standards? I guess not because the final tally was six numbers each for Richard and Shawn (that Richard got so many was a total shock), while Bill pulled in ten and Chuck thirteen. So the lesson: always lie to women.
With Chuck winning the challenge, he told us, “There have been times where I wanted to approach someone and ask for their number, and I was sort of afraid to, and so that’s something that I feel like I’ll be more confident about now.” So… you’re more confident in telling girls you’re gay? I’m a little confused. Nevertheless, Chuck and Caitilin once again became the power couple, and as the two deliberated, Richard decided to embrace his inevitable fate by donning a blindfold and sticking a fake cigarette in his mouth. Get it? He was facing the firing squad. AND he was being dumb. It really worked on so many levels.
Well, for the first time, there was actually some mild intrigue with the nominations. It was a given that Richard and Mindi would be headed into the Elimination Room, but what about the other two teams? Caitilin had a strong bond with Lauren (which we conveniently found out about, you know, JUST NOW) while Chuck had a permanent erection for Scarlet. Ultimately, since Chuck had put himself out on the line more than Caitilin during the challenge, his vote trumped hers, and Bill and Lauren were sent into the Elimination Room.
Knowing that she’d be facing some old fashioned math trivia, Lauren suddenly changed her tune about arithmetic. Whereas once she pined for jogging or eating or going out, the perky blonde now trumpeted her love of math. “I like to calculate things. In my cellphone,” she said. Seriously though, typing in those numbers is like #2 behind orgasms.
Richard, meanwhile, responded to the nominations with (sigh) more lame comedy. “I go down with honor!” he yelled, mimicking a generic European officer. “You go down with ridicule, Rich,” retorted Chuck. Oh SNAP! Homeboy just called you out, Richard! This was like the nerd version of the 50 Cent’s latest feud with The Game.
Anyway, time for the Elimination Room. As the teams headed in, Bill proudly announced, “Chances of winning tonight are 90%.” Okay, I guess they’ll be losing. And sure enough, that’s what happened. While Mindi went three for three with her math problems, Lauren had greater difficulty as converted three yards to sixty-four feet (ouch) and calculated the sum of 59 and 45 to be… 144. Ouch. Longtime listener, first time adder. To be fair, Bill also missed a question, but it was remarkably sneaky. On a date, who should pick up the check? Bill answered “the man,” but apparently, the correct answer was whoever asked for the date. TRICKY! I hate you, Brian McFayden. Just felt like saying that.
And so another episode came to an end. Richard managed to steal a kiss from Lauren, upping his grand total to TWO girls kissed (still can’t believe #1 was boring Krystal). It looks like we’re in for another showdown between Richard and Chuck, which should be enjoyably tame (again, not Real World fisticuffs here).
What do you think? Is Richard capable of growing? Is he still good TV?